Not often does a journalist get to interview an inductee into the Guinness World Book of Records. I was honored and blessed to receive such an assignment from Conroe City Lifestyle for its May 2023 Women’s Issue.
Article by Melanie Saxton
Originally published in Conroe City Lifestyle
What a delight to speak with Mary McCoy just after she took a call from London. Reporters in Canada and Australia have contacted her as well, all because of her record-setting career in radio.
No other woman has been in radio longer than Mary, and it’s earned her a spot in the Guinness World Book of Records—71 years and 357 days. On February 15, 2023, she was officially verified as “The World’s Longest Serving Female Radio Presenter/DJ.”
Mary gained acclaim as a singer, an on-air personality, and for remaining true to the music she loves. In 2010 she was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. In August 2021, Texas Monthly published “Mary McCoy Keeps Texas Country Radio’s Golden Age Alive.” She was surprised by a recent mention on Live! With Kelly.
“I was getting ready for work and overheard Kelly Ripa saying something about an 85-year-old lady who’s been in radio for over 71 years,” recalls Mary. ‘“Hey, that’s me!’ I told my daughter Kim.”
Mary takes the attention in stride and focuses on “The Larry and Mary Show” at K-Star Radio.
For 25 years, she’s featured country classics on weekdays from 10 am to noon and compares co-host Larry Galla to Elvis Presley due to their similar personalities.
“I knew Elvis when we were young and unknown,” says Mary. “He was the kindest, sweetest, most mannerly person, and we shared the stage on the Louisiana Hayride in 1955.”
Mary yodeled at age three, sang on stage at age six, and won her first talent contest at age 11. The following year she performed at a KMCO talent show and was asked to play guitar and sing during a 15-minute radio segment. Then she was offered her own DJ show at just 12 years old. Her first record, “Mary McCoy And The Cyclones—Deep Elem Blues,” debuted in 1965 and can be found on YouTube.
“Look real close at my mural on Main Street in downtown Conroe, and I’ll wink,” says our friendly, approachable hometown hero and radio pioneer.