Down on Bad Dog Street…

Ok, it’s actually called John “Bad Dog” McCormack Avenue, and formerly Alabama Avenue– but whatever you call it, Bad Dog’s got his own street now!

Last week the city of Memphis renamed the street in front of the Ronald McDonald House in honor of Bad Dog who had helped raise millions of dollars for the RMH and families of cancer patients receiving treatment at St. Jude.

There was a great turnout for the unveiling ceremony as the Dog never knew a stranger. The RMH’s Executive Director Caron Byrd welcomed the guests. She then introduced city councilman Myron Lowery who read aloud the proclamation in front of the large crowd of Bad Dog’s friends and family.

Big Frank from K97 radio made sure everyone got a souvenir of the event.

Before the unveiling ceremony radio personality and one of Bad Dog’s former Wake-Up Crew co-horts Bev Hart welcomed everyone into to the RMH…as only Bev can! She said Bad Dog would have been proud to have his own street, and would have made it a toll road so he could raise more money for the kids at the Ronald McDonald House.

Back outside it got a bit warm, but many folks like Leon dressed for the occasion. It was good to see him and many of my RMH family of friends.

At the end of the ceremony, John’s brother Tim McCormack said a few words. As he spoke I remembered some of the things he said at Bad Dog’s funeral, and I had a tear and a smile.

Jim Byrd had a Coke and a smile. Hey, it got warm and he was wearing a tie!

After the unveiling ceremony we made our way back into the house and listened to one of the families staying at the RMH tell their story . Later many folks broke up into groups to tour the house, others caught up with old friends again.

Lots of Rock103 co-workers (some former, some not- long story), some RMH board members, former RMH staff,  and a lot of local media faces were there to celebrate.

Former RMH Executive director Carol Kirby was there, and even Kevin Williams was able to take off work for a bit, but Muley was no where to be seen.

Back inside the lobby of the RMH John’s sons Buck and Tucker McCormack were interviewed about their good dad the Bad Dog. Dang those boys have grown!

As I drove around town I heard several of his old Twilight Phone prank calls and other Wake-Up Crew highlights on Rock103- or “Bad Dog 103” as it was being called all day. John was always a highlight of going down to the old Rock 103 studios on Beale Street. You could hear his laugh all the way down the hall- even with the studio doors closed!

John McCormack lost his battle with leukemia just shortly after this year’s RMH radiothon.

The man may be gone, but the Bad Dog’s legacy of good deeds- and some evil practical jokes and an infectious laugh, will live on.

I know he can still make me smile!

Miss ya, Bad Dog!



Lin has been an artist and screen printer in the t-shirt industry for over 25 years and was a graphic artist designing monuments for 5 years. Lin is the creator of the web-comic Scared Silly and was co-creator of the self-published comic book series Bushi Tales (with Pencil Neck Studios partner Dave Beaty). He currently runs a geek travel blog and cartoon site- Lin has also done his fair share of freelance art for clients such as Coca-Cola, the Memphis Riverkings (CHL), Topps, Kevin Paige (CD cover art), 96X, and Rock103.. Lin has done mural work for Pancho’s, McDonald’s and Fitzgerald’s Casino, and his artwork has also appeared in The Memphis Flyer, Commercial Appeal, Airbrush Action Magazine, Amazing Figure Modeler, Stargodz (comic book with Conquest Studios), on Rock103 (Wake Up Crew web comic) and The Outdoor Channel’s websites, the MSCA (Mid-South Cartoonists Association) comics It Came From Beneath The Drawing Board and Overdrawn and Underwritten, in author Christa Michael’s first book – Ramblings With Redde: Why Does My Life Seem Like A Bad “B” Flick?, and Comic Geek Speak’s CGS:The End comic. Lin was a volunteer for the Memphis Ronald McDonald House, and an artist and scare-crew member for the Haunted Web Of Horrors charity haunted house (which benefited Youth Villages). He was named the Memphis Ronald McDonald House’s Special Events Volunteer of the Year in 2001, and again with RMH ‘A-Team’ and Nightmarez/ co-horts Patrick French and Todd Patton in 2002. He was awarded the “Superman Of Metropolis” award as a guest artist at the 2005 Metropolis Superman Celebration, and was the Artist Guest Of Honor at ShadowconXIII in 2009 and in 2012. He has also won two M.A.R.S. (Memphis Area Radio Stations) awards for writing and voicing radio commercials, and was awarded a 2012 President’s Volunteer Service Award by Volunteer Northwest Mississippi, a volunteer center of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, in conjunction with the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and the Corporation for National & Community Service. Lin served as the President and Vice-President of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association (MSCA) for 4 years and 9 years, respectively. He is currently a member of the MSCA and DeSoto Arts Council in North Mississippi. He is married to Nicki Workman, and has 3 cats- Jarael, Harley Quinn, and Lex.

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