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Arnie Ginsburg lookin' great behind the mic where he belongs,
delighting fans at the WRKO Boston reunion

June 12, 2017

by Rollye James
Claude Hall

Tom Campbell:  “Good morning from LA,  I enjoy the must read of every  weekly edition of
Vox Jox.   Thank you both for your great talent and efforts.  I am forwarding an air check of
one of my AFRTS shows that aired for many years on the world wide network.  I would fly in
to LA from San Francisco every Monday to tape five one hour shows every week.  Thought
you might enjoy. Composer Bobby Troup (Julie London's husband), Wolfman Jack, Roger
Carroll and I had weekly shows.  Thank you again for Vox Jox!”

Rollye:  “Click here to hear Tom’s AFRTS aircheck. It’s a guaranteed memory producer.  You
won’t hear any commercials for “D-O-W Dow, N-O-W Now” in the half-hour unscoped clip,
but you will hear a tribute to Dr. Charles Richard Drew (blood transfusions would have been
very rare in World War II had it not been for his refinements— but the legend that this
distinguished African American doctor died because he was denied a transfusion and
admittance to a white hospital, is just that, a legend— the physicians with him in the car when
the accident occurred said it was not only untrue, but given his injuries, a transfusion would
have been more likely to kill him sooner).   You’ll also hear Tom plug an upcoming feature—
the top ten worst records you’ve ever heard.  I got a kick out of the letter he read from a
serviceman nominating among others, ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away’ and  ‘Surfin’ Bird’, 
both of which continue to top such lists today. 

“Tom, as you probably know, was known for being accessible to fans throughout his career,
regularly giving out his home phone number, and sporting a car phone when they were really
something (and really pricey).  I can tell from his email he hasn’t changed a bit.  Who else
would have a cell phone number 213-400-0000?  Or an email address T@TC.AM.? (If you’re
curious about what else might be at TC.AM, click on it to see the graphic telling you it’s for
email only (likewise for his  other domains, KC.TC,  LA.TC, TTT.TC, TOM.TC, TOMC.TC
and 222.TC— I have no idea what he’s doing, but his registrar is eating better because of it.)”

Claude Hall:  “Tom Campbell, after leaving KYA in San Francisco, became renown for his
radio commercials for a hi-fi firm.   Bruce Johnson, then head of RKO Radio, said that he
would sue any radio station who tried to hire Campbell because he was just too well known on
the West Coast and would immediately become No. 1 on the air.”

Rollye:  “Bob Sherwood alerted us to spots for four East Asian car dealers back to back on
New York’s WCBS-AM last month  (Lexus, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, to be specific). 
Apparently, the station is no better with kill dates., as Bob told Jerry Del Colliano recently,
musing over the upcoming takeover of CBS by Entercom…”

Bob Sherwood:  “They’re clearly already firing Traffic Directors.  They’re apparently an
unnecessary expense.  This past weekend I heard two instances of Memorial Day spots (‘ends
May 29th’) nearly a week after the fact on NYC No. 1 rated WCBS-FM and the same on AM
(WCBS News Radio 88).  One for a car dealer and another for a national mattress chain.   Also
two cases of spots for similar Japanese car manufacturers running back-to-back.  Sponsors pay
for the incompetence.
“It seems that half the board-ops (NOT Scott Shannon’s) have either no knowledge of classic
songs or just don’t care.   Over the past few days I cringed and banged the steering wheel of
my car when one cut-off half of the brilliant guitar run at the end of “Hotel California”,
another most of Lindsay Buckingham’s end run on “Go Your Own Way” and twice on
Santana tracks.  I’d wonder where the Program Director is until I recalled that almost all of
the current crop are actually former sales reps who made their numbers or trained in IT.  God
forbid they’d actually know something about programming a radio station.  Of course, the
butcher-like editing of the programming allows the insertion of another couple of Dunkin’
Donut commercials.”

Rollye:  “As for program directors who did know what they were doing,  like WOGL’s Anne
Gress, they’re gone too.   If you don’t subscribe to Jerry Del Colliano’s
InsideMusicMedia.com, you’re missing the juicy details and fine nuances, of which there will
be no shortage concerning David Field acquiring CBS.   (Anne Gress, by the way, was shown
the door just after the ratings results had WOGL leading the market in total audience.   Wasn’t
the first time either.  And as Jerry points out, she’d likely lead in the 25-54 money demo, if it
weren’t for Jerry Lee’s amazing WBEB.)  Radio is in a sad state, and as Chuck Blore points
out, it’s what’s on the air, not what’s behind the scenes, that is responsible.   Chuck puts it
another way, and he’s right:  it’s what’s not on the air:”
Chuck Blore:  “I think it would be great to be a PD today when everything is musical, or some
kind of talk.  You couldn't play different music, well maybe opera but...uh, you know.  Talk?
Okay, if you had anything different to say, but what about something called entertainment. 
Entertainment on the radio?  Wow!  But the question is, if it's not specifically music and or
talk, what constitutes entertainment as it pertains to radio? The answer is kind of simple, it's the
stuff that really interests you.  If it's fascinating, compelling, if it makes you laugh or maybe
think, if it's relevant to your life, if it's stuff that matters to you, then this, by definition, is
entertainment.  But...where is it?”

Rollye:  “Chuck’s question is unfortunately rhetorical at this point.  Even an EAS alert
(perhaps a ‘Blore Alert’ for missing entertainment fashioned after ‘Amber Alerts’ for missing
kids) wouldn’t unearth it these days. When is the last time you sat in the car for an extra few
minutes when you got to your destination because you didn’t want to miss what you were
hearing on the radio?  That used to be a regular occurrence for me, and I can’t remember when
it last occurred. All the examples that flood my mind turn out to be old air checks (a belated
thank you to Don Barrett for sending a bunch of ‘em to me), which I wind up pausing when it
dawns on me that I can start listening again when I’m back in the car, later.   And it’s not a lack
of talent— rather an atmosphere that has great talent fleeing for more welcoming pastures—
case in point, Neil Ross, a wonderful air personality who is thriving in his voice over career:”

Neil Ross: “For the eighth year, I was the announcer on the AFI Life Achievement Award
telecast which was recorded at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Thursday evening. This
year’s honoree was prolific actress Diane Keaton. On hand to help bestow this well deserved
award were: Woody Allen, Al Pacino, Warren Beatty, Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda and many
others.    They kept Woody Allen’s appearance at the close of the show under wraps. I didn’t
find out about it until a few seconds before I made the announcement. Needless to say, the
crowd went nuts.   I’ve attached a shot of my humble announce booth which might be of
interest to the Vox Jox crowd.  TNT will air the AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Diane
Keaton at 10 PM ET/PT on June 15. There will be an encore presentation on sister network
TurnerClassic Movies on July 31.”

Rollye:  “We heard from Kevin Gershan with an update on Scott St. James.  Scott will be
coming home from Studio City Rehab this Friday (6/16).  If you’d like to visit him there before
Friday, the facility is at 11429 Ventura Blvd.”

Erica Farber:  “Kevin, please sent Scott my best.  I am going to try and stop by for a visit next
week.  Fingers crossed!”

Don Graham (to Kevin Gershan):  Our thanks for the good news.  Good to learn that Scott’s
Alzheimer’s condition has improved.  Thanks Kevin, for sharing this welcome news.

Rollye:  “Don also shared some good news for Southland sports fans this week:”

Don Graham:  “Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters president, Alan Perris, has just announced the
dais guests scheduled to appear at the luncheon honoring quintessential sportscaster Al
Michaels this Friday, June 16th. They are:  legendary sportscaster for the LA Dodgers Vin
Scully;  iconic play-by-play announcer for the LA Kings Bob Miller; founder of USA Network
and Madison Square Garden Network Joe Cohen; anchor of NFL Network Rich Eisen; and 
NBC4 Los Angeles news anchor Chuck Henry.   Even if you're not a sports fan, this tribute is
shaping up to be a truly memorable event.  Invite your friends - PPB members may order as
many as 10 tickets for any luncheon for their friends and relatives. The easiest way to order
tickets is to go to www.PPBwebsite.org/tickets.”

Rollye:  “But wait, there’s more.  At least when it comes to Kevin Gershan.  I spent the last
several days trying to clean up email (a never ending task) and unearthed a gem he sent quite a
while back.  Here’s Encino High Schooler Kevin,along with friends Hal Lifson and John
Rootenberg, together as “Mouth Power” on the Gong Show in 1977.”

Can't see it?  Click here.

Rollye:  “We also heard from Dandy Don Whittemore who forwarded some hilarious
graphics. There were a few I’d like to share, but alas, just about everything is copyrighted these
days, so I refrained.  I explained that to Don and got a great reply.” 

Don Whittemore:  “No idea that there's a law vs sending this stuff that's an inch away from
spam - and that's another kind of can of stuff, too.  Yes, wormed my way into more irony.  How
old am I?  Old enuf to remember a key was needed to open Spam.  Today, just click the key
and spam pops out.  I love life.”

Rollye: “Rest easy— it’s fine to share anything amongst friends. The problem comes when
posting things publicly on a website.   So if you’re going to send anything for inclusion in this
column (and heaven knows, I hope you will!), if it’s not your original effort, please let me
know from where you got it.  I’ll try to determine if it’s OK to run.   As for spam, I”m not sure
what’s worse— the amount of spam I get, or what I have to do to comply with anti-spam rules
and regs.  If you’ve signed up for the email alerts for this column, for instance, you’ll notice
your email address next to an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.  It’s required. 
Whatever you do, do not unsubscribe (unless you don’t want to get the emails any more, then
by all means do it).   Unfortunately, if you do unsubscribe,  I can’t sign you back up.  (What I
can do, is certify to the spam gods that you want to subscribe, and they’ll generate an email for
you to reply confirming that.  It’s a hassle, so don’t unsubscribe.)

“Dandy Don also sent along info on Skyspace in downtown Los Angeles.  It’s on top of a
building about five blocks from where I lived at 9th and Flower (long before the area was
gentrified).  Around the time I was leaving, the Los Angeles library burnt (twice).  I knew it
was time to go, as that was my long-time favorite local haunt.  I’d sit there for hours reading
old Billboard and Broadcasting Magazines.  I noticed that a new building was going up across
the street but didn’t stay long enough to see Library Tower.  I have no idea if they called it that.
I think it was going to be home to First Interstate Bank.  Don’s email alerted me to its current
incarnation.  Named after a tenant, it’s now US Bank Tower.  A Singapore developer, OUE
(Overseas Union Enterprises) bought it a few years ago and the most interesting fact to me is
that occupancy was down to 56% at their closing.  (When it opened in ’89, it had been at over
80%.)  Regardless of the reasons (and there are several), OUE wanted to do something to stand
out.  Being the tallest building West of the Mississippi (as of 2017, it no longer is, thanks to the
opening of the neighboring Wilshire Grand), at 70 stories, it is mighty impressive.  How to
capitalize on that became OUE’s mission. They ultimately settled for an all-glass outdoor slide.
I kid you not. (Thankfully, it doesn’t go very far.)

Here’s some info on it.   But in case you want to see it, Carson Daly’s 97.1 morning show in
LA did a short video of the experience.  It’s as close as I plan to get.

Can't see it, click here.

Dale Turner: “Hi Claude and Rollye,  My name is Dale Turner and I just released my memoir
about my crazy life in the radio and music biz.  It’s called “Turner’s Big Radio & Record
Adventure.”  I’ve attached the press release. As a young DJ from St. Louis, I cut my teeth at
KXOK working for Bob Shannon and Dan DalyMort Crowley hired me to be a night time
producer.  I wrote in my book about writing to Claude as a young punk DJ, asking how best to
get my name in his column.  Claude wrote back and suggested I send him a photo of any
unusual promo stunt I might be involved in and he would consider some print coverage.  I did
and he did!  It was very exciting to see my name in Billboard way back then and it was a
lesson in self-promotion.  I carried that lesson into my record promo career at RCA and later
Disney’s Lyric Street Records in Nashville.  Anyway, I’d appreciate a plug for my book and
please know that half of my royalties from the book will be donated to St. Jude Children’s
Research Hospital in Memphis.  Thanks!

“Still a fan of Vox Jox to this day.  One of my old bosses, Jonathan Fricke from WSAI
Cincinnati tipped me off to your continuing column on-line.”

Click on it for a good price from Amazon. 

Rollye:  “Would love to read the book!  I remember Dale Turner very well from my Charlie
Rich days. I think he was at Tony Hulman’s station in Terre Haute, WTHI, at the time.  I kept
up with him from afar over the years.   He’s now doing mornings at WDKN in Dickson, TN
(1260 AM, just west of Nashville on I-40).   Never knew he was a fellow Storz alum.  —Dale,
you probably can’t answer this, and Les Acree is no longer around to ask— but what ever
happened to Bob Young?  (He was PD at WMC in Memphis before Dale was there.)  I lost
track of him after WXTU in Philly, and he’s remained on my ‘What ever happened to?’ list
since then.   Check out Dale’s website, TheDaleTurner.com— bet there’s someone you’ll know
on the picture page.

“And what would this column be without the obligatory Joey Reynolds Sunday Night Live
plug?  I’m enjoying last week’s show as I type.  Elvis Duran is looking great (after weight loss
surgery).  Elvis is from McKinney (TX) where his dad, BB Cope, was a very big deal. 
Everyone who was anyone there knew BB and they all have stories about him. (He was
postmaster for about 20 years, city manager and even mayor in the latter 70s.   He was a 5’4”
bundle of dynamite with a terrific personality.)  He had every right to be proud of Barry/Elvis,
and he was.  Speaking of proud dads, Whitney Wolanin’s father (she’s the gal who did that
terrific “Never Said No” video we included in last week’s column) circulated the youtube link
of Joey’s June 4th show:


Can't see it?  Click here.

Rollye:  “I'm a frustrated viewer.  Joey plugged that Whitney would sing 'Never Said No' in the
second hour...  but it's nowhere to be found.  I believe it's streaming only-- but why not archive
it (or if it is archived, why not make it easy to find. I'm still looking).

Mel Phillips:  “Thank you Rollye for putting us first. Take that Michael! Just teasing with that
- Michael and I are friends. Hey maybe we can get another year milking the WRKO 50th in
Vox Jox…”

Rollye:  “Mel is kidding about both the placement of pictures from the Talkers confab and a
year worth of post-reunion shots, but I have a feeling there will be enough pictures to make
that happen.  Keep ‘em comin’, I’ll keep printing.”

Shadoe Stevens:  “Love everything about the WRKO reunion…and all the pictures…a truly
great radio station…one of the best with some of the most talented personalities in the country.
Mel Phillips was probably the best program director I ever worked for and I learned a lot from
him. I wish I could have joined them for the party but I just closed a deal with Vin di Bona on a
television project I created and we’re in development on it right now. I’ll let you know more
about it as soon as I’m able to talk about it. It’s really fun and very creative. I thin you’ll like

Bill Wayland WCAP Lowell  (via Mel Phillips):   “I’m so sorry I could not attend the reunion. 
Friday was a Memorial service for my recently deceased sister which began with a 10 am Mass
at St. Ann's in Dorchester, and it was a reunion of family and friends from both coasts plus
family living in England.  It was a long, long day. And a reunion of ghosts from all the people I
had know in St. Ann's parish.   On Saturday, I thought I might sneak over to Newton, but
family came first and I wound up at the Kennedy Museum.  I had not been there since it
opened and it was a wonderful visit, and a rebuke to our present president.  But I listened to
WRKO on the way home. I enjoyed the broadcast, but the station was far off the original ‘Hits
just keep on coming -  Format’.

Rollye:  “I'm hoping the five hours were captured.  If so, let me know, Mel, and I'll upload so
everyone can decide for themselves. From the pictures it looks like a good time was had by all
Saturday night as well as Friday night.

Chuck Knapp, playing those hits.
(picture of Chuck, and Arnie Ginsburg at the top of this column by Ray Glasser— a huge WRKO
fan who made the trek from Columbus, Ohio to Boston to be there last week)

The original lineup reunites:  JJ Jeffrey, Al Gates, PD Mel Phillips, Joel Cash & Chuck Knapp

Mel at the Mic

Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg with Art Vuolo who is usually on the other side of the camera

JJ Jeffrey

Al Feinberg, Erica Farber (her first GM job was at WRKO’s FM counterpart, WROR)
& Harry Bud Nelson