Today at 7:37 AM
April 27, 2015
Claude’s Commentary No. 61
By Claude Hall
Joey Reynolds sent along a link to a show featuring Willie Nelson: “Hey, Claude, Willie looks older than us; that's cause he is. Lots of mileage on the old salty dog, and Merle looks Haggard. Art Vuolo went to the Joel Denver conference in LA, the thing that you started. He was on the way to the NAB, I told him to bring a wreath for the death of radio. Since you’re suffering from Dyslexia I know you are attending the NBA. Buffalo was a home run … the weather was 75, a San Diego day. The Don Berns Memorial was well attended in a Bowling Alley at a Church, he is a Jew? You know Buffalo is a Polish city. Danny Neverath, Sandy Beach and I treated it like a Friars Roast. Thank GOD they didn't ask us to sing ‘Rats in my Room’. We taped a one-hour TV special on Medical Marijuana featuring excerpts from my documentary iPot. The audience came from radio and records, thanks to Rich Sargeant, the Cumulus station -- The Edge FM. Thanks to Mike McVay, it will air on the first of May. The Buffalo Broadcast Association gave me a standing ovation. I told them there was a key to a new car under one of the seats like Oprah.”
Ah, Joey. We had some great times, eh! Remember camping in 29 Palms when we took our kids and babysat the McAdam kids? And how do you tell a movie star like Heather to go off out in the brush, but watch for rattlesnakes? Just FYI, I didn’t start radio programming conferences. The first and second were produced by Todd Storz and Bill Stewart, then Bill Gavin backed a conference in Las Vegas organized/directed by program director George Burns. I was there. At the Riviera ($11 a room). Interviewed Tom Donahue. Somewhile later, I did the first of ten conferences. First was in New York City. Gordon McLendon, Ron Jacobs, Art Linkletter, and George Martin were on a keynote panel.
Larry Cohen: ln response to Bob Sherwood's tyrannical tirade blasting the R&R H.O.Fame executive body of directors in their lack of recognition of CHICAGO, their long and over due recognition of an ailing Linda Ronstadt & the inclusion of a scrappy ABBA whose admittance to the R&R Hall of Fame raised many an eyebrow including mine. But CHICAGO is not the only orphan on the outside looking in … PHILADELPHIA has long been ignored (with exception of Hall & Oates) and runs a close second to the mighty horns of Chicago. Also missing I believe are Gamble/Huff & Phila. International Records which Kenny & Leon sold the entire package (this I've been told by a good source) for 600 mi$$ion 'Philly cheese $teaks.' Were you at Columbia at the time P.I. was blazing hot? And then there is the iconic songwriting duo of Linda Creed & Tommy Bell … do you know of their collaborative achievements re their song writing million sellers? And how about the life long partnership song writing duo of David White & Johnny Madara? Besides being the leads in Danny & The Juniors & also writing ‘At the Hop’ (which is still being played world wide)for the group, there was Len Barry's ‘1, 2, 3’, Lesley Gore's ‘You Don't Own Me’ & a slew of other big selling 45s. (And to the younger streamer's, I am referring to vinyl & not the gun.) A young Madara also signed a young musician years back. His name was Leon Huff. If Atlantic Record's Percy Sledge was inducted into the Hall for just one hit single, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’, shouldn't those mentioned above receive consideration?
CHICAGO is not the only orphan left behind. Philadelphia is a close 2nd. Great article, Bob. Keep writing. I think that Philly's Stylistics have been inducted. And if not, they should be. The majority of their hits were written by Thom Bell & Linda Creed. Linda was also the co-writer & lyricist for Whitney Houston's biggest hit, ‘The Theme From the Greatest’."
Ah, Larry. You mention Philadelphia and I can’t help but remember Reggie LaVong … one of the greatest voices in radio! A few years ago, one of his daughters contacted me for information about him. Last time I talked with Reggie, he was operating a limousine service. I always had a special place in my heart for the music and radio people of Philadelphia. Georgie Woods, Hi Lit, Harold Lipsius, Dick Carr, Dean Tyler, just to name a few … ah, ah, ah!
Morris Diamond: Joey Reynold’s remark about the sign in the men's room in KOA, Denver ‘Please Flush the Toilet’ just reminded me of a sign I have hanging in my guest bathroom given to me by music maven, Tom Bonetti, which he lifted during one of the MIDEM conventions in Cannes … Tom and I generally roomed together at this convention: ‘il est interdit d'uriner sure le mur’. Very simply, please don't pee on the wall.”
Andy Hall did a review of Joe Goodkin's ‘Odyssey’ CD. “Joe Goodkin is a Chicago-area musician touring the country presenting his interpretation of Homer's ‘Odyssey’ in music form. His normal market consists of schools and universities, often playing for scholars of the classics. One would think that his audience might be stodgy academics in tweeds, but his ‘folk opera’ is a acoustic rock song cycle worthy of Pete Townsend with some great rhythm guitar riffs, and singing reminiscent of Dave Matthews. Influenced by Led Zeppelin, Cream and other classic rock artists, Goodkin has merged the classics with the classic rock, and we might even say the classical as he has some training in classical guitar. The songs are catchy and cover the main themes and story of Odysseus' journey after the Trojan wars ... not covering everything, Goodkin can perhaps expand in the future the 30 minutes to an hour or hour and a half. He could cover the sirens or the cyclops and make this into a full rock opera production. Still, catching Goodkin live is the way to do it, and if anyone out there wants to hear samples of his intriguing work, check out his samples on his website at joesodyssey.com. Invite him to your school, help get him a gig. You will definitely enjoy the journey.”
They pulled the plug on Bud Dain. He’s gone on. We come, we do, we go. Lots of comments floating around, including this from Jerry Sharrell: “I’ll be doing a tribute to Bud Dain on my show … Sunday 2/26/2015 between 10:10AM and 10:25AM … 88.1FM KJAZZZ. See youz guys Friday at St. Mel’s at 2PM. PS. Eddie, you might want to tell the girls.”
Bob Sherwood regarding Bud Dain: “Bob, I am truly sorry for your loss. I met him a number of times over the years and felt we had a good relationship. Especially after I left radio and he didn’t have to call direct or indirectly to chastise me for not playing enough Jackie De Shannon or other Liberty or UA Records. Prayers and candles will follow.”
Larry Irons of “Number One Songs”: Hi, Claude, I have a couple of comments about your commentary of Monday 4/20. First, I want to tell you how I look forward to your posts each week, and wish (for selfish reasons) that you were not going to retire. Second, based on your review, I immediately went to Amazon.com and ordered Bobby Hart's new book, ‘Psychedelic Bubblegum’. I am a long time fan of his and am very much looking forward to reading it. I also was trying to find ‘The Disc Jockey Cookbook’, but could not find where I could purchase a copy. As the author, can you direct me to where I might obtain a copy? I am a collector of cookbooks, and have myself written and published two cookbooks: The ‘Bizarre Chef Recipe Collection’, which is semi-autobiographical with lots of recipes named after famous songs or artists: ‘Do Wah Diddy Ziti’, ‘Papa's Got A Brand New (Brown) Bag (Sandwich)’; ‘Harry Nilsson's Favorite Cake’ (a lime & coconut concoction), and ‘John Denver's Favorite Peach Cobbler’ to name a few. My second cookbook is titled, ‘The Home Chef ... Learn To Cook At Home With A Le Cordon Bleu Trained Chef’, which was written directly from my 19 Le Cordon Bleu notebooks. (I graduated summa cum laude from Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas in 2006). Both of these books proved to be an insurmountable marketing challenge because of their length (1,816 pages & 954 pages respectively) meaning they had to be published on CD and viewed on a Windows platform computer. Also ‘The Home Chef’, contains 19 video chef demonstrations, which presents a bit of a challenge for a traditional print book. I greatly appreciated Woody Roberts statement with regards to creating a cookbook about testing and proofreading, as in my 'paella’ recipe I call for ‘1/2 Frozen Peas’. Somehow the word ‘cup’ got omitted and no one caught it. Lastly, I am also the author of ‘Number One Songs - The First Twenty Years’ (not a cookbook) which is doing pretty well both on my website and on Amazon.com, thanks in great part to the endorsements of Steve Resnik, Dave ‘The Duke’ Sholin, Shotgun Tom Kelly, Jon Zellner, Guy Zapoleon, Sean Ross and more, including your son Andy!”
I will email a copy of “The Disc Jockey Cookbook” to you, Larry, compliments of myself, Jack Roberts, and Lee Baby Simms. Anyone else wishes a copy, the price for a pdf copy for your laptop is $10. There is no printed version, although Don Graham had a copy printed for me and one for Jack Roberts. I conceived the cookbook to raise money so that Jack Roberts could take a taxi to the free medical clinic. This was after he had to borrow $25 from Don Whittemore for a trip. Previously and continuously, he was driven by Don Graham. Which is just one of the thousand reasons I love Don Graham. Make that a thousand and one reasons. Just FYI, Jack shared enough of the enormous bounty so that I could take Barbara for eggs benedict at Silver Sevens here in Vegas. Eggs benedict there are cheaper and better than anywhere else in Las Vegas and I have been known to go ape over eggs benedict.
Morris Diamond to Roger Carroll: “Didn't know if you were serious when you noted in Claude's Commentary this week that you know Bob Fead and Don Graham … but who is Morris Diamond? Of course, I don't have the notoriety as do Don & Bob – but I would appreciate knowing your thoughts … unless your memory is shot and don't remember me from KMPC days.”
Roger Carroll was ribbing you, Morris.
Ken Kotal: “Don't know if this is worth passing along or not ... but I figured I'd send it anyway. Haven't read Bobby Hart's book yet ... but I did have the opportunity to interview him a few years back for a special series I put together for Forgotten Hits. Interested parties can check it out here: “
Bob Barry: “Congrats to Clark Weber on his Hall of Fame induction and all the best for him in retirement. He was one of the hardest working guys in the biz. I’ll never forget when I was a young jock, just getting started in Milwaukee. Clark quit his radio job here and moved to Chicago. He asked me to fill in for him, dj-ing at a party. He gave me a box of records and left. This was my first experience doing a bar mitzvah and it was tragic. The 50-plus kids said; ‘who are you? We hired Clark Weber!’ His velvet tones will be missed by many.”
Joe Maimone Jr., director of sales, Billboard: “Hi, Claude, I'm glad I found you! Give me a call to catch-up. I hope to hear from you soon. Warmest regards.”
I wrote Joe and thanked him for his note. Asked him how he’d tracked me down. Wrote him: “I don’t do much phone these days. Sorry for that, Joe!”
Later, Joe Maimone Jr.: “I was looking through some old Billboards from the 70s. You always gave my Dad much love in your columns. Just wanted to reach out and say HI from the next generation of Maimones! I’m coming to Vegas in September. Hope to meet you then. Be well.”
Some of the best people on this planet were in record promotion. Including your father and people such as Jan Basham and Frank Mancini. Lord knows, I could list a whole bunch of names! George Furness, Tony Richland, etc. Record promotion people were a phenomenal source of information for me. When I broke the exclusive page one story about WHN in New York City going to a country music format, I learned the information from a record promotion person. Even scooped the New York Times! The relationship of promotion person to radio has not always been one way. Joe Smith stumbled into Los Angeles after leaving Boston radio and it was Gary Owens who helped him land a job at Warner Bros. Records where Joe, as you well know, worked his way up. GO told me this story one day on a basketball court in the San Fernando Valley.
Ron Jacobs: “Well, maybe I could run a board as a young man, but I can’t keep a URL straight! Here’s the CORRECT KKUA link:
Shot by Joan of Videololo. Now in UH archives. Howzit. If you ever listened, here’s a backstage peek of us cooking in the kitchen with Jimmy Borges and Steve ‘Green Gopher’ Komori. RUNNING OWN BOARD, folks. If that crap can qualify as ‘electronic equipment!’
Coming up on 40 years ago. On April 27 it will be 50 since we signed on 93/KHJ in Boss Angeles. Where the world’s greatest board ops ran the gear.”
The Three Mesquiteers flourish, if weakly, sans Lee Baby Simms. Woody Roberts: “We'd have a lot of fun with this -- Lee's australopithecine diet would upstage the Bush man :)”
I’ve heard from John Long that Sam Hale is in hospital and pretty low. Sam has suffered from Sudden Death Syndrome for years. A great radio man years ago in Nashville and then Atlanta before he got into the stockmarket field.
Mel Phillips: “No one writes 'down home' like my friend Claude. Your style of writing is a treasure and I look forward to each new Commentary. Can I get an Amen from your readers? Thank you.... Your mention of George Jones brings to mind a visit the Epic Records crew made in the mid-70s to Tammy Wynette's home in Nashville. At the time her on-again, off-again relationship with George was off - the charts. Tammy told us that she had the hardest time hiding the car keys from George who had lost his driver's license for obvious reasons. One night she was convinced he would never find the new hiding spot she discovered. In mid-conversation, George disappears and Tammy is convinced he won't get far without car keys. She hears a motor rev up, runs out of the house and away George goes - on a John Deere tractor. He didn't get far, getting pulled over by a state trooper.... On a serious note, I wish the best for Bud Dain and hope he recovers fully. It was always a treat to get a visit east from Bud. I could just listen to his stories of meeting Jackie DeShannon and Omaha forever. He was always a gentlemen, no hype, no hustle. Just Bud. Get well soon, my friend.”
Thank you for the note, Mel. I went ahead and left the bit about Bud in. He’ll enjoy reading it.
More Bob Sherwood: “I was having some musings with fellow musers who all played R ‘n R records on the radio in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and we were cataloguing the men who produced the greatest records during that period. We did the obvious: Phil Specter, George Martin, Phil Ramone, Peter Asher, Arif Mardin, Lenny Waronker, Quincy Jones, Billy Sherill, Mutt Lange and a couple of the people that you regularly edify, inform and entertain in your weekly missive. It was only when I was listening this weekend to a couple of CDs from the period by Simon & Garfunkel that I was re-awakened to the brilliant and creative productions of Roy Halee that were the signature of every S & G record we played on the radio.
Beyond Paul’s writing and Artie’s gorgeous vocals there was that incomparable SOUND. I’m just sayin’.”
Morris Diamond: “I have attached a foto that I finally found of Bill Stewart … this was at some event … L-R Bill Stewart, me, Telly Savalas & Mac Davis. It's the best that I could find of Billy … do with it as you please.”
Funny thing, Morris, is that I believe this photo was printed in Record World. Whoopee!