Vox Jox homepage banner


Archives Index Page

August 17, 2015
By Claude Hall
I’ve been blessed many times in my life and Vox Jox was one of the blessings.  Who would
have thought that an obscure column in a trade magazine would eventually reach behind the
Iron Curtain, would be translated into Portuguese and circulated throughout Brazil, would be
read on far-flung islands whose names I can’t spell or pronounce, would literally be read by
every radio disc jockey and program director in the United States and Canada and countless
radio station general managers and owners.  The column was launched by Joe Carlton, later
to own his own record and music publishing firm.  One writer along the years was Jerry
Wexler, who became a partner in Atlantic Records and a major record producer.  I wrote the
column for 14 years, among other Billboard chores.  A few years later, Rollye James took
over as radio-TV editor of Billboard and, among other chores, wrote Vox Jox.  After Billboard
changed direction, Rollye James Cornell acquired the rdomain name.  And here we are.  Vox
Jox rides again!
I intend to continue to put the column together  -- for it’s actually a watering hole for your
thoughts, memories and daydreams – as long as I can.  Then, God willing, Rollye will take
over.  And along the way, God and Rollye willing, she will fill in the gaps here and there with
her own thoughts and memories.  Be aware, good people, she was a young lady, a child really,
at the second annual convention tossed by Todd Storz and guided by his national program
director Bill Stewart in Miami Beach.  Her parents were staying in the hotel at the time.
She is a veteran and extremely skilled radio person.  The late George Wilson considered her
the best talk jock he’d ever heard.  She knows music; her record collection is vast.  She
currently owns two radio stations, an AM and its FM, with her husband in a small market.  I
hope that as the weeks go by she will fill you in on her various expertise levels.
I’ve always had enormous respect for her as a caring and adept human being as well as a
broadcaster.  You and I love radio and music.  Rollye James Cornell loves radio and music.
She and I may make a blunder here and there, now and then, but I have faith that, with your
help, Vox Jox will come alive again and we can have some phenomenal fun along the way. 
(Artwork by Bill Pearson and featured previously in the collection of short stories “Radio
Rollye James Cornell:  “Hi, Claude -- I responded to Joe (as I lived in Coeur d'Alene for
years), but thought you'd want to include his star news in the next commentary.”
Joe Smith:  “Claude, sorry to hear about what you went through physically.  There ain't a lot of
us still around so hang in.  I don't comment on any recognition I've had but next week I get a
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and that allows for some bragging.  My daughter and
son-in law have been scouting Couer'Dalene (I butchered that one) to buy or build.  The
notorious Irving Azoff is already building there.  Are you there at all?”
Joe, I’m so pleased to hear from you, you can’t imagine!  About the star on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame … great on you!  Just FYI, you jumped the gun a bit.  Items to the new Vox Jox
may still be sent to me at claudehall@yahoo.com … but eventually it won’t matter.  We’ll
work it out.  Are you guys aware there’s a Couer d’Alene in Idaho?  A McDonald’s just down
the street.  I would surmise, however, that both Rollye and Joe are talking about some place in
France.  Joe is a huge wine buff.  Barbara, my bride of almost 55 years, says the star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame is very exciting.  I agree with her.
Bob Sherwood: “Allow me, kindly Ol’ Uncle Claudius, to join the chorus of hundreds if not
thousands applauding your recovery.  You have a huge heart … don’t screw with it!  Also
‘thanks’ to Larry Cohen for his kind words.  Should Cumulo Nimbus or some other needy
broadcast group suddenly realize the logic of having an intelligent and imminently successful
Broadcaster actually run their ‘broadcasting’ operation (what a concept!) and convinced Mr.
Dowe to do so and … if he needed an assistant/trouble shooter it would take me about 15
minutes to pack and be on my way to his new location.  The only codicil in the
contract/agreement would be -- no conversations about football!  I grew up in San Francisco
and the Bay Area and am a life-long 49er fan and that wouldn’t match-up well with his love of
the Cowboys.  And then there’s the memory of Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns beating
my beloved USC Trojans on the last play of the 2006 National Collegiate Championship
Game.  I’m sure I’ll be able to handle mentions of that in no more than 30 or 40 years.”
Ach!  Poor Vince Young.  Well, it appears as if this ol’ Horn fan is getting his comeuppance
regarding the Horns these days.  But I go back as a Horn fan to the days when the quarterback
was Model T. Ford and his passing put Arkansas down 51-6.  I was there.  Saw the game!  Go
Hal Smith:  “I read your comments regarding Sam Hale.  Sam passed away last week.  He,
Terrell Metheny and I worked together at WKDA in Nashville.”
My sincere appreciation for your note, Hal.  Sam was, indeed, a gentleman in radio.  I never
met him.  But I consider him a great friend.
Roger Carroll:  “RE: Don Graham's wife Robin, she was attending college in Hawaii and
would sing with Don HoHerb Alpert was at Duke's in Honolulu … saw Robin sing and
signed her for A&M Records.  Robin also was the lead in a NY Broadway show.  I hope Don
will tell you about her outstanding career and what she gave up in her show biz career.  I love
Robin.  She is class.  I knew Robin long before Don met her and married that lovely lass. 
Claude, Joey Reynolds.  What BS!  I was a vice president at Gene Autry's Golden West
Broadcasters.  I NEVER HIRED REYNOLDS.  I talked with him and said I will get back to
you.  He went around me to KMPC PD Jim Davis, telling Jim I suggested Jim hire him for
Morris Diamond:  “Sorry to read about Bobby Vee's wife passing ... may she RIP.  Also, not
too thrilled about you turning over the reigns of your weekly Commentary.   I'm sure that
whoever takes it over will be a great choice for continuous weekly commentaries.  Let me tell
you about the first time I met Don Graham's super wife, Robin.  Many years ago, I believe
before Robin knew Donald, my wife and I went to the Coconut Grove in LA to see and hear
Don Ho.  We were enjoying the show -- and then he introduced his vocalist, Robin Wilson,
and out pops this little gal ... barefoot ... and she put us all away ... she was so great.  We had a
great evening.  Much later on, when I became very friendly with Donald, I was elated to meet
his wife, Robin, and we've all become good friends ever since.  Claude -- love to you and
Barbara and please try very hard to stay well ... both of you.”
Don Graham: “Hi ya, Claude ... we are certainly sad to read about Karen Velline … realizing
how close you were to her and her family, our thoughts are with you as you mourn her
passing.  I met Bobby Vee only once.  Years ago.  Went to KIQQ here on Sunset to meet with
George Wilson … while talking with George, Bobby Vee came into his office to keep a
luncheon date.  George invited me to join Bobby and himself for lunch … listening to George
and Bobby talk, during our two-hour lunch, I became aware of how close he and Bobby were,
and how much George truly liked him … a remarkable lesson in respect and friendship!  Other
matters:  Claude, it’s terrific to start our week, reading your Commentary review on the new
Matt Forbes CD!  We are tempted to forward it on to all we know, however, just about all we
know already receive your Commentary!  We are fortunate to have the legendary publicity
expertise of Lori Lousararian, vp, Rogers & Cowan director of entertainment.  Lori is
gathering exciting daily media response to Matt’s talent and magic!  And, yes, as you
mentioned, radio is already playing it, and all will have it, by the end of this week.  We are
most grateful for your fabulous endorsement!  Be well, my friend.”
Bobby Vee knew a great many radio programmers and personalities … some for many years
… but few longer or better than George Wilson and Scotty Brink.  Bobby and Scotty went
back to the day Scotty programmed a Top 40 in El Paso.  I think Jack Gale knew Bobby even
longer.  Sonny James was the same way; knew countless program directors and radio
personalities throughout the southeast and deep south.  He and his wife once joined me and
Shelby Singleton for hours at a table at the Capitol Park Inn and I believe that Sonny knew
half of the guys who came by.
Ed Silvers: “Hi, Claude, I am so distressed to hear about the news of Bobby Vee's wife.  I
never met her -- I was Liberty Records promotion guy in the early 1960s and broke many of
the Snuff Garrett-produced hits!  I really loved the guy -- he was a joy to work with.  I wish I
had known his lady and his children!  Glad you have passed the heart problem -- being an
octogenarian is not for sissies!  Living in the British Virgin Islands is a great reward for a life
in The BIZ.  It is calm and beautiful here, and I treasure my time in the industry, but I am a
sailor now, and haven't the vaguest idea of what the business is all about!  Your letters are
wonderful -- don't give up!”
Larry Cohen: “Will miss your solo involvement with your Commentary.  Does the email
change to voxjox.org mean that all contributions to your great commentaries be sent to that E?
 And you are not ready to punk out. You are still full of ‘lotsa' good stuff & you offer a hellava'
lot more then 7/11.  One name that never surfaces in your column(s) is that of the wonderful
& over achieving George Michael. From St. Louis to WFIL (Philly) to WABC (N.Y.) to NBC
TV in Washington D.C. where his late Sunday Sports show had won over 22 Emmys!  I
believe that at sometime in my correspondence to you, I noted that on George's show he was
the first & one & only sportscaster who featured the highlights of every NFL game that was
played earlier that day.  This was long before ESPN copied his format.  If you send me your
mailing address, I will send you a copy of a young Dick Carr (with pitch black hair), Woody
Allen & Larry Cohen at Metromedia's WIP in Philly where Woody was promoting his Colpix
comedy album & cutting several spots for Dick.  (This was around 1962).  Carr was an
exceptional guy, a straight shooter who came to me for input when he was looking for a Music
Director.  I recommended Alan Hotlen whom I was close with and he got the position.  The
following year Hotlen won the coveted Bill Gavin Award as Music Director of the Year.  Will
also send you a great photo of Jay Cook (PD), George Michael and myself presenting WFIL
with a Gold Record for breaking the Bobby Womack single, ‘Lookin' for a Love’.  I never
knew of the great friendship between Jay & Ken Dowe until Commentary #77m2.  As you
know, both Jay and George are programming Heaven with a limited playlist because of the
huge turnout of promotion personnel showing up at the Pearly Gates headed by Red
Schwartz, Fred DiSipio & Chicago's Howard Bedno.  (It is said that the Bedno/Wright
company in Chicago was the only true way to WLS.)  I'll attest to that from experience.  Don't
forget to forward me your mailing address.  And stay well & take good of your self.  Betcha'
you never knew of my basketball accomplishments.  When you are feeling better, will spot
you two letters in a game of Horse.  Just name where and when and I will be there with my
high-top Converses.”
I thought highly of both George Michaels and Jay Cook and would love to have a copy of the
picture.  My address:  Claude Hall, 2563 Paradise Village Way, Las Vegas, NV 89120.  About
Horse, I always thought I’d depart this planet on a fastbreak … and make the shot!

[Rollye here:  if you'll send copies to info@voxjox.org I'll put them on the site.]
Dr. Jack Casey, WERS, Boston:  “Stop scaring us with tales of hospitals and Nazi beds.  Stay
out of those places.  Wanted to pass along greetings from the great Bob Henabery, now in his
88th year.  I was in D.C. last month for the public media conference (which, by the way, is
mostly about ratings and revenue) and took the opportunity to have dinner with Bob and his
lovely wife Susan in a nearby Virginia suburb.  Like most of us, Bob has had a few health
challenges, but he is doing remarkably well, and is still sharp as the proverbial tack.  For those
who don’t remember him, Bob was the first PD of WRKO in Boston, later moving to VP
Programming for the ABC O&O’s before opening his very successful consultancy. 

"He helped create the AOR format at WPLJ, Urban at WKYS, and Mainstream AC at the
Greater Media stations.  Bob has quite a show business pedigree as his father, Joseph
Henabery, was a pioneering silent-era motion picture director, producer, and actor (he played
Lincoln in ‘Birth of a Nation’).  Having literally grown up in Hollywood, Bob had a unique
perspective on our business.  When I was facing some difficult challenge as PD of Magic in
Boston in the 80s, Bob would always say ‘Jeez Jack … it’s just the damn toy department’.  It
always made me laugh … and still does.  Thanks for keeping us connected, Claude.”
Jack, wish you could have said “Hi” to Bob for me.  If you have his address, please send him a
copy of this column.  I’d be grateful.
Shadoe Stevens: “The Blackout Television podcast series I produced has turned into a
sensational pilot for a television series on the TV One Network. It's called ‘The Weekly
Show’, a funny new weekly news magazine of current events ... that also shows what goes
on after the camera goes off.  It's The Daily Show meets The Larry Sanders Show.  The cast is
brilliant. I'm sure you will like it.  It premiers 11 p.m. Eastern Time Tuesday, August 25.  Go
to our Facebook page  and to our new website www.weeklyshow.tv.”
My sincere compliments, Shadoe.
KJazz 88.1, Long Beach-Los Angeles announces the addition of iconic jazz vocalist Steve
Tyrell to its on-air staff commencing August 31, 2015.  Tyrell will host “The Steve Tyrell
Show” airing Monday through Friday 6 - 9 p.m.
Great on you, Steve!  Proud of you!  Crazy idea:  Get a couple of friends who play
instruments and do a live show every month or so.
Bob Fead: “Claude, may we all remember Karen Velline and may we all say a prayer for
Devon “Doc” Wendell:  “Hi, Claude, here's my new piece on a semi-new album. It's the crazy
season, not much sleep, too much work, but I love it.  I had a great time seeing Buddy Guy at
Royce Hall last night. I interviewed Buddy a few years ago and I stole so many of his licks
over the years.  Here's my review.”

Robert E. Richer: “Hi, Claude … how on earth did I miss the news of your illness?  I wish you
all good things and a speedy recovery.  Does this mean that you have to eschew further
involvement with Eggs Benedict?  While Joey Reynolds might have been king of Hartford
radio, let’s not forget another bit of royalty:  Dick Robinson, who still owns and operates a
successful FM in Palm Beach County, along with a string of twelve excellent schools of
Broadcasting, all up and down the East Coast.  Loved Gabbert’s recollections of Hawaii …
Fred Constant, Howard Grafman, J. Akuhead Pupule, et al.  Wonderful memories.  Be

Let's all be well!

cartoon of alligator threatening chicken