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by Rollye James
Dave Anthony: “My endless boxes of records just revealed this gem [pictured above]. I guess I
need something called a record player to hear it….”
Rollye: “If you no longer have one, you might want to consider a turntable before it’s too late.
There’s a little known problem with CDs— known by the lovely title “CD-Rot”. I started to
notice it a few years ago on CD-Rs and CD-RWs— and even some label issued CDs that
clearly weren’t stamped in Terre Haute. It is predominantly affecting CDs burned in the 80s or
early 90s, though a lot of my home brew stuff from as recent as 10 years ago have become
goners. You can look it up online if you’re curious as to why it’s happening— but whether
more CDs of every vintage and manufacture will ultimately be affected, who knows? Your
best bet is to take anything on CD you want to preserve and make a digital copy. Thumb
drives are extremely cheap and they’ll hold your whole record library.”
David Gleason: “I know that Claude Hall holds Bill Randle in justifiably high regard. So
This little snippet from the March 26, 1955 “Billboard” will no doubt resonate with him.
Click on it to see the story on the full page of Billboard.
“There was a day when jocks picked their own tunes, and “hits” were made at the show, rather
than the station, level. (I think some of the promotors of the era were “made”, too, but I
digress.) And those of us who programmed in the 60’s and into the 70’s recall how getting
exclusives on songs was a much bigger deal than it later became for all but the biggest artists.”
: “If you’d like to read the rest of the article, click here
. The only downside to David
the day evaporates. It singlehandledly proves that he theory of relativity is applicable right
here on the earth plane. I start to read at, say 2 PM, and next thing I know, it’s midnight.
Usually I’m prompted to go to the site because of a known quantity— something in some
publication of which I'm very familiar. But often, I find so much more— including every issue
of some magazines I didn’t know existed. And while we’re on the subject of trade papers”….
Jerry Del Colliano: “You have exceeded my expectations again when I am honored to write
for this radio industry. I am so glad DayStarters resonate with so many people and I
particularly appreciate the mention in today’s issue. Joey, well — I love him. And you’ll note
when I spoke of ageism I also didn’t forget the young people who didn’t get the chances we
got. Hope all is well and many thanks!! And one more thing …
Jerry Del Colliano
“2 months after the hereditary aortic aneurysm surgery at NY Presbyterian that saved my life, I
returned to the beach of my beloved Jersey Shore. Now, does this look like a 100% recovery
Rollye: “May we all look so healthy and content! I can’t help with your health, but if there are
contentment issues, I’ve got a suggestion— read Jerry’s DayStarters. Really good thoughts.
And they’re free and delivered right to your inbox if you like. Find out more here
Dick Taylor: “Was reading about all the great radio books in this week’s Vox Jox and noticed
no one mentioned this one: Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City.
It can be found on Amazon here
. I read this book before I was invited to do a four-hour air
shift on The Legend – 650AM –WSM back on July 13, 2014. I had not been on the air since I
left programming back in 1979 and moved into sales and rose through the ranks to market
manager where I would stay for almost three decades. The scoped air check of that broadcast
can be found on SoundCloud here
. Those four hours went by in like 4-seconds.
“After I did my broadcast, I was invited to a WSM Alumni Luncheon and then to become an
associate member of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. When I took the route into radio
station management, I thought I had lost my opportunity to ever be on one of the giant 50,000
watt clear channel signal radio stations. My guest DJ appearance on WSM fulfilled a lifelong
dream. I want to express my gratitude to then Program Director at WSM Joe Limardi for the
invitation and the opportunity.”
Rollye: “We got quite a bit of response to last week’s book list, including hearing from some
people who thought I’d forgetten about them. I should have mentioned that there are great
reading choices, in addition to Claude’s work, under “Other Books” on the column to your left.
But the bonus for me was hearing about books of which I was unaware. I’ve just bought two
on Amazon. One is Dick Taylor’s WSM suggestion. The other is Johnny Holliday’s book—
which is now included on the left hand column, where it should have been all along, only I
didn’t know it existed.
Johnny Holliday: “You are correct, You most likely don't have a copy of my Autobiography
From Rock To Jock by Johnny Holliday. More than happy to send you one...as well as one to
Warren Cosford, if you forward me his address. Even though it's sold out, you can still
purchase used copies at amazon here
. Claude has a copy and I think he enjoyed it.”
Rollye: “Big thanks to Johnny. As I mentioned, as soon as I saw it, I ordered a copy. But
Warren— if you send an email to email@example.com
with your snail mail address, Johnny
promises to fill your mailbox with joy.
“And on a completely unrelated topic, did you hear Hugh Hefner sold the Playboy Mansion—
for $100 million! Here
’s the variety article:”
Claude Hall: “All I can say is: ‘Wow!’ I was there a few times ... once to meet Barbi Benton.
But a lot of guys in music visited the place ... some more than once. Hell of a dump!
“Like the rest of the world, I've been engrossed in the Olympics. Especially basketball, but
also the other activities. And they constantly flash the scene of the bay and the hills. Courtesy
of Radio Globo, I visited Brasil in the 70s. Most important man? Antonio Porto, the soccer
announcer. I wonder if he's still announcing the soccer matches. One day, Guilherme de
Souza escorted me to the statue atop the mountain. De Souza had been with Voice of America.
He was a great guy and fluent in 14 languages, but had moved with his family back to Brasil
and was like a personal assistant to Luis Brunini, head of the Globo broadcasting facilities
and, thus, one of the most important men in the nation. One day, de Souza escorted me to the
top of the mountain with the statue. At the hill top where you change from one cable car to
another to complete the journey, we met a very somber person in a dark suit who seemed
embarrassed to bump into de Souza and the meeting was quickly over. De Souza said: ‘The
last time I met him was in Washington. He was with the state department.’ And both of us
laughed. ‘There goes a spy,’ I said. ‘Ah, yes. Just like the movies!’”
Rollye: “Finally, after over 50 years, the McLendon for Senate commercial jingle is a success!
Serving a great purpose, it brought an email to me from Brad Messer. Made my whole week.”
Brad Messer: “God, that jingle. Gordon likely got it from the fine folks at PAMS in Dallas,
who did 'em for McLendon's KILT/Houston.
“One day along about 1966 our PD (the late) Bill Young received a new pack of jingles, which
included a track promoting the News. It was just silly, to me. I told Bill that if he was gonna
use that stupid jingle I might as well just go ahead and sing the stupid news. I was afraid he
really would use it, so that evening I snuck into Production and wrote a few rhyming news
stories, grabbed some instrumental beds, and laid vocal tracks over 'em.
“Next morning, yep, here came that dumb News jingle. Alex Bennett ("James Bond") intro'd
the news and instead of me opening my mike, I hit Play on the reel-to-reel and here came eight
or ten news stories with music and lyrics which became known as KILT Singing News.
“Alec's mouth dropped open. The hotline rang. Come to my office statements thundered from
“Lucky for me the listener lines lit, and stayed lit, and KILT got a ton o' positive feedback.
Thus did I keep my job.
“Bill never made us play the stupid News jingle again. National PD Bill Stewart sent me off
on airplanes to create singing newscasts for Chicago and several other McLendon stations.
“(About Alex: each morning when our airshifts ended we'd go to Walgreen's in Montrose for
breakfast. I was a lowly news director. Alex was a star. I had to carefully check prices, but Alex
never even had to glance at the right column. I thought that was pretty cool.)”
Ken Dowe: “Your usual stellar writing, Brad. Good stuff! Did you know that Gordon sold
KTSA/KTFM because he believed San Antonio's overwhelming support of his opponent
(Yarborough) cost him the Senate seat? He was right, too. So, he told his broker to, ‘Sell'em,
Joe. I'm out of there.’
“Gordon said he was a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian. (More Contrarian than anything,
in my opinion!) Which reminds of the true political position of most high-profile types. I
learned that the morning after the 1980 election: My friend the late Speaker Carl Albert had
graciously accepted my invitation to join me on our Oklahoma City station for coverage the
night of the election results. (Wish you'd been with me! What a hoot that would've been.)
“I was a Reagan fan. The next morning I couldn't wait to telephone Clint, who dabbled in
political pap when he wasn't having fun with his toy, the Dallas Cowboys.
Me: "Ha ha! This is great! I win, you lose."
Clint Murchison: "What do you mean?"
Me: "The election, Clint! My team won. "Your's lost."
Clint: "That's just not true, Ken."
Me: "Oh? And why is that, you old Dixiecrat?"
Clint: "Because...I am on ALL teams."
“ALL teams. And, that...dear Farley...was the moment I learned a really important and
immutable truth about political ties. (Carl and wife Mary were wonderful friends to Dottie and
me, even if I could never convert them.)”
Rollye: “Last week Ken Dowe gave us the real back story on McLendon selling KLIF and
“Dan” with a— er, well, ‘different’ version. Dan’s reaction was to post again. As Ken noted,
it’s ‘the response of a gentleman’”…
Dan McCurdy [formerly Charlie & Harrigan-KLIF-1190/KBOX-1480 Dallas, TX/WMEX
Boston, MA] (Sherman, TX) Subject: Ken Dowe’s letter:
“Well, Kenny, as usual, is right on the money! My ‘recollection’ was exactly that — a
‘collection’ of ‘recall’ enhanced by my writer’s interest in good drama. Kenny is certainly the
source for accuracy, I am the spinner of what seemed obvious, and for that, I offer my sincere
apology for reconfiguring the actual puzzle-pieces to match my imagined scenario. The
‘Gordon got ’em good’ idea just made so much sense to me that I unfairly offered it as fact
instead of the assumption that it was. Again, my apologies to Kenny, Bart and any others who
took issue with my note…you certainly had a right to. As my lifelong word-hero Mark Twain
once said, “First, get your facts straight. Then distort them at your leisure.” The primary
problem with my contribution was that my facts were not straight! Now, back to more fun with
my writer’s challenge to distort with good judgment!”
Ken Dowe: “Terrific column. "Telephone," is exactly correct. I don't know more than a small
percentage of all the highly successful stars who lit up the radio industry for so many years.
However, I have enjoyed friendships with enough to have seen more than a few good men and
women get their biographies unfairly bent and twisted.
“The mendacious McLendon mischief is a hurtful false accounting. What if that tale shows up
on Wikipedia in a few years? A blatant lie, with too many half life's. The most aggravating to
me are the stories that include the perpetrator as a major player. They are not unlike written
"photo bombs", with the authors inserting themselves as characters in roles they never played,
while corrupting the purity of historical truths.
“It's not illegal, but it's ‘bad form.’ And, not nice. What if gossiping was limited to reporting
only the best about others? There's an idea guaranteed to earn...really low ratings. Wasn't it
Alice Roosevelt who said: 'If you have nothing good to say about anybody, come sit by me!'”
Gary Edens to Ken Dowe: “I was not yet in Dallas in 1964 when McLendon ran. We can in
the fall of '65. What years were you the morning star on KLIF?”
Ken Dowe: “Afternoon drive in the early/mid-60s, Gary. Moved to the mornings in '68 & '69
when Ron C left to the the dance show on Channel 8. Gordon was reluctant because he had
utilized a 2-man morning show for years. Bill Stewart sold him: ‘Ken (and Granny) IS two
“The ratings were very kind to me, and then Gordon came to dinner at my home one night and
didn't leave until 3AM. He was pulling me off air and giving me a new role: ‘You are to be the
first and only Executive VP of the McLendon Corporation.’
“And, so I was.. For the last 5 years of the legendary Gordon McLendon's brilliant broadcast
accomplishments from coast to coast. Dallas. Buffalo. Los Angeles. Detroit. San Francisco.
Movies. Oil. Music business. And, in the vanguard of anything new and exciting. Being the
Co-Pilot was a rocket ride! FUN!!”
Mel Phillips: “Save The Date: June 2, 2017: The WRKO 50th Reunion Weekend.
“Rooms are still available for $179 a day at the Crowne Plaza (Newton). To reserve your room,
call the hotel at 617-969-3010. Check-in: Friday, June 2, 2017 with Check-out: Sunday, June 4,
2017. Book your room with a credit card by asking for the special "WRKO Reunion" rates.
Candy in sales is the contact if you run into any problems. A Friday night reunion party and
dinner will be held, and on Saturday night, June 3, 2017 we'll air live (7pm-11pm) on
WRKO-AM and online on Backbone Network streaming (produced by George Capalbo Jr.).
Photos of all the WRKO Top 40 program directors (1967-1981) are below. See you all 10
months from now.”
Bob Henabery (67) Scotty Brink (72-73)
(seated) Mel Phillips (67-72) &
(standing) Paul Power (acting 72) Robin Mitchell
Gerry Cagle (73-75)
Paul Kirby (75) J.J. Jordan (75-78)
Les Garland (78)
Harry Nelson (78-79)
Donna Halper (acting 80)
Harry Nelson (80)
Charlie Van Dyke (81)
(life after WRKO)