It was a bittersweet moment on WREG’s ‘Live At 9’ Friday, as the show celebrated its 20th anniversary, and longtime co-host Marybeth Conley said goodbye at the end of her last show.
Marybeth came to WREG on Sept. 9, 1985, and teamed up with Alex Coleman for the first Live At 9 show on Sept. 22, 2002, Alex recalled.
WREG launched Live at 9 from the former Peabody Place Mall. The idea behind the show was to showcase the music and culture of Memphis, Marybeth said.
Twenty years later, many friends helped us celebrate.
“To Alex and Marybeth and the whole team at WREG’s Live at 9, Happy 20th Anniversary,” said Grammy Award winning producer Boo Mitchell. “Here’s to 20 more!”
“Happy 20th anniversary Marybeth and Alex Coleman. Hey! On achieving such tremendous success,” said James Alexander, Bar-Kays founder and bass player.
Over the past two decades, the Emmy nominated Live at 9 has had one-on-one interviews with national and Memphis newsmakers, showcased live music, and cooking.
“Ms. Marybeth Conley, Alex Coleman, Millington loves you,” said Terry Roland with the Millington Area Chamber of Commerce. “Happy 20th Anniversary.”
“Hey Marybeth! Hey my boyfriend Alex! What!? What! Twenty years of Live at 9?!” said WDIA personality Bev Johnson. “Congratulations. I love you all.”
“Buongiorno, my friends,” Memphis chef Franco Contaldo said. “Twenty years of excellence in local broadcasting. Marybeth, Alex and the crew at Live at 9, you guys are simply the finest.”
“Big shoutout to Alex. Big Shoutout to Marybeth and the whole staff, you know what I’m saying,” said rapper Al Kapone. “You know I got to pop that. Yeah! Oh boy.”
After 37 years, Marybeth is retiring to spend more time with her new husband Rick Woodall.
“Four years ago, my daughter found my eighth-grade crush on Facebook,” sahe said. “I had mentioned this boy I never forgotten. She looked him up and ten days later, we decided we needed to get married.”
Marybeth teared up a little as she spoke to Alex, Todd Demers and Corie Ventura, who she called friends and family. Then she turned to the camera and spoke to viewers.
“I want to say thank you to you, out there,” she said. “It’s such an honor to be allowed into your homes, and I appreciate it.”
You can watch her last moments on the show in the video above.
Marybeth and her husband will relocate to East Tennessee, but she founded a nonprofit in Memphis that will renovate houses for people released from prison.