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THIS JUST IN: CLAUDE IS OK! DETAILS NEXT MONDAY.
by Rollye James
Rollye: “ I knew it was coming— a week with virtually no Vox Jox submissions. This column
will be very short. For a longer edition next week, send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Chuck Buell thinks it might be election overload. He may be right. He certainly made me
laugh when he sent along a video of memorable election moments produced by the Ellen show.
I’m still chuckling over Hillary and the gong. Just a wonderful bit. The farm animals were a
nice touch too. Check this out:
“On a somber note, Chuck also shared his bittersweet thoughts about Bobby Vee.”
Chuck Buell: “I was saddened to hear of Bobby Vee’s passing. He didn't know me, but his
songs always were, and still are, among my favorites both professionally and personally. He
and I also had some interesting personal and professional parallels.
“To begin with, he and I are within a year of being the same age. He's from North Dakota; I
from South Dakota. His interest in music was in a strong developmental stage at the age of 12;
my interest in radio was also in an equally strong developmental stage at the same age of 12.
Both of us as young guys continued into the early 1960s, with his highly successful
professional singing career really starting to take off while my highly successful on-air radio
personality career was also just beginning to rise.
“Those of us on the air in Rapid City, South Dakota during those early 60s felt a special
connection to Bobby being in that he was a "Dakota Brother" and we probably mentioned that
fact on the air maybe even a bit too often! "And now, here's Bobby Vee from Fargo, North
Dakota!" we'd say as though he lived right down the street!
“Professionally, I looked forward to playing his new releases and loved playing his hit songs
on my radio show. And at the same time, as a high school kid, I personally loved hearing his
songs on the radio during my buddies and my semi-regular evenings of cruising the main drag
of my hometown looking to hook up with our girlfriends or other local high school girls.
“Yeah, he sang about those girls and the stories of those we knew and loved! "Devil or Angel,"
"Rubber Ball," "Take Good Care of My Baby," "Run to Him,"Sharing You," "The Night Has a
Thousand Eyes" all of which just sounded so good and so relatable even coming through those
small 5 inch, low quality car radio speakers! ( And those of us who were ahead of our time
with additional rear car speakers, well, what more needs to be said?! )
“Whether through those tinny speakers of our individually cool, customized cars or the much
fuller-sounding speakers in the radio studio, his songs were just so much fun to hear! And, to
me, still are.
“So my condolences to Robby Vee and his family. I'm pretty sure they're all aware of the
impact Bobby had on so many of us, and I just wanted to share my Bobby Vee story with you
and, hopefully, them.”
Rollye: “I know how hard Bobby’s passing hit Claude Hall. I wish I had an update on Claude
for you, but I haven’t heard from him since late October. I’m hoping that life, the elections,
and upcoming holiday season are all imposing on his time, and hoping even more ardently that
he’ll check in this coming week. It’s been a few weeks now, so I tried to reach him by phone. I
know Claude doesn’t do telephone anymore, but I thought perhaps Barbara would answer. No
one did, and after about 30 rings, voice mail answered telling me the mailbox was full. I tried
a few hours later, too. And I waited until the last minute to compile the column in case an
email might arrive. I will keep you posted. And if I hear anything of importance, I’ll send an
immediate message to the mailing list and will put it online. Please join me in keeping Claude
in your prayers.
“Waiting did pay off in another way though. I was really starting to wonder when a week went
by and I hadn’t heard from Joey Reynolds. Turns out he was at a play.”
Joey Reynolds from the opening of Saturday Night Fever, the Broadway show, at the
Westchester Broadway theatre: “Try nailing these to the door when you get fired…
“The wrong hat for the right era...”
Rollye: “Sad to note the passing of Leon Russell. I doubt many casual rock and roll fans have
any idea of his influence. I rarely agree with the New York Times, but I concur that he was
the ultimate musician’s musician, in addition to his impressive writing and recording credits,
he played on literally thousands of songs. Here’s the obit
. Also leaving us this week was
Leonard Cohen. A poet’s poet to be sure. Here’s that obit
Don Barrett: “John Markle worked for me during my five years in charge of promotion at
Columbia Pictures. He was such a gentleman and very creative. He wore a suit and tie every
day. Very Boston and New England. John was great!”
Mel Phillips: “All the 1967 music and jingles have been downloaded and will be ready to go
on the night of June 3, 2017. And you'll find all the important WRKO Reunion dates following
our continuing coverage of the major events of 1967, the year we launched WRKO.
“Beatles manager Brian Epstein died from an overdose of sleeping pills at 32 at the end of
August. On TV, "The Fugitive" airs its last episode, attracting an audience of 78 million, one of
the largest audiences for a single episode in U.S. TV history. In Washington, Thurgood
Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court...
Before music, Brian Epstein had a day job-- at Seven Dials Trust.
Happier Times in 1965 Brian Epstein in The Netherlands
Holding a poster against racial bias in Mississippi in 1956, are four of the most active leaders in the
NAACP movement, from left: Henry L. Moon, director of public relations; Roy Wilkins, executive
secretary; Herbert Hill, labor secretary Thurgood Marshall special counsel. (World Telegram & Sun
photo by Al. Ravenna.)
“In September The Doors defy Ed Sullivan and sing the word "higher" when doing "Light My
Fire". Sullivan had asked them not to. Cuban guerrilla Che Guevara is captured in Bolivia and
executed in October.
Ernesto Che Guevara in 1960 reunited with Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, in Cuba.
“The Red Sox "Impossible Dream" ends the same month after losing game 7 of the World
Series to the St. Louis Cardinals...
Hopes were higher on opening day:
“Five of our original NOW CROWD personalities will be back on the air June 3, 2017
Al Gates Joel Cash J.J. Jeffrey Chuck Knapp Arnie Ginsburg
“Dates to remember:
Friday, June 2, 2017 Reunion Dinner in the Crowne Plaza (Newton) Charles Ballroom starting
at 6 pm. Jordan Rich (WRKO, WBZ) will emcee. Parking fees will be waived with front desk
validation for those driving to the event. Email invitations will be sent out in the spring..
Jordan Rich George Capalbo Jr. Art Vuolo
“Saturday, June 3, 2017 7 pm - 11 pm: Live on WRKO & Backbone Network streaming
(produced by George Capalbo Jr.) featuring a lineup including Al Gates, Joel Cash, J.J.
Jeffrey, Chuck Knapp, Arnie Ginsburg and other WRKO Radio greats (TBD)...
“Art Vuolo will video tape the reunion, a copy of which will go into the National Radio Hall
of Fame in Chicago...
“Reservations for rooms at the Crowne Plaza (Newton) Check-in Friday (June 2) Checkout
Sunday (June 4). Call 617-969-3010 and ask for special "WRKO Reunion" rate of $159 per
night (tax not included). You'll pay about $175 after tax but more if you park your car at the
hotel. We suggest using a cab or car service getting to the hotel and while staying there. We'll
see you there in less than 7 months.”