Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Merry Christmas from KAAY

Relive the Christmas season at KAAY. Here is 2 minutes of holiday cheer.
Sing along with the last cut for a happy new year.

Click Here

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Where were you when JFK was assassinated?

I had left KAAY studios (in Channel 11 building at that time), and was on the way to class at Little Rock University. I made a u-turn and headed back to the station where the news was flowing thick and fast. KAAY had no network affiliate at the time, but we were able to gather audio from all over. George J. Jennings, (news director at the time) was on his way to Dallas for Thanksgiving and just drove a little faster to get into the action. George started feeding stories as soon as he arrived. With all of this going on, to my knowledge no tape was saved.

Jim Pitcock wrote a JFK special about two hours, and most of the staff pitched in, with voice tracks and production. It was the best audio production I have ever been privileged to be a part of. Again, the tape has been lost.

Other stations did save tape and here are some links that might be interesting to you:

The actual broadcast over KLIF Radio in Dallas on November
22, 1963, as
the news was breaking that President John F. Kennedy and
Texas Governor
John Connally were shot in Dealy Plaza.

A 45-minute portion of the broadcast over WFAA Radio in
Dallas on
November 23, 1963, shortly after the announcement of
President Kennedy's
death was issued.

The broadcast of humourist Jean Shepherd over WOR Radio in
New York on
November 25, 1963, discussing John F. Kennedy and his
assassination. A
very remarkable program under the circumstances.

The above from "King Daevid MacKenzie" in a comment on broadcast airchex listserv.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Those Other Hits

Thanks again to David Treadway for a great article he wrote for this blog:

Those “Other” Hits

It was a world without consultants and callout
research, devoid of the “experts” who make their
living by flitting market-to-market and taking twenty
minutes to tell Program Directors what the
“highest-testing” songs are. It was a time when Music
Directors actually called the shots about what songs
(we called ‘em records) got played on radio stations.
Before there were focus groups and number-crunching
computers, there was gut instinct. A good Music
Director could tell a hit record within the first
eight seconds of it hitting the turntable.

That’s why KAAY played so many great songs that have,
inexplicably, not made the cut for the so-called
greatest oldies of all time. Case in point: The
Uniques--on Paula Records out of Shreveport,
Louisiana, if memory serves. The first I ever heard of
them was a hard-rockin’ little number called “You
Ain’t Tuff.” You’ll not be finding this one on the
playlist of your Good Times/Great Oldies cookie-cutter
station, nor are you likely to hear the all-time slow
dance contender “All These Things.” Then there was the
good-timey, Lovin’ Spoonful-influenced “Groovin’ Out
(On Your Good, Good Lovin’)” on which lead singer Joe
Stampley took the main riff with tissue paper and
comb. I know this last part for a fact because I saw
him do it at the Malvern High School Senior Prom in

While we’re dealing with Northwest Louisiana and the
Jewel/Paula Records family, how’s about John Fred And
His Playboy Band? While you may be familiar with “Judy
In Disguise (With Glasses)”, you probably have not had
the pleasure of “Agnes English” with its gospel-tinged
backing vocals.

If you do frequent the sadly disappearing Oldies
stations, you have undoubtedly heard “Western Union”
by The Five Americans. But those stations somehow see
fit to ignore that group’s butt-rockin’ predecessor,
“I Saw The Light”

Likewise, you may just be familiar with
“I Go Crazy,” by The Buckinghams but you don’t know that Chicago’s
Buckinghams did a real good version of it and KAAY saw
fit to play it before “Kind Of A Drag” was a gleam in
anybody’s eye.

There are more groups and individuals who had some
measure of success Back In The Day, but who have
fallen into obscurity now, thanks to giant
corporations and the leeches who pass themselves off
as experts. Perhaps this piece will spark someone
else’s memories of those Other Hits and they will see
fit to write in (hint, hint).

Meanwhile, this was written with great love and
respect to the outside-the-lines memory and spirit of
The Mighty 1090 and a shout-out goes to Sonny Martin,
Jonnie King and all the other KAAY Music Directors who
made listening to the radio such an out-of-body experience!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ear On Arkansas

I've referred to "Ear On Arkansas" in some old posts and one of the Timeless Tracks has a discussion of Ear. Briefly, it was a weekly 30 minute saterical review of the news in Arkansas. This was one of the features that made KAAY unique and not just another music station. Over the years, many different individuals assumed the responsibility of putting the program together. As I listen to some of the Ear recordings, I realize how times have changed and things that were important them, can hardly be recalled. Also, in 1967 no one would have guessed that the Arkansas Gazette (the old grey lady) would cease to exist. Here are a few cuts from an album that was pressed and given away about the year 1967. There was a second album done for 1968. Listen now to about 40 minutes of Ear On Arkansas: Click Here

Saturday, November 04, 2006

"The Flying Saucer"

If you listen to the newscasts that have been featured on this blog, you understand that times were trying just as they are now. At KAAY we were always looking for the bizarre, the ridiculous and satirizing all that we could. You have seen the "Ear On Arkansas" discussions. Later, I will feature some recordings from "ear". Today, I ran across a record that the oldies stations never play even though it reached number one. And several of his succeeding records also were as big. Even in the KAAY days I don't remember playing this song as an oldie. This is a little bit of history that needs to be brought forward. Read about it and then listen to an off the air recording, for educational purposes only:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dickie Goodman (April 19, 1934 - November 6, 1989) is considered one of the earliest proponents of sampling in music, through a series of "break-in" records he created from 1956 to 1986. His first song, "The Flying Saucer," was co-written with partner Bill Buchanan, and featured a description of a news-covered invasion of earth from a Martian space ship. While Goodman asked questions of pedestrians, scientists, and even the Martian himself, their responses were "snipped" from lyrics of popular songs of the day, including tracks from Fats Domino, Elvis Presley and Little Richard.

Although "The Flying Saucer" became a major hit, it also landed Goodman in court for infringement of copyright - e.g. the songs he used to create his "break-in" records. The lawsuits were later settled out of court when the judge ruled that Goodman's records were burlesques and parodies, and were original creations in and among themselves.

Goodman later recorded other break-in records, usually based around a political theme, or having his reporter alter-ego interviewing Batman or Neil Armstrong. In 1975, Goodman returned to the pop charts with "Mr. Jaws," a break-in record in which he interviews several characters from the motion picture Jaws.

Goodman's singles often had instrumental numbers (in which his actual role is uncertain) as B-sides. These are not found on either his original LPs or his CD compilations.

Goodman died in 1989 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His son, Jon Goodman, continues to promote and administer his father's works. In 1998, Jon supervised the issue of Greatest Fables, the first authorised CD collection of Dickie Goodman's recordings, which included Jon's own tribute, "Return Of The Flying Saucer". (This included sound bites from The X-Files and Hanson, among others.)

Goodman also is survived by his son Jed and daughter Janie.

Goodman is recognized by Billboard Magazine as the #1 Novelty Artist of All Time.

Click Here

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More KAAY Razorback Stuff

I believe the 60s and 70s represented the greatest era of Razorback football support. Much of that excitement was created by playing Texas. In bowl games or regular schedule, the Texas conflicts represented football at its best. It was possible for a state a fraction of the size of Texas to beat them at football. George J. Jennings represented the bragging attitude of Texas that we all loved to hate. George's true feelings were not that loyal to Texas, but he knew a good stick when he saw it. This poster printed and distributed by Union National Bank shows George going into the stew pot. When nowdays, have you seen a bank producing a poster that gave great status to a radio personality.