Vox Jox homepage banner


Archives Index Page

Vox Jox homepage banner
Vox Jox homepage banner

A Bonus of the CES, for three lucky guys was a trip to Claude Hall’s house.
L-R,  From the airwaves to the air, well-known radio personality turned airline captain Bill
Gardner; Flying high on WABC and KABC on Sunday nights at 9 (ET) Joey Reynolds; Writer
extraordinaire and keeper of our history, Claude Hall; And a mega watt talent who probably won’t
be retired long: Shotgun Tom Kelly with more energy than most transmitters.


by Rollye James
Claude Hall

Bill Gardner:  “Glad to recently discover the site and your words.   Wow, even the legendary
Jim Gabbert is a part of the site too.  Jim called me one time after I'd taken K-101 San
Francisco to it's biggest ratings heights as both Morning Man and Program Director in the
mid-1980's while it was owned by Price Communications.   We hit it off great from the start,
and even added to it when we learned we shared a love of aviation.  (Did I mention before that
I'm currently back to being an Airline Captain here in Las Vegas?).  Anyway, Jim and I almost
put together a plan for me to join him at KOFY-FM, but it wasn't to be.  He's still a true San
Francisco radio legend, genius, and a terrific guy.  Good to know he's well and happy.  He
deserves both.
“Main reason to write is that with the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas, I got a
surprise call at home after work Tuesday night from my old pal "Shotgun Tom" Kelly, AND
Joey Reynolds, with Art Vuolo and an invitation to come over and visit with them.  I put a
couple pictures on my site, www.billgardnerontheradio.com.  But as a bonus, I joined Joey and
Tom again today, while Joey took us to meet original Four Seasons "Jersey Boy" Tommy
DeVito, and then over to Claude Hall's place here in Las Vegas.  Really a pleasure to meet and
visit with them both.  I'm sure Joey or Tom will send pictures, but if not, let me know, and I'd
be happy to share. Thanks for all you're doing.  Genuinely cool and fun.”

Claude Hall:  “Talk about feeling honored!  Joey Reynolds dropped by the Hall House, Las
Vegas, again on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, and this time brought along Bill Gardner and
Shotgun Tom Kelly.  It was like a small radio convention.  Both Shotgun and Bill had been
given Billboard awards and both showed them to me … pictures on their iPhones.  And Tom
also had a photo of his collection of microphones.  I asked him to forward that photo to Rollye
James.  And I hope he does. [Me, too! Rollye]  History.  Our history is wrapped up in those
microphones.  I think I saw the one I used back in the 60s when I was on ABC-FM network,
but probably not.
“Bill, who once worked with Shotgun at KCUB, San Diego, now flies for an airline that treats
tourists to scenic views of the Grand Canyon.  Nice guy.  Loves the weekly Internet Vox Jox
and, like the rest of us, worships Rollye James.  Also has a blog.  Shotgun, quasi-retired, was
in town for the annual CES show, as was Joey.  My wife Barbara’s little rescue dog, a
Chihuahua, decided to take a souvenir from Shotgun Tom’s leg (the dog doesn’t appreciate me
either, Shotgun).
“It was like a small, wonderful convention.  Old friends meeting old friends.  Gossiping.  I’d
never met either Shotgun nor Bill, but, of course, Joey has been like a family member since
early 1970s.  I recalled the name Bill Gardner from years ago.  As for Shotgun, it turned out
that he received his award at the New Orleans forum … the night that the Beegees performed
and received seven standing ovations.  They’d fetched their wives and mothers and it was
without question one of the greatest performances I ever witnessed.  The awards were
presented on stage by L. David Moorhead with, if memory serves me correctly, assisted by
Mardi Neirbass and Sylvia Clark, maybe Rochelle Staab, too, in evening gowns.  It was a
magnificent evening.  Barbara and I sat at one of the tables with a Beegee mother or
“Thursday night, too, was magnificent.  My son John had attended one or more of the fantastic
Shotgun Tom lunches at Cantor’s in Los Angeles, invited by either Don Whittemore or Don
Graham.  And he was a huge Shotgun Tom fan and thought it a serious radio mistake that Tom
is no longer on the air in Los Angeles.  Me, too, by the way.  And, by the way, Joey is back on
the air in both New York City, WABC, and Los Angeles, KABC, at 9 p.m. EST.  I haven’t
heard it yet.  Somehow!  Maybe this Sunday, I’ve got to hear “The Late Joey Reynolds.”
“It was a joy to have these guys come by to visit.  You could barely finish a story before
someone was interrupting to tell another story and I wanted to say, hey, stop … let me take
notes.  If I haven’t kicked up my heels on a permanent basis by this time next year, you’re all
invited to stop by.  We’ll fetch some pizza and serve Diet Pepsi and have a great old time.  Last
year, by the way, it was both Tom Campbell and Joey who came by.  Thanks Joey, Shotgun
Tom, and Bill … you gave me a wonderful evening.”

“Yoko and Dennis Fitzpatrick, Barbara and Claude Hall, Joey Reynolds
at the Hall abode in Las Vegas Jan. 4, 2017.”   Photo by John Hall, Esq.

Claude Hall:  “Dennis, once a music publisher, today is a renown consultant.. Joey Reynolds
and I have known Dennis since around 1980.  And, would you believe it we're still alive!  He
has helped so very many people, music and radio, that we know.  I don't think he's a sports
buff, but he and Yoko also teach ballroom dancing.  They built their home here with a dance
ballroom!  He once owned a religious music publishing firm in the 50s and 60s.  Sued the
Catholic Church for copyright infringement and lost the case (ain't nobody beats the Pope).”

Rollye:  “So who is Yoko?  Quite the performer and teacher.  Her resume is here,  but to get a
handle on what this woman is playing, check out her work on the koto (an instrument new to
me) here.   As for Dennis, we can probably all use some of his advice.”

Jeffrey Leonard:  “Sorry it took so long. I got a note from Timmy Manocheo and he let me
know you were looking for photos from my twice yearly  L.A. radio reunion.  The most recent
event was on Saturday, December 3rd in Burbank. Attendance is always right around 60 of our
closest radio pals from years gone by.  I will stay in touch when ever something in radio is
going on.  I don't know if you'll recall, but we worked at Watermark at the same time back in
the early 80s. I was working with Casey on AT40 at that time. I know you were producing
SOS. I remember your Corvette with the TV inside.”

Rollye:  “I’d forgotten all about that TV until reading Jeffrey’s note.  It was the only television
I had, and around the time I was at Watermark, I got a placement call from Arbitron.  They
wanted to measure my TV viewing.  I explained the only set I had was in the car.  They sent a
diary anyway with—  no surprise, nothing to mark for ‘in-car viewing’.  (I didn’t realize I was
ahead of my time.)  Of course I remember you Jeffrey!  Thanks to Timmy for putting us
together.  And thank you, Jeffrey, for the pictures.  Best address for me is info@voxjox.org
Don’t hesitate to send anything you’d like us to include.”

Some of those in attendance, Sam Riddle, Jhani Kaye, Jerry Burnham, Barry Funkhouser,
Bob Wilson, Douglas Brown, Bruce Chandler, Ron Shapiro, Mike Sakellarides, Darrell Wayne,
Gary Bombalicki, Paul Freeman, Mike Wagner, Chris Roberts, etc. etc...

Sam Riddle and Danny Lemos (Chey from La Puente)

Long Beach radio columnist, Richard Wagoner,                  Shadoe Stevens & Dominick Garcia
Bruce Chandler (KEZY, K100, K-EARTH),
Jeffrey Leonard (K100, KHTZ, KBZT, KRLA,
KIIS-FM), Mike Daniels (KRLA, K-EARTH)

Warren Cosford:  “Thank you for the article about the annual Radio Party in LA.  Former
CKLW and CHUM Op Colin Kennedy was going to LA to see The Rose Bowl Parade and
asked me if I could help him get an invite.  I gave him Art Vuolo's phone number.....and he
had a great time.....here with Mr. & Mrs Wink Martindale and Johnny Tillotson.”

Bob Levinson:   “Watching the Rose Parade this a.m. reminded me (again) of the year I
arranged for Three Dog Night to become the first rock band to ride in the Pasadena, CA,
parade, headlining the award-winning FTD float. The guys traveled the 5 1/2 mile route with
Joy to the World” booming out on a continuous loop to the roar of the crowd--thousands on
site and millions more at home in front of TV screens..

Three Dog Night:  Chuck Negron, Cory Wells, Danny Hutton

Bob Sherwood: “Dear and Esteemed Friend, Claude.  I still have painful memories of Vince
Young turning the corner in that same glorious Rose Bowl 11 years ago but the memories are
beginning to (slightly) fade.   Thank you for acknowledging tonight’s victory.  Glad to learn
that you’re back and writing again.  Good for you and good for us.”

John Long (Georgia Radio Hall of Fame): “Got this from a friend. Don't know if it can be
verified. I've been looking for him for several years. Maybe someone can get more. Happy
New Year!”

Rollye:  “What John included with his note was a Facebook thread written a few days ago
about Buzz Bennett— for whom so many of us have been searching.  In answer to John
Flanagan’s mention of late night conference calls, Larry McCabe stated that Buzz passed on.
Terrell Metheny asked for details, and Larry subsequently confirmed that Buzz died in
Liberty, Florida about a year ago from an undisclosed illness, according to Buzz’ close friend
Mark Driscoll.   The last I had heard, Buzz was living in his mother’s basement in Baltimore
(close to what John Flanagan thought).   Really sorry to hear of his passing.  He led a
charmed life for a long time.  I wasn’t sure he could ever follow up his early local fame as part
of Buddy Deane’s teen committee, but his radio resume proved otherwise.  I had no idea he
was in Florida (Liberty County is the smallest in the state, population wise, not far from
Tallahassee— I’m assuming that’s the “Liberty” here, since I don’t think there’s a town with
that name), and have to wonder how he wound up there.  If you’ve got info to add, please do.” 
Burt Sherwood:  “First of all Happy New Year!  I read you every week, and am glad Claude
Hall is feeling better.   That Brazilian dinner must be something….I know these days I could
not get past the first course….  Frank wrote about Warren Bodow…..when I met him he was
SM at WMCA and wrote and talked for many years.  He was a great guy..  and will be missed. 
It is sad to see him go!  Stay well.  .out of pain and enjoy life….it is always too short!  Hugs to
you all.”

Bruce Bonner:  “I read some things you wrote about Bill Taylor. I believe he passed away last
year or the year before.  Some trivia you might not be interested in. Bill may have worked at
WTMA before WNOE.  Afterwards I know he worked at WONE in Dayton because in an
E-mail years ago he told me he got the call letters mixed up. He then worked at WITH here in
Baltimore under PD George Wilson in 1965. After that he worked at WEBC in Duluth but
possibly not right after WITH.  Would you know anything about Bob Foster who worked he in
Baltimore at WCAO and WITH.”

Rollye:  “Bill died on December 10, 2014.  He did work at WTMA (he gave me copies of all
those Fun Tests back then— which current WTMA PD John Quincy still has!)  From there he
went to WLNC in Laurinburg, NC.  Then WNOE (followed by New Orleans’ WNNR), after
that, WONE in Dayton followed by WITH.  Between WITH and WEBC, he was at KGFJ, Los
Angeles; KDON, Salinas; WWOM, New Orleans; WKTC, Charlotte; and KFJZ, Ft. Worth.  
Along the way, Bill acquired what I considered to be a real status symbol— his very own
U-haul trailer.   

“Yes, I’d know about Bob Foster.   His impact on Baltimore top 40 radio (especially on WITH,
where his popularity was bigger than the signal) is memorable but his resume is more than
that, as Bruce would know, since Bruce is the source of some of the online Bob Foster
airchecks.  Bob left KIMN in Denver around the same time as Jack Armstrong left KTLK
there.  Thus began Jack’s well-remembered stint at WKBW, and Bob’s run at KFRC. I think
Claude Hall led a Vox Jox column with that news in 1970.  Bob Foster is in the 1966
American version of the movie Disk-O-Tek Holiday along with Hy Lit and Arnie Ginsburg.
He passed away in Northern California in 2015.”

Carol Ford:  “I read your last item in Vox Jox—  the WIXY story that talks about Al Gates and
mentions Johnny Canton.  I'm not certain, but I think it's the same Johnny Canton who died
on New Year's Eve. The obit in the Minneapolis Star Tribune  doesn't reflect his apparently
simultaneous gig at WIXY.”

Rollye:  “It wasn’t simultaneous, though it seems that way since he was at Wixy for less than a
year (becoming PD during his short stint, and introducing the Beatles on stage at the Cleveland
concert) before leaving for WDGY.  Being from the Kansas City area, Johnny wanted to work
for Storz Broadcasting in the worst way.  Given WDGY’s signal, Minneapolis might have been
it.  (In fairness, the 9-tower directional array at 1130 did better in the the Twin Citie than
KOMA’s 50w blowtorch did locally in Oklahoma City but Weegee definitely had issues,
though though none that stopped them from success.)   But I digress. 

“Johnny stayed put at WDGY from late 1966 until the format change to country in 1977. At
that point he went into advertising, starting his own agency.   But before the year ended, he was
back on the air, this time on both radio and TV.  He jocked at WCCO-FM (where he remained
until 2011, through the transition to WLTE in ’84), and hosted Bowling For Dollars.  (Canton
took over from Tom Ryther in the waning days of the show which mercifully ended in
Minneapolis less than a year later.)   But Johnny wasn’t done bowling.  He went on to host
Bowlarama” from 1983 through 1987 for reasons that escape me other than he was a well
rounded sort.   Well liked too— on and off the air. And a born self-promoter (in the positive
sense).  Rarely did a week go by when I was at Billboard that I didn’t get a post card from him.
I bet Claude Hall got them too.   Johnny’s movie claim to fame was “Airport”, the first of its
genre, filmed at the Minneapolis airport. (It came out in 1970.)  If you blinked you missed him,
but he did have a speaking (though uncredited) part.   It’s in this short video put together by the

If you can’t see it click here.

“The Pavek Museum is worth your time to surf. Here’s the page on Johnny.   And
MinniePaulMusic.com has a wonderful page on Johnny.  It’s here.    Johnny had a stroke the
day after Christmas and succumbed on New Year’s eve.  He was 75.

“I was hoping things would slow down in 2017, but already I’ve got a death to report. 
Sylvester Potts.  An early member of The Contours whose singing is evident on “Do You Love
Me”.  Potts, 78, was with the group (in and out) for more than half a century.  He died Friday at
a Detroit hospital.  Here's the obit.

“At least Joey Reynolds is still alive.  Not that you’d know it from this picture (and Joey’s

Joey Reynolds: “The reading of my will.”

“And on a happier note,  Joey has made it big in Times Square—  really big!

“If you, like me, look at the clock on Sunday night and realize you’ve missed The late Joey
Reynolds Show live (an oxymoron everywhere else, but not in Joey’s world), worry not.
Replays are available here.  Scroll down the page to see them.”

Mel Phillips (WRKO Reunion Update Friday January 6, 2017):  “Roger Allan was our first
News Director when we launched in 1967. Roger had been News Director of WNAC and
remained in that position when we transitioned to WRKO. Roger led the award winning 20/20
news team throughout our top 40 era and into the news format, spending 29 years at
WRKO. This week we pay tribute to our late News Director and some of his former newsmen.
We also pay tribute to the only sports personality we ever had, who happened to be the best:
Curt Gowdy. Curt, along with newsman Palmer Payne were part of Al Gates' morning show.
(Next week: all the PDs of the top 40 era). Following the photos be sure to check out our 50th
Anniversary celebration dates. Invitations to the Friday night dinner party will be emailed in

          Roger Allen                                 Curt Gowdy                                                 Ed Walsh

  Bob Scott         Palmer Payne                      Ron Hurst                    John Masters            Ken Wayne

“Anniversary Reunion Dates: 
Friday, June 2, 2017

Invitations will be emailed in March for the Anniversary dinner at the Crowne Plaza (Charles
Ballroom) in Newton. Cash bar at 6 followed by dinner. Jordan Rich (seen above) will emcee.
Parking fees will be waived with front desk validation...

“Saturday, June 3, 2017


                   J. J. Jeffrey                                                                    Chuck                  Arnie Ginsburg

                                    George Capalbo Jr.                                     Art Vuolo

On air live (7pm-11pm) on WRKO & Backbone Network streaming (produced by George
Capalbo Jr.). All music and jingles from 1967.  Art Vuolo will video tape the festivities, a
copy of which will go into the National Radio Hall Of Fame in Chicago...

Reservations: 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 or car service getting to the hotel and while staying there...
Dinner invitations will be emailed in March, party time is a little less than 5 months away. 
Happy New Year!”