Monday, January 5, 2015

Claude's Commentary No. 45r2

Today at 7:47 AM
January 1, 2015

Claude’s Commentary No. 45
By Claude Hall

Dick Summer:  “Bob Sherwood's comment about Joe Cocker's exclusion from the Rock Hall was on the money.  Another guy who belongs there is somebody even you probably didn't know.  His name was Al Heacock.  He was my PD at WBZ.  I did a chapter in my book ‘Staying Happy Healthy And Hot’ about him:

“I really loved being on the radio. Those were the days, and nights, when I first ran into Big Louie.  His theme song, ‘Louie Louie’ was the star of most of the record hops in those days.  Any time the party got dull, it was Louie to the rescue.  But there was another kind of music born in the sixties. Its mommy was the blues, and its daddy was rock and roll, and the people in power said it was conceived in sin. It was music on fire. Hendrix, Morrison, Clapton. When I heard it for the first time it took me a week to get my eyes closed.  Today, you’d call it Classic Rock. And there’s something you don’tknow about it and you should. You don’t know about the man who got that music on the air.  His name was Al Heacock.  And he was a man in the best sense of the word.  I know the story because I was privileged to work for Al, and he was my friend.  Once upon a time … all the way back in the sixties … AM radio was still king.  Big 50,000-watt flame throwers like WBZ in Boston, WABC in New York, WLS in Chicago, and KFI in Los Angeles ruled.  Almost all of them were built on tight top forty foundations. In fact, the play list at WABC was frequently more like the top twenty, with the emphasis on the top three. ‘All Hits All the Time’. Jingle, jangle, jingle. The format was the gospel.  Except at Boston’s WBZ.  This is something that most radio professionals won’t believe, but it’s true.  WBZ never had a format in those days. The guys on the air played whatever we wanted to play, including records from our own personal collections, and tapes from local artists. And in between every single record/tape, we had fun.  Oh we had fun. And people loved it.

“Today’s top radio stations pull around a ten rating in a major market.  WBZ consistently pulled north of a twenty five. The mouths at WBZ belonged to Carl deSuze, Dave Maynard, Jay Dunn, Jeff Kaye (and later Ron Landry) Bob Kennedy Bruce Bradley and me.  But the brains, and a lot of the heart of the station belonged to the Program Director, Al Heacock.  Al was smart.  He was a quiet guy who made a lot of money in the stock market.  But he really didn’t care about the stock market.  Al cared about his radio station, WBZ.  It was a station with ‘tude’.  When we broadcast from our mobile studio, which was most of the time, we proudly wore our station blazers. It wasn’t unusual at all for one of us to drop in on somebody else’s show and kibitz for a while.  When you walked down the beach, you didn’t need to bring your own radio, because everybody around you would have ‘BZ turned on and turned up to stun.  If you stopped your car for a red light, you’d almost always hear ‘BZ coming out of the speaker in the car stopped next to you. Those were the days before cars had air conditioning.

“The Pimple People wouldn’t remember.  For those of you who never heard the station, and for those of you who work in radio and are curious about the legend that was WBZ, here’s how Al programmed his music: Each month there was a staff meeting.  At the meeting he would always remind us to play some of the top tunes he left in the rack in the studio each week.  And then he’d say, ‘I don’t want to hear two records back to back.  We pay you guys to entertain.  Entertain’.  What a joy it was, what an honor to be one of Al’s guys on WBZ.  Here’s what that means to you.  If it weren’t for Al Heacock, a man who knew how to say no … and stick to his guns … Classic Rock might never have been born.  At least it would have been a much longer labor and birth.  Boston has always had a strong Folk Music tradition.  At WBZ we were consistently playing original tapes of unreleased songs like ‘Sounds of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel, and ‘The Urge for Going’ by Tom Rush, all kinds of stuff by Dylan, and Baez, and Sweet Judy Blue Eyes Collins.  I was doing a weekly MC gig at the Unicorn Coffee House, a major Folkie spot in town.  And I noticed that some of the artists were beginning to go electric.  I invited Al to attend one night, and he got it.  Right away. The next day, he instigated ‘BZs only mandatory music rule: ‘One ‘Liquid Rock’ song per hour’.  Al called the music Liquid Rock.  Almost immediately the new music picked up a different name, ‘Underground Rock’.  The name was the only thing Al got wrong.  He gave me two hours on Sunday evenings for the first big time ‘Underground Rock’ radio show.  He called it, ‘Dick Summer’s Subway’.  ‘Subway’ as in ‘Underground’.  Then Dylan went electric, Eric Clapton formed ‘Cream’ and Woodstock forged a new musical and political conscience for America, and it went roaring out on WBZ’s 50,000-watt clear channel signal all the way from Massachusetts to Midway Island in the Pacific. (I have an air check.)  The suits who owned Group W Radio in New York were aghast.  It wasn’t Top 40.  It wasn’t anything they recognized. They didn’t like it. They wanted it stopped … right now.  Al just very quietly said no.  For a while, even the suits didn’t want to mess too much with Al’s 25 rating in Boston.  Then Arlo Guthrie did a song called ‘Alice’s Restaurant’, featuring a line about the ‘mother rapers and the father rapers on the Group W bench’.  The lawyers at Group W headquarters in New York and DC freaked.  The President of the Group took a flight from New York to talk sense into this crazy program director Heacock.  ‘Get it off the air now’ was the order.  Al very quietly said ‘no’.  It was a classic Big Suit vs. Radio Guy.  And Mr. Suit blinked.  The order was changed to ‘well at least edit that line out’.  Al very quietly just said ‘no’.  If you’re a radio professional, you’ll realize how far out of line that was.  A Program Director is a middle management guy.  He was talking to the President of the group.  So Mr. Suit decided to drop in on me personally one Sunday night, ‘for a friendly visit’.  The engineer saw what was going on, and called Al to alert him to the situation.  Ten minutes later, Al was at the studio.  He asked Mr. Suit to join him for a quick meeting … out of the studio. That’s the last I heard of the problem.  A few months later, the great Tom Donahue climbed on ‘Underground’ music on his FM station out in San Francisco, Classical Music WBCN went FM rock in Boston, ‘The Professor’, Scott Muni, Rosco, Jon Schwartz and crew took WNEW-FM rock in New York, and invited me to join them, which I did.  And in a little while, FM killed the AM king.  It probably would have happened anyway.  But the point is that when you hear ‘Smoke on the Water’, or ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ or ‘Light My Fire’ you’re listening to some of the many echos of that quiet but firm ‘no’ that Al Heacock said all those years ago.  Al died a while ago. I think it would be appropriate if you’d remember him, the next time you find yourself listening to ‘Stairway to Heaven’.”

I feel honored to feature this passage from Dick’s book.  He was kind enough to send me a pdf version of the book and I’m grateful.  The book by Dick Summer is available from:
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
Bob Sherwood: “Happy New Year Kindly Ol’ Uncle Claude to you, your lovely Barbara, those you both hold dear and all of the tribe of your devoted readers of Vox Jox II … of whom I am also a proud member.  Damn, Claude.  We also get it for free.  We don’t have to pay anything to Billboard!  Edition #44 was especially enjoyable for the fabulous retrospective by Gary Allyn.  Said it all for me.  The boy does think and can write.  Advise Rob’t. E. Richer that Don Imus does indeed have a major hearing issue which he apparently has successfully dealt with via a device which he occasionally refers to on-air.  It is my recollection that the hearing issue began when he was ‘Rockin’ in Stockton’ where he had the legendary ‘Angela Davis Look-a-Like’ promotion which famously blew him out of that market and sent him on the path to true legend.  For those who may not recall, Angela Davis was a leader of the group (including Black Panthers) that invaded a Marin Co. Courthouse and left with a judge who was being restrained by a shotgun taped to his neck.  Given that Stockton is about 20 minutes from Sacramento and Ronald Reagan was governor, you can imagine how that all played out locally.  Imus has never and will never go quietly into this good night.  Bless him for it.”

It’s people like you, Don Graham and Don Imus and Lee Baby Simms and Rollye James-Cornell that I hold dear.  Others, too, of course … at least 600 still left at this point.  Barbara, too, of course.  You people have made my life not only interesting, but intriguing since the early 60s.  Wow!

Tom Russell:  “Happy Holidays from Switzerland, Claude!  Always enjoy the Commentary … a note that the last picture on the current commentary says it's ‘Joan Baez’, and is actually Buffy Sainte Marie… who wrote ‘Universal Soldier’, and ‘Up Where We Belong’, and many great Native American protest songs.  She's Canadian … great songwriter.  I should have my Western horse opera ‘The Rose of Roscrae’ ready to send to you in a month or so … keep up the great work and hello to all from Tom Russell in snow-bound Switzerland!”

If you haven’t heard “Touch of Evil” or “The Pugilist at 59” or … heck, he has so many really great songs … you’re missing something very valuable.  I consider Tom an American treasure.  He hangs out in El Paso a great deal of the time, by the way.  But they also love him in Europe.

Don Eliot: “Thanks for bringing up the subject of hearing aids … I'm connecting the boys over at APHEX with the famed John House Ear clinic downtown LA to try to integrate APHEX technology into products!  If you recall what APHEX does … you can increase the apparent loudness in a sweepable range (it is, tunable to where an individual's loss may reside) … without an increase in electrical level that could cause distortion.  Linda Ronstadt was the first to use this in record production.  They were able to mix the band track up hotter underneath her without losing the intelligibility in her vocals!  As I recall, the psychoacoustic apparent loudness effect has to do with increasing the pleasing distortion on the harmonics of the sound.  But the real hot feature I wanted to share with you today is the availability now of hearing aid models that include Bluetooth!  You don't have to struggle with phone calls anymore!  Costco has the best deal on it. And, yes, Medicare covers a lot of this.”

Great info.  I knew and know many with hearing problems.  The late George Wilson, for instance.  And one major rock artist, Bobby Vee.  I listened loud – much of the time – but probably not as loud as you guys.

Further from Don Elliot: “When I was PD at KIIS-FM, Los Angeles, many years ago, my favorite two features were ‘KIIS Kouple and Kiss Kousins’.  Indulge me.  It'll be worth it, and I promise you a very rewarding surprise ending here.  The feature called ‘Kiss Kousins’ was promoted with the intro ‘Kiss Kousins share a hit’:  It was a seg of two artists singing the same song.  We would play the cover first with the powerful payoff delivering the implied promise afterwards with the original hit.  If you think about it, it just doesn't work the other way around because the listeners would then be comparing after-the-fact with how much better the original was.  If you played it the way we did, playing the cover first, you are subliminally thinking of the original and kind of longing for it.  Hence the pay off with the double punch and getting to hear the original immediately afterwards.  Great flow.

“The second feature was actually the opposite.  A ‘Kiss Kouple’ was two different songs by the same artist.  Sort of a double play on steroids.  And last but not least, to describe the overall format at the time in general with our sublogo: ‘Yesterday, tomorrow, today … three-way Kiss’ ... notice there is no chronology here … it was designed with flow in mind.  Song one in the set was a powerful classic.  The second tune would be new music but something we weren't risking much on because it would be a  cut charted as upwardly moving, ranked somewhere between 30 and 50.  The third tune in the flow would be a current chartbuster probably in the top 10. Notice the intent here.  The ‘unfamiliar’ piece was in the middle surrounded by established hits. The format was copied later on and renamed by someone as ‘the magic format’. It just worked.  We had a lot of flexibility and ability to come up with things you couldn't hear on other stations that we designated as ‘ARB hooks’.  We'd  really push these during ratings.

“My favorite of all was an idea I had to put Elvis Presley and Linda Ronstadt together, sort of like a football fantasy thing because Elvis had since passed. It was inspired by when I heard Linda's ‘Love Me Tender’, I couldn't help myself … my razor blade started shaking like Elvis's legs, or an Irishman's hands waiting for the bartender to deliver.  So here in all its radiant glory, is the original edit:
(done by me at KIIS-FM Production Studio, early 80s, with a razor blade and flying in tracks, overdubbing from a 2-track):

“The concept sparked a flurry of copycat duets with ‘ghosts’, which were huge hits. The first, most successful being Natalie Cole, singing with her late father, Nat ‘King’ Cole.  The tune?  ‘Unforgettable’.  And, fast forwarding to today, the beautifully done Barbra Streisand duets album.  A particularly well-produced cut is the Elvis duet, ‘Love Me Tender’.”
Barbra/Elvis, Done at Capitol, 2014:

One of my favorite duets, Don, is between Frank Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt … “Moonlight in Vermont.”

Lyn Stanley: “Happy New Year, Claude!  Thank you for all you do for all of us!!!  Your friendship and talents are real treasures to me.”

Doc Wendell:  “2014 was a funky year indeed, politically and musically.  I wrote my year in review piece of the funky music of 2014.  I hope you dig it.  I've been sick with a sinus infection and your blogs brighten up my days.  If you could include my piece, that would be great.  If not, no worries.  I hope you have a most joyous New Year's holiday.  Blessings.”

I ran across Doc Wendell through Jack Roberts’ blog and have enjoyed his writing about blues and jazz since.  He’s a musician.  He’s amazing!  He has perception and writes with a definitive flare.  He knows what he’s saying.  Good article!  I sometimes wish I were younger so that I could harbor and enjoy his career in years to come.  Instead, alas, all I can do is wish him well and say: God bless!

Scott Segraves:  “Seeing your Shakespeare comments reminded me of something I scrolled past on Facebook over the weekend, apparently a negative article on him.  Too lazy to hunt back for it I Googled, and found this:  Guess a few folks carry longtime grudges over bad English Lit test results.  I can see yours and Barbara’s was a great Christmas.  I trust your New Year will be the same.”

Timmy Manocheo:  “Claude, I have to correct you, concerning the photo at the end of today's Commentary.  It's not Joan Baez, but rather Buffy St. Marie. Both iconic female folkies from the 60's.  Easy mistake.  BTW, Happy Holidays to you & yours!”

Joel O’Brien: “Love your weekly words of wisdom!  Regarding that photo of 'Joan Baez' ... it looks to me like it might be Buffy St. Marie.  See the photo here I found on line.  Looks more like her than Joany to me?”

Chuck Dunaway:  “Claude, the picture was Jeff McKee, left; Buffy St. Marie and me with Gene Taylor looking on. Happy New Year, my friend.  I enjoy reading stuff from folks I know.  Great reading the good memories.”

Gentlemen, I thank you.  I’ve so many photos that once I knew and now know not.  Appreciate!  Chuck, hope you’re improving.  You, too, are a treasure.  Ken Dowe says so!

Larry Irons, Number One Songs:  “Claude, thanks for putting Dave Anthony’s link on your page. He indeed has a mint copy of Wolfman Jack’s ‘There’s an Old Man in Our Town’, or had, as I am now the proud owner of it.  Thanks to Dave Anthony, too!  Happy New Year to you both!”

Gravity and time control the existence of everything known.  Time is forward, fluid and constant.  Perception with some people may slow or proceed at a faster pace, but this is merely a trick of the mind as is seeing, hearing, feeling, and believing.

Don Berns: “Hey, Claude -- Since Dan Neaverth started it (he always does), I have recent picture of him doing a phoner from his home.”

Rollye Cornell:  “You’re often on my mind.  I’ve been beyond swamped and one of my favorite timeouts is to steal a few minutes each time your newsletter hits my inbox.  Thank you for staying with this.  I have mixed emotions as I tell you that Bill Taylor passed away December 10th.  The news is sad and bad for those of us who loved him, like Jack Gale (sorry you’re finding out this way, Jack, but I haven’t come across your address yet) — but a blessing for Bill.  No one has ever said ‘Dear Lord, Let me linger’, and Bill’s timing was impeccable.  He continued to do mornings until a couple weeks before his death.  For almost 10 years, he underwent rigorous chemotherapy in Phoenix — drove the four-hour round trip himself, and never missed a show because of it.  When Mayo told him to go home and die over a year ago, he had other plans.  He was receiving hospice care for exactly a week, when he suddenly up and died.  We were talking just a couple hours earlier. 

“He was urging me to run the bingo game that made him enough money to put the FM on the air almost 30 years ago.  It was a couple decades prior to that, when we first met, that I helped him do the paste up on all the cards.  It was truly brilliant, and largely a sales promotion.  Listeners could pick up a card at a participating sponsor.  Instead of numbers, the names of artists adorned the otherwise-classic bingo cards.  What made it so ingenious, was its complete lack of clutter on the air.   Listeners who didn’t like contests would be oblivious that one was running.  But for those who did, a new game started every hour.  Participants kept track of the artists played, and each time one of them was on their bingo card, they’d note it.  If five down, across or diagonal aired within the hour, they’d win.  It was perfect for country radio 45 years ago.  Core artists rarely changed.  Today it would work well on oldies stations, and Bill was intent we run it.  So there I was, promising I would resurrect it, while reminiscing about putting the cards together all those years ago … when it hit me:  I did the paste up, but I didn’t know ‘the trick’ — and there was one.  What stations really got when they bought the game was more than the cards emblazoned with local sponsors’ artwork.  They got a way to control winners, or at least, greatly slow them down.  Bill and I laughed about one big station that decided to do it on their own without his cards — they gave away the entire contest budget in the first three days.  That’s when I mentioned to Bill that in order to run the game, he’d have to tell me ‘the trick’.  He was surprised I didn’t know it, and assured me with a smile on his face, ‘It’s so easy’. 

“He seemed tired. I didn’t want to tax him for the details right then.  Instead I went to dinner, figuring we could talk when I got back, or the next day.  I knew time was short, but it was only four days earlier that he was walking on his own.  Surely it couldn’t be that quick.  But it was.  While I was eating I got the call from the part timer keeping him company.  He asked for yogurt, had a few spoonfuls, coughed a couple of times, and died.   I thought about calling a medium.  But I didn’t want to interrupt the joyous reunion he was undoubtedly having.  By my count, there are more of us on the other side than still with us here. However, that doesn’t make it easier for the dwindling group of dawdlers still waking up each morning. 

“In truth, the bingo game trick, whatever it is, pales compared to the lasting memories he shared.  I’ve been by his side for almost a year now.  On more than one occasion, he apologized for being alive, as the plan was for him to be gone and me to receive the income from running the stations.  I assured him that his being here was more valuable to me than any money I might make, and I meant it.  It was an honor to help him.  He gave more to this town than residents will ever know.  His gifts were quiet and sincere, and often monetary, even when he was living what was essentially an impoverished existence.  He was also a gift to radio, but there, too, his participation was too often unnoticed. 

“That’s one of the nicest things about your email letter, Claude.  Every issue has me learning something I didn’t know, often about someone I do know.   Things that were little more than afterthoughts decades ago, are pure delights to read now. I’m certain every generation ages to a point that they think the past was so much brighter than the present.  But in the case of radio, the excitement that entrapped every one of us, could only have existed in a brief window of time.   When television came along and made radio little more than an afterthought, it was the medium’s worthlessness that allowed the Storz’ and McLendon’s to take a chance.  While their accomplishments are rightfully legendary, it’s no less true that it’s easy to gamble when there’s nothing to lose.  Ownership limitations and then the inception of the 3 year holding rule made the industry of little interest to investors, and virtually no interest to major players.  Considerable debt was non-existent because no bank would finance more than a few times cash flow.  It was the perfect arena for individual entrepreneurs and outrageous creativity. 

“Technological advances helped —  radios became truly portable (rather than luggable — as were the heavy boxes with the handles, predating transistors).  And in the ‘60s, FM became viable with the advent of the field effect transistor (stopping signal drifting was probably a bigger contribution than programming changes).  Technological limitations also helped — making the listening experience truly generational.  With only a couple Top 40 stations — every kid in school knew what the night jock said.  It was an era of innocence and hope.  The societal restrictions that made Top 40 and rock and roll akin to the devil, also provided a framework for endearing renegades to thrive.  ‘No floaters nor drifters need apply’ appeared in jock-wanted ads for a reason.  Ironically, it is often those rascals that we remember most fondly now.  Keep writing, Claude.  It means a lot to so many of us who rarely take time out to write (though I’m indebted to those who do).  I hope 2015 brings only good things to you, Barbara and your family.  And I look forward to hearing all about it.  Be well, my friend.  Thank you for what you’re doing to keep us all together.  It’s a huge contribution to the well-being of so many of us — more so than you could know.”

I, of course, quickly notified Jack Gale about Bill Taylor’s passing.  Jack goes back to WTMA, Charleston.  Early Top 40.  Before Lee Baby Simms started in radio there under program director George Wilson.  Just FYI, Jack was the godfather to two of the children sired by George Wilson.

Jack Gale:  “So sorry to hear about Bill Taylor.  He did me lots of favors when I had my stations.  I had been doing voiceovers for his stations for about five years … gratis.  I loved him.  I think he left his stations to some folks that were working for him Like you say, Claude, ‘We come, we do, we go.’  Just had lunch with Bill Hennes.  He drove over to Sebring from his home in Pompano Beach.”

Dan Neaverth:  “Like Gary Smith, I, too, admired Frank Ward and his smooth delivery and music blending.  He was one of several Guy Kings at Buffalo’s WWOL.  The others were Bruce Bradley and Tom Clay, who stopped traffic and was arrested for refusing to come down from a billboard in Lafayette Square.  In later years Frank returned to Buffalo and sold pagers.  You remember pagers don't you?  While working at WBNY I would look out the window and see Frank driving down Main Street in his convertible on the way to WWOL.  He would start each show with Aquavivas ‘Curtain Time’ and then in this order play … Instrumental ... Guy ... Girl ... Group.  He would end each show with the instrumental ‘That's All’.  I think every young jock who heard Frank tried to imitate his delivery.  On another note I see tons of mentions of promo guys but none of a guy I think was one of the best -- Jerry Meyers, first as a record company rep and then as an Independent.  Jerry owned horses, had a fine dining restaurant and cigar bar.  He would return from an exotic vacation with his family on a private island that cost $10,000 a week.  I would be drooling and Jerry would say, ‘I'm so bored’.”

Bobby Ocean:  “I love your Commentaries, Claude.  Loved 'em then, love 'em now.  They are two different animals under the comfortable roof off familiarity.  For me, today's ‘column’ is much more like opening our arms to include an evolved, well-lighted, cutting edge tech Claudie, with refreshingly honest broadcast and music industry commentary and interesting, genuine guest voices, many with whom we are familiar, may have worked with.  Yesterdays' are like turning back the hands of time to re-live our prequel, the baby fat days of high school pretense in glossy-pages and public airwaves.   Both bi-i-ig fun.  The Claude column we knew of then was new and loaded with the names, ads and bios of the up and comers, while our current, updated Claude Commentary is Now Yet Experienced and generous with facets of the stories and values we have gathered and invested into those earlier names.  Lucky on us.  On and on about Casey Kasem: When I was on the air in LA in the 70s, 80s, I was also auditioning every day for voice work.  I would often bump into Casey at some studio or other.  He was very open and kind, unselfish with his time.  We talked and shared cartoon sketches, our other shared hobby.  He told me about the voices we use to work with, saying that VO actors divide the sound of their voice into three parts, low, medium and high range.  ‘We do our persuading in the high range, for example’, Casey said. ‘Me?  I use an awful lot of garbage (his term for mid-range)’.  We discovered I also use a lot of garbage.  Wonderful man.  Very generous of spirit.  I was fortunate to be a friend.  All of us have been so lucky to have been there, done what we could and lived to chat about it, though, haven't we? As Gary Allyn just said in a recent post of yours, ‘how truly wonderful the World of our youth was’.  Damn right.  It informs our present, underscores our gratitude.  Best of the holidays to you, Barbara and beloved Halls.”

I’m with you, Bobby.  I honestly and sincerely liked Casey Kasen.  But then I consider myself very fortunate to have associated with some of the brightest and most wonderful people on this planet.  Men like Casey and Gary Owens and Chuck Blore and Jack G. Thayer, George Wilson, L. David Moorhead, George Duncan, and others.

Don Berns:  “Dan Neaverth is right about my hearing aids being ear trumpets. They really work.”

Ken Levine: “I’ll be hosting the ‘Neil Simon Film Festival’ on Turner Classic Movies every Friday night this January.   Seventeen films over five Friday nights.  Come for the wraparounds.  Stay for the films.  Doc and I thank you.”

Kevin Gershan, “Entertainment Tonight”: “I was talking to Bonnie Tiegel about you and I was telling her about your column, which is one of my favorite regular reads!  Can you add her and Eliot to your distribution list, please?  Thanks and Happy New Year to you and yours.”

Spider Harrison:  “It's good to see that Scotty Brink is still in the mix.  He worked at WLAC, Nashville for a short while.  Just before Billboard bought the station. He had just gotten out of the Army and, I believe, Kent Burkhart was the consultant at the WLAC.  He came on just before my show.  I would like to give him a shout out if you have an email contact for him. Happy New Year.”

About Bill Taylor.  I knew him fairly well, but wish I’d known him better.  One day, in conversation with George Wilson, I discovered things about Bill that Bill just didn’t talk about.  He was a consummate radioman.  He was there – and active – when Top 40 was being born.  He was engineer, disc jockey, programmer, manager.  He could literally do it all and often did. He valued his friends immensely and had many.  George Wilson thought highly of him; a recommendation of the highest order with me.  I believe today – and wish – that I should have interviewed him for “This Business of Radio Programming,” which many consider the best book about radio ever written (written with the help of Barbara).  I knew of Bill’s illness.  I hate to see him go.  He was a good man.

LEST WE FORGET:  The legendary Glen Island Casino, a major home to various acts in the Big Band days outside of New York City.  Seen is John, left, and Darryl Hall, along with Popsie, presented to the kids by the infamous showbiz photographer Popsie.  Photo circa 1965.

May the Most Powerful One bless us all.

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