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Bruce Miller Earle reading Claude Hall’s “Popsie & McCloud” to his grandkids
by Rollye James
Bruce Miller Earle: “It is a good weekend here at Casa Earle-Alderete as my daughter Sophia
and her family is in from Dallas. This morning I had the opportunity to read installment one of
Popsie and McCloud to my grandsons Alejandro 8 and Aaron 3. Aaron understands more
Spanish than English and knows dogs as perritos pequeño or el wow wow and cats as gatos.
So, I explained that Popsie was the wow wow and McCloud was the gato. With that all clear
and with Reyna, our matriarch dachshund, in my lap story time began.
“Obviously Alejandro being the older of the boys pretty much understood the words, but I was
happy when he did not know a word he would stop me and ask what it meant. Then after about
the fourth mention of McCloud, Aaron stopped me and said "El gato". At that point I continued
in knowing I had an attentive audience. At the end of the story Alejandro told me that he liked
the story very much.
“Knowing the attention span of 3 year olds is not very long I was surprised that the baby had
hung in through the majority of the story. With that his mother said he was probably tired and
ready for a nap. All I knew was from time to time upon hearing the name McCloud he would
again say "El wow wow".
“For me vocalizing the read out loud was good for my head. It brought back fond memories of
when Jay Blackburn and I had opportunities to visit with you and Barbara at your home. I
remember Casa Hall being very comfortable. And you guys always were gracious and very
much made us feel at home. Good memories for sure, Claude.
“I’m just now at 65 beginning to read books for pleasure. This after years where one stood a
better chance of finding me reading the latest edition of Better Homes and Transmitters than
something more of a relaxing diversion or an escape. I have never excelled with the written
word, but always have marveled at your talent and word smithing abilities. Of course I enjoy
reading anything you have written chronicling our industry. However, I hope you will consider
writing books geared to the kids and the younger set. I know that my grandson Alejandro for
sure would be up for hearing another Popsie and McCloud adventure. You take care my friend
and please pass my best regards to Barbara and the family.”
Claude Hall: “But isn't this [picture above] absolutely cute! BME goes back to early Top 40
days and even worked for a while at legendary KLIF in Dallas under the great Top 40 god
Gordon McLendon. He has been a personal friend of mine since the mid-60s. I used to think
of BME and his buddy Jay Blackburn as my personal and private "entertainment committee."
They were wild and spontaneous and fun plus! Bruce turned on (a test) the million-watt Hunt
station in, I think, Costa Rica ... blew a couple of U.S. stations off the air! I've written saga
poems about three or four people, including BME, George Wilson, and Chuck Blore. The
pity is that I've lost the one about BME and his below the Rio Grande activities ... but he's one
hell of a radio man. His reading my Popsie story to his grand kids is an honor that I deeply
Joey Reynolds: “Now radio will be made in China. Our congress is working for themselves.”
Rollye: “Joey sent along a link to one of Jerry Del Colliano’s recent pieces in
unanimously proposed a few somewhat unusual things— that the controlling company of a
licensee could be 100% foreign owned (with some national security vetting), that
non-controlling company foreign ownership could be up to 49.99% (without vetting by anyone
including the FCC)— among them. Now, it looks like congress will give their approval, and in
the article Joey read, Jerry raises some interesting points. (You can read it for yourself if
you’re a subscriber— annual subscriptions are just $99 and it’s money well-spent— you can
read news stories online for free on multiple sites, but when you want the story behind a radio
broadcasters have done, maybe foreigners would do better. They might even understand why
destroying local radio is not a plus.
“Even so, the thought of foreign ownership is unsettling— not only to Joey, but think of Jack
Kent Cooke’s reaction if he were alive to read it. (If you don’t recall, when KRLA lost its
license in the early ‘60s, it was not due to fraudulent contesting, as many believe. In the FCC
investigation of KRLA's owner, Donald Cooke, it was determined that Donald's Canadian
brother, Jack Kent Cooke was the controlling party. End of license.)… Speaking of radio
WOR commemorative album
Burt Sherwood’s friend Bill (in an email Burt forwarded to Claude Hall): “This is quite a two
album set that I bought from an east side vendor on 86th st. Paid $40 for it. Was I ripped off?
Hopefully not because I've never seen this album before, released in 1987. It even includes
some clips from ABC Radio News. For a time WOR was an ABC affiliate so there are clips
from Bob Walker on the Challenger disaster and Bob Schmidt on a speech by President
“I also included in this email photos of the album cover and production team which includes
then WOR News Director Bernie Gershon who later went to WCBS and ABC where I worked
with Bernie. Terrific album cover. I haven't started listening but inside the album is a complete
listing of all the tracks with early clips going back to the very early days of WOR's birth in
WOR album credits
“Another legendary NYC radio station WNEW released a book about its history on the
station's 50th anniversary, 1934-1984, called "Where the Melody Lingers On." WNEW also
deserved an album like this. Fortunately there is a wonderful tribute website,
which includes a fabulous history of the station recently written by
WNEW alum Edward Brown,vthe site's webmaster. If you haven't seen it, I urge you to take
Rollye: “Burt Sherwood is in Florida, as is Ed Silvers and several Vox Jox readers facing
Hurricane Matthew last week. Claude Hall reached out to some of them.”
Burt Sherwood: “You are most thoughtful we appear to be not in the eye of hurricane
Matthew. But we are being careful. Trying to get our kids out of the Central part of Florida.
They do not want to come. Our worries will continue. I went to a Brazilian place once. It was
great. I too over ate. Hope you are OK.”.
Ed Silvers: “All is well here-----house is covered with hurricane panels, and my boats are safe!
We are always prepared for the storms.”
Rollye: “But was radio prepared? I lived in Miami for Donna, Cleo & Betsy (1960, ’64 &
’65) and my stand out memories are of local radio. Those three storms were largely overnight
events and entire radio staffs were on the air (with the guys drawing the short straws, in the
streets). Radio stations were simultaneously a source of news, comfort and entertainment,
getting listeners through the night on every level.
“I’d love to hear how radio handled it last week. I’d bet Jim Davis’ Daytona Beach station was
on top of its game. Send me an email— email@example.com
with your observations… or
anything else on your mind. Claude Hall paid me a huge but totally undeserved compliment
about this column. Undeserved because all I do is organize the items you submit. I wish I had
time to do much more, but the bright side is that with your help, it isn't necessary. It is you,
who contribute, who are the sole factor behind the result each week. I pass Claude's
compliments on to you with my gratitude and hope that you'll keep those thoughts coming.”
Claude Hall: “Robby seems to be doing fairly well as a rockabilly ... evidence that this
particular kind of music is still a winner even unto all of these days. I suppose I yet fancy that
stuff myself to some extent. Now and then, I just hsve to listen to "The Prisoner's Song" on
this laptop. There's something fascinating about those music days. I will never forget hearing
Elvis on his first stint on the "Louisiana Hayride" over KWKH, Shreveport, LA. Lord, but it
was exciting. Johnny Cash, too, his first appearance. I think it was Horace Logan who gave
forth with that old corny gag about Elvis buying a new Cadillac because his old car was
pointed the wrong direction.”
Robby Vee (with the rock-n-roll caravan): “Hello Everyone! Look for “Rock The Vote” with
Senator Dan Sparks in October…Dusty’s Austin MN Oct 15, 6:30pm! Keep it rockin’ on and
A sweet treat at The Late Joey Reynolds Show on 77 WABC. Axel Jay and a delicious assortment
of irresistible edible personalized Belgian chocolate gifts by Plainview Chocolate Works.
Joey Reynolds: “Thank you Claude and Rollye for all of the positive support. I want to send
you the best chocolates, where do you want them sent? I have a sponsor, they made a sucker
out of me. I challenge anybody to lick me.”
Rollye: “Joey was also on hand at a recent radio get together. It was the "third annual music
industry reunion". Third annual? For most us, that would be a 63rd annual-- if someone could
manage to get us together. Joey discovered that Claude Hall and I may be long gone, but
Billboard lives on..”
Rollye: “As for reunions more geared toward our crowd, here's one about one of the few
stations on which Joey Reynolds was not heard. Then again, who knows, maybe he was.”
Mel Phillips: “A contract has just been signed with the Crowne Plaza (Newton) for the use of
their Charles Ballroom for our 50th Anniversary Dinner Party, 6pm Friday, June 2, 2017.
Happy news for those of you staying at CP who will be able to take the elevator to dinner.
Invitations containing all the details will be emailed in the spring. All the dates you need to
know follow this review of events leading up to our launch in 1967.
“I also spoke to the legendary Arnie Ginsburg, our original 6-9pm guy. Arnie, now 90, vows
to make it to the reunion and hopes to do at least part of an on-air shift on June 3, 2017. And
two other items to note: Jordan Rich (ex WRKO, ex WBZ) will be emceeing our dinner and
Art Vuolo will video tape the reunion, a copy of which will go into the National Radio Hall Of
Fame in Chicago...
“In January, the first Human Be-In was celebrated in San Francisco. The Boston Strangler,
Albert de Salvo was sentenced to life in prison in Boston. The first Super Bowl (known as the
AFL-NFL World Championship Game) went to the Green Bay Packers who beat the Kansas
City Chiefs 35-10. The Doors debuted with their first album, and a test fire on Apollo 1 takes
the lives of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee...
Artist Michael Bowen's DeSalvo taken into custody
iconic Be-In poster
Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee
“On Monday, March 13 of 1967 WRKO launched with this on-air staff:
Al Gates & Feathers John Rode Joel Cash
(with Palmer Payne & Curt Gowdy)
J.J. Jeffrey Chuck Knapp Arnie Ginsburg Dick Burch
“Friday, June 2, 2017: Reunion Dinner Party in the Crowne Plaza (Newton) Charles Ballroom
starting at 6pm. Jordan Rich (ex WRKO, WBZ) will be doing his famous walk-a-around
(with mic in hand) at the dinner. Parking fees will be waived for this event with front desk
validation. Email invitations will go out in the spring...
“Saturday, June 3, 2017 7pm-11pm: Live on WRKO & Backbone Network streaming
(produced by George Capalbo Jr.) featuring a lineup of the original air staff (including Al
Gates, Joel Cash, J.J. Jeffrey, Chuck Knapp, Arnie Ginsburg) and other WRKO Radio
stars (all TBD). Jordan Rich (ex. WRKO, WBZ) will be emceeing, doing his famous
“Reservations: Crowne Plaza (Newton) Check-in Friday (June 2) Checkout (June 4) Call the
hotel at 617-969-3010. Ask for special "WRKO Reunion" rate of $159 per night (tax not
included). You'll pay about $175 after tax and no car. Thanks to Joel Cash I checked with the
hotel and parking is handled by a separate company which charges $28 per night on top of the
$159 plus taxes. For that reason, I would suggest using a cab or car service getting to the hotel
and while staying there... See you all in less than 8 months”
Rollye: “Mel dropped me a line thanking me for the weekly coverage on what will be a great
event. Are you kidding me, Mel? Thank you for submitting the info and graphics. I'm hoping
others will follow your lead and plan reunions of their own. I promise to promote every one of