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Mr. & Mrs. Mel Phllips holding the infamous ’hot line phone’
presented to Mel by his air staff  at WRKO’s 50th anniversary celebration

June 5, 2017

by Rollye James
Claude Hall

Rollye:  “I thought it might take a while before we saw any pictures from this past weekend’s
big Boston radio event— the 50th anniversary of WRKO 680 switching to top 40.  But Mel
Phillips was as diligent at getting us evidence of a good time had by all, as he was every week
for more than a year in updating us on his progress in putting it together.   His thanks (and
mine too!) to Clark Smidt (a familiar name to New England radio fans who heard him on
took the pictures, some of which are below.  More will follow in the coming weeks.”

Clark Smidt:  “Honored to be invited to Mel Phillips' outstanding event! Radio was always
built on local content and personality.  The event was SRO with the outstanding men & women
who started this 50kw inconic blow torch, Boston 1968. Radio's best is yet to come and the
passion, spirit and voices in the room prove it. 

“The voices resonated, the passion flowed, with stories, laughter and special ‘family’
connection.  These pros who changed Radio with Sgt. Pepper in the 60's sustain the firm belief
radio is alive & well...with added curation, presentation, supreme talent and local
connection. Fact is: excellent audio content connects to all the new, digital gadgets. And radio
will last as long as people have ears. Best show wins. Build it and they will come.” 

Seated middle: Lenny Petze. L-R:  Rick Coyne, Mel Phillips, J.J. Jeffrey, Bobby & Lenny Collins

L-R:  Chuck Knapp, Arnie Ginsbug, J.J. Jeffrey, Joel Cash, Al Gates

MC Jordan Rich on his famous walk-around

J.J. Jeffrey & Harry Bud Nelson

Perry Ury and Erica Farber

Rollye:  “But the WRKO gathering was not the only event on Friday.  Michael Harrison’s
Talkers.com put on another great confab, which drew talk talent representing every possible
perspective.    (Putting to rest any doubts of that is the day’s lineup— here’s what you missed.) 
Of course Joey Reynolds was there...

L-R:  Walt Sabo,  The Amazing Kreskin, Al Herskovitz, Joey Reynolds, Big Jay Sorenson

Joey and Jayde  (Jayde, heard mornings on WPLJ’s Todd & Jayde morning show, is widely known
for her ‘Apple a Day’ program where a pediatric cancer patient is surprised with an iPad
at 7:25 every day on the show.)

L-R Top:  Perry Michael Simon (allaccess.com),  Big Jay Sorenson,  Joey Reynolds
Bottom:  NY radio traffic vet Jeff McKay & WCTC New Brunswick's Tommy G.

Joey & Michael Harrison: old friends with a new trend.

Rollye:  “Listening to Joey’s Sunday Night Live as I type. I'm a week behind, as I catch it on
the replays.   One of his guests last night was Whitney Wolanin.   I'm looking forward to
hearing that show.  Whitney is quite impressive.  The Vanderbilt U grad has been singing
professionally since a teen.  She now co-owns a record label with her sister (a Cornell U. grad).
If you haven’t seen her video “Never Said No” which she performed on the show, check this

Can't see it?  Click here.

Rollye:  “Got the treat of snail mail this week.  Thanks to Macey Lipman for his nice note.  If
you haven’t seen his wonderful paintings, go to MaceyLipmanArt.com now.  And thanks to
Don Graham for this picture:

L-R  Mike Horn, CEO/President CRN Radio,  Don Graham,  Deborah Silver

Rollye:   “We also heard from Joel O’Brien, who reminded me about the 70th Anniversary of
the Armed Forces Network.  Certainly, you know about AFN.  Maybe you’ve been directly
involved.  Here’s a walk down memory lane will undoubtedly bring back memories, and just
as assuredly will turn up something you didn’t know.  (The number of name changes alone
over the years is amusing.)  The two names that immediately come to my mind are from
AFVN—  Scotty Brink and Pat Sajak.  Many folks remember “A Date With Chris” (Chris
Noel)  or the shows done by stateside jocks like Charlie Tuna and Roger Carroll.  German
listeners all know the name Gary Bautell. Anyone who has served in Germany in the last 50
years probably does too.  At least one general considers him the voice of the US military in
Europe (read about that here).  Then there’s Master Sgt. Hal Kelly, who interviewed The
Beatles in Paris a month before they came to America:

Can't see it?  Click here.

Rollye:  “The most intriguing part of that interview is that it almost didn’t air. When it was
recorded, Kelly’s superiors never heard of The Beatles.  Most people in America hadn’t yet
heard of them either.  The AFN’s 70th anniversary site is here
Craig Locaciato checked in to tell us he has put a Facebook together for Steve Dahl and
Garry Meier.  If you’re a Facebook user, check it out here.  Originally Craig was in touch
wanting to use some material from Ron Brandon’s Radio Music Report. I forwarded his email
to Ron who brought back a flood of memories with his email including pictures from one of
the RMR conventions in Atlanta in the late ‘70s, when the Master and Mistress of Ceremonies
at the Awards dinner were Bill Lowery and Cheryl Ladd.

And the winners were.....

Rollye:   “About all I can say regarding this week's edition of Vox Jox is Thank God for
pictures (and for every one of you that sent them)!   We'll have more next week-- and a lot
more to say if you share your thoughts.  If it's on your mind, we want to hear about it! 
info@voxjox.org.  Thanks.”