Vox Jox homepage banner


Archives Index Page


By Claude Hall
and Rollye James

The most beautiful radio station I ever saw was WSB, Atlanta.  I remember mahogany and
class, I remember feeling like a very important person just to walk in those front doors, I
remember a winding staircase.  I visited quite a few radio stations over the years, including
WNEW-AM which reeked of money (maybe because I was sitting next to William B.
Williams as he did his radio show) and I once guested on a radio station in Carlsbad, NM,
located in a furniture store.  The almost legendary Jim (J. Paul Emerson) Coleman invited
me.  The “booth” was located in a side room with a nice table and chairs, the price tags still
danging from them.  Strangely enough, it was comfortable.  J. Paul was, as often with him,
between jobs and welcome there as an employee, but the wages were trivial and he was never
around Carlsbad, where my parents lived, very long.  

The worse radio station in America, I never saw.  George Burns, a program consultant who
paid some dues under WQXI general manager Kent Burkhart in Atlanta, told me of a radio
station in either New Jersey or Pennsylvania located in a toilet.  The toilet was in the center of
the studio.  Barbara and I were fairly close to George and wife Judy in those days and while he
once “invented” phone callers to some radio show in his career, I think he told me the truth.  In
any case, one evening I was working late at the Billboard in Manhattan and I received a phone
call from a disc jockey doing a show from a shack amidst farmlands in Pennsylvania and it
was about 10 degrees in the shack.  I told him to call the manager and tell them I said to get an
electric stove in there fast or you were walking out.  He called back a while later and he said an
electric heater had been installed.
When KLAC and KMET-FM, owned by Metromedia, moved from near the La Brea Tar Pits in
Los Angeles to the area in Hollywood where the television station was located, Bill Ward,
general manager of KLAC, and L. David Moorhead, general manager of KMET-FM, were
allowed to design their own radio stations.  I remember the hallway featuring three posters. 
The poster featuring a Zeppelin and time schedules for the route from Berlin to Rio was worth
$60,000.  I wonder if it is still there.  They posters were from Metromedia owner John Kluge’s
personal art collection.  I was told there were only three copies of the Zeppelin poster in the
world, one in a museum in New York City. 

When I visited a radio station in Canberra, Australia, we were running late, so they held up the
plane at the airport and rushed me through security like some important dignitary.
At Radio Globo in Rio de Janiero, there was an audience in a packed auditorium, and the radio
personality introduced artists who came on stage and sang live to band tracks from their
Brazil had record stores named Cash Box.  I believe I also spotted one named Billboard, but I
can’t be sure.  Both would have been in Sao Paulo.
Jim Gabbert, a pathblazer in quad radio, once took over an historic bank building in San
Francisco and installed K101-FM there; it was probably the classiest radio station in the city at
the time.  One of the students of the late Bill Randle and myself discovered a huge collection
of old 33 rpm records when a wall was torn down in a radio station in Enid, OK.  They had
been sealed in the wall.  While working at Gordon McLendon’s radio station in Dallas doing
the night shift, Bruce Miller Earle used to bring his own equipment and wire it in.  After his
show, according to the late Larry Shannon, BME would unhook his equipment and take it
home with him.  From live dramas and ETs to 45 rpms and CDs, radio has enjoyed some
strange times and places.


Jeff Wolf, left, on-air personality at KWXY in Palm Springs; recording artist Matt
Forbes, and Morris Diamond, president of Beverly Hills Records and author of “The
Name Dropper.”  Forbes was a guest at the Showbiz Lunch Bunch gathering in Palm
Desert, CA, Oct. 1.  (Photo by Charlie Barrett, The Barrett Company)
Doc Wendell: “I'm saddened by the passing of the great Phil Woods.  He had grit, which I can
identify with.  Here's my appreciation piece on the man and his music.

This may be my best written record recommendation piece yet. The savage and brutal poet
still runs strong!”

Ken Dowe to Claude Hall:  “Dottie & I just drove up to Taos from Santa Fe, listening to my
favorite Tom Russell songs, shuffled on my iPhone.  Tom needs to hurry home for another
SAF live appearance. Tom is HUGE.  What a great talent.  His new CD is my favorite in
decades.  You made the greatest discovery since the Gold Rush, Claude!”
Claude Hall to Ken Dowe:  “Hey, I also ‘discovered’ Elvis.  It’s just that the only person I had
around to tell was Red Jones.  I’ve just heard ‘Black Rose of Texas’ by Dave Alvin.  Whew! 
Great!  But not as great as ‘Johnny  Ace Is Dead’ by Dave.  The Ace song really happened.  It’s
mentioned in ‘Burn, Baby, Burn’, the book by the Magnificent Montague.  Mentions Don
Robey.  Hits you in the gut.  My compliments to Dave, who is a buddy of Tom Russell and
mentioned to me once that Russell had played a major influence in his songwriting.”

Ken Dowe
Ken Dowe to Tom Russell:  “Saw your post in Claude's column on Monday about the Belfast
sellout performance.  I bet you ‘kill’ in the UK.  Better be careful with those great Irish songs
around the Ulster lads.  They'll be painting the town with graffiti again. ‘They're not bad kids ...
when they're sober’.  Still not weary of the ‘ROSE OF ROSCRAE’.  I'm burning out my iPhone
with repeat listens.  Been in Santa Fe a few weeks.  Probably leaving about the time you
return.  Maybe see you in Dec.-Jan. ... if you're back home by then.  (Ken, aka known as the
21st Century)  ‘Johnny Behind the Deuce
Tom Russell:  “Hello from North Wales!”

Claude Hall:  “My son John, Esq., found this review of a Tom Russell show.”

Dr. Bruce Nelson Stratton:  “WOW !!! Vox Jox sign me up!”
CMA of Texas Hall of Fame
Country Radio Hall of Fame
Texas Radio Hall of Fame

Rollye:  No sign up necessary, Bruce.  Just check VoxJox.org every Monday morning and
you'll read it all. If you miss anything, use the archives link to your right.
Red Jones, George Radio Hall of Fame, to myself and his buddy Carl Peeples who has “Carl’s
Country Classics”: “Thanks for the nice words.  Claude, thanks for the nice words and the
entire column each week.  With radio in general going weaker with all the new technology and
with so many folks passing away, reading your work keeps us informed ... especially for us old
farts who are still around.  Many thanks.”
Carl Peeples to a bunch:  “Something else from this week's radio column by Claude Hall
Red Jones is a great friend of mine and we see each other often (a lot when he's recording the
voicetracking for Carl’s Country Classics Radio).  Red, a member of the Georgia Radio Hall of
Fame, has had an extremely memorable radio career and it all started in the great state of
Texas.  Yeah, he's one!  Anyway, a little nostalgia relating to the early days of Elvis' Sun
Record career that I thought that you might enjoy.  Again, the GREAT Red Jones does all the
voicetracking for a fantastic American Classic Country Music Internet radio station, Carl's
CountryClassics!  Click on Carl's Gold and follow instructions.  Especially, if you love real
Country Music … now, I mean the REAL thing!”
John Long, president of Georgia Radio Hall of Fame:  “I am sad to report that only weeks after
losing Sam Hale, his wonderful wife Carolyn passed away.  She had been diagnosed with
cancer only months ago while Sam was still alive.  She was a beautiful lady and those of us
who knew her, now, miss both of them.” [Georgia Radio Hall of Fame's Facebook page.]
Claude Hall:  “Sam Hale was a very nice human being.  I wrote about him and his wife in the
novel ‘I Love Radio’.  Haven’t heard from Dick Summer in a while.  Hope he and wife are
Rollye:  I was online searching for something close to nothing when, to my surprise, I stumbled
upon the Billboard issue (August 12, 1972) containing the Chuck Dunaway/WIXY
Appreciation Day picture we ran two weeks ago (in the September 21st column).  It was a kick
to see, and of course, when I noticed the last part of a multi-part George Wilson interview
done by Claude Hall on the same page, I had to stop what I was doing and read it— which led
to reading the rest of the radio section, and then the whole magazine.  So I tell you this with a
warning that it will eat up a lot of your time, but Google has many of the past Billboard issues
online, dating back to 1940.  I say “many” because they’re not all there, but enough of them
are to keep you occupied for hours.

Rollye: On the subject of reading and memories, many thanks to Mel Phillips for sending a
copy of Timeline Memories.  It's a nice compendium of over 1,000 headlines, organized by
date. There's something for every day of the year, including leap years.  Until now the only
thing I recalled about February 29th is I think it's Chuck Buell's birthday, but that might not
even be right. Now I know it's the date Sparky Anderson made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame
(2000), the day Monkee Davy Jones died (2012)  and the day Hattie McDaniel became the
first African American to win an Academy Award (1940). It also recognizes the start of North
Korea's 2012 'we'll stop for food' program, whereby the communist country ceased nuclear
testing in exchange for groceries. (Mel puts it more appropriately.)  As I'm typing this, it's
October 4th and lo and behold-- it's the date of the first beaver sighting!  Leave It To Beaver,
that is, which debuted on October 4, 1957 and ran for six years on CBS.  If you're still on the
air, Timeline Memories is great for show prep but if not, it's simply an addicting trounce down
memory lane.  I’m having fun with it, and you can too. There’s a link to your right.

Don Graham:  “We always look forward to “Reynolds-Rap” …Joey’s perceptive talent is truly
a gift!”

Timmy Manocheo:  Hi, Rollye, somehow I haven’t been getting emails from you.  Please make
sure I’m still included!!”

Rollye:  None to worry Timmy— no one else is getting those emails either.  I suspended
sending them after a dozen or more people on the list had email programs that sent auto-spam
reports each time they received our notices.  I’ll bring them back when I have time to redesign
the way they’re going out.  I don’t know that I’ll solve it, but the silver lining is that everything
I’ve learned to do online has come from doing something wrong, so I won’t stop trying.  In the
meantime, just remember to check VoxJox.org each Monday morning and you won’t miss a
thing.  Thanks for all your contributions.   And to those of you who haven’t yet let me know
what’s on your mind, a gentle reminder that the column (at least my part of it) is only as
interesting as you are.  So let me hear from you at info@voxjox.org.  Words, pictures,
graphics, audio, video, whatever, send them, we’ll publish them.  Thank you!

picture of Jeff Wolf, Matt Forbes and Morris Diamond
picture of Ken Dowe