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Recognize anyone?
L-R:  Jim Jeffries, Jerry Smallwood, Jim Davenport, Kent Burkhart, Steve Roddy, Pat Burkhart,
Ron Brandon, Deb Pickens-Brandon, Long John Silver, George Williams, Mrs Jim Jeffries,
Gator Lanihan, Dave Carrico


by Rollye James
Claude Hall

Ron Brandon:  “On Facebook the old radio dawgs seem to enjoy the pix..from the pages of
once upon a time Radio Music Report..use as you see fit...as you recall there are over a
thousand on my FB site and anyone is welcome to visit, use, share, etc.”  

Bob Sherwood and Bill Gavin

L-R: Jim Davenport (just visible), Bobby Lanihan, Gator Lanihan, guest and John Long,
Charlie Minor and guest, Ron Brandon, Joel Denver

Rollye:  “Ron’s treasure-trove is worth getting a Facebook page alone. If you’re already on
there, click here  and expect to spend some time reminiscing.  Speaking of which, perhaps the
highest good of this column is reuniting folks with old friends.  To that end, here’s a couple
questions perhaps you can answer.  If so, let me know at info@voxjox.org:”

Peter McLane:  “Is Bob Henabery still with us? “ 

Art Wander:  “Computer problems made it difficult for me to exchange e-mails with many
friends.  I apologize for lack of contact.  I remember Marcia Winters, in a Vox Jox column
indicating we had lost e-mail touch.  I now have her address and will  write.  Also, one of my
former program directors might be among the missing e-mail addresses.  That's Jim Clemens.
 If Jim would send me an e-mail, I would appreciate it. He was an outstanding program
director and he's one that I would like to exchange e-mails.”

Rollye:  “I’m pretty sure Bob Henabery is still with us— and I’m betting David Martin has
an email contact— David?   I’m also hopeful that Jim Clemens is in the Atlanta area, but he’s
harder to track down.  I know he was Art’s favorite PD from their Plough days.    Gene Loving
is still with us, and for that I am grateful.  If you spent any time in Norfolk back in the day, you
probably caught his dance show, and likely heard his air work.  I’m pleased to say he’s
preserved many memories in a book debuting this month:

“Click on the book for a good price from Amazon.  And to my delight, I got an update on Gene
and Dick Lamb too, from Chris Astle (Chuck Adams at WGH from 1964-1983).”

Chris Astle:  “Dick Lamb is still doing a morning show.  He is on 92.9, WVBW (formerly
WFOG, Suffolk).  This station is among 5 Tidewater stations owned by Max Media (Gene
Loving, President).  Gene is no longer doing on-air work.   All five of these stations operate
out of a building in Virginia Beach, regardless of City of License.    Raymond Bottom and I
were given a tour of the Virginia Beach 5-station complex, by Gene Loving, about 3 years
ago.  I will try to attach some pictures.”

Rollye:  “More than ‘still with us’ Gene Loving is a media maven.  The current Max Media
was formed in 2001, but Loving has been in ownership for decades before that.  Here’s a brief
history  Here’s a list of Max Media’s current holdings.  And here are some faces I’ll be you

Jim Gabbert turned 81 in the Bay Area last month, continues to fly large jets, just renewed
his FAA instruction license and is still going strong.  I often talk of how FM benefitted from
the field effect transistor, but when discussing the medium’s ascent in the ‘60s it’s impossible
to leave out Gabbert’s contributions.  Vertically polarizing the signal was a huge step— he
should be knighted for that.  But apparently the NAB opposed it back when.  Just one reason
there was such a need for the NAFMB.”

Jim Gabbert:  “I just want to set the record straight as far as NAFMB and NRBA. The
NAFMB was formed in the late 50's by Fred Labelle of KITT in San Diego, who got WASH,
and a few other FM stations to form a group to fight for FM. The NAB for a very short time
would have on the first Sunday of their annual convention a short session on FM. They then
dropped it so Abe Voron, myself and others revitalized the NAFMB.

“In 1961, a petition filed by a group called FM Ulimited filed a petition to limit FM's coverage
on both the East and West Coast. ABC was behind this as they saw FM growing and becoming
a threat to their 50 KW powerhouses. . The NAB supported this so at this point we got all of
the FM broadcasters in California to start a massive lobbying campaigning (it was an election
year) . We had almost all FM's affected by the proposed rule  (Docket 14185) do a chain
broadcast and we all dropped power (we had 125,000 watts and the new rule would give us  5
KW). The next day the FCC got over 20,000 letters which led to a meeting of the
Commissioners and they grand-fathered all existing stations.

“I became president of NAFMB in 1967 . In 1973, I bought KSAY AM and found that AM's
had very similar problems as FM.  The FCC was over regulating (i.e. agriculture public service
programs, same for religion, etc).  The NAB was controlled by the big 3 (NBC, CBS and ABC)
and wanted to make sure that radio was treated the same as TV to help mitigate over-
regulation. The NAB really almost considered radio an asset to help control regulation of TV's.
In 1973, we changed the group to NRBA and I remained president until 1980 when I sold all of
my radio stations and went into TV.  Sis Kaplan was my choice as a successor and became
president in 1980. Ultimately, Bill Clark of KABL was the architect of unification between the
two associations. That led to the NAB's Radio Convention (which was NRBA's radio
meetings) and focused more on radio.
“During the early 60's, all FM's signals were horizontally polarized and did not work to well in
car radios. At our SF station, we experimented with both horizontal and vertical polarization
which made FM work in car radios, and significantly made FM much easier to receive. This is
now the world standard. NAB opposed this.”

Frank Boyle:  “RE KRLA/ Country—  You're right—as usual.  Another Senior Moment.  I
meant KLAC--Howard Bloom/ Don Langford-PD plus KMET/ FM-- Sam Bellamy/
PD-Metro Media-..they were a great combo.”

Mel Phillips:  “Thanks for the mention about the location of John Rode, one of the original
members of our WRKO NOW CROWD (John did 9-12 Noon). I have been sending email to
John but so far he hasn't responded. I just sent him a Facebook message at his winery so maybe
I'll have better luck. John and I had worked together at WALT in Tampa prior to his joining us
in Boston.

“On Ilene Berns passing: No one worked a room better than Ilene. She was properly identified
in the obit you attached as: "One of the most successful female independent label chiefs of all
time". I would often see Ilene and one of her artists at radio and record gatherings. I ran into
Ilene and Paul Davis frequently in the late 70's and early 80's. The conversations were always
a pleasure. She will be missed.”

Ken Dowe on Ilene Berns:  “One of my favorite people in the music business.  We spent a lot
of time with Ilene over the years. She was a roller coaster of non-stop fun!”

Rollye: “I didn’t know Ilene personally, but from everything I’ve read over the years, I have
enormous respect for this woman. Last week I mentioned she was the unlikely head of a label. 
That’s the understatement of the era. When Bert Berns left her a widow, she was a 24 year old
former Peppermint Lounge go-go dancer, with three kids.  The independent label she suddenly
headed had hits, but the interest of Bert Berns’ former partners, the principals at Atlantic
Records, was waning.  It would have been understandable if she shrunk from the task, but far
from it, she flourished with good humor and good sense, keeping the label alive and relevant. 
When it came time to sell (Bang went to CBS/Sony in 1979) , she preserved her family’s
financial future (which by then had grown by two more children from her marriage to Eddie
Biscoe), by retaining the publishing companies (Web IV & Sloopy II), which her son,  Brett
Berns, runs.   A life well lived.

Paul Kangas

Paul Kangas passed away last week.  He’s widely remembered for his 30 year tenure, from
1979 to 2009, as host of the PBS’ Nightly Business Report.  I admit to being probably the only
person who never caught that show, which was owned and produced in Miami by WPBT (sold
the following year after Kangas’ exit, and ultimately acquired by CNBC).  But I associated his
name with Rex Rand, the flamboyant owner of WINZ in the 1960s.  Turns out that’s how he
got his start.  He was working in Miami as an accountant, with Rand as his biggest client. 
Rand suggested he might want to do a business feature on his local radio station, WINZ, and
his broadcasting career grew from there.  Here’s the New York Times’ obit. 

“Also no longer with us is a name that should be familiar to most radio folks:  Fred Fiske.  No
one in Washington DC radio had a longer tenure. He was first heard in the nation’s capital in
1947.  Last heard in 2011.  During his 64 years there, he saw DC grow from a market of less
than a dozen stations to amongst the most over-radioed areas in the country (DC airwaves are
not only clogged with broadcasters, but government use as well— it’s crowded, to say the
least).  Fiske, who died at 96 years old in Columbus, Ohio last week, started on WOL (when it
was on 1260, owned by Cowles).   He remained on 1260 when it became WWDC in 1950 (the
calls were swapped— WWDC owner Capitol Broadcasting bought the station and moved its
WWDC calls to 1260.  WOL went to 1450, the former WWDC dial position).  In 1977, 30
years after he’d joined 1260,  Fiske went to non-comm WAMU-FM, where he remained for the
rest of his career.  That’s over six decades on two frequencies in one city.  Few broadcasters
can claim that.  Here’s his Washington Post obit.”

Don N Nelson:  “Sorry to report that long time friend & co-worker Fritz Frederick passed
away at age 90 on Feb 27 in Scottsdale, AZ.  In the late 70’s & early 80’s Fritz was Managing
Director of Mid-America Media, overseeing the operation of their stations in WIRL/WSWT
Peoria, IL, WQUA/KRVR  Quad Cities, WTRX Flint MI, KIOA Des Moines, IA,
WIRE/WXTZ Indianapolis, IN & KBEZ Tulsa, OK.”

Rollye:  “And Fritz’ grandson, Christopher FrederickBrotha Fred” is half of the “Fred &
Angi” morning show on Kiss-FM 103.5 in Chicago.  (His mother is Fritz’ daughter, Aimee; his
estranged father is Charlie Van Dyke.)  Brotha Fred is living proof of radio in being in the
veins.   Here’s Fritz’ obit.   

“We heard from Dandy Don Whittemore with a link to the future.  Or is it the present?   And
what would the week be without hearing from Joey Reynolds?  First… Reynolds Rap.”

Can't see it?  Click here.

Joey Reynolds: “Cross  demographic,  Cross generational.  The triplecast has something for
everyone.   Because we are not normal…”

The Joey Reynolds Dream Team

Rollye:  “Joey sent a link to watch him live on Sunday night— it’s here.  And remember, the
audio archives of the show are here (scroll down).   Joey also got an email on his Sunday night
ratings (on WABC), from a friend who wants to remain nameless, due to the provenance of
said info...”

As you all might have guessed the news is very good.   Because these were sent to me on the
side, I can't share the document.  But, here's what I can tell you.  As compared to the other AM
stations we're in a statistical tie for 3rd with WNYC with only WINS and CBS ahead of us.   We
are crushing WNYM (the light bulb) station downtown.   At this point our cume (total
audience) is not that big between 7k and 10k weekly by comparison WINS and CBS are both in
the 20k to 35k plus area.  This part however IS impressive year over we have grown the
listenership to our hour 2,000% Yes I wrote that correctly.  The best measure of growth of a
show is listenership year over year.  Last year in Jan as compared with this year in Jan the
only month for which I have full numbers we are up over 2,000%!  Our trend since going on
the air in October is UP 40% to 400% and more month over month.  As I said earlier our cume
numbers are not (yet) BIG by advertising standards.  But there's no show on radio or any
media for that matter growing at a rate like this!

Joey Reynolds:  “Trump asked me and the media to stop breaking his balls.”  

Mel Phillips:  “We are now just 3 months away from the WRKO 50th Anniversary Weekend
(June 2 - 4). Invitations to the Friday night (June 2nd) dinner will be emailed to everyone on
March 13, the date that WRKO launched in 1967. This week we continue to pay tribute to
on-air members of our staff that joined us after the 1967 launch. Updated information on the
June 2 - 4th weekend follows: 

L-R:  J.J. Jordan, Jerry Butler & J J Wright, Johnny Dark,  Mark (Driscoll) Rivers
WRKO 50th Anniversary Dates:

Friday, June 2, 2017

Dinner invitations will be emailed March 13, the date WRKO launched in 1967. Our
Anniversary will be celebrated at the Crowne Plaza (Charles Ballroom) in Newton. Cash bar at
6 will be followed by a hearty buffet dinner. Jordan Rich (seen above) will emcee. Parking
fees for those driving to the event will be waived with front desk validation...

Saturday, June 3, 2017

L-R: Al Gates, Joel Cash, J.J.Jeffrey, Chuck Knapp, Arnie Ginsburg, Geo Capalbo Jr. & Art Vuolo  
On air live (7pm-11pm) on WRKO/Streaming & Backbone Networks (Streaming) (produced
by George Capalbo Jr.) All music, jingles & 20/20 news headlines from 1967. Art Vuolo will
video tape the festivities, a copy of which will go into the National Radio Hall Of Fame in

Rooms are still available at the Crowne Plaza (Newton). Check-in: Friday (June 2). Check-out:
Sunday (June 4). Call 617-969-3010 and ask for special "WRKO Reunion" rate of $159 a night
(tax not included). You'll pay about $175 after taxes but more if you park at the hotel. We
suggest using a cab from Logan (Gordon Brown is offering special rates, his email address is
available by request). Local transportation while staying at the hotel is advised.”