Leon Anthony “Bay” Vandiver, is a Montgomery native. Leon spent his youth life in Montgomery and his adulthood in Chicago. He attended Booker T. Washington High School and is a “cum laude” Graduate of Alabama State University. Leon served as Head Drum Major in the marching band at both BTW and ASU.
As a youngster, Leon fell in love with sports, especially football. Games were played almost on a daily basis in the Trenholm Court housing projects. He played basketball even more on the local courts. He had to make a decision between football and music after being hired to play in a local Club Band before his 15th Birthday. His older friends, although very athletic, decided to join the more popular BTW “ Marching 100” Band. Leon joined in the fun also. Marching with the High School band and playing drums with a Club band (Canidate KC Express),his days and nights were a juggling act.
He and friends (The Mod Squad)formed a hangout group that befriended the local DeeJays at radio station WRMA. Tracy Larkin was one of the most popular up and coming DeeJays in Montgomery at this time. Some in the Mod Squad wanted to be radio DeeJays but Leon enjoyed playing drums on stage and stayed with it. Tracy was a great friend and mentor who was mentored by the DeeJay greats of the time. Yet He was able to take the art to another level.
Meanwhile,The BTW football Coach recruited Leon as a receiver as well as other band members. An injury playing sandlot football ended football hopes but several other band members went on to star on the team. Music was an income and Leon’s ticket to College. As a SWAC Drum Major, the intensity and performance level filled the stadiums. Upon graduating, it was off to Chicago . This was the next stop on Leon’s summer book salesman tour.
With a B. S. Degree in hand, a teaching offer was taken and a very popular band needed a drummer. Moving on to a career in corrections, I retired and returned to Montgomery. TLBN was formulated 10 years before it’s enception. In the mind of Tracy Larkin. He stated that It would be based on Freedom of Speech and programming. Barry “Badbeatz “ Brinson was introduced and history was made. Barry put together a blueprint and built the board as outlined and programmed the software to TLBN, “TheTracy Larkin Broadcasting Network”. My roll from the beginning was to be and do whatever is necessary to help make the TLBN experience the best it can be. Whether I’m producing, co-hosting, training broadcasters and interns or promoting the Tracy Larkin concept, it’s been fun from the start.