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Cliffie Stone, record producer and former manager of Tennessee Ernie Ford, center, and Claude
Hall at right side; on the other side of Cliffie is Lloyd Perryman, then leader of the Sons of the
Pioneers.  A couple of the Pioneers then lived in Colorado and a phone call would gather them for a
performance.  A book about the Pioneers is housed (circa 70s) in the John Edwards Memorial
Foundation at UCLA in Los Angeles.  Photo was taken beyond the mountains north of LA where
Stone owned a 20-acre place.
By Claude Hall
and Rollye James
Claude Hall:  “I was once, circa 50s, in a real unpainted ‘dive’ built on pilings to avoid the
tidal waters that came in around Corpus Christi and heard two quite elderly women on guitars
with a man on piano playing honky tonk music and this was the first time I heard ‘Walk Right
In’.  The music was beyond description, but I’ll tag it with raw, gutsy, and great.  And about
that same period – I was still attending The University of Texas – some girl took myself and a
couple of friends to an outdoors black music place across a draw with running water and up on
a hill and I don’t remember much about the music, but the performer sounded a lot like Little
Richard sound later and may have been Little Richard, but what would he have been doing
in a place like that?  And there was the music on Sixth Street, Austin, TX, in those days and
the dives were raunchy and dangerous as hell and there was country here and Mex-Tex there
and I loved the Pot of Gold which was more Mexican than Mex-Tex and all of the guys
carried straight razors while they danced and they didn’t bother a gringo who set on the side of
the room sipping a bottle of Lone Star because he loved the music, too.  Years later, I loved
the Café au Go Go in Greenwich Village and, of course, all of the Greek music places on
Eighth Avenue not far away and a little uptown.  But I guess my favorite music place of them
all was ‘the Pal’ out on Lankersheim in the San Fernando Valley.  The Palamino was my kind
of place.  Mostly country.  I did a story with Tommy Thomas, the owner, for Billboard and
always felt good when I was in the Pal.
“Once, my ex-neighbors – the Kramers back in Hartsdale, NY -- came to visit and Barbara
and I took him and his wife to the Pal and Big Tiny at the door said, ‘Sorry, the place is full
up’.  I asked to see Tommy and we were escorted in and another table brought out and set up
for us.  Sort of impressed the devil out of my ex-neighbors.  I guess.  Never saw them again. 
He was a fancy New York lawyer … a partner with one of the major firms then and now.
“Big Tiny at the door of the Pal was a legend unto himself.  I was once invited out to catch a
television taping of a Neil Diamond special and he wouldn’t let me in.  I told him that I was
Claude Hall of Billboard magazine and he just said, ‘I don’t give a damned who you are’.  He
was so huge he blocked the doorway.  Fortunately, a record promotion man was waiting for
me and he came around the side of the building just then and Barbara and I entered the back
door.  Bob Dylan was among those in the audience for the show, I understand.  I don’t know
whether he got to come in the front door or used the back door like me.  One story about Tiny
is that some customer got a little irritated at him and went home and got a bow and arrow and
came back and shot Big Tiny in the neck.  He just went to the hospital and had the arrow
removed and was found shortly thereafter back at the front door.
“The Pal, gone now I’ve heard, had been there a long time.  Tommy and his brother, I believe,
opened it right after they came back from WWII.  Back before even the street out front was
paved and there was a hitching rail out front.  Because it was near the movie studios, cowboys
often frequented the place.  One story is that Lash LaRue, slightly drunk, rode his horse into
the place and insisted on doing his bullwhip act from the small stage.  You going to argue with
a man with a bullwhip?
“The Pal was used in two movies of which I’m aware, one with Burt Reynolds and the other
with Clint EastwoodSnuff Garrett did the music for the Clint film.
“The house band featured some great musicians … guys who often backed up singers in the
recording studios and some may even have been part of the now-called Wrecking Crew.  I
know that at least one of Cliffie Stone’s kids played there from time to time.  Cliffie Stone,
former manager of Tennessee Ernie Ford, produced the last album of which I’m aware of the
Sons of the Pioneers.  That LP was pushed by two huge country music fans -- Ken Griffis and
Claude Hall.
“I caught Linda Ronstadt at the Pal one night … back when her costume was a print dress
and she sang barefoot.  She was great.  Afterwards, I went backstage to tell her so and John
Sebastian was also waiting.  Last time I’d seen Sebastian was at a party at his home
somewhere near Greenwich Village in Manhattan and there was a huge picture on the wall of
a girl sitting in a man’s lap, both nude, genitals highly visible.  This Pal visit was just after
Sebastian had written ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ for a television show.  I told Linda that I’d been
a fan since ‘Up to My Neck in High Muddy Water’ with the Stone Poneys and she said, ‘Bless
you, child’.
“I never had a bad time at the Pal.”
Joe Smith (concluding installment of an article that appeared in Casino magazine,
September1981, written by Claude Hall under the pen name of Dan Banks)
“The pace, the traveling, gets to me these days.  We don’t travel to London as much as we
used to … we used to go to London four or five times a year when that was a hot talent
center.  But I’m in New York fifteen or sixteen times a year.  I go out to see acts often that are
on the road, such as a group doing a concert in Detroit or Linda Ronstadt opening on
Broadway.  Acts on the road like to see me … they feel a little more secure.
“And we have corporate meetings or company meetings.  Or I’ll go to Atlanta or Nashville for
something else.”
He said that he’d had to cut back on some industry activities.  For instance, he was in wide
demand as an emcee, but “I’ve had to almost retire because I became an act.  People would
tell me ‘You weren’t as good tonight as you were at that dinner last week’.  And I got to
thinking:  Wait a minute!  I don’t have writers like Bob Newhart or Don Rickles!  Why am I
doing this?”
However, as vice president the Country Music Association, a black music association, the
Recording Industry Association of America … that’s another fifteen meetings a year out of
town that require two or more days each.  These days he only gets to Vegas three or four times
a year; he used to go once or twice a month!
“But each day is a sensational day because it’s so active.  You know, a lot of people buried us
a couple of years ago as an industry.  Well, the record industry is not over.  It’s a powerhouse
industry that makes a lot of money … sells a lot of records … reaches a lot of people.  And it’s
action, action all of the time.”
At a certain point, Smith said, albums become an institution.  “All of the people who wanted it
have bought it.  And then, psychologically, it becomes a thing you should have.  For instance,
you should have a copy of ‘Rumours’ by Fleetwood Mac.  Yet, one out of every six
households in this nation has a copy.  And ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles is another album
that’s an institution.”
Smith, in spite of the glamour and luster of the record industry keeps an attitude that’s
essentially business in nature.  Though many of his friends are in the business and are artists
like Linda Ronstadt.  “I think over the years that I’ve reached a certain position in the minds
of the recording artists that I deal with that I’m not really a contemporary” – he points out that
he’s closer to the age of Sinatra than he is most of the artists on his roster – “or a close friend
… but I am concerned with their music and my company treats their music and them with
respect and some dignity … and we give their records a hell of a run.”  END
Claude Hall: “I had – and still have – a great many friends in music and radio.  Joe Smith
wasn’t a real friend by the classification of George Wilson, who was … Joe was, however, a
fond ‘business associate’.  I always felt close to Joe and liked him and felt that I could depend
on him.  I also respected him.  He certainly gave back to the industry more than he took.  He
says he ended up a millionaire.  Well, God bless him!  He deserved it.  I’m glad that I ‘found’
this article.  Actually, my son John had a copy of Casino magazine amidst his stuff.  A few
months later after writing about Joe, I wrote a whimsical article – pure fantasy -- about Linda
Ronstadt that was printed in a monthly tabloid called Tune-In published by Jonathan Fricke
who once programmed KFOX country in Los Angeles.  Wish I had a copy of that article.  Of
course, I could never show it to my wife Barbara.”
Claude Hall:  “I was lamenting my pill woes to Woody Roberts, who currently serves as
mentor and “go for it, kid” prompter for my novel titled ‘George and Me’.  Woody has also
been kind enough to plow through a strange book I wrote called ‘My Name Is...’ about
academics and politics.”
Woody Roberts in quail country near Austin, TX:  “Reading your email I had duel emotions,
one side of me felt anger at Them for not giving you the simple relief you want.  Lets you
know the liberal thing is a hoax, they have been in charge quite awhile and turns out they're a
bunch of authoritarians.  Drug laws still in place.  The other side of me found itself fully
entertained and really enjoying my read of your correspondence that is like a segment taken
from ‘My Name Is…’ or from ‘George and Me’.  [I believe you'll write some more on George
... because he is primarily used as a thread holding together your life, your first hand
experiences of that special moment in the 20th century when Top 40 music was King of the
Hills.]  And. SO glad to hear from Dr. Bob as I was already mourning his demise in the great
2016 snowmageddon extinction event now annihilating our the NE coast.  At least that's what
I'm picking up from the mainstream media.  My fantasy saw his home collapse under a
tsunami of wet snow and he and Candy painfully crawling from under the ruin and into an ice
blizzard where they freeze solid to perhaps be awakened during the great thaw of far a future
age when people can revive icemen.  And, of course, icewomen.  But apparently and very
luckily for us Dr. Bob seems to have survived to tell the tale and wear a souvenir t-shirt.
“And then we have Lee Baby Simms.  Almost one year ago.  I have come to a different
conclusion than yours, Claude.  I have come to see his act as heroic and a perfect ending for
his situation.  He wanted to go out in good form and not in a compromised situation.  He
ascertained his quality of life was about to fall beneath his level of acceptability and instead of
hanging on to the bitter end decided it was time to quit and go on to a new station.  A very
brave act.  Hope I will be that brave.  Sure there are problems, most especially, where to do it. 
Be nice to dig a hole and put a stick of dynamite in your mouth … however that's not too
practical.  But, ideally, do it in a secluded location where your body won't be found, at least
until decomposition.  Lee Baby decided not to shoot himself in the head and that itself is a
major statement but I don't know exactly what.  Everyone knows to put the barrel of the gun in
your mouth and pull the trigger.  Lee didn't.  Why?  It may be another year or so before I
understand.  Meanwhile, I salute Lee for his bravery. 
“It's a different scenario for you guys.  Y'all have wives.  A whole different world.  And Dr.
Bob has a son to get through collage.  Me, I have my K9 partner Happy.  Those are direct
obligations.  Here's something, Claude.  Dr. Bob looked me in the eye and said ‘Hitbound’ will
be published.  Fingers crossed.  He's chosen a near impossible road by wanting a major
publisher and we both know it takes ‘connections’ to make that happen.  Fallback?  I think it
can be easily packaged for academic press and positioned as pop culture history.  It's the
media consultant in me, I can't help analyzing media projects.  Like your books.
“A real opportunity exists in bundling.  By having all of your book covers done by Bill
Pearson, your work has a singular identity.  You could pull out your novels and books
pertaining to Texas and Mexico (your westerns, so to speak) and do a fixup series.  Give it an
encompassing name.  Offer the entire series for a single price.  Likely there is a chronological
or geographical sequence to the novels in the series.  I told Dr. Bob you had embarrassed us
young guys with your amazing output.  I've lost count but I think you have published four or
five novels and now are working on George plus Vox Jox every week.  Gads.  That a lot of
writing ... but then, I forget you are a real – I. e. professional -- writer.  You've done it for a
living.  But it still gulls me that I even can't come close to your standards.  It's about my acute
case of writer's block, guys.  Now it's come on again.  Later.  PS -- Thanks to you, am craving
eggs benedict.  Driskill Hotel on 6th best bet.”
Tom Russell:  “Hi, Claude … very nice of you!  Yes, working on new songs, paintings, and
essays. My art: www.tomrussellart.com  Got an ASCAP Award for music journalism in
November in NYC/for a pc on Johnny Cash.  Plugging forward and working on a music
memoir for a UK Literary agent.  Off today to Miami then on the Swissland, then tour of
Sweden and Norway.  Back in Santa Fe late March where we're working on a studio/office for
me here.  Oh - almost forgot - you're in Vegas, right? May 15 I have a solo/reading/art show
there!  Don't have the firm venue yet but a woman named Anne Smith (old friend) is working
on it … as soon as we have it we'll put up on the web site:  www.tomrussell.com  Keep the
faith! Always enjoy hearing from you ….”    Tom's Facebook, and the YouTube  promo reel
for "The Rose of Roscrae":

(If you're viewing this column in your inbox, the Youtube video won't appear,
but if you click here, you'll be taken to it online.)

Claude Hall:  “I’d written Tom about listening once again to his “Guadalupe.”  Gretchen
Peters also has recorded the song.”

Marlin Taylor:  “Hi Rollye & Claude,  For whatever it’s worth … here’s the rest of the story:  
Claude, back in the Spring, you printed my response to a Mel Phillips WOR story, where I
shared one of my own … that when I arrived at WRFM in early 1969, there was definite
confusion between call letters WOR-FM and WRFM. Of course, the WOR call letters were
legendary and WRFM hardly known, as it ranked #23 in the Arbitrons … which, at the time,
listed only 24 stations in the Big Apple.
     In signing off, I promised another part of this call letter story, but it involves a different
station. By mid-1970, WRFM had become firmly entrenched in the top five among all stations
– achieved mostly by our FM dial card promotion and word-of-mouth. While walking through
Bloomingdale’s one evening, I spotted a pedestal tea cup decorated with Grecian figurines.
Brainstorm: What if I could find the distributor of this cup and have the figurines replaced
with a wrap-around of our dial card to use as a promotional tool to the advertising
community? We did succeed in accomplishing this, but it carried a handicap of a four-month
lead time.
      A nervous concern … would someone go for a call letter change? Yes, they would …
midway during the wait, ABC decided their FM’s should have their own call letters. However,
we were saved by two factors – first, call letter changes were not simple overnight deals like
they are today. Secondly, ABC proposed to change WABC-FM in New York to WRIF. As soon
as the announcement appeared, I was on the phone to our Washington attorney, asking him to
protest the requested call letters as one that would further confuse listeners by having another
set of letters with an “R.” The FCC agreed, ABC swapped WRIF with their requested calls for
Detroit, WPLJ … and the whole process drug out long enough for us to get our cups in hand
and out to the advertising community!”

Kevin Gershan sent me this item on “Growing Up With the Boss Jocks” by Bob Meadows.

(If you're viewing this column in your inbox, the Youtube video won't appear,
but if you click here, you'll be taken to it online.)

Bob Meadows:  “Hear Robert W. Morgan, The Real Don Steele, Charlie Tuna, Humble
Harve, Johnny Williams, Sam Riddle, Scotty Brink, Gary Mack, Frank Terry, Johnny
Mitchell, Roger Christian, Dave Diamond, Bill Wade, Bobby Tripp, Steve Clark, Tommy
Vance and more.  A fun, creative look back when Bill Drake, Ron Jacobs & Gene Chenault
created history with the ‘more music’ format and the legendary disc jockeys -- Boss Jocks --
we loved listening to on our AM transistor radios in Southern California.  This video
remembers the early years of 93 KHJ Radio in Boss Angeles (1965 to 1970), as seen through
the eyes of a boy growing up in the 1960s, in Anaheim, CA, who loved the 60s Rock and Roll
music and who dreamed of becoming a Boss Jock.  You’ll also see & hear KHJ 20/20 news
with Jim Lawrence, Marv Howard, Art Kevin, J. Paul Huddleston, Lyle Kilgore, Bill
Brown, Roger Aldi, Danny Baxter sports and more, along with some of the greatest 60s
songs that 93 KHJ Boss Radio ever played.  During the 3 months or so of creating,
researching and working on this video, I found out that this would not be considered ‘PURE’
or ‘Authentic’ to many radio enthusiasts and I don't claim it to be but the pictures and audio
I've added and adjustments of radio recordings or air checks were necessary for the story to
flow and won't change anyone's perspective of how KHJ Radio really was.  I loved 93 KHJ
Boss Radio and just wanted to say so from ‘My Perspective’ and ‘My Dream’ as a boy and try
to make it a little more fun to watch and listen to by adding a little humor, both good & bad.”
Jim  Slone, soon to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville:  “I will be
inducted this year at ceremonies in Nashville ... I will attend two different events -- Country
Radio Seminar Feb. 8th for informal recognition ... and then June 24th for the formal dinner
and festivities ... nice honor.”
Claude Hall:  “I always enjoyed the festivities in Nashville.  And I always get a chuckle when
I remember the time Larry Shaw, a KLAC, Los Angeles personality, trucked in a load of
Coors.  Back in those days, you could get thrown in jail for something like that.  About the
note below, I wrote Johnny about a Saturday basketball game between Maryland and
Michigan State.  Johnny does play-by-play of the school’s games for Baltimore radio.
Johnny Holliday: “Hi, Claude … tough loss for the Terps.  I did not make the trip to Michigan
State.  Bronchitis got the best of me and the doc said no way should I travel, especially with
no voice.  Love Joey Reynolds … one of the super good guys in our biz. Snow had finally
stopped with sun forecast for tomorrow.  One of these days my travels will take me to Vegas
and we can visit.  Stay well, my friend. I see where metv.com listed me among their top 8
favorites of the 60s … I never thought I was that good but what a nice recognition.”
Larry White sends an item on Danny Neaverth in Sunday's Buffalo News:  “A little article
about Danny Neaverth I thought you’d appreciate.”

Claude Hall:  “The article mentions ‘Rats in My Room’ with Joey Reynolds, a ‘hit’ of the
same ilk as ‘Sea of Vomit’ by my son Andy Hall.”

Steve Tyrell to Don Graham:  “It is with the deepest sadness that I learned of the passing of my
friend, Glenn Frey. The Eagles were my favorite band and I still listen to them all the time.
He and Don Henley's songs are timeless classics and are amongst the greatest songs ever
written. Glenn loved and was well versed in all kinds of music. He was the first person to
reach out to me and encourage me to sing Standards. He sent my first album “A New
Standard” to his friends  with a bottle of wine as his Christmas Present and was gracious
enough to be in a video that Sony made to promote my 2nd album. I just sent a text to him a
couple of days ago telling him he needed to get out and go play some jazz clubs. Glenn was
one of my real heroes!”

He will never be gone... His voice, guitar and great songs will live forever..

Rollye:  Thanks for passing it on, Don. And congrats on all the accolades on Lyn Stanley
Don passed along praise from Chuck Southcott, Scott St. James, Don McCulloch who has
added 9 tracks to Radio Deluxe, Brad Chambers who is airing it on Martini In The Morning
Bob Hamilton who is recommending it to clients he consults, Warren Lawrence who is
playing it on WKNY (1490 in the Hudson Valley), and of course, Saul Levine at LA’s KKJZ. 
Interludes” has already received Best Album picks in a couple review forums, and rave
reviews in others.   
       Don also mentioned another client, Matt Forbes who is now literally flying high, with
Coulda Woulda Shoulda” already on Air Canada and British Airways.  And Delta has listed it
on their summer inflight entertainment lineup.