By Katie Anderson
George Sholtz, born in 1964, has been the voice on Big Country 99.3 The Rooster for the past four years. The new channel, KBTC 105.7 The Watchman, has just started up recently for the radio station.
Sholtz was originally born in Michigan. He met his wife Cynthia there, at the church where they got married, when they were 17-year-olds in 1982. They shared their first kiss behind the church.
They both started farming, but after that didn’t work out, they ended up going into the military, which moved them all over the place.
After coming through the Ozarks, Sholtz realized that they could live as free as they wanted to here, with very minimal restraints. “The harder you work, the more you’ll receive. I put God’s standards first, above all else, and don’t really give a damn what people think,” says George.
“I have only been with my wife. Ain’t interested in any other. I applaud all people that have the determination to stick it out and make it work versus taking the easy way out. Marriage is hard, but it’s definitely worth it. Anytime you go against God’s plan, it does not work out good for you.”
Sholtz also has three children, along with 10 grandchildren, saying “God has blessed us to be living in the same area, so we get to spend time with all of our children and grandbabies.” He doesn’t care what they do together, as far as spending time, but he just enjoys being with them.
Between working and spending time with family, George Sholtz has been spending numerous hours himself in trying to get something near to his heart to move forward for his local community. On July 19, 2017, Sholtz’s son-in-law, Justin Dixon, was in a tragic accident when returning from the fields on what Sholtz has described as a poorly maintained road. George has since been engaged in getting the Texas County Commissioners to fix the road. He stated that he was not in it for the money; if something like that were to happen to someone in your own family, wouldn’t you want it fixed too?
In 2014, Dixon bought the radio station, and he and Sholtz had been business partners. Since Dixon’s death, Sholtz has taken over the helm.
“This radio gig has been the hardest thing that I’ve ever done,” stated Sholtz. “This is harder than the military, this is harder than farming, this is harder than anything I’ve ever done.”
Sholtz enjoys, “expressing his viewpoints” during his morning shows, which are three days a week. “I have a huge platform. I get to share with all of the Ozarks things that I think are important.”
“I also get to share the gospel with the unsuspecting listener,” says Sholtz about his talk show. “I have the largest church of non-believers in the Ozarks. My show is from 7 to 10 [a.m.] and I get about 30-45 minutes of that to talk, which is about the length of any sermon.”
When asked what his favorite genre of music is to play or listen to, he stated he didn’t really like music. “I listen to talk radio. I grew up listening to J. Vernon McGee through the Bible radio. He’s long-time been gone. I listen to conservative.”
The radio station has a brand new FM station, KBTC 105.7 The Watchman.
“Well there’s nothing on the new station that is on the station we already have [99.3]. They are completely different formats,” explained Sholtz. “Big Country is a radio format, which we are mainly country, but we have other things as well as far as music goes. We have a wide-range on 99.3. The new FM radio station, 105.7, is completely different. It is Conservative Christian talk radio and conservative talk radio. Farm Journal radio also. The AM station, you can’t really pick it up past Licking, so with the new FM translator, even though it is really low power, you can pick it up all the way to Edgar Springs, Mountain Grove, Willow Springs, it has a pretty big range.”
Sholtz said that the radio business now has competitors including Sirius XM Satellite Radio, or people just plugging in their phones to listen to music, which has called for a change.
“The problem with that is that you don’t get to hear anything local by doing that, you don’t hear the local commercials, but there’s a lot of good information that could be obtained from radio.”
There has also been a misconception on the location of the radio.
“People think that we are a Houston radio because we have a P.O. Box in Houston, but we are a regional radio,” said Sholtz. “Our 99.3 radio tower is actually sitting east of Cabool, so if you’re picking us up in your car, it’s from that tower. We go all the way down to Arkansas, west almost to Springfield, we’ve got people in Branson that listen, people almost to Rolla that listen, Salem, Plato almost to Lebanon.”
If you ever do get a chance to met George Sholtz, he has stated, “I’m always going to do what I think is right,” which includes anything to do with himself, his family, friends, and anyone else in his life.
For more information, contact the Houston office line at 417-967-3353, Houston studio line at 417-967-5657, or the Mountain Grove studio line at 417-349-4353. You can also find information on the radio website www.bigcountry99.com or on Facebook at Big Country 99 The Rooster.