Today at 7:33 AM
February 23, 2015
Claude’s Commentary No. 52
By Claude Hall
One of the greatest radio promotions of all time is the “Amoeba” promotion featured by KFWB, Los Angeles. It was created by KFWB program director Chuck Blore. And one of the funniest stories in radio is when George Wilson, who was unabashed at copying everything Chuck Blore did, featured the same promotion on a radio station in Denver and was thrown in jail. The original promotion was tied into a public service venture – raising funds so that high school students could visit the lawmakers in Sacramento to tell them about the drug problem in Los Angeles schools. Blore became a hero. George wore mud on his face for a while. I had the honor to interview Chuck a few times. Those interviews are featured in “This Business of Radio Programming” which is available via Amazon.com. He also honored me with an early copy of his book, which tells the story of his early career in radio and KFWB “Color Radio,” as well as his career in the advertising industry. I will never forget one of his lines, heard live, about a car. “Cheaper than feet.”
Chuck Blore is one of the most amazing geniuses of Top 40 radio. Thus, I feel honored to feature the brief interview below that he did with George Wilson, a program director who rose to become head of Bartell. If my memory is correct, George read the interview at some point before his death from cancer complications.
Dick Summer: “Claude, your comment about helping your Lady Barbara out of the cab, ‘And her hand fit so nicely into mine’ is one of the most graceful uses of the language I've ever seen. The picture is of my Lady Barbara in studio 2B at WNBC. I sometimes have trouble convincing other radio mis-fits that I was tugging the zipper UP, but I was. Cuz Bruce took the picture (I followed him on the air at the time) and the Cuz was a gentleman ... but I never did learn to share anything personal when it comes to my Lady Barbara. Congratulations for finding your Park Ave. lady. I found mine at WBZ. She was the ‘Continutity Girl’. You and I are lucky guys for finding our Ladies Barbara, and even luckier that they have graced our lives for so long.”
I was just about to leave for Spain because I knew I was a better writer than Ernest and I figured I’d go over there a while, park under a cactus, google at a bullfight, then spend some time in Paris (sans pigeons) and wind up in Mexico. Then I met Barbara. After I left Cavalier magazine, I persuaded Mrs. Barbara to go with me to Mexico and we were en route until I decided we’d better not take baby John down there and we paused in Austin, TX. When I realized I couldn’t make the grade on the Austin newspaper (a dull city editor, in my opinion), I was offered a job on the Abilene newspaper at much more money, but heard about a job on the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the three of us – me, Barbara, and baby John -- cranked up the VW and headed over to dine on po’boys and chicory coffee. VoiIa! I went from being a peon on the Austin paper to a respected reporter in New Orleans. The Austin newspaper experience has always set badly in my gut. Considering circumstances since, i.e., Billboard and SUNY/Brockport, I think I was lucky. Just FYI, I wouldn’t have traded Barbara for Spain any day of the week. Come Sept. 1, we will be married 55 years.
Jerry Sharell: “Claude: Just a bit of record biz history: It was ’63 and I had been with Mercury Records for a few months (making $100 weekly) when my phone rang at Main Line Distributors in Cleveland. It was Quincy Jones, A&R Head at Mercury, telling me he was sending me two test pressings of two new acts. I was to listen to both and call him with my fav. I called Q a few days later and told him I liked the girl singer, Lesley Gore and the killer big band arrangement that truly ‘made’ this a hit! He told me that he wrote ‘the chart’ and offered me a nice bonus based on sales performance. My boss at Main Line was Eddie Rosenblatt, a dynamo sales person with an appreciation of ‘promotion’. To make this story shorter … we were Top 3 among all distributors in the U.S. and Quincy made good on his promise to me by sending a very generous bonus! Morris Diamond was the promotion director at Mercury who helped me/us get that record played … everywhere! I consider Morris one of the best promo-guys ever! ("Sunday, Sinatra and Sharell, KJAZZ 88.1FM in LA, 10AM-Noon)”
Jerry, just hearing from you made my week! Great on you! And as for Morris Diamond, he has been a hero of mine since around 1964. FYI, I wrote Jerry back and here’s his response:
Jerry Sharell: “I am doing ‘well’ and thanks for your reply ‘cause you made-my-month! I totally enjoy reading your Commentary and if I miss anything I’m sure Morris Diamond, my teacher/mentor/manager, will bring me up-to-date. And I give my Sinatra Hat Tip to Don Graham, for keeping the word ‘promotion’ in the dictionary of broadcasting/records (remember those?)! Be well and have a Ring-A-Ding-Ding day!
Jerry, I used to have everything Frank did at Capitol on a reel with the exception of “Where Do You Go,” which I had on an LP. In all of the Hall moves, “Where…” got lost. Can anyone out there email me a copy in stereo. It was somewhat experimental … long before artists did that sort of thing. I’ll trade a copy of “Touch of Evil” by Tom Russell. A great song.
Bob Barry: “Gary Owens could have cared less about a DJ from a smaller market ... but he did care. From the two times he appeared on my show to the day he gave me a Billboard award in 1975, his personality came through like it did on radio and TV. I'll miss his numerous talents.”
That’s one of the reasons I have always loved people such as Gary Owens, Chuck Blore, Jack G. Thayer and Harvey Glascock. Burt Sherwood, too. Jack Stapp. Amazingly warm, wonderful people. The story of Jack Stapp and Roger Miller could be a movie. I’ve always had great respect for Roger since Jack told me the story.
Diane Kirkland: “Was reading your commentary on Gary Owens and thought I’d send this photo along -- some party in the late 70s. Left to right, Jeff Bates of Billboard, Gary, Pete Heine and me. I still have a reel-to-reel tape of Gary from all the outtakes of trying to do some voiceovers. Haven’t heard it for years because I don’t own a reel tape recorder, but I remember hearing many expletives all spliced together. Always liked Gary very much.”
Wish I could print all of the pictures. Sorry, Diane. Great pix. Maybe I’ll bet to use it somewhen. Don’t go anywhere.
Dave Anthony: “1990 at KCBS-FM in LA. Phone rings. My assistant says it’s somebody named Gary Owens. Hey, it’s Hollywood; just might be the guy. Answered the phone. Sure enough, it was him. Wanted to meet. Maybe he could be considered for an on-air position. My staff included Don Steele, Charlie Tuna, and MG Kelly. Why not? He invites me to his house to meet. Cool! I showed up and see a veritable ‘Laugh-In’ museum complete with the classic microphone, one of the window frames that were featured at the end of each show, and pictures everywhere. We sat and talked. No openings at the moment. He and his wife convince me to stay for dinner. Sure. One of the biggest steaks I’ve ever seen lands on my plate. Oops, I’m a vegetarian. Somehow all that fit with his sense of humor. A real gentleman. Sorry to hear of his passing. If you forward any of these sentiments along to his wife, please include mine. She was an important part of my memories, too.”
Tom (T. Michael Jordan) Nefeldt to Mel Phillips: “Why wouldn’t Shadoe want to work Chicago and leave Hollywood? Sure, the Chicago Winters are cold, though in LA the weather is warm BUT the PEOPLE are cold and superficial, in Chi the weather may get cold but the PEOPLE are WARM and Down to Earth. Plus radio here is MUCH better.”
Maybe we can persuade Joey Reynolds to sell tickets for this one.
Herb Oscar Anderson: “Regards, Jim Slone ... you maybe interested to know that Jim Reeves still has two very active fan clubs in Holland. We shared the live music shows on ABC with Jim Bachus ... Merv Griffen and, of course, the Breakfast Club ... because of this, the Reeves fan club found my podcast and are regular listeners ... asking me to comment on my appearance in Jim’s book, etc. Ah, the internet ... have no idea how many listeners, but sure do hear from old listeners from all over the world ... Google ... WOSN FM.”
Dick Carr reports that “Big Bands Ballads and Blues” is streaming again on the Metromedia Radio Channel, Live 365. Every day M-F 5-8 pm Eastern. Here's the link.
The web site is active again at bigbandsballadsandblues.com.
Big Jay Sorensen sent Joey Reynolds who sent me a note about a coming
segment of “Modern Family” slated to be video’d almost entirely on iPhones.
Don Berns: “Gary Owens was one of my radio heroes, even though I never had a chance to listen to him on a regular basis except for the short time I lived in LA. But his influence was immeasurable on my style and my life. His nonsensical town of Foonman, Ohio (location of the Foonman Home for the Terminally Perturbed on his brilliant album ‘Put Your Head On My Finger’) provided me and my roommates at the time with the name of our house in Williamsville, NY (see the attached photo with ‘Foonmate’ Rich Sargent and his infant son) and a name that has stayed with me for well over 40 years (my corporate entity is Foonman Home Productions). Gary's work on that album, ‘Laugh In’, and The Superfun audio series (from which I stole liberally) was without a doubt the foundation upon which I built my Top 40 and AC career. I had the opportunity to tell him at a radio convention in LA many years ago, and he seemed genuinely flattered. A true talent and a gentleman.”
Never, ever, fail to tell your heroes how much they mean to you. I had opportunity to tell Eddie Hill, WSM, Nashville, that I used to listen to him out on the western plains of Texas and considered him one of the reasons I was radio-TV editor of Billboard. He was in a wheel chair at the Opry at the time. Stroke. But the man pushing the wheel chair said he could hear me and understand me. I can still remember some of his clichés. Eddie Hill was something else! Sam Hale, an oldie like me, heard him on the air, I think.
Paul Cassidy: “Classic commentary today! A real tribute. Thanks. I lived near Gary Owens on Rancho St. in Encino. Saw him weekly at the news stand on Ventura Blv'd, always friendly. Saw those basketball games as I drove by, should have stopped as I played 2nd string center for my HS team in upstate NY. Best to you.”
You’d have been welcome, Paul. We were all ragnots, including “Connie,” who played center for UCLA in, I think, the 50s and used to jog occasionally with Coach Wooten. He revered John Wooten.
Chancey (Loretta) Blackburn: “Thanks for bringing back the wonderful memory, Claude. We did have fun! I’m going to a KZEW reunion in Dallas in April so I’ve been pawing through stacks of memorabilia and pictures of you and Barbara in St. Croix were among them. J and I lived in the Caribbean for 3 years; beach bums for the first one, then working with Bob Bennett who was running a station in San Juan for Mid Ocean Broadcasting. That was Bob Hope’s station, being run by his oldest boy, Tony Hope. Then on to St. Croix for the 3rd year, putting The Reef on the air – lots of reggae and Beach Boys – a true ‘island’ format. My love to Barbara, please. She and I were both from New York and both found the loves of our lives in you two Texans.”
Frank Boyle: “Hi, Claude -- love your commentaries. Think I met Gary Owens when he was at WIL, St Louis. We, Eastman, repped WIl. I was there on a station-Rep trip. Got invited to a big boat ride for Advertisers --Gary Owens and Gary Stevens entertained the crowd with great stuff. Both were young and full of piss and vinegar with superb creative ad lib content. Met George Wilson when he was PD at another Eastman client, WTMA in Charleston, SC. We became long time friends. He used to break me up telling me his war stories of how he and a DJ pal would put their magic in the trunk of his old Dodge and do their Magic for a few months at a time. Make a couple of Grand -- take his: ‘Zoo’ to another AM turkey that needed to go rock. When George got Bartell, New York, he and wife would come to my Apt on 48th St. George was a genuine Treasure. Always kept it simple -- was a winner wherever he worked -- only flaw was George never learned to kiss his bosses' asses. Told me it was his job to speak up when his boss came up with a stupid idea -- so there. WIL was one of the 3 Balaban markets – KBOX, Dallas, and WRIT, Milwaukee. Young Stan Kaplan was there making his bones as a National Sales Mgr. In that my only station experience was 7 yrs in Sales and Sales Mgt at WJR, Detroit --prior to Eastman Natl Sales Reps -- I need the Top 40 and Rock pros like George, Art Carlson, Kent Burkhart, Steve Labunski, & Bill Drake to explain to me how those formats worked. Claude, your terrific Billboard Conferences were marvelous in getting the biggest and best guys -- in all formats -- to outline why their concepts made winners. I got a PhD in Top 40 by just attending and listening. You'll recall I had to wear a suit of armor to speak at your '64 affair to brashly predict that AMs would get out of music. That there would be 3 of each major format in the Top 100 markets. Wish you were still running those priceless conventions. Stay well.”
Don Sundeen: “First, Claude, I’d like to thank you for the kind words about my writing in Commentary #51, it really meant a lot coming from a writer of your stature. But what I’d really like to comment on is the great Jay Blackburn and his contributions to radio, especially FM. He was one of those surprising guys in radio who turned out to be exceptionally bright, in Jay’s case Mensa level. Talking to him was an amazing experience that could swiftly curve from radio to his experiences in Vietnam or his plan to sell everything, buy a sailboat, and cruise the islands of the Caribbean for as long as he wished. (I believe it was about a year before returning to radio.) Like everything he did, his marriage to Chancey, a noted AOR disc Jockey herself (Loretta), was planned and executed with perfection and lasted for 31 years until his early death. One of his most interesting traits was a talent for branding; The Loop (WLUP FM) could not have been a more perfect name for a hot Chicago radio station, and Jay made the AOR format more female friendly expanding the demos. The Loop was an instant iconic name in radio history and a hit out of the blocks. Later in his life he wrote stories about he and his friend and partner, Bruce Miller Earle’s, radio adventures in a thinly disguised novel form. Chancey was kind enough to send me a copy of his book, ‘The Radio Gypsies’, after he passed away, and his distinctive voice and sly wit still shine through his words. Jay Blackburn is remembered fondly by all of those who were fortunate enough to be in his company.”
I’d mentioned in a note about the weather and Buzz Bennett to the Three Mesquiteers and this is a comment by Woody Roberts: “Claude is right about fear of ice storms, I'm all-electric and have a DSL phone line thus if ice takes down the lines I'm in Big trouble. Fortunately, knock on wood, it has not happened since late 1980s. But I recall the experience vividly. Saw This: ‘Mount Washington Observatory staffers Monday recorded one of the world's coldest temperatures and the highest gusts since 2008: 141 mph, higher than the 140 recorded during Hurricane Sandy in 2008. Early Monday, Mount Washington Observatory Summit observer Ryan Knapp received information from www.wx-now.com that, at -35 degrees F., the summit was the second-coldest reporting location on Earth, behind only the South Pole at -51 degrees’. In 1972 when I hitched around the nation looking for America, and myself, it was early fall when I climbed Mt. Washington to the weather station. Snow had not yet closed the small mountaintop lodge serving tourists. Saw all kinds of warnings posted about dressing warmly and high winds. The crazy story is I took a hit of pure LSD before starting the climb and I felt wonderfully solitary and away from civilization with all its trappings when a guy coming down the mountain shouted, ‘Woody! Woody Roberts is that you!’ It was a reporter from the WPOP newsroom whom I hadn't seen in years -- Chuck Crouse or Randy Brock. I was so taken aback and stunned that it all went by in a flash ... I never was sure who called out. What a trip, literally. Beautiful.
‘I, too, have my Buzzy theory. Never knew about the fight between he and George. When I hear about those old fights I consider myself fortunate to have gone through several radio station rating wars and only met one person who to this day I still intensely dislike, a jealous sales manager at KTSA (his unpleasantness was instrumental in my decision to leave radio). On the other hand if I had to directly battle Buzz Bennett or Ron Jacobs perhaps I, too, would have ill will. Luckily I came out of radio with just admiration for their programming instincts. Lee Baby. My dear friend is gone but The New Yorker continues to show up in my mailbox. He'd sent me a gift subscription. I have a few things I want to share with y'all about Lee and me with but not yet ready to write. And I have a piece I wrote about Drake and Top-40 several months ago but never sent it because I knew the three of you, especially Lee, would rag me out. It, too, will come your way in time.
“Texas weather. It's been jumping around some, 37F yesterday and back to 70F by Friday. Young elms are getting tiny leaves as wild plum blossoms release their delightful scent into the air. Sunday, the hermit went into town to visit Eddie Wilson (my life is full of Wilsons, another story) and restock depleted groceries at H-E-B and Fiesta supermarkets. Near Threadgill's on North Lamar I saw the first little fig testing the weather. Love fresh picked figs. Always best and even more best to y'all forever.”
Scott St. James: “Another fun to read Monday treat. And I'm sure your wife enjoyed the wonderful things you wrote about her. Ahhh, Gary Owens. I arrived at KMPC the day after Thanksgiving in 1979. Besides the radio executives (including Gene Autry) welcoming me, Gary Owens was the first non-executive who welcomed me. And that was just the beginning.”
About the record sales info (other info, too) sent out by Barry O’Neil: “Claude, I don’t charge anything. I just send the info out. You certainly take people back to good times.” Barry’s email was in last week’s Commentary. I recommend asking to be on his list.
Marie Davis received a link to a Phil Spector item from Chris Crist. With photos: “Danny, thought you might like to see Phil in his new surroundings, also Charles Manson is there also, along with Juan Corona who killed 25 Mexican laborers. p/s: for any reason that the link doesn’t open, just type in on Google ‘Phil Spector-in-new-prison-photos’"
David Gleason: “I’m David Gleason, who receives your wonderful weekly newsletters. I was particularly engaged with the edition I got this morning because of the mentions of Jay and Chancy as well as Tom Rounds. I have known Jay and Chancy back to when I was running WQII and WZNT in Puerto Rico and Jay was ‘across the street’ at WBMJ; Jay Blackburn sold me a bunch of equipment through his firm Hope-Bennett-Blackburn and we stayed in touch up to the time of his passing. And I had worked for Tom Rounds for 20 years at his Radio Express venture up to the time of his passing, and thought of him as the mentor I never had. I also have a website that attempts to preserve and make easily accessible the story of radio from its beginnings to the present. Most of the material consists of magazines, newsletters and journals ranging from R&R and Broadcasting to the Gavin Report as well as technology related titles. An important subset is a nearly complete collection of Jim Duncan’s American Radio ratings compilations and quite a few older ratings books. In that context, I am trying to find early Arbitrons, Pulse and Hooper books and related material. One of the site contributors thought that Mike Joseph could have things that should be preserved. But I can’t find a mail or email address for Mike (with whom I competed for about 25 years in Puerto Rico). Do you have a contact, and do you know how he is doing? If you have a moment, please consider who else might have older ratings books that they would consider loaning me for scanning for the website.”
David, I don’t know how good your collection is, but keep it handy! Someone is always asking for this kind of information. That’s why I’m listing your addresses … so I won’t have to be the ‘middleman’. As for Mike, a good man, he has gone on.
Chuck Blore: “Claude, you ask me, ever now and then, to write you a little about radio today and/or yesteryear. Here's something you might like, it's an interview I did with another oldtimer whom we both thought highly of.
Chuck: George Wilson is a programmer who believes that programming
should rule the radio station. As that is a philosophy we both share, and
even though we both had great success with it, I wonder if maybe we're
living in the past. So what do you think, George?
George: Without programming and the program director guiding the
direction of the station, you have nothing, no product, no advertisers.
Sales-oriented people for the most part, could sell refrigerators as well
as radio, so the programmer must be dominant.
Chuck: You say, 'Strengths in your beliefs is the key to being a good
Programmer’. What were some of your most heartfelt beliefs when you
were rocking and rolling?
George: I believe that the radio station should take on the personality of the
programmer. If the PD has learned his or her craft, your station becomes
part of your family and you treat it as one of your kids, helping it when it is
sick, praising it when it does well and at all times keeping your eye on the
star that you are chasing.
Chuck: That's beautiful. As one of radio's outstanding programmers, what
do you think of radio that you hear today?
George: As an outsider travelling the country, listening to various signals, it
sounds like the programmers are robots. No one seems to care about day
parting, who is available to listen at a particular time of day. There is no local feel for the most part and God knows there is very little entertainment.
Chuck: Boy, you are singing my song. I used to bark at DJs who prepared
their shows the same way for a Monday that they did for Friday. Two different days two different audience attitudes. You feel that kind of stuff is pretty much gone?
George: Right -- I always thought it took the good jocks as much preparation time as air time, there were some wingers that could handle it without too much preparation, but even the best guys had to prepare. The best word picture painter was Lee Baby Simms, he worked for me three places and was nutty as a fruit cake, but boy could he paint those pictures. The most prepared jocks I had were Bob Barry on WOKY, a legend in Milwaukee, and Bob Collins, who went on to be a giant on WGN in Chicago.
Preparation and inquisitive attitude certainly helped them.
Chuck: The only great "winger" I've ever known was Don McKinnon. He worked for me at KEWB and for a while at KF. You ever hear him?
George: Yes, I did and he was great.
Chuck: McKinnon was the only guy who ever worked for me that was not required to spend an hour preparing for every hour on, his prepared stuff sounded out of place on his show, he was better than all of them just letting it happen.
George: You know, I used to fly to San Diego, rent a car and drive around, never tell anyone I was in town and listen to Lee Baby Simms followed by Jimmy Rabbitt -- whoa!
Chuck: That was when as you say, the programmer had control. Who are the some the leaders you admire?
George: Bill Stewart really started it all when he combined Storz and McLendon. I learned a lot from Bill Stewart and Don Burden. I thought Rick Sklar was good, although I didn't particularly care for his type of radio, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. And, of course, I always paid close attention to you, you know that,
Chuck: I asked this before but we got off the subject ... you say we all wanted a 12+, not demographically, but meaning an audience share. Of the stations you programmed, what was your best number?
George: I was in the 40s a few times, I had a day part on the Hooper once in the 50s. How about you?
Chuck: When I was programming KFWB we floated along with a 42 average. 42! Today, a 4.2 makes you a success.
George: Do you remember the swimming pool sound-effect gimmick?
Chuck: Yeah, Elliot Field used to do it every Summer. Roy Orbison came in to visit the station once, wet from the knees down. He said he had just been wading in Elliot’s pool. So, despite our no interviews rule, Roy spent about an hour with Elliot, "poolside."
George: What a fabulous communicator that little sound effect was. We had parents coming to the radio station dropping their kids off in their swim suits.
Chuck: Isn't it great how much people believed in what we did? On the other hand ... I had a little promotion once where one of the jocks tried to give people on the street a twenty dollar bill, in exchange for two fives. No takers at all.
George: That's what’s missing today. None of that just for fun stuff. And none of that wonderful rapport with audience -- they don't know what they are missing.
Chuck: Boy, is that ever true, neither the audience or the on the air people know what they're missing. What was your greatest promotion ... ratings wise and fun-wise?
George: WZOO, Spartanburg, we were on the banks of the mighty Chinkopin River, which was a dried-up creek, we broadcast from a sternwheeler. All the jocks had a name, they were led by Capt. Shag Hellion. On the 4th of July Capt Shag was going to dive off the top of the tower into the mighty Chinkopin. Of course there was no river and it was a small town so everyone knew it, but on the 4th July at 1:00 when he was going to dive, they had the biggest traffic jam they'd ever
had in the city, trying to see him.
Chuck: Your "Believe In Yourself" philosophy in pretty much in conflict with what you call "The idiots in striped ties laying down broadcasting rules to a computer." Any advice in that regard?
George: I believe the pendulum swings back and forth -- I don't know where the young programmers go to learn today, but when the pendulum swings back they'd better be prepared.
Chuck: One last question referring to your 'Radiopinion' you say ... "Everyone will get a chance in life." Do you really believe that?
George: I certainly do and I feel very strongly everyone will get a chance. The people who are not smart enough to admit when they are wrong and learn from the experience will not get very far. But when their opportunity comes to people that have the ability to store up real knowledge, not knowledge as they would like it to be but the real stuff, will be ready when
their chance comes. The best thing I know, the thing that helped me more than anything else, is not being afraid to say you don't know something --help me ... ask questions. Why do you do this or that? And of course have enough self esteem, if that's the right word, to surround yourself with people who are better than you are and then ... ask questions.
Chuck: Amen. And, thank you, George. You're a damned fine human being, in spite of it all.
Morris Diamond: “It's been over fifty years since my boss, Irving Green, president of Mercury Records, walked into my office with Leo Gore, Lesley's father. Quincy Jones had just signed Lesley to the label. I was National Promotion Director then and Mr. Green wanted Mr. Gore to meet the person that would be contacting him to get the Oks for traveling which would be essential to the promotion of her new recording. That was the beginning of a huge love affair with Leo and Ronnie Gore, her parents, and with Lesley. I recall that at one point, I had a request for Lesley to appear at a hop in Cleveland which was arranged by my Cleveland promotion man, Jerry Sharell. I ordered flight tickets for me, Lesley and her Mother. I got a call before the flight from Leo Gore to advise me that they haven't flown coach and he didn't think they should start now. I quickly arranged for first class and it remained that way for the rest of our promotion trips. I found no fault in his request. Incidentally, Sharell led my promotion team of 31 distributor's promotion men around the country in bringing in the first indication that we had a potential hit with ‘It’s My Party’. I feel very humble and honored at the amount of calls and emails that I've received from friends and co-workers around the country. Those that were aware of the close association I've had with Lesley through the years offering their sympathy to me. I'm sure that Quincy Jones has rightfully been deluged from those who recognize the fact that Lesley was his discovery and production. I've taken the liberty of attaching a photo taken in our early days of promoting at Palisades Park with DJ Hal Jackson interviewing Lesley, Quincy Jones, myself and a friend.”
Jack Gale: “So sorry about losing Leslie Gore. Thought you might enjoy the photo I just sent of her, Long John, and me at the Big Ways Birthday in 1966. Leslie, Lee Baby Simms and Bill Taylor all in just a week or so. Really gets us thinking about our mortality. Just talked to Chuck Chellman, and he mentioned how much he enjoys your commentary. I do hear from Bill Hennes quite often. As a matter of fact, he introduced me to Claire Petrie, who is the finest singer I've heard in years. I just recorded her album in Nashville and did a video which I'm sending you in a separate email. Every once in a while, as you know, an indie breaks through. I think this is one of those times. We did the old Chuck Berry song from 1962, ‘C'est la Vie) You Never Can Tell)’, however I produced it Cajun-Country, with accordion and fiddle. It's playing in England, France, and Spain, and TOP COUNTRY HITS, the Spanish network, is featuring it on all
their country outlets (Mexico, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil, etc. It ships to U.S. radio Friday. You should be getting a CD early next week. Let me know what you think when you view the video. Stay well and keep the columns coming. We cherish them. Best to Barbara.”
What better way to pay tribute to the late Lesley Gore than this photo of the lady with Jack Gale, program director of WAYS, Charlotte, and personality Long John Silver. I understand that Long John was a heck of a radio disc jockey. Left the business. Owns a couple of steakhouses in the South.
May the Good Lord