Vox Jox homepage banner


Archives Index Page

Lesley Gore, left, with WAYS Program Director Jack Gale, Charlotte; and radio personality Long
John Silver, right.  Silver had the rep of being an outstanding personality.  It’s said that he left radio
to own and manage two steak restaurants in the south.


By Claude Hall
and Rollye James
Red Jones, “Carl's Country Classics”: “Thanks for the mention.  Yes, I had a slight stroke and
spent a few days in the hospital but back home now and doing well.  At 84, things like that
sneak up on you.  Great articles on promotion men.  You mentioned 2 of the best, Joe Galkin
and Sam Wallace.  I had thoughts back to Houston days when a charming lady was doing
promotion ... Sunshine Tucker.  Then in Atlanta besides Joe and Sam was Wade Pepper
Classy man. But one of the very first pluggers was Mel Foree when Fred Rose hired him in
1946 to go to the big radio shows to pitch songs from Acuff-Rose.  Mel wrote a few songs
himself, including the standard ‘No One Will Ever Know’.  But his greatest effort was driving
all over the country and stopping at every radio tower and finding the ones running the station. 
For years he was the only one out there.  Was made national promo director for Acuff-Rose and
one of the nicest guys you could meet.  But the promo man who had the golden ear who
discovered songs from the back country and # 1 hits was Shelby Singleton.  His career from
promo to label owner speaks for itself.  Such a shame that the days of the local promo people
are past history.  They were in a class all by themselves.”
Carl Peeples:  ‘”I just opened my email and found the one below from Red Jones sent just
minutes ago.  Thought that I'd share it with you.  Fantastic musical trivia from Red.  Now that's
a really great feature of Carl's Country Classics Radio, i.e., songs that were hits (a requirement)
but are very obscure.  I purely love the thought of bringing a smile to somebody's face with
long forgotten musical memories.  Nothing like a song to evoke great memories!  I'll betcha
that there's a good chance that record by Jimmy Heap is not being played on any other station
in the world!  Also, received the following comments in an email (which is attached) from a
brand new listener … thanks to you and Rollye.”
The attached Timmy Manocheo:  "Just wanted to tell you how great I find your Carl's Country
Classics internet Radio station!  Classic indeed ... it was either Claude Hall or Rollye James
that pointed the way to your website.  Perfect song & artist selection.  I also love those great
images of Carl back on the air in the 50s & 60s.  Any way to get bigger images of those? 
Anyway, keep up the excellent work.”
Red Jones' email to Carl Peeples:  “Sitting here waiting to take my blood pressure with CCC
‘on the air’ and bingo ... ‘Release Me’ by Jimmy Heap and the Melody Masters.  1954.  What
a personal memory ... was in the studios when they cut this -- 1 track on a blank disc on the
turntable that had a cutting head and 1 take. NO TAPE, NO AMPEX BACK THEN.  Then I
had the pleasure of being the first to play it on air.  Big country smash for Ray Price, top 10 in
pop and R&B for various artists ... but it's always nice to be associated with the original.  Ditto
another Jimmy Heap original ... ‘Wild Side of Life’.
Claude Hall:  “Now and then I feel the need to check up on old friends; this is the response of
Kent Burkhart:  ‘Claude.  Could not be better.  Spending lots of time in Florida, Georgia and
Texas (both of our ol' stomping grounds).  I am involved in small market radio ownership in
Texas with some relative and friends.  Small markets are very creative these days which is my
cup of Lone Star Beer!  Gotta' go pack ... heading for the hill country of Texas in hours!  Best
to you.  Keen writing!’  Just FYI, I thought it would be interesting to read what Kent might
have to say about Joe Galkin.  I understand that Joe was somewhat of a character.  Another just
FYI:  I caught Jimmy Heap live circa 1953-6 at Cherry Springs, a dancehall constructed of
two army barracks placed together located a bit south of Fredericksburg, TX.  A four or
five-piece group.  They were connected, and I don’t know precisely how to use that phrase
with such hits as ‘Rag Mop’ and ‘Rollie Pollie’, ‘Release Me’ and ‘Wild Side of Life’, but I was
only aware of the first two tunes and I was listening to Johnnie Lee Wills quite a lot, who
performed live on KVOO from Cane’s Academy, Tulsa, twice a week.   Surely you recall the
lyrics:  ‘R a g g, M o p p, rag mop, rag mop?’  Or ‘Rollie Pollie … I’ll bet he’s going to be a
man someday?’  More FYI:  You had to get a couple of bottles of Lone Star Beer under your
belt before you could dance to Heap’s music.  I don’t know much about the record ‘Release
Me’, but the band left a little to be desired when live.  Of course, I’m going back to the early
50s and my memory is a bit shaky sometimes … maybe founded somewhat on a bottle of
tequila.  Heap played a dancehall route that extended from around Houston and Corpus Christi
up to Lubbock.  And history presents him greatly fame via the Internet than my memory.”  
Mel Phillips:  “Claude and Rollye, my head exploded three or four times reading the names of
all the promotion people mentioned in the last Vox Jox.  I knew them all and at one time or
another elicited either love or hate from them.  For an example of the latter check with Sal
Ingeme.  And bravo to Rollye for mentioning Henry Stone and Milt Oshins who I had the
pleasure of knowing when I worked at dinky WKKO in Cocoa, Florida.  I met them in
Hialeah(Tone) when making that long trip to see my friend Steve Alaimo perform with the
Red Caps in Miami.  And that's a long time ago.  As much as I enjoy reminiscing, I am with
Bill Parcells who was credited with the line ‘The only important history is the history you're
making today’.  Speaking of that, thank you Don Graham who is still promoting product 105
years after he began his career. Don sends items about today's radio which is more than fitting
because my weekly posts are about that very subject (he emailed me a story today).  I'm also
on Don's mailing list for new product which I appreciate.  And Don I want you to be the first to
know that Matt Forbes is number one on my CD player.  We're getting heavy response in the
highly coveted female, forty-ish demographic.  My nomination for Promotion Executive of the
Century: Don Graham.”
Danny Davis to Don Graham:  “Gramcracker … for the longest while, while I still believed I
held sway as the most indigenous promo gent EVER … along came you, and my balloon
opened just a hair!  Of course you is da’ man and my inner feelings cry out for all those ‘tabs’
you now rush to bank!  This my way of exploiting the thanks and friendship with which I look
upon your endeavors, daily, and the action that obviously accrues from the likes of Shlomo
Versilli Dward Farquard and Noony Pasqualess and the other non-talents you’ve embraced
and taken to your ‘play land’!  Thanks to a great friend!  I want a few moments to adequately
bum rap the joint I was in … when Marie allows me to return to my days of federal service!
And, if I may … I am miffed over the non-invite to the days of Orlando and guest shots!  I
would have been dais-bound!  Try this!  I’m at the 2nd crap table, in the Riviera … kicking the
shift boss in the ass … to say nuttin’ about the house I’m looking’ to nail … when The Captain
(minus Tenille) walks by!  The Captain, as you well know, strong and personable, and a laff a
minute … ops to have me give lessons on the game!  I got a crowd … I got a crowd … I also
got The Captain on the floor, hysterical … and if I only could parlay the feeling to the
numbers?  What a score I could walk with?  I’m really cooking!  Along saunters Tony
Orlando … caught with my humorous patter … and burdens me with more herculean material
… and calls out ‘Danny, if you can get him to laugh like that, you can open for me!’  And, of
course, schooled as the ‘heavyweight usta’ be … The Captain stopped short … ends all laffs
and snorts and sends me back to that sweet lady in the cashier’s booth.”
Claude Hall:  “So help me, this plastic calling card of Irwin Zucker was laying on the living
room floor.  How it got there, I do now know.  Irwin was an indie in the years of yore.  Then he
shifted into mostly promoting books and even published a tipsheet called Know Thy Shelf. 
Had a beautiful set of twin daughters that wrote a book when they were still teens which daddy
promoted, of course … some four decades ago by now.”
Gerry Fry:  “I have just completed sorting through the wonderful pictures taken by our
volunteer photographers, Don Graham and Don King, at Monday’s Tony Orlando celebrity
luncheon.  There are many excellent shots from that event, but I am limited to just 11 pictures
that I can put on our website, and they are now available there.  Just go to the Home page and
follow the instructions in the second paragraph.  I greatly appreciate the contributions of each
Don and thank them for their time and talents.  I know that many of you would like to see the
other pictures they took and perhaps download those of particular interest to you.  Just follow
the links I’m giving you below.  All of Don King’s pictures are available for downloading on
Photobucket here.
All of Don Graham’s pictures are available for downloading on Photobucket here
Danny Davis to Morris Diamond:  “Moishe … I thought I had one of the great stories, ever,
when the lil’ black kid whispered to me and the shixa my mom wuden’t want me to marry …
asked us, in the corner of the Latin Casino, ‘whayydya think about me marryin’ Kim Novak?’
 The flush went down smoothly … not so the talk for days after!  I’ve held that tale for well
over 58 years!  But now the Desert Sun wants to leave nuttin aside … and does it with
pictures!  I loved you in uniform!  I loved you with HIM! (Frank Sinatra).  I can’t write how
much your resume is now worth, but you gotta’ get the message out!  Congratulations!  You
surely are in the BIG DRAWER … in the BIG BRUCE FESSIER office, now that Bruce is
surely go to the ‘book route’!  Again … all the best!”                                                                   
Claude Hall:  “I thanked Johnny Holliday for his article and asked about photos.  I’m always
interested in old photos, especially when they feature someone in radio with someone in the
music side of the business.”

Johnny Holliday:  “Anything for you my friend … I have plenty of photos and any of them are
yours for the asking.  1010 WINS is having a 50th anniversary celebration the evening of
November 2nd … and they've invited Joel Chaseman and I to come up to NY and be part of
the festivities. I'm gonna do my best to do just that and so is Joel. Stay well.  You were … and
still are … the best!”
Claude Hall:  “Great to hear from you, Johnny.  Great to hear from any of you!  Writers write. 
My beautiful wife of more than half a century can write.  She has a master’s from Columbia. 
Studied under Howard Teichmann, who wrote the Broadway hit (and movie) ‘The Solid Gold
Cadillac’ with George S. Kaufman.  However, Barbara doesn’t write.  Myself?  I wrote my
first poem and novel at age 9.  I’ve been writing since.  Millions of words.  Currently, I’m
writing/editing this weekly column called Vox Jox (previously titled Commentary) and a
novel-in-progress titled ‘George and Me’.  And thinking about a ‘study’ comparing and not
comparing Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan; Leigh Brackett, who wrote
everything from pulp stories to movie scripts including a couple of westerns for John Wayne;
Max Brand, mostly a writer of westerns including one novel made into at least six films; and
H. Rider Haggard, author of ‘She’ and a series featuring Allan Quatermain.  I may never
finish this study, though I’m approaching a point where I might actually write it … that is I
have the data in hand and have read enough of the authors’ works.  I have read some 170 books
written by Max Brand, alias Frederick Faust.  I find certain things – facets, if you will – that
are intriguing.  For example, the use of the phrase ‘kootooing’ by Haggard somewhere about
44 percent of the way in the book ‘She’.  In Texas, we used the phrase ‘kowtowing’.  The
meaning appears to be exactly the same.  Give up or giving up.  From an overall viewpoint,
Burroughs and Haggard are basically writing traveloges.  Oh, Quatermain will pick up a fancy
-- probably custom-made -- rifle and kill some beast now and then while Burroughs’ legendary
Tarzan will likely kill that same beast or one similar with his father’s knife or his teeth, but
usually the action is done between one place and another.  Tarzan is always having to rescue
Jane or Jack, his son (he was Boy in the movies and Jack in the book), but this is often en route
here to there.
“Regardless, I’m enjoying the ‘trip’ thus far and if the ‘study’ never gets written, well there are
other things to occupy my time.
“For example, I’ve known Bill Pearson since the late 40s.  My first short story was published
in Sata, a magazine edited and published by Bill.  So, it’s with a sense of honor that I mention
he’s published another book called ‘Last of the Wolfdragons’ with Xlibris.com and available
from Amazon.com in print and eBook.  Bill writes that it the first by ‘Silver Age comic book
writer Bill Pearson since his run on Flash Gordon comics decades ago’.  The book is available
in soft and hardcover and for laptop, iPad, and Kindle.  You can download it directly onto your
computer.  Bill has done several covers of my own novels also available from
Amazon.com/Kindle Books.  Needless to say, I’m very biased and heartily recommend any
book that Bill writes.  He has the damnest sense of whimsy I’ve ever seen when it comes to

This cover of Fred’s Radio  Directory, autographed by various employees, was sent to me in 2014 by
Woody Roberts, veteran Top 40 program director and later manager of KTSA, San Antonio.

Rollye:   Ask and I shall receive.  Turns out Hamp Swain is already in the Georgia Radio Hall

John Long:  Hamp  "King Bee" Swain and the other two Three Horsemen were honored 
with the Ga Radio Hall of Fame Founders and Directors Award in 2012.  Hamp and Ray
"Satellite Papa" Brown were the only two living. Sadly, Brown  passed away recently.

Rollye:  It was also nice to see WIBB owner Tom Maxwell recognized last year.  Thanks John.
   Heard from another John, John Rook, who read our plea for pics and assured me he had
many.  Here's a couple from the big bash when John was leaving WLS for Los Angeles in 1970:

L-R: Eddie Roseblatt, Vic Faraci, Mort Hoffman, Rick Blackburn

Left:  Mort Hoffman,  Right: Tony Martell.

Rollye:  John says the man in the middle is Shel, but he can't remember his last name.  Maybe
you can?

John L. Hawkins:  “Hi Claude and Rollye,   I'm loving the revitalized Vox Jox (where I was
mentioned a bit way back in the BB days).  I'm inspired to write by this statement by Claude:
"Chuck Blore and a few others considered Don McKinnon as the best they ever heard." 
YES! As a kid listener I was a fan of his energy, intelligence and quips, never met Don
McKinnon, but ended up as PD at one of his stations and have two sad stories about him to

“In 1971, I joined Metromedia's KNEW San Francisco, which had stumbled since Metromedia
bought KEWB then foolishly discarded its history and call sign. As PD my solution was to
bring back a 70's version of the KEWB pace, personality, and style invented by Chuck Blore.
I called it  "Channel 91", and convinced GM Ken Gaines to buy new jingles using the original
KFWB melody that had spread to KEWB (and beyond), paying composers Bob Sande and
Larry Greene for it.

“It wasn't hard to get some KNEW staffers on board, because they were KEWB veterans,
including tech Carl Dahlstrom who was board op for Gary Owens (who called him Carl
Caterpillar on the air), and Jim Tharp who ran the board for Casey Kasem (and was a
weekend DJ). We had a strong news team including Barney Lee from KEWB, and "so now
you know" news director Gil Haar, who had been DJ Art Way on San Francisco's pioneer
Top 40 KOBY. DJ Tom Campbell came from KYA via KLOK. But most direct were amazing
former KEWB air talents (and themselves former PDs) Ron Lyons and Ron Reynolds, and we
added Hal Pickens from KFWB. (Ron Reynolds' pipes were perfect to recreate KEWB
drop-ins such as "Channel 91, that's easy to remember".)

“I wasn't doing explicit nostalgia, but listeners quickly realized KEWB was back: new call sign
but same Channel 91 name, familiar jingles, and bright funny personalities. We convinced the
ratings services that any mysterious KEWB diary entries should be counted as KNEW. The
style and pace were essentially Personality Top 40, the music was loosely Adult Contemporary,
lots of classic "greatest hits" oldies and plenty of compatible new music including breaking
hits such as Garden Party (Rick Nelson called to thank me). I believed (still do) that recording
vintage doesn't matter, no need for nostalgic references, just play the music people love. (These
days I play keyboard in a band and that's how we choose what to perform.)

“While the presentation was contemporary, I wanted listeners who loved KEWB to confirm the
connection, so once a week I did a "remember when" playing of a KEWB aircheck. They were
hard to come by; Metromedia had dumped everything KEWB-related when it moved to a
massive new facility across the parking lot (I had to rebuild the record library from almost
zero). I got a terrific off-the-board aircheck from Gary Owens, and listeners brought in
off-the-air recordings.

“One aircheck was amazing: Casey Kasem was a screamer on KEWB, rapid-fire patter
punctuated by constant wild tracks. His board op Jim Tharp said each show was scripted by
Casey, and run from as many as seven turntables. I called Casey for permission, given his
current mellow image (KNEW was among the first stations to play American Top 40). Casey
was thrilled, and asked me to send him a dub -- he didn't have any recordings from those days.

“One of the listener-supplied KEWB airchecks was of Don McKinnon. It wasn't especially
long, but wow, he was good. As the aircheck ended, the studio's public phone number rang (er,
flashed). It was a sobbing young woman who said she was Don McKinnon's daughter! She had
been too young to remember her father on the air, had no recordings. She was a KNEW
listener, and suddenly, she heard her late dad on her radio. We talked for a while, I got
misty-eyed too, and later I gave her a dub.

“Then DJ Hal Pickens wandered in with a story. Hal worked with Don McKinnon at KFWB
(his gig after KEWB). Hal and Don were pals. As I recall the story, they were at a Malibu
party. McKinnon disappeared on his drive home through Santa Monica Mountains. Hal was
among the searchers who found the wreck.

“I still get chills recalling my enjoyment of Don McKinnon on KEWB (and on KFWB when I
was in L.A.) therefore my thrill of entering his professional world at KNEW, my sad but
pleasing experience with Don's daughter, and Hal Pickens' story of Don's demise. (Hal has also

“PS: I owe enormous thanks (and probably apologies) to Chuck Blore for the amazing KEWB
style and substance that gave me so much entertainment, inspiration and motivation.”

Rollye:  John eventually left radio for print, focusing on the tech industry.  I'm sure he has his
share of Bill Gates stories from every stage of the billionaire's career, but his explanation about
his return to radio is what made me laugh.

John L. Hawkins:   “I was tapped in year 2000 to be co-host/guest expert on several episodes of
"The Next Wave with Leonard Nimoy" on CNBC TV. I'd sit next to Leonard, he'd read a
complex statement from the teleprompter, then turn to me with "John, explain that". The
prompter would go blank except for "HAWKINS RESPONDS". Gulp!”

Roger Carroll:  “Always enjoy your weekly posts.  You mentioned Don McKinnon. I was a 
staff announcer at ABC doing a three hour network record show replacing Paul Whiteman
(yes the famous Paul Whitman).   I was very upset. I was assigned to TV most of the  time.  I
told my boss 'I played records at WFMD when I was 15 years old.  I do not play records
anymore.  Get you ass over to radio and play those records.'   But it was the best thing that
happened in my career.  ABC started to sell 1/4 hours and I was making big time network
talent fees, so I became a DJ.   Your mention of Don McKinnon-- I replaced Don when he left
KABC for KFWB.  I was taken off ABC net, and given a personal service contract I became a
LosAngels DJ.   My luck continued.  I was offered a dj gig at one of best radio stations in the
country, KMPC.   The plan, taking away an hour from Ira Cook and hour from Johnny
Grant, would give me 1-3pm.   I was offered the job in April 1959,  my contract at ABC ended
in Nov 1959.   I joined KMPC on Nov 17, 1959. Bill Stewart left KMPC 6-9pm.  I replaced
Bill three months later with a new contract for 1-3pm and 6-9pm.   The two timer for a year
lasted 12 years when I said no more 1-3p.  I wanted to spend time with our five children.  After
saying I would quit,  I was replaced 1-3p by Jim Lange from our sister station KSFO.  I was at
the right place at the right time. KMPC encouraged me to free lance TV.    Left KMPC as a
Vice President Gene Autry's Golden West Broadcasters went in business for myself I was very
fortunate had a great career.

Rollye:  Claude’s earlier mention of Irwin Zucker brought so many thoughts.  I still have a ton
of 45s with his “Promotion In Motion” stickers on them.  But the contact we had in those days
pales by the onslaught I encountered when I switched to talk radio. By then, as Claude noted,
Irwin was immersed in books.  When I was on KOA in Denver in the ‘80s, I made a deal with
him. I’d book one of his so-called authors, if he would find Brenton Wood for me.  Brenton
had been one of his Double Shot Records artists and my personal tastes caused me to prefer
discussing “Catch You On The Rebound” over whatever his writers were selling.  I figured I’d
never hear from him again, but to my surprise he called within a week with Brenton’s phone
number, who was gracious enough to spend over an hour with me on the air.  Irwin got off
easy. I was going to ask for Maurice Rodgers. (If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Mo played
organ on “Gimme Little Sign” and had a wonderful but obscure Double Shot single in 1969
with “Coming In Out Of The Rain.” )