Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

Thanks for the link

Thanks for the link to this blog and the comments on KAAY.
Read the comments at:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

1st Rob Robbins KAAY

The first Rob Robbins on KAAY was Tom Campbell. Here is the bio as sent to the national rep firm, followed by an aircheck from Thanksgiving evening 11-22-62. On the player, be sure and select "KAAY 11-22-62". This aircheck is not your usual aircheck. This was recorded by Ron Henselman (you've read about him in previous posts) with a microphone in front of a radio, off the skyware, in the Chicago area. The original recording was on recycled acetate reel to reel tape. It was then transferred to digital with some problems. Ron has taken this recording and cleaned it up to a very listenable aircheck. If it were not for great listeners like Ron, this moment would be lost forever. The stations, nor most of the DJs failed to perserve much. Thanks Ron! Our responsibility to the future, is to keep moving what we have forward, utilizing the technology we have today.

Click here to get your own player.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Buddy Karr Bio

Click on the above to read. This is the bio sheet prepared by KAAY to be sent to the national rep firm. This is the first Buddy Karr, a/k/a Tom Bigby. An air check follows.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The 1st Buddy Karr

This is a 15 minute airchex of the first Buddy Karr.

The first Buddy Karr was Tom Bigby. Tom moved on to bigger stations and became a station owner. Notice when Buddy starts talking out of the record, there is a "KAAY one oh nine oh" jingle playing in the background. We had a cart machine stuck out of the way in a rack with just that jingle. A button was located under the desk, and the jock had to push that button when he turned on his mike comming out of a record.

Also notice the use of "K double A Y". This was standard parctice at the start, until we discovered listeners were not understanding what we were saying. So, Mike McCormick a/k/a Jim Hankins instituted a new way to say the call letters. We were to hit the first "A" much harder.(kAay) In fact, saying K double A Y could get you in as
much trouble ss segueing records.

Friday, January 19, 2007

KAAY 1-31-72

I've heard from someone who said "enough clippings give us some audio". Return with us now for 45 minutes of KAAY morning drive with Sonny Martin and George J. Jennings. Leisure suits were 2 for $100, they were promoting a cow chip throwing contest, and the breakfast serial.

This is a new player. You can even download the clip to an Ipod. Let me know what you think.

Click here to get your own player.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

KAAY Mow Off

Click on image to enlarge and read. This 1965 newspaper article is yellowing fast. Save it before its gone.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

KAAY Tops Newspaper Editoral Page

Click on the above image to read it.
Rarely do newspapers give radio much press. KAAY was different. We got lots of press. The above is from the top of the EDITORIAL page of the Arkansas Gazette, (the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi, now defunct). I still can't believe an editoral writer raved about something on radio.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The KAAY Album

In 1963 with the help of Chess Records we put out a 33 1/3 record. It's called "Silver Dollar Specials Vol 1" (never a vol 2) The elephant ties into "The Baby Elephant Walk" used for the call letter change over to KAAY.

Starting at the top left, Ken Knight (the first), Mike McCormick, (the First), Buddy Karr (the first) Sonny Martin (the first, left and came back under his real name Wayne Moss), Rob Robbins (This is really B. Bruce Jenkins a newsman. The first Rob Robbins had left and we were probably not sure who would have that name) Doc Holiday (The Second, that's me with a flat top. I was at the station twice, first as Doc Holiday then I came back as Emperor Holiday.

A closer look at the pictures on the back:

These are the songs on the album:

KAAY Response Map

This is part of a brochure that was printed for sales purposes and the national rep for KAAY, HR. The story behind this map, is that these were people who sent in money to buy a book about the Beatles. I forgot what the book sold for, but 14,437 mail responses was huge in those days. In fact, today the reason why you always hear contests with the 7th caller, is that no one writes any more. Even in those days, it was hard to get listeners to send mail or go to a sponsor to register.

(Click on the map for a larger view)

Friday, January 12, 2007

KAAY Bigger Than Life

Click on the images to enlarge. This is from an article that appeared in the Arkansas Democrat 4-7-85. This article filled about 3/4 of a newspaper page. The format was very wide which presented a challenge to reproduce here. Enjoy and save a copy.

KAAY In the Begining......

There was no date on this clipping. To view larger just click on the above image.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More on Stan's Record Shop heard on KAAY

From the internet:

Stan Lewis is the owner of the seminal blues/R&B/gospel/rock label Jewel-Paula-Ronn-Records. In 1948, Lewis opened a record store, Stan's Record Shop, on Texas Street in Shreveport, LA. A frequent customer was a young performer on "The Louisiana Hayride" radio program, Elvis Presley. Lewis became a one-stop operator (other record stores would buy from him) and distributor of independent record labels: Atlantic, Chess, Modern, Specialty, and Imperial. Lewis began a mail-order operation, advertising on John R's (and KAAY) nightly blues/R&B show on Nashville's WLAC-AM, whose powerful clear channel nighttime signal was heard in most parts of the country.

The record entrepreneur began to write and produce R&B and rock & roll acts. Fellow Louisianan Dale Hawkins' 1957 number 27 pop hit on Chess, "Susie Q," was written about Lewis' daughter Susan. In 1963, Lewis founded the Jewel label and soon after the Paula and Ronn imprints. The roster included Big Joe Turner, Inez Andrews, John Lee Hooker, Reverend Oris Mays, Clifton Chenier, Charles Brown, Lowrell Fulson, Ernest Franklin ("My Lord and I," "There's a Leak in This Old Building"), Ike & Tina Turner, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, Reverend C.L. Franklin, Memphis Slim, the Violinaires, Lightinin' Hopkins, Reverend Clay Evans, Bobby Rush, Reverend W. Leo Daniels, Roosevelt Sykes, and Toussaint McCall. Also in the Jewel catalog are recordings by Aretha Franklin, Fats Domino, Redd Foxx, and B.B. King. In the late '60s, Lewis bought the masters of Chicago blues label Cobra Records, owned by Eli Toscano, whose roster included Harold Burrage and "West Side" blues guitar stars Buddy Guy, Otis Rush ("I Can't Quit You Baby" -- written by Willie Dixon, number six R&B, fall 1956) and Magic Slim.

Paula act John Fred & His Playboy Band held the number one pop position for two weeks in January 1968 with the million-selling Beatles/"Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" parody "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)." The follow-up, "Hey Hey Bunny" went to number 57 pop in February 1968. Chicago group Magnum Force had a dance hit on Paula with "Cool Out," number 72 R&B in early 1985.

Lewis was still active in the music business in the '90s, working with Southern soul singers Carl Sims and Vickie Baker. A Jewel Records boxed set was issued by Capricorn Records in 1993. Tiring of the rigors of trying to run a competitive independent record label in a major-label dominated industry, Lewis decided to offer Jewel for sale while still retaining control of his music publishing companies and the Susie Q and Gospel Jubilee labels (Doug Kershaw, Ace Cannon). Several major labels and music companies expressed interest.

During the summer of 1999, purchased the master recording rights of the Jewel family of labels from Lewis. One of the few remaining pioneers of classic '40s, '50s, and '60s blues, R&B, and rock & roll, Stan Lewis plans to act as a consultant with a Redwood, CA-based Internet music merchant. ~ Ed Hogan, All Music Guide

Memories of Stan's Record Shop on KAAY

From an email:
I had been listening to KAAY since day one. My radio was a nine transistor three-band Realistic radio purchased from Radio Shack when they had only three stores.
The music on KAAY was superior from my point of view because they filtered out some of the stuff I didn't like. It was pretty much good, clean music. When I first
heard Stan's record shop advertising on KAAY, I decided it would be a great place to purchase some lost or worn-out oldies. Each time I ordered, I would have the
45's sent COD. I was never disappointed. My draft notice came in 1966, and I reported for induction. I was sent to Fort Campbell, KY where I was able to listen to KAAY at the end of my day of basic training. 1967 found me in Vietnam. There wasn't a lot to hear on AM radio there except AFVN. I had to try something different.
I bought a tube type three-band radio and strung-up a long wire antenna. I was going to get KAAY no matter what. It never happened. My parents mailed me some
of my 45 RPM records, but there were some oldies I wanted which I had never purchased in the first place. How was I ever going to buy them in Vietnam. I knew
Stan's wasn't going to deal with COD to a foreign country, so I wrote to my parents to call Stan's to figure out if there was a way I could by some records. I never did
figure out what actually happened, but a package with my requested records arrived less than two weeks later. My guess is Stan was sympathetic to me being in Vietnam and didn't wait for the money to arrive. There was always a special place in my heart for Stan's Record Shop after that. I always wondered what his shop actually looked like.
When I was released from the army in 1968, I made a trip to visit a friend in New Orleans. The driver of the car decided it would be fun to visit Stan's, so we stopped there on our return trip to Chicago. Wow! I was in awe. They had all of the current records setup on displays, but down below is where the oldies were kept. They
were in large drawers and arranged alphabetically. I spent more money than I intended that day. One of the most impresive things was a gold record displayed on
the wall. It was on Stan's own Montel label, and it was "I'm Leaving It Up to You" by Dale and Grace. My friend Ronnie Allen did an on-the-air interview with Dale and
Grace about three years ago. They said that they had no idea whatever happened to the gold record. How many of you have ever seen a real gold record up close?
Stan's labels were Montel and Paula. Does anybody know if he had any others?
A few years ago, I was talking on my amateur radio to a fellow named Ship in Shreveport, La. When I mentioned I had been to Stan's, he sadly informed me that
Stan's record shop was no more due to the poor economy of the area at that time. What a great loss to the recording world. Ship went on to tell me how he was
proud to call Stan his friend. I think I was envious.
Ron Henselman
Melrose Park, IL (suburban Chicago)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

James Brown

The recent death of James Brown sent Jerry Sims to his archives. He sent me the above scan of a telegram received March 25, 1966. Jerry was music director at the time. He didn't say if "Ain't That A Groove" ever made it to #1 on the Silver Dollar Sound Survey.

I am constantly amazed at what you readers have saved and share with me. This blog is only possible from your efforts and the boxes of stuff Pat Walsh gave me before his death.

Monday, January 08, 2007

KAAY Emperor Holiday Membership Card

Many thanks to Ron from Chicago for sending me his Commando membership card so I can include it in the blog. I have not had a copy or seen one for about 40 years. I had completely forgotten that our goal was to conquer Oklahoma. Another item of interest, that is not my signature. I remember at the time, using someone else to sign so it would be legible. Ron had questioned the number. Yes, we were using a numbering machine, but I have no clue what number we started with. As you can see Ron carried this for years, it is well worn. I have justly rewarded Ron with a few Emperor Holiday million bucks. Note Ron, these are original and not repoductions.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

KAAY Daytime Coverage

This is the daytime coverage map from the 60s. The .01 MV covered the entire state. The competitors' call letters should also bring back some memories for ex-staffers.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

More regarding Beaker Street

In earlier posts regarding Beaker Street, Greg had contributed some airchecks and asked if I would include his email address in the form of a link so that he could trade Beaker Street airchecks with others who were interested. The link did not work. I have corrected the link and relisted it here so email Greg and start trading:

click here

Mostly for KAAY Insiders

KAAY sponsored a race horse at Oaklawn park in Hot Springs, but that's not the story. The story here are the people in the picture. I do not have the date of this picture, because Ray Brown and his wife are in the picture, it is probably 1967.

From left to right with some explainations: Freddy Walloch and his wife, (we all did some of those two voice shouting commercials IF IT'S NOT FROM WALLOCH'S YOU PAID TOO MUCH!) Carolyn Graham, wife of Eddie Graham (Eddie was one of the original KTHS employees who stayed. He was a studio engineer, became production chief, and finally salesman. More on Eddie later.) Pat Walsh came to KAAY at the beginning as a salesman and became General Manager. Much about Pat in previous posts) Ray Brown A/K/A Doc Holiday. Ray became Doc Holiday when I went into sales. That would make him Doc Holiday III. Ray later went into Sales then became Sales Manager at KARK-TV and then owner of Bartercard. Ray has passed on and I certainly want to write more on Ray, who is fondly remembered by all of the Little Rock advertising community.) Bobbie Walsh, Pat's wife and Dot Brown, Ray's wife.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Day & Night on KAAY

Those of you who heard KAAY only at night missed much of what made KAAY great. During the day, the 50,000 watt giant covered most of Arkansas. We participated in every local event we could find. Many years we entered the Gould, AR Turtle Derby. There was the Gilette,AR Coon Supper, The Mount Nebo Chicken Fry, and on and on. The KAAY Komando Basketball team (see archives for more) played in Havana,AR and Morrilton, AR and on and on. We did countless remotes and fun events. KAAY made a movie, I believe was titled "The Eggplant that Ate Chicago and came to Little Rock". At night there were less commercials and more chances to experiment with music. Listener calls and requests were a big part of the programming. I can not describe the feeling you get when you throw the mike switch and know that you are booming out of car radios at a drive-in in New Orleans and on the push button of cars in Quincy, Il.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Big KAAY Twist Revised

Thanks to Ron in Chicago, "The Big KAAY Twist" has been cleaned up. It had a lot of pops and clicks, because it was taken from one of the 45 records that were given away. If you would like to download the new file, go to the April Archives and it is the first entry.

I am hoping someone out there has a recording of one of the hundreds of Emperor Holiday comedy bits. This was an on going comedy series used to promote joining Emperor Holiday's Kommandos. If you have it please email me. The series was produced by Mark Century and had a cast of characters like Col. Splended, Daphnie, Lt. Cavendish etc.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cow Chips Fly on KAAY!

The cow chip throwing contest is a story that must be told. I have chosen to tell it with a newspaper article from 1/20/98 as the writer "looks back" to April 1972. I have chosen to use this article because of the Pat Walsh photo. The contest came about from the Sonny Martin/George J. Jennings morning show. George was program director at the time and did much of the "ground" work. You may need to enlarge these reprints and print them out. If you need something with better quality let me know.

Belle Starr remembered on KAAY

From email:
I remember hearing a young lady on a couple of the early Rob Robbins shows. She was called Belle Starr. I loved her voice. Do you have any idea who I am talking about.

Her real name escaped me, so I ask Jim Pitcock a/k/a Ron Owens. Her real name is Sue Phelps and his last information was that she is living in Baton Rouge, LA. All of us at KAAY and the listeners alike, were in love with Bell Starre. I met her at Little Rock University and asked her if she would like to read requests and dedications at night on KAAY. She agreed and started when I was on at night. When I moved to the morning show she continued on the Robbins show. The name Bell Starre was used because of the Doc Holiday tie. Anyone have any pictures or tape?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Peacock's Pizzeria Remembered on KAAY

Ron from Chicago remembers:

Sometimes I would stay up late and listen to the Ronnie Owens All Night Satellite show. I remember he had some sort of feud going with the people at Peacock's Pizzeria in Peoria, IL. I used to get a laugh out of them trying to get on the air with obscenities over the telephone. One night I heard a female voice call in and actually get on the air; suddenly, it was replaced by a male voice uttering a four letter word and "This is Tony Peacock." Do you know anything about this?

Yes, here's the short version, perhaps I can get Jim Pitcock a/k/a Ron Owens to do the long story:

Tony Peacock from Peacock Pizzera booked Ron Owens and me for appearences in Quincy, Ill. He sold and traded things all over town. A car dealer supplied cars, and he got the top floor of the Lincoln-Douglas Hotel for us. They stopped the movie at a theater and we walked out on stage and said hello.
It was quite a trip.