Monday, April 28, 2014

Claude’s Commentary.8

Claude’s Commentary.8
April 28, 2014
By Claude Hall
I love music.  But sometimes I’m in the other room and not paying attention.
Jumaane Smith and his beautiful trumpet will bring you back.  “Georgia on My Mind” is soft and mellow, like a dream, and “Dream” with vocal will haunt you.  This is music for the mind.  Jazz has never had it so good, so pleasant.  I want to use the word “charming,” but that doesn’t exactly fit either.  That trumpet comes from the soundtrack of an old and favorite black and white movie with gangsters and pretty blondes or from a party held by Frank Sinatra for his personal friends or, yes, from a great CD … as this CD most definitely is.
Jumaane, you have done yourself proud with this album. My compliments … especially on “What a Wonderful World” (one of my favorites on this CD) and “Stardust,” a song that will live in the hearts of men as long as there are men.  But fresh and inspiring!  Superb trumpet technique, superb imagining.  Takes you away.  I’ve never enjoyed the trumpet so much outside of one played by a good Mexican in a good mariachi band in a bar in Juarez, a couple of shots of tequila under my belt.  I would believe that there are musicians from the back alleys of New Orleans to the great music halls of Europe who are envious as hell when they hear this trumpet by Jumaane.
“Stardust” is a mellow masterpiece, but “What a Wonderful World” should be played maybe once a day by radio stations aiming for 30-plus demographics.
“Please Sent Me Someone to Love” is jazzy and upbeat.  “La Vie en Rose” features a trumpet that penetrates the mind with vocals in English and French … nice!  “Come Rain or Come Shine” has a funky barroom atmosphere.  “I Only Have Eyes for You” is the push tune on this CD, but I frankly liked everything else much better.  Jumaane Smith is a masterful musician.  And he has phenomenal staying power.
Copout:  I’d more than likely give any CD with which Don Graham is connected a good review.  I owe him going back to my early days on Billboard when he introduced me to Bill Randle, later to become a good friend, and told me, as I recall, that Mitch Michaels was coming into New York to replace Ruth Meyer at WMCA.  I’ve told that story/scoop and maybe I will someday again.  But, in this particular case, all I have to tell about Jumaane Smith is just the truth.  Great on you, Jumaane.
Joe Collins: “Claude, thank you for your commentary on ‘format jocks’ and Lee Baby Simms ... I worked with ‘the great’ Bobby Dale when I started in 1966 at KFRC in San Francisco.  Bobby, doing the Drake format, was a ‘fish out of water’ and never sounded comfortable working a tight format.  Bobby was a musical genius and was one of the great ad-lib guys on the air when he was at KFWB, KEWB in Oakland, and KRLA, Los Angeles.  But, he never really felt right doing the Drake format, keeping his talk to around 7 seconds.  I first met him in April of 1964, when he was doing 4p-8p at KEWB, and at times he was so good, it would almost make you cry hearing him try to do the tight format at KFRC.  I'm grateful that I got to hear him at his best, and still to this day, count him and Mike Phillips as my true radio mentors.”
All of that bit about format jocks came from Lee Baby Simms and Woody Roberts, to whom I doff my hat.  I consider both of these gentlemen great sages.
Johnny Holliday: “Can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy your Commentaries … just like the bygone days when you were the guy we all turned to for info on every aspect of the broadcast medium. I'm sure Jack Roberts is smiling down on you for carrying the torch. I'm sure that I echo the sentiments of every broadcast personality, especially the guys who made Radio what it was during its heyday, when I say ‘Thanks’."
John Barger:What ever happened to my friend and co-worker Lucky’ Pierre Gonneau?  He and I were working under ‘The Bopping Bird’, Bob Robin at WFEC in Harrisburg, PA, for a moment in time in 1963, and were joined by some super talent (and later management kings), Burt Sherwood, Tom Bigby (‘Buddy Karr’), and the clown prince, Robert Leslie ‘Buzz’ Long.  Prior to working with Pierre, I remember hearing him while sailing aboard the USS Benner D-866 out of Long Beach as we cruised around Catalina Island 11 times on a Saturday dependent's outing.  It was 1961 and he was starring on KHJ, having been ‘discovered’ by PD Arnie Schorr.  Last time I heard about ‘Lucky’, he was on KGFJ and doing work as an extra in gangster movies in Hollywood.  ‘Pete’ as we called him, was an agricultural exchange student from France at Cornell University when he got the radio bug.  Also that Summer of 1961 in So. Cal., while on Liberty (as the Navy called it), I walked up a flight of creaky stairs, pushed open a door, found myself in the control room of KDAY, and was greeted by a talkative guy in shorts, an old pizza-stained guayaberia, and flip-flops.  He was trying to a PM drive oldies show which was being repeatedly interrupted much to his dismay by delayed broadcasts (which he had to pre-record) of five races from the horse track at Caliente Downs in Tijuana.  His name was Art Laboe, and he gave me copies of his first three albums in a series known as ‘Oldies But Goodies’.  Volumes 1, 2, and 3 went back in the bottom of my duffle bag back to KNOW, Austin, following my two-week Naval Reserve assignment at the Port of Long Beach.  Thanks for helping all of us remember how it was in the era of false IDs, reverb, and Corvairs.”
I wonder if that’s the same Bob Robin down in New Orleans.  Once promoted a rock concert at Lake Ponchartrain featuring, among many, Bobby Vee.
Random thought:  I sometimes feel that Art Laboe is one of the major unknown heroes of the music/radio industries.  Has a book been written about him yet?
Now and then a newspaper column pops up on my MacBook Pro desktop by the late Joe Delaney.  Any of you guys remember him?  Joe Smith should have a memory or two about Delaney.  Maybe.
Another hero of mine is Don Barrett.  A recent had a note from Vanessa Larsh.  She was seeking photos of her late father, Jack Armstrong.  I quickly dropped her a note that while I had no photos of Jack Armstrong, I remembered him fondly and always considered him a great Top 40 personality.  I told her a tale going back to the 60s.  Vanessa Larsh: “Wow, Claude, that is hilarious!  Haa. Yes, my father loved the Denver days. I'm sure you did meet. Did you ever work with Rollye James? Another great family friend.”  So I blind-copied her note to Rollye James: “Yes, she's one of my favorite people. If you're talking about Rollye James Cornell. Right now, she and hubby live in Arizona. I'll copy her on this note.” And Vanessa responded: “She is in little words one of the best spirits that my family has ever met. What an unconditional person. My father loved her so much as a great friend.”
One of my sons – Andy – mentioned that Karen Velline has been granted a bed for a hospital in Phoenix.  I think this means that Karen, the wife of performer Bobby Vee, may soon receive another lung transplant.  Or something similar.  She is also the mother of drummer Jeff Vee, rock musician Robby Vee, who has his own band and performs throughout the Midwest; bass player Tommy Vee, and art designer Jenny Vee.  If you have an extra prayer this week, Karen is special people.  The Vees lived up the street in Los Angeles and I think it could be said that Karen half raised my kids.  As well as Barbara.
Jay Lawrence is one of the great Top 40 radio personalities who could tell us some great stories  … if he’d remember them.  Jay: “I enjoy your commentary.  I get to hear names I haven't heard in years.  Scotty Brink and I do communicate occasionally,  I read a name Moorhead, any relation to David?  He was really instrumental in my moves. To KFI from Buffalo, then to WNEW from KLAC.  He once had me move to Indianapolis, WNDE … had a show idea, relive the Arthur Godfrey years.  Gulf broadcast group, going network. Had a staff band, singers, etc.  Did shows from shopping malls.  David wanted to be Tony Marvin, he'd show up every day
wearing an ascot.  This is just one story, there are many.  One day he said I needed a vacation, Take a week and relax he'd do the show.  He brought in acts from everywhere, cost was not in the way. I came back after a week, budget was gone. I wound up doing Salvation Army and Lt. Governor. I could do a David/Guy Williams book.  So could you.”
True, Jay, about the book.  But I’d much rather read the book you’d write than the one I would write.  I wrote a longish short story about L. David “Guy Williams” Moorhead for the eBook “Radio Wars” which is now being sold via Books and George Wilson called as soon as the book came out and asked it it was really true and I said, “Yes, George, I’m afraid so” and George said, “Okay,” and hung up.  I’ve been thinking about doing a story about George, but I haven’t been able to do it yet.  The Rob Moorhead featured in the past three or so Commentaries is L. David’s son.  A very bright, very knowledgeable person who is married to Terry, one of George’s daughters, who is also very bright and very knowledgeable.  I would suppose that Rob loved George Wilson as much as I did.  But, unfortunately, neither Rob nor his sister, appreciated L. David Moorhead as much as I did.  Rob’s sister ended up with a law degree and has three daughters.  The day he died, L. David knew nothing about the law degree nor his three grand daughters.  She brought them to his funeral service in Las Vegas, but David’s body wasn’t even there … just me and Mikel Hunter and an engineer named Brown and a musician from down around San Diego.  Can’t remember his name.  Later, Mikel and his friend wanted me to establish contact for them with someone at Billboard and I did.  They sought to market No 1 rings to anyone who’d made No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Danny Davis, California:  “Hey'y dere. Authorman! Sure didn't take you long to fit into The Robertsman's shoes! I ain't a true 'religiouso', but I do believe in 'that Big Fella' up there, and to my way of thought, HE's knockin' down a few, with Jack Roberts, close at hand, and Jack peppered up with the same enthusiasm he seized the day Don Graham voiced over the idea of Hollywood Hills. . .and 'their' comments, laudatory as they must be, carve new respect for the newest entry on Claude Halls resume! Whatta' send-up for The Robertsman! Quote-in' you, Mr. Hall, "good on you"! Whatta' kick, all the names indigenous to the 'grandest bizness that useta' was' ... looking to live it all over again, from the mighty Authorman!  And about my gambling 'fetish' (my wife's word? ain't so!) I wouldn't push you for my habit!  Maybe just an 'ace' ($1) on the 17-20 split, when ya' gotta' get to the commode, on those 'research rounds' for your next tome! Goes without saying, with the numbers abounding for Mr. Smith, I gotta' take a look at Joesy's telephone book and see if Lois Lerner gets a mention! (Only kidding, Joe!) Claude, if I had the capability to really identify what makes the games of chance so-o appealing, you'd understand 'where I'm coming from'!  At the Riviera, on a road trip with Cap'n and Tennille, I take the Cap'n to the crap table! Try teaching him the game with no result!  But the laughs we enjoyed, the crowd we attracted, the fall-down hysterics we were in, brings Tony Orlando to the table, who says "Danny, if you can make him laugh, you can open for me!" See, Claude, if only Marie would wanna' live in Branson ... I wouldn't have a chance to tell that tale!  And there are no casinos in Branson ... and Bob Sherwood and I would still be friends! (Story put on hold!)
Yes-siree, Claude! Lay my e-mail out, and wouldn't I be grateful? I ain't been getting those treasured words, unless my friend Whittemore is taking the credit for lookin' out for me … and wants me in his permanent debt ... which I already am, and can't get a 'smidgen' of the 'flavor of the week'!!  (Incidentally, the oconologist tells him he's 'much improved'!  Don's a Dandy!)”
You know one of the major physical ailments of Vegas craps dealers?  Back.  So very, very many suffer from back problems.  Including one of my sons, Darryl, who spent a few years trying to make a living on the Strip in Vegas.
My son John Alexander Hall, Esq., has done the Pasadena Swapmeet with such as the late Jack Robert and Timmy Manocheo.  Investing on used CDs.  Via Timmy and John, I just heard of a “Legends of Music Industry Reunion” April 23 by Jon Scott at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas.  Last year’s meeting was in October and drew a few dozen people.  Joey Reynolds once lived in that area.  Chuck Blore and Gary Owens live not too far away.  Jon’s event was sort of a BYOB and buy your own food event.  Jon has done promotion for MCA Records, etc.  Once was a disc jockey.  Maybe he’ll give the world a little advance notice next year.  On the other hand, maybe he doesn’t want anyone there other than just a few close friends.
I think John was going, but had to chicken out.
Just FYI, the late Larry Shannon wished to have an annual get together of some radio/music legends.  Focus was to be on a panel session featuring a few legends.  And the late Jack Roberts had the same idea in the back of his mind.  If ….
Michael Cleary wrote Don Graham:  “Don, you may not remember me, but in the mid-60s, I was at KYA for a year plus and we got a chance to know one another. In fact, I flew to LA with you one time to visit the A&M studios and we ended up having Tacos with Herb Alpert across the street from his offices.  It was quite an experience.  I have fond and vivid memories of you and Bud, Lou, Jack, Pete Marino, et al.  I went on to spend 28 years at KNBR, most of it doing the morning show with Frank Dill.  We had quite a nice run. Truthfully, it's nice being out of radio which just isn't the same business it was.  I turned to writing and just published my first novel.  It's called ‘Spiritual Mischief’.  I don't know if LA bookstores carry it but all e-tailers do and Amazon has a Kindle edition.  How are you?  I do hope well. At our age, we're often in need of repair but so far so good on this end.  I wish the same for you.  The reason for this email is Ben Fong-Torres wrote about you today in his Sunday Pink Section column. I'm sure it's online.  Check it out.  Thanks for giving me some wonderful memories.”
Don Graham, Los Angeles, immediately responded to Michael Cleary and a few others.
 “Hi ya, Michael!  Of course, I remember those tacos across the street from A&M Records.  Some of the best on the planet! … that taco place is now a strip club!  I, too, have some terrific memories of those very special days in the SF bay area ... and good of you to mention the Ben Fong-Torres story in the SF Chronicle ... I tried to access it, and got to his byline.  However, then it stated I had to be a Chronicle subscriber to get the entire story!  So I called Dick Forster in Fairfax who gets the paper and he read it to me!   Congratulations on the publication of your novel ‘Spiritual Mischief’ and I intend to go to a local popular book store called Book Soup and see if I can buy it.  (By the way Book Soup is the last time I saw Ben, he was doing a book signing with Gary Owens!)  And if you are getting the weekly online Commentary by Claude Hall you, too, are enjoying reading some of his very popular writing … if not, send Claude an email at:  ... it’s good stuff, Michael.  And many thanks for the good wishes … all is well here, and we wish the same for you ... good health!”
Bob Sherwood, one of the “others,” came back with a note to Don, Michael, Ben, Dave Sholin, and Tom LiPuma.
Don, I'm going to use your email to say ‘Hello’ to Mike Cleary.  I've been a fan since I first heard him in Sacramento (KXOA?), where I also worked now and then in The City.  To be somewhat trite, he was 'as smooth as a baby's bottom'.   His one-on-one communication was up there with Arthur Godfrey and Jack Carney.  Whatever he was sellin', you were buyin'.  In my view it's quite sad that de-regulated radio has devolved to the point
that such a talent has no desire to be part of it.  Mike, I hope your book is a big success.  Since true book stores have joined true music retail, locally-programmed radio (except Sholin's station in Bend) and Pterodactyls -- and are nowhere to be found in No. Westchester Co., NY, I'll order it through Amazon.  And even pay retail!”   
The probability is quite high that when Lucy felt from that proverbial “tree,” she was caught by others like her … but in reality we, the masses, came initially from a very few.  We are alike.  Thus, nothing else matters.  Skin, eyes, hands.  Whether you believe in the big bang theory or the little bang theory, we are all the same.  True, not all of us are quite human yet.  This includes a guy named Donald Sterling who owns the Clippers basketball team.  What a total idiot!  He has placed a terrible taste in my mouth.  And Barbara and I love the Clippers.  Needless to say, we no longer love all of the Clippers.  Sterling should be sent to Hooker or Enid, OK, and his money taken away.  Give him a job of some kind.  Picking up garbage, perhaps.  Not that I mean to insult garbage men of America.  Too, it is difficult to wish ill upon a human being.  The exception, perhaps, is someone like Hitler where the crimes are too many and too vast to permit mercy of thought.  Yet, Barbara says she will pray for Donald Sterling.  I’m not sure that I wish to make the effort.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Claude’s Commentary.7

Claude’s Commentary.7
April 21, 2014
I hate the phone … well, at least I have an intense dislike and distrust for the cottonpickin’ gizmo.  I wore it out back in the day.  So, someone phoned a few days ago.  A man.  He said someone, a woman, had died … and that’s all I know.  The message was garbled.  I was probably taking a nap or a shower when they phoned and all I had to go on was the message they left.  So, I haven’t the slightest idea who died.  True, I’ll admit it; I am being swamped by tech.  I no longer know how to do anything.  I’ve got to fix the door.  I can do that, even though I’ve been putting it off.  But I will do it.  Some of this stuff on the Internet, I will never do.  Some people I know keep asking to be “linked in.”  Forget it.  I’m forever linked out.  From reason as much as from purpose.  That’s just the way it is.
Email from Jeff Vee.  The family was heading to its vacation abode near Snuffy Garrett.  So, I won’t receive the “Adobe Sessions” CD featuring his father Bobby for at least a couple of weeks.
One of the Internet “conversations” to which I’m a sideliner if not actually a participant is that between the Three Mesquiteers.  One of the members is Lee Baby Simms, who recently insulted the culinary habits of Woody Roberts, at one time his program director.  That conversation has now ventured into radio after drifting far and wide.
Woody Roberts, now living amidst the bluebonnets and cactus outside of Austin, TX, about Lee Baby:  “You were more than a ‘small part’ of Top 40 radio, you were what it was all about: great music and fun deejays.  And you were the consummate personality DJ, not the best format DJ ever but as Lloyd put it, you've got Personality.  I respect that in all of your adult life you were a DJ and never wanted to be a PD or manager but just do the best show in town.  No other had your combination of friendly sounding voice presenting the most engaging stories and most involving situations.  Your telephone prowess and way with words made me certain you had moved into talk radio.  I figured some smart PD had grabbed you to build a talk show audience for them.  But you stayed with the music.
“I was fascinated with Top 40 origins because I recalled the airwaves before Top-40 and then McLendon bringing KILT and Top 40 into Houston and changing the sound of the pop music stations KNUZ and KXYZ.  Not necessarily for the better musically but for the better in their more diverse mix of pop, R&B, county, jazz, rock.  In the mid-sixties when I met Grahame and Bill Stewart, the format was still young, dozen years, but we didn't know how young.  Today it continues to pull a big audience at sixty years old.  Todd, Bill, Grahame and Gordon are gone and most DJs today don't know their names.  The start of FM rock as told to me by Tom Donahue in '67 is another tale hanging in my mind.”
Lee Baby Simms from his mountain estate above San Francisco Bay: “I, you say, Woody, was  ‘not the best format DJ ever’.  Why, My Dear Friend, would anyone want to be the best format DJ ever?  Formats could and still can kiss my ass.  March to the beat another`s drum?
No thank you!  And again I thank you, but, thank you No!  The only drum I ever heard (and still hear) and march to is the one that I play.  No marching in unison for me.   I march alone.  Single file.  I may stumble on the way to my destination, but I will never fall.  I know where I`m going and why I`m going there.   No format was or is needed.  I`ll get there.  No worries Mate.  And again you say, ‘I respect that in all of your adult life you were a DJ and never wanted to be a PD or manager’.  That's right.  No leading of others for me, my man.  Where the hell would I lead them?  To my destiny?  My destination?  No, no, no. There is only room for one in that rarified space.  Moi!  I did not follow, I did not want to lead.
“You, again: ‘I figured some smart PD had grabbed you to build a talk show audience for them’.  That has been said to me a few times.  And I have been offered, once or twice, an opportunity to do so (years ago).  The first time I was somewhat intrigued by the idea.  Knowing nothing about talk Radio (I never listened to talk Radio).  I checked out a few stations that specialized in that kind of presentation.  I was appalled (shocked?  Yes) by the ANGER! … the Vitriol, the Hate, the Unreasonableness of it all.  All of them, the men and the women ... all of them pissed off all of the time!
“Crossing The Bay Bridge on my way into The City one day a long time ago, I saw a billboard for a talk station that questioned me: ‘Where Is The Outrage?’ it asked.   I didn`t know.  I have never known ... Outrage!  Angry and pissed off all the time?  Me?  Impossible!  Listening to them, I knew that that way was not My way, My style, My Karma.  To live in the dark.  Each time I was offered a chance to do so, I declined.
“Moving on … I have, at your suggestion, been on  'The Cave Man Diet' for the last few months.  Woodrow!  Are you trying to kill me with your advice?”
Just FYI, one of the members of the Three Mesquiteers is Bob Weisbuch and he’s now probably in Texas to try some barbeque and chili in and around Austin.  He’s taking his pretty bride.  Just wish I could grab my own bride of 51-plus years, Barbara, and join them down there.  Unless you’ve had good barbeque, you don’t know how addictive it is and when you haven’t had decent barbeque in several centuries, ah, ah, ah.  Dr. Bob has another article in the Chronicle of Higher Education and it mentions Lee Baby and Woody, brave lads all.  Dr. Bob keeps this up and they’re going to be famous.
Then I’ll spread the secrets of the 600-mile bicycle radio promotion.
Email from Rob Moorhead, San Fernando Valley:  Jackie Wilson Crowell died a couple of weeks ago.  My “missing” phone call.  She was a very nice lady.  The widow of one of my best friends.  George Wilson.  Rob and wife Terry and me and my wife Barbara were at her wedding when she married him.  We come, we do, we go.
Lord, but I miss George Wilson!
Kent Burkhart:  “I don't know if I ever mentioned this to you, but when we were both working hard to make things happen and you called ... I jumped for the phone!  You always had the correct questions ... AND answers.”
Because I know some good people, including one Kent Burkhart.
Chuck Blore, lotusland:  “Claude, yesterday, I was having lunch with Scotty Brink and as we were reminiscing about old radio days and old radio guys, not surprisingly, your name came up.  I first met Scotty when I was programming KIIS AM.  I heard that he was leaving WRKO, I called him, told him about my new format and asked if he would like to be a part of it, he said it sounded like fun and he'd love to join me.  Then suddenly, as you are well aware, KIIS AM went broke and my new format went with it.  Scotty and I have remained friends and yesterday we were talking about how much we enjoyed your commentaries, the reflections on what our radio world was and what it has become and the names we know or knew.  When I read your new commentary in which you mentioned both our names, I called Scotty to tell him about it and he said, ‘I saw that, too.  He must have been writing that while we were talking about what a great writer he is’.  So, as it is said, ‘Great minds are often in sync’.  Or something like that.”
Did Scotty ever mention to you, Chuck, that he plays guitar?  Hey, he can cut his own ID jingles!
Nancy Plum:  “I love reading your Commentary.  Back in the day, I never missed your column in Billboard and wrote you a ‘fan’ letter then and was thrilled when you gave me a mention.  I have been trying to organize a book, an autobiography and more or less have given up on that idea and instead plan to just put a bunch of short stories, true short stories in a volume, most of them radio related.  I had the privilege to work with many legends in my radio career and I have lots of stories about them as well as my experiences in and out of the studio.  Most would probably agree the zenith or pinnacle of my career was my time at Ten Q radio.  Most don't know I was the ONLY deejay who was on the air the day we signed on and the day we signed off.  I lasted through five different program directors before the station was finally sold and went Spanish.  From there I went to KMPC for a few months, then off the air working at Universal City Studios coordinating radio promotions for a few years then eventually winding up on the air at KFI.  I was at KFI for four years and during my time there the traffic reporter Bruce Wayne died in a plane crash, the GM died of a heart attack two days after that and Loman and Barkley broke up and the station went from all music to all talk!   I left and went to KLAC to do evenings then onto KRTH 101 and then hired part time right after Star 98 went on the air.  I started doing traffic and news reports in 1994 and did that for ten years eventually becoming the midday airborne reporter for KFWB before I moved to Atlanta to take care of my late mom.  I moved to Lexington KY in 2008 and have been living happily ever after here.  Currently I am on the air every afternoon on a tiny AM station in Frankfort, KY, playing the oldies and having a blast!   It's Passport Radio 1490 and we stream worldwide ( as well as have apps for iphones and androids.  I don't get paid a lot but I sure have fun and my income comes from a side business promoting a health challenge (Visalus Project 10 - lose ten pounds and you win a teeshirt, the company feeds an obese child for a month and you are entered to win $1000 -- very cool promotion and great products to help you lose the 10 lbs).  My website is for that.   Life is good.  I'm divorced, no kids and dating.  That's my story and I look forward to your next installment so I can keep up with my radio friends and see what they are up to!   My email is still the same after all these years!”
Bill Hennes:  “So happy that you picked up Jack's Hollywood Hills and added your own touch!  Without a doubt, it is always great to get your ‘Clog’!  Some have ‘Blogs’ but you have an exclusive ‘Clog’!
I love it.  Great to hear from so many people I have known over the years.  I remember getting to know you, when I was programming in New Haven, CT.  What a great time that was.  Each day brings some new in our industry. I know a lot of people are down on radio, however, Media is bigger than ever!  People have, did, do and will continue to love great entertainment.  The style and delivery will continue to grow and change with the times. I find it an exciting time in the business, and I am glad, that the good Lord has allowed me to continue to be around and involved in the new media styles.  Just started 3 new Internet stations. Digital is very warm and getting HOTTER! The web site is! They are up and running and evolving daily! One is Top 40, One is Country and the other is Urban/Hip-Hop!  Also, the legendary and best friend, Joey Reynolds are involved in a major project. You can check some of that out at!  It involves an entire retro style of music that is sweeping England and Europe at the clubs. The style is called ‘Electro Swing’, dance music from the 20s-30s-40s, up until now ... remixed and remastered. The crowds in Europe are going crazy for it.  We are lucky enough, to have the exclusive rights to this show/format and live show in the USA and Canada!  Just thought I'd let you know, Joey and I are very busy.  Thanks for all you have contributed and are still contributing, to this great industry, that we all fell in love with many years ago!”
Danny Davis: “... put all that effort into composing that last e-mail. . .and son-of-a-gun, dere it is! Hard, it is, Claude, to keep from recycling all the verbiage used for 'one-in-the-well loved-loop'! (I admit it. I woulda' bin' outta' vocabulary when Hollywood Hills finally 'threw his seven!'  Altho, Jack, look down for 'happy'! Claude, The Authorman, is doing a job 'would make you proud! (Thanx, Mom, for de' accent!) And keeping all of the family you brought back together! Whatta' job you done, Robertsman! But don't worry, Claude's being kept busy! (After all, there ain't much to do where he lives!!).
Danny keeps trying to persuade me to do some “investing” for him on the Strip.  I don’t think that’s the way Joe Smith made his millions, Danny.x
Red Jones, Georgia:  “While I'm here ... the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame will be the first state radio hall of Fame to have its own stand-alone building come Memorial Day weekend.  Go to GRHOF and click to New Museum and Hall of Fame for info and picture.”
Hey, great on you guys.  Good on John Long!
A Nashville firm – I.R.S. Records – is releasing “For Once and for All” featuring the late Jack Clements.  Come July 15.  Should be a decent CD.  Could be great.  But one never knows about something like that.  I know this:  One of the worse interviews I ever did was with Jack.  And also: I’m one of his biggest fans!  Some of those songs that he wrote!  He was right there in the studio in Memphis, you know, with Elvis and Johnny Cash.  And probably Roy Orbison, too.  Had his hands on a lot of music history.  I was interviewing him in the mid-60s for an annual Billboard produced for several years called “The World of Country Music.”  He said, “Yes” and he said “No.”  He simply didn’t trust any “damned Yankee.”  And, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to convince him otherwise.  When I got back to New York City I wrote some fiction about him for the special.  Looking forward to his CD.  Those “annuals,” by the way, are great historical documents for research.  Except the item on Jack Clements, perhaps.
Chuck Blore again (about last week):  “Wonderful words, sir.  Many marvelous memories.  Thanks, pal, and keep 'em coming.  Your best friend. In Encino.”
Roger Carroll:  “Claude, please understand re the email I sent. I always read and enjoyed your writing. We were MOR.  KMPC was one of the very successful radio stations in the country owned by Gene Autry. Please keep me on your mailing list. I know many of the people you post.
I miss Jack very much … he was dying and called twice a week to make sure I was fine, in two years we lost our oldest son Steven … ‘Melinoma cancer’.  And also lost my wife Beverly. We were married 59 years.
Do you have an email address for Tony Richland?”
Roger, I loved KMPC.  In my opinion, the station should have been made a shrine, representative of what great radio was all about.  WNEW in New York, too.  There were about five, maybe ten, radio stations I feel should have been so honored.  Certainly WSM and WSB.  And I know people who used to live by WOR in New York City; the station was not necessarily important regarding music, but it was a huge people station.  Just FYI, Roger, Jack Roberts felt you are one of the great ones.  And so do I.
Regarding Tony Richland, I lost his snail mail three or four years ago.  We had exchanged a couple of letters.  His wife had passed on.  He was in a new relationship.  Don’t know anything new.  Tony was big in the Hall family.  So was Ernie Farrell and a few others in promotion.  Some names have faded after 40 years.  But not the names of Don Graham and Don Whittemore or Morris Diamond.  And I shall never forget the wonderful Jan Basham.
More Danny Davis:  “Topa da' mornin, to ya', Claudie! The mention of Hill and Range fosters a whole bunch of great times, and great memories! Hill and Range and Elvis Presley Music and Dune Records and Bigtop Records and folks like Doc Pomus and Stan Schulman and Paul Case and Del Shannon and Sammy Turner and Johnny and The Hurricanes and Ray Peterson and Curtis Lee and Johnny Bienstock and the Aberbach Brothers and the 'weird little strange musical genius', that ate up an industry producing and writing classic unforgettable tunes and entering "The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame" with an unfathomable passion for weaponry and not caring one whit to rock an industry that was so good to him and the folks he surrounded himself with! Maybe, Phil, we can get together at Corcoran State in the next 16-to Life years and pump up a musical, something like 'Spector and a Life That Missed a Beat!' (Not that it means anything to me!).”
I didn’t know Ken Gimblin, but Bob Sherwood says this about the late sportscaster:  “Before he became a Northern Calif. sports legend, as I recall, Johnny Hyde hired Ken Gimblin to do local sports for KROY in Sacramento. He was absolutely perfect in localizing sports and being a programming-plus rather than an excuse to tune-out when news came on.  His genuine and uncontained enthusiasm for what he did positively exploded out of the speakers!  When I was later programming in Milwaukee and Cleveland I tried several times to replicate the magic that was Ken Gimblin Sports -- and was generally met with blank stares.  Beyond everything else -- he was a lovely human being.  Candles and prayers.”  We come, we do, we go.
The pleasant thing about having a blog is you can feature a poem by one of your sons.  In this case, Andy Hall, once mentioned by Bob Hilburn in the Los Angeles Times.  You do not wish to argue music with either Andy Hall or my lawyer son John Hall in Los Angeles.  They know it all.  Even unto the esoteric.  Just FYI, one of Andy’s songs is a cult phenom in Las Vegas.  It is a strange and noble thing to go to a performance, see your son pick up a guitar on stage and put one of his feet on a cane-bottom chair and sing “Sea of Vomit.”  And when the audience begins to sing the song with him? Hard to believe but they know the lyrics!
The wisdom of dying in our sleep
As we slowly disintegrate
Into the void or in a word
Evolve, or as they say
Decompose, and all the problems
Melt away, no more night terrors
No more worries about hellfire
And how much god despises me
For being liberal and not being
A great bowler
I couldn’t tie my shoe until
I was 22. I couldn’t read
Until I discovered porn
I went to my shrink
And whined so much
He needed therapy
Let me tell you
I was born in a sack
Of mucous
And I will die that way too
Everything we do in between
Is just coughing up phlegm
In the meantime,
find a good bowl of matzo ball soup
Howl in the night to God,
Allah, Madonna, Buddha
Siva or Lady Gaga or even
Theodore Nugent, Heaven forbid
Let what come what may
come what may since it will anyway
but don’t be afraid to cross the street
in the night with your eyes closed.
  -- Andy Hall, 2013
Difficult to understand why they didn’t enjoy his poems and songs back in Illinois.  Phoo on Illinois!  I shall ban the state and never listen to Howard Miller again.  Or was that Henry Miller?  Oh, well … those Miller boys were a little strange when it came to poetry.
Copout:  Yes, I know you’ve sent me your blog address and/or Internet radio address, but I’ve just decided to start these lists and I’m not about to go through more than 10 years of emails to track the information down.  Thus, if you’d like to be added to this list, send me your data at  Everyone is welcome as long as it concerns music and/or radio.  Thanks!
Don Barrett
Bill Hennes
Lew Irwin
Ron Jacobs
Bob Levinson
Timmy Manocheo
Nancy Plum
Tom Russell
Jeff Velline
George J. Weinbarg
Net Radio
Bill Hennes
Ernie Hopseker
Frank Jolley
Nancy Plum
Robert E. Richer

Monday, April 14, 2014

Claude’s Commentary.6

Claude’s Commentary.6
April 14, 2014
By Claude Hall
Frank Jolley:  “Thank you for including me in your original mailings and in your thoughts all these years. It's been both a privilege and a pleasure to have been known for my part in Top 40 Radio in the day of Top 40 Radio and to have been a 'has been'  (as Sam Holman’s son called Sam, Jimmy Oneill and me when we worked for Tom Devany) who was noticed by you in both Vox Jox and your other commentaries. My radio career crossed paths with many of the greats in the business namely Bill Drake, Gene Chenault, Gordon McLendon, John Box, Jimmy Noe, Doug China, Kent Burkhart, George Wilson and John R.  Even if I was fired by all but Drake.  Drake was one of those who told me you meet people twice in this business: once on the way up and the other on the way down.  When you named me Billboard’s Music Director of the Year in 1966 at KBOX, I, of course, never thought it would end and as all good things come to an end … I never want to give in to thinking it will end thus I'm opening another new radio venture it's (online radio station) on July 4 with the ‘History of Rock and Roll’.  It's designed to titillate the sensibilities of those of us that loved Top 40 radio.  I'm off the Producers Guild Board of Directors now and am both putting my movie making ventures and other projects on hold for a year while we give birth to ROCKHOUSE.  Hope you like it and hope to hear from many of my old friends and acquaintances who are still in or out of the business. Looking forward to your weekly Commentary.”
Frank, I hope you’ll notice the list at the end of this issue of Commentary.
Morris Diamond:  “Many thanks for Commentary.5 – it's nice that you carry on Jack's tradition.  Hollywood Hills contributed largely to enable all of us to keep in touch, which, I'm sure, was Jack Robert's goal.  He sure worked on it and certainly succeeded.  R I P.   One of the latest benefits I got from HH was getting an email from Charlie Barrett.  I live in Palm Desert and he lives in nearby Rancho Mirage – which we never knew until now.  I invited Charlie to come to our Thursday Lunch Bunch, which is a menagerie of about 45 guys from all points of the entertainment industry.  He showed up and by the time the lunch was over three hours later, Charlie became a huge favorite and was welcomed personally by all.  I introduced him to the guys and he got up and spoke for a few minutes telling all what he is all about and was well received.  Even Shecky Greene, who phones me every Thursday morning to make sure I reserve a seat for him, had a lovely conversation with Charlie.
“A few weeks ago I went to LA for a memorial for John Cacavas, who did the music for Kojak, Columbo and a number of other TV shows & Films.  Later that evening, Alice and I went to Catalina's to catch Steve Tyrell.  I co-managed Steve with Ken Fritz 15 years ago … and we're still friends!!!   Steve's new love of his life is a beautiful lady, Janine Sharrell … yes, Jerry's daughter.  We spent much time that evening and Jerry seems to be in good physical shape … he's coming along fine after his tedious event that almost cost him his life.   He's still on the air Sunday mornings with his jazz show on KJZZ 88.1 FM.  I spent more time last week with Steve and Janine when he played the McCallum Theatre here in Palm Desert.  For those who are interested, he has a new DVD which you can check out on his website.  It's one of the best-produced musical DVDs that I've seen and heard in a long long time.  Claude, again thanks for keeping us all in touch … my love to you and Barbara.”
Heard from a great many music and radio people, including Chuck Blore and Russ Regan.  I remember one day in the early 70s walking across some street in Los Angeles and Regan and I were talking about the Beatles.  I said something about “Yesterday” earning probably two million bucks in airplay and Regan said, “Probably twice that, Claude, and easily half as much in overseas airplay.”  Paul Ackerman, once music editor of Billboard, used to tell me: “Publishing’s where it’s at.”  I was once sounded out about a job with Hill & Range and I’ve often wondered what would have happened if I’d gone with the music publishing firm.
New to my list – Bill Desing: “From Buffalo.  Grew up listening to Frank Ward, the Hound (who I later worked for), and started at WNIA, with Big Jim Davis then on to the Army Signal Corps as an instructor working part time at WRLB Long Branch, NJ, then WYNS Lehighton, PA, WKBR Manchester, NH, and finally WBLK in Buffalo.  Grew up with Joey Reynolds and all or most of the time reading your column in Billboard. It's great to be able to read your stuff again.”  And it’s great to have you aboard, once again, Bill!
Woody Roberts:  “I know nothing about Fatherley and don't understand the outburst.  His over reaction to Claude's comment would be like the Lee Baby getting upset with me for revealing his deep hillbilly roots and exposing his clandestinely fronted country trucker-music band that regularly gigs honky tonks, roadhouses, rodeos, Boerne ranch parties, and kicker dance halls of Helotes.  Mr. Simms likes to pretend his roots are soulful and bluezie ... but no, Lee Baby is a Californiaized hillbilly.  He even lives on a hill.  Having said that, even though I don't know Fatherley I did have very limited but personal experiences with both Grahame Richards and Bill Stewart.  Grahame was the consultant that Blair Radio had suggested Joe Amaturo hire for the WPOP transition from Sam Holman to his next PD.  So he was directly involved in my hiring (along with Dave Klemm).  I felt honored to just talk with Grahame because I knew this man was part of the format from its git-go and had been DJ, PD and then National PD for Storz.  After I was hired he stayed on as a management buffer for the programming changes I wanted to make and I pumped him for insights and opinions.  He was not a research-oriented programmer.  He did like personalities and believed in the ‘hit is a hit 24 hours a day’ format rather than restricting ‘hards’ in mornings and daytime, etc.  I like to daypart.  We got along very well and I always knew my conversations with Grahame were precious; how many radio people got to do that?  A few hundred?  
“When I left WPOP and returned to San Antonio as GM at KTSA the departing manager was Bill and I again felt humbled.  I knew and respected both these men's perspectives on the growth of modern radio.  One day in tossing out a comment on the birth of hit music radio and the jukebox epiphany story he did not contradict me but added they had also gotten good results from a top hits program in New Orleans.  At the time I didn't think to probe further, wish I had asked if the jukebox was in a coffee shop or bar.  I had always heard coffee shop but now I see references to a bar, either way it's a great and believable story.”
Ernie Hopseker, veteran radio man, dropped by the Hall House during the recent NAB.  Nice to see him; it was Hopseker who introduced me to the music of Tom Russell.  He has his Internet radio station in stereo now (see Blogs list).  Hopseker is still engineering.  Hasn’t seen an antenna tower yet that he didn’t love.  Personal note:  It appears that a great many people didn’t come in for the NAB this year.
Ron Jacobs asks me to mention his new email address:  Previous one isn’t forwarding.
Scott St. James:  “WOW!!!   When we get ready to read a new Claude Hall column, we are expecting the BEST!!!   Claude?   I think you might have outdone yourself with THIS column.  Your first two paragraphs knocked our socks off.   The essay written by Bobby Ocean?   Perfect.   When one reads all the contributions in this column, one has to recognize the fact that there isn't one lemon in the bunch.  Just sayin'.”
Bobby Ocean:  “Gratitude, Claude!  Well, I love being part of this recent back and forth, as we bring to light our realizations about what has been happening, what IS taking place. We CAN just say right out loud: it is evident we all seem to like each others' company. And THAT's what will make the continuation of Whatever Happens Hill an assured success.  We must have missed each other, too, Claude. Text after text -- evidence of the heart-felt admiration some of our other older-school members have for one another. When waxing nostalgic about the biz and those who helped along the way -- especially in the East -- something magic happens. Wrinkles disappear these old dawgs LOSE DECADES. You can feel it as the texts   bounce back and forth.   So -- yes, exercising truth in actualizing, one must not overlook the Key Component that held it all together in a powerfully irresistible way, kept it all compelling -- admiration.  It's one of the essential ingredients in this recipe. We still have enough to cover everyone's back.  Just throwin' in a pinch of magic....  My sympathies on your computer interruptus, Claude. We're now living in an age that is so busily re-writing itself, it often inadvertently neglects to attend the Present. To creative consequences.  More and more -- and much more than just walking into a room and asking ourselves, "Why did I come here? For what did I come here? (a daily happenstance here at Camp Ocean) -- we've all had our share of digital mishaps. We anticipate further.”
Chuck Buell:  “Yeah, Claude, you gotta keep an eye on those laptops!  We left ours on the floor the other day when a friend came over.  She thought it was a scale!  We found out she weighs 495 dollars!”
Joey Reynolds:  “You have the coodies.  All the kudos are for you.  Jack Roberts is up there with the Higher Power directing your moves.  Please look at Facebook/joey reynolds now or you tube.  I did a Reynolds Rap with the iPad which is mightier than the phone.  Do you remember meeting Mickey Rooney's wife Jan Chamberlain, country singer?  We stopped over at your house on the way to Nudie’s one day.  I did a TV cooking show from Mickey's house in Westlake at the time … we remained friends and he was often on my show on WOR and earlier years at KOA in Denver.”
I remember the lady well, Joey.  Nice person.  Ah, Nudie’s.  Lord, but I miss Nudie and I especially miss the Pal.  Tommy Thomas once told me the story of Lash LaRue riding his horse into the Pal and doing a horse show on the stage.  With whip.  Wasn’t anybody about to try to tell him he couldn’t do his show.
It used to astonish me: The entourage that followed some radio personalities.  Like that of a bullfighter.  Several people.  Joey had – and still does to some extent – an entourage.  You saw Joey, there were these people around him.  Quite obviously, they fed his ego.  Often, I would presume, they performed chores ranging from menial to vast.  Thus, they were usually necessary.  I wonder if Gary Mack had an entourage during his heyday.  Or you, Scotty Brink?  Chuck Buell?  I know that Chuck Blore had a following.  Some record producers had followings like that, too.  That guy who’s still in jail.
Jeff Vee, St. Joseph, MN, reports that the CD featuring his father Bobby Vee is out officially just about the time you’re reading this.  Said he’s sending me a copy.  Which, of course, I’m going to review for the next column.
James Maddox:  As one who ‘hates’ Facebook I must admit that without it connecting with old friends is a lot more difficult.   I've got three kids, too -- and four Grands. I'm semi retired now and looking for a new challenge or two.  After Memphis I went back to LA and managed KJLH for Stevie Wonder and ran Willie Davis' radio group before going into business for myself. The business struggled as a result of the LA Riots so I went back to programming as VP of Programming for a satellite music service company where I oversaw development for over 120 music channels -- in all music genres -- for homes and businesses on four continents. The company is called DMX and it's heard in major stores and shopping malls and restaurants etc. After DMX I consulted it and businesses similar to It using the Internet and push technology rather than satellite when possible. Still doing a little of that today.  I wondered, from time-to-time, how you were and how you were doing. So it's great to have you on my radar.”
Bob Walker, WTIX alum 1967-89: “Hi Claude. I just added you to our WTIX Facebook group. There are many of us on there as members who worked at WTIX through the years and there's a lot of history to be learned right there from the members in that group.  Check out the members list on that group. Welcome.”
I helped Walt Pinto make contact with Dick Summer.  Walt Pinto: “Thanks again.  Got a nice note from Dick.  What a talent.  I got interrupted replying before, and forgot to add one thing to the WMEX story ... Carl DeSuze's daughter, Samantha was doing overnight tracks for the station.  She was on that cruise also, so got a chance to meet her.  Only saw Carl once, when he did one of his travel slide shows in Portsmouth.  I bought a ticket and enjoyed his presentation.”
Jack Gale:  “So great to get your Commentary each week again.  It's the only place to get news about the guys we worked with and knew.  Old friends never seem to forget.  In the last month, I've had nothing but great joy renewing old friendships.  In early March, Long John Silver, Ron Brandon and J.J. Jeffries drove down here to Florida to visit with me.  Ron and Long John live in Carolina, and J.J., drove from Maine to Carolina, met up with Long John and Ron, and they all drove here to visit for one day.  What special memories we all had sharing pictures and stories.  A week later, Terry McSwain, my all night guy at BIG WAYS in Charlotte drove down with his wife for two days.  The following week, Ray Mack drove down from Jacksonville to stay overnight.  With you're Commentary, I get to read about all the other pioneers.  Life is good for this old guy of 88.  Thanks, Claude, for keeping us all together.  Keep the Commentaries coming, and stay well.  Love to Barbara.”
I’ve heard some great Long John stories, but I heard them so long ago, I can’t recall who told them to me or what they were about.  Much.  As I remember, he took an overnight job at one radio station on a tryout and as soon as the program director got to work the next morning, Long John resigned.  Just as the PD was just about to offer him the position full time.
Danny Davis:  “G'd Mornin' Authorman!  You know how proud I am to have run that hot piece 'bout Joesy, right to ya?  Rightly proudful!  Claudie, do you remember Marty Burden, useta' run for Earl Wilson's column?  I did a lotta' running for him, when I was with Eddie Fisher's entourage!! Also 'ran' for John Jay Miller, when he wrote for The Nat'l Enquire ... and when I was friendly with Sandy Lansky (Meyer's daughter!).  Here's one you can use, Claude, unless I use it first!  I set up Marvin Deane to take 'her' to the movies. (My Marie knew about me and my friendship with 'her', but WE were busy and couldn't take Sandy.)  Marvy RIP, comes to call on her, in a limo, places her firmly in the back seat, and says to 'little Marvin', "Danny told you who I am?  If you make a move on me, I'll have ya' killed!" (I can't remember the pix they went to, but I remember the laundry Marvin and the limo stopped at!).  Claude Hall (who's bound to be bound to the 'writers most respected by thems what was in the music industry' Hall Of Fame'!: I'm 'hip' (ol' folks still use that phrase!) answering your inquiry about Morris, didn't get done yesterday's email!  Fact is, Claude, he scared me shitless, but from a distance, thank you Jehovah!! He also was 'one of dem' that I useta' wanted to be like! Consider this, Authorman! I was a 'bookmaker' in High school, (the numbers racket), shot pool at Willie Mosconi's place, under the tutelage of Moxie Fleishman, who fixed the Warriors BB game, years ago, (I shot one-handed and hadda' great rep!), loved Pat Pipolo's Uncle Frank Costello, became a Jackpot Rep for Int'l Game Tech when I was busted out, after the biz blew, was ready to join the gaming industry, courtesy of Carl Thomas, VP of Gaming at Tropicana, who did 18 months in Sofford State and was whacked after he got out. A great friend who was part of a $27 million 'skim', at the Flamingo!  And the coup de gra', my uncle Phil, so said my Mom RIP, was a gun-runner for the Chinese! (Uncle Ernie told any, in the family, I was destined to become a bum! … and so it happened! I found a place equal to crime in the music biz and Morris Levy!  For all intents and purposes, you ol' Author, as long as I saw and talked wit' Moishe infrequently, I never had a problem! For me, and the beginnings of what 'could've been, before I 'sung as part of the choir, Morris was 'my kinda' guy!  (Of course, you ain't gonna' get that evaluation from too many people!)  Oh, before I close.  Mike Roshkind did his week-end 'hoosegow handle' while I was there! (Yeah, Claude, you can ask, anything that doesn't get either one of us killed!!)”
Danny, who’s around young enough to lift a gun?  It’s difficult to believe that I once lugged around an M-1.  I probably couldn't lift the thing these days.
More Danny Davis:  “Thursday, always a day to look forward to, Claude! Thought you'd like the following  … we've got a gent formerly a 'bad man' (dope, liquor, etc.), now clean some 40 years! Sweetest guy you'll EVER meet!  Found 'his way' in the music biz!  Has a publishing firm and has written some mighty good tunes!  Has a couple of hits, he called by name today, but I can 't recall 'em right now!  His name is Arnie Capitanelli.  Spoke at lunch, touched all kinds of personal subjects, marriage, divorce, re-marriage to the same lady, his personal demons, the folks familiar to you and me (Larry Utall, Steve Barri, and people of that era if you will!)  Every lunch he hands out a Tip Of The Week. He's really a 'mench' of True Faith! Today's Tip follows for your vaunted perusal: Having a resentment, is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die! (It's a great lunch-bunch, Authorman!)”
Burt Sherwood:  “Thanks for sending me the fact that you are writing again ... I know you did not quit, but a lot of us were worried that you might stop.  I saw your comment on history... and the opening word Sad.  It is sad ... when I get a but depressed … I go into  my computer and read my bio ... and though it is only me reading, it reminds me how lucky I have been.  Still feel that way ... it is a long way from Peoria, Illinois.  Hope all is good with you and Barbara, and, no, this year I did not go to
NAB ... still here ... and glad to be!  Bests.”
You’re absolutely right, Burt!  Great to still be around.  And just for reminders, there’s a picture that comes up now and then on my desktop of a two-room shack in Brady, TX.  We used to live there when I was about 8 years old.  Me and my two younger brothers and my sister and, of course, Mom and Dad.  It was an old shack even then.  Bathed in a galvanized tub.  All of the kids ran barefooted in the summer.  Someone painted the house blue and still lives in it.  I thank the Good Lord when I see that picture that I’m not still in Brady, TX.
Red Jones: “Just read your # 5.  Thanks for keeping me on your list.  A must-read each week.  Having retired almost 2 years ago and having lost 2 great ladies to cancer within a 6-year period, I have the time to read more.  Before my first special lady passed away, she had put all clippings and stories re/me from Billboard (Vox Jox), newspapers, etc., from the start, 1948, filling some 13 scrapbooks.  I was looking through some of them lately and thought of you with all that Billboard publicity.  RIP ... Vox Jox.  The highlight of my career was going into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2008. Memorial Day weekend, the GRHOF will be the first state radio hof to have its own stand alone building in the costal resort area of St. Mary’s. The website has it all.  John Long has done a great job.  And I get my radio fix each Saturday in February doing remotes from our Golden K Kiwanis fundraiser where in 20 years we have raised right at a half million $$$$ for youth in our county.  And, the beat goes on.  There's a lil bit of ham left in all of us.”
Robert E. Richer:  “Two things, Claude:Sundeen looks a lot better today than he did in that picture.  In spite of Dick Summer’s statement:  ‘And then FM killed the AM King’, four of the top ten billing radio stations in the US today are on AM.  No more music, sadly, but still major forces in the world of radio.  Keep ‘em coming, Claude.”
Copout:  Yes, I know you’ve sent me your blog address and/or Internet radio address, but I’ve just decided to start these lists and I’m not about to go through more than 10 years of emails to track the information down.  Thus, if you’d like to be added to this list, send me your data at  Everyone is welcome as long as it concerns music and/or radio.  Thanks!
Don Barrett
Lew Irwin
Bob Levinson
Timmy Manocheo
Jeff Velline
George J. Weinbarg
Ernie Hopseker
Frank Jolley
Robert E. Richer