Big Al Wheetley and Sandy Shortridge, Author at The Birthplace of Country Music
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Big Al Wheetley and Sandy Shortridge


About Big Al Wheetley and Sandy Shortridge

Meet Big Al Weekley – In Your Ear Since 1987

Al Weekley affectionately known as “Big Al,” hails from Ravenswood, West Virginia, right on the banks of the Ohio River. His love affair with radio began in 1987 when the Bluegrass band he played in was invited to perform live at Ohio University’s radio station, WOUB FM. Mesmerized by a DJ spinning records after the show, he expressed his interest, leading to a fateful conversation that set him on a path to radio stardom.

Big Al’s radio journey started at WOUB FM, where he worked for four years. His show, “The Big Al Bluegrass Show,” became a staple on his hometown station, WMOV 1360 AM, where he hosted it until me moved out west in 1993.

A Remarkable Career

Big Al’s expertise in radio expanded through roles such as music director at WMOV. In 1999, he joined the 50,000-watt powerhouse KRVN 880 AM in Lexington, Nebraska, broadcasting across 16 states for 15 years. He also interviewed legendary country and bluegrass artists.  He helped organize many long running bluegrass festivals and acted as the master of ceremonies for these festivals.

Apart from radio, Big Al is a talented musician and songwriter, collaborating with industry icons like Dave Dudley and Leroy Van Dyke and other legendary country stars. He also worked with many major bluegrass artists as well.

In 2014, he decided to return close to home and relocated back to the hills of Southwest Virginia.  While here in Virginia, he has worked bluegrass festivals and radio.  He met his wife, Sandy Shortridge, who asked him to be her bass player. Presently, he has the syndicated Big Al & Sandy Radio Show which is heard on many stations including stations located in Germany and the UK. He also works with an on-line magazine in Germany called Country Music News International. He does many interviews of bluegrass and country stars.

Recognitions and Awards

Big Al’s contributions to preserving the history of Bluegrass, Gospel, and Country music have earned him numerous accolades. He received the Old Time Country and Bluegrass Music Preservation Award in 2013 and was inducted into the Nebraska Country Music Hall of Fame the same year. He also received the President’s Award from the Nebraska Country Music Association.  Notably, he has been nominated as one of the IBMA Top 5 Bluegrass broadcasters in 2003, 2014 and 2021.

Meet Sandy Shortridge Weekley

Sandy Shortridge Weekley, a guitarist and an exceptional singer with a baritone voice, is from Buchanan County, which is located in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia and borders the states of both Kentucky and West Virginia.  She began her musical career at ten years old and is well known because of performing on many of the area stages and beyond throughout the years.  She is also a songwriter and master storyteller. As a result of an interview on New Year’s Eve in 2014 Big Al persuaded Sandy to jump on the air with him and the duo has now broadcasted live radio together for over ten years.  Big Al and Sandy were married in 2019. Sandy is a member of the Crooked Road and has toured in promotion of the organization in New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey as well as Virginia.  She has recorded four albums and has original works recorded by Larry Sparks and Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers.