The Times Daily in Florence, AL recently did a story on two women that are leading the industry of radio. Melissa Boswell Townsend was featured in the article “Women Share Common Bond Through Growing Up In Radio.”
The story focuses on the legacy of radio through three generations. Melissa Boswell Townsend is the granddaughter of radio founder Mims Boswell, who bought his first radio station in 1963 in Kosciusko. Today the Boswell’s run three radio stations located in Kosciusko, Carthage and Philadelphia.
Melissa Boswell Townsend, who now leads the company, has always been a part of the radio business.
“I always tell people I did my first radio commercial when I was 6,” Townsend said. “I worked part time through high school and college.”
Boswell Media launched the Mississippi Songwriter of the Year Contest in 2017 and that’s where the connection between two radio families started.
Halley Phillips, who was also featured in the article, is the granddaughter of Sam Phillips who started Sun Record Company in Memphis. The Phillips family owns Big River Broadcasting, which is based in Florence and includes the country music station Kix 96.
Haley Phillips and Melissa Boswell Townsend both grew up in the industry and are leading the next generation of media as women owners.
The connection and similarities between the two families was discovered when the Mississippi Songwriter of the Year Contest brought the Boswell’s to Wishbone Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Now in it’s second year, the contest has brought a second aspiring songwriter to the famous Studio to record where legends in the music industry have written and produced. Wishbone Studios is known as the heartbeat of the “Muscle Shoals Sound”.
Mississippi Songwriter of the Year 2018 winner, Derek Norsworthy, of Escatawpa, Mississippi, performed at Champy’s Chicken in Muscle Shoals, and recorded his winning song, “Raised By Radio,” at Billy Lawson’s Wishbone Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals this past weekend.
“We are excited about the partnership between Boswell Media, The Mississippi Songwriters, and Muscle Shoals,” said Boswell Media’s Melissa Boswell Townsend.
Phillips said Big River Broadcasting supports the songwriting contest, “I feel like it’s important for independent radio stations to band together to keep independent music alive.”
Melissa Boswell Townsend now occupies her grandfather and father’s old office and still has the nameplate that was on both of their desk.
“It reminds me of growing up in the radio station,how my grandfather and father have impacted the broadcasting industry, and the responsibility of continuing the Boswell tradition,” said Townsend.