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Cousin Brucie congratulating Joey Reynolds on his new WABC Sunday night show.
by Rollye James
Joey Reynolds: “Be the first to know I have a new show. I signed a one year deal with WABC
NY also KABC LA and national syndication. Streamed on iHeart radio and jam TV. The first
live Triplecast, Sunday's 9pm. The show is called THE LATE JOEY REYNOLDS.”
Joey’s new show is on target (or is that "in target"?).
Art Vuolo (spreads Joey’s good news to Dick Purtan): “Look who's going back on the radio
this Sunday night! Listen on line...at 9 pm EDT.”
Dick Purtan (responds to Art Vuolo): “Hey Art...Great news about Joey. When you talk to him
will you please ask him to play some BUMPER music by ANNETTE in honor of the
BLANKET at Crystal Beach? Thanks, Dick”
Joey Reynolds (about Dick Purtan): “Purtan was quite the ladies man in the late 50’s. We did
his show from the sand on blankets at crystal beach Ontario amusement park. Oops! a
Canadian Beach on an American radio station? WWOL am Buffalo. It was illegal but we
sucker punched the FCC and the CBG with a letter I wrote to the Canadian Govt giving them a
start date, never asking permission and they acknowledged it. International boundaries were
crossed with a letter and a Marti unit across lake Erie, You can only imagine what I would
have accomplished with text messaging and cellular technology?
“Dick was known as Guy King, successor to Tom Clay and Frank Ward. The Canadian girls
loved him, we never told his wife. Dick has 8 kids. All girls.”
Rollye: “I’m thrilled for Joey. It's Sunday evening and I'm listening to Joey's debut as I type.
(Other than the call letters, it could be his WOR show. He hasn't missed a beat in the years
since then.) Seeing Cousin Brucie and Joey Reynolds together reminded me that one thing
they have in common is that the Four Seasons cut a jingle for both of them— I bet you can
hear it in your mind, given how many times both versions aired. Meanwhile, Art Vuolo
captures Joey on his latest youtube entry, “Vapes & Crepes”, which is the sponsor of The Late
Joey Reynolds Show-- they're talking about it on the air live right now.”
If you’re not seeing it, click here
Joey Reynolds: “I used to have Doug Parcells (the coach) on my show off season, he would
tape my shows and synopsis them as a hobby. Doug was a frustrated jock who grew up in New
Jersey listening to me on WKBW in Buffalo, which probably means he never grew up. He
has now taken to sending me some of my gems with the ad libbed opening monologue which I
did in the middle of the night so Buckley wouldn't hear it on WOR. I got away with this for
almost 15 years so Doug has a lot of notes.”
Rollye: “What you wanna bet Doug will soon be a guest on Joey’s new WABC show? Joey
really does get around.”
Joey with Sally & Annie
Joey Reynolds: “Sally Struthers and Andrea Macardle (Annie) in Maine. Cole Porter’s
‘Anything Goes’. The Bush family attended. Took their minds off of Trump.”
Mel Phillips: “Once again, thanks for the WRKO Reunion coverage. It always looks great.
Claude: My first memories of Nashville were formed just down the street from where WKDA
was located. It was the honky-tonk images of Broadway. I was especially impressed by Hank
Snow's store front lit by neon lights. Ernest Tubb's shop, pawn shops, blue-plate specials
advertised in the little food shops. I did morning drive for GM/Co-owner of WKDA, Jack
Stapp. His co-owner was Buddy Killen. Smokey Walker was my PD. This was in 1960. We
were top 40 but we beat the mighty WSM. I had a 32 share (Hooper). Rollye: Hairl Hensley
broke me in on the air. He did morning drive temporarily when Quinn Ivy left to set up his
recording studio in Muscle Shoals. Right off the bat he had Percy Sledge's smash, "When A
Man Loves A Woman". Hairl went to WSM to do overnights then. He wasn't doing the Grand
Ole Opry yet. Tommy T. handled that. I also worked with Dick Buckley, Bill Hudson, Audie
Ashworth, Wayne Moss and of course the immortal "Captain Midnight" (Roger Schutt).
“I loved listening to WLAC at night with Hoss Allen, Gene Nobles. I enjoyed listening to
Hugh Jarrett too. Hugh sang with The Jordanaires. I had a tough time getting acclimated to
Nashville, having few friends. A kid from Brooklyn can hardly be accepted as a 'good ole boy'.
I had one friend though - studio musician Charlie McCoy. I had known Charlie when I
worked in Florida radio. Met him when he traveled with one act or another. Charlie actually
did some solo vocals and had a couple of singles but he was known as the best harp
(harmonica) player in Nashville. He was on several Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison hits.
Through the years I've traveled back to Nashville on business and it's changed, as expected, but
my early memories of Music City always remained. Great town but I don't know if I'd want to
live there again.”
Rollye: “Great memories, Mel. You don’t have to ponder whether you’d want to live in
Nashville again. It’s changed so much that now the Nashville you lived in isn’t even in
evidence. WKDA was such a giant back then. Even though Nashville was a small radio
market, it had so much going on. I remember T. Tommy Cutrer very well, but if Hairl
Hensley went to WSM from WKDA, I think he must have been there twice. For a while, he
was program director of WLAC. The reason I remember Hairl’s WLAC stint so well was due
to the dress. When Hoss Allen was hawking the mail order goodies (from records to
chickens) he’d say “Send your name and address.” But with his emphasis and speech
inflection, it came out “Send your name and a-dress”. One woman from Ocala, Florida took
him up on it and send her name and a flowered print dress to WLAC. Hairl had it in his office.
Try as I might, I can’t remember the time frame, but I think it was after Mel’s tenure in town.
“Hugh Jarrett was great. I loved his double-entendres. ‘White Rose Petroleum Jelly, 101 uses
and you know what that one is for. Keep a jar in your glove box, you never know what will pop
“Charlie McCoy was a godsend to me too, when I first arrived. I came to Nashville after
WQAM and Charlie and I bonded instantly over all the places he used to play in Miami. We’d
reminisce about “Happy Harold”, a colorful Miami country jock and Charlie Murdock’s
dances. I loved Charlie’s early rock and roll vocals— Cherrry Berry Wine immediately comes
to mind. Mel is so right about his harmonica greatness, but I doubt there’s anyone more adept
on more instruments than Charlie. It was Tex Davis at Monument who introduced us—
another lovable Nashville character.”
Morris I. Diamond: “Memories came up galore with reports from one and all about Nashville.
I have tons of thoughts about the great times I had coming to Nashville to attend the Country
Music Awards, My love for Nashville came about when I was Promo Director of Mercury
Records in the early 60's and became very friendly with our Nashville head of A & R Shelby
“It boggles my mind that Shelby's name and that of Mike Curb, were absent from the many
comments in this week's VJ. They are conspicuous by their absence! Shelby began his career
as promotion man for Mercury Records and in a short time became head of the office -
producing hit after hit….Brook Benton, Ray Stevens, Roger Miller, Leroy Van Dyke &
dozens more. Shelby and I left Mercury in 1966 - he formed SSS Records and Plantation
Records where he had his first hit with Harper Valley PTA - and then the purchase of Sun
Records - which is now guided by John Singleton and doing quite well. The last time I saw
Shelby, I flew to Nashville for his 75th Birthday Party. He died at the age of 77 in 2009
“Mike Curb did some business together when I moved to Hollywood in 1966. I got involved
as music supervisor for a film called The Angry Breed. Mike was my associate on the film
with me and we split the music publishing as well. That was shortly before he became the
Lieutenant Governor of California. We maintained a great friendship through the years....as a
matter of fact whenever I visited Nashville, I would notify is secretary at Curb Records that I'll
be coming to town and Mike would come to my hotel to lunch with me.
“Paul Ackerman was someone I idolized - he always had an open door for me whenever I
needed some advise and suggestions. I loved going to Billboard in those days just hang out
with Paul and my hero, Claude Hall.”
Rollye: “It would be impossible to forget Shelby Singleton, but when I was in Nashville he
was big, big deal and I was nobody. And since we didn’t work in the same building, our paths
rarely crossed. I got to know him later, and feel guilty to this day for not returning his last
phone call. He wanted a tape of the show he did with me years earlier, and I meant to find it,
mail it and call him back. I was still meaning to do it when I heard about his passing. Not
staying in better touch was my loss. I did find the show, by the way, and for fans of all the
wonderful music in which Shelby Singleton was involved, it might be fun to hear. Here it is
Randy West strikes gold with “Undercover Angel”
Randy West: “Hey, sweet Rollye. I'm loving Vox Jox, and thrilled that Claude must be feeling
better, judging by his increased contributions. It was a kick to read former WB Music honcho
Ed Silvers' side of the Alan O'Day ‘Undercover Angel’ story - the first release on Pacific
Records - the unlabeled test pressing I put on the air as a mystery tune until promo legend Bill
Beamish identified it for me. I didn't know Pacific was to be the label exclusively for his
writers, nor that he and Alan went back years. For those who haven't read the 45s' labels in
years, Alan wrote / co-wrote "Angie Baby" and "Rock and Roll Heaven", among others.
“Ed said he loved hearing about the promo guys of the 60s. Amen to that, Rollye. Anybody
have stories about Capitol's New York legend Joe Maimone? Met him at the end of his long
run, and loved the stories of the creative events and gambits he staged.”
Brad Messer: “ It's been fun to read the VoxJox communications from Michael O'Shea and
Ken Dowe about the KLIF glory days, most recently the mention of the late Bill Stewart, who
was national PD in the 1960s when I was news director, and Ken was KLIF PD.
“One terrific thing about Stewart. I was at his home (a big duplex, the idea being that "The
house pays for itself") and remarked on his unique wristwatch: the wristband had one watch in
the normal position on top of the wrist, and a second watch opposite, on the inside the wrist. It
was an attention magnet. You remember it, don't you Ken.
“It was worth some astonishing amount of money. One watch was a LeCoultre, which was so
high-end that I had never heard of the brand. LeCoultres online today range from $10,000 to
more than $20,000. The other was a similarly luxurious brand, Patek Philippe, now online
from $7,500 to the low six figures.
“After we had worked together for McLendon for some time, one day out of the blue, Bill took
the much-admired watch off and held it out to me. "Here, I'm making this a present to you." No
reason given. Just an astonishing outburst of generosity. I don't remember what was said after
that. I may have been speechless.
“I wore that pair of watches for years after Bill and I were both gone from KLIF. They never
lost their power to generate comments from strangers. I'll always be thankful to Bill for that
Kevin McKeown: “New Haven was long famous as the small market where theater
productions tried out for Broadway, New York, and the world. A Facebook posting by Bill
Hennes has reminded us New Haven once served the same role for radio. As WNHC PD, with
GM Burt Sherwood, he put together a stellar team of future major market stars, national PDs,
etc. Listen to the 1970 station presentation, posted by Bill here
. Not bad for a 1000-watt Class
C AM in a city of under 140,000! Make sure you listen to the end for the contest “winner” that
had national advertising reps falling out of their seats.”
Rollye: “If you’re not a Facebook member, you’ll miss some great comments and Bill’s
thoughts, but you can still hear the presentation here
Jeff Vee: “We are launching a show about Dad (and Mom!) next month in a theater in St.Paul,
MN. I’m sure it is not practical for you guys to come here, but I wanted to let you know
anyhow. We are vey excited. Tommy and I collaborated with a great local writer and directer
over the last two plus years. It runs for a month, then we shall see what happens after that. We
feel it is a wonderful tribute to their story and legacy and that has been the main goal! What a
road it has been on top of all else… but we are doing well. Dad is staying strong, but it is very
Rollye: “Good news for “Popsie” fans, Claude Hall has finished ‘Popsie’s’ Great Camping
Adventure’. I was just about to upload and link it when I noticed it was a first draft. As soon as
I get Claude’s permission, you’ll be able to read it here. I’m happy to note that Claude’s
already started on the next installment, ‘Popsie, the Big Movie Star.’”
Rollye: “Don Graham sent Deana Martin’s latest effort “Swing Street”. It’s already getting
rave reviews from pop standards programmers like Saul Levine and Chuck Southcott. What
impressed me was Deana and her production crew’s version of ‘New York State of Mind’,
which first appeared on Billy Joel’s 1976 album, Turnstiles, where the performance was
quintessential Joel— powerful and pensive. Martin’s take replaces Joel’s somber tone with an
uplifting feel, without annihilating its depth. No small accomplishment.”
Mel Phillips: “If our 50th Anniversary Reunion is anything like our 25th, we'll be going some,
but I think we can do it with your help. This week our photos capture that event held on May
Mel Phillips: “Dates to save:
Friday, June 2, 2017: A dinner/party to celebrate our 50th (more details to come)...
Saturday, June 3, 2017: On air reunion (7pm-11pm) on WRKO(AM) & Backbone Network
(streaming) produced by George Capalbo, Jr. with our original lineup and others (lineup TBD).
“If you're staying in Boston, we still have a special "WRKO Reunion" rate ($179 a night) at
Crowne Plaza (Newton). Check-in: Friday (June 2), Check-out Sunday (June 4). Call
617-969-3010 for reservations and ask for "WRKO Reunion" special rate...
See you all on June 2, 2017...”