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by Rollye James
Bill Cook (to Ken Dowe about the above picture): “Somebody looks familiar here!. Can you
Ken Dowe (to Bill Cook, jesting about the picture of the participants on a Legends of
Broadcasting panel, of which he was a part, held several years ago at an NAB convention):
Yes, Bill! Let me!! I can, Bill. I can do it! The guy in front with the red hair is Michael
Williams. AKA "Jungle Jim" Williams. And...Michael O'Shea. (I believe he is in the
Witness Protection Program) The fellow to his left is my 2nd favorite programmer (after
Gordon McLendon) of all time, Chuck Blore. I am very, very envious. However, he no
longer requires that I address him as Mr. Blore.:) The fellow on the far left is Swiss Banks
educated Media Magnate Gary Stevens, my one time fellow Balaban Broadcaster and friend
since we first met in 1962 when he drove up to a KBOX event at the Dallas Cotton Bowl in a
sparkling new Continental. (I didn't know DJs could afford Continentals.)
“To his left is the multi-talented Bobby Rich, who took his multiple personality disorder to
fame and fortune. (God bless, him.) I always admired Bobby for his unique talent(s). I believe
they represent some 16 or 17 souls? I do not know the tall guy. Sometimes at these "Legend"
and similar events anonymous imposters will sneak in and cop a camera shot. This appears to
be the case here. As people used to say to other famous gunslingers, "nice grouping!" — (I
once was..) Ken Dowe.”
Rollye: “Before this past week, I’d been wondering what was going on with Ken. We used to
hear from him regularly and hadn’t in quite a while. I’m pleased to say he caught up this
week— with a small flurry of wonderful emails, including a first hand look back on Kennedy
Ken Dowe: “It continues to amaze me that this tragic event of more than a half-century ago
remains of so much interest that sometimes it feels as if it's current news. A big deal? Still
is-no doubt. Here's a note typical of those I receive from time to time. Thought you might like
to see what inquiring minds are puzzling about..”
Bruce Smith to Ken Dowe: “Just wanted to write to thank you for autographing my JFK cover
for me . It’s people like you who make my hobby such a rewarding one . If you don’t mind I
have one question for you. What was your opinion of Jack Ruby before he shot Oswald? I
take it by what I’ve read that he was sort of a character in the city.”
Ken Dowe: “Ruby was a sordid, immoral, and corrupt groupie kind of guy who would hang
around well-known types in Dallas he considered to be celebrities. Much of the reason for this
may have been to hand out ‘free tickets’ and get the ‘famous’ to show at his cheesy downtown
strip club. By most accounts, ‘free’ was a high price to pay for Ruby's ‘entertainers’.
“I seem to recall someone once introducing him as I entered the KLIF offices. It was a hasty
introduction: ‘Jack, do you know Ken?’ And, a walk-by handshake. I didn't know who he was
when he called the studios; which is accurate in the Warren Report, as I answered, with regard
to Ruby's phone call. He was telephoning to offer delivery of food and drink for all of us who
were covering the assassination of JFK. I answered the phone, hit the intercom, and said to my
newsman: ‘Glenn. Who the devil is Jack Ruby?’
“A ‘character’ might be Ruby in strokes that are far too broad, Bruce. Character as in, ‘jester or
fool,’ might work. Lacking respectability in behavior and appearance would also be correct
insofar as Jack Ruby's ‘character’ is concerned.”
Rollye: “Ken Dowe also added to the memories of Charley Pride that he shared with us in
the June 13, 2016 column.”
Ken Dowe: “Charley became my great friend long ago, and I need to chase him down and
correct the misunderstanding he thought he had with me that he wrote about in his
autobiography. I remember answering a question he had. I did not think one could cross over
into pop music hits with a steel guitar in the music mix. I love those guitars, but I doubted kids
would "get it." Apparently, Charley remembered differently, and that I said he could never
have a pop hit. If that is what he heard, that would have been a serious error on my part.
Charley is so good, he could have a hit singing opera music.
“Now that he is 83, maybe I can catch him and make sure he knows that one of us
misremembers. Charley was a cherished friend, who always telephoned me wherever I was
living to say he was coming to town, and there would be tickets waiting for Dottie and me at
"will call." He once played Mississippi, and left complimentary tickets for my elderly mother.
Guy can probably still hang with his major league buddies at practice. Charley was one heck
of a great baseball player. I miss my Mississippi brother.”
Chris Astle (Chuck Adams, WGH-AM-FM, best years of my life): “In this picture,
clockwise, around the table, the guy with the bald spot is (75% sure) John Sciambi (Program
director for Max Media's 5-station Hampton Roads group),; Gene Loving (former WGH
deejay), President and CEO of Max Media stations;, Dick Lamb (former WGH deejay),
currently morning drive host on WVBW-FM, one of the Max Media stations,; Raymond
Bottom Jr. (former Vice-President of WGH-AM-FM). The guy staring into the camera with
his cherub face is the General Manager of the 5-station complex, and his name wont come to
me. His first name may be Dave. This was October 16, 2013. Gene Loving invited Ray
Bottom and me (a WGH employee from 1964-1983) to "tour" the 5-station complex, on
Greenwich Road, near the Virginia Beach-Norfolk city line. Gene Loving's company now
owns both WGH AM and FM. Sweet!”
Rollye: Thanks to Chris Astle, not only for identifying the faces and for the pictures we’ve
used in the past two weeks, but also for reuniting me with Dale Parsons. Dale is one of my
favorite folks, and I’m so glad he’s living the good life in Hawaii. I told Chris that Dale
survived a night of me driving him around LA, and I shared one of my favorite Parsons stories
dating back to Norfolk: Dale is the only person I know ordered to pay dog support in a
divorce. A dachshund, as I recall.”
Dale Parsons: “And I remember many, many late night phone calls, filled with gossip and
schemes to fix the various problems in the industry.
“Here are a couple of my Rollye stories. When I was interviewing for the WNBC job, I told
Rollye after my first meeting. She asked me to promise to tell her if I was hired so she could
write an exclusive in Billboard. As soon as we came to an agreement (in mid-December 1984),
I let her know. She ran the story the next week, while Radio & Records was on their holiday
hiatus. When the story came out, the NBC publicity department went ballistic. It seems they
had promised an exclusive to Radio & Records, which didn’t run the story until the first week
in January and relegated it to Page 3. Randy Bongarten, the President of NBC Radio was
livid, asking, “Why did you do this?” I told him no one told me not to and I had promised it to
my friend. My name was mud in the corporate offices before I even got there.
“Another story…. From the time I got to WNBC, Rollye pressed me to find a job for Joey
Reynolds. When we cancelled Howard Stern’s show, she hit me with the full court press. The
problem was nobody in NBC wanted anything to do with Joey, based on his reputation. I spent
weeks and months traveling the country listening to radio teams, single acts, comedians, etc. I
came close to hiring Flo & Eddie, even flying them to New York to produce a pilot show. We
talked to Jay Leno, but he didn’t want to be tied down to a daily show. I hired a comic named
Bill Grundfest to do a weekend show with his first wife, thinking maybe we could develop
them (Bill went on to write for Mad About You…which had a husband and wife relationship a
lot like what Bill was doing on the radio). We talked to O’Brien and Garry, but the owner of
the station in Pittsburgh was good friends with the NBC Radio Executive VP, who didn’t want
to hurt his friend’s station. Finally, I gave in and asked Rollye for Joey’s phone number. I
invited him up to do an on-air audition on a Saturday afternoon. That was one of the best radio
shows I ever heard…so good that it sold corporate on Joey. I should have saved myself a lot of
grief and listened to Rollye from the beginning.
“The first time I spoke with Rollye was in the early 1980s. She was pushing me to run
Soundtrack of the 60s with Murray the K on WLTY. I think Murray passed before we picked
up the show…by then Gary Owens has taken over. And I still remember that tour through LA.
She even showed me LA’s first McDonalds.”
Rollye: “Murray lasted longer at Soundtrack of the ‘60s than I did. I was hired to write and
produce it because it was three weeks behind schedule before it even debuted. And the
premise was shaky. The 60s is a decade with a decided musical schism. Every week was a
different train wreck. Stories? I’ve got plenty. Maybe some slow week, I’ll share a few. I
produced SOS for six months and managed to get the show three weeks ahead of schedule (I
doubt I made many friends at Watermark). My biggest regret was not saving the outtakes.
“Poor Murray was a long way from New York by this point. (And a good sport about all of
it— previously, when I had been at KPOL, one of my jobs was coordinating the station softball
team— Murray was my ringer. Before radio he was a minor league ball player.) My favorite
Murray moan at Watermark came during the endless affiliate promos I had him read. He was
OK until we got to Alberta. We were cleared in Red Deer, which is the third largest city in the
province, and a great pit stop when driving between Calgary and Edmonton, so I didn’t find it
an odd clearance. Murray however was apoplectic. In his heavy New York accent he said in
his most incredulous tone, “Red Deer? There’s a place called Red Deer? And I’m on the air
in it?!” I cleaned it up considerably, for this retelling. But why I didn’t think to save that
snippet I’ll never know.
Murray the K plays for the KPOL Err Waves
Joey Reynolds: I think this is the first time in my career where the industry agrees with me, I
must have grown up instead of old. I am reminded by trumps outrageous persona the power of
the press with the news corp and how they brought down a president (Nixon) saved a president
(Clinton), sent a hacker to Russia (Snowden), and to personalize it, the Miami Herald review
brought my TV show to an early death. In all truth is was because of how much it cost, nothing
has changed but everything. Rollye is one of the most intelligent and best informed persons i
know, and Claude is not so bad . Endorsing me may be the only flaw on their computer screen,
but nobody is perfect.
Can't see it? Click here.
Rollye: “I’ve been giving you links to Joey’s archives, but now Joey has made it even easier.
The above YouTube video is Joey’s February 12th show in its entirety. Take the 55 minutes to
Joey Reynolds: “I don’t care how you listen....... KABC -WABC -iHeart -Jam TV-Earrings
and air pods.”
Rollye: “And Bill Cunningham came to that conclusion without seeing Joey's previous
picture. Joey Reynolds, as usual hobnobs with the unusual. Remember Cecil Fielder? The
amazing baseball player with a real rags to riches to rags story? He’s looking great these days,
as evidenced by this shot from “Pink Tie Red Tie Thursday,” an event helping the fight against
Cecil Fielder & Joey Reynolds
Joey, Actor/Songwriter Paul Hampton & Entrepreneur Mike Cave
Joey says this time Jackie the Jokeman is serious about his girlfriend.
Art Wander: “I can't believe that a half a century has passed since I had the great pleasure of
playing a cut on the forthcoming Beatles album Sgt. Pepper-- AND having Brian Epstein
interviewed for one hour on WOR-FM that I programmed at that time. God 50 year
anniversary of that occasion was a milestone for me.
“The Silver Anniversary of that event regarding the Beatles in their prime is cherished by me
as one of the highlights of my career that included Claude Hall naming me in his top 15
program directors. The personal highlight came at WOR-FM. It was March 1967. I'm in my
office when a "visitor" came to the station asking to see me. I never recognized him but my
eyes and ears perked up when he said, "My name is Nat Weiss and I'm the American arm of
the Beatles." He said Brian Epstein was inquiring about a song we were playing. I went
through about 30 songs before he recognized it. It was "Without Her" by Nilsson - not
"Without You" which was his later big hit. Weiss told me that Epstein had an interest in the
artist - and producer.
“Naturally, I took advantage of this meeting and said, "Boy, I sure would like to meet the
man." He said he might arrange it and lo and behold 50 years ago - on a Saturday, in comes
the Beatles impresario. We exchanged pleasantries, talking about music and then came the big
moment. He pulled out an acetate saying this will be one of the featured cuts on the new
Beatles album. I was absolutely astounded how great the song was. There was no title on the
“That wasn't enough. He then presented a tape to me of a new group he was promoting and
asked if we would play it on the air. I listened and said absolutely. Epstein said we could not
mention the name of the group.. I called the 2 cuts, "British Surprise #1" and "British Surprise
#2." The songs were "To Love Somebody" and "N.Y. Mining disaster 1941." Epstein arranged
for me to meet the Bee Gees at the Waldorf Astoria on their arrival to the states a week later.
The record big-wigs were there, including Ahmet Ertegun. I remember him asking me if I
wanted to join his company in A&R. OF course, I stayed in radio. The Bee Gees were getting
play on OR-FM under a new name..
“I asked if Epstein would consent to an interview. He said yes and Murray the K did an hour
with Epstein - live on the air. Much later, A tape of that interview was given to Scott Muni
who - by that time - left WOR-FM in the wake of Bill Drake taking over, and went to
“50 years. Where did they go. It's been longer than that since I wanted to hire Ken Dowe in
Atlanta. How many artists and changes dominated radio in my career as well as programming
stations with formats that included Classical; Country; Top 40; News/Talk, AOR; Classic
Rock and Easy Listening. There was no event in those years to compare to the Brian Epstein
chapter 50 years ago.
“That isn't the end of this recollection. A month later, Epstein sent me a letter divulging the
title of the Beatles acetate we played when he reached my office 50 years ago. What's
interesting I can remember that day vividly, showing the memory bank is still active.. A half
century of great memories live on. The 50 year anniversary of the Epstein visit was followed 2
months later with the release of Sgt. Pepper. I truly am lucky and thankful to have previewed
one of the leading cuts on that album. Here is Epstein's letter to me:”
Rich Brother Robbin: “Thrilled to hear ol’ Gabbert is still kickin’ ass and taking names @81 ...
he’ll probably still be around in 2037 when he’s K-101!”
Frank Boyle: “I compliment Jim Gabbert and his superior precise memory of the NAFMB./
NRBA. My fuzzy memory remembered that Sis Kaplan, Abe Voron, Bernie Mann and Dick
Monahan —my Eastman Clients— were in the front line with him. Jim Gabbert never got
nearly enough credit for his extraordinary contributions to improving FM.”
Frank Boyle to Don Nelson: “Sorry to hear about Fritz Frederick. He was a treasure. When
I think about MidAmerica, I have to smile as I think about G. LaVerne Flambo. best dressed
radio exec in the whole country —clean from Moline and Quad Cities. You were his Star as
Country Radio Man of the Year as GM of WIRE-AM, Indy.
“Bev and I may move out of Conn. to be in Beverly Hills, Florida—next to Bill Williamson
(The Kokomo Kid) who's a GSM in Brooksville--10 miles away. That's about 80 miles north
of Tampa on Florida’s West Coast. I still have the 1934 mic flag with WIBX calls on it. Those
were fun days in Utica Rome.
“You'll recall that you, Fritz, and I for Eastman applied to buy WIBX-AM & WIBQ-FM from
Fred Bowen. Four outfits filed to Deny Our Petition to acquire the FCC License— the
union/AFTRA, Sons of Poland, Sons of Italy, and the Catholic Bishop of Utica Rome area.
Their pitch was that at every station Eastman bought (KAFY-Bakersfield and WTRX-Flint,
MI), we fired all the locals and brought in our out of town teams. That's what we shoulda done
but didn't. We won against the 4 Bad Guys. —Really the union sold the other guys. The
stations had never had a union.
“Having been an ex altar boy at various Catholic churches, I was damn curious why
the Catholic Bishop had gone against us. So I went to see him after we won the FCC Decision.
to ask him why. ‘He said that ’90% of his Utica - Rome parishioners were either Polish or
Italian--it's also a Union town. They came to us to go with them at FCC Trial. Showed us
their paper work rationale. We believed them. We were wrong.’
“I said, ‘Our Eastman Exec Committee has 4 guys who led our hardy Band of Employees to
buy out our Founder for $4 Million in 1972. I'm Chairman/Irish-French Catholic. My Father
deserted us when I was 9 in 1935 in Montpelier, VT. My Mom ( 6th Grade Education)
became a cleaning woman. One other is German Catholic from Milwaukee. He went to
Marquette on a golf scholarship--first Caddy to earn that. His dad was a postman. Another
exec is Italian Catholic— comes from The "Hill" in St Louis. His dad was an Italian Archie
Bunker— worked on St Louis docks. Our 4th Exec came from Detroit. His dad was a Lt. Cop
in the Detroit Police Department, breaking up Al Capone gangs ringing booze across from
Canada. He and I went to Michigan State on the GI Bill. We all grew up poor. We trusted our
priests and ministers. We were naive.
“‘Your Baltimore Catechism, with the Sisters of Mercy and their ever ready Rulers, taught me
at St. Patrick's in Nashua, NH that you go to confession after you've sinned. Bishop, you were
wrong. You bad people cost us $20,000 in unnecessary legal fees. You never double
checked the union's legal rationale. You need to go to Confession this Saturday. ‘ Don, that
was first and last time I was ever mad enough to lecture a Red Hat. Can you hear G. LaVerne's
roaring laugh when I told him this story?”
Steve Gallagher: “How can I contact Peter McLane, VP Programming from Stoner
Rollye: “One of the side benefits of this column is reuniting folks. Steve has Creative Talent
in Boca Raton. If you’re on our mailing list, worry not. I won’t divulge your address
without asking, but if it’s OK I’ll pass it along, as I did with Peter’s to Steve. But if you’re up
for having everyone have it, like Bob Henabery…”
Mel Phillips: “Please let Peter McLane know that Bob Henabery is doing well. He's
now living in Virginia. Bob is planning on attending our 50th anniversary in June. His email
address for all interested is here
Rollye: “And I’m pleased to say, we heard from last week’s missing-in-action talent: Jim
Clemens! If you, too, have been trying to reach him, let me know and I’ll make the
connection now that I have Jim’s email address. I can not overstate what a great job he did
with WPLO. He won’t remember it, but when I was introducing David Wills to country radio,
one of our first stops was Atlanta and for good reason, given Jim’s influence which never got in
the way of him being a down to earth pleasure to visit. Later that evening, I drove David to his
appearance in Jonesboro. It was the first time (and definitely not the last) that I was up close to
the set up including the mandatory-for-safety chain link fence in front of the small stage.
Jim Clemens: “Thanks for all of the kind words. I was lucky enough to be the OM of WPLO
back in the days of GOOD country . Things have truly changed in the country field. WPLO
was the station of the year back in 1981. Dam that sounds like many many moons ago. Had
lot of fun, had some great promo men. Atlanta was a true country market , and the area around
the city made WPLO a great outlet for Country. Hi to Claude. His column was the best in
Billboard…. thanks again.”
Ron Brandon: “Don’t know if you might have picked up on this from Facebook but in case
you haven’t Jim Davis was kind enough to post this tribute to Bill Gavin for me on YouTube
and subsequently on FB. At our 1979 RMR convention Bill was gracious enough to be our
guest and allow us to present an award to him. Presenters were Paul Drew and Kent
Burkhart. This is potentially the only video/audio of Bill and I am certain would be of
interest to you and your readers. I personally was quite humbled that Bill was kind enough to
accept our invitation and to have some very positive remarks about the role of southern radio,
which was the primary strength of Radio Music Report.”
If you can't see it, click here.
Ron Brandon: “On another note for those in the Richmond area, there is an hour-long
documentary on WLEE that will air on public tv Thursday 9pm March 23 on PBS channel 23
and Friday March 24 9pm on PBS channel 57. This was put together by many-years WLEE
DJ Randy Scott with contributions from others like myself who worked at WLEE in the 70s
Rollye: “Ron has amazing pictures like those on Facebook, which you can see if you’re a
member. I’m not. I have a public page (which I virtually never check), but since I don’t have
a personal account, Facebook is disinclined to let me lurk. Occasionally I’ll ‘borrow’ a log on
and look around, but don’t assume if it’s on Facebook I’ve seen it. So thanks to Ron and
everyone else who sends links and stuff to firstname.lastname@example.org
, or even entire Facebook threads,
like this stellar one from Michael O’Shea:”
Michael O’Shea: “I’m typically not fond of a bunch of old radio guys (and women)
bemoaning the loss of the good old days, when the industry used to be "good", compared to
now, when it...well, is not as good <smile> With that predicate stated I will now start to do the
“I’m a radio "lifer"...from a teen age disc jockey and a twenty-something PD...over 50 years
making a living in this business. And a good one at that...for a kid who'd have been voted
"least likely to succeed" in his high school year-book. I absolutely cherish my decades in this
business...including the teachers I have had (this IS an apprenticeship business after all), all the
fiends and co-workers I've had (and continue to have as I'm still not ready to retire)...and most
of all all the different parts of the country I've been lucky enough to ply-my-trade...from the
mid-west to Texas to South Florida to Seattle to Los Angeles and now to California's amazing
“Has our industry changed? Of course. For the better? That's totally subjective...if you're a
hot-shot computer whiz who adores the way technology has assisted the business...then YEP
it's changed for the better.
“If you're an old-salt, who remembers a time when pure adrenaline-rush came from a great
promo, great talk-up and the joy of opening the blue and white or red and white ‘book’ from
Beltsville or Laurel, MD (from the post office), probably the business is not as fun or
pioneering as it used to be.
“The biggest and most rapid game-changer was, of course, the end of the 90's and the new
century when congress approved the Communications Act and the core of America's former
great and entrepreneurial company's all morphed in a 5 year period into a handful of big
corporations (typically starting with the letter "C").
“When that occurred something else changed (besides ties and three-piece suits)...and that's the
message of this commentary.
“Radio lost it's character.
“By losing it's characters.
“Those weird, off kilter, bigger-than-life, air talent and program directors (and even some
whacked-out station owners)...simply drifted away.
“The absolute "glory days" for US commercial radio was essentially from the mid sixties to the
early eighties. I call it the "Cowboy Years", no reference to real cowboys...but an era where the
medium was largely "driven" by pioneers who appeared to have "no rules". I note use of the
“Remember the innovators, who were considered off-kilter, avante- guard, edgy, weird...(and
those were the nice descriptive's)?
“Remember ‘The characters’…
“Buzz Bennett, Wolfman Jack, the young Howard Stern and Don Imus, Jack McCoy,
Randy Michaels, John Rook, The Greaseman, Jerry Clifton, Joey Reynolds, Chuck
Blore, Bobby Rich, Pat O’Day, Bwana Johnny, George Johns...and so many others...many
pictured in the photos below. I invite you to add-on with additional names of "The characters"
who made radio so innovative, exciting and FUN...
“This exercise alone could be fun…”
George Johns: “A lot of gunslingers wearing the Canadiens Colors in that photo above
Michael. They caused a lot of damage in a lot of towns across North America when owners
were afraid of not being #1. Now I doubt that they even know who is.
Tony Hayes: “I can say there were a few that shaped me as a youngster and got me interested
in the business. Ken Dowe, Ron Chapman, Bill Gardner, Mike Selden, Jack Auldridge,
and that list goes on and on...Those were the ones who helped shape my "radio life" and there
have been many others who kept it going over the years. Let's see that would be 42 years now.
Sure the business has changed a bunch, but I still get the adrenaline-rush every day. It's fueled
by still doing what I've always loved to do and also a little bit from 4:25am feeling a lot earlier
than it did a few years ago.”
Frank Haley: “You must mention Ken Dowe, Steve Lundy, Jimmy Rabbit, Johnny
Borders, Mike Scott, Charlie Van Dyke, Dave Ambrose, Paul Menard, Jack Woods, Bill
Young, and on the news side of the glass, Dick Mock, Brad Messer, Richard Glancey,
Robert B McIntire, Carl Williams, Jim Carola, Ben Laurie, B. William Johnson, Sam
Pate, Ron Jenkins, Gary DeLaune, Roy Nichols, Joe Long, Tom Matt's, I'm sure I'm
missing some great Dallas and Houston names. Forgive me. Those really were the good old
days, we just didn't know it.”
Mark Allen: “‘Who da Guy’ Ron Jacobs.”
Tony Booth: “I still can't believe that you, Mike, called asking me to come to work at KLIF.
Fun times to be a part of Big Cliff which lead me to a syndicated show out of PAMS of Dallas,
stadium announcer for Texas Rangers, etc. You made that all possible for me and I'm eternally
grateful. ‘Thank you’ seems so small.”
George Johns: “Everybody's got someone to thank.”
Melanie Morgan: “Mike Murphy, Pat Murphy, Kris "Katfish" Kelly, Lee Rodgers, Jim
Eason, Dunbar and Wygant, Mike Phillips, Jack Swanson and Yvonne Daniels to name just
Jim Heath: “Remembering my early days at KIMN and KHOW in Denver with Hal "Hot
Dog" Moore, Chuck Buell, Jay Mack, Gary Todd, Todd Wallace III, Hal & Charley,
Harry Smith, Mike Morgan, Robert E. Lee……….”
Josh Holstead: “Bill Young-KILT Houston”
Bobby Rich: “Your words to current radio executives ears. You've still got it, Michael. (And I
got more than a little of mine from you!)”
Cindi Williams: “The Emperor, KJR”
Mike Miranda: “One person comes to mind Mike and you know him too, Mike St. James,
aka Mike Dix.”
George Johns: “Pat O’Day, Jimmy Darin, Chuck Riley, Ron Chapman, Jeff 'n Jer, Jim
Harper, Craig Walker, Loren & Wally, Cat Simon, Mike Selden etc.”
Jerry Clifton: “Pat O’Day and I did our "spring training" at the same place, KLOG in Kelso
Washington....something about the water?”
Rollye: “All the great MOR morning men-- Dan Sorkin and Don Sherwood are the first two
to come to mind. The Real Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan-- and everyone who couldn’t
answer the Broadcasting want ads that specified: ‘No Floaters or Drifters need apply,’ a
category, which included a multitude of long forgotten but truly wonderful radio characters.”
Jay Melnick: “Should there be a new name for Radio? I did a very short interview segment
with Mr. Bob Crane for ‘Your Moment In Tech.’ a few years back, where he shares his
thoughts on this. More relevant today. Here
is a Sound Cloud link to the segment... enjoy. It
is Free and clear to use.
Rollye: “Does the name matter? Content is what counts. Radio is no longer the only delivery
truck, but wherever it is, if it’s compelling audio, listeners will find it. That’s my take, anyway.
But while you’re pondering that, Bob Sherwood gives you something else to contemplate:”
Bob Sherwood: “A topic from a recent e-mail conversation with my former KROY
“If we were to begin a list of the Top 10 party records of all time, would anything go ahead of
“Miss You” ?
That killer track and Mr. Mick !
Hey ! What’s the matter man ?
We gonna’ come ‘round at midnight
with some Puerto Rican girls just DYIN’ to meetchu
We’ll bring a case of wine
Hey ! go mess and fool around
Y’know like we USE’ to !
“I’m just axin’”
Rollye: “The first thing that surfaced for me was “Sixty-Minute Man” by The Dominoes,
which had me realizing that eras, locations and tastes will all greatly influence any answer.
But it led me to a somewhat related topic— titles that were huge party records— from clubs
and dances to weddings and bar mitzvahs— that never made it on the radio. Discount those
that couldn’t hit the air for lyrics, or the absolute absurd like The Chicken Dance, and you’ve
still got a huge list of song that work in group settings but not in the intimate connection radio
makes. First one that comes to mind for me is Marcia Griffiths’ “Electric Boogie”. It was
ubiquitous at gatherings for years, but how often did anyone want to hear it if they weren’t
doing the ‘electric slide’ to it? Bet you can think of dozens— huge at parties, dogs on the air.
Let me know.”
Mel Phillips: “This update features some of the photos contained in the document: WRKO -
The Launch, which I wrote several years ago. Here's an excerpt:
“On March 13, 1967, WNAC , the flagship station of the Yankee Network gave way to one of
the most exciting contemporary radio stations ever heard in New England and there are those
that would argue, the entire United States. The genesis of WRKO began in the spring of 1966
when General Manager Perry S. Ury dispatched Program Director Bob Henabery to research
the feasibility of following in the footsteps of RKO General's successful sister stations in Los
Angeles (KHJ) and San Francisco (KFRC). The results of that study indicated that we could be
successful if we positioned the station correctly . There was room in Boston for such a station if
it was positioned somewhere between WBZ's variety of contemporary music, heavy news and
public affairs commitment and WMEX's more frenetic approach to Top 40. The document is
(PD Bob Henabery, GM Perry S. Ury, Henabery & Curt Gowdy, the WRKO marquee)
The original WRKO NOW CROWD:
L-R: Al Gates, John Rode, Joel Cash, J.J. Jeffrey, Chuck Knapp, Arnie Ginsburg, Dick Burch
(Al, Joel, J.J., Chuck & Arnie will be back for an anniversary broadcast on WRKO &
Backbone Networks, Saturday, June 3, 2017.)”