Mike Soileau Celebrates 33 Years On The Radio In Lake Charles
When I read the headline above, I still shake my head because I can't believe that I have been on the radio in Lake Charles, Louisiana for 33 years now. It seems like yesterday that I did my first show on the radio.
It all got started back in May of 1990 in Westlake, Louisiana as I got a part-time job working at LA99 (99.5) and 1470 am. I was hired to do a Louisiana music show in the mornings at 1470 am playing Cajun, Swamp Pop, and Zydeco music from 5:00 am to 7:00 am Monday through Friday. I also worked on the FM side of things too on air at the radio station LA 99 doing either 7:00 pm to midnight or Midnight to 6:00 am.
Funny side note, this is the first and only time I ever had a radio name. It was when I did the show on LA99 and I was David Michaels. I am shaking my head as I write this. Just makes me laugh.
I did that job while going to McNeese State University. Then in 1993, I started working full-time at the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office but still stayed on the air doing a show on the weekends.
I did that for several years and then in 1999, I had the opportunity to do a Louisiana music show on Cajun Country 92.9 FM in Jennings, Louisiana where I did my show on Sundays from Noon until 5:00 pm. I did that show until 92.9 was moved from Jennings to Lake Charles.
From there, my show was moved to 99.5 which back then was called KBIG 99, and did a show on Sunday afternoons. In 2005, I started working full-time at the radio station and was hired as the Program Director to start up Cajun Radio 1470/1290 am. The only 24-hour-a-day Cajun, Swamp Pop, and Zydeco music radio station. I did the morning show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am each weekday.
Then came Gator 99.5 which is in the same building as 92.9 and Cajun Radio. In 2010, I was asked to do a show from 7:00 pm to Midnight which I did for a year or so then I was moved to Middays for a little while. After that, I became the host of the afternoon show where I was on the air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm featuring the Drive At Five, and did that for several years.
In 2015, I was named the Program Director of Gator 99.5 and moved to Mornings where I did the show with Emily. When Emily left, I did the show solo for a while until Chad Austin came on board in 2020. That brings us to the present day.
I have been blessed to do what I love for the past 33 years and thanks to you, some of the highlights of my career include you voting me your favorite radio DJ, your favorite radio show, and the best radio station (Gator 99.5) for the past five years or since 2018. I was also inducted into the Cajun French Music Association's Hall Of Fame as a Cajun music radio DJ. This all happened because of you, the listeners, and my friends and I am forever grateful for that!
What do I love about my job? How much time do you have? First and foremost, I love that I get a chance each day to talk to you every morning on the radio! I love meeting you out in public. I love our Louisiana Festivals, supporting local charities and events, love local live music, Mardi Gras, supporting our local musicians, and going to concerts.
Along the way, I have worked with some of the best in the business. I would like to acknowledge my mentors Bruce Merchant and Tom Hoefer who taught me the ins and outs of radio.
I have to thank my late father Dave Soileau who got me into the business. I remember when I was a kid going to the radio station and watching him do his radio show. I guess that gave me the bug!
Also, I would like to thank Dale Mann who not only was my radio hero but still to this day is a great friend of mine! Funny side story, the picture below is of me and Dale on the cover of Lagniappe magazine from 2004.
I was born right here in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I graduated from LaGrange High School and went to McNeese State University. I am a lucky man to have been able to be on the same three frequencies 99.5 FM, 92.9 FM, and 1470 AM in my hometown.
That is unheard of in radio to be in one radio market your entire career and that is all because of you! Thank you Southwest Louisiana for all the love and support through the years. Here's to many more!
Classic Country Artists I've Met in My Radio Career