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Tom Campbell, left, once of KYA in San Francisco; Joey Reynolds, once of WOR in New York;
Claude Hall, John Hall, Barbara Hall, Mrs. and Mr. Dennis Fitzpatrick, counselor, Las Vegas.
By Claude Hall
and Rollye James
Claude Hall: “I’m blessed. Two of America’s greatest radio personalities appeared at my
patio door this week. Yep, at the same time. They never worked the same market at the same
time, so they weren’t enemies. But, yes, still competitive. I could see the sparks fly! Soft
sparks because they still have enormous respect for each other. It was an honor to me for
them to drop by. They were both here for the Consumer Electronics Show. Tom Campbell
has been inducted into their Hall of Fame for his work in introducing hi-tech. Joey Reynolds
knew the founder and has attended the convention for years, often dropping by the Hall House
with an entourage. His companions this time were Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Fitzpatrick. Dennis
is a lifestyle counselor well known by the Hall Family as well as by Joey Reynolds.
Fitzpatrick’s wife Yoko is an accomplished musician on various Japanese instruments and has
“I’ve known Tom since a convention of the National Association of Broadcasters about 1964
in Washington when he paid $20 for a glass of milk. And I’ve known Joey since around 1967
when I wrote something about him for a Billboard consumer magazine called SoundMakers
and he didn’t sue. I count both men as special friends. Literally, family. As for Dennis, you
could say – and be correct – that both Joey and I owe him our lives.
The conversation was too rapid for me to take notes, but a general idea would be that both
Joey and Tom lament the passing of personality radio and both think that what happened to
Charlie Tuna and Shotgun Tom was horrible. My son John Alexander Hall, Esq., believes
that podcasting is replacing radio. But I believe that Joey and Tom felt multi-platforming was
becoming the major trend in broadcasting. Both Joey and Tom, incidentally, seem versed
regarding hi-tech. Tom was the hi-tech man for the White House for several years.
Tom Campbell: “Thanks again for the great visit and photo. Below is a hyperlink to my CES
Hall of Fame induction. They mention KYA and gave out info most folks do not know. When
I spoke of the unsung heroes of the press, I was thinking of you. Please feel free to use this
video and information contained within as you wish. Google Tom Campbell CEA. And you'll
see my bio. My AFRTS show was ‘Tom Campbell Stateside’. It aired for five fabulous years.
On each show I would interview a Disc Jockey from various markets. The audience loved it
as it brought them closer to home. Please click this video link.
Rollye: But it can not be seen. At least not by me on several operating systems. For me, the
link resolves at vimeo to a removed file on guru meditation. Tom is into an amazing number
of things, many of which I wasn't aware, but I'm pretty sure guru meditation isn't on the list.
As for what is on it, click here
for the bio of Tom associated with his CTA Hall of Fame
induction. I gotta admit, I'd seen excerpts of it before (minus the telling radio info) and I was
certain it had to be another Tom Campbell. Very, very impressive.
Rollye continues: I think I first heard Tom when he was on KAAY in Little Rock. (It could
have been somewhere else, but that clicks with me as it was one of the distant signals that
poured into Miami at night.) He was going by Rob Robins and calling the show the Request
Nest. I wasn't the only one who heard it in South Florida. WQAM GM Jack Sandler caught
it too, and hired Campbell to do nights (after Alan Freed and before Rick Shaw). It was fun
to hear him back in Miami a few years later, that time on WFUN. Probably everyone listening
to Tom anywhere in the 1960s remembers him continually giving out his "home phone
number" for requests, or seeing him at countless record hops. (It was a business for Tom on
stations like WONE in Dayton where he was so ubiquitous that it would be easier to identify
what Ohio bands didn't he host than those he did.) And though his KYA tenure seems to
evoke the most response today, his stint at WDGY in Minneapolis as Paul Bunyon shouldn't
be ignored. Apart from him somehow beating WCCO once (a feat that was not duplicated by
anyone else for decades, and probably no one on AM), he came up with what had to be the
original "more music" gimmick when he featured six records in a row on WeeGee while
everyone else was doing twin-spins. From that, it could be argued that he was the originator
of the commercial cluster, but playing spots endlessly in a row was probably never in his
consciousness. The spots themselves, however, obviously more than crossed his mind, as
evidenced by his well known advertising track record in the 1970s, when he was as immersed
in commercial production as he ever had been in music. You probably knew all that, but I'm
betting on the side that there are things in his bio you don't know that will impress the heck
out of you, too.
Joey Reynolds: “Jack Wayman was founder of the CES. After several floods in my
townhouse in Harlem, Jack invited me to stay at his place in Nyack. The Harlem co-op had
black mold in the walls which was toxic and the owners had decided to not spend thousands of
dollars to change the plumbing, hoping the city would pay for it? This never happened so I
put my stuff in storage and stayed with Nyack Jack, as he called himself. Jack Wayman was
a triple Purple Heart recipient from the invasion of Normandy, he was born in Miami where
his father was mayor and his family developed houses and bridges on several intercoastal
islands. He worked for Arvida in the fruit industry after college and moved to DC where he
took a job with RCA when David Sarnoff ran the company. Jack quickly rose to become the
top appliance salesman and rep in the company, he was a good spokesperson and knew all of
the players so he gathered the troops to start the Consumer Electronics Association which
hosts the biggest trade show in the world.
“CES was in Chicago at McCormick ‘til the fire, moved to The Coliseum in NY which was
unfavorable because of expensive parking and hotels. So Jack asked the board about a move
back to Chicago which they outgrew quickly with the explosion of the growth of TV. Chicago
was central but was too small so they searched for a town that would accommodate the
retailers and it was Las Vegas, off season. The unions were disruptive at first so Jack made a
deal with Bugsy Segal and the boys, once they got in the picture, the show flowed and
flourished. VHS was a new home video format from Victor of Japan, they beat Sony to the
punch with Beta Max, but content was critical in the beginning and the film industry wanted
no part of home use and declared copyright infringements on leased films. Jack championed
the Beta cause of movies to tape, fighting Jack Valenti in Hollywood. The only films that
were allowed was porn which is why the adult entertainment show hitched its wagon on the
CES, meanwhile Sony won the famed Betamax case and Hollywood lost the fight. Sony
subsequently got into the film business when they bought Columbia, Screen Gems, the record
company, and pressing plants, also they invented the CD and DVDs. Jack Wayman was the
video hero and the Sony space in the show is still the biggest. Ironically, the film industry
which was afraid of being destroyed by home use is now only alive because of international
home use. I lived with Jack for almost two years, he was a great spokesperson ‘til the end.
He died at 94 and I can say proudly it changed my life by putting me in the catbird seat. I owe
my progressive moves to Jack Wayman taking me under his wing. I consider the CEA to be
my college extension education, mostly because of the excellent keynotes, innovations and
industry conferences. Gary Shapiro was a CES lawyer who became Jack's successor, he was
handpicked by Jack and has taken the organization to new heights. Every year the show gets
better and better, it is evident that electronics in the US is the envy of the world. Jack used to
say to me ‘The US economy has fallen 30% while electronics has grown 30%, we even the
More Joey about my lack of phone skills: “I was on WOR for almost 25 years and never took
a call. Myra Chanin used to say if the callers are so interesting we would have them as
guests'! You would really flip out if you had skype on your giant screen? I will always be
your friend, it is unconditional. My flight's tomorrow afternoon, if it is comfortable I would
like to spend a few minutes with you today? I am alone and have the use of Dennis' car. Call
or text or email. I look forward to seeing you every year.”
Claude Hall: “Joey Reynolds came back Thursday evening. Told a great, but unprintable, tale
of him and Les Paul, who was frequently a guest on his WOR radio program. Ah, Joey!”
Joe Smith: Continued (an article printed in 1981 by Dan Banks, alias Claude Hall, then
editorial director of Casino magazine published by magazine legend George von Rosen)
The music industry was a cornucopia – a horn of plenty – for everyone and groupies, young
and sexy, were not only a reality, but accepted and indulged and indulged in.
The benefits to these hanger-on were free entertainment, the frenzied glory and excitement of
associating with the stars, free records, free teeshirts, free food, free booze, free caps, hats,
belts and buckles, jewelry; free fancy satin jackets and soft sweaters, shirts, and even socks
and shoes. And free trips and free sex (what else were the groupies for) and everything was
free and wonderful and there was lots of it.
The Elton John parties, perhaps, were the most extravagant of all, but parties went on
constantly. Before and after concerts, before and after nightclub openings, before and after
TV shows were taped, at benefits galore for charities that no one hardly knew the name of, for
hit records, and even for records that didn’t hit … for almost any reason at all.
“Whatever we did … whatever excesses we indulged ourselves in, we made more money the
next year. So why were we to think it would ever stop? More parties, more jackets, more
teeshirts, more shrimp cocktails and champagne, more limousines, more everything. And
then, more profit down at the end of the fiscal year,” said Smith. “What could happen?”
What did happen was that people, suddenly, had less discretionary income for entertainment
because of rising gasoline prices; there was more competition for the entertainment dollar
because of the expanding videocassette realm; and records cost more because of increased
prices for vinyl and were less of a bargain than before.
And counterfeiting – not talked about too much outside of the industry – became a horrible
money-stealing plague! “All of the various economic forces, along with the insidious nature
of home taping and counterfeiting and continued piracy of records – all of these things hit us
at about the same time, in a period of about eight to ten months. And you can’t underestimate
the impact of home taping. In England at this time, they sell something like forty million
prerecorded cassettes a year and almost two hundred million blank cassettes in the same time
span. Assuming that some of those blank cassettes are used to record lectures or love letters
home, how many do you think are used for recording records illegally?
“But the biggest problem was that, as an industry, we had geared up to continue to expand.
However, record stores were having to pay such a high interest on money that they simply
couldn’t stock as many records as before and had to pay us back in records; suddenly tons of
records were returned to manufacturers. Millions of albums.
“And there was a lull in hit product … Elektra/Asylum Records, for example, had no major
album released until July of 1979. It was a scary time,” Smith said. “For six months of 1979,
we made no profit. And that was startling. This was a very profitable company.”
Record companies panicked. And began cutting staff and expenses. And not without reason.
“When a combination of circumstances caused the industry to stop growing in 1979, it was
really just a slight setback,” Smith said. “It wasn’t so much that our business had fallen off
fifty percent, it was that we had increased our spending again by twenty percent, expecting
huge growth and huge profits. And when we didn’t grow, we were really hung out. We were
operating as we’d always operated, but the world had changed.”
The record industry, he said, has since undergone two years of tremendous shakeup. He listed
some of the record companies that were no longer around – ABC, United Artists, Casablanca,
GRT, Playboy, Capricorn, Infinity. And quite a few others.
“Those weren’t small labels … and they’re gone. And along with them thousands of young
men and women who had good jobs in this business. That’s tragic. Because they all loved
this business. It wasn’t just a job to them, it was a commitment. And there’s no place for
them now. We’re a much smaller, leaner industry in terms of personnel, the number of records
we put out, the number of artists we sign.”
But the status of the record industry has improved considerably since then. “Last year, we got
very lucky; business turned around and we had some major, major records. This gave us the
biggest year in the history of the label. And this year, so far, we’re ahead of last year.”
Elektra/Asylum Records is part of the giant music complex of WEA, otherwise known as
Warner Bros Records, Elektra/Asylum Records, and Atlantic Records and various labels they
own or distribute and music publishing companies that are numerous. Last year, this complex
did “in excess of 900 million dollars,” Smith said. “As a record group, we have 22
international companies, we have our own distribution organization in this country, we have
our own pressing plants. We’re an enormous industry that sells records all over the world.”
(to be continued; the personal life of Joe Smith)
I’m searching for something really great to say about Lyn Stanley’s new “Interludes” super
audio CD because she’s one of the nicest voices to come along in quite some time. Hell of an
entertainer. No, not like Doris Day even though both have a magical quality in their voices.
Not like a female Frank Sinatra either. Lyn Stanley stands out, though, and her “Boulevard
of Broken Dreams” goes immediately to the top of my currently most-listened. I mean, this
girl is good. I’m immensely impressed. Jazz, but with a pop approach. An honest to
goodness nightclub chanteuse. One that can kill a personal conversation because you’ve got
to stop and listen to her sing. I enjoyed “It’s Crazy,” the very esoteric “Last Tango in Paris,”
and “I Was a Little Too Lonely.” She’s jazz and back by some great musicians and you’re
going to love this CD. All of it. And Lyn Stanley, too!
: Great mood music. You can hear it for yourself at LynStanley.com
. I've had it on
while compiling this column and in a word, it was “soothing”. Lyn produced the album
herself, and was daring enough to turn Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love into a standard.
Pulled it off, too. I'd bet Willie Dixon would have liked her take. (As you might know, Dixon,
one of the most prolific blues songwriters ever, successfully sued for a portion of the rights, as
it was based in a part on one of his songs that Muddy Waters did earlier.) Big thanks to Don
Graham for sending it to me.
Don Elliot: “God … I missed whether your story about Linda Ronstadt was a flashback or
something, but it referred this morning to planning a blues album with Jerry Wexler … Jerry
passed a while back and it seems like you probably know that but I wanted to call your
attention to it. Maybe I missed something in the article about referring to the bass but it made
it sound like it was happening in the present.”
Claude Hall: “Sorry if I confused you, Don. I wrote a fairly long article about Joe Smith
back around 1981 based on a taped interview in his office. He left word not to be disturbed,
got a cup of coffee and relaxed with a mile-long Cuban cigar. Great interview. I had fun
doing it and I think Joe had fun and liked the article. We were only interrupted a couple of
times. I even took a color picture that we used in the article that was printed in Casino
magazine, along with photos he loaned me of him talking with Linda Ronstadt, etc., etc. In
my opinion, Joe Smith was the nicest guy in the music business.”
Frank Boyle: “Hi Claude: Charlie Warner and his Lady visited us last week. First time we've
seen each other in over 30 yrs. Charlie's still teaching at 2 Manhattan colleges--The New
School and Menlo. He's 84 and full of P & V. Arguably Charlie found Bob Pittman as a PD
at a small Mississippi station. to become Charlie's PD when he managed Double Double
(WWSW-AM) in Pittsburgh. We reminisced when later Charlie was VP. GM of
WMAQ-AM / FM for NBC in Chicago-with Bob Pittman as his 20yr old PD--Blue jeans,
granny glasses, pony tail. Pittman did the magical but totally unexpected--Change to Country
on a 50KW1A--Clear Channel AM. Bob explained to us the way they were going to kill the
only major Chicago Country station-- WJJD- AM was by doing Country playing 1000 sides
per week. WMAQ was going to format like a Top 40 station--"just play the Hits and give
away new cars and houses in the Telephone contest--' Answer your phone “WMAQ's gonna
make me Rich!" WMAQ almost duplicated the later “Worst to First” in a Year that Malrite &
Scott Shannon did with the newZ100 in New York City. WMAQ went from 11th in Pulse to 3
rd in 2 books. We, Eastman Radio Reps, were privileged to rep NBC and Malrite incredible
smashing victories. Jack Thayer promoted Charlie and Bob -with Walt Sabo-to run
WNBC- AM and make WYNY-FM--No 1 FM in the America.
JIM PHILLIPS. Speaking of Great Country format innovators May The Good Lord rest
Jim Phillips. We repped Jim's first station --KRIO-AM that blanketed what we --Eastman--
called the longest Main St in America-- McAllen Brownsville Harlingen, Texas. Smart Ass
New York big Ad Agency Time buyers & us Reps loved Jim Phillips. First, because he was
the only station guy who could give them the encyclopedic factual knowledge of his 10 major
local competitors-- second, because Jim was a stand up comic in delivering his KRIO/ Mc
Allen and later KHEY -AM/ El Paso--pitches.
For instance, Jim would explain to Harry Martin, William Esty--, Buyer for
RJReynolds Cigarettes--Camels, Salems, etc-reportedly biggest Time buyer in the nation-the
reason he had a fishing line from his Dallas Cowboys cap to his genitals' fly was it was only
way he had to keep his head down to read his pitch Cue Cards. Suffice it to say-- Jim Phillips
was the only station guy that NY Time buyers would buy jhis/ our lunch to listen to his
fabulously creative sales pitches.
When I got my divorce on April Fools Day 1970-across the Rio Grande from El Paso- in
Juarez-- Jim Phillips met me at the airport gate exit with a fancy wheel chair claiming I
needed it because I was about to lose my ass in the Alimony decree. Jimbo, as usual, was
right. I lived in New York, NY-- only way I could get an uncontested divorce--was in Mexico
then-- and it was legal in NY State. We all miss Jim Phillips he was a treasure in the radio
business. Jim Slone would quickly agree. .
BILL DRAKE-BOSS RADIO-aka Phil Yarbrough...I think that Bill's Business Partner-
Gene Chenault never got adequate credit for his business and programming insight working
closely with Bill Drake. Bill and Gene did a lot of testing on Gene's Sacramento
KXOA-AM/FM---and on Gene's other business partner--Willett Brown's KGB in San Diego.
Yup-- Eastman repped Both Gene Chenault and Willett Brown. Like Chickenman--we were
Willett Brown was the largest Cadillac dealer on the West Coast in Beverly Hills. Willett
had a custom designed GMC Bus done inside in lush blond Cordoba leather. Right behind the
driver was a gin rummy table with 2 great chairs on either side and slide our coasters for your
drinks. Willett took Gene Chenault, Bill Drake, Bob Eastman, Bill Burton and I in that
special GMC bus from his Beverly Hills dealership to a Las Vegas weekend business
"Seminar" . I was losing at Gin to Willett. I asked Willett “How do you get to be the largest
Caddy Dealer on the West Coast?” Willett said “It's very simple, Frank, one day you wake up
as a new born baby in your mothers arms and your Dad is the biggest Cadillac dealer in the
West Coast- case closed.”
“Miss you, Claude--you kept life interesting in that Golden Age of Radio! Still trying to
make an honest living as a Radio Station Broker. My most recent thrill was helping the late
Rick Buckley's Sister and her VP/ GM son, Eric Fahnoe, from WDRC- AM/ FM in Hartford
start the 3rd Buckley Family Radio group with a 5 station Cluster in San Luis Obispo. You
know that turf--Stay well.”
Doc Wendell: “Happy New Year. I've been away but I'm back. In addition to writing for Don
Heckman and IROM, I just started my very own blog site and thought you might dig my very
first official post on the healing powers of John Coltrane. Wish me luck with my blog and I
My new blog site is cookin'!! Here's my latest post on a terrific book on the man they called
Claude Hall: “Rollye James and I offer sincere best wishes on your new blog, Doc. I have a
hunch you’re going to be fairly famous one of these days and I’m going to be proud to say I
knew you when ….”
Rollye: I second Claude's sentiments, but alas, I can't open thse two links either. Mercury is
retrograde, maybe that's it. I'm reachin' but believe me, I've tried everything. I've finally
settled on giving you a link to Doc Wendell
's Facebook page here
. That will work. And
hopefully you'll have more luck on accessing his blog than I've have.
Claude Hall: “Come to think of it, I did know Don Imus back when. During my days with
Billboard, Don Imus is the only person other than myself to write Vox Jox. I was going on
vacation and he offered to write the column that week and I agreed. Damned good decision!
The man is extremely talented.”
Claude Hall: “Lord, but I hate to see the good ones go … probably because I feel like I’m
standing in line waiting my turn.”
Rollye: We're all in that line, Claude. To paraphrase an old line, the entire planet is nothing
more than God's waiting room. Speaking of those whose number was called...
Don Graham: Good afternoon, Claude & Rollye... Natalie Cole Funeral will be held this
Monday 1/11... West Angeles Church Of God In Christ... Cathedral Bldg... 3045 Crenshaw
Blvd.. LA... 11:00 AM (Pacific). Chaka Khan will perform... Interment will be at Forest
Larry Cohen: “Claude: Don't take this personal but this new system is a royal pain in the ass.
Right at the end of the Joe Smith story ‘of his life style’, I AM CUT OFF & ASKED TO
SUBSCRIBE. I follow directions & subscribe (AGAIN), and then told that I have already
subscribed, only to be left with the last word of ‘every’. What is going on? I basically do not
have the time to be sending S.O.S. mssgs. for help. It would be nice to read your report in it's
entirety with out wondering if Joe Smith made it to the 'John’ in his Beverly Hills condo, (he
sold his home several years ago that once belonged to Eddie Cantor) & without pissing in his
pants. Please advise asap & send me your home address again as I have located some classic
photos which you previously mentioned that you collect. A healthy & happy 2016. Hopefully
your jump shot is more accurate then this current report I received from you. Regards from
Claude Hall: “Rollye and I – well, mostly Rollye – are ironing out the difficulties. Please be
patient. This is the best way. And a hell of a lot easier on me, I assure you. I would sincerely
hate to give up on this project now. Anyway, my projected lifespan is maybe a year or two.
And believe me Rollye is set, capable, and willing to carry on. Think about them apples.
Lord! Frank Lipsius! I remember when he was trying to make a go at freelancing. A tough,
tough business! He’d just sold three articles. Barbara and I treasured our friendship with the
whole Lipsius family. Great, great people.”
Rollye: Larry (and anyone else having his difficulties or worse): About 5% of you will not
receive the email as it is formatted. Problems range from minor (missing graphics) to major
(nothing at all is visible). There are many elements involved over which I have zero control--
the email program you use, the computer you're using it on, for openers. That's why I'm now
putting the link to voxjox.org in the subject line. It's also the first thing in the column,
assuming you can see that. 95% of you will have no problems seeing most, if not all, of the
email content. But if you are one of the unlucky 5%, use the link in the email to access the
whole column online, and see it as it was meant to be seen. If the email hits your inbox and
reminds you the column is online waiting for you to read, it's done all it needs to do.