Ted Rodgers grew up in Danville, Virginia, his idol was Will Rogers and he always admired Arthur Godfrey's style. The influence of both were evident in his casual easy delivery, which he called "just being human". "So many deejays try to emulate others," he said. "You must be yourself" - but a professional self.
A 10th grade dropout who wanted to get into World War II before it was over, Rogers returned to the United States and enrolled in a broadcasting school in Washington. In 1950 BR (before rock & roll) Ted began a broadcasting career that would last 40 years, 32 of which were at WDBJ (whose call letters became WFIR). Ted met his future wife, Jean, while both were working at WPTF in Raleigh.
In 1960, "Party Line", the forerunner to "Ask Your Neighbor" began on WDBJ, It was similar to program which ran in Raleigh. "Ask Your Neighbor" was a show that gave friendly advice, sort of modern back yard fence. "People are essentially good about helping people" he said. Neighbors don't have much contact anymore". The show allowed listeners to help each other out while retaining a degree of anonymity.In 1989, WFIR celebrated it's 65th anniversary and Ted Rogers was interviewed by host John Schreiner.