Monday, October 27, 2014

Claude's Commentary No. 35r

8:01 AM
October 27, 2014
Commentary No. 35
By Claude Hall

This book – “120 Songs” – will make you humble.  It’s a quick scan of a man’s life because many of his songs tell a story or depict a “high definition” picture of someone you know or wish you knew or are very glad you never knew.  Feelings.  Tom Russell, singer, songwriter, painter, writer, teacher, friend paints you a picture of where he’s been, what he’s done, and even things he wish he’d done.  He’s a master of many crafts, visitor of many places, some dank and foul, some bright and hopeful.  I possess his autographed book now and hold it in my hands in awe.  I love most of these songs and listen to some of them on almost a daily basis.  Here are descriptions by Tom of how a song happened, the chords he used, and there’s an occasional painting of his to give the book and his life a little extra meaning.  About a dozen tunes by Tom are phenomenal.  Most of the rest, quite good.  “Burnt Oranges” is a song that will send chills up your spine; it’s in the book.

The book is published by Bangtail Press in Boseman, MT. $19.95

Tom also sent me three CDs, so I’ll be able to pick up a few songs that I don’t have presently on laptop.  This laptop is heavy with Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt, and Tom Russell.  It was Ernie Hopsecker, radio engineer, disc jockey, owner, who introduced me to Tom Russell.  For which I’m indeed grateful.

I’ve just been invited for lunch to celebrate the birthday of “Don.”  The Don, I should explain.  Lunch is Nov. 15 at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City.  He’s 80.  Invite said to wear your best Hawaiian shirt or grass skirt.  I wish I could get there.  I really like this guy!  I’m am honored to receive this invite.

Rollye James is back!  Started Oct. 24.  Time 10-midnight Eastern and I think will be on next Friday.  You can call at 610-640-640.  Blog is, where the details are.  If you know Rollye, you know this is going to be a great, great time on the air!  She hopes to be on five nights a week by Christmas.  George Wilson said she’s the best talk personality he ever heard.

I asked a couple of people for the story of how they got into showbiz.  Just for kicks, somewhat, and because I’ve always found that fascinating.  And I think radio and music people do as well.  For example, I heard from Shana Livigni this week and she delved into that information; she says she was hired because they thought on the phone she was a black female.  For some reason, receiving her letter tickled the heck out of me.  Cute.  And I remember a great line from Bill Randle who was raised amidst the blacks in Detroit; he said he didn’t know he was white until he was 14.

John Barger, San Antonio:  “It was Spring 1958, and I was a junior in high school.  Every-other-afternoon I drove to the local station in Bryan/College Station and asked for a job on the air.  Art Holt was the manager and repeatedly told me to ‘get lost’.  On the 12th try, my visit coincided with a call to Art from an Texas Aggie part-timer, saying he couldn't work the coming weekend because he got a ‘Dear John’ letter from his girl in Dallas and had to go see her.  Art Holt told him not to worry about showing up anytime in the future, because a high school kid wanted the job more.  Thus began my 56-year association with radio, as the 4 pm-to-signoff host of WTAW's Sunday ‘Count-Down Show’.”

Ken Dowe: “May 19, 1959, Greenville, MS  (Behind the Cotton Curtain).  I signed and turned in my final High School Exam, took a path past scents of honeysuckle and magnolia, lighted up my '55 Rocket 88 Olds, and flew even further south.  My mentors in home town WGVM had gotten me an on-air job at WHSY, Hattiesburg.  My first paycheck for playing songs on the radio.  Wow!  Fun, but there was trouble brewing in River City.  (Petal River)  Salary disputes.  I got my first call to Mr. Holt's office.  He was waiting with the station's comptroller.
"I guess you know the other boys just quit. Guess you're leaving, too."
"No, Sir." I said.  "I did not know.  I just arrived and I have to work to go to school." 
He gave me long and scary look:  "Well, then. How much are we paying you?"
"Fifty-five dollars a week, Mr. Holt."
Charlie strongly favored Dracula.  Slicked back, black hair.
Pointing a talon-like finger, he stunned me: "Lightsey!  Give this boy a big raise.  Pay him ... SEVENTY dollars!  And, he's the new Program Director!  You meet me at the Country Club at 7 tomorrow morning.  Time for you to learn to play golf, son!"
Just after dawn, Mr. Holt appeared out of the morning fog near the first tee and me.
"Welcome to your new world, boy.  Now, grab my clubs. We got a long walk.  Hand me that driver. Want a cigar?"
“Show-biz, and I was already ... ‘management’.  Top of the world, Ma!
“Ha ha!”

Kent Burkhart:  “When I was 13, I approached the general manager of my home town station (Bay City, Texas) with a proposal to broadcast junior and senior high school news WEEKLY.  He thought it was a good idea; thus, every Saturday at 10 AM I had 15 minutes to broadcast the news of my classmates.  A few months later the GM asked is I would like to expand the broadcast to 45 minutes DAILY after school was dismissed from 4:15 to 5:00 mixing in current music with the school news of the day.  I invited my classmates to come by the studio to request songs ... and they did!  By the dozens daily!  It was then that I knew radio was in my blood forever!”

Morris Diamond:  “Claude ... many thanks for the good wishes from you and Barbara.  Alice is improving ... a little bit each day.  I like Don Graham’s mention that perhaps some of us should tell all our friends as to how we started in this funny business of Radio & Records.  I am taking the liberty of attaching chapter one of my book, ‘THE NAME DROPPER (people I schlepped with)’ … which describes my beginning in an industry I had always hoped for ... starting as band boy for the Tommy Dorsey orchestra in 1940.  WOW!  Good news is that I just got a small royalty check from Amazon telling me that someone out there just bought a copy.  Oh well ... I’m content in knowing that I got a lot off my chest and that I shared the best years of my life with my music industry friends coast to coast.”

From the book:  “In the late ’30s, while attending Theodore Roosevelt High School in The Bronx, I served as Entertainment Editor, and at times, Sports Editor.  It was during my term as Entertainment Editor that our teacher/advisor received an invitation from The Hotel New Yorker in Manhattan to have a student member of the high school newspaper attend a luncheon and show featuring Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra, to be followed by an interview session.  I was selected to attend along with reps from other high schools and colleges in and around the New York area.  I brought my friend, Ben Wertheimer. I liked him because his father was a cop … but Ben was good company and he lived near me in The Bronx, but didn’t go to Roosevelt High.  The luncheon was delightful as was the music of Tommy Dorsey.  I was always a huge fan of good music, listening to the remote broadcasts from the different hotels around the country every night before going into dreamland.  After lunch, all attendees were herded into a small ballroom where we had a chance to go one-on-one with Mr. Dorsey. I would guess there were about 50 or 60 of us from different high schools and colleges.  Tommy was his charming best and delightful and easy to chat with.  I had an idea!  I raised my hand to ask why he doesn’t start a fan club of high school reporters everywhere he plays around the country. At which point, he yelled out for Jack Egan, his PR rep, to get my name and contact info.  They both loved the idea.  In subsequent bookings in the New York area, I would be called by Jack Egan to be their guest.”

Don Graham just sent me an email about the success of the CD “Trouble in Paradise” by Isabel Rose.  I love to see this kind of excitement about a song or a CD.  That was what music was always all about.  Excitement.  I remember the day Shelby Singleton called me from Nashville to tell me he had three pressing plants turning out singles of “Harper Valley PTA” by Jeanie C. Riley.  I remember the first time I caught Elvis Presley on the “Louisiana Hayride” over KWKH out of Shreveport.  Good friends, we all need to be excited once again!

From a friend who would know:  Bob Pittman was still the program director at WNBC in New York and Bob Sherman was the general manager when Sherman brought Don Imus back from Cleveland.

Clark Weber:  “Your reminiscing about ‘Making it in New York’ gave me quite a chuckle. In the fall of 1971 WNBC flew me to New York for the day to talk about doing their morning show. My contract at WCFL in Chicago was about to run out and I was looking. The WNBC money was fine and they even offered me a hanger for my plane rent free for two years. Something told me to pass so I caught the next flight home and eventually did 13 years at Chicago's WIND.. WNBC then hired Don Imus to do mornings and eventually Bob Pittman became PD, fired Imus and placed a sweet but lackluster girl friend named Ellie Dylan on mornings. She lasted only a NY moment and by that time the station was folding like a cheap card table! Lordy Lordy I'm glad I said no to NY!”

Shana Livigni:  “Great article, Claude!  Many of these ppl you mention and have contributed to this blog are before my time, but it was entertaining nevertheless.  I started out in radio (by default) at WMU in Kalamazoo when I was 18, hired at KWBB Wichita at 20 cuz the FCC stated that radio needed to hire more minorities. They thought I was a black female. Well, the Detroit accent got me the job and I WAS a female. The rest is history after I got the gig at KFRC at age 21. The second and youngest female DJ at a major market Top 40 station!  The rest of my 38 years is just as crazy and never had more fun in my life!  I may write a book on some of the highlights of being a DJ, mother of 3 great kids (single mom for most of their lives, and just me, Shana, and stories along the way.  Well, if there a subscription, please send me the info.  I remember you starting with my first year at KFRC where I got a hold of a Billboard mag.  My best to you and thanks for the memories!  KFRC KHJ KEZY KROQ KLOS K-LITE KLSX (3 times!) KPCC ARROW 93.”

No sub, Shana.  Glad to have you as a reader!

Devon “Doc” Wendell: “It's been a while. I've really been enjoying your blog. I took some time off of writing to focus on my own music but I just reviewed the brand new autobiography of George Clinton. Check it out, there's so much music history in the book.
Thanks and many blessings.”

Don Berns:  “Thanks, Larry Cohen.  I called Gunther Hauer over the weekend and had a wonderful catch-up conversation.  He's 95 years young!”

Jeff March, Davis, CA, co-author, "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone?" -- Volumes 1 & 2:  “When I obtained my own subscription to Billboard magazine while I was still a high school senior in the spring of 1965, I habitually turned the pages first to the Vox Jox column.  I enjoy reading your current day Claude's Commentary installments, and the historical perspectives you offer (e.g., the piece about KIOI and its predecessor, KPEN -- K-Peninsula).  I was thinking over the weekend about the unexplained November 1971 disappearance of KIEV's morning man Jim R. Woods -- which is intriguing because it appears linked to the famed D.B. Cooper plane hijacking escapade.  While I was a post-grad college student from 1969 to ’71, I already had my first-class FCC ticket and worked as a relief and fill-in engineer at KIEV (870 AM) Glendale, which at the time was a country music station.  It's now a talker with the call letters KRLA.  It was a union job under an IBEW contract, and I was an IBEW member, so the money was pretty damned good for a college kid.  Jim R. Woods (not the same guy as R&B-rock jock ‘Big’ Jim Wood of KBLA) was a likable, divorced, wiry middle-aged guy who lived on a boat that he kept anchored at Redondo Beach (he may also have had an apartment, but I know he spent a lot of nights on the boat).  I remember that he had stringy blond hair that flopped down in front; he habitually ran his fingers through it to pull it back up onto the top of his head.  He pretty much kept to himself.  When I engineered for him, we'd yak between records about cars, songs or country music performers, but that was about the extent of our conversational material.  One morning in mid-November 1971, Jim R. failed to show up for his morning shift (I was not working that day).  That was unusual because he was a punctual guy.  The station engineer was unable to reach him by phone, and received no word from him anytime that day.  A ‘missing person’ report was filed, and when police inspected the boat, they found signs indicating that Jim R. had apparently tumbled overboard while preparing breakfast.  They initially thought that Jim R. had drowned, but were unable to locate a body.  That's because Jim R. apparently had faked his own drowning, and probably was still alive and well.  A few days later, the guy called D.B. Cooper hijacked a passenger plane bound from Portland to Seattle, declared that he had a bomb on board, and parachuted out with $200 grand in ransom money. Investigators subsequently discovered that the day before the hijacking, after rigging his boat to look like he had been in an accident, Jim R. had flown to Washington state. An FBI agent suspicious about a possible link between Jim R.'s disappearance and the hijacking showed up at KIEV and interviewed the chief engineer (who normally engineered Jim R.'s shift) and the station's business manager. The chief engineer told me that although he didn't believe that Jim R. was ‘D.B. Cooper’, he said that one of Jim R.'s adopted sons fit the profile.  Hal said the FBI agent thought likewise, but was unable to uncover any solid proof. Hal said he and Judy met at a Glendale coffee shop with the FBI agent, who pulled out a thick file on Jim R. Woods from his briefcase.  Hal wondered what other activities prompted the FBI to build such a thick file on Jim R.  I guess if Jim R. Wood ever does materialize, he still has a closing paycheck coming to him.”

Jim Gabbert: “Just to clarify Ken Dowe’s KPEN ... we went on the air October 27, 1957, with 1.5 KW off a mountain back of Stanford with the call letters KPEN. The station made a profit the first month (only $10 but it was positive)! We were so successful that we moved the transmitter to Mt. San Bruno.  We had over a 50 share of the FM audience for almost 10 years and then I was doing mornings.  Got tired of getting up at 3:30 every morning, bought a 75-ft boat (the one with all of the gold ... used to belong to Willet Brown from KGB) and was running around the Caribbean when the ‘book’ came out and we had dropped significantly.  I rushed back to SF and felt that it is almost impossible to resurrect a station without significant changes so we changed the call letters to KIOI, marketed as K-101.  (BTW the FCC went ballistic as they said they were not official call letters ... the rules said that you had to give the call letters plus or minus 2 minutes off the hour which we did). The other two partners had little faith and sold me the station!  By now we had 125 KW with a directional antenna where almost no power went out to sea. The Jan.-Feb. 1969 book was unbelievable, we were back on top!  Then a small Class A FM on the Peninsula took our old call letters KPEN which was Ken's station.”

Chuck Chellman, Direct Travel in Nashville, sent me a note saying “I really did love Luther Masingill.”  Included was a tale about Luther written by David Carroll.  Luther.  Masingill, 92, died Oct. 13.  He began on WDEF in Chattanooga in 1940 and worked there all of his life.  He also worked on WDEF-TV.  Sirius XM’s Phlash Phelps devoted a portion of his show earlier this year to Luther.

“Each year,” said David Carroll, “I attend a reunion of local radio deejays, past and present.  Sometimes we ask them to name the stations for which they’ve worked, which can be a lengthy chore for some.  Last year, I fed him a line.  ‘Luther’, I said, ‘you’ve done radio for more than seventy years.  How many stations have you worked for?’  With impeccable timing, he paused, started looking at his fingers as if to begin counting, looked up and said simply, ‘One’, to great laughter, of course.”

“His family was here, and he always appreciated WDEF for giving an unproven high school senior a job on the radio, which was beyond his wildest dreams.  When he applied, all he wanted to do was answer the phone and take requests for the older guys.  Owner Joe Engel asked him to try out for an announcer’s job, and gave him a commercial script to read.  Young Luther mispronounced one word (‘salon’ became ‘saloon’) but those golden pipes landed him the station’s prime position.  By the way, if the 73-year radio gig isn’t impressive enough, consider this: he was also on WDEF Channel 12 every day since it signed on, sixty years last April.  No one else did that, either.”

Great article, David Carroll.  David Carroll is a longtime Chattanooga radio and TV broadcaster, and has anchored the evening news on WRCB-TV since 1987.  He is the author of "Chattanooga Radio & Television" published by Arcadia.  My thanks, Chuck Chellman.

As for Mr. Masingill:  We come, we do, we go.  May I also add:  Wow!

Joey Reynolds, New York:  “Re: Robert Richer: Without sounding defensive and petty, although I am, Rick Buckley never heard my show, that's how I was allowed to stay on WOR for all those years.   David Bernstein hid me and Joan Rivers from Rick by distracting him and blocking the signal in Greenwhich, CT.  I think the success of the Jewish hour on Fridays, when Jews can' t listen, was not a favorite of the waspish Buckley family or the Italian Joe Bilotta? I am in Ft. Lauderdale this week after a wedding in Sarasota where a few listeners, including a young lady from Miami, got wind of the fact that my host was Joey Reynolds’ sister, created an autograph session at my table, this is not my idea of inside radio.  The role of the DJ is now that of replacing the wedding or bat mitzvah band, unless you are a rhyming fool complaining about how life has cheated you while you drive an Escalade, vacation in the islands, and live with ASCAP royalties in the hip hop culture.  Did I mention that I was also bitter?  I pray that Claude doesn't highlight this with that awful short attention span yellow magic marker.  Joey Reynolds rap on my Facebook every day.  My daughter is growing medical marijuana.  Go to you tube.”

For the record, I enjoyed Joey’s show.  Didn’t matter what he did, he had a gift; he kept you fascinated.   I’ve known several radio and television personalities with this gift.  Joey is one of the very best.  Myself and my family, including my children, also consider him a family friend and I feel honored to be so.  Many people I know/knew also considered him a great radio personality.  Just FYI, though I never mentioned it to Joey, more than one radio legend thought he was great, including George Wilson, who found and nurtured such as Lee Baby Simms, Jack McCoy, and Buzz Bennett.  George was hurt when Buzz double crossed him in Miami on a radio station deal (he wrote about this in or Hollywood Hills published by Jack Roberts several years ago), but he never short changed Buzz on talent.

Lyn Stanley,  “Thanks for all you do!  And thanks for remembering Jack Roberts.  I don't know how I will release my new album ‘Potions [from the 50s]’ without his help and guidance ... I miss him so.”

Jack Roberts loved you and your music, dear lady, and so do I.

Mel Phillips: “It had to happen – but before Halloween? WEZW (Easy 93.1) has already flipped to Christmas music (10/17/14).  We've been having biblical rain for the past two days but I'm still getting my walking in - 19 miles for the week. My goal is always 20+. Thank you for the tip on e-publishing my book, which I'm in the process of editing. I've been writing my brains out. I thought I'd clarify my WNBC comment for purposes of clarifying for John Lund. When I was hired as PD by GM Perry Bascom in the summer of '76, WNBC was rudderless - operating without a PD in the prior 6 months after John Lund had left.  Bill Rock was acting PD until my hire.  A year later, Perry was fired on a Thursday and on Friday morning Jack Thayer hugged me goodbye (breaking a couple of ribs in the process). It felt that way anyway. WNBC was generous in those days and provided me with what was referred to at 30 Rock as the "rubber room" indefinitely to make phone calls, type resumes, etc. The first day I used that office I ran into an WNBC salesman who had been there for several months looking for work.  I wondered what had happened to him.  In 1977 the immortal Bob Pittman and Charlie Warner replaced Perry and I.  I would consult a station in Trenton for a year and then wind up doing promotion for CBS Records International. John Lund would become a programming consultant and we all lived happily ever after.  Did I get that right, John?”

Ken Dowe:  “I recall playing a football game in New Orleans during which the radio and record guys all got together for some pretty spirited scrums.  It was about the time Bob Walker mentions Buzz Bennett getting the broken shoulder.  I do recall Buzz being on the other team and leaving after getting injured, but I didn't know it was that serious.  I do distinctly remember my friend Ben Scottie asking me to kindly take it easy when I was on defense.  ‘There are complaints that you are too aggressive’.  I still think that comment came just from Ben, who was not happy that I was embarrassing him and his professional football background.  Hahaha.  If I did it, sorry Buzz ... wherever you are.”

How to solve the ISIS problem:  Parachute an Ebola victim into their midst.

Don Kennedy: “Thrilled to see Marlin Taylor's name in your commentaries.  He was kind to put a one-hour non-commercial version of my Big Band program on XM's '40s Channel twice each week.  I supplied the program free for the publicity; listener response was amazing, as well as helping me increase to 140 the number of terrestrial stations carrying the two-hour commercial version of the program.  Mail, phone and email reaction to the two weekly XM hours of the program yielded enthusiastic listener response for the three years it was on XM.  I'm indebted to Marlin for his faith in my Big Band Jump program.  It was cancelled a few months after the 'merger' of Sirius and XM despite listener emails, letters and, when they could get through to a human being, phone calls.  Not so incidentally last month I went back to visit WPIC in Sharon, PA (the Youngstown market), the station which gave me my first paying job sixty-seven years ago in 1947.  Current WPIC personality Eric Bombeck put me on the air, took a photo of us in front of the original 1938 model Western Electric thousand watt transmitter, still there even though it hasn't been used for years.  He was kind to arrange for shipping of a vintage 1930's Presto turntable found in the dusty basement.  It's now displayed in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame museum in St. Mary's, GA, along with classic microphones, consoles and memorabilia.  St. Mary's is a few miles from Jacksonville and the museum would make a meaningful stop for anyone interested in the fascinating history of radio.  Former DJ, PD and manager John Long's inspiration made the museum possible, as well as organizing the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Donald Sundeen, hadn’t received his Commentary Monday and let me know and I re-sent that whole batch.  “Came in loud and clear this time, Claude, I realized I'd missed it when I started receiving emails requesting the Elvis piece. Made contact with a couple of old friends, and others I knew by reputation.  So far no problem with having my email out there, probably because of the quality of your readership.  Anyone else interested in reading my occasional memories of rock and roll radio and records, feel free to contact me at:

I’d suggested in the last issue that Ken Kotal,, give credit to some comments he wanted to use from Commentary readers.  “Sure did!  We've gotten several compliments on our Paul Revere coverage so hopefully some of your readers will check it out as well.”

Bob Wilson:  “I don’t talk about this much, but in the USAF I was trained as a radio intercept operator for the security service.  From the shores of the Tripoli neighborhoods, I copied Russian Morse Code from their submarines plowing under the beautiful Med.  We all had to sign our papers with code names and I was assigned the military version of the first and last letters of my last name … Whiskey Nan.  Years later, when AOL demanded a ‘private’ name, I used Whiskey Nan … my desk partner in the air force had to cringe when using his code name: Sugar-Peter!  When first using the amazing field of the Internet, I was often mistaken for a female who would drink a lot.  Diabetes made me give up the only drink I stayed with from my teen years (yes, rum and Coca-Cola).  In 1997, I was headed for a Mexican restaurant with a few of my daughters … and woke up fine days later from being in a diabetic coma.  With all of the naughty deserts I’ve had to give up … I miss the rum and …ice cream, doughnuts, cheese cake … wait, I think it’s time to hook up the host to the car’s tailpipe.”

Don’t you dare go tailpipe on me, Bob.  I used to have a rum and Coke (Cuba Libre) now and then.  I was introduced to the drink by Raul Cardenas, later a Ph.D. and professor at NYU but famous for being one of two best men at my wedding.  Only “drink” I knew when I worked on the El Paso Herald-Post.  Never liked them, though.  Now a bloody mary with Jose Cuevo Gold, extra dash of Tobasco sauce, is something else!  But, like you, I’ve got diabetes now.  No booze, period.  Cry, cry.

George Jay Wienbarg:  “Do you remember who the 1st GM of WDHF was in '74?  We had gone on the air with Ronnie Knight PDing.  Billboard followed me around.  After WDHF I went to Nashville, thanks to Kent and Lee. Billboard just bought WLAC.  Radio is My Mother!   Love you guys!  PS – Claude, I was hired to do morning news with Gary Brian at WDHF in 1974.  Definitely a pinnacle of my career.  I was 23 years old.”

Can’t help you, George.  One of my most embarrassing moments (I had a few) was when Lee Zhito, editor-in-chief of Billboard, forced me to talk to the staff of the station that Billboard bought in Nashville.  First, I thought the purchase of the station was a conflict of interest; we shouldn’t have bought it.  Second, I had no valid basis to tell a pro what to do.  Third, I wasn’t exactly a cheerleader.  I gave a horrible talk.  And there was one guy who knew it.  He stood to the side and flumed his way through the entire 10 or so minutes.  I’ve never seen a guy that angry.  Before or since.  (I refuse to talk about that time in Australia.)

Bob Sherwood:  “Hi, Kindly Ol’ Uncle Claude.  What a fabulous Commentary this week!  Somewhere Jack Roberts is looking down and saying ‘Bravo’.  Don’t know about those putzes at Billboard.  Three items to respond to:
-- first prayers for a full recovery and back to the total vitality that was always the hallmark of Bob Wilson. Friends when we were both in radio, occasionally fought like Ali/Frazier when I was doing promotion at Columbia and he was The King at R&R.  Love the guy.
-- thanks to Barry Salberg (‘Shane’) for the kind words. I hired him because he was a communicator.  He spoke to each listener.  There’s an art in that.
-- I’ll take a shot with Mel Phillips request.  I share his view of ‘security’ in both industries.  I truly relish my half-century as a jock and programmer and then various positions at record labels both here and internationally.  I have great memories of being a part of exposing label artist’s creative works and supporting them to the degree that their songs and performances were accepted and gave great pleasure to a large audience.  But at the end of my day, the fondest memories I retain are of those very good to occasional great shows on-air.   All of you who have done it know when you’re really ‘on’.  You feel it, it comes through your ear-phones, on the request line and throughout the radio station.  You’re cookin’ and you’re reaching people and you’re making them ‘feel’ the power and the emotion of the music and you’re adding a little something to their lives.  There is/was nothing better.”

Great stuff, Bob.  Let me add my prayers for Bob Wilson, the founder of Radio and Records.  I remember the days when he programmed KDAY in Los Angeles, a station renown for a huge water bill to help the grass grow around the antenna site.  Get better, Bob!  (Bob Sherwood:  Would you or someone be kind enough to forward this Commentary to Wilson?)

Later from Bob Sherwood, lastly a record man:  “My daughter Shannon, who’s always been a major music junkie and featured bands that eventually became major artists when she ran a club in Illinois during her post-grad years, was visiting with her Chicago fire-fighter fiancé this week and we had some friends here and she insisted on programming the music.  She put on Deacon Blue and had the whole place dancing. For the 400th time she questioned me on how in heavens name we didn’t break this band.  I still don’t know.  Sorry!  It got worse when she put on Cock Robin.  One of ours.  I’ll never understand it.  I stopped her from playing Alison Moyet.  Under the ‘never totally embarrass your father’ statute.”

Look kindly on us.

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