|(July 28, 2020) We hadn’t
heard from Steve Day since he left Los
Angeles in the late 90s. Steve’s on-air work at:
KOCM/KSRF, KXEZ, KLIT, and KMGX. He retired once but
the pull of radio took him back to WHLC-Highlands,
North Carolina where he now does mornings and is
operations director for husband/wife owners who just
celebrated 27 years of local ownership.
Born in Washington, DC and raised in Rockville, Maryland, Steve discovered his passion for radio while in his second year at Ashland College in Ohio. From a chance encounter with a programming executive from a station 30 miles from campus, Steve began his daily commute to WGLX-Galion, Ohio. He dropped out of college and during the 1970s worked at WSIR-Winterhaven, Florida, WDAE-Tampa, WDAT-Daytona and WKZL and WTOP-Winston-Salem.
While in Winston-Salem he began broadcasting play-by-play sports and reporting sports for a local tv station. "We were doing okay but my wife wanted us to be more secure so I got out of radio and joined her father’s insurance business in Rochester." The insurance job and the marriage ended, so Steve returned to radio in Rochester at WBBF and WWWG.
"In 1979 I got the West Coast urge and packed up for
San Diego." Steve worked weekends on KFMB-San Diego
and broadcast sports on KGTV/tv. In the early 1980s,
Steve joined the sports department at KTTV/tv
Channel 11 in Los Angeles. In 1983 he partnered with
Betty White for the tv game show Just Men.
In 1993 Steve was the announcer for ABC’s
Caesars Challenge starring Ahmad Rashad. In
1994 he was part of Sony's Game Show Network and
hosted several shows.
In 1999, Mark Elliott hired me from LA/Westwood One to work in Ventura and Santa Barbara. Steve went to KMGQ (Smooth Jazz), followed by three years at News Radio 1250 Santa Barbara as pd and afternoon drive. “We built a tv studio and simulcast our Talk Show with local sister TV station KEYT-3 with host Jerry Cornfield,” emailed Steve.
When the owner died, Steve's nomadic journey took him to Washington, DC, to be with family, eventually landing in 2006 in the Western Carolina Mountains at WHLC. That was followed a couple years later to WFMS-Indianapolis, which was short-lived. And then WBBM-Chicago traffic. “It wasn’t for me, much too frenetic,” admitted Steve.
In 2010, Steve joined KAZM- Sedona, Arizona. “I walked the Vortex’s and meditated and did a little radio,” he wrote before going back to WHLC for 6 years. It was time for retirement and he chose San Diego to be near his daughter, Courtney. “I drove for Lyft where I accomplished 1100 rides and was a 5-star driver. I met some incredible people.”
“I have loved the journey and wouldn't trade anything for it. Radio takes care of you if you love her. I love North Carolina. This is a wondrous spot if you love the mountains, lakes, and fishing.
Hear Ache. Mookie (Marc Kaczor), pd at KCSN (88.5/fm) sent a note that the station reached their fundraising goal last week. “Our July pop-up pledge drive was a success. Public radio stations like this one are still struggling, and we’re not out of the woods yet, but it’s a step in the right direction,” emailed Mookie … Thought from consultant George Johns: “If you don’t set your own goals, you’ll be working on somebody else’s.”
**Sadness with Regis Passing
“Regis Philbin seemed to me to be one of those nifty people who was always up and often funny. It makes me sad when these folks pass but hey, we’re at that point in life where people (and things) we love are passing into history ... and the beat goes on.” – Rich Brother Robbin
** Ex-KNXer Health Challenges
“Very sorry to read about Jack Salvatore’s health issues. If you can, please pass along my best wishes for his full recovery.
Jack was exceptionally kind to me at KNX. He trained me, with great patience, on operating the complex board and computers.” – Bob Sirkin
** Bill Drake’s Stationality
“Dave Anthony’s mention of Bill Drake’s reluctance to set foot in KYA triggered this memory.
When 710 KMPC switched from talk back to music in 1983, general manager Bill Ward hired Bill Drake’s company to supply his Hit Parade format and consult the station. The weekend before we made the flip, all air and programming personnel were invited to spend a Sunday afternoon at Drake’s house in Tarzana so we could get to know Drake’s people and vice versa. It was a hillside house with spectacular views of the Valley.
Outside the living room’s sliding glass doors was a swimming pool. Three attractive young women in bikinis lounged around it. They never joined us and at some point, late in the afternoon, I realized they were no longer there. I found myself wondering if Drake had hired them for the afternoon as ‘decorations.’
The living room was large and had a bar on one side. Bill Drake and Bill Watson [there were too many Bills in this setup] were behind the bar. Robert W. Morgan, who would continue to do mornings on KMPC, sat at the bar nursing a club soda. The other barstools were empty, so I took one.
Frankly, I’d heard so much about Drake, Watson and Morgan that I just wanted to watch them interact and see what they’d say. So I sat there and only spoke when spoken to. Drake had managed to have the Hit Parade music piped into the living room. He was very proud of the work his engineers had done cleaning up some of the old records. He told me they were now flawless and he gave me an assignment.
‘If you hear a pop or a click, you tell me,’ he instructed. I assured him that I wouldn’t fail him and as the afternoon rolled on he would periodically tap me on the shoulder and ask, ‘Heard a pop or a click yet?’ I would assure him that I hadn’t and he would again remind me to let him know if I did.
There was a strangely familiar feeling to that afternoon, but I couldn’t initially place. It didn’t really feel like a radio event. What was it? Only later did I realize that it reminded me of when I was in the Navy and one of the officers would invite us to his home for a barbecue on a Sunday afternoon. That afternoon felt just like those gatherings. We were in civvies, we were drinking and laughing, but you knew you could only take it so far.
We were enlisted people, they were officers. You didn’t let yourself get too drunk. You watched yourself and never took it too far. That afternoon at Drake’s house had that same feel. One person did take it too far during the event and paid a heavy price. But that’s for another time.
We kicked off the new format on KMPC with me in middays. A few days later, I was on the air. The studio had a window which allowed one to see the hallway. I saw motion out of the corner of my eye and as I looked, I saw Bill Ward and Bill Drake coming down the hallway heading for the jock lounge and the air offices. Drake waved at me and I waved back. Less than five minutes later I saw the two Bills come back down the hall headed for the reception area. Drake waved at me again.
A minute or two later, Robert W. Morgan barged into the air studio, something he would never do again. For the rest of the time I worked with him once he exited the studio, wishing me a ‘good show,’ I wouldn’t see him again. He even had a secret exit from the station that didn’t involve the hallway. But here he was, breathing heavily and looking a bit pale. ‘Was Bill Drake just here?’ he asked, breathlessly.
‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘but I think he just left.’
‘Son of a bitch!’ said Robert. He went on to tell me that, as far as he knew, in all the years he programmed the station, Bill Drake had never set foot in the KHJ building. Not once. He preferred to remain in his home in the Hollywood Hills, monitoring his stations and issuing edicts by phone. ‘I wonder what the hell he was doing here?’ Robert asked. He also said that I had now seen Bill Drake in the flesh twice in a week. ‘That’s more than most of the guys who worked for him for years ever did,’ said Robert. ‘You should consider yourself lucky.’
Discreet inquiries were made and eventually we found out the reason for the visit. 710KMPC, ‘The Station of the Stars’ was such a legendary station, that for once, Drake had broken his ‘format’ and asked to visit the operation just to see what it looked like. It was as simple as that. And, looking back, I guess I should consider myself lucky.” – Neil Ross
Regis Philbin Waves Goodbye
(July 27, 2020)
Best-known for his four decades in tv (game show
hosting and talk shows), Regis Philbin had a
stint in radio at KABC in 1972. He died July 24,
2020, at the age of 88.
Born August 25, 1933, he was named after Regis High, a Catholic boy's school and his father's alma mater. A native of New York City, Regis graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a sociology degree in 1953. He later served in the Navy.
Between 1970 and 1990, Regis hosted nearly a dozen talk and game shows and went through a series of co-hosts before clicking with Kathie Lee.
Much of his experience on tv took place on the Southern California airwaves. Regis got his start as an assistant news editor with Baxter Ward at KCOP/tv. Regis then moved to San Diego to try his first solo talk show at KOGO/tv (now KGTV/tv). The show was eventually picked up for syndication by Westinghouse, but Regis was soon replaced by Merv Griffin.
After returning to Hollywood and becoming known as Joey Bishop’s sidekick on ABC/tv, Regis succeeded Ralph Story on KABC/tv’s AM Los Angeles, bringing the show to the top of the ratings. His co hosts included Sarah Purcell, later Cyndy Garvey, then-wife of Los Angeles Dodger Steve Garvey. Regis again tried a national show with Mary Hart on NBC in 1981, lasting only 18 weeks.
He left Southern
California and moved to New York to once again
co-host with Cyndy Garvey on WABC/tv, but it wasn’t
until he was paired with Kathie Lee Johnson (who
eventually married sportscaster Frank Gifford) that
the show experienced a ratings boost. The show was
then nationally syndicated, primarily to ABC/tv
affiliates. Interestingly, Live with Regis and
Kathie Lee actually replaced the locally
produced AM Los Angeles.
He hosted the primetime blockbuster, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Regis has written two best-selling memoirs – I’m Only One Man! and Who Wants to Be Me? He launched a new line of shirts and ties by Phillips-Van Heusen, inspired by his look (monochromatic wardrobe – a dark dress shirt coupled with a matching shiny tie) on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
Hear Ache. Saul Levine is bringing back K-MOZART, “World’s Greatest Classical Music 24/7” on KMOZART.com and 105.1 HD4. Returning are K-MOZART’s personalities Susanna Guzman with the best in opera, and Nick Tyler with The Arts Reports … There was a time in the Inland Empire when a Top 40 war between KMEN and KFXM had a tiger bite. Relive some of the memories Here: … Congratulations to Jeri Seratti-Goldman and Carl Goldman, owners of KHTS-Santa Clarita, on 29 years of togetherness … Gary Butterworth (ex-KWNK, KIQQ, KLIT) is an Angels fan and he’s already disappointed in the team’s days-old season. “My team finds a way to blow a late-game lead. We fans expect it. My Angels always have the marquee players, but in the end, we often come up short,” wrote Gary on social media … Former KNX newsman Jack Salvatore had a real big health scare. “In June, in the middle of the night, I got bad stomach pain...bad enough to go to the ER,” wrote Salvatore on social media. “I was admitted to the hospital, spent 17 days in there under the most trying of circumstances. No COVID symptoms, but aware I was lying helpless in a hospital in which it could encroach at any time. After a series of missteps and misdiagnoses, a Godsend of a surgeon swooped in and saved the day. Two major abdominal surgeries in 4 days. The surgeon took out a couple of feet of perforated intestine.” Jack’s home now and taking short walks around the neighborhood … Speaking of KNX, here’s the final news broadcast for Tom Haule before he retired in the summer of 2015 … Mike Butts heard our buddy Tom Clay’s What the World Needs Now is Love on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 yesterday on SiriusXM’s 70s on 7 … Mike Sakellarides reflected on this weekend and the Passing Parade. “Olivia de Havilland. Peter Green. John Saxon. Regis Philbin. Oh, and 53 Covid-19 victims in L.A. since Friday.”
** Regis Memory
“My heart was broken hearing the news of Regis Philbin’s passing on July 24th. It was at his first television talk show, being recorded at KOGO-TV in San Diego, that two wanna-be broadcasters, me and Tom Kelly, met for the first time and remained friends and colleagues for over 50 years.
Here “Shotgun Tom” and me are with Regis at a luncheon of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters 3 years ago. Regis was a very special man who make people feel good. Thank you, Regis, for your years of inspiration and laughs. Rest in Peace!” – Jim Duncan
|** Boss of the Bay
“If KYA in San Francisco was the first major station to use the term Boss, it may also have been the last. In 1992-94 we hired Bill Drake to consult, and the term ‘Boss of the Bay’ was back on the air. And in later Drake style, he would never meet inside the radio station. Instead, programming meetings were held at a nearby bar … or one time, in the parking garage underneath the building at Broadway and Sansome.” – Dave Anthony
** Ground Hog News
“Has anyone else noticed KSUR 1260 has been running the same ABC newscast for nearly a week now? It’s getting to a point that I can recite the entire newscast word for word right down to the Dow closing off 63 points. The content I actually care about, the music continues to be amazing.
A better range of music than JACK/fm and snark-free to boot! If it wasn’t for the weird charm of hearing the hits over AM radio again, Saul Levine’s station would have me seriously thinking about looking for an FM-HD receiver.” – Greg Glaser, somewhere in the Valley
|** Flying the Flag on
“I loved the photo of Rick Monday remembering the Dodger history he made when he saved the U.S. flag from being burned. Some may not know that Fred Claire is the one who came up with the sentence, ‘Rick Monday ... you made a great play,’ creating another piece of Dodger history.” – Lisa Bowman
“I was at the Dodger game in right field loge level when Rick Monday made that flag play. It was really spectacular.” – Whitney Allen
** Baseball Re-creations
“I loved your story of Gordon McLendon’s re-creations of baseball in the early days that you heard at ‘Training Camp’ at his ranch outside of Dallas.
Mike Phillips told me stories of how he’d go to Portland Beavers games in the old Pacific Coast League in Portland with his battery reel-to-reel tape recorder. He’d sit out in the right field stands, and call play-by-play of the games, and then go home and listen back to them.
My great Minor League baseball story goes around 1955, when I was 9, on Saturday nights. My grandfather, Ed Atkinson would take me down to Mission Field, behind Mission School in San Luis Obispo to watch the local ‘San Luis Blues’ play. One Saturday night, there was a ‘special exhibition’ game with the Blues vs. the Santa Maria Indians, featuring their guest pitcher, Satchel Page. He threw nothing but smoke.” – Joe Collins
** KMPC Carried Liberty Re-creations
“As a child and early teen, I frequently listened to Gordon McLendon’s re-created baseball games on the old Liberty Broadcasting System. At that time in my life I was a fanatical baseball fan. Over the years the LBS games were carried on a number of local radio stations. But the last station to carry them in LA was KMPC (710).
Once Liberty ceased its operations, Bob Kelley [voice of the Pacific Coast League LA Angels], Steve Bailey, and Fred Hessler took over the duties of broadcasting recreated major league games on KMPC. Obviously, I found it amazing [in my child’s mind] that Kelley could be calling a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game at 12 noon from Yankee Stadium, followed by an Angels-San Francisco Seals game at 7:30 p.m. from the Bay Area. [Ironically, both of those games were re-created and the actual broadcasts originated in the KMPC studios in Hollywood.]
A few years later the Dodgers came to town, and KMPC [at least for the first couple years] had the rights to broadcast those games. [The Dodgers later went to KFI.]
Like you, I was fascinated with Bill Shaikin’s interview article in the LA Times earlier this week, about when Vin Scully ended up doing a re-created game from Vero Beach that was actually played in the Bahamas.
Now in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can listen to games that once again have artificial sound effects to make them more exciting to listen to – and to help keep the players more motivated.
On a totally different subject [and much more somber one], I was sorry to read about the passing of Brad Pye, Jr., a few days ago in your column. I first met Brad back in 1958-59 when I was serving as editor of a student newspaper at Cal State LA [then called LA State]. Brad was my sports editor. Every article he wrote was superb. He was an outstanding writer and a wonderful person. Brad Pye Jr. will be sorely missed.
PS: I will be sending in my annual donation for this column very soon. You always do a great job in keeping all of us up-to-date as to what is going on in radio.” – Carl C. Spring, Jr., West Los Angeles
** Fond Memories of Sports Re-creations
“It’s been great reading about the re-creations and about Gordon McLendon’s Liberty network which I remember enjoying.
Vin Scully’s history with re-creations goes back to the 50s, at least. The Dodgers were always involved in exciting pennant races and the flagship radio station WMGM-New York decided to offer important games involving other teams on Dodgers off days.
As I recall, they used sound effects and I believe you could even discern the ticker in the background, but that may have been my imagination. The announcers were the low men in seniority, i.e. not Red Barber. They were Scully and Al Helfer, subbing for the regular play-by-play guy, Connie Desmond.
It must have been successful because WMGM became the NY affiliate of the Liberty Network. I believe that method was used for boxing and football going back to the 20s.
Thanks for the updates.” – Bernie Alan
** Re-created Games
“I'm old enough to remember the AAA PCL teams in LA, the Angels at Wrigley Field on Avalon Blvd in South Central and the Stars at Gilmore Field on Beverly and Fairfax. Bob (Old Kell) Kelley was the radio voice of the Angels, and of the Rams, I recall, on 710/KMPC. I remember him calling major league games remotely from KMPC studios by reading from a ticker tape and hitting a piece of wood with a stick when the ball was hit. He’d plop a ball into a mitt when the catcher caught the pitch. And he had a recording of crowd noise he’d turn up louder when the ball was hit. Or so it was reported – I never saw it myself. But these broadcasts were fun, and what did we know in this minor league city in the 1950s? It sounded fairly real!
We did get to see live major league games on tv Saturdays with Dizzy Dean and Buddy Blattner, but otherwise we were a million miles from MLB prior to 1958.” – Jeff Freedman
** Early McLendon
“To spend time with the Old Scotsman must have been a major league treat, if you will. My brother and I listened to his broadcasts in the early ’50s never realizing until much later that they were re-creations.
Didn’t Chuck Blore find inspiration in Gordon McLendon’s philosophy? I know that some of the guys I worked with at KBUZ in Phoenix were Blore alumni from KELP in El Paso. And the format was true color radio.” – Warren Cereghino
** Boss Radio
“The first use of the word ‘boss’ with a radio station was KYA in San Francisco...years BEFORE 93/KHJ. For a while, Bill Drake was morning drive on KYA. KYA called itself ‘Boss of The Bay.’
By the way, KFRC in February 1966 could NOT use ‘boss’ because KEWB jumped them to it in 1965, so they used ‘Big 6-10.’" – Bill Earl, 147kxoa.com
** Boss & Bitchin’
“While I cannot shed any light on who should get the credit for coining the term ‘Boss’ Radio, I do have an interesting memory of where I first heard the word some two years before it was used on KHJ.
In 1962, I left San Diego and drove across the country to attend a broadcast school in New York City. I had a bit of free time on the weekends and started hanging out with some other young guys in Central Park.
They were all using ‘boss’ the way kids on the west coast were using a now long forgotten word: ‘bitchin.’ In SoCal it was a bitchin’ car. In New York in ’62 it was a boss car.
1964 would find me in Honolulu, where nobody said ‘boss’ or ‘bitchin,’ but when news of this new station in L.A. that was calling itself Boss Radio reached the 50th State, I instantly thought of those guys in New York and assumed that either someone connected with the station was from the east coast or that in the intervening two years the expression had gradually worked its way westward. If Ken DeVaney was hearing Valley girls use boss in ’64, the latter must have been what happened. Hope this missive finds you and yours safe and healthy.” – Neil Ross
** Boss of the Bay
“I don’t have any insight regarding which of those gentlemen connected ‘boss’ to KHJ’s identity. However, I can offer an historical perspective. Bill Drake’s association with ‘boss’ pre-dated KHJ.
Below you’ll see the introduction to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame website which includes a mention of KYA ‘the Boss of the Bay’ and a KYA music ‘survey’ from December 1961, when Drake was the KYA morning man. Bill had been transferred from WAKE in Atlanta to KYA, the Bartell station in San Francisco.
On a Drake-Chenault produced promo album in the early 80’s, Drake mentioned KYA, the Boss of the Bay…when talking about the beginning of Boss Radio, KHJ.
I doubt if this resolves anything…kinda interesting, however, that after more than 50 years after the debut of 93/KHJ there is a ‘boss’ controversy.
From the Bay Area website:
As most visitors to this site will freely acknowledge, the Bay Area has been home to some innovative, historically significant and just plain fun radio. In the early ’60s, that meant broadcasters like Al Collins, spinning jazz and surreal raps from inside the imaginary Purple Grotto, and Don Sherwood, inventing an insane repertory of characters and bits every weekday morning – both of these shows on KSFO. It also meant Top 40 KYA, 1260 AM, ‘the Boss of the Bay.’” – Denny Adkins
** Truth Be Damned
“I only had one long email ‘conversation’ with Ron Jacobs a few years ago.
It was about me questioning a long time claim he [and Bill Mouzis] made about early KHJ.
The crux of the matter was, he was lying and tacitly admitted it by stating ‘why let the facts get in the way of a good story.’ So, I’d take anything he said with a shaker of salt.” – Douglas Brown
** Revolting Radio
“Thanks for the space with the stories of my John Revolting character.
Rick Dees has always been so kind to support my work. Glad to see you got some input from Rick.
Yeah, those were some times [all before the world took a pivot into NY 911].
Thanks, too, for keeping the fun part of L A. Radio alive.” – Greg Berg, aka John Revolting
** Who Replaced Bob Crane at KNX?
“Rege Cordic replaced Bob Crane. Rege came from Pittsburgh where he owned the market in morning drive. He bombed on KNX and later on KRLA. But Rege stayed in Los Angles and had a very successful career doing voiceover and character acting in movies and tv.
Ralph Story returned to KNX, doing middays, after the $64,000 Challenge went off the air because of the quiz show scandal. My wife was an assistant producer on the radio show.” – Tom Bernstein
** News Ratings Down
“Regarding the news radio ratings dropping by 25% in Dallas. Sadly, what is the relevance of news radio now, when smart phones are ubiquitous and offer live traffic updates with GPS, live sports updates, and live news updates?
Just as alarming, how are even fm music stations relevant? Thanks to Bob Pittman and iHeart and a few other smaller corporate owners, fm music stations have been dumbed down to meaningless audio snippets [voicetracking] between some songs, with audience-repelling commercial cluster breaks of 10,12, or more commercials in a row. Listeners tune out, and advertisers get shafted.
The music streaming apps offer the same music as fm stations – much more actually – and the apps are interactive. Most importantly, the apps do not have the commercial cluster breaks. AM and FM are now about as relevant as fax machines or the old AOL dial-up modem. AOL ... another company that Pittman destroyed!” – Bob MacKay
** Whole Lotta Shakin’
“I remember the ’71 earthquake well. Funny thing was I worked for FEMA right after the ’94 Northridge earthquake at the Recovery Now tv/cable station we set up in a Pasadena office building. I then went on to work for about two years for The California Governor' Office of Emergency Services.” – Joseph Roth, Crestline
** More Shaking
“Will never forget ’71 earthquake as every book in our home fell down and the shaking never stopped.” – Fred Wallin, Sports overnight America
** Sweet Shakes
“During the ’71 quake I was listening to the “Sweet Child” Dick Whittington at KIEV, who kept many of us calm, if not collected. Luckily some of the major aftershocks during his show were recorded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdCV_P-wEHw.” – Bruce Tennant, Long Beach
** Sylmar Earthquake
“Most traumatic event of my 13-year-old life. The first quake I ever went through, the worst wakeup call I ever had.
My mom immediately started calling her family, and found out her cousin’s house in Granada Hills was damaged. My aunt had fallen out of bed and was bruised by being bounced on the floor by the quake. Her whole family ended up sleeping in their cars in the local hospital parking lot for several nights.
On top of that, where I lived [Temple City] they didn’t cancel school so we all had to get dressed and my mom took all four of us to school while my dad went to work. I thought the worst was over until I was in Home-Ec and the biggest aftershock hit. Fortunately we had these heavy sewing tables we all dove under, then once the shaking stopped I thought the teacher would let us go and I could get ahold of my mom and go home. Wrong. The teacher had a representative from a pattern company visiting and although she had gotten a message to let us go home, said it would be rude not to hear her presentation. That lasted 10 minutes, and then the next aftershock convinced her 18 freaked out girls didn’t care and let us go. Since my older brother hitched a ride with his friends and no one answered at home, I started walking home, shaking and crying every time a car backfired or tires screeched!
Thankfully, half-way home my mom found me and we went home, finding out later that everyone but our class had been in the gym when the main aftershock hit and tiles fell onto the court, and the basketball hoops swung down from the roof and nearly crashed onto the floor. My brother was in there and he had to relate over and over again how the screams of all the athletes freaked the teachers out. I didn’t sleep through the night for months after that and I never walked home from school by myself again. Thankfully there were some big lessons learned by the school district: don’t have school when you have a 6.6 earthquake, and when the school tells a teacher to let her students go home, do it! [The Home-ec teacher was laid off at the end of the year].
It’s sad to say, but it took Northridge, Whittier, the Landers/Big Bear and other earthquakes for people to learn to have emergency plans for their families for getting in touch with one another and schools and jobs. Hopefully documenting Sylmar will remind everyone of this.” – Julie T. Byers
** Earthquake Docu
“Thanks for your posting about the Sylmar quake documentary!
As it happens, I was born that night in Upland. So while I don’t have any memories of that morning, I do have several front-page newspapers from that day.
I know KNBC’s David Horowitz famously anchored from the parking lot at KNBC in Burbank. I think the station pulled out some low-quality audio a few years ago for a retrospective. Maybe they have something more available with a deeper look. As you know, he’s passed away, but I believe his daughter runs something of a tribute website for him, so maybe the family has something, too.
I also remember the late Bill Smith reported on the quake, and I’m thinking the Sylmar VA hospital collapse, for KGIL. Somebody, maybe KTTV, ran a clip of his audio many years ago. Maybe they or Smith’s family have a clip, or maybe KTTV still does, since he anchored there for many years.
Tom Brokaw might have a memory or two to share from that time, along with other LA journalists who are still around from that era.
Warren Olney? I’m sure KTLA has archive clips, or can find them, with Telecopter footage, etc. Gordon Skene runs an extensive audio archive. Maybe he’s got some stuff from back then too.
Anyway, I’d be happy to try and brainstorm more with the documentary producer if you’d like to pass this along. I do not think I have any direct audio from that day, but I do have a vast archive of tv news from the ’80s onward, so perhaps I have something usable stashed there. I’m in the middle of digitizing it now.” – Ethan Harp
** Former WAVE Voice
“Nice to see the story on Dave Caprita. He’s a good friend of mine, as is his wife Ellen who [almost] shares the same birthday with me. She’s 12 hours ahead. July 18 for her July 19 for me. We’re both 39 this year [again]. They’ve both been to my store several times. I was also here for the 1971 earthquake, checking into the Don Martin School as I needed a First-Class FCC license to take a gig in Seattle.” – Bill Dudley
** Frazer Smith Hurt
“Timmy Manocheo’s just a tiny bit confused. Frazer Smith’s thing at KROQ was ‘Hurt Yourself.’ There were Frazer Smith ‘Hurt Yourself” T-shirts, each of which came with Fraze’s written ‘Must Get Laid’ guarantee: https://greg-raven.github.io/press/1979-01-19-frazer-smith-want-you-to-hurt- yourself.html .” – Mike Hagerty
** Former NFL Defensive Tackle
“A long overdue note to let you know that while I have been out of the radio industry for about six years now, [working in digital sports media now], I am still a near-daily reader of your LARadio.com column. I still enjoy the great work you do keeping on current news while finding time to wax poetic about the industry days gone by.
I hope you are enjoying your new, ‘slower’ lifestyle.” – Tony Siracusa
Rick Monday's "Great Play"
(July 24, 2020) Rick Monday has been on five
LA Radio stations, going wherever the broadcast
rights for the Dodgers goes. The local baseball
franchise is currently heard on KLAC (570AM). Rick
is a baseball veteran currently part of the LA
Dodgers broadcast team. Now that the abbreviated
season has started, Rick is back in the broadcast
Rick will forever have a special place in baseball history. He became the first player picked in the Major League Baseball draft era when the Kansas City Athletics selected him with the first overall pick in 1965 out of Arizona State University. The College Baseball Hall of Fame and two-time All-Star outfielder then went on to hit 241 home runs and 775 RBIs in 19 Major League seasons with the Oakland Athletes, Chicago Cubs and LA Dodgers, winning the 1981 World Series with the Dodgers.
Monday spent six years in the Marine Corps Reserves. On April 25, 1976, the Los Angeles Dodgers were playing the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium, when two protestors — a father and his 11-year-old son — jumped the wall in center field in the fourth inning and headed to shallow left-field with an American flag in hand. They began dousing the flag with lighter fluid and took out matches.
Suddenly, Cubs outfielder Rick Monday ran by and swiped the flag from them before they could set it ablaze in left-center. The center fielder returned it to the dugout. The stunned crowd at Dodger Stadium began singing God Bless America immediately afterward. The entire stadium belted the lyrics. An inning later when Monday came to bat, the crowd doused him with a standing ovation. The Dodger Stadium scoreboard put up a message for Monday, “Rick Monday…You made a great play.”
|Hear Ache. Douglas Brown is part of a team recreating the Mellow Sound of KNX/fm on the Internet. “From time to time, the original station would produce artist showcase specials,” emailed Brown. “In July 1978, they scored a rare sit-down interview with Carly Simon. She was a big star of the day and a core Mellow Sound artist. Show writer and host Christopher Ames has saved the tape!” They plan to play it exactly 42 years later on Monday July 27 at 5 p.m. It is titled An Evening with Carly Simon and runs an hour, no commercials with Carly’s words and music. Show will air again on Friday, July 31 at 5 p. m. Wonder if Carly will tell the You're So Vain story? … Brian Moote left a terrific position in Atlanta to join the AMP Radio morning, then and left the following year. He’s now doing a Country morning show at 99.5/the Wolf in Dallas … Congratulations to Michael Harrison (ex-KMET) and his crew for 30 years ago of TALKERS. It launched on July 23, 1990 as “The Information-Radio Newspaper.” It first appeared as a tabloid-style, 12-page newsprint publication distributed to radio stations around the country by mail and eventually grew into a full-color, glossy magazine and, eventually, a multi-platform communications organization … Former V-100 and KKBT personality John Monds has joined evenings at WHUR-Washington, DC for a “Quiet Storm” program … Fictitious sponsors have been a part of Frazer Smith’s comedy. From Greg Raven’s blog. “Among the notable products are Valium Cigarettes (‘They’ll make you forget problems you never thought you had’) and Transvestite Cigars (‘You never know they’re there until you take them home’).” … Thomas Whetston put together an AFRTS website for former 710/KMPC’s Roger Carroll. Now, Thomas is back with a site of his own: www.mybestsounds.com. In addition to Roger, you can also hear Gene Price, Charlie Tuna, and Humble Harve. The woman is Chris Noel, star of a dozen beach party movies in the 1960s. She’s best known by veterans of the Vietnam war for her work on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service as the "Voice of Vietnam." … Neil Young heard about the new version Alexa. It is a male voice and doesn’t listen to anything … My old buddy from Chapman, basketball great Larry Beard, is still hunkered down. He sent me an email that he ain’t coming outta quarantine until Marvin Gaye finds out What’s Goin On.|
|(July 23, 2020) The
first general manager at 93/KHJ and the man who
arguably generated the phrase “Boss Radio,” Ken
Devaney, died on January 30, 2013. This news
came about from Ray Randolph, host of a website all
things KHJ. And his site is thorough and very well
put together accumulation of personalities,
contests, promotions, survey sheets, print ads, and
sales brochures. You can access his site here. http://93khj.blogspot.com
We appreciate updates for our Where Are They Now pages. We miss out on significant events (new jobs, retirements, passings) from time to time and certainly appreciate the new information.
“I first discovered Boss Radio in 1966 when I was ten and was immediately hooked,” emailed Ray, when asked how the site came about. “It was all so exciting. The Boss Jocks, the music, the contests, the entire package. For the next five years or so, my radio was glued to the Big 93.” His serious collecting of KHJ artifacts started in the late 1970’s.
“Black Box survey,” Ray continued. “It all began at the old Capitol Records swap meet in Hollywood when I found one KHJ survey (No. 134) in amongst the stuff somebody was selling. All of the great memories of Boss Radio came roaring back. I paid something like 50 cents for that one survey and it started me on a journey that’s now lasted some forty years. This site contains the bulk of the KHJ material that I’ve been able to accumulate over that period.”
In perusing Ray’s website, I came across a new piece of startling information for me in regards to Ken DeVaney. KHJ is one of the seven iconic stations of the last seventy years. Much attention is always focused on those handful of stations that have resonated and withstood the test of time. Minutiae is always debated.
History also has a way
of identifying heroes and villains. As far
as coming up with the legendary “Boss Radio”
phrase, Clancy Imislund has
always been credited with the name.
Imislund, now head of the Midnight Mission
in Los Angeles, was promotion director when
KHJ launched. In researching Los Angeles
Radio People, Clancy told me he had coined
Well, you could have knocked me over to read otherwise. According to Randolph, while Ron Jacobs was writing his book KHJ: Inside Boss Radio, DeVaney sent Jacobs an email to clarify the situation around who originated the phrase. Jacobs included it in his book on page 40. Below is the text from Ken DeVaney’s email to Ron Jacobs:
For what it’s worth,
it was I who initiated the name “Boss Radio,” the
slogan that is now indelibly etched in the history
of radio itself. In May 1990 the 25th anniversary of
Boss Radio generated a staff reunion. The event
marked a sense of renewed nostalgia and history of
the early, frantic days of the new KHJ format that
debuted a quarter century before. At the time,
Clancy Imislund was “officially” credited with
coming up with the Boss Radio slogan.
longtime producer of the Robert W. Morgan
show added: “For what it’s worth, I have always
believed it to be Clancy who coined the phrase and
that was backed-up by Bill Drake, Jacobs,
Morgan, The Real Don Steele, and Bill
Mouzis on many occasions…irrespective of what
ended up in Jacobs book.”
Ken was 80 when he passed away in 2013, in Fresno. Ken was born in 1932 in Albany, California and grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. While working in broadcasting in San Francisco, Ken graduated from Hastings College of Law in 1961. Throughout his legal career, Ken’s professionalism and passion for law made him an accomplished and well-regarded attorney in the Fresno community.
He had a voice for radio as you can hear in this KHJ sales presentation: Ken narrated the 1965 KHJ Sales Presentation, an overview of the nascent Boss Radio format intended for prospective advertisers.
| Wink Martindale in
1964-65. He hosted the first of two network musical
game shows, What's This Song?
Each show featured two celebrity players, who had to do some singing. Among the celebrities who appeared included:
Efrem Zimbalist Jr, Walter Brennan, Frank Gorshin, Vin Scully, Dick Clark and Jimmy O'Neill. (thanks to David Schwartz)
|(July 22, 2020) The
Liberty Broadcasting System was a U.S. radio network
of the late 1940s and early 1950s founded by
Gordon McLendon, which mainly broadcast live
recreations of Major League Baseball games.
Broadcasters were not at the ballparks, but rather
followed the action via Western Union ticker
The idea was born in the trenches of World War II when Gordon discovered that his army buddies loved baseball so much that they were interested in not only their home games but other games. Gordon’s sound effects were very realistic, and many listeners were not aware the broadcasters were not announcing the action live.
Major League Baseball eventually put Gordon out of business by raising rights fees to untenable levels In our new world of fan-less baseball stadiums, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times remembered a time when the Dodgers did it 52 years ago.
On March 23, 1968, the Dodgers played an exhibition game in the Bahamas. With broadcast transmission facilities unavailable in Nassau, Vin Scully skipped the trip and called the game from the Dodgers’ spring home in Vero Beach. “Vin got a book on the Bahamas and read from it during the game, as if to share how he had experienced the local culture. A Dodgers publicist phoned in descriptions of every play, and team staffers typed them and fed them to Scully and partner Jerry Doggett, who jazzed up the words and turned them into play-by-play. And, yes, the broadcast included crowd noise, from tapes of previous games.”
The month I spent at Gordon McLendon’s ranch during the Magnificent Seven mentoring program in 1967, was certainly a one-of-a- kind experience. Every morning at breakfast Gordon would regale us with stories and more stories. In regards to baseball recreation broadcasts, he told us of all the delaying tactics he used when the Western Union ticker tape broke. Gordon would announce that a pesky dog has entered center field and play was stopped until they caught it. Depending on how long the ticket tape delay was, the dog chase would go on and on with umpires diving for the dog and missing. One extended ticker tape delay resulted in a rain delay of the game, while fans at the actual game were in short sleeve shirts fanning themselves in the sun.
|Hear Ache. KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest will host the 10th anniversary of the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The virtual concert event will be recorded live on stages in Los Angeles and Nashville and feature performances from BTS, Coldplay, Keith Urban, Miley Cyrus, and more. The CW Network will also televise the two-night iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 27 and September 28 … Podcast listeners are 39% more likely to be hybrid drivers, according to Podnews … AMP Radio’s Yesi Ortiz adds another responsibility to her busy schedule. She has been upped to apd, while continuing to be music director and afternoons drive … Missing early rock ‘n roll (50s, 60s,70s)? Rich Brother Robbin (ex-KIQQ pd) continues with his tasty website at: www.RichBroRadio.com but a slightly different configuration. When you log in, a player comes up, just hit the blue circle w/the right-facing arrow if it doesn’t come up by itself. Where else are you going to hear Foot Stompin by the Flares?|
|(July 21, 2020) Whotta’
beautiful voice. Dave Caprita spent 15 years
working weekends and fill-in at KTWV (the WAVE). He
is missed. Turns out he moved to Atlanta a year ago
to be near family. Dave wrote an update for LARadio.
Dave’s used to moving. He was born a Navy brat in Jacksonville, Florida on September 30, 1953 and his father returned after a 30-year career. A little nepotism planted the entertainment seed. His older brother was running a radio station in Milton, Florida, near Pensacola. Dave was 13 years old.
“My brother gave me my first radio gig,” said Dave. “So I made a fool out of myself, but I got the bug and eventually went from Pensacola to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a rock station while in college. His major market career launched in Jacksonville.
Dave started hosting morning shows across the nation, including Miami (WAXY) and five years at “Love 94FM,” which offered a precursor to the popular Smooth Jazz format. “So in an indirect way, I introduced that music to the station,” David said. He also worked in Seattle, Las Vegas and eventually Los Angeles.
Along with a great voice, Dave is handsome. “I sold my house and my sports car because I got the acting bug. I was fortunate enough to appear in a few major movies and tv pilots and wanted to really learn how the industry worked and how to act, so I took classes at AFI.”
KTWV program director Paul Goldstein hired Caprita in 2003. “It was a true-life adventure at the WAVE, dealing with different program directors,” said David. “I just marvel at how I was able to keep my gig there through all the changes. I’m very proud of it and the things that I did, not just being on the air but hosting different gigs from brunches to appearances at the Hollywood Bowl. Looking back, I really miss it. I think that’s probably the one thing I really miss right now in my life is being on the radio. This is the longest I’ve gone without being on the air. It’s going on a year now.”
Dave concluded: “As you
get older you start to get tired of looking at the
kids and the grandkids on Skype. So this is where we
are, Atlanta. I’m continuing to work in acting and
voiceover work and writing a lot. But I still miss
Check out Dave’s website at: https://www.davidcaprita.com/
Whole Lotta Shakin.’ A survivor of the Sylmar earthquake (February 9, 1971) is producing a documentary on the quake designed for air in February 2021 to mark the 50th anniversary. He is looking for interviews with survivors, first responders and people instrumental at every level in dealing with the killer quake and its aftermath including crimes which took place after the tragedy. Two hospitals in Sylmar collapsed killing nearly 70 people and setting the stage for new ways of dealing with disasters in California. Stills and early video of the disaster will be included, some provided by other survivors. Do you have any audio of that morning? Drop me a note at: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com and I will forward it to the producer.
Hear Ache. Dear friends are struggling to make sense of our current culture. We get about 25,000 days on earth, if we are lucky. Subtract what you’ve already used up and how do you want to spend the remaining days. I live by the mantra: action and more action. Consultant George Johns put it succinctly in his tasty weekly blog post this week: “Action produces results; no action produces absolutely nothing.” … Nick Cannon had a tough weekend, according to the New York Daily News. He was fired by ViacomCBS last week for making anti-Semitic comments on his podcast. “I hurt an entire community and it pained me to my core, I thought it couldn’t get any worse,” Cannon tweeted. “Then I watched my own community turn on me and call me a sell-out for apologizing. Goodnight. Enjoy Earth.” He added, “Y’all can have this planet. I’m out!” The messages marked his location as “heaven.” … Morning radio news isn’t what it’s used to be. In a recent Dallas rating, the listener share for three news-talk radio giants has dropped by about 25 percent. Perhaps we are overwhelmed with negative news. Perhaps our routines have changed radically. Interesting article in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram: https://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/bud-kennedy/article244177012.html
Ton of LARPs in
More LARPs in the Heavy Hundred
(July 20, 2020)
As with any list of anything, controversy usually
follows. No reason for the
listing of the 2020 Heavy Hundred Talk Show hosts to
be any different. And there are plenty of Los
Angeles Radio People (LARP) on the Heavy Hundred.
How the heck do they make their choices? This year’s Heavy Hundred is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine using such factors as: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. The editors acknowledge that it is as much art as science and that the results are arguable. During our COVID-19, pandemic talk radio personalities have the opportunity to become an even more important part of their listeners’ lives by delivering the information they need and providing the opportunity to hear debate about and take part in discussions concerning the events affecting their lives. The list accounts for the personality’s “courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.
noon to 3 p.m. on the Patriot 1150AM KEIB, tops the
Heavy Hundred listing
13. Lars Larson
14. Ben Shapiro
15. George Noory
18. Jim Bohannon
19. Michael Savage
21. Hugh Hewitt
22. Bill Handel
23. Armstrong & Getty
27. Sebastian Gorka
28. John & Ken
29. Larry Elder
31. Doug Stephan
32. Larry O'Connor
33. Dennis Prager
38. Kim Komando
39. Michael Smerconish
40. Stephanie Miller
42. Michael Medved
49. Tim Conway, Jr.
50. Todd Schnitt
56. Clark Howard
58. Terry Gross
69. Ric Edelman
87. Heidi Harris
91. John Batchelor
94. Brett Winterble
99. Brian Whitman/Jennifer Horn
Larry Elder's documentary Uncle Tom ranks #1 on IMDB this week
More LARPs in the Heavy Hundred
|** Sweet Dick’s Dirty
“Great article on a man I listened to in the car while mom was taking us to school back in the 60’s, when Dick Whittington was on that power lineup of djs at KGIL [Dudley Williams, Johnny Gilbert, Wink Martindale, Paul Compton and Gary Parker]. His conversations with Larry the Lizard, his ‘Musical Cars’ segment that you could never get away with today, and of course he would wrap up the week with ‘Clean Thoughts on a Dirty Wall.’
I also remember his rendition of the Christmas Carol ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ which was side-splittingly hilarious and I was grateful to hear again when he played it while at KNJO-Thousand Oaks in 1994 [and yes, I audio recorded it].
He had a style and a sense of humor all his own and for which I will always remember him. While I have never met him, just listening to him over all those years at various stations is enough for me.
God bless you Sweet Dick Whittington!” – Larry Anderson, Sunland
** A Day At a Time
“Since March, each day has become one long uninterrupted day for me. No divisions of days, weeks or months. I figure that God owes us at least four months out of our lives. Jesus is so pissed that he has left his seat next to his father and is taking a sabbatical. HE applied at Cal Poly, but didn’t have a high enough SAT, so HE can now be found at Cuesta majoring in nothing because HE knows everything. They’ll keep HIM because HE is also the starting point guard for the Cougars basketball team.
I would feel sorry for you, but I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself, which I frankly enjoy. I am extremely grateful to you for the e-mail, since no one will talk, text, or email me, except the dog. And then only if I give her treats. I tried to give Barbara ‘treats,’ which is why she no longer talks to me.
Take care of yourself. If you don’t, I’ll overwrite you another email. Jesus, who is staying with us until HE can find a cheap rental manger says hi. HE won’t say it directly to you, until HE sees HIS name in your column Also, it would help your cause if you could get HIM an interview with Hugh Hewitt.” – Sweet Dick Whittington
|** Proud Papa
“Congrats to Brian Whitman and Jennifer Horn for cracking the Heavy Hundred Talkers.
Also, Larry Elder and Michael Medved!” – Mike Horn
|** Cat’s in the Cradle
“Great column, but 39 years? It doesn’t feel like that long since I heard the news [over the radio in the car] about Harry Chapin’s death. His life still reverberates today, but that song. His brother Tom used to sing his Circles song and even did a short lived but award-winning daily show with Stephanie Edwards, John Bennett Perry and Murray Langston called Everyday.
Good times when Top 40 radio could play Circles then Jack and Diane then Gloria and even Ronnie Milsap’s Any Day Now and not worry about what was Pop and what was Country. Sigh.” – Julie T. Byers
** Mighty Met Memories
“I just saw your trip down KMET memory lane on The Sound. Between politics and masking up to keep COVID-19 at bay, I don’t check in with you as much as I should. It was a treat. It’s reminiscing about an event that was like, reminiscing.
Anyway, that was back in 2009, so much has happened to radio, so much has happened to us all. Keep up the great work of keeping us a radio community.” – Jeff Gonzer
** Mighty Met Reunion
“I saw Nostalgia Sunday column on the KMET reunion and enjoyed it. Seeing my favorite morning dj, Jeff Gonzer, bought back some good memories. I attended a few ‘Finally A Friday’ shows at the Wolf and Rissmiller location, getting up early to drive to Reseda from Huntington Beach, and always had a good time.
I avoided the temptation to drink as I knew I would have to drive back after the show ended at 10 a.m. On the way back, I would visit my grandmother and rest up with her until I had to go to work at 4 p.m.
Looking at the pictures, I noticed there were no younger guys in attendance, the ones who would be the up-and-comers to replace the older djs when the time came. With no younger guys and gals, there apparently will not be the continuation of the Classic Rock tradition of irreverence and other crazy stuff. KMET had its day, but it is sad there will no one to continue that free-form style that made KMET what it was.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree
** Mighty Met
“My gawds that was amazing coverage about the KMET Reunion! Extremely cool. Thanks for that blast from the past. Much appreciated.
I was a board-op there while I was in law school for Mary Turner, Barbara Birdfeather, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Dr. Demento. A really fun gig.
I have a story along those lines I will tell you on the phone about what used to happen when I would go to lunch and mysterious voices would haunt the jocks.” – Don Elliot
** A Story on Who Bob Crane Replaced?
“Bob Crane joined KNX as the morning man in September 1956. Do you know who he replaced?
In September 1956, Ralph was hired to replace Sonny Fox as host on The $64,000 Challenge, which forced him to move to New York. In January 1962, Bob Crane took a week off to fill in for Johnny Carson on Who Do You Trust while Carson filled in for Jack Paar on the Tonight Show.” – David Schwartz
** Dan Ingram Intros
“I saw that you mentioned some Dan Ingram intros to songs in Wednesday’s column. Here are a few others: he always called Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, ‘Herb Alpert and the teeny weenie Brass.’ When he played Eli’s Coming by Three Dog Night, he would say, ‘Eli’s Coming – it’s about time.’ He always introduced Angel Baby by Rosie and the Originals as ‘the worst record ever made’ and Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight as ‘Someone Shaved My Wife Tonight.’
He was so quick. Due to WABC’s tight format, he had to get all his one-liners in during song intros or during live spots. I remember hearing him do a spot for Jiffy Pop and he said, ‘just heat it on the stove and when the popping stops, peel back the foil and eat it.....it tastes better than the popcorn.’” – Bob Scott
|** Hall of Fame Nominee
"Did you see this? I’m beyond thrilled.
They changed the voting. It now starts July 27 not the 20th.
I have no idea how this came to be but my mind is just blown!
I hope you’re well And healthy!" - Whitney Allen
|** San Diego Calls
“This is an open letter to the scabby, lead-headed, corporate-bandits at iHeart Radio, who think they scored a coup by appropriating the legendary KGB call letters, to its newest acquisition of 760-AM [formerly KFMB] in San Diego. You have insulted the honor of hundreds of hard-working men and women who proudly DID serve KGB-AM radio in the past.
Yes, I bet you smirked when some idiot came up with ‘stealing’ of the KGB call letters to 760. [I don’t care that you own the FM, repeat, I don’t care]. It shows, typically of your ilk, nothing original. Let’s dumb-it-down some more. Can your hosts honestly even speak those call letters without feeling something is not right [or maybe throwing-up]?
You are a joke…and if we ever meet in person, I’ll tell you what I really think.” – Jeff Prescott, La Jolla
** Casey at the Mike in Bay Area
“With 2020 being the 50th Anniversary of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 countdown show, I’m recalling my childhood. I used to hear Casey on KEWB in Oakland counting down the hits on Friday nights from 8 p.m. to midnight in the early 60’s, a good 10 years before the national show started. The difference was he started at the number one song at 8 p.m., and made his way down to 40 right before midnight.
I learned later that Casey had actually been living right down the street from me for the entire time he was on KEWB. However, I didn’t find that out until right after he had moved down here to work at KRLA. I was a 12-year-old who took it upon myself one day to help a confused substitute mailman that had all these records for a ‘Casey Kasem,’ and he couldn't find the address. When he did, he found it was a forwarding address to KRLA in Pasadena.
As Don Adams would say: Missed him [Casey] by that much" – Bill Dudley
** Host That Loves You the Most
“Very glad my friend Dave Sebastian Williams made it clear that Johnny Magnus - whom I had the pleasure of working across the hall from during my K-Lite years – is still very much with us. Here’s to ‘The Host who Loves You Most,’ indeed!
AM HD Review.
Had a chance to recently hear Saul Levine’s KSUR 1260 on a rental car with a receiver that picks up AM HD. It was a true pleasure to listen to, compared to my usual listening experience on our ancient Honda CRV’s tuner. Unless my headphone diminished hearing fooled me, it sounded like true stereo in full fidelity. A pity the FCC dropped the ball years ago with their ‘marketplace’ decision that doomed AM Stereo.
Regardless, for those who have late model cars – I suggest trying out 1260 to see if your experience matches mine.” – Bill A. Jones
** Black Information Network
“I am reminded of the earlier black-oriented radio news networks, going back close to 50 years. In 1972, both Unity Broadcasting and the Mutual Broadcasting System began black-focused news networks: Mutual Black Network began May 1 of that year and National Black Network, on June 15. Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation purchased a half-interest in Mutual’s network in 1976 and acquired the remaining half three years later, changing the name to Sheridan Broadcasting Network.
National Black Network continued under that name until 1991, when it merged with Sheridan into the American Urban Radio Network. American Urban Radio Network is still in operation, having expanded into long-form talk and entertainment programming, including podcasts.” – K.M. Richards
** Grandson Matthew
“Your grandson Matthew is way too sparkling cute to work for scale. He needs to demand that his dad set up a 529 college fund right now and provide a bonus for family labor law violations. Perhaps he could pay Matthew an allowance for being such a cute little rascal.” – Warren Cereghino
“I was an avid listener to KROQ, when it was AM&FM, or known as The ROQs of Los Angeles, in the mid-late 70’s. When Frazer Smith came on board, he would blurt out a lot of outlandish phrases during his show, and one of them, in fact probably his most well know ‘fraze’ was in fact: ‘Hurt me, beat me, make me write bad checks!’ So this ‘revolting john’ guy that Rick Dees dreamt up was nothing more than a Charlatan, in my book. They’re both disco ducks.
And as for a reality check, I would like to send out healing vibes to one of the most menschish gentlemen in this world, Kevin Gershan. Sorry to read about your misstep, Kevin. May your rest period be strengthening for you.” – Timmy Manocheo
** In the Air … Everywhere
“Fond memories of KABL: ‘We’ve named our station after the beautiful Cable Cars that climb your San Francisco hills … KABL Radio, San Francisco (Oakland).’” – Don Graham
“Another week of great cartoons to light our spirits through all the shit floating around out there. Thanks, my friend.” – Rich Brother Robbin
|(July 17, 2020) With
this crazy world – upside down and topsy-turvy – the
risk of telling a joke or funnie story might offend
someone, yet LARadio is throwing caution to the
wind. And there was a time when one of our brightest
personalities was so funny, day after day. Water
cooler humor. Every morning he would take us on a
fanciful trip. One journey was to the Louvre in
Paris while he attempted to get a listener’s
paint-by-the-numbers painting hung somewhere near
the Mona Lisa.
His name is Sweet Dick Whittington. If his zaniness was part of your radio listening habit between 1960 and 1995, you were lucky. And in 2020, we need a break from the daily pandemonium swirling around. I thought some Sweet Dick stories might put a smile on your face while you shake your overgrown beard and/or hair.
The Queen Mary’s arrival in Long Beach in the late 60s to become a tourist attract was a major story. Of course, Dick had other zany plans. In person in full captain’s gear, he married the Queen Mary and a tug boat. This was the beginning of his outsized plans to play with imagination.
There was his invasion of Catalina Island, inviting his listeners to join him dressed in the uniform of their favorite war.
Dick occasionally opened his show by
interviewing God. “Good morning, sinner Dick,” God
would say with a reverberating voice. Dick responded
with, “Good lord, it’s, it’s the Lord.” Then the two
of them would discuss such topical, earthly problems
as election-year politics (God’s advice: “Vote Yes
on Commandment 3”). In another conversation with
God, the Lord says, “I saw the play Jesus Christ
Superstar, but I liked the book better!”
He tip-toed into politics when he headed the campaign to elect Tiny Tim President and First Lady. Tiny Tim’s people threatened a lawsuit if Dick didn’t abandon the campaign, prompting an observer to comment that Tim’s humor was also tiny.
One stunt in 1968 got the U.S. Coast Guard involved. Whittington spun the tale of an iceberg spotted off the coast of Santa Monica. He named it Myron and he said it was 1,200 feet tall and four feet wide and was wearing a prayer shawl. Myron had come down from Alaska to see a famous Santa Monica specialist about “bad circulation.” Myron was so introverted that he simply melted away when someone on shore stared at him with high-powered binoculars. When Dick was asked if nine-tenths of it was under water, it is believed the iceberg chimed in, “Isn’t everything?”
Thanks, Sweet Dick. For a moment we got unstuck from the vortex of this pandemic and smiled. He just celebrated his 91st birthday and lives on the Central Coast.
Some Correspondent’s Comments: Alan Oda
decided a story about Dick Whittington required a
few recollections of his own:
I’m sure I’ve mentioned (far too many times) about how grateful I am to Don Barrett for allowing me to meet some of my heroes – while others thought of emulating Marvel Comic characters or rock-n-roll stars, I envied who was on the radio, the voices that kept me company while I struggled through my overdue homework assignments. Many were performers, providing everything from high-energy one-liners between “more music” to talented personalities who were funnier than what was on tv.
Dick Whittington was more than just a funny performer. The stunts about invading Catalina Island, hanging a paint-by-numbers picture in the Louvre (I think it was placed ever so briefly by the entrance to the men’s room), the marriage of the Queen Mary continue to be legendary. Yet consider an important detail about these broadcasted shenanigans – Dick included his listeners to join with him in the fun. He involved his audience as few others ever did or ever will.
Consider his invasion of Catalina Island. He invited his listeners to join him dressed up with the uniform of the war of their choice to march to some rockin’ beat as they attempted to occupy Avalon. It was a listener that painted the “artwork” which was destined for Paris. Imagine 10,000 listeners as invited guests as Dick officiated the wedding of the Queen Mary. (photo: Dick (l) with producer Douglas McEwan)
One Christmas, he dressed as Santa Claus, albeit
dressed in green (he would never dress in “commie”
red since that wasn’t “Amourican”), inviting his
audience to sit on his lap and share their holiday
He had a bus filled with riders, all members of Dick Whittington’s SOBs (“South of Burbank Boulevard”) to mark the line of demarcation in his beloved “Sin” Fernando Valley on some early weekday morning.
I teach for a living. I realize years from now my students will likely forget every detail of the elaborate child development theories I painstakingly attempted to explain. But if I can be mindful of the value of bringing my students along for the journey of learning, to segue from passive learning to joining me on the expedition to better understand kids and families, to get them to look up from the text, maybe I’ve done something worthwhile.
For his loyal listeners, Dick Whittington did something worthwhile. And that’s why I’m grateful I got to meet a hero. May the tender young cypress bloom long past 91 years.
Hear Ache. No word on who Meruelo is putting in morning drive while Nick Cannon takes some time away for self-reflection following the cancellation of his relationship with ViacomCBS … Ryan Fox, former morning man at KKGO, saw it with his own eyes upon entering his local Wal-Mart. They ae now requiring all customers to wear deodorant and pants … KFI producer Michelle Kube wished Bill Handel a happy 27 years in morning drive. “What's scary is that of my 27 years at KFI so far, my 25 years on the show.....means that more than HALF MY LIFE was spent working VERY early mornings with you.” … Phil Hulett, former morning anchor at KFWB, revealed on Twitter that in a month he’s gone from 4 cars to 2. “Now my daughter's car is in the driveway with a cover on it. My wife's car is in the garage, used for #essential trips. Next to it, space for bikes where my car used to be. #NewNormal #WorkFromHome” … Scott Ferrall returns to Southern California on sports radio next month on XEPRS-San Diego on “The Mightier 1090.”
|(July 16, 2020) KPWR (Power 106) morning
man Nick Cannon has been the center of a firestorm
on social media. He was fired yesterday by ViacomCBS
for “hateful speech,” and espousing “anti-Semitic
conspiracy theories.” Cannon’s firing apparently was
triggered by his comments on a recent episode of his
Cannon’s Class podcast, during which he discussed
race and racism with former Public Enemy member
Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin.
Details of the controversy can be found elsewhere.
In return, Cannon lobed a cannonball at ViacomCBS, demanding ownership of his MTV and VH1 series Wild ‘N Out, alleging, in part, that the company “swindled” the show away from him, according to a story at Deadline.com. In a nearly 1,500-word Facebook message posted yesterday morning, Cannon wrote: “I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise. Based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me. For Viacom to be so deceptive is no surprise; they have been mistreating and robbing our community for years, underpaying talent on their biggest brands like Love & Hip Hop, all of BET programming and of course, Wild ‘N Out.”
Then Sean Diddy Combs got involved, seeming to offer him a job with his cable network Revolt TV, saying “we are for our people first.” The tweet, under Combs’ Twitter name Diddy, asks Cannon to “come home” to the Black-owned Revolt TV.
In his Facebook post Wednesday, titled “Truth and
Reconciliation” Cannon wrote that he has received an
“outpouring of love and support from the Jewish
community,” and added, “I must apologize to my
Jewish Brothers and Sisters for putting them in such
a painful position, which was never my intention.
They can try to kick me while I’m down or force me
to kiss the master’s feet in public for shame and
ridicule but instead I stand firm on my square with
my fist in the air repeating my mantra, ‘You can’t
fire a Boss!’”
The Deadline.com story reported that since his firing Cannon has received “death threats, hate messages calling me an ungrateful [n*****] and beyond.”
The story comes at a particularly sensitive time in our history. And expect the fireworks to continue to ignite.
Hear Ache. Cumulus’ Westwood One is joining Omnicast Media that brings the popular podcast Something You Should Know to the Westwood One Podcast Network. The show is hosted by Mike Carruthers where he interviews top experts in their fields to offer fascinating information and advice to help listeners save time and money, advance their careers, become wealthy, improve relationships, and simply get more out of life. Something You Should Know drops each Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, and is available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, and Google Podcasts, among other platforms. Mike’s early career includes stints at KHTZ (K-Hits), KBIG, and KIQQ … Michael Austin posts a tasty daily reminder on Facebook about a celebrity and usually the anniversary of a significant date. Remember Cat's in the Cradle? Huge hit song by Harry Chapin in the seventies. Austin noted that Chapin died in a car accident 39 years ago today, at the age of 38. "I'm gonna be just like you dad." Song was so sad. I felt he was singing about my dad and it just upsets me all over again. We all can be better fathers ... 870/KRLA’s Dr. Sebastian Gorka joins the National Security Education Board … Think content and personality is the secret sauce? Consultant George Johns has an interesting thought: “Radio like the rest of show business is built on talent. Without talent, what’ve you got to sell?”
|(July 15, 2020) Westwood
One continues to be one of the biggest sources of
syndicated radio programming. At one time, almost
8.000 stations across the country relied on at least
one of the services offered by Westwood One,
including news, talk, sports, 24/7 music channels,
and other offerings.
Well known brands such as CBS Sports Radio, “NFL on Westwood One,” CNN News Wire, CNBC Business Radio, Metro Traffic, Shadow Broadcasting Services, the Weather Channel, even The History of Rock and Roll are all Westwood One properties.
The company made headlines when it acquired the NBC Radio Network and its assets, The Source and Talknet, a $50 million deal back in 1987. Dial Global was another programming service owned by Cumulus Media. They merged with Westwood One, with the combined Cumulus-owned companies eventually dropping the Dial Global moniker in favor of the better known Westwood One marque.
Declining revenues fueled by contracting audiences – further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic – have adversely affected different media, with radio appearing to be hit especially remorselessly. Now, it appears the waning economic climate has led to a double-whammy for the Cumulus-owned Westwood One. Their entire news service will be dropped as of August 30. About 1,000 stations (locally KABC) currently use Westwood One News.
Several recognizable names, including LARadio veteran Jim Roope, are among those being laid off. A second blow landed when Cumulus announced they are also imposing an overall three percent reduction in force, about 100 staffers which include Westwood One.
One of the casualties
is Blair Garner, former talent at Country
KZLA. Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2013,
Garner has also been heard locally on KIIS. Right
now, KABC will continue to offer Ben Shapiro,
Michael Savage, and Dan Bongino, while
Mark Levin will continue to be heart on “The
Answer 870” (KRLA), all originating from Westwood
One. There is also speculation that there will be
additional cuts forthcoming, including the possible
sale of assets including broadcast towers.
In the Air … Everywhere. Bill Moen has been the voice of KABL-San Francisco for 61 years. He wrote on social media that the station is about to ring the Cable Car bell for the last time as part of the station’s ID.
“Like the Cable Car ride itself it, certainly, has been a nostalgic, rattling ride through a city that we all love and that, even, the world grabbed a handle on, laughing and waving, the past few years, loved the ride. The Cable Cars are, of course, forever there but KSFOs ‘Sounds of the City’ are gone and KABL’s ‘Very San Francisco!’ is but an echo as we raise a glass to a gentler time. For those who remember waking to the sound of Cable Car bells on your Radio…that was us.”
|Hear Ache. My son-in-law Simon Poulton has been working behind the scenes for almost a year on the launch this week of Peacock TV for NBC/Universal. Simon is using my grandson, Matthew, as a little peacock mascot … Strange times as Diageo, one of the world’s largest whiskey producers, just launched an all-paper whiskey bottle. Guess you won’t have to wrap it in a brown paper sack …Richard Wagoner writes in the OC Register that KABC’s John Phillips turned his “Doctor Hour” into a daily coronavirus Q&A, one of the best things on radio. Read the story here: …With wearing masks gaining acceptance, lipstick sales are down 15% … WABC’s Dan Ingram (ex-K-EARTH) has some wonderful lines talking up to vocals of 60s and 70s hits. Introing Captain & Tennille’s Do That To Me One More Time, he said, “From the album ‘Insatiable.’” For The Commodores’ Easy, he said “The new lubricant from Johnson & Johnson.”|
|(July 14, 2020)
can change a lot in five years, but our goal is to
be a trusted and credible source for news in the
Black community,” affirmed
Tony Coles as he
launches the Black Information Network (BIN), a new
iHeartRadio venture. The network starts with 15
affiliates across the U.S., locally on BIN 1440 AM
(KFOO) Riverside-San Bernardino and also available
KRRL-HD2 (REAL 92.3). Additional affiliates will be
announced over the next 60 days. BIN will also
provide news services for REAL 92.3 and iHeart’s
r&b, Hip-Hop and Gospel stations, 91 stations in
The President of the new network is a 16-year veteran with iHeartMedia (previously Clear Channel). He also serves as division president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group. Coles has worked in radio for 35 years, starting as a programmer and on-air talent. His previous titles include National Hot AC Brand Manager, Senior VP of Programming (Chicago), and West Region Executive VP of Programming.
With current events making the timing of the new network seems apt, it was last year when iHeart conducted a survey of Black listeners. The company reported 83 percent of respondents believed there was a need for something to fill a void within the mainstream media, with the concept of a Black information service testing strongly across 18 – 34 and 35 – 54 demographics in the Black community.
In an exclusive email interview with LARadio.com, Coles explained the uniqueness of BIN. “While there are Black TV networks, radio stations and newspapers, we are the only 24/7 national and local all-news audio network dedicated to Black listeners and available across multiple platforms.” He said big news stories affect almost everyone, “but BIN’s context will always be to understand how the story impacts Black listeners. BIN is focused on service to the Black community and on providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding.”
Coles said BIN is a 24 / 7 national and local all-news audio service, “dedicated exclusively to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of news coverage for the Black community with a Black voice and perspective.” He said BIN “will be rolling out more options” for local affiliates, stating “our success comes from the success of our affiliates.”
Previous attempts at targeting a particular
demographic with news and information programming
have yielded mixed results. Fox News – both cable tv
and radio – has done well by marketing to a general
audience, while Spanish information services have
often struggled. Even in a major market such as Los
Angeles, news and information stations in Spanish
have attracted diminutive listenership. Coles
stressed how BIN is unique. “It is important that we
first draw a distinction between the comparisons.
Fox News is primarily driven by their talk / opinion
programming. Our focus is exclusively on news and
information, something that has broad appeal,” said
The President of BIN said the success of network will not be measured by ratings. “While we firmly believe we will build a sizeable audience, success will come from becoming the trusted, credible source for news and information for our listeners and affiliates, driving value for our founding partners, and the level service we provide to our communities.”
As to what a radio service can offer compared to other media platforms, Coles said “radio has always been about companionship. Our focus is on telling Black stories and serving the communities where we operate. TV networks are driven by ratings and often need to tell what sells and that is a different experience. Our model gives us the freedom to build something unique.”
(July 13, 2020) Most
successful morning shows have a cast of characters
providing stories, humor or sometimes are just the
foil for a bad joke. KIIS’ Rick Dees ruled
the morning roost for many years in the 80s and 90s.
One of the characters on his show was John
Revolting, played by
Interviewed for this story, Dees remarked, “Greg Berg has a gift of ‘chameleon vocal chords.’” Said the former KIIS morning star: “Give Greg 20 minutes and he can do an impression of any celebrity or character. His creativity is astounding. As I recall, his lime green ‘John Revolting’ leisure suit cost me $35.”
“But I saved the best for last. He is wonderfully cordial and gracious to everyone. Except his landlord,” Dees concluded.
Greg Berg offers the story of John Revolting:
If you lived almost anywhere in the world that had a radio from 1980 – 2000, you may have heard one of a variety of voice characters performed by ME! John Revolting was an airheaded character, living forever with his slick hair and 70's Disco Suit, including a slew of chains, (purchased at CHAINS R US), with a lapel pin that says 10 1/2.
For over 20 years, on morning and weekend shows, John would capture listeners ears by calling in with a piece of his adventurous, confusing life, including his dislike of jogging at the beach, because after three seconds he would keep hitting the water, to telling Rick how he hates playing the game Trivial Pursuit, because he played Scrabble and found out he couldn’t spell, now he found out, he doesn't know anything!
|And to prove John Revolting WAS a
LIVE person, not just a call-in, I/he, would be
brought in to appear on stage, in costume, to many
of the prominent live appearance shows where Rick
Dees performed or hosted, from the Disneyland Space
Mountain Stage (when crowd seating was permitted),
to a short visit to the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton L
A. New Year’s Eve Show, at the L.A. Forum – before
18,000 attendees, a Santa Anita Race Park Comedy
Show, and a variety show at the famed Long Beach
Spruce Goose Display in Long Beach.
I had no clue of the extent of popularity the character had – although on a top listened to morning radio show, and heard around the world – until one day I was asked to perform on a record Rick was doing, called:
HURT ME BABY, MAKE ME WRITE BAD CHECKS.
The album garnered a Grammy nomination! I could be heard doing a string of my John Revolting experiences on one cut, (my color photo is on the back cover,) and I was 'all smiles' after hearing the cut being played on the long-time running Dr. Demento syndicated radio program! This was more of a rundown of my work voicing John Revolting.
On other occasions, depending what was in the news or whatever idea came to mind, I was given the freedom to drop a call to Rick while the radio show was in progress and call with other celebrity voices or characters and silly ideas. To fans of John and others who just wondered what I have been part of in my voice career, this was one amazing run and I look forward to other voices and characters to conquer!
Hear Ache. Beau Rials is celebrating 28 years of marriage. See, radio marriages do last, grow, and prosper … ESPN has reconfigured its national schedule, effective August 17: The new morning show will be a trio co-hosted by Keyshawn Johnson, NBA and college basketball analyst Jay Williams, and “SportsCenter” anchor Zubin Mehenti. Others rounding out the day include: Dan Le Batard, Trey Wingo, Max Kellerman, Chiney Ogwumike and Mike Golic Jr. … The 2020 Radio Hall of Fame nominee Bobby Rich is broadcasting from home. He fell and shattered a kneecap. Making his way around his home studio with the help of a leg brace and a walker … And speedy recovery to Kevin Gershan who had a fall in his kitchen. “Multiple micro-fractures of the left knee,” emailed Kevin. “Treatment: Stay off of left leg and apply no pressure. Wear Velcro knee brace. Six to eight weeks minimum, to heal, possibly months. Ouch!”
** KGFJ Lost a Huge Friend
“Broke my heart when I heard that Brad Pye Jr. had transitioned. We worked together at KGFJ for more than eight years. He was one dedicated sports personality and we became close friends over the years that we broadcast together.
Brad Pye, Lucky Pierre, Don Tracy, and other KGFJ personalities were united when I put together a KGFJ reunion a few years ago. Brad will be truly missed.” – Roland Bynum
** Pye Loss
“Heartbreaking news about the death of Brad Pye, Jr. He was a good friend of my dad’s. – Felicia “The Poetess” Morris
** Dave Sebastian Doubles Down
"Oh Don! Twice in 7 days My personal best. This time, I'm writing for two reasons.
ONE: I’d like to award justified applause to whomever wrote the inspiring piece: Trailblazing Broadcaster Brad Pye, Jr. Dies. And even more applause to Brad for living that life.
Sadly, I didn't have the pleasure of working with or meeting Mr. Pye. What a diverse and ambitiously inspiring life he led. While reading, the hair on my arms were like ‘amber waves of grain’ and his multitude of accomplishments choked me up a few times, tissue in hand. Thank you and the LARadio platform for sharing over the years the many uplifting shards of our industry’s people.
Being an all-star member of his undefeated East LA College football team gave me thought. During this Covid-19 period we have a gaggle of High School Athletes basically playing the ‘real’ home game at a time in their lives when they’re getting ready to set out on their life’s path. I’m in hope [with authorization] of using this piece as the basis for an inspiring Zoom meeting with my area Athletes and Students alike.
Brad Pye Jr.’s life story may be just what the Doctor ordered. It’s time for all of us to give … and give again.
TWO: Skipping down to LARadio reader Rick Howard's memories of LARP, Johnny Magnus. I got scared when it was written mostly in past tense that it gave me chills [yet, I knew not] and when Johnny himself read it, I wonder if he ran for his blood pressure cuff. Living out of LA for the first time in 50 years I’m happy to have the KKJZ – KJazz 88.1 Smartphone APP wherever I go. It brings Johnny’s style, grace, artist respect and formidable music knowledge within reach and into our home. I’m writing to say my friend Johnny can be enjoyed LIVE each weekend morning 7-10 a.m. on KKJZ. Even with its less than robust LA Signal this station has for years held its own, consistently topping nearly ten other stations vying for an audience in the SoCal Market. Johnny’s LIVE show is worth your ears … APP up, wherever you are." - Dave Sebastian Williams
** Joey Reynolds Nomination for HOF
“Our happy ‘congrats’ to Joey Reynolds on his well-deserved nomination to the Radio Hall of Fame in the category of ‘Longstanding Network/Syndication.’
I’m thanking Joey for years of national radio entertainment on WOR-New York. You have our vote.” – Don Graham
** Man Who Owned Midnight
“Life is weird. I told my wife about Steve Allison maybe two weeks ago and now you print the story.
When I was sixteen I became friends on the phone with Joan Lennox, Steve Allison’s producer. She invited me to come down to the station and sit in with the man who owned midnight. Steve was very nice and I believe the best political host I’ve ever heard. He left us, way too soon. Tell her daughter that I was a lifetime fan of her father.” – Fred Wallin, Sports Overnight America
** UCLA Grads
“I was delighted to see the inclusion of at least three of my former classmates and colleagues from KLA [UCLA] included in your reader’s suggestions. Along with the contributions of Larry Boxer, Steve Weed, and Ken Levine, I would also note that LARadio people Gary Campbell, Tom Greenleigh, Bill Pearl, and Ira Sternberg were also all colleagues of mine at KLA. You could also add Sharon Weiss, who although not an LA Radio air personality, has an impressive background starting at Watermark, and then as a major music and broadcast publicist, as well as album cover photographer.
It’s an impressive group, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten to cite various others, as we have some key tv figures who were also with us at KLA. And for what it’s worth, I did do one weekend as a courtesy via Rick Carroll at KKDJ. I came down from the legendary KROY in Sacramento, and Rick was kind enough to let me do a couple of shifts that weekend.” – Barry Salberg
** Kimmel Apology for Being in Blackface
“For the record, I’m a Jimmy Kimmel fan. Folks should know [if they don’t remember] that Whoopi Goldberg also went socializing with [while dating] Ted Danson while HE was in blackface, around the same time as the Kimmel goof.
Shouldn’t she and Ted also apologize?” – Bill Dudley
** Michael Sheehy Recovering
“You'd be hard pressed to find a sweeter human than Michael Sheehy.” – Keri Tombazian
** Mellow Sheehy
“Glad to hear that Michael Sheehy is on the mend! Really enjoyed him and everyone else ‘back in the day’ on Mellow Sound KNX/fm. It was the only station we listened to along with ‘The Quiet Storm’ KUTE102.” – B.J. Robinett
** Sheehy Well Wisher
“Wishing Michael Sheehy a speedy recovery!” – Dale Berg, 969theoasis.com
** Message from Michael
“Thanks so much for your emails of support and encouragement. The response was overwhelming. It is reassuring to know that great people still abound during these times of rampant stupidity.
I am doing fine and somewhere between getting kicked in the chest by a mule and/or run over by a steamroller, but recovery will take time and I’m only a few days out of the hospital. Once again, thank you for your heartfelt support. We’ll take it to the bank. Now, where’d I put that taco?” – Michael Sheehy
** I See the Light
“Noted with interest your inclusion of the passing of Joe Light. I worked with Joe at KOIL in the early 1970s. He was truly one of the brightest air personalities I’ve ever heard, let alone worked with.
I last saw Joe in 1988 when he was with a company seeking to purchase KOIL in a deal that eventually failed to close. I’ve detailed some of Light's Omaha accomplishments in a book, History of Omaha Radio, that you might find of interest. It’s free, from OmahaRadioHistory.com. It’s a PDF download, making it easy to do a ‘Joe Light’ search for all of his mentions in the work. His passing was very low profile, but his son perfectly summed up Joe’s frustration with radio as the business left the fun and personality years going into the corporate years.
Another L.A. personality covered in the volume is Jimmy O’Neill, who spent several years in Omaha after Shindig. Worked with Jimmy as well, a very even-tempered gentleman who graced us with his ‘California Cool.’
Your website is an interesting, thorough, and valued resource for radio historians. Thanks for your hard work.” – Carl Mann, Cedar Rapids
** Another LARP Death
“Crap! We are dropping faster than Kim Kardashians pants on prom night :)” – Mike Butts
** Charlie Daniels Band
"Thanks for the stories about a great American and my good friend and radio's, Charlie Daničls.
Forty eight years ago I was fortunate to meet him and bring him to Epic Records. Our families came together in friendship as this is a major loss to America. His love for his wife Hazel and son Charlie Jr will be a blessing for all to cherish.
As he would end every conversation, I offer it to you and all the people who read your inspiring notes. GOD BLESS." - Ron Alexenburg
** Casey at the Bat
“Casey Kasem had a big hand in getting me into radio, though he had no idea he did.
I loved his countdown as a kid, so when he showed up at the local affiliate station and the dj invited callers to chat with him off air, I immediately called and they put me on with him. I asked him nearly 10 minutes worth of radio questions, and he kindly answered them all, even as I heard a handler in the background saying ‘Come on, Casey, we gotta go.’
One thing he said that really stuck out was, ‘Get used to playing the same songs over and over again, kid, even the ones you hate! It’s the nature of the business.’
So, I threw on the 45 I had accidentally bought and hated and spun it for nearly an hour. Haha, and I said to myself, ‘I can live with this.’ He was super kind. Very cool and an exciting moment in my life.” – Doug Cox, former program director at 11-10/KRLA
|Tale of Two Stations (thanks Timmy)|
|(July 10, 2020) Time for the 2020 Radio Hall of
Fame voting. A number of LARP are being considered
on this year’s ballots. The organization puts
nominees into two categories – one where the public
can vote and the other is based on votes done
internally by a committee. Industry voting in four
of those categories begins next Monday, July 13.
Listener voting begins on July 20.
Due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, the 2020 induction ceremony will be held as a live radio broadcast from multiple locations this October.
LARP Nominees to Be
Voted on By Voting Participant Panel:
• Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Mark & Brian (KLOS); Bobby Rich (KFMB/fm-San Diego & KMXZ-Tucson); Bob Rivers (KJR/fm-Seattle).
• Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Joey Reynolds (Host, WOR Radio Network).
• Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): Larry Elder (Salem Radio Network); Jaime Jarrin (Los Angeles Dodgers Network); Kim Komando (Host, The Kim Komando Show, Westar Radio Network).
Nominees to Be Voted on By Listeners & Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee:
• Music Format On-Air Personality: Whitney Allen (The Big Time with Whitney Allen, Westwood One).
• Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Glenn Beck (The Glenn Beck Show, Premiere Networks); John Kobylt & Ken Chiampou (The John & Ken Show, KFI); Stephanie Miller (The Stephanie Miller Show, WYD Media).
“2020 marks 100 years of radio and, while we regret that we cannot hold an in-person event this year, we’re looking forward to the excitement of a live, multi-location radio broadcast,” said Kraig Kitchin, Chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame.
Coronavirus Hits Home. Over the holiday weekend an LARadio listener heard Brian Noe, a Fox Sports host working from his Portland home, announce on KLAC (570AM) that someone in the Premiere Networks building in Sherman Oaks had tested positive for COVID-19. Brian normally co-hosts with Ephraim Salaam, a former NFL Lineman who usually broadcasts from the Premiere Studios. So Salaam was off.
Apparently the Sherman Oaks studios were being scrubbed down by a clean-up crew. With no home equipment, Salaam was a guest on the phone for a segment, and then Noe hosted alone from his home studio.
Several board ops and producers are on quarantine until they get their test results back, according to an insider. Producers are working from home. The ones who had no home equipment, he or she was given the day off.
We haven’t learned about internal protocols at the Premiere Networks (partnered with Fox Sports Radio and owned by iHeart Media). We’ve reached out to several executives with no response. The silence certainly begs the question that there is more to the story.
The COVID-19 news and broadcast from home order must have caught some by surprise because there was no way of producing updates, so a musical bed just ran for 60 seconds at the top of the hour, and they blew out the bottom of the hour update since there is no commercial break on the either side of it.
Charlie Daniels Memory. When you work in the motion picture marketing world, you get your share of wonderful movies and memories. For me the highlights include the Rocky and James Bond movies, E.T., Back to the Future, The Muppet Movie, and Thelma and Louise.
But with those winners come the clinkers and you seem to remember them the most because you work so hard on them.
Burt Reynolds was riding a string of Smokey and the Bandit successes, so the studio tried one more time to squeeze a few more gallons of revenue with Stroker Ace in 1983. The timing of the Charlotte Motor Speedway 500 (where the film was shot) and the release of the film a week later was perfect for a World Premiere in Charlotte. At the premiere instead of a Red Carpet, we had a black and white checkered carpet for celebrities and guests.
Before the movie screened at the benefit premiere, the Charlie Daniels played live. They sang the title song during the opening car chase of the film, so it seemed like a natural fit. Daniels couldn’t have been nicer and more gracious. The audience at the Premiere was really into the performance. Charlie Daniels was better than the movie. Sadly, Charlie died last Monday.
Despite the fact that Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson were riding high at the time, the film was a box office disaster. Stroker Ace earned a Razzie Award that year. It was nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Actress and winning for Worst Supporting Actor (co-star Jim Nabors).
(July 9, 2020) Brad Pye, Jr. was a trailblazing
sports writer and broadcaster working at KGFJ,
1955-73; KJLH, 1973-75; KACE, 1975-77; KGFJ,
1977-79; KDAY, 1979-90. He died July 5, at the age
Pye attained many “firsts” during his long career. His achievements include being the first recognized African American sportswriter in Southern California, the first Black administrator for Al Davis, the Commissioner of the AFL and the first African American public relations and scout for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers, and the California (now Los Angeles) Angels. He also served nearly 30 years as the sports editor for the Los Angeles Sentinel.
Brad broke down numerous color barriers at the newspaper, in radio and as an active participant in sports. His style was unique. "Two of my greatest idols in the radio field were the late Walter Winchell and Jim Healy, two of my dearest friends. Winchell used to use my typewriter at Angel games at Dodger Stadium and Healy made me more famous on his program than I was on my own show,” said Brad.
He was an all-star member of the 1949 undefeated East Los Angeles College football team and was student director of public relations. He was considered the "Dean of Black Sportscasters." The Sentinel had an exchange deal with KGFJ and Brad alternated with the late Chester L. Washington, Jr. on a five-minute news/sports show.
Brad hustled a sponsor for a weekly 15-minute show each Sunday. He secured Julius L. Hibler & Company, the city’s only black stock broker firm at the time for sponsorship. In 1956 he began a 17-year association with KGFJ hosting “Sportsville L.A.” He coined such phrases as “Overheard at Tommy Tucker’s Play Room from the Lips of a Los Angeles Dodgers Star” and “Pretty Little Green Ones.”
During his pioneer stint with
the Sentinel, Brad was credited with leading the
campaign to make the late Emmett Ashford the first
African American umpire in the history of major
league baseball. He is given credit for integrating
the L.A. Coliseum press box and other local press
Brad served as assistant Chief Deputy for County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. One of his last appointments was serving as the ADA Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. (Add if interested) Dennis Freeman, publisher of News4usonline.com once interviewed Brad. “Long before there was a Jim Hill, a Fast Eddie (Alexander), a Bryant Gumbel…long before they came on board, there was a Brad Pye,” he said. Who will ever forget, “Switch Reels,” and “And that's All of My Time...Thanks for Your Time...This is Brad Pye, Jr. Reporting...Have A Ball.”
Hear Ache. “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” had more than four million downloads in June – an 86% increase from June 2019 – placing it firmly in the top 1% of all podcasts for listenership. The daily podcast’s July 2 episode was its most downloaded ever, attracting over 400,000 downloads in a single day … Radio host Rickey Smiley (former Talker at 710/KMPC and KABC) said his daughter was shot three times in Houston over the holiday weekend but is expected to recover. The comedian said his daughter, Aaryn Smiley, was driving to Whataburger on Sunday night to get food when she was shot at a traffic light. “She’s fine. I’m just so angry right now,” he said on his Atlanta-based syndicated show …Jennifer Horn, KRLA 870AM morning co-host with Brian Whitman, is the guest on the Michael Harrison weekly podcast at: https://www.podcastone.com/the-michael-harrison-interview ... Beau Weaver was riding his bike when a hit and run driver hit resulting in a broken clavicle. “Asshole! Oh yeah, and, ‘owwww!’”, wrote the voiceover pro on social media.
|Memories of LARadio|
LARadio reader Rick Howard shares some thoughts about strong personalities he has enjoyed over the years:
Ray Briem . . . The King of the Night . . . He owned the hours after midnight. Many college term papers were completed while listening to Ray with his calls to small towns throughout the U.S. We learned a great deal about the strength of rural America, the character of certain small towns, each call giving us a mind’s eye view of the people, the pace, and the pride of small cities in America.
Johnny Magnus . . . The Host Who Loves You The Most . . . he owned the hours before midnight. The Voice . . . wow! He introduced a generation to quality singers and musicians. He KNEW music! Weather with a Beat took us across America with great music and his superb voice. Years later when he was no longer on the radio on the West Coast, I emailed him to thank him for the years of enjoyment he brought to my wife and myself (when we met we were both Magnus addicts) . . . he sent us a file with ‘Weather with a Beat’ on it . . . class.
Dick Haynes . . . Haynes at the Reins . . . If he didn’t own the town, he had a mortgage on it for sure.
Jim Healy . . . no one before or since had as many listeners to such a short show . . . fans, players, management, and owners took their phones off the hook to hear who was going to be savaged after the immortal words, ‘Is it True . . .’ and the frantic click of the telegraph key. Tommy Lasorda’s tirade with about 20 bleeps was a classic.
(July 8, 2020)
Back-to-back 1st place finishes for Classic Hits
KRTH (K-EARTH) in the just release June '20 Monthly
PPM Nielsen survey measuring 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12Mid.
Three stations had notable jumps from the May '20
survey: KNX up a full point, KOST was up almost a
full point and Alternative KYSR went from a 2.4 -
3.1. Here are the Top 40:
1. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.6 - 5.7
2. KOST (AC) 4.2 - 5.2
3. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.5 - 4.9
4. KFI (Talk) 4.6 - 4.4
5. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.3 - 4.1
6. KNX (News) 2.9 - 3.9
7. KIIS (Top 40/M) 3.3 - 3.7
8. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.4 - 3.6
KLOS (Classic Rock) 3.9 - 3.6
10. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.3 - 3.3
|(July 7, 2020) Michael Sheehy was
part of the success of the Mellow Sound at KNX/fm in
the 70s and 80s. He’s been in Sacramento for many
years and manages a delightful website of
positive/fun music (Planetpootwaddle.com). Lately,
he’s had some medical challenges. In late June after
a failed angioplasty procedure, Michael had triple
bypass open heart surgery.
“Having been a Type 1 Diabetic for the past 51 years, heart issues were never off the table, but I’d never imagined anything this extreme,” emailed Sheehy. The surgery was a success, he said he would be easy to find someone in worse condition.
“No complaints here, so why start whining now.”
|His diet may have helped prevent a
more serious situation. “My circumstances are all
helped by the fact that I haven’t eaten red meat in
over 44 years but have been hindered by the fact
that I smoked for 25 years despite quitting over 30
years ago. My heart is very strong, and my arteries
are now in good shape. However, the years of
diabetes and taking certain statins caused
calcifications within three of my main cardiac
arteries and left me a walking timebomb,” Michael
He praised the caregivers at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento who went beyond the call of duty. “Their kindness and caring helped me walk through this experience. They made it a point to come in and poke and prod me every 4 hours, 24 hours a day for the entire week. I had a heart monitor central line, wound drains, chest tubes, IVs, and a few other assorted devices hooked up this retched body. My only complaint was they would constantly be infusing my IVs with morphine and stool softeners which made the thought of farting terrifying, for fear I may redecorate the room.”
His wife Denise was unable to visit due to the Covid crisis and restrictions, which meant that not only was she not able to visit every day, she was not allowed to visit even once. “This was particularly stressful as we have not spent this much time apart in our 46 years together. She’s an absolute Godsend and is devoting all her time to babying me. I am truly blessed to have such a spectacular friend and partner in my life. I truly got lucky. Coughing hurts a bit and walking from one end of the house to the other causes near exhaustion that requires about 15 minutes to recover from. Other than that, I’m in no severe pain. It’s a relief and a blessing to be home with my family which includes our dog and two cats.”
Michael described Pootwaddle Radio. “I no longer chase money, I chase happiness and as our old friend Dale Evans told Denise and me, ‘If you want to be happy, make other people happy.’
Hear Ache. Consultant George Johns says the real purpose of billboards is to piss off the other radio stations in town and guarantee that the sales force doesn’t have to hear, ‘never heard of ya.’ … KFI producer Michelle Kube received test results of second mass removed in surgery. “Not cancer...so yay!” wrote Michele on Facebook. “Now just finishing recovery with some leftover soreness, a rainbow boob bruise and the whites of my eyes are returning to white from red after post-surgery puking ... Ira David Sternberg, former KOSTer who is tracking the recovery scene in Las Vegas observed: “There’s one convention definitely scheduled - the National Risk-Takers Association,” he wrote in his tasty website …. NPR regains the #1 podcast slot, followed by iHeartRadio and the New York Times, according to Potrac … KIIS nighttimer JoJo Wright shared on social media that his father tested positive for COVID-19, but appears to be recovering … Bob Applegate, former KPPCer, got out of the house after three months. “I am dealing with severe COPD and have been at home," Applegate wrote on social media. “My son came by and took me for a ride to Oceano and Monarch Golf Course. I wanted to get out of the car jump in a golf cart but that’s not happening for a while. It just felt good to get out.” … A love story from 51 years ago. “I knew from our first date this was the love of my life,” wrote Judy Chandler. Jim Chandler proposed that night. “I said no. We went out the next night he proposed again. I said YES!”
(July 6, 2020) How
often does a radio personality make a market move
and it gets entered into the Congressional Record?
Well, that’s what happened when Steve
Allison left WWDC-Washington DC to join
KABC in 1967. Steve’s daughter, Amy, wanted to
update her father’s entry in Where Are They Now.
Steve worked at WPEN-Philadelphia before moving to DC. After a decade in Washington, ‘the Man Who Owned Midnight’ (as he was known) traveled west to be one of the early Talkers at 790AM. John Conyers entered into the House record on March 13, 1967: “I know that many of my colleagues had the opportunity to appear on Steve’s show. Congressmen were among his favorite guests.”
Conyers had high praise for Allison: “The city is not the same without one of its major promoters. I wish Steve much luck in Los Angeles at station KABC. I would like to insert after my remarks several articles which describe Steve’s long career in Washington radio and as a personality in his own right.”
Steve died in 1969, at age 53, of lung cancer.
Kimmel Apology. Former KROQer Jimmy
Kimmel was the subject of five emails in
the Feedback section of yesterday’s LA Times.
When he and Adam Carolla hosted The
Man Show, Jimmy appeared in blackface
impersonating NBA star
He apologized last week but how did he handle it? A
writer from Granada Hills wrote, “Comedy is about
talking ideas and turning them on their head, often
to powerful, truth-telling effect.”
A Yorba Linda writer wrote: “Bad taste is part of being a comedian.”
Another slant on their show appeared from a writer in Pacific Palisades: “I’m glad Kimmel has apologized for the blackface segments on The Man Show. I will not hold my breath, however, for him to address the objectification of women that was a regular part of that show. Does ‘Girls on a Trampoline’ sound familiar?”
Hear Ache. Former KABC Talker Jillian Barberie was upset Saturday night and posted on Facebook: “I’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley for 22 years and NEVER have I heard fireworks like this non-stop. I thought they were banned no? Fuck yu law breakers. I want to go to bed” … Ex KNACer Bryan Schock has been named operations manager for three LM stations in Charleston, South Carolina … Consultant Julian Breen had a great truism. “Regarding ‘format change’ rumors: If management tells you not to worry about it – WORRY!” … Mr. Master, the company behind Automation Import Manager (AIM) and the industry’s leading provider of workflow optimization software, has extended its partnership with Cumulus Media to include all of its 424 local stations across 87 markets.
Douglas Brown sends another scan from his archive. "R&R going for a funny on their famous "The Back Page"
Top 20 in October 1978 for their 5th anniversary. Some pretty clever madness.
Irrational indeed! My faves are #10 and #20," emailed Douglas.
Email Saturday - 7.4.2020
|** AT 40 at W4
“It was so great to read your story about Casey Kasem and the 50th anniversary of American Top 40. First of all because it’s Casey, and you also shared when you brought American Top 40 to W4 [WWWW] in Detroit. I was so thrilled to come work for you in the Motor City at W4. It was such a great station and to have Casey made it even better.
Through my career I have had the pleasure of interviewing Casey four times on my show, but what was really special was when I came to Los Angeles to do my show live via satellite back to Texas. Casey was gracious enough to get up early and broadcast with me from the Universal Studios lot at six in the morning. I only wish my promotion person had taken more pictures. Casey was so nice and kind, I’ll always cherish it.” – Mike Butts
** Loved AT 40 Story
“Wonderful story on Casey Kasem and American Top 40!” – Bob Sirkin
** Original Seven
“Enjoyed the AT 40 50th Anniversary post today. KJR was also part of the original seven stations.
Hope you are still coping with all the COVID 19 stuff OK. Have a Safe & Sane 4th. Don’t hear that one much anymore.” – World Famous Tom Murphy
** AT 40 Discrepancies
“After years of asking many people, including Billboard staff and American Top 40 staff, I still have no idea how Casey Kasem, and others, came to use an end-of-the-year chart for 1966 that Billboard never published for its official statistics, despite the fact that the end-of-the-year chart that Billboard did publish, on p. 34 of the 24 December 1966 issue, bears no resemblance. For both charts, see here.
A similar controversy concerns the end-of-the-year chart for 1963. If you get an answer from anyone, whether from the American Top 40 staff or otherwise, to resolve the discrepancy, please let me know. Also, among many other stations that air classic American Top 40, see, e.g., American Top 40 - the 70s and American Top 40 – the 80s under http://www.alannicklin.co.uk/ .
And, if you would like to hear classic American Top 40 all the time, check out this site. Your thoughts?” – David Dana-Bashian
|** Ocean of Memories
“Wow! Imagine my surprise as I spot the old 93 KHJ logo and say to myself ‘Look, it’s Ocean, Chucker, John Thomas, Rick, Mooch and holy crap that’s Me!’
Years later when I hit the voiceover job with Fox Sports Radio, it was because Mucho Morales told his son Chris that I taught Mooch how to bowl!
Also note that Bobby Ocean wearing the ‘fake teeth’ was because our team name was ‘The Melrose Werewolves.’ I still have that shirt! Yours in retirement.” – Pat Evans (Terry Foster)
** Poorman Airs on Lucky
“Just thought I’d give you a little background on KLUK [Lucky 98] adding Poorman. Based here in Bullhead City, it serves Kingman and Lake Havasu City as well. It ran Mark & Brian for years, but has had NO morning show since M&B went away.
The station segues Classic Rock day and night except for afternoons when it’s live. This is a station Craig Powers programmed until rejoining Curb.” – Neil Young
** Glory Road
“Thank you for the story about my new book, The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life. You were the first of our colleagues to publish and market your books, and since then it seems the publishing industry had reinvented itself several times.
I’m glad self-publishing is available. I chose a University Press for this story because it covers a chunk of American religious and musical history and I wanted it to exist in libraries. Certain academic presses today publish both scholarly work and ‘to the trade’ and I’m fortunate to be somewhere in the middle.
Who knows where the next one will land?” – Anita Garner
** Wayne Resnick’s Question
“In response to Wayne Resnick: totally agree about all ZZ Top songs sounding the same! Add most of Jack Johnson’s tunes to that list, and just about every song on Christian radio [except here on KWAVE!] And anything in the Mariachi genre! I always thought it’d be funny if someone did a skit called ‘Name That Tune, Mariachi Style!’" – Brian Perez
** Repetition Repetition
“You asked, ‘What band has the highest percentage of songs that sound the same?’ Destiny’s Child. Among their hits are Jumpin’ Jumpin,’ Bills Bills Bills and No No No. Not only do their songs all sound the same, even the titles are repetitious!” – Steven Thompson
** Here’s to You Mrs. Robinson
“The Graduate: The author’s name [Charles Webb] was omitted. Was that intentional? I was surprised to learn that he lived in the UK.
Highest percentage of songs that sound the same: Coldplay. But I still like them.
Since the coronavirus lockdown, I’ve been home by myself for days at a time. I haven’t seen my friends or family in person, and I don’t have much contact with them, even the ones who use social media.
So just for a living voice in the house, I’ve been listening to radio more than ever. Mostly AM, and now through websites since all the electronic gadgets in the house cause so much static. I particularly like Gary & Shannon on KFI – smart, funny, not panic-ridden. I need to hear Shannon say Jesus, Mary and Joseph at least once a day.
Your column continues to be a daily read for me. My guy friends especially like your more rancid jokes. I know people appreciate all the work of it and I hope they tell you so.” – Janice Jacobson, Culver City
** Record Correction
“Keep publishing, you are an inspiration to all that have ever had that creative A or F Modulation rush through their brains, either on-the-air or in support of attaining the elusive listener. Your style and integrity is needed now more than ever. As my hero, The Real Don Steele would say, ‘enough about you babeee, I’m writing to talk about me.’
About a month ago you posted a nice pic of ‘Rug-burns’ Liz Fulton [AM News] and Lon Thomas [AM Drive] taken at KIIS/fm just before the introduction of ‘Rick Dees in The Morning. If my memory isn’t failing me, at that time during one of my three stops at 102.7 KIIS/fm I was doing fill-in and weekends.
Soon after the picture was taken Lon departed KIIS and I was plugged into mornings, [prior: AM Drive in Salinas-CA, Salt Lake City-UT, KMEN-San Bernardino and among other shifts, afternoons at KEZY-Anaheim and 9-noon at 93/KHJ].
My hope was that general manager Wally Clark would stick with me. Rick was playing the Home-Game because of a non-compete with KHJ. You see, in November of 1980 KHJ went Country in the middle of my friend, Bob Shannon’s show and Rick left KHJ. After a number of months Rick’s N-CC was exercised. Yep, Rick Dees replaced me mornings at 102.7 KIIS/fm. That may have been as late as May, ’81.
I went back to weekends and remember Rick calling often during those shifts to ‘check in’ just to make sure I was [as a friend, casually] plugging his weekday morning show. This was aside from his produced promos running twice an hour.
His greatness was beginning. I believe that’s for the record and keep up your great service Don.” – Dave Sebastian Williams
** Don Burden vs FCC
“Do you remember how it was that the FCC ended up taking all of Don Burden’s radio stations away? He was caught, making illegal contributions to Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon’s campaign. The FCC had been disturbed by Don’s operations for a while, this was the nail in the coffin.” – Joe Collins
** Sale of KABC
“It will be interesting to see how much KABC sells for with WABC-New York getting $12.5 million. Maybe Richard Wagoner will buy it, he loves AM radio.” – Bob Koontz
|(July 3, 2020) Arguably the classiest syndicated show in radio
history, American Top 40 debuted 50 years ago this weekend. If the
show with Casey Kasem was before your time, you can listen to the
original countdown show each week on SiriusXM’s ‘70s On 7 Channel.
The very first show will air tomorrow at 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. On Sunday
you can countdown the original hits with Casey at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
I share a slice of history with AT 40. Fifty years ago, I was general manager at W4 (WWWW) in Detroit. The head of the production company Watermark, Tom Rounds called me and pitched the show. I jumped at the chance. I was familiar with Casey from San Francisco radio and 11-10/KRLA. W4 was one of the first seven stations to carry the countdown.
Casey called the next morning to thank me. He grew up in Detroit and his parents were kind of unclear what their son was doing in California. “Now my parents will be able to listen every week on W4, thanks to you.”
We started a lifelong friendship as Casey went on to super stardom.
Pete Battistini is another fan of the countdown show. He shares with LARadio what happened behind the scenes.
This coming Saturday, July 4th, marks 50 years since the broadcast of the first program in 1970. What took place – the writing, recording, duplicating, shipping, and then broadcasting the first program – took dedication, professionalism and teamwork. And considering the first show’s incredible start-to-finish turnaround production time, this entire effort may have been nothing short of a miracle.
During a 24-hour period beginning Tuesday afternoon (June 30, 1970) and ending Wednesday afternoon (July 1, 1970), the offices and studios of Watermark Inc., located at 931 N. La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, were filled with anxiety and excitement, as a group of radio and music authorities were gathered, energized and focused on accepting the challenges of introducing a new, national radio program.
In the year 2020, you may recognize the names of these individuals – Casey Kasem, Don Bustany, Tom Rounds, Ron Jacobs, Bill Hergonson, Earl Jive, Ben Marichal, David Freese, Stew Hillner and Tom Driscoll. But in 1970, most of us wouldn’t have known much about them, if anything.
Taking a look back to the production of the first show, as documented in Rob Durkee’s book, American Top 40: The Countdown Of The Century, the staff recalled what it was like as they initially worked on what is now one of radio’s greatest success stories. According to producer/writer Don Bustany, “we got the chart in the afternoon and it took maybe four or five hours to get the script in shape.”
Once recording was underway in the Watermark studio later that day, it became a very lengthy and tedious session to produce a three-hour countdown. According to record coordinator Earl Jive, “I remember that first show was 18 hours. The sun was up in the morning when we walked out of there.”
In short, the studio portion of launching this new radio program began Tuesday evening and wrapped up Wednesday morning. So why would a 3-hour radio show take 18 hours to record? One reason was to give the utmost audio quality to a syndicated radio show, something that similar ventures were known to lack. Another reason was to achieve a desired sound, to give the impression that Casey Kasem was hosting a live radio program, and by playing one record after another.
According to Rob’s book, “All the elements of AT40 were recorded at the same time – that is, in ‘real time.’ Everything – Casey’s voice tracks, the jingles, the theme music, and the records – was recorded at once. There was no editing of voice tracks or anything else.” And during this particular recording session, since the show was divided into six 25-minute, 'live radio show' segments, if Casey made a mistake during one of those segments, they stopped and started over. Casey further explained the concern.
“The people producing the show didn’t want to cut the tape. They were afraid it’d break in high-speed duplication and we’d lose it. So I’d have to go for 20 minutes at a time without making a mistake.” Once one segment was completed, they moved on to the next one. In a nutshell, that's a description of how they recorded the show. However, while most AMERICAN TOP 40 fans may be aware of the countdown’s overnight recording session, most don’t realize that scarcely 60 hours transpired after board engineer Bill Hergonson turned off Casey Kasem’s microphone – and the newly formed staff wrapped up the countdown’s production for the first time – when AMERICAN TOP 40 debuted ON-THE-AIR in San Diego. Barely 60 hours later. And then, a day or two after that, in six other cities scattered all over the USA, from Boston to Honolulu.
In order to meet this incredible delivery deadline, immediately following an 18-hour studio session, the next step in Watermark’s assembly line was program duplication. Once the first show’s recording was ‘in the can,’ making copies of the master for all seven of AT40’s affiliates took place. Each of 3 program hours were transferred to individual Scotch-brand, 10-inch reel-to-reel tapes. And with seven radio stations under contract, seven sets of three reels were produced, then boxed and labeled for shipment. And those boxes of AT40’s first show were sent that same day – Wednesday, July 1st – undoubtedly marked “urgent” and slated for delivery, no later than Friday, July 3rd, to all seven radio stations. And just in time for a weekend broadcast.
To say it was a rushed process is an understatement. And even though hurried, they maintained the highest levels of industry quality. And believe it or not, this ‘breakneck speed’ set of production/duplication/shipping procedures went on every week until May 1971. In fact, in April 1971, there were approximately 100 affiliates airing the countdown every week. And that meant Watermark was responsible for duplicating and shipping 100 sets of 3 reel-to-reel tapes every week. Should I mention here that AT40’s affiliates were then required to return the reel-to-reel tapes every week? Indeed, they were.
And, as operations manager, it was Stew Hillner’s responsibility to coordinate this entire process. So here it is, 50 years later -- to the exact day of that evening recording session -- on the occasion of a momentous anniversary. Now may be an appropriate time to tune in and enjoy AMERICAN TOP 40's first program.
And it's also a fitting time to express gratitude to a handful of dedicated individuals -- Casey Kasem, Don Bustany, Tom Rounds, Ron Jacobs, Cap'n Billy Hergonson, Earl Jive, Ben Marichal, David Freese, Stew Hillner and Tom Driscoll -- as well as dozens of other members of the AT40 family.
And here are a few of them: Nikki Wine, Alan Kaltman, Sandy Stert-Benjamin, Peter Skye, Paul Grein, Scott Paton, Matt Wilson, Johnny Biggs, Steve Buth, Brian Heimerl, Tom Kratochvil, Gary Landis, Ron Shapiro, Jeff Leonard, Janis Hahn, Lynn Meriwether, Allen Goldblatt, Darryl Morden, Nancy Conover, Dana Schwarzwalter, Ranais Jeanne Hill, Larry Nixon, Paul Liebeskind, Stu Jacobs, Anne Strohecker, Maura Sindell, Guy Aoki, Barbara Rounds, Robin Carr, Imad Jamal, Tom Sottrell, Shannon Lynn, Ken Martin, Rob Durkee, Shadoe Stevens, Scott Lakefield, Lorre Crimi, Merrill Shindler, Elizabeth Rollins, Jay Goldsworthy, Elaine Stieglitz, Paul Colbert, Tracy Pierson, Mike Williams, Michael Sullivan, David Cohen, John Musgraves, Bill Stroum, Toby James Petty, Bobbi Kaminski, Ray Hernandez, Michael Cooper, Sal Cocio, Kerri Kasem, Gonzalo Venecia, Michael Cross, Mike Savage, Khalilah Dawkins, Dade Nunez, Mike Kasem, Julie Kasem and Larry Morgan.
|Author: With a transistor radio tuned to WLS and WCFL, Pete Battistini became a Top 40 radio fan during the summer of 1968, and began picking up their weekly singles surveys every week. “Soon after, I discovered Billboard magazine [thanks to ABC-TV's Music Scene] and Casey Kasem's American Top 40. My interest in AT40 continued throughout the 70s and 80s, resulting in the publication of two American Top 40 books. Although an outsider to AT40 and Watermark, its parent company, I continue today to be fascinated with the show's history and what brought it to worldwide popularity,” said Pete. (Photo: Pete meeting Casey at an industry conference in August 1981)|
|(July 2, 2020) I got into book
publishing quite by accident. Back in the early 90s I was wondering
where some of my early radio heroes at KFWB/Channel 98 rock ‘n roll
Color Radio had gone and what they were doing now. They played such
an important role in my sibling-less life as they became my brothers
and sisters as I cruised the streets of Santa Monica. Chuck Berry
was blaring from my ’54 Ford convertible radio or while on the beach
with my transistor radio down at State Beach, Muscle Beach or
Neeny’s Sorrento at the bottom of the incline.
There was no Google, heck computers were barely navigable to me.
I tracked down the Seven Swinging Gentleman, one by one. Some by phone. Some by snail mail. One lead seemed to lead to another on how to find them. Once finished, I turned to the 11-10/Men at KRLA. Now it was becoming fun. Some had gone on to a tv career like Bob Eubanks. Others not so fortunate. One I found living in a box on Vermont near Hollywood Blvd.
I had been out of radio in LA for twenty years at that point. After being the first hire to put together KIQQ (K100/fm) for the Weyerhaeuser Lumber family, the station was sold to Drake/Chenault and I left radio and got into my second love – movies and became a marketing executive for Columbia, Universal, and MGM/UA for the next two decades.
While mulling over the KFWB and KRLA lists of these pioneering djs, a radio buddy thought this would be a fascinating book. Yeah, right. Maybe for a handful of people. I decided to enlarge the landscape to include jocks from all formats and create a quick look at those on-air folks who have entertained us. Each time I talked with someone, I would get contact info on colleagues. Almost like a game of tag.
During this process, I had lunch with Anita
Garner, who worked afternoons at KBIG. We didn’t know each
other at this point but beyond research for my book, we
discovered we had much in common, including mothers struggling
with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease.
I found her background and history fascinating. I knew others would love discovering a unique world of a family following a preacher father and gospel-singing mother through the tent revival South. Well, Anita went on to write that story and after a decade-plus of rewriting for print and the stage, it is finished.
“University of Alabama Press is moving forward with production of The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life scheduled for Spring 2021,” wrote a thrilled Anita, who now makes her home in Northern California. “This book still feels like a miracle, considering how many decades the story waited for me to finish writing it.”
Anita never considered self-publication, Amazon or vanity press. Her efforts were good enough to attract a big-time publisher and against formidable odds, the finish line is in sight. “Book publishing is a long process. It’s complicated and sophisticated stuff and for me every stage is exciting. I plan to keep enjoying it. I can’t think of a different way to say ‘uncertain times', ‘unprecedented’ or ‘challenging’ so let’s just say everything about book tours, appearances and marketing in general continues to shift. The new approach may be a marathon rather than a sprint.”
For all the Los Angeles Radio People who have written memoirs and then challenged with the daunting marketing challenge to sell the book in a world overloaded with messages, our hats are off to Anita. She has done it. She has beaten the odds in finding a publisher to do the heavy lifting. Anita’s enjoying the process, allowing someone else to steer the ship. She’s been through the editing system allowing a team of editors and proofreaders to dissect the book. That part of the process is finished. And now she just received the cover for her book and is she excited! Marketing is down the road.
“Who knows how we’ll meet readers in 2021? Meanwhile, I’m going to keep enjoying this cover,” said Anita.
|Thanks to Douglas Brown for this capture of a February 1979 R&R page with a fun shot of some KHJ staff.|
|(July 1, 2020)
A LARP is heading the
new 24/7 national and local all-News audio service from iHeartMedia.
The Black Information Network will be dedicated to providing an
“objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage
with a Black voice and perspective,” according to a press release.
An LA iHeart station is not part of the launch but AM stations, translators and HD signals in Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, GA, Detroit, Greenville, Macon, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk (full-powered fm), Riverside, San Francisco and Seattle will be. The company seems to be focusing on different platforms to build brand awareness for the network overall and getting listeners to stream or listen to podcasts on the iHeartRadio app.
Tony Coles has been tapped as president of the new network. He arrived in the Southland in 1996 to program Soft AC station, KXEZ, which he later switched to KIBB. Coles is currently the division president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.
“BIN: Black Information Network will fill a void by providing continual news and objective information with full focus on the Black community. We began developing our 24/7 Black news source last year, and events of the last few weeks, especially the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd, highlighted the need for this network. Now is the time for our voice to be heard, and I could not be more proud of our work and the team we are assembling at BIN,” said Coles.
The network will also be available on the
iHeartRadio app and some of BIN’s content will be distributed every
day as podcasts across iHeartRadio’s podcast network.
In addition to traditional advertising, the company will provide sponsorship, similar to the way NPR stations will announce, "this segment brought to you by..." iHeart has lined up some impressive sponsors such as Bank of America, CVS Health, GEICO, Lowe’s, McDonald’s USA, Sony, 23andMe and Verizon.
BIN will be a standalone business for iHeart.
BIN will also provide the news service for iHeartMedia’s 91 Hip Hop, r&b and Gospel stations across the country, including Power 105.1-New York, Real 92.3 in Los Angeles, WDAS and Power 99 in Philadelphia, WGCI and WVAZ in Chicago, WJLB-Detroit, The Beat in Houston, The Beat in Miami, WQUE-New Orleans, KMEL-San Francisco and more.
Hear Ache. Buster Bodine, ex-KPWR jock, noted that Into the Night’s Benny Mardones, died at age 73 from Parkinson's disease in Menifee, CA. RIP … Poorman’s Morning Rush is being added to the KLUK-Needles morning line-up … Local tv news got a little more naked as two longtime personalities create a familiarity hole. 43-year KCBS/2 veteran Dave Lopez is retiring while KNBC/4 weatherman Fritz Coleman ended his career last weekend … KCSN (88.5/fm) is throwing its support behind independent music, as they host a two-day, virtual music festival over the July Fourth weekend. … Saga Communications has added former KHTZ personality Steve Kamer as the new imaging voice for its 11 CBS-affiliated News-Talk stations.