March 1, 2018
by Rollye James
Rollye: “It was wonderful hearing from so many of you. Hard to believe it’s now been over
six months since we’ve last gotten together through this column. The news has been mixed as
you’ll read, but as I was putting this together I was hoping that something positive would be
the lead. I heard from Marlin Taylor in December…”
Marlin Taylor: “Don't know that I have a whole lot to share that your primary group will be
interested in, but will have my radio career memoir being released in early March. It carries an
endorsement by Art Vuolo ... but I don't mention Burt Sherwood anywhere in the book --
maybe that's an error! Thanks for all you did with this, for Claude and everyone.”
Rollye: “…And then, just before I put the column to bed, I got a copy of Marlin’s book. What
a joy to read. Of course, I’d feel that way about any like-minded radio hound’s memoirs, but
what makes this book such a gem is that it’s written by a primary architect of an ultra
successful format that rarely gets the recognition it should. There’s much written about Top
40, it’s not difficult to find books on radio personalities, individually and even as a whole; but
for a variety of reasons, the story behind the dominance of easy listening isn’t often
considered, let alone chronicled.
“Marlin Taylor and ‘beautiful music’ are synonymous in many of our minds and having his
autobiography adds an unduplicated piece to the puzzle that made up the radio we all adored.
I’m not alone in thinking that. In addition to the aforementioned Art Vuolo, Erica Farber
weighed in. Both have endorsements on the book’s back cover:
Rollye: “Erica Farber wrote a very kind note to me after the last column in August.
Commenting on my intent to catch up on all I’d put aside while I was writing to you regularly,
she shared her experience that it might take longer than I expected. I’ve thought about her
words often over the past several months. Especially when I believe I’m close to caught up and
lightning strikes— literally. (So much for what I’ve spent on lightning protection. I lost three
transmitters and all of the tower lights.) I could go on, but the good news is that since I last
wrote, I applied for and received a CP for an FM translator, settled a long standing
interference issue in my favor, got my public files online, and accomplished more than anyone
would have had a right to expect without help. The bad news is the seemingly never-ending
list in front of me. (The one that starts with ‘better lightning protection’.) But it’s a pleasure to
put it all aside for awhile and type to you.
“I was so pleased that one of the first responses I got from my call for column input came from
Jack Gale on December 22nd. But I was very concerned over what he said.”
Jack Gale: “Good morning Rollye..
I guess it’s good, because I’ve been told I have bone cancer
I’m on Radiation ending this coming Thursday, and then we’ll make a decision.
I’m confined to a wheel chair, but at 92, I’ll just keep going.
I still go to Nashville every month or so to produce for Playback Records.
Really miss the column.
Best to you and yours this year.”
Rollye: “And now we all miss Jack Gale. My calls to him after reading his email went
unreturned. And about a month later, when I really started to worry, Ron Brandon confirmed
Ron Brandon: “JACK GALE rip. What do you say when a legend passes? One of the most
impressive talents I was ever exposed to, one of the finest persons I ever worked for.. known
and respected by thousands in the once-upon-a-time business of radio and records. Jack was
92, in reasonably good health but wheelchair bound with arthritis, and missing Lovey, his wife
of many years, since her death a few years ago, According to Jeanie, Jack's daughter.. he died
peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, Jan 23rd. So... Happy Birthday Jack.. tell Lovey hello..we
all remember and miss you.
“A couple of pics from about four years ago when Long John Silver, J J Jeffrey, and I visited
Jack at his home in Florida. We had all woked with him at Big WAYS Charlotte in the 60s.”
Chuck Chellman: “What a radio legend
and a dear, dear friend.”
Rollye: “I know the news was devastating to Chuck Chellman. Ironically just weeks before,
I was reading his year end response to me that mentioned Jack.”
Chuck Chellman: “2017 has been really good as far as old radio friends go. I'm in constant
touch with Country Hall of Famers Arch Yancy (Houston), Billy Parker (Tulsa), Buddy Ray
and others. Legendary personality Jack Gale gives me a jingle regularly.
“Ditto country stars Bill Anderson, Hugh X. Lewis, Brenda Lee, etc. I am so blessed to be
here with friends like these. Having said that, the loss of Hall of Famer Bill Bailey and artist
Mel Tillis was huge. I attended Tillis' funeral three weeks ago. It was so great being with
“Years ago, Pride was signed to RCA. Back then, the major songwriters would not give good
songs to a black guy. Mel Tillis stepped up. He gave Charley his first hit "The Snakes Crawl at
Night" and another railroad song. In essence, Mel Tillis was largely responsible for making
Charley Pride a star. Also, Pride's producer, Cowboy Jack Clement has left us. Jack was a
beauty, a totally free spirit.
“We also lost Frank "Swingin" Sweeney, legendary rock jock with stops is Youngstown,
Cleveland, Detroit, Wheeling, etc. Frank was partner and Exec. VP of Miss Teen USA and Miss
Universe. Faye & I visited him last year in NYC. He was the best.
“Thank you, Rollye for giving me the chance to send out things from Nashville. Keep this rag
going. Charge a subscription fee. Where else and ego-driven ex-radio guys see their names in
print?? Best wishes and love to all who read this. You too, Johnny Holiday!!”
Rollye: “I wish I could say that Chuck’s list of Nashville passings was complete. Sad to note
that Hairl Hensley passed away at 81 on New Year’s Eve.
Rollye: “That promotional piece was put out by WSM in the ’70s, while I was living in town
promoting records. I fondly remember often sitting with Hairl while he was doing the
overnight show (one of several such 50kw efforts across the country aimed at truckers),
dragging along one artist or another I hoped he’d play (and he always did). His stories were
hilarious. Among my favorites came from his time at WLAC. Like WSM back then, which
was bifurcated by being adult contemporary in the day and country at night, WLAC did its best
to hide the R&B that blared from the 1510 dial position after dark. Hoss Allen, Gene Nobles,
and of course John R., were gods to those of us who lapped up what they played, but
management was beyond relieved that none of it made the light of day. Unfortunately, one of
the fans of that fare did prove their contention that our ilk was none too bright. It was a
woman from Ocala, Florida who responded to one of the incessant mail order pitches. If you
recall the inflection used, it won’t fully surprise you. “Address” became “a-dress” —Send
your name and a-dress, yoh name an a-dress. And that’s exactly what this poor soul sent. It
was a flowered print as I recall, and it was the first thing that greeted Hairl in his new WLAC
office when he was hired as program director. Some would contend it was all he needed to
know about the nighttime format.
“Hairl grew up in East Tennessee in the 30s and 40s. After working at Knoxville’s WNOX, he
came to Nashville— heard on WKDA, WMAK and WLAC before landing right where he
belonged at WSM. In 1975, the CMA named in Disc Jockey of the Year. But most who
remember his name will recall his 35 years as a Grand Ole Opry announcer. I laugh at some of
the stories about his tenure there, too. But mostly I just remember what a good guy he was.
“Speaking of good guys, Chuck Buell checked in. Chuck is not celebrating a birthday today.
In fact he won’t be celebrating one for a couple years, having been born on leap day. But that
didn’t stop him from dropping me a line in time for mine.”
Chuck Buell: “And Happy Birthday Eve! I don't know about you, but I know I feel my age
when I'm on a website that needs my Birth Year and I have to scroll down deeper and deeper
with each passing year!
“Meanwhile, I imagine you’ve found plenty to do to fill up all that time you previously
dedicated to writing and editing Vox Jox! What a great run that was! And I so appreciated you
allowing me to be a part of it every now and again. Now then, in response to your ‘I’d like to
hear from you. Tell me what’s been keeping you busy since the last column, what’s coming up
for you in 2018’…
“I sent this to you just a bit too late after the last issue of Vox Jox. The actual event date has
since been changed. Now then, Here’s to a Great Two-Oh-One-Eight!”
Rollye: “I was delighted to read the attachment: Long-time On-Air Radio Personality, Chuck
Buell, is to be honored for his notable life-long Radio Broadcast career. On January 26,
2018, he will be inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Colorado’s Radio Hall of Fame.
“And more delighted to note I didn’t have to wait long to see the presentation. Now you don’t
either. Watch it— you’ll love it.”
Colorado Radio Hall of Fame’s Chuck Buell!
(Click here if you can’t see it.)
Chuck Buell: “I’m thrilled, as you might imagine, and extremely honored to be recognized
with this special honor. ”I never even thought about receiving an award such as this back when
I was just a kid building my own one watt AM home radio!”
Rollye: “Chuck was at the University of Denver when KIMN called for afternoon drive. The
rest, as they say, is history, and you can hear all about it (and the years before) by watching the
above video. All to often these honors are posthumous. I smiled big time seeing Chuck very
much alive and basking in the limelight where he richly belongs.”
Adam White: “This is a nice thought of yours, both for past Vox Jox readers and for the spirit
of Claude. My contribution is small, but it has been enjoyable to stay in touch with one or two
radio people, such as Scottie Regan, in the wake of my Motown book with Barney Ales.
“Claude himself gave me industry insights during my research, and Robin Seymour was
another broadcasting vet who was delightful to talk to. Not to mention promotion dudes such
as Gordon Prince, whose backstories are fabulous. My only regret is that there wasn't space to
accommodate all the people and all the tales.
“Meanwhile, for those Vox Jox readers with a passing/ongoing interest in Motown, there's this:
“And I would be happy to hear from any VJ readers (not to mention you, Rollye) with
recollections of Motown music and Motown people, be they artists or backroom believers.
Could make for an interesting edition of the blog. All the best for 2018.”
: “Email Adam here
. And definitely check out his blog. One of my greatest regrets is
not finding time during my tenure at Billboard to talk with Adam in depth about Motown.
He’d know all about my favorites, like Linda Griner’s “Goodbye Cruel Love” or LaBrenda
Ben’s “The Chaperone”. And I’m sure he’s got great stories too— particularly about Linda
being used as a pawn to get Mary Wells in line, so I’ve heard. The horror of that is how
“Goodbye Cruel Love” was swept under the table when it worked. Or so I’ve been told, but
Adam knows the real deal and I have a feeling if I can find time to read enough of his blog, I’ll
know it too.
“Speaking of Billboard, as I was typing my byline above, I couldn’t help but notice that
something was missing: Claude Hall’s name. While I wrote the column for three years, ‘Vox
Jox’ and ‘Claude Hall’ will forever be synonymous to most of us. So, I was especially glad to
get an email from the love of Claude’s life, his wife Barbara:”
Barbara Hall: “I feel awful that I have not contacted you to thank you for coming and
speaking at the Luncheon and being there afterwards for all the radio community. Claude
would have been so grateful. Your presence was a great comfort to me.
“But after we were finally allowed to bury him at the VA cemetery it was September 15....I sort
of fell apart. The paperwork goes on and on. And then I nap and watch TV. I thought I would
be very sad but not on a huge emotional roller coaster. On the positive side I m back driving
and my brother is paying for a personal trainer. Except for Sue I have not done anything social
outside family. Joey emailed he's coming for the Convention in January. I know it will be an
hectic time but maybe we can figure out a reunion. For all the radio folks who want to come.
Very important: Thank you to your husband for his kindness. And camera work. Many hugs.”
Rollye: “I’m sorry to have missed the CES, but hoping to see Barbara Hall in April while I’m
at the NAB. It would be great to see many of you as well. The convention is always hectic, but
maybe we can find a time for a get-together if we plan in advance. If you’re going to attend,
“While Claude Hall’s musical taste often different from mine, we both were suckers for a
good pop standard. Hence, I was delighted to get this note from Matt Forbes:
“This is the definition of mood music. And it’s a sure bet that at least something on the CD
will bring back a long forgotten memory. There’s a particularly nice treatment on ‘Cry Me A
River’— with a James Bond feel, to my ears.
“Along the same vein, Steve Tyrell has just released, “A Song For You”
Cuts include ‘Come Rain Or Come Shine’, ‘Sunday Kind Of Love’, ‘When I Fall In Love’,
‘Them There Eyes’, ‘To Be Loved’, ‘The Good Life’ and several others.
“Tyrell’s work is well known in many circles, especially by fans of Deborah Silver. Steve
produced her ‘The Gold Standards
’ CD a couple years ago (click here
for a copy) and I’ve
kept up with both of them ever since. Last week, Deborah did a show in South Florida:
“It was Don Graham who introduced me to the work of Deborah, Steve and Matt. Just as I
was finalizing the column (which means I had to move all the pictures around to get it in, since
graphics don't move with text in my web world— but thought you’d like to see it), Don
forwarded an email and picture from Matt:”
Matt Forbes: “I had the pleasure of catching our good friend, Steve Tyrell at Catalina’s on
Friday. Steve put on one hell of a show and was beyond generous in promoting me (and
KJAZZ) from the stage. Fortunately, we were able to catch up afterwards and grab a great
photo together — which I’ve attached below...
“I posted our meeting on my Facebook page and the response was amazing…you can read
some of the feedback here
“As ever, I’m indebted to Don Graham and Steve (along with David and Bubba) for the
remarkable support and airplay they continue to provide!”
Rollye: “And last week, Don Graham passed along some good news about Morris Diamond
Alice Harnell: “Morris and I both have new haircuts. He is still weak and having trouble
getting up from sitting in chairs but he is doing daily therapy and we hope he can get his
strength back. He is walking o.k. with the walker. His daughter JoAnne and her husband will
be here for several more days, I think. We have no idea at this point how long it will be till
Morris is released….again….but for sure we will have to get some home health care this time
Rollye: “Since Don’s email was sent to a large group, I immediately was copied on a flurry of
well wishing responses, including notes from Ann Drew, Russ Regan, Bob Fead, Don
Sundeen. I wrote to Don Graham and Joey Reynolds to confirm that it was, in fact, Morris
Diamond we were discussing and both replied.”
Joey Reynolds: “Morris Diamond. Promo guy for Mercury in the Irv Green / Shelby
Singleton Days. In LA, managed J.P. Morgan (not the banker) and Telly Savales.”
Rollye: “I had to laugh at that description and I’m sure Morris would as well. Joey probably
realizes he’s not far off on Jaye P. Morgan, who got the nickname “Jaye P” while serving as
class treasurer in high school. Kids likened her to none other than J. Pierpoint Morgan.
(Maybe a lucky break since her given name is Mary Margaret.)”
Joey Reynolds: “ I so admire Morris.... Met him in Hartford with Quincy Jones back in the
60’s, and went on to KB Buffalo to earn the big sh*t award from billboard, Gavin, etc. Morris
was always my favorite record guy, he was smart and glib, always honest and fun.
“These days with his great book we visited Joe Franklin in his cluttered office which looked
like the Sanford and Son set, Morris was gracious and never insulting although he was a
ringmaster in a circus with too many clowns. Johnny Madara wrote and produced ‘You Don’t
Own Me’ with Quincy. It has now become the female national anthem?
“John and I were together this week in Santa Barbara talking to Michael Imperioli about
Mercury with Irv Green, Quincy, Shelby Singleton, and Morris Diamond.
“Later on my roommate was Morton Downey, Jr. who was managed by Morris. This ties in
these days because I have been asked by John Madara to co-produce his film ‘At The Hop,
the history of rock n roll.’ I accepted.
“We now have the task of casting great kids, cause this is about kids like us and American
Bandstand. Michael Imperioli has come on board as the dad, and Little Steven van Zandt as
the record shop owner (this will make Val very nervous). So far, Timothee Chalamet from
‘Call Me By Your Name’ is our choice for lead kid.
“I say prayers for Morris health. We need more of him.”
Don Graham: “It is the legendary Morris Diamond, and Alice Harnell is Joe Harnell’s
widow. About six years ago Morris and Alice bought a home in Palm Springs. They are long
time friends and no, they are not married. About a year ago, Morris, now 94!, slipped and fell
and broke his hp. Rushed to Eisenhower Hospital for surgery.. four days in I.C.U. and then
transferred to nearby Brookdale / Rancho Mirage Rehab. Center. Daily therapy and exercise
for about six weeks and returned home on a walker. All this was assisted by the loving care of
Alice. Gradual recovery at home, then developed groin infection and was returned to the rehab
center for treatment about three weeks ago. We talk with Alice three or four times a week. She
says Morris is slowly recovering from the groin infection, however she doesn’t know when
he’ll return home.
“Morris is, truly, an iconic leader in the entertainment industry. In the late 1930s, he became
‘band-boy’ to Tommy Dorsey, traveling all across the U.S. setting up the bandstand, carrying
luggage and instruments to busses and trains, became friends with Frank Sinatra. Worked
with Polygram, Mercury. Managed, produced, promoted and booked Anita Bryant, Kenny
Rogers, Bill Dana, Steve Allen, Quincy Jones, Johnny Mathis, Shecky Green, Olivia
Newton-John, Keely Smith, Michael Jackson, Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minelli, Al
Martino, Paul Anka… and many, many others!! He was a long time friend of Claude and
Barbara Hall. A remarkable man, and I’m proud of our 50 year friendship.”
Rollye: “Add me to the outpouring of prayers for Morris’ return to good health. We need more
just like him. There never were many, and I fear in the future there won’t be any, of his ilk in
our lifetimes. I treasure the denizens of radio from years gone by, and increasingly I mourn the
lack of them now. So get better soon, Morris. Everyone needs you. Meanwhile, we’ll have to
make do with our memories, which brings me back to Joey’s “At the Hop” project.
Joey Reynolds: “This is your kind of story, you might have written it. It’s not all about Philly.
They weren’t the only rebel’s with a cause.
“We are looking for kids, black and white with great talent just as we had during the bandstand
days. Who in the world can play Jerry Blavat is probably the biggest challenge.
In this climate of gun control we shouldn’t call him the Geator with the Heator.
“Lots of surprises. Annette and Frankie Avalon were an item, as were Chubby and Dee Dee
Sharp. The great years of Gamble & Huff. How about the record guys Matty Singer, Kal
Rudman, Freddie Disipio, etc.
“The music reflected our interests and families fought over the radio and records. When I was
33 and 1/3, it was a very good year
“We need to go back to go forward, a time when frank Sinatra broke through the stones and
The Beach Boys without Lady Gaga.
“Bring back the nuns. They worked free. Can you imagine aiming an automatic weapon at
sister Mary Rambo?
“The teens changed the world. And some of us never grew up. That’s me. And a bunch of
guys and gals who won’t admit it.”
Rollye: “I agree that the story is much bigger than American Bandstand (from Philly’s Mitch
Thomas with his incredible but obscure black dance show in Wilmington, to Baltimore’s
Buddy Deane and many, many more), but regardless of how one felt about Dick Clark, his
influence was undeniable. At a time when independent record companies had to deal with
trying to get airplay simultaneously to avoid a rolling hit, which would be on the charts for
months but never amass sufficient numbers in any week to crack the top 10, American
Bandstand was what everybody needed. No wonder people were falling all over themselves to
give Clark publishing, or pressing, or a piece of their song. It was no different than sales
commission and worth every dime. And every once in a while, Dick even contributed. Joey
sent alone a reminder--
Can't see Dick? click here and you will.
“I also heard from Joey at the beginning of the year. He updated me on his interests and
brought back memories that still make me laugh: Tom, Randy & The Shrimp. I can’t walk
into a convention cocktail party without thinking of the reaction to that gambit.”
Joey Reynolds: (originally written to Perry Michael Simon): “Maybe you never heard the
story about how Tom Shovan and Randy West killed the shrimp bowl at the Gavin confab in
New England years ago? Bill opened the accordion doors with this huge display of large
peeled shrimp as a centerpiece at his opening cocktail party. Unfortunately Tom had attacked
the bowl before the official opening ,and Bill Gavin’s jaw dropped as he saw a bowl of ice and
large shrimp shells. We did enjoy the cheese and ritz crackers. I don't think anyone noticed
’cause there was an open bar and the rest of us were in the men’s room smoking a doobie.
“How about going to the NAB with a wreath and honor the death of radio as we knew it? Let’s
get it over with and have this f**king funeral.
“James Brown is still in his living room in Georgia cause they are fighting over the will.
Four people own the most wealth in America, ten companies rule TV, two companies own
half the radio stations in America and are bankrupt because they ate too much. They better
hope Disney doesn't get wind of what Cumulus is doing or they will grab the ABC brand and
close the 2 Dicks down. What a mistake to trust these guys with a first class brand.
“I am an old Cap Cities guy waiting for Lowell Thomas and Walt Disney, as they are in rock
n roll heaven, to talk to the spirit in the sky about being born again so they can kick the asses
of these greedy hypocrites called the FCC. Aren’t these the same guys responsible for driving
Alan Freed to drink cause of payola, and forgiving Dick Clark? They are practicing Payola
but calling it lobbying.
“f it begins with F it usually ends with a K. The FCC, FDA, FAA. Wouldnt you like to see
these greedy bastards try this on the NRA. Controlling the internet access is a way for this
corporate slime to escape their punishment after they open the golden parachutes.
“This is not about Republicans and Democrats because both have failed us, it is about restoring
sanity and fair play. No way should someone profit from a failing company while killing the
game for employees. I have never in my 40 jobs had anyone in management ever say they
were wrong or sorry. I was privileged at WOR with David Bernstein and Rich Wood, Bob
Bruno, Rick Buckley to give me free reign for 15 years. I never got a reprimand or a memo.
Since I had a 5 hour all night network show, I don't think the great management team ever
heard me, maybe one day if they were in another time zone.
“The phone is the matrix. Live radio is exciting if not kissing the ugly bride called TV. When
TV runs out of news they gossip and promote movies to fill and to provide content. Radio is
now officially a leech and a parasite, The phone chatter and talk comes from TV politics,
sports from TV franchises, the weather and news are TV related, and the music is a download
factor. The performance rates on music played on radio pays less than internet fees.
“I am a lucky guy and at this point in Cali with my daughter who is growing marijuana and
two kids under seven who are growing like weeds. I am concerned about schools and the
family breakdown which affects all of us. We need to bring back the nuns, no one would shoot
them or they would go to heaven and be sainted after warming my hands with a ruler. Why
would i want my punishment to give them their reward, like the virgins that are promised
religious freaks? More to come. Pal Joey. Where is my shrimp?”
Joey’s emails to me continued.. “I ran into Don Kelly, former manager of Wolfman, at the
radio /records dream luncheon here in LA last week. He remembers that I started on NBC
radio with Wolfman, with offbeat news the same night Chevy Chase started on SNL. Don
says i was just as funny with my stuff and should still do it?
“I am in LA watching the foolishness on tv with a live helicopter chase on all 4 major outlets
of a stolen U-haul. I thought it was OJ Simpson moving his stuff out of storage…. Big news
is that Dunkin Doughnuts has removed food dye from the doughnuts. They will probably take
the caffeine out of coffee… We are looking at the Roman Empire without togas in the Senate.
Do you think Brutus was feeding wine to women in the Harem to get laid? Was “1” a good
“I am on my way to CES hoping to learn from the conferences. I have been referring to you
often in the conversations … Iguanas are falling out of the trees because of the cold. People
of Boston must be really concerned. The only place you can get some heat is the White House.
Am I starting to write like the lame late night guys?”
Randy West: “Hi Rollye and ‘Family’. Yes, it does feel like family when our matriarch,
Rollye, brings together those who remember cue-burned 45s and RCA77s. Now that radio is
almost unrecognizable, and one of the founding fathers of the medium, Paley's CBS, has given
up after nearly 100 years, we are a special and rare breed. Now the trick is ‘Stayin' Alive.’
We've all seen too many of our friends do their final sign-offs. Not me! I'm livin' large in a
brand new 3-story 3,000-square-foot home in Beautiful Downtown Burbank. There really is a
downtown in 91501. And 2017 is ending with the old condo of 20+ years in escrow to a new
buyer. I've never been happier!
“The year is also ending with the penultimate annual ‘Radio Dream Lunch.’ that Art Vuolo has
championed over the past decade. This year it's back at The Smokehouse, legendary for the
men's room where George Schlatter hired Gary Owens for ‘Laugh-In’ after GO put his hand
behind his ear to parody the all-tile reverb effect. The final of the lunch series will be back at
‘The 45 King’ Steve Resnik's home/museum. A must-see massive repository of radio and
record memorabilia. Hopefully Rollye can make it to see the couple dozen friends who love
her. The photos are from recent ‘Dream Lunch’ get-togethers. There are a lot of familiar faces
among the rotating attendees - sagging, but familiar!
Randy continues.. “Work is slow, but I get a VO gig or two every month, which keeps the
lights on. I'll be voicing some of the challenges on CBS' new season of ‘Big Brother,’ as I
have for the past couple of seasons. This time it's a celebrity version to counter-program NBC's
Olympics coverage. The true labor of love I'm pursuing is putting the final touches on another
book. This one is a doozy - a collection of untold true stories of TV behind-the-scenes insanity.
It's a treasure trove of tales of the flukes and flakes of the stars and lesser beings I've worked
with - Wolfman Jack to Rod Roddy to Ernest Borgnine to Shirley MacLaine to the guys
I've been second banana for: Bob Barker, Dick Clark, Chuck Woolery, Wink Martindale,
Bob Eubanks, etc. I've increased my libel insurance, but am already searching for a good
defense attorney! Happiest and healthiest 2018 to the family, and especially you, dear Rollye!”
Rollye: “Count me in. I'll pre-order if Randy will tell me where. Though I’d hate to wait,
Randy’s best defense against libel is to be patient… no law against libeling the dead.”
Burt Sherwood: “I am glad that you wrote about Barbara Hall. I did so myself the other day.
Just hope she is OK as well as the ‘boys’. Claude and I both married New York City girls and
our marriages are a testimony to these two great ladies.
“As to the Burt Sherwood family, we live in Florida on the West Coast, and the family is
coming over here this Saturday before Christmas. Our grown grandchildren, Justin and
Lindsay, live in Austin, Texas. They are the children of our daughter Ellen and her late
husband. She is not able to be here as she is overseas. Our son Jason and his wife Meryl will
come (they live a couple of hours away) with our latest grandchild, Hayley. She is three and
will have a great time with her cousin Lindsay …who just loves her, as do we all. It will be a
joy to see them .
“I am busily trying to retire. I have been in broadcasting since 1947 and the changes since then
are past being many…they are enormous. It is difficult for millennials to understand our era of
no cell phones, no computers, no internet, no FM….and much more.
“I am a native Midwesterner who grew up as a teen in Peoria, Illinois. I cannot imagine a trip
back there today. I keep threatening to write a book…just like all old broadcasters do. I see all
their self publishing and do not want to join that crowded, egocentric arena. So I am still
‘silent’. What I would tell people, they would find hard to believe and probably harder to
understand. In Peoria, until after WW2, there was only one radio station, WMBD-AM…no
TV , no FM…and I think, as I recall, two newspapers in Tazewell County (since renamed
Peoria County)…110,000 people in the city and more in the County. Hard to believe, isn’t
it?…. Now on to today…
“As I am in God’s waiting room (Florida) we see friends and neighbors depart daily. Just a
couple of weeks before his 92nd, we saw a wonderful old friend… Perry Ury… leave us
(WOR, WRKO, WTIC & president Chase Broadcasting, and more). We will miss him. I
watch a lot of TV and see that the industry has one thing going for it…..change!
“Radio is going to internet and wifi…fast….I have hundreds of cable channels to
watch….which leaves little room to go to any outside entertainment…as one of the earlier
pieces of talent that became a ‘suit,’ I am glad that I am not in the ‘rat race’. Watching what
we all built leave us, is dreadful…but watch I do. I also watch the harassment stuff that is the
big thing in scandal these days. This nasty stuff has been going on for centuries…..pretty soon
there will be no talent or politician, let alone businessmen/women left. I saw it all….and all I
kept thinking was never touch or make crude remarks….or Mom would have killed me.
“Lo and Behold, one day a couple of weeks back….Joey Reynolds came over to our part of
Florida and my old PD partner Bill Hennes drove. It was a wonderful visit and Bill gave Joey
and me the good news that he was getting married. Joey was there and ‘stood up’ for him. I
wish Bill well and hope he and Rosie have a happy marriage. We are but a few days ahead of
the year end and we made three trips to Publix (our grocer) and one to Costco and have enough
food here to take us through the season. Dieting is out of the question. On that happy note, I
will tell you that I wish you a Happy 2018….and personally for you….that I heard Beach
Music finally, Rollye, and it should replace Rap…and I wish all my friends and ancient
colleagues a Happy New Year from Anne and me.”
Neil Ross: “Just wondering how things are going for you these days? Not too much to report at
this end. Which may be good thing. I’m reaching the age where things are happening to a lot of
my old friends. Not good things. Gary Allyn lost his wife of 41 years on a Sunday and the
following Thursday he lost his house in the Tulip fire down in San Diego. Now he has to start
life over at almost 80. Other folks with cancers, bypasses etc. Happy to report that Jeanne, my
daughter Taylor and I are all in good health at the moment, for which I am supremely grateful.
“I lead a life of semi-splendid semi-retirement up here on the hill, doing the occasional VO and
making personal appearances at Cons now and then. I have written my autobiography and am
trying to decide if I want to shell out the bucks to self-publish. I have no thought of making
any money with this thing. If I can just break even, I’ll be happy.
“So, how’s by you? How are the stations doing? How are you doing? Did you manage to
resolve the health issues you alluded to on occasion on Vox Jox? Drop me a line when you
have the time. Best wishes.”
Rollye: “Very sorry to hear about Gary Allyn’s challenges. He’s definitely one of the good
guys— and so is Neil Ross. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like him— me definitely
included, so knowing he’s able to retire, semi or otherwise, and that all’s well with the family
is great to hear.
“I hereby encourage Neil to get that book published. And Burt Sherwood: start writing. You
may not think so, but if you're reading this, it's a good bet you’ve got something to say. I’ll
buy the first copy.
“Regardless of author motivation, I cherish every tome attempted by any radio insider. I’ve
kept them all, too. (Even Dan Sorkin’s ‘The Blabbermouths’.) And each one of them has
something going for it. Sometimes it’s only the title. On that score, talk show host Hilly Rose,
who died December 28th at 91, takes the cake with his memoir, ‘But that’s not what I called
about…’ I’m certain that Burt has some great stories to share, and I’ll bet Neil’s take would be
a lot of fun to read. It’ll be our loss if we never have a chance to read those books.
“If you’ve been thinking about putting something down on paper— do it. So much will be lost
as each of us passes on if we don’t find a way to memorialize it. And you can do it. Easily.
The “self-publishing” to which Burt referred is usually a form of a vanity press— at your cost,
a company will do as much as you need to get you published. If you want someone to help a
little, or handle it all, from editing to distribution, there’s a plethora of choices available. On
the other hand if you’re a do-it-yourselfer like me, start your own publishing company and do
it all on your own. You’ll learn a lot along the way (and I’ll be happy to share what I know if
you decide to go that route— email me anytime here), it'll be a lot cheaper, and you might like
it enough to start publishing the work of others too.”
Ken Dowe: “Dottie just asked me yesterday if ‘you've heard from your friend, Rollye.’ Told
her you'd crossed my mind a number of times, and that I had promised I'd write you something
for your year end edition, but I had not...yet!
“I am the busiest retired guy I've ever known, just ‘Drivin' Miss Dottie.’ My full time gig. I
need a chauffeur's cap! I am in frequent touch with Gary Edens, so there is a good chance I'll
show up in Phoenix soon - and try and hook up with Jon and you, too!
“Since you caught my attention at this time, I’ll show you what I just sent a handful of friends.
For my next trick, I’ll sit around and drool. Cleaning out the photo bins and finding stuff that
is cool - only to them!! Sorry!! But...I think it's fun!!!”
Ken: “The two babies here are our daughter Anna and her first best friend, Becky. I found these
photos today. Also, the two girls -47 years later.”
Anna - Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Becky - Anna's best friend
Senior Attorney. Part time singer &
Dad: "I'm not af-fred of no hot shot lawyer!!" Wife of retired astronaut Tom Henricks.
“Anna and Becky who lives about 30 miles from Anna near Blanco, TX."
Daniel @ 18 (Best Actor)
Ken's Grandson (His son's child
With Dottie & Ken since birth)
Ken & Wolfgang
Dottie - Staying awake
on train to Czech Republic
Rollye: “For Ken Dowe, the life he’s enjoying is a direct result of the role-model family-guy
he’s always been. Sadly for many of us, while striving to make our mark, it was easy to allow
family and friends to take a distant seat to our goal of the moment. But in the end, when
everything is coming to a close— regardless of how big we made it, its our inner circle of
family and friends that are the most important contributors to our happiness. So, reading
Warren Cosford’s email made me smile. The pride he has for the daughter he nurtured is
evident in every sentence (many of which I abridged).”
Warren Cosford: “Denise was pregnant with Samantha in October 1987 when we left Toronto
for New York to help launch WDRE. Joanne Smale organized a goodbye party. Warner
Music Canada brought in Jack Scott to perform.
“The WDRE 'New Music' Format was adopted from WLIR, the 92.7 frequency that Ron
Morey and I had won with help from David Sonenberg's best friend Lou Paper, a former
FCC Chief Counsel. I was able to persuade 'LIR's Program Director Denis McNamara to
come on board with us. He brought many of his Staff with him. Inspired by Sam's Birth and
New York's annual New Music Seminar, an early promotion was The Birth of A Record where
we recorded, live on air from Tiki Recording Studio on Long Island, Crossfire Choir managed
by David Sonenberg. I wrote and recorded a promo with Morey which featured Samanth's
“The Result? Crossfire Choir were among many obscure bands we played on WDRE some of
which broke into The Mainstream, most notably Kon Kan. In this video
, The Crowd are
WDRE Fans who showed up at the studio for a couple of days at midnight.
“Our New Music Format....what Sean Ross called Top 40 Punk.....was way ahead of it's time.
My favourite 'stunt' was suggesting to D.A. Pennebaker that, instead of doing an contest to find
fans for his Depeche Mode Documentary, we ask hundreds to come out to The Malibu Night
“There is much more to This Story. Another time. This Story is about Samantha.
“Samantha was 13 when Denise and I split. At 15, Denise took The Kids to Oregon so she
she'd been closer to family. Sam was not happy. At 16, she returned to Windsor. By then I
was Truckin' and with Elizabeth. Elizabeth rented an apartment in a beautiful Heritage Home
in Windsor. I arranged for Sam to have the Basement while she finished High School.
“Sam said....I want a job in a Bar. I can host at 17 and begin working at 18. With tips, you and
I can put me through University. I said....what are you going to take? Sam said,
‘Communications Studies.’ I said, that's the course I taught for a semester. Sam said, ‘I know.
When I graduate I figure I'll get a Real Job because you know everybody.’
“I thought....no pressure there.
“My favourite Bar in Windsor is Bubi's. Sam quickly gathered a Fan Club and went through
few boyfriends with a little modeling on the side. Resumes are enhanced by magazine covers
“These days in University and College, Interning is required. Students are given a list of
places who will take Interns....and off you go for what usually amounts to Slave Labour.
So....in Sam's last year, I called up Chuck Kaiser at Digital Imaging in Detroit. Chuck is a
former son-in-law of Jack Scott. http://www.dimage.com/
“‘Chuck....do you take Interns?’
‘What are Interns Warren?’
‘They are young people going to College who work for free, learn your business and are ready
to go by Graduation.’
‘Ask Sam to call me, Warren.’
“Sam started interning in Sales. After Graduation they gave her Canada. No one had thought
of Canada before. Digital Imaging put Sam next to lots of Car People at Companies and
Agencies. Then I bought us a couple of tickets to have dinner in Windsor with Fiat Chrysler
CEO Sergio Marchionne. Samantha was the most beautiful one in the room.
“Someone she met suggested that she apply for a Marketing position that was opening up in
Windsor at Chrysler. She got The Job.
“The Message to Sam has always been....once you've learned everything you can, let them
know that you're ready to move onto Another Job. Don't let them 'buy you' with New
Vehicles. Long Story....Short. She did. Move that is. Chrysler didn't. Her Boss did what he
could, but when they promised her one thing and didn't follow through she looked for another
“Samantha is a ‘networker.’ At Bubi's she got to meet many from both The Bar and The
Liqueur Industry. She was particularly interested in what was happening with Craft Beer.....so
much so that, while working at Chrysler, she occasionally did a shift at one of Windsor's
earliest Craft Beer Bars.
“Who was among the hottest Craft Beer companies? Mill Street. So she applied.....and
interviewed twice, driving herself to Toronto from Windsor at 4AM. She got The Job.
“A few days from starting, she and Dustin rented their Windsor house, found another in
Markham, got married at the beginning of September.....where Chrysler provided the latest
"300" as a Weddingmobile and Jack Scott and Barb quietly showed up...... And now?
“I tell The Kids that the only thing I want for Christmas/Birthdays....whatever.....is what I
would never waste my money on. Malt Scotch. This year, Sam gave me this
“Yesterday I texted her and wrote 'Damn but this Whiskey is good'. Samantha texted
back….'I’m glad you like it. It's a Single Barrel Edition. I was 'the lead' when we designed
Rollye: “We’ll get back to Warren in a moment, but first this word from Dale Turner— who
has also written a book you’ll want to read.”
Dale Turner: “Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. Thanks for the opportunity to
share about 2017. It was a year of transition. I officially retired from my little morning radio
show at WDKN just outside of Nashville in July. After 20 years in radio plus 26 in the record
promotion biz, it was time.
“My friend Jonathan Fricke (Country Radio Hall of Famer) and I immediately took off on a
10 day baseball park trip plus stops at Cooperstown Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of
Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Big fun.
“In September, Pat and I decided to celebrate the end of our working life/career with a
retirement gift to ourselves...an 80 day cruise halfway around the world- Grand Asia and
Pacific Voyage. 9 countries, 30 ports, 24 thousand nautical miles. A glorious adventure.
“A shameless plug for my book-Turner's Big Radio & Record Adventure [click on the above
graphic for a good price from Amazon] with proceeds to St. Jude Children's Research
Hospital. So grateful Claude Hall was a part of my story as a young DJ to include in my
memoir. Here's a picture of my last morning on the air with one of my young listeners and my
lovely wife Pat.”
Ron Tatar: “I just finished up my 50th djembe class sessions so I guess maybe I am now also a
musician. I had a fine Christmas, and heard from Ted Cramer who had a visit from Bob
Cole and Linda in West Virginia. Apparently Bob had some thing in Pittsburgh so he was close
enough to stop by. Hope the New Year finds you healthy and happy.”
Tim Tillson: “Tim from SD here. I have nothing interesting to report. I just keep on
improving TopShelf Oldies
and will add another 400 uncommon oldies in the new year to the
10,000+ that are already in rotation. Can you id the attached song? It has a Billy Stewart type
stuttering vocal, but I'm clueless as the artist/group and title. “
Rollye: “From the first note, I knew that Tim attached ‘Goin’ Goin’ Gone’ by The Broadways
(if the title doesn’t sound familiar maybe the song will, though probably not— click here
was on MGM in 1966, the group’s first single for the label. Trade Martin arranged it. No
one promoted it. The Broadways had been The Uniques from Asbury Park, NJ (not to be
confused with Joe Stampley’s Uniques in Louisiana). One of the group members, Billy
Brown, went on to The Moments and then Ray, Goodman & Brown. Leon Trent, Ronnie
Coleman and Ray Morris rounded out the quartet, which at the time was a part of Asbury
Park’s vibrant “West Side Sound”. Great song. It’s in regular rotation on KJ (and fits well with
our theme, ‘None of the Hits, All of the Time’).
“Speaking of oldies, I’m delighted to say RichBroRadio.com
has just celebrated 11 years on
the air. Rich Brother Robbin is still cranking’ out a terrific collection of oldies. To quote
him, it’s ‘definitely not the same ol s**t!’ (Or as one of my liners on KJ proclaims, ‘We don’t
play the same old songs over and over. We play different old songs over and over.’). Check it
Shotgun Tom Kelly: “Rollye, I will always remember calling you when I was doing my TV
voice over work and you would help me with the way to pronounce the tuff words in my scrip.
You were so kind to me, It was for WFLX Fox 29 TV in Florida you knew that area well. And
remember the times you would visit me doing my show from the Corvette diner in when I was
on KFMB, that's before you were on KFMB.”
Shotgun and Rollye at the Corvette diner, 30 years ago right now.
(I drove over from Denver and drove back the next day. Shotgun kindly mailed me the pic.)
Shotgun continues: “Ok, now on to what I'm doing for 2018. After working 20 years at
K-Earth 101 and having had so many highlights working at CBS Radio was unbelievable. First
of all getting to succeed one of my radio heroes The Real Don Steele and having my star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame placed next to his was amazing. And at the ceremony, Stevie
Wonder was one of my speakers along with Jhani Kaye, it was the greatest day in my radio
Watch Shotgun’s well deserved honoring right here.
(from L to R) Jhani Kaye, Shotgun Tom Kelly, Regis Philbin and publicist Ken Phillips
Shotgun: “My former PD Jhani Kaye and I have embarked on doing a TV show called
Shotgun Tom Kelly's Neighborhoods. We have a sales team working on selling it for us. It's a
TV show where I feature a different Neighborhood each week.
Shotgun: “For my Hobby, I'm having a HO Train Layout built by Lloyd's Layouts in Santa Fe
Springs for $15,000. On the Layout I'm having an AM FM TV Station with window's you look
into and see the KOS-TV Eyewitness News Set inside. It's going to have a Billboard on the
Carson Schreiber: “I thought you might like to see the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters latest
Rollye: “I did enjoy seeing it and I think you will too. I wasn’t sure about the copyright issues,
so I’m not reprinting the many terrific pictures, but you can read it all for yourself right here
—Since copyright is something that’s always near the front of my mind when I compile
anything, Chuck Buell sent me a story that would be genuinely funny— if it wasn’t true. Read
about it here
. To summarize— a guy who put 10 hours of white noise in the form of static
online was hit with five copyright infringements. Not take down notices— take over notices.
The alleged infringed now receive the profit from the guy’s static. Fortunately, not a lot of
people are using YouTube to listen to static, though it might be preferable to some of the stuff
“A couple more passings I’m sad to report. One is Miami’s Rick Shaw. His local radio career
spanned five decades, but to listeners of a certain age, it was the few years that he ruled the
night time airwaves on WQAM from 1963 onward. Hired by Charlie Murdock for the 7 to 11
PM slot when WCKR (where Shaw was working) went Hootenany, Rick, like many night
jocks during those years, became nothing short of the pied piper to local teens. Though his
South Florida radio career post-WQAM was undoubtedly more profitable with long term stints
at both WAXY and Magic, in addition to his off air interests; it was the outpouring of online
responses from early to mid 60s listeners waxing sentimentally about a time when Rick Shaw
was everywhere (on radio, tv and live at countless appearances) that most displayed his impact.
“What impressed me most about Rick Shaw was his ability to fit 60 seconds of copy into a 30
spot enunciating every word. He was also an absolute master at razor blade editing. Lots
about him when he passed, like this
Miami Herald piece, written over 50 years after Art
at 78, on October 24th.
WQAM Jocks no longer with us.
Ronnie Grant (L-died 1985) and Rick Shaw (R)
1968 - Arthur Godfrey Rd. studio
“It was in the middle of Rick Shaw’s WQAM tenure that South Florida listeners first heard
The Adventures of Chickenman (when both Rick and Chick were seemingly ‘Everywhere,
Everywhere’), which leads me to more sad news— the passing of Dick Orkin. It’s impossible
for me to believe there is anyone reading this column that isn’t acutely aware of his talent and
background. And the avalanche of well deserved accolades upon his passing revived any point
that you might have missed. I doubt there’s anyone among us who can’t recall a favorite Orkin
bit. One of my treasured items is the poster he and Bert Berdis distributed when they moved
from Chicago to Los Angeles…
“In case you can’t make it out (since I took the shot in my poorly lit living room and the poster
is behind glass), virtually every landmark and advertisement on it is redubbed in the duo’s
honor, my favorite being ‘Eau de Dick & Bert, parfum. It smells like Dick & Bert.’ I think all
of us laughed at Chickenman, but what Dick really gave our industry was the humorous
reminders even well into this decade, that commercials can be creative and effective.
“When I left WQAM, every episode of The Secret Adventures of The Tooth Fairy stayed in my
office, on reel to reel tape. I later found out someone just dumped them. At the time I’d heard
the crushing news, I was sorrowfully recounting the loss to Bert Berdis who cheered me up in
Nashville by mailing me a large package of official Tooth Fairy Toothpicks and this teeshirt…
“Well worn, as you can see. Also can’t forget about Amazon Ace, though many people have.
When I came across the bumper sticker below, it immediately reminded me of Peter McLane
and his Des Moines radio group…”
Peter McLane: “Yet another year begins. An industry that we all loved is now a little computer
box sitting in a rack. Most of the major radio groups are under water with little hope of
recovering. There are a few operators in medium markets holding on.
“The big guys now go for ‘big share’ of dollars by pledging all their formats in the market.
Cable goes next and broadcast tv and networks next. Streaming will defeat broadcast as a
medium. Oh well you have our memories.
“We formed a group of old broadcasters in Des Moines called 'The Microphonies'
We meet once a month to share "war stories". Your dues are your lunch money. First
Wednesday of the month at the Machine Shed Restaurant. You don't need a third class ‘ticket’.
Oh yeah........Happy 2018
“Ps. Bill Stewart and Todd Storz ‘closed’ the list to 40 on KOWH in February 1956.”
Jason Walker: “I’ve spent some 45 years on the air... The majority of it in Dallas-Fort Worth. I
always enjoyed reading Vox Jox....a staple of the industry. Claude was one of a kind.
“Since being unceremoniously fired at KTFW and KFWR in Ft Worth in 2014, I have not
been able to find any on air work. Seems that PDs today only want to hire young folks who
excel at social media, but are clueless about real, relatable personality radio. For the last three
years I have been working as a runner/driver for an auto dealership. Pay sucks, but it's a job.
Thank god for my Social Security check each month. Oh well, I had a helluva run and was
fortunate to work with, and for, some of the best. Best of luck in 2018 and I look forward to
reading your column!!!”
Rollye: “For the huge number of talents cast aside by radio’s current reality, it’s a personal
loss. But for the countless listeners cast aside by what passes for today’s programming, it’s an
Chuck Blore: “I’ve been out of radio for a long, long time and it’s difficult for me to relate to
radio today. When I read your column it’s rare that I recognize any of the names, except of
course when you’re talking about the good old days. Or, should I say the grand old days when
radio was an entertainment medium and not just music or news. It was ENTERTAINMENT
and the jox were ENTERTAINERS...ah yes, the good OLD DAYS. I am a fan of Vov Jox and
I thank you I thank you very much for sending it to me even though I am a grumpy old fart.”
Rollye: “I wish Chuck was grumpy. What he is, is accurate. He correctly assessed the market
place 60 years ago and made a real difference for radio. Today he’s correctly assessing it
again, but the rest of that sentence, no matter how you imagine it, isn’t close to uplifting.”
Mel Phillips: “I don't make New Year's resolutions. I figure if you do smart (good) things all
year than why make New Year's resolutions, only to break them two weeks later? I wish you a
happy 2018 and thank you for keeping us in touch with each other. I do hope there are fewer
deaths of people I value in 2018 then in 2017. I will continue to keep radio people aware of
writing my 6th book in the new year…”
Art Vuolo: “I have finally got my Holiday Letter for 2017 finished. My June highlight had to
be my first trip to Boston in 27 years to record the 50 Year WRKO reunion which featured all 5
of the original 1967 DJ’s. Amazing Event! Videos are still available (shameless plug).
Original Five Jocks from WRKO Boston at the 50th reunion
“Another bookmark was the CKLW 50th anniversary with good friend Jo-Jo.
Charlie O’Brien, Johnny Williams, Jo-Jo, Bill Gable, ArtVuolo
“It was followed with my annual trek to Minnesota for the Conclave radio seminar, and some
great sidebar visits to upper Midwest friends Angelo and family, plus The Knapper.
KQ92 FM Twin Cities morning host Tom Barnard & Art Vuolo
“At the national Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago, November 2nd, longtime friend and radio
legend, John Records Landecker was inducted and called me out from the stage as only JRL
could. It was a moment.
John Records Landecker and actress Daughter Amy
“The second week in December was packed with activities locally, all of which I missed due to
a prearranged trip back east for a lavish party in NYC. It was, however, worth it as I was
surprised by being honored for my contributions to the radio industry and it truly stunned me!
Heartfelt thanks to Steve from NY and Kevin from L.A., who are simply too kind.
(L-R) Kevin Gershan, Steve Kamer, Art Vuolo
“For those of you who have seen me in the past year, you’ve probably noticed a change in my
appearance, as I have stopped dying my hair, had cataract surgery, and no longer need glasses.
Both knees have now been replaced, while my personal trainer Anthony, and my local
caregiver Jan, are both trying to keep me in good shape.”
Rollye: “As 2016 drew to a close Joey Reynolds, Dandy Don Whittemore, Art Vuolo and
Shotgun Tom Kelly appeared at the Radio Dream Lunch at Steve Resnik's house. Evidence
above. I believe Art was drafting this year's missive just ahead of the 2017 soiree. I edited
Art's words significanly. I expect that many of you have already read his wrapup-- but for those
not on the list, I thought the pictures I’ve included might be the ones you’d want to see.
“Sorry to note that Scott St. James wasn’t able to be at any of the annual festivities, but very
glad to know he’s doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. Kevin Gershan
keeps me updated, and Don Graham sent along Don Barrett’s update at the end of the year.
Here’s hoping we’ll see his face in the place at some of this years Southern California media
“Just as I was looking for the link to Don's story on Scott (it's in the 4th quarter 2017 LARadio
, scroll down to December 29th) , I went to the LARadio.com
homepage only to
discover that Lyle Kilgore died on the 22nd. He was 89. For many years, he was the voice of
news to Southland teens, making every story a big one on 93KHJ. ”
Clark Ortone: “We both worked at 710 KMPC during the early 1990s. I think our paths only
crossed a couple of time. I was the engineer at the studio. That is me in the KMPC luncheon
photo . . . the kid in the vest, Clark Ortone.
(L to R): Bill Ward, 710 KMPC General Manager; Mal Mobley, KMPC transmitter engineer. (He
started working at KMPC about 1940); Loyd "Sig" Sigmon, former KMPC GM and engineer. (The
Sigalert is named after the traffic system he developed.); Steve Blodgett, FM engineer; Earl Lieske,
KMPC engineer. (Began working at KMPC in 1936.); Clark Ortone, KMPC studio engineer; and
John Felz, KMPC operations manager.
“The second photo is a studio I am putting together for an Internet radio station. I'll bet you
can remember some of that equipment.
“The Internet station has been operating for about a year, but is not an any listing links as it is
being developed. It has not sounded much like radio until the last few months so I am finally
feeling good about it. The goal is to move it to a channel with live streaming video, such as
Youtube Live. The station would probably be of interest as it is far different than anything else
‘on the air’.
“There are many thousands of Internet radio stations broadcasting with most sharing about the
same few formats. About a year ago I started to create a truly unique station featuring music
from the early 20th century all by piano. Most of the music played on the station is from
player piano music rolls from that time period.
“Pianos and player pianos were very common in American homes up until about 1930, then
declined rapidly due to advancements in radio, phonographs and then the depression.
In the early 20th century, about 500,000 pianos and player pianos were being sold in the U.S.
each year and each cost about as much as a new car at that time. The pictures below show
piano roll mastering equipment where masters were made using a marking or punching piano.
These photos were taken about 1910.
“Player pianos are still being made but since the 1980s are computer based (no paper roll) and
they still cost about as much as a new car. Since the new computer based player pianos use
special MIDI files, which can be made or purchased, they cannot play the old paper rolls.
Preservationists and player piano enthusiasts using their own custom created scanning
equipment and software have been scanning and create special MIDI files from these old paper
roll which can be played on these new pianos.
Terry Smythe scanning a piano roll to create a MIDI file version.
“Check over that info on the Disklavier player piano control box. [Clark sent me some
graphics on the E3 model. Just in case copyright is a factor, I'm giving you a link. Click here
and note that one of the models is over a quarter of a million bucks-- Rollye] There is a USB
for a jump drive for new music which can contain scanned player roll MIDI files (or some
MIDI files created on music notation editor - the ProTools family makes one). There is also
something they call "RADIO" and they have several channels. This is not radio as we know it
where the sound comes out of a speaker. Streaming MIDI file data is sent to operate the piano
over the Internet to your home which "plays" your piano. This can either be from their piano
MIDI jukebox or be a live concert from someone playing one of their "reproducing" pianos.
“Back to Parlor Piano...The old player pianos came in different levels of quality ranging from
consumer grade to concert. The term they used to describe the music detail is "expression".
Attachments 9, 10 and 11 are MP3 of sample music from Parlor Piano.
“There are no known sound recordings of Scott Joplin, but in 1916, a year before his death,
Joplin recorded a few piano rolls. Here
is a Maple Leaf Rag
actually being played by Scott
in 1916 to a piano roll. Here
is how it would sound on a Yamaha Grand Piano.
“There are two piano players playing (a lot going on). It says ‘Autograph’ and ‘Word’. The
piano roll was autographed by the piano players and ‘Word’ means that the words to the music
were printed on the roll so you could sing along at home as the piano played. These were the
days before radio and phonographs, so it was a big deal for a musician to record piano rolls.
They were celebrities!
“Not all music on the station is from piano roll, A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody
was created on a music notation editor. This tune uses three pianos. The bass is a Yamaha
Grand, in the foreground is a Hallet Davis, and in the background is a Steinway. This
sequenced music is used to add variety and dimension, so the station doesn't all sound the
“Parlor Piano is presently on Caster.fm listed under "jazz". I consider this a "demo" station
and there are no listings or links. It will be moved to another host channel in the near future,
probably one with video. There are now just under 1,500 WAV tunes on the air. The music
library is about 15,000 and growing. (And comes from England, Canada, Sweden and the
United States.) Obviously, it is a lot of work to go through these, research, date, create the
WAV, tag and ready for air.
“The thought of player piano puts a smile on the faces of many people. And the sound is way
different than anything that comes out of a piano being played today. Many people under 40
probably have never heard one. Those a little older remember them mostly from places like
Polly's Pies and Shakey's Pizza. Do you remember what Shakey's serves? They serve ‘fun’ at
Shakey's . . . also pizza! Parlor Piano is an attempt to put that ‘fun’ on the ‘radio’. We don't
John Long: “Greetings from the new home of The Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame.
Over the holidays, we moved to LaGrange, the county seat of Troup County, Georgia. It is
about 60 miles southwest of Atlanta via I-85. LaGrange is home to LaGrange College, the
oldest private college in the state.
“I grew up in LaGrange, graduated from LaGrange High School, and attended LaGrange
College. I also began my radio career there at WTRP. LaGrange has changed much since the
60’s when Callaway Mills was the largest employer and the LaGrange High School football
program was one of the best in the state. New industry led the way for LaGrange to become
one of the most vibrant and progressive cities in the state.
“Since we were shown the door by the city of St Marys a couple of years ago, our organization
has been searching for a new home closer to Atlanta. After nearly two years of meeting with
over a dozen municipalities, we rediscovered LaGrange and knew immediately it was the
perfect spot for our new home.
“Patti, Jan and Edward and I have met with city officials regarding moving the museum to
LaGrange and found them to be enthusiastic about having The Georgia Radio Museum there.
“Making it happen will take the financial support of our membership. This month our goal is to
show The LaGrange Downtown Development Authority that Georgia radio professionals are
committed to preserving the history of Georgia radio and those we have honored for the past
decade. They're counting on you!”
Rollye: “The above is an excerpt from the GRHOF newsletter. If you’ve spent anytime in
Georgia radio, you know how vibrant its history is. Click here
to help preserve it.”
Ian Wright: “Hi from South Australia, Rollye. Like the world all over, 2017 has been another
challenging year in the Australian radio business, with many changes in format and
personalities. With Howard Stern and I both clocking up 64 years on January 12, I reckon he
got the keys to the castle and I got to oil the gates to the kingdom ! Such is life.
“Losing Claude Hall this year was a real bummer along with other Australian and overseas
friends. Life is fragile and unpredictable and we DO need to make every day as gratifying as
possible. None of us are perfect and we all need to embrace a little more tolerance in our daily
life and simply ‘get on’, despite our differences. Mind you, some people in life are so radical,
we probably don’t want to get too close to them!
“I’m currently enjoying a welcome relief from the rigours of life in the radio Sales Department
and return to work in late January. I wish you, Barbara Hall & family and all who read your
column the very best in 2018. As Claude would say “We come, we do, we go”. I always try
and do my best both personally and professionally and certainly don’t want to “go” anytime
soon, God willing ! By the way, the enclosed shot features me with a few mates having a jam
a few years back....Oh, yeah. Best wishes from 'The Land Of Oz.'”
Timmy Manocheo: “Wow, Rollye, this is a very welcome surprise, hearing from you, in this
regard. Another special & great radio professional has yet moved on to join Claude & Co.
beyond the clouds, that being Joe Reiling. He was somewhat of a friend & everyone admired
him for his biting wit & consummate dedication to all things radio. Joe spent several years at
KLOS/FM, as well as a very exemplary stint with AFRTS, among other radio stations in the
L.A. market and elsewhere. A great turn-out for Joe was held at the chapel at Eternal Valley
Chapel Of The Hills, in Newhall, Calif. There were many warm remembrances shared with
the attending flock, both humorous, as well as sentimental.
Timmy continues...“The bi-annual radio-folk get-together / luncheon at Fuddrucker's in
Burbank, Calif. was reportedly another great gathering, earlier this month, 12/12/17. I did not
make it down for that episode, but do plan on showing up in June, 2018 for the next scheduled
“The fires in this beautiful state this year have been not only devastating, but horrific. I feel for
all those who were affected. Some I know, most I don't. All in all, it has been a thought
provoking year on many levels. I do hope that you & yours, Rollye are safe & sound & as well
as can be expected. Take care & thanx for all you've done.”
Rollye: “Timmy also sent along a link to a five minute air check from the last gasp of a
decade: New Year’s Eve 1969.”
Can't hear it? Click here.
Bruce Miller Earle: “It was good to receive your mail. I've thought back to the day often
since the celebration of life for Claude Hall. It was good to meet people we all have read
about over the years in Vox Jox, but had never met. I'm also glad to after hearing about you for
years it was good to finally meet you.
“I was blessed to have Claude as a dear friend and ardent BME supporter who opened many
doors for me. Saying goodbye to Don Claudio was hard for sure. Now today comes the news
of Arthur Henry Holt's passing. Over the years Arthur was often chronicled in Vox Jox as
Radio's Mystery man.
“Art and Claude first met and budded up while attending the University of Texas in 1949.
Arthur Henry Holt was 86 years of age and peacefully passed on 1 January, my birthday.
Arthur was not only a father figure in my life, but fully supported my passion for making the
“The first day of January, God willing, started yet another trip for me around the sun. As for
projects we are striving to build and demonstrate our Triaxial Inductive Antenna (TICA) in
South and Central America this year. I hope your radio stations and other interest are going
well for you.
“Knowing we are Capricorns there is good news to share. A friend who follows astrological
things reports the stars are properly aligned for us to have great advancement for the next three
years. If correct I hope this will be true for all of us. I do not do any social media. If anyone
wants I can be reached here
. My best and Happy New Year to all.
Rollye: “Bruce also included his phone number, but I thought better of putting that online,
given the amount of robot dialing these days. If you’d like to reach him, drop me a line and
I’ll pass it on to you.
“My thanks to all who populated the Vox Jox inbox with good wishes for the New Year--
including Jumpin’ Joe from KISN 95.1 LP, Joey G., Richard Mamches, who sent along a
nostalgic picture of him in the control room of Miami’s wonderful example of radio's
pre-television glory days with its self-supporting tower surrounded by studios and a raised
Western Electric control room: WKAT in 1979...
“…and Tom Campbell, who just after Christmas confirmed the source of the article included
in our last Vox Jox column as being none other than Claude Hall (Billboard neglected to
mention that, as it ran just after Claude left the publication)…”
Tom Campbell: “The August Vox Jox I just received made me tear up. What a well written and
deserved tribute to Claude.
“You are so correct about Claude being the source of the Tiegel AFRTS story and my radio
show there. No one contributed more to the success of my broadcast Career than Claude.
“From the many years of writing about my endeavors and activities, to personal and
professional references, referrals and mentoring, Claude was number one.
“I miss him dearly. He is in our minds and heart forever. Thank you again for all you and
Barbara have done. I’ll be in Vegas all next week for CES. Spoke with Barbara and will be
dropping by the house to say hello and visit. I’ll give you a call. Love to catch up.”
Rollye: “We also heard from Cary Pall who mentioned he's been working on a couple internet
to pass them on to you, but you’ll have to suffice with links, and I hope they’re the right ones),
and Steve Warren checked in...
Steve Warren: “Chinamerica Radio pretty much occupies my time, including a bunch of
activities throughout the greater NYC Chinese communities. I still do Country Oldies Show for
Envision, 3 hours every week…24 years, now. Sort of amazing that all the way back to my
days at WHN, WKHK, WYNY, Sirius, and now Envision, I’ve never received a nod of any
sort from ACM, CMA or CRS. But I have several awards from the Chinese communities.
Hope all is well with you for 2018 (Year of the Dog).”
Rollye: “Steve sent that email having just returned from Taipei, where he’s been going for the
past ten years to work with Chinamerica Radio, the Chinese internet station where he serves as
executive producer. The format is Chinese pop music in both Mandarin and Cantonese. With
Chinamerica, he not only entertains listeners in the far east, but he serves as an ambassador for
the station’s global audience including many Chinese Americans. These days he’s even
speaking some ‘mauled Mandarin.’”
Rollye: “That’s Taipei 101 in the background, a building I’ve come to know well as Jon, my
husband was commissioned to do a documentary on it when it first went up. What a great life
Steve is having-- a far cry from his childhood in New Albany, Indiana, and it looks like he's
enjoying every minute. And now.. from Steve Warren back to Warren Cosford, and his year
Warren Cosford: “The Highlight of The Year for Elizabeth and me was the wedding of
Samantha and Dustin, September 3. It was held outdoors in Windsor at the famous Hiram
Walker Brewery beside The Detroit River. Among The Guests was Jack Scott and his wife
“The Lowlight of The Year was the sudden appearance of sciatica. I was in Toronto at the time
with son Dylan to watch the NHL Rookie Tournament and have Lunch with 20 or so friends at
our favourite Chinese Restaurant. I had been feeling kind of 'achy' for a couple of days.
Fortunately Nurse Elizabeth came out of Retirement to tell me what was happening. It's not
fun. What followed was three months of Physio Therapy with exercises twice a day.
“The Good News of The Year was The Return of Dylan Cosford who, after receiving his
Degree in Criminology from Framingham College in Massachusetts, decided to take the year
off to visit Asia. He had so much fun from Australia, New Zealand to The Philippines, Viet
Nam, Thailand and Fiji that the year turned into almost two years, bartending along the way. It
was fascinating following his adventures on Facebook. When he showed up at sister Sam's
Wedding it was in a new Camaro, followed a week or two later by a beautiful young lady
flying in from Germany. Johanna and Dylan are now both working in Fine Dining Restaurants
and saving their money for either Europe or Africa.
“And us? Elizabeth continues building her 'Dream Home' around us, bringing in 'specialists' as
required. Nothing fancy. Room for two with Cats and an extra bed for visitors.
“Years ago we felt Windsor/Detroit was going to be....as Wayne Gretzky might say....be where
The Real Estate Puck was going to be....and it's shaping up that way. If your readers ever
worked in Detroit they might find this fascinating.
has he been doing?
“Radio? I expect to be helping with Reunions in London and Winnipeg in 2018 and feel
blessed to be in touch with so many thanks to The Internet. All the best Rollye. Hope to meet
Rollye: “You don’t need Vox Jox to stay up to date on Warren’s adventures (radio’s too). He’s
got some robust email lists that he moderates, keeping the discussion fresh and seemingly
endless. If you’re interested in getting on them, all you need do is email Warren at
update on the reunions:”
Warren Cosford: “London? As you know, I drove to London last June for a meeting with a half
dozen London Radio Vets to discuss my experience with Reunions in Detroit, Toronto and
Winnipeg. Each Reunion was set up somewhat differently than the other and it seemed like the
CKY Reunion 'template' was the one most agreed on. I thought it went well. Most were given
'tasks' to do. I've heard nothing more since and certainly should have by now. I'll look into it.
“Winnipeg? We had a CKY Reunion a number of years ago which I thought went very well. I
expect to be at a Surprise Party for Bob McMillan's 70th in May and have been in touch with
others for what I suspect will be a small a get together at a Chinese Restaurant similar to a List
“The CHUM Annual Reunion is set for the evening of Friday May 4th at Jingles a
Bar/Restaurant across from what had been The CHUM Building. I'm not sure how many of
these have been held, but it's been quite a few years. Organized by Gail Armstrong who once
worked in Accounting and is the daughter of the late Wes Armstrong CHUM VP of National
Sales. It's always well attended.
“The Lists? warrensnetwork started as Radiopro in 1999. At the time, I had been in Radio for
about 35 years and had made many friends with similar interests....so we just started
exchanging Information...mostly about Radio and Music. Following 9/11, we added 'The War
Interest List' which, since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, has become The Political List.
“Over the years, The List has morphed into a very broad range of topics and a membership of
more people I've never met than ones I have. We've even, occasionally, become a Search
“When The Audiovisual Preservation Trust of Canada, the Producer of MasterWorks, a
non-profit organization whose mandate is the preservation of our Canadian cultural heritage,
wanted to track down the family of guitarist Lenny Breau they contacted The List. When The
Hockey Hall of Fame were trying to identify a member of The Media in a photo from 1967,
they contacted The List. We tracked both down in less than a day. Also, following
the Lac-Mégantic Train Derailment, we made a presentation before Windsor, Ontario City
Council which resulted in new Legislation requiring more transparency by Railroads.
“So....we have a lot of fun. After a couple of weeks I think you'll ‘get it’. There are actually 5
‘Lists’…..The Radio List, The Political List, The Music List, The Pop Culture List and The
Train Derailment List. You are welcome on any or all. Of course, you're also very welcome
to participate. In fact we expect you to.”
Rollye: “One of the recent treats of being a list member was a reminder that it was World
Radio Day. On February 13th, over 600 Canadian radio stations celebrated by running a
promo written by Bell Media Creative Director Mike Occomore and produced by Bell
Media’s Jeff Kirkwood. Stations were supplied with a 30 and a 60. They ran the 60
simultaneously across Canada at 8:22 on the 13th.
“Here in the states, we few of us were aware it was even happening. I took the promo Warren
sent and put in rotation on both KQSS and KJAA. Here it is
. But before you click on it, a
warning— it’s a very far cry from Stan Freberg’s pro-radio work (with Quincy Jones
arranging the music and Sarah Vaughn singing it) in the 1960s. But maybe that’s appropriate,
as radio today is a far cry from what it was then. Warren reminisces about the impact Freberg
had on his career:”
Warren Cosford: “The first time I was aware of Radio Promoting itself was early '60s when it
was Under Attack from TV. As you may know, Stan Freberg was commissioned to produce a
series of Promos. They were MAGNIFICENT.
“At the time, I had just begun working part time in Private Radio while in School....but hadn't
yet figured out what it was I wanted to do. I was on air both DJ and News, Promotion, typing
file cards in the Music Library and typing and assembling 'Logs'. In one of his Promos,
Freberg flew The Royal Canadian Air Force over Lake Michigan and dropped a
maraschino cherry into a mountain of whipped cream to the cheering of 25 screaming 'extras'.
Rollye: “And with that, Warren’s direction was cemented. Freberg’s campaign is forever
written on most of our minds— but if you’ve never heard it, or more likely, want to hear it
again, here it all is:
Can't access it? Click here.
“The maraschino cherry cut comes in at around 3:03. And on that note, I go out.
“So happy to hear from so many of you. I don’t know when or if there’ll be another column,
but I’ll make a couple promises: I’ll check email regularly at firstname.lastname@example.org
should you care
to communicate— and, in the event you want to start your own column (I’ve had a few people
ask about that), I’ll be happy to alert the entire Vox Jox mailing list to your efforts. In making
that offer, I don’t think I’m imposing on the good will of anyone receiving our emails. I think
we’d all be grateful to know about someone trying to keep us together. But WARNING:
you’ve got a tough act to follow. And I’m not referring to myself. RIP Claude Hall— you
were the master of tending to our flock.