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Bubba Black is back!

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Bubba Black is back!

Aaron Goodwin, aka Randy ‘Bubba’ Black in studio.

Photo contributed/

POSTED April 17, 2014 12:02 a.m.

Aaron Goodwin has been spinning records in our town since a piece of linoleum purchased at TG&Y served as his dance floor. From Rainbow Girls dances at the Masonic Temple in seventh grade to Golden West School functions at the request of his teacher Don Halseth, Goodwin cut his teeth on Manteca dance floors and has parlayed his love of music into one of the most recognizable voices on the radio dials. 

Aaron is the one and only Randy “Bubba” Black of local country airwave fame. He is looking to take upstart station 105.9 The BULL to the top of the local country charts. Goodwin grew up listening to a variety of musical genres, from acts like KISS and The Little River Band to rap pioneers Whodini. “I love and listen to all types of music, but the country music scene is dominating them all and presents the greatest opportunity,” stated Goodwin.

The 1985 Manteca High grad got behind the mic at Delta College’s KSJC radio with another Manteca radio legend Dave Mazzy, and he was soon working for Q97 out of a trailer on Brady Road in south Manteca. Most people are familiar with the tall tower on Brady Road; few are aware of the party atmosphere that little trailer cultivated in its heyday. “We were a group of young DJs in a trailer in the middle of nowhere, just a little music box. Listeners knew where they could find us, and we were open to visitors 24/7. It was a wonderful time,” Goodwin said with a “cat that ate the canary” grin. (The stories he shared will be in his Bubba Black memoirs.) He worked his way up the ladder, and eventually landed with KAT Country in 1994. It was the program manager from his days at the KAT that bestowed him with the moniker “Bubba” Black” – a name loved and respected in the NorCal Country community. “Bubba” Black owned the country airwaves until 2011, and took a short hiatus.

But the microphone kept calling to him. 

It was in June of 2013, after returning from a radio job he’d landed at Pop Radio Reno, that “Bubba” decided to drop by the KSTN 1420 AM studio in Stockton. He was offered a position running the board for what he termed was a “Classic Country” station. “We were playing old George Jones and Hank Williams music at the time, but the station had an idea to break from the ‘Classic’ and head into the current trend of ‘Bro-Country.’” I asked the same thing, “Bro-Country?”

“New acts like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Dirks Bentley … mixed in with Carrie Underwood. That’s Bro-Country!” he said. 

Talking with Goodwin, you can see the pure joy he gets in being part of the music business. KSTN 1420 teamed with 105.9 The Bull, and now the brother-sister stations pump out the newest that country has to offer. He realizes the area still has his old stomping grounds to contend with, but he is confident in his talents and vision for the future. He started at the KAT when it was just a kitty, and now looks to take his current calf, and grow it into The 105.9 Bull he envisions.”We are local and new, a great alternative to the corporate-run KAT, where they pre-program 12 hours of music by satellite. Call 105.9 The Bull and actually request a song.”

Mooove out of the way, kitty kitty!

• • •

Souzapalooza X is here

Mark Souza Jr., grandson of the late great Tony Souza of West Ripon Road fame, wants you to celebrate his birthday, all while helping those in need. It was during the second year of Souza’s all-out, no-holds-barred birthday party in 2006, that the idea of donating money to a charitable cause came up. “The year before at Rocko’s we had a band and entertainment, a huge turnout. It made sense to use the money the event provided for a good cause.” They jokingly kicked around the idea of donating it to the Manteca Police Department. “It seemed fair with as much time as they spent in the Rocko’s parking lot back then,” Souza said, tongue in cheek. It was finally decided that the money would go to Mantecan Sandy Limon, a friend who had recently lost both arms in a tragic work accident.

And year to year, Souzapalooza grew.

First there were 200 people. Then 300. Then 450. Eventually, it needed to become an outdoor event! Each year, it grew in size, and each year a donation was made to a different person. “I made the decision early that instead of donating to say a full-time charity, I’d much prefer giving the money directly to an individual. It’s nice to see exactly where the money goes.” This is the 10th year of Souzapalooza, and though the venue has changed the spirit of the day hasn’t.

Proceeds from this year’s party will go to 4-year-old Alexis Morrison of Manteca. The daughter of Garret and Liz Morrison suffers from Crohn’s Disease. Those not attending can make a donation @

This year’s Souzapalooza will be held at The Pub and Lounge starting at 6. A live musical performance by Eddie Vee and Triple D spearheads the event, along with a comedy/gong show with prizes and gifts. When asked how it feels to throw the town’s biggest party, all while helping out a great cause, Souza answered in perfect humble Portagee style. “I’m not doing anything but having a birthday, and everyday somebody has one of those. And if everybody would do the same thing, that’d be at least 365 people getting a little help, according to my math.”

• • •

Happy 30th, Mark!

Happy Easter to all

This past week I ran into Carolyn Furtado. I hadn’t seen her in years – and our conversation was short and sweet. “I’ve really been enjoying your column, keep it up. It reminds me of the old days.” It’s the latter part that gives me the most joy. If the Bulletin lets me, I’ll write this column until the wheels come off … probably sometime around July. But thinking about giving someone in this town a quick moment to reflect or reminisce about the past is the best reward. I’ve learned far more about this town since I started this column than I could’ve ever hoped. So if something I write jogs a memory of yours, please let me know because there are no insignificant Manteca stories in my opinion – just ones that haven’t been shared. Thanks for the kind words, Carolyn. It doesn’t take much to encourage other people, a kind word or a pat on the back. Take a second and try it this Easter weekend. You’ll be surprised at the results!

“It’s not Where ya do, it’s What ya do.” 

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