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Two fishes a la Bill Pearson.  This artwork was previously used in the collection of short
stories about radio titled “Radio Wars” now available at Amazon.com/Kindle Books.
By Claude Hall
and Rollye James
Claude: Have you ever been afraid of something?  The book “Dracula” by Bram Stoker
scared me when I was about 9 years old.  I will never read that book again … or see the
movie.  Later, I was desperately afraid of New York City.  More than “Dracula.”  I had passed
through en route to Germany when I was in the U.S. Army.  I trained to Manhattan from my
overseas embarkation camp with a couple of other GIs, walked around the Times Square area,
had a glass of beer (15 cents) and took the train back to Camp Kilmer in New Brunswick, NJ. 
But “passing through” is quite different from “going to.”  Going to, I had a couple of hundred
dollars in my pocket and a suitcase in my hand the day my father drove me to the edge of
Carlsbad, NM, and let me out of the pickup and told me, “If you get hungry, son, come on
         I had no plan to ever return to the land of Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff.  I was going to be
a writer.  If Hemingway went to Spain, so could I.  I thought about squating under a cactus
with a bottle of wine and write.  My father would ship my manual Smith-Corona standard
typewriter up after I landed an address.  I found a room at a YMCA in mid-town Manhattan,
but it was a horror story.  A day later, I found a room a mile or so northward of Times Square
that was so small I had to turn sideways to twist inside.  A window faced a brick wall.  I slept
on a cot.  There was an icebox large enough for a few items … actually about half a bag of
groceries.  The good news was that the room was just five or six blocks from American
Druggist, a biweekly trade magazine where I’d found a job.  The pay was just about enough to
buy that bag of groceries and lunch was only $1.25 for a plate of fried rice at a Chinese
restaurant down the street from that Hearst trade magazine.
         For the next year and a half, I walked with my hands in my pockets.  On weekends, I
would go to movies in Times Square, usually two or three western films, all of them chopped
as much as they could be chopped.  The double features started at 25 cents in the morning, then
50 cents around noon, and after that, 75 cents.
         One day, I walked up four flights of a dingy apartment in lower Manhattan and met Bill
Pearson and Dan Atkins, who were sharing three rooms of dust and air that had been breathed
up long ago.  They introduced me to the world’s greatest authority on Superman.  I don’t recall
his name.  He had a first edition of Action Comics, as well as original drawings and would
dress in costume with the huge S and jump off rocks in Central Park.  I soon got Bill and Dan
jobs doing production at American Druggist.  Not long afterwards, I left to work at Food Field
Reporter, another trade magazine.  Meanwhile, I’d got up my nerve and interviewed for a job
at Cavalier, a men’s adventure magazine published by Fawcett, publisher of True and several
other major magazines.  I didn’t get the job at Cavalier because the editorial director thought I
was “too aggressive.”  Then one day I got a phone call while working on Food Field Reporter
and Bob Curran had convinced that editorial director that he needed someone who was
aggressive.  I thought that I would stay a year or so more in Manhattan, then bum a ship to
Spain.  Follow Hemingway into the gut.
         However, I soon met this  beautiful girl who lived on Park Avenue.  Can you believe
this?  I used to run barefooted in the streets of Brady, swam naked in Brady Creek.  And here I
am dating a girl on Park Avenue, attending a tux party of the Ninth AD (Ken Dowe probably
knows about the Ninth AD), going to a toga party at the New York Athletic Club.  The mayor
of New York as well as the soon-to-be mayor of New York were both at a party Barbara and I
tossed at her mother’s place on Park Avenue.  Where had the fear gone?
I give some of the credit to jazz music.  To Port Said (Greek) and to the Jazz Gallery at 8 St.
Marks Place in Greenwich Village.  To the Bitter End (folk) and the Kaphesia (Greek) and the
Café au Go Go (rock).  To some extent, I had become “culturized” … I had accepted other
forms of music and life into my inner soul.  Without fleeing for the hills, my usual path of
escape.  That’s why I appreciate the musical writings of Doc Wendell.
Doc Wendell: “Many untalented and small writers have been bashing online blog magazines
which makes them sound old, out of touch, and corny.  I'm very proud of my work.  Who else
would write about a lost Donald Byrd classic like this one.

Claude: Doc is truly one of me.  Thank God for jazz.  Thank God for Ernest Tubb.
Joe Smith:  “Consider this as a warning that my family has bought 2 lots on the Lake of your
special, beloved and almost sacred home area.  At worst it could mean that my nasty wife (of
58 years) and my daughter (watch out for her … ) will be descending on your Idaho retreat by
summer since they are building the Jewish Taj Mahal to be  finished ASAP.  Hope I can visit
when they are settled and I can tell you some of my war stories of life in the Brill Building and
other hangouts from the past.  Stay well pal … went to a memorial for Bud Yorkin last night
… Last month for Jerry Weintraub … The only great ceremony was last month when I got
my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
Claude:  “Joe obviously sent me an email intended for Irving Azoff or John Rook.  Now, Bill
Hatch hangs out in Idaho who refers to a father-son photo of a week or so ago.”
Bill Hatch:  “About that pic of Bobby and Robby Vee (10.19.15), are you sure that’s not inside
a Cabela’s somewhere?  Stay well.”
Claude:  “I wrote back that I had assumed the picture was taken at the zoo in St. Cloud, MN.”
Bill Hatch:  “Gee, thanks for the reply.  Cabela's is one of the country's largest sporting goods
retailers. They bill themselves as ‘The World's Foremost Outfitters’.  Headquarters in Sydney,
Nebraska, but with an expanding number of stores around the country.  They're not in Las
Vegas yet but there's one in Verdi, near Reno; three here in Idaho. Their larger stores feature
prominent displays of mounted (taxidermy) game animals.  The tipoff in the photo is the little
critter in the upper left quadrant of the picture. There a placard identifying what it is.  Outdoor
Idaho folks tend to notice these things, although at my age I get out less often these days.”
Claude:  “Ah, the Bitter Buzzard of Old Age (‘Sweet Bird of Youth’)!  I was just thinking, Bill,
that at my age I should be grateful to get even a misdirected email from Joe Smith … to be in
his loup of aged wine, frivolous youth, and hikes along twisting mountain trails in a frosty,
deep breath morning.  Must be a pretty place up there in Idaho.  Can’t imagine, though, how
Joe Smith is going to transport his wine collection from the beach at Malibu to Idaho.  That’s
going to be one heck of a U-Haul jaunt … with proper credit to Gary Mack’s line about how
you can tell the size of the market a disc jockey is working by the size of his U-Haul trailer! 
Reminds me:  When my mother-in-law and I were in the waiting room at Doctor’s Lying-In
Hospital in Manhattan as her first grand child was being born, she was nervous about what
Barbara and I were going to name him.  I, of course, quickly replied, “Radio City Music or
maybe Long You.  And she thought I was being serious.  I do believe she was quite pleased
when we named our first-born John Alexander (after my father and her late husband).”
Jay Lawrence, Arizona politician:  “Did not receive it.”
Claude:  “I wrote Jay that even fancy politicians would have to tap into Vox Jox via the
Jay Lawrence:  “Thanks.  I miss you, to be truthful.  No one knows the game as well.”
Claude:  “And, to be perfectly honest, the big reason is basically hangtime.  These blogs last
forever out there on the Internet.  I’ve had stuff that I’ve written years ago come at me because
they were written on a blog.  Larry Shannon of RadioDailyNews.com and Jack Roberts of
Hollywood Hills were brilliant hombres.  If you think they’ve gone on … nope!  Vox Jox
edited and published by Rollye James is going to last a long, long spell yet.  I mentioned
earlier above about running barefoot through the dirt streets of Brady.  Yep, me and Mark
Twain.  That was printed in a book about old Mark and in a blog about me.  Both of us are
fictional characters, of course.”

A couple of weeks ago, Vox Jox paid tribute primarily to record promotion executives.  Dick
LaPalm, third from left in this photo, was leery of having this photo printed while he was alive ...
leery that people might think the musicians were growing old. 
From left, Walter Becker, Horace Silver, LaPalm, and Donald Fagan.

Morris Diamond, Palm Springs area:  “Dear Claude and Rollye ... Thank you so much for the
space that tells our world we're still hanging in there.  Nice to see the foto of Alice Harnell
(Joe's widow) and I taken in Las Vegas where Olivia N.J. keeps packing them in at the
Flamingo Hotel.  She invited us to her show because it was my birthday and she pointing me
out, she dedicated her next tune to me ... ‘I HONESTLY LOVE YOU’ ... I cried like a baby.  We
had many years of friendship that I cherish.   Some of my best memories.  I feel the same way
about Joey Reynolds ... I sure wish he lived out here on the West Coast instead of the East so
we could spend more time together ... and let's not forget Jerry Sharell, who was lead local
promo rep for me when I was National Promo Director of Mercury Records in the early '60s.
 Look at Jerry now, next Sunday, Nov. 8, Jerry will be the star of his own show at Herb
Alpert's Club/Restaurant ... very few people know that he's been playing clubs since his early
days in the Cleveland area ... and also a DJ in those days.  I'm so grateful for the friendships
I've kept through all these years -- not the least of whom were our leaders, Claude Hall and
Don Graham.”
Kris Erik Stevens:  “Hey, Claude … would love to catch it.  However, for some strange reason
I’ve not been receiving your stuff for quite some time.  Double check the recipient list ... am I
still on it?  Thanks old friend ....”
Claude:  “Once again, I’d reminded my list about how to read Vox Jox.  I don’t always have
energy to do this.  When I do, the response is usually pretty good.  When I don’t, ach!  I’ve got
my music broken down to several lists and my radio broken down to a whole bunch more. 
Time consuming to email to each list.  Time-consuming?  At my age, also mind-breaking! 
Good men and pretty ladies, one of these days you’re going to wipe me out!  The phenomenal
Rollye James is, literally, trying to save my toenails … or prolong their longevity.  Help!”
Rich Robbin:  “You're right, it is really nice ... thanks, as always!”
Shane Gibson:  “Thanks again, ol' Friend.  Sometimes it's just fun to see who's done what and
is doing what and what the hell is going out there?  Got quite a kick out of the Joey Reynolds
section. Only met Joey once, back in 2012. That was a treat. He, Dan Nevearth, Sandy
Beach, Stan Roberts and I were on the dais for Buffalo's ‘Giants of Broadcasting’.  I never
knew he'd wrestled, but ‘The Destroyer’ was there to certify and cause a great cheer from a
packed auditorium.  Then Danny brought up the $10,000 charity match GregThe Hammer’
Valentine and I had at Memorial Auditorium back in 1974.  Next thing I knew I was
explaining the big hump of mangled bone up there still on my right shoulder.  As said before,
it's just a soul-filled treat to read of folks I knew and never would know without Vox Jox. 
Other than being the oldest man to ever play his way into the PGA, the two Billboards won
stand out among the memories. For those, you will always be a treasured part of life; as were
your observations before and after them.  I appreciate being on your mailing list.  Causes a
feeling like I'm a member of a very unique and influential breed.  Heh, heh, heh, my license
plate still says only, ‘The Jock’.  You keep on writin', big fella, and I'll keep on readin'.  Always
a friend and admirer.”
Mel Phillips:  “Hi, Claude and Rollye:  I loved the latest Vox Jox.  IMHO Rock and Roll is in
the eye of the beholder.  Although I'd generally agree that ‘Rock Around the Clock’ with the
airplay and movie exposure it got is the first R&R record, it depends on where you lived as to
whether or not Alan Freed was the ‘King of Rock & Roll’.  The Midwest and certainly
Northeast know that Freed and not Elvis was the real ‘King of Rock & Roll’ because he told us
he was. Joe McCoy, Norm N. Nite and I spent what seems like a lifetime discussing this.
While we might disagree on some things, we were in agreement about Freed and the
tremendous influence he had on us personally.  None of us would have chosen radio if not for
Freed.  Now regarding Elvis, while we knew all his hits in the Midwest and Northeast, we
never saw him perform until the 70's at Madison Square Garden.  Freed would always tell us
that Elvis wanted too much money to perform and that's why he would never appear on one of
his ‘Rock 'n Roll’ shows.  So we had a different view of Elvis than the rest of the country
(especially the south).  Keep those brilliant Vox Jox posts coming, Claude and Rollye, and long
live Don Graham and Joey Reynolds.  Also kudos to Larry Cohen for his rundown on the
Philly promo people who I got to know and love when I worked at WMID Atlantic City.”
Claude:  “Isn’t it great to have a few experts hanging around.  You guys are absolutely great!”
Bob Sherwood:  “Kindly Ol’ Uncle Claude … I truly love the work of Chet Atkins and his
brilliant acolyte Mark Knopfler but all else by any and all (including Santana himself) pales
when measured against ‘Europa’ (‘Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile’) which Carlos recorded on
Moonflower’, a double studio/live album from 1976 or ‘77, a live recording done in Tokyo
and a Columbia Records non-commercial, promotional sampler.  He makes the guitar speak to
you like Olivier or Brando and cry like Maria Callas doing ‘la mamma morta’ or Caruso
performing Pagliaci at La Strada.  If you haven’t heard it -- you MUST!”
Claude:  “As I said, experts!”

Rollye:  And fans. And experts who were fans, like Chuck Dunaway.

Chuck Dunaway:  “I would have to vote for Sixty Minute Man by The Dominos...It is the first
record I bought as a Junior while in Pleasant Grove High school and listening to KSKY in
Dallas in the afternoon...at night I’d join the folks listening to Nashville and WLAC...Hoss
Allen comes to mind.....Chuck Dunaway...retired.”

Rollye:  If I had to pick only one, I couldn't do it.  But if my back was against the wall, I'd go
with Chuck for name value alone, since Alan Freed repurposed the 'rock and roll' refrain from
it.  Plus it's hard to beat Chuck's first hand experience.  If The Dominoes caused a suburban
white kid to go out and buy an R&B record, it's a good indicator something was happening. 
         I think I bought half of the record packages sold on WLAC.  We'd laugh when Randy's
Record Mart would send ten 45s, nine of which no one had ever heard.  But today, it's some of
those nine that remain among my favorites while the leader hit is long discarded from my

Josh Holstead, Texas Radio Hall of Fame, points out that party time is upon us at the Marriott
in Round Rock, TX:  “If you happen to be in town early and are taking advantage of the
accommodations at the hotel (or, you'd just like to pop by) we will be having a very informal
‘no-host’ beginning at 5:30 on Friday the 13th at the hotel lobby bar.  Lastly, should you have
questions, e-mail is the best way to reach me.”

Lyn Stanley:  “Hi, Don, Saul and Claude!  Hope you all are doing well.  I sent my new album
CD version ‘Interludes’ to Sammy Nestico and also told him my album ‘Potions [from the
50s]’ is in the Grammy nomination pool this year.  He wrote this note back to me with subject
title: ‘Your wonderful CD.  The CD is artistically beautiful.  I would be happy to tell he world
about your talent.  Lyn -- I loved the choice of tunes also. Take good care … and be assured I
will cast a favorable vote’.  He also told one of my arrangers in another email ‘Lyn Stanley is
excellent.  What a thrill to work with great talent’.  Things are looking up!  Saul and Claude --
Let me know if I can send you a copy.  Just tell me where.  Don has his.  Promo video for

Lyn: My best to you all and thanks for your support of me on this journey!”
Tom Russell:  “Facebook link to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Tom Russell doing Hair Trigger
Heart live in Big Sur.”

More Bill Hatch:  “The message below came to me tonight from Janet (Boomer) Foster (now
KRIZ, Phoenix). It speaks for itself.  I'm pretty sure I was the only one from his past life who
knew where Foster was.  He asked me, in the spring of 2013 when I last saw him, not to tell
anyone where he was or how he was doing.  I told him I would respect his wishes until this day
arrived.  He was a good friend. I will miss knowing he was still with us.  I've attached two
pictures, one of which is totally inappropriate.  But that was Foster.”

Bobby Neil Foster who worked at KFRC and other radio stations during his career.  Passed on. 
Ashes will be buried at sea.  Photo, courtesy of Bill Hatch, was taken at Christmas 2002.

Janet Kriz Foster:  “This is just a note,  be it a tad sad.  I got a phone call two days ago from
the Sheriff Coroner asking if I knew Bobby Neil Foster.  Of course, I said yes.  I asked ‘Did
he die?’  ‘Yes, he has passed’.  They wanted to know if he had any blood relatives and I told
them what I knew, but wasn’t sure if any were left.  He died because he gave up.  I would have,
too.  He had renal failure, emphysema, a mass in his lungs, and malnutrition and senile
dementia.  He was at the facility where he lived for four years.  They are going to cremate him
and spread his ashes in the ocean.  I hope he does well in Heaven.  Take care, Bill.  We are
getting older.  Life is good for us, thank God.  I’m going to write to Janean, but thought that
you might like to contact his former radio pals (if anyone cares).  How sad.”
Claude:  “Just for the record, though I don’t remember the man, I care.  I don’t believe I could
have helped.  But I do care.”