Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Teasers......the Countdown Continues

I remember at KAAY we used to do a lot of teasers. Most of the contests or promotions were teased. Occasionally we had advertisers who wanted to run a teaser campaign.
That is illegal. An F.C.C. regulation requires that the sponsor of a paid commercial be identified by name. We had to watch concert advertising closely. Most promoters were only interested in selling tickets and could care less if they were identified. As time went by good promoters were anxious to have their name tagged on the spot.
Most ads were 29 seconds about the show and "another Beaver Production" was in the last seconds.

Since the contests and promos were not commercials teasers were allowed.

I don't hear many stations today doing teasers.

Is that enough YAAK?

Were You at KAAY when Ray Lincolm did Mornings?

A.J., I finally caught up with Bill Hickok (Bill Hagel) who was a deejay at KAAY for a short time in 1980...he gave me permission to share this with you for the KAAY blogspot:

"It was always my dream to work at KAAY. I used to listen at night up in northern Illinois and would dream of being on the flamethrower of the MidSouth. I quit my job in Rockford Illinois and went to work at my dad's bar while I looked for another radio job. I put an ad in one of the trades, and got a call from a former Rockford dj who was at KAAY as program director. He had heard me in Rockford and offered me the midday job. The day I got there, he was fired along with two other djs. I almost never got on the air. I remember Ray Lincoln was the morning guy at the time. Maybe you can refresh my memory as to who else was on the air back then. But finally, to answer your question, I did middays from 10am-2pm and I was only at KAAY for 8 months when I got a call to do mornings at FM100 in Memphis.

Bill Hickok
Mornings, KBMR Radio
Bismarck, ND"

Hope this helps fill a little more of the KAAY history book(s)! Happy New Year!

Creativity Comment

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "From John Gorman's Media Blog":

I agree...creativity is GONE in radio and therefor, we have "cookie-cutter radio" a term coined from the recent past due to mega-consolidation. I still search the AM broadcast band for "mom & pop" stations, hoping to hear some decent, lively, INTERESTING programming...and there's very little of that any more. There are two religious stations here in Mobile that have refused to sell out, WLVV and WMOB. Both broadcast national and local programming and are still programmed locally, with local Mobile flavor.

As for searching the FM band, it's almost all music...and, when traveling, I have only heard ONE FM talk radio station, other than a sports talk show here in Mobile on 105.5, WNSP. Not being a big sports follower, I don't tune there, but it's a lot of talk about national sports news, Mobile flavor. Other than that, with only local ad spots on radio stations, there's NOTHING interesting to tune to. I mean, how many ways can you hear a screaming car sales ad, etc.?

I'll just keep twiddling the dial...maybe some mom & pop out there will buy back the local radio station somewhere where it's not making enough cashola for the big boys and return to down-home local broadcasting. THAT will be more interesting to me, to hear what's going on several states away in a little community, rather than hear the same programming over and over again, coast-to-coast! Bud, Mobile, AL

XM/Sirius Comment

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What Happened to Sonic Salute on XM Radio?":

Good move, in my opinion, to cancel your subscription to XM! I never liked them, and liked them even less when they signed on Stern.

I'm noticing more & more when we tune to our Sirius channels on Dish Network, that now they call themselves "Sirius/XM". I've also noticed some changes in names and formats for the different channels. One of my favorites, "Jazz Cafe" is now "Watercolors", a name having NOTHING to do with jazz! One other of my favorites, the contemporary Christian channel, is now called, "Spirit", an innocuous name, at best, from what it used to be. There are other inane names given to other channels, as well.

I suppose both sides have to "tune up" their image, but I believe subscription radio has run it's course and will eventually die. I seriously dislike when someone "creates a need, then fills it", whether it's subscription radio, HD radio, HDTV, new drugs or whatever! There is no reason to be forced into something such as any of these. Bud, Mobile, AL

Countdown near

Tomorrow the greatest aircheck ever will be posted right here!
I say that because of the rarity of this aircheck. I even tried to get some of the participants to recreate a part of the event, but was never able to get that done.
This is the real thing and it was recorded off the sky-wave which makes it even better.

Get your hard drives ready. This will be one you will want to save and share.

Holidays usually mean a lower traffic count on the blog. I am counting on this aircheck to make it our biggest "hit" day in the history of this blog.

Invite all your radio friends to join us tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Countdown Contunues

Dear A.J.,

Ron Henselman claims KAAY warped his mind. I have known him almost all of my life. During the past week he has been saying he has a special surprise for the KAAY blog. He keeps saying, "What in a name? YAAK!." This is even strange for him. He keeps whistling "The Baby Elephant Walk."


Gary Wegner Another KAAY listener in Melrose Park, Illinois.

From John Gorman's Media Blog

Fifty-one years ago, Stan Freberg successfully sold radio’s cinematics to the ad community with an effectual audio promo.

By utilizing ingenious writing and sound effects, he drained Lake Michigan’s water and replaced it with hot chocolate and a mountain of whipped cream. Then six helicopters in formation dropped a giant maraschino cherry on that summit of whipped cream.

The closing line? Let's see them do that on television!

That spot was produced with a reel-to-reel, tape, a razor blade, and round pots. No multi-track, no digital read-out, no Pro Tools.

Why doesn’t radio do that today? Could it be because there’s no “creative” line-item? Who has the time to measure creativity’s role in generating revenue?

And that’s why creativity – radio’s most essential component - has gone from an asset to a liability in just one decade.

The only way radio can be saved is to entertain its listeners and sell its clients’ products to them. To do that it must restore the art of playing to one’s imagination. and, dare I say it, throw in some localism.

Monday, December 29, 2008


The button is almost set to be punched at TEN-NINE-OH Radio. I hope all of the blog readers will check back on January 1st. You won't be disappointed.


Ron Henselman W9FT Melrose Park, IL

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Instincts Comment

I read your comments about having the right instinct to play certain records. I found this out the hard way. We had an oldies station, WFYR, in Chicago who decided to have a live first anniversary show in 1974. It was in the evening. I was asked to schedule the music to be played. They told me to schedule a sequences of two fast and then one slow record because that way people would be more likely to dance. I guess my idea of fast songs isn't what the audience thought was good dancing music. The lesson I learned was not to use the records which were my own personal favorites. Very few people danced, and I felt it was my fault because I knew nothing about dancing. I was an amateur trying to do the job of a professional. It's not as easy as everyone believes. I wonder if any of our readers have ever had a similar experience? Jimmy Clanton and Fabian were the guests that night, and somehow I managed to forget to tell them I was responsible for the dancing part of the show being a flop.


Ron Henselman Melrose Park, IL W9FT
Dances are never as easy as they look. It takes more than just instinct. Then there are some groups who will not dance regardless of the music. If I were doing a one time only dance, I would try to learn as much as I could about the audience. In preparing for a wedding reception dance, weeks before the event, I ask the bride and groom all sorts of questions....their favorite music, etc. When I started the dance, someone came up and ask where the Cajun music was. NO ONE had mentioned the grooms side of the family was largely Cajun. Fortunately, wedding reception dances are short and pay well.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


(Double Click on photo to enlarge)
One of my friends found this 1930 KTHS QSL on the Internet. You might have it already, but I thought I would send it in case you didn't.


Thanks Ron. Anyone familiar with QSL cards will recognize this is a very elaborate card based on promoting Hot Springs.

If you have read any of the histories on this blog you know KAAY used to be KTHS in Hot Springs. The frequency was moved to Little Rock and the power increased to 50,000 watts.

This card is a very sanitized version of Hot Springs. For many years open gambling wad gangsters were the main reason for tourism in Hot Springs. The educational TV
service for Arkansas AETN had a great history of Hot Springs that covered the ins and outs of vice in Hot Springs. Check their website, it might be available on line.

Thanks again Ron this is a great piece.


I always felt I had an instinct for playing the right record at the right time. It seemed to be easier at night than during drive time. By playing the right record I mean the right tempo, the right mood of the song etc. Or course feedback from the telephone always helped. I think most good DJs had or developed this instinct. I don't know how the DJs doing voice tracking can even come close. They do try all kinds of tricks to make it seem live but it's not. When a significant news event happens or a drastic unexpected change in the weather all demand "live" DJ interaction.

This instinct became even more important during the disco age. The ability to get the audience dancing and keep them dancing and know when they needed a slow song break was key to a good club or portable D.J.

Friday, December 26, 2008

DXing, Shortware, and KAAY

Gazmik has left a new comment on your post "Comment":

"The thrill of hearing a signal from far away has never gone away. I wonder how many others have tuned across the AM radio dial at night to see what they might hear?"

It wasn't just the AM dial. I had a Hallicrafters receiver of my grandfathers (WA0MIZ) that I used to scan across the shortwave spectrum late at night. There was nothing quite like sitting there with nothing but the glow of the radio dials and the vacuum tubes and the warm sound of the tube amplifier. If there was anything that I wish that I had to remember my grandfather, it would be that Hallicrafters receiver.

He worked with groups such as Handiham and was constantly helping young people get into amateur radio. So that receiver went to somebody that needed it.

I didn't have the patience to get good at Morse Code, so I never went any farther than my novice license. I did get my First Class commercial license. But my interests turned to computers and data communications, so I even let that lapse.

But there are still the memories of those "adventurous" days of exploring the radio spectrum. Now with computers and the internet, communicating with people and listening to radio stations half way around the world doesn't seem to be such a big deal.
I don't remember any of the DJ staff being involved in ham radio. The engineering department was a different story. At most of the stations the engineers were from another planet. They hated rock and roll and what the stations were becoming. KAAY was different. Several of the engineers participated in our KAAY Komando Basketball team and seemed to be fully on board with that we were doing on the air. There was a crank telephone with a direct line to the transmitter. You could reach down and crank the phone and talk to the engineer on duty.

The comment on the internet diminishing "DXing" is very interesting. I have often wondered what KAAY would have been like, with computer production and the internet.
It could have been like the advent of FM. Ownership of KAAY was very slow to move into FM. This might have been because Pat Walsh was not pushing hard enough.

Today we see radio, tv and especially newspapers not very effective moving into the digital age. I have pointed out previously several radio personalities who have made the premium side of their website becoming very profitable. It flies in the face of the experts who claim people will not pay for internet sites. The secret is that the content must be of value to the consumer. Newspapers especially are so tied to their business model they can not see the future. Ad revenue is declining, major papers are for sale and the New York Times has already sold off their broadcast properties to try and keep the paper afloat.

The "Google Search" is the DXing of today. The boxes don't glow with vacuum tubes, but you can still buy some very expensive tube amplifiers if that's what melts your butter. AM top forty radio is gone, probably never to return. Today, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can have their own online radio station. Internet radio is a whole new animal with a few companies making stand alone internet radios.

The future is in the hands of those who will grasp current technology and figure out how to make a buck.


Dear A.J.,

It seems like it has been quiet around the blog lately, so I thought I would write a couple of lines. I hope everyone had a great holiday. Even though things haven't been going all that well for me, I realized just how lucky I am compared to many people out there.

Christmas time has always been a special time for me. Many of us think of this time of the year as mainly a religious event, yet others only think about what Santa Claus might bring them. High school was a time in my life which wasn't always pleasant. Christmas time seemed to bring out the best in everyone; even the nastiest teachers found some goodness in their hearts at Christmas time. I'm still thankful for that. I taught an electronics class at the local college this past semester, and I remembered to show my students that same kindness at the end of the semester. I wasn't very popular with the ladies, so high school was not the best time of my life. My popularity finally excelled when I was out of school. Too bad it took so long.

Many might remember those colored pocketed folders which could hold papers such as completed homework. Some of the guys in my class used stencils to write their girlfriend's names on the front of the folders. My folder had it's own little message: KAAY, 1090 KC. One of the guys in my homeroom noticed my folder. He said, "Your girlfriend Kay spells here name funny." I told him KAAY was a radio station. He looked at me, and he said, "What kind of a guy would be going steady with a radio station?" I simply stated, "Only somebody very weird." My comment seemed to shut him up. I decided if that was being weird, then I enjoyed being weird. It seemed logical that only a weird person would be making recordings of far away radio stations playing rock and roll. Now it seems strange how other people actually enjoy the recordings I made forty-six years ago. Some ladies have told me they find my weirdness my most interesting quality because it is actually entertaining. Maybe recording KAAY was the start of all of it. Thank you KAAY! The thrill of hearing a signal from far away has never gone away. I wonder how many others have tuned across the AM radio dial at night to see what they might hear? Some of the big signals from the past are gone, but there are still some interesting stations out there. This is the time of the year when one might hear some far away stations at night due to the lack of lightning crashes (static).

You recently asked what kind of Christmas music we heard throughout the years. Everyone has probably heard "Sleigh Ride" by the Ronettes. I was one of my favorites. One night I heard a station in Mexico playing a Spanish version of the song, and it sounded like it was the Ronettes. If I ever find the tape, I'll make an MP3 of the small amount I recorded.

Happy Holidays,

Ron Henselman W9FT Melrose Park, IL

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I've been looking for a Christmas Greeting for this blog

There is so much stuff out there.....all my friends are forwarding very good things. However, when I glanced at the photo above I thought it was just another stock photo. Then I read the story behind it and discovered that it is a lot more than a copied photo. Here is the story form my friend and accept it as my Christmas wish to all of the readers of this blog....MERRY CHRISTMAS - A.J.

It was around Christmas and I had just purchased my first digital camera, a Casio Model 10. I don't think it even had a zoom lens, but I wanted to try digital photography. Katy and I were birding along Tampa Bay in what was a new nature area converted from an old city dump and mud flats where Roseate Spoonbills were likely to congregate and feed at low tide. Walking back to the car, I noticed the palms silhouetted against the purple and orange sunset and snapped this picture, one handed as I recall. I didn't expect very much. I just wanted to see if anything would show up.

When I downloaded the picture into the computer and really saw the full 480 x 360 image for the first time, I noticed the star, shining brightly for all to see. The palms and the star reminded me of Bethlehem and the Christmas story. I opened up MacPaint, added the vertical and horizontal rays and the text at the bottom and made the image into my first home-grown electronic Christmas card. Every few years, I rediscover my Christmas folder in my computer's archive, electronically dust off the image and share it with others.

Like most people, my own faith has been shaped by many deeply personal experiences over many years. The meaning of the Christmas story, at least to me, can be shared with anyone - no matter what their country, religion or preferences. It is a simple message of inclusion and acceptance. What people of all faiths can share and my sincere wish for you and your family in this holiday season:
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men...


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Happened to Sonic Salute on XM Radio?

The only thing I specifically tune in for on XM is the sonic salute Friday afternoons. They do a great job of saluting a great top 40 station from all across the nation. They use the original jingles, often airchecks of the jocks. It's 4 hours of great memories of some of the great stations.

This past Friday the program was not there. It was listed on the website program schedule but not on the air. There was no mention on the air.

I emailed them and got an email message back that I should email the programming department. I really don't have time to be on the email merry-go-round.

I think I will simply cancel my subscription to a service that is obviously going down hill since the merger.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another Newscast Aircheck

I don't think this is worth posting because it sounds like it was recorded with a microphone. I removed as much hum as I could. You might want to listen to it for your own pleasure. It is probably from the summer of 1963.

Sorry, I could not get the blogger MP3 player to work. Click on the word PLAY below to hear this clip. It's short and edited. It is Rob Robbins doing news which means it probably ran in another jocks show. Whenever possible the jock on the air never did his own news with the exception of overnight. This was during the time when the 5 minute newscast was at :45 and headlines at :15. I'm sorry we could not hear the record at the end of the news. The hot clock instructions always called for the best, hottest, most uptempo song out of the news. Jocks could choose from the first two or three records in the bin.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

KAAY Kissing Countdown

Hello A.J.,

Ron Henselman claims KAAY warped his mind, but I'm not so sure. He often played the attached KAAY clip to me though. He called it the "Kissing Countdown."

Cora Friedberg Amateur Radio W9COR

Elmhurst, Illinois
The player for this clip is in the upper far right.
Thanks so much for this clip. I would like to put a date on it. Any ideas? Also, I am not sure which Rob Robbins this was. Help anyone?
My voice does appear on the into itself. My best guess is summer 63.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Chistmas!

I will be making a conscious effort to wish everyone

a Merry Christmas this year ...

My way of saying that I am celebrating

the birth Of Jesus Christ.

Christmas Music at KAAY

We always had a selection of Christmas songs that were added to the Hot Clock during the Christmas season. Some of the same basic standards are still around today. "Jingle Bell ROck", Rockin Around The Christmas Tree" "Rudolph" etc.

These songs have had amazing staying power. This is the first year, that I have not been treated to "Grandma Got Run over by a Raindeer" or the Barking Dogs and "Jingle Bells". Perhaps I am listening to the wrong stations.

For commercials we never used religious Christmas music for backgrounds.

Christmas was a great season at KAAY except for D.J.s and engineers that had to work Chirstmas day and evening.

What are your radio Christmas memories?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good News at KATV

Lancer has left a new comment on your post "Some Good News at KATV":

Found a photo online of the KATV tower progress at

It is about midway down the page, should be on the air by end of January for testing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Comment on "Dit dit dah"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Dit dit dah":

Well, A.J., Bencher made some really nice units, as well as Hi-Mound and Vibroplex (the latter is mfr'd. here in Mobile, AL!). Here are a couple of sites that may help in some early units:

And, I have to apologize: the term "iambic paddle" really isn't descriptive of the Morse code key, just the type paddle used on some automatic keyers. If you need more info, I'll be glad to forward more websites for classic keys! Bud, KC4HGH, somewhere near Mobile, A......................................................................

The one we had at KAAY was a Vibroplex.

Bobby Darin Remembered

From Johnnie Rabbits' blog:
Bobby Darin died on the operating table of a heart attack this week in 1973. Darin's health took a fatal turn, when his mechanical heart valve that had been implanted two years earlier clotted. (a known risk of prosthetic heart valves) He died on December 20, 1973, following surgery. While the operation was in itself successful, Darin's overall health was very poor and his body functions were shutting down. Darin's career took off with “Splish Splash” in 1958 and continued with many other strong hits into the early sixties. He had a minor comeback in 1966 with “If I Were a Carpenter” and then had a final hit in 1967 with, “Lovin’ You.”
Even though Bobby Darin gained fame with rock and roll hits, my favorite stuff was the big band arrangements on "Clementine", "Anne all covered with Ice" etc.

Here is a video from the Johnnie Carson Show. Notice the piano work:

Record Shops and KAAY

I have written several posts about Stan's Record Shop, 728 Tesas Street, Shreveport, LA. Do a search of this blog for some very interesting posts.

Ron had sent me an aircheck of XELO a 150,000 watt station in Mexico. Listen to the player in the upper far right. (There seemed to be no limit to wattage in Mexico) This check reminded me of another record shop we advertised for on KAAY. It was Floyd's Record Shop, Ville Platte, LA. We always spelled out V-I-L-L-E P-L-A-T-T-E Louisiana. Interestingly Floyd's Record Shop is still there and tour buses go out of their way to visit Floyd's. If you read through the history: you will find a reference to advertising on KAAY.

Global Warming

It's hard to buy global warming when it snows in New Orleans. Here in Alma AR today we are having an ice problem. Let's hope the power holds because only one local radio station has any kind of emergency power. Television has taken over as the source for emergency information.

The aircheck to the far right is from Ron Henselman W9FT Melrose Park, IL. It was recorded during the Christmas season. The PSA is from Dan Diamond a voice many of you will remember.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dit dit dah

A.J., the device is called an iambic paddle (or a semiautomatic key), versus a "straight key". I've also noticed that many of the newscasts archived here use the Morse Code character, "dit-dit-dit-dah", which is the letter "v". Wonder if that was intended, or did it just sound good?

For some more understanding on the letters versus "dit" and "dah" relationships, as well as more information about the above keys here's a nice website:

Have fun! Bud, KC4HGH, somewhere near Mobile, AL
Sorry that name doesn't ring a bell. Name some manufacturers. I can see it plain as day but I can't recall the brand name.


KOMA in Oklahoma was always one of my favorites. In the aircheck posted to the far right you'll hear production music and news style very similar to KAAY. The tones before the dateline and after are well known to hams. Most newsrooms used these "bugs" in their newscast. It is a device used by hams to send code faster. It is a vertical key that when pushed to the left (I think) generated a solid tone. When pushed to the right generated short dots that trailed off. These tones were generated live. THere were lots of adjustments on the bugs and of course weekenders would get them out of adjustment.

This aircheck comes from Ron and here is his comment about the check:

I know the attached clip isn't fit for airplay either for that reason, but I cleaned it up the best I could with Cool Edit Pro. I thought you might get a kick out of hearing the newscast.

The attached recording was made by me on November 7, 1962 in Melrose Park, IL from a transistor radio.

Ron Henselman Melrose Park, IL


This is the type question Pat Walsh could have answered in a second. I have asked this before, so let me repeat it. Someone out there has the answer.

RIchard Weithan a/k/a Buddy Karr started the first Toys for Tots marathon broadcast from Toy Hill. The question is who succeeded Richard, before Matt White a/k/a Sonny Martin took over and did it for years.

If you have the answer please email me at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

DRM.....Do You know about them you care?

Life was so much simpler in the days of top 40 KAAY. No internet, emails, digital technology. All the Ampex's had tubes. I think one of the newer models we got was solid state. The console was tube and had rotary knobs for the faders.

There wasn't much taping of music off the radio because the quality wasn't real good and the jocks talked over the music intro to the songs.

What is amazing to me is a record cost a buck. Today a download from Itunes cost a buck. The record did have a flip side which was usually filler. Occasionally, the DJs rebelled and like the flip side better and made it a hit. No flip sides on iTunes.

The record companies are so paranoid about digital music the dreaded DMR surfaced fully supported my Microsoft. (DMR-Digital Music Rights).

So what does the future hold? Here is a great article that is lengthy but does give us real insight into the future:

Friday, December 12, 2008

WHBQ Featured today on XM

I think they have moved the starting time to 4 PM central. WHBQ Memphis is the featured station today.

I wonder if they have ever done WMPS?

My Favorite KAAY Jingle

We had lots of jingle packages at KAAY. Pams, TM, and others. My favorite is a Sonovox jingle in the player to the far right. We did several edits to shorten it and even had an instrumental version. To me it needs to be the full length.

I knew the jingles were working, when you would drive the mobile unit down the street. Kids would see it and sing "KAAY Tune Ten Ninety" back at you.

Jingles were extremely important to stations and advertisers. They built images for both that live on to this day. Stations and advertisers are missing a great opportunity. Coke for years was so good at it that one of their advertising jingles became a top 40 hit. Then they started using current artists to do a jingle in their style. Today, if a station has jingles they are shotgun type that do nothing to build an image. Today's programmers are so orentated to seeing how many songs they can play in a row. They will never be able to beat the Ipod so why not get back to building an image for a station that is so good, listeners will devote some of their time to the station.
Here is the link for recording:

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Comment on Comment Killer":

Hello AJ and Bud and everyone else. I saw the discussion around the CD-R's and agree, that's why I still have my vinyl. For hitting the website, it's more of a routine check to look for Beaker Street clips. But I still like seeing the other info & discussion.

Bruce, Houston, TX

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Comment on Comment Killer

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Comment Killer":

Well, A.J. I'LL comment! It floored me to know that CD's are curruptable, but, then, anything can and will be!

I've found that some stuff I've downloaded to CD will not play on a CD player, but will play on the CD player of a computer.

I also have many cassette tapes that have been stored for a number of years...about 20 or so...and I can still pull one out, put it in a CLEAN machine & still enjoy the recording, BUT, if CD's are going to deteriorate before the CDs, then I may transfer my CDs over to cassette! Bud, Mobile, AL

Comment Killer

Wow. Yesterday's discussion of CDs was a real comment killer. No one seemed to have a comment and hits were down.

Today is one of those days I woke up without a direction for this blog. I often depend on comments for a direction. They give me an idea on where to go.

We have talked about Toys for Tots which started with Richard Weithan a/k/a Buddy Karr and I asked who did the next Toys For Tots after Richards tragic death. No one has answered so let me ask it again and ask that you leave a comment on the comment line below.

Approximately 50 people a day visit this blog and leave without leaving a comment. Today even if you have nothing to say, just click on the comments and say "hi".

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How Good Are CDs

Dear A.J.,

I feel I should caution everyone of the readers about homemade CD's. I read in AARP Magazine how the CD's and DVD's we burn on our computers only have a life of about five years. I did not believe this statement when I read it. I thought if one were to store this media at a constant temperature, he or she could count on it being in good shape for many years to come. I was very wrong.

I created a CD of all of the 45's of my favorite singer Janie Grant. I did this in 2002. I saved all of the WAV files on two of my hard drives, but I did not have them on my main computer which I am using right now. I decided to convert one of the CD's to MP3's to use on this computer. When I tried to rip the CD, I was shocked when the last six tracks showed corrupted data. The CD was bad. I supplied Janie Grant with many copies of the CD, so her family could play them over and over. I wonder how many of them are still useable.

You might remember how much effort you and I put into the Rob Robbins CD which was created by my friend Richard at WEEK-LP FM. It was corrupted, yet it had only been played once. My Janie Grant CD didn't have a scratch on it. The CD's deteriorate for reasons which are not all that obvious. I won't go into the reasons, but there isn't much we can do about it. I have many hours of shows of Dick Biondi on WCFL doing a show called "In the Beginning." The CD's were created by my friend Richard from my original tapes recorded in 1970. I am going to check those CD's because I have a feeling they might have deteriorated just like the Rob Robbins CD. I will report back to you. It is fortunate Richard still has my original tapes of those shows.

Once one gets a good CD made from one of his or her tapes, it might be wise to back it up on some sort of magnetic media; otherwise, the risk of loss is great.

I just wanted to bring this up because of your offer to create CD's from tapes. That is a very wonderful offer. I'd just like the readers to know they need to back the CD's up with other media if they expect to be able to listen to the material many years from now. On the other hand, many of my tapes are falling apart, so the CD's are the best option for now.

How many other readers have had their homemade CD's deteriorate?


Ron Henselman W9FT Melrose Park, IL
Thanks Ron for your comments and suggestions. I have been recording CDs for many years and have not experienced much loss. I think the problem may be more in the computer creating the CD and/or the computer reading it. Sometime I find a new computer has problems reading a CD created on an older computer. If I take the cd to a regular cd player it works fine. I always archive material in the CD audio format. There is a "redbook" standard, which often older computers did not comply with.

I find that failure is seldom in the media. Sometimes cleaning a perfectly clean looking CD or DVD works wonders.

Also try using different "readers". Sometimes Nero will open a file that Windows Media Player will not. I use Adobe Audition which used to be Cool Edit Pro. It works very well at reading and burning CDs. It will also extract audio from video files.

When you do have a failure try another computer or player. Then, if it still is not working try a free program called "Isobuster". In most cases it can retrieve material from damaged files. It also works well with DVDs. In fact, I use it more for DVDs because I have more problems with DVDs.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Thanks and I need more!

Many thanks to those of you who have contributed recordings to this blog. I look at this blog as a great way to preserve history that might otherwise disappear. I always encourage readers to record and save any of the material posted here. That way it has a better chance of surviving. If you have a recording on tape or cartridge and have no way of transferring it, please contact me and I will be happy to transfer it for you and provide you with a CD of the material. I can play any speed tape, and any format including broadcast cartridges. As you know this material is now rapidly deteriorating and needs to be transferred before it is lost.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My Least Favorite Production Elements

I have put together a collection of what I think are the worst production elements we ever had. The common thread is they all say "Kay Double A Y". Aside from that, I don't like a lot of the inflection and even some of the music elements.

These did not air long, when it was discovered the audience was hearing it as " K W A Y". That was disastrous to a new station.

Player is on the far right and should anyone want to save these the link is below:


Remember Pearl Harbor !

Saturday, December 06, 2008

More Cuban Missile Crisis

A.J., I'm not familiar with international regulations or U.S. law regarding the use of stations for propaganda, but I think it would have been an honor to broadcast on the side of freedom.

During WW II, our Ham radio frequencies were "requesitioned" for the usage for the war effort (and other reasons, I'm sure), but were returned for our usage after the war was over. Many Ham radio operators went into the services as radio operators and practiced their craft for the military.

I'd have to do some research as to if standard broadcast stations were restricted, as well, but I don't think they were. Needless to say, this would be an interesting walk down radio history! Bud, Mobile, AL
You are on the same channel as most of us at KAAY at the time.
There was not as much distrust of the government as there is today. Also, those of us in the middle of it, realized the Cuban Missile Crisis could have easily been the start of nuclear war.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Cuban Missile Crisis Promo":

One other comment, A.J.: some people in this country would see a commercial station lending it's outlet for such as KAAY did as "government control" and "a fascist take-over" of a station. I say, with something potentially harmful-looking that close to our border, it should be justifiable and patriotic.

With China and Cuba drilling for oil practically within sight of our Florida coast, and our own government NOT allowing us to do so, is outright ignoring of our rights and our OWN resources by our elected officials...something that WOULDN'T have happened 40 short years ago...and, I'm sure, this same government wouldn't want to "interfere" in other societies' or country's "broadcasting borders"...sheesh!

We have sent generator techs in several areas like Cuba, Haiti, etc., after hurricanes, etc. They are put in a limo van with no windows and ferried to and from jobs, never allowed to sight-see. It's no wonder people in those countries, et. al., want the truth and freedom!

I say, if a U.S. signal bleeds over the border, so be it! AM, FM or Shortwave (which, the latter is mostly the case), let the power flow. We get a LOT of interference from Cuba on 710 AM at night here in Mobile, as it is....Bud, Mobile, AL
Remember that VOA requested all the stations involved to "volenteer". KAAY asked to join in. When you read Richard's paper you begin to understand why stations might have felt intimidated. KAAY was apparently not on the original list because of the call letter change. It was Jim Hankins a/k/a Mike McCormick who contacted the government since station management and the LIN president were unavailable. Fred Gregg, LIN President, was not happy at all about the decision until he was invited to the White House for an award. (Read previous posts about Cuban Missile Crisis>


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Engineers hams?":

I would like to get in touch with some Hams who are engineers, from the "good old days" who appreciate tube equipment! Bud, KC4HGH at:

Bud, near Mobile, AL

Friday, December 05, 2008


I don't write much about sales. I should, because without it there would be no commercial radio. At KAAY we had anywhere from 2-4 salespeople, along with the General Manager and sometimes jocks would do some part time sales. The sales department was often at odds with programming, until many of the sales people started coming from the programming department. Then programming folk discovered sales were not easy. Here is an interesting blog with a great story for those of you who might still be in radio:

KAAY Song Intros

We always had a set of song intros. There were changed seasonally. Jim Hankins a/k/a
Mike McCormick who was the first program director, wrote and produced the "sound" for the station. This would include all the song intros, i.e. oldies, #1 song, Discovery,
etc. Then there were the contests, news intros, traffic, etc. Today I have selected two intros. Sorry I can't identify the voices. However, I believe I was at KAAY at this time because the announcers say kAay. With the emphasis on the first A. When KAAY first started most of the jocks and even some promos would say Kay double A Y. Mike realized people were hearing K W a y. Since in the South W is pronounced double yah.
To correct this, he insisted we all say and produce the k A a y. The player is to the far right and the link below for recording:


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cuban Missile Crisis Promo

I have written many times about the Cuban Missile Crisis. If you need to be updated just use the search box in the upper left, enter Cuban missile crisis and then click search this blog. I have added a promo from 1962 voiced by Wayne Moss. The promo was probably also used as an intro to throwing the switch to the VOA. Player in far right.
If you need a link to record it:


Comment on Felix McDonald

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Felix McDonald":

A.J., I'm pretty well convinced that guys like Felix are getting fewer and farther between... lotsa solid-state stuff going in and not much tube gear anymore, EXCEPT!... when Hams rescue the transmitters and resurrect them for Amateur radio usage! Check this link out:

This came from here: and the main page:

I have talked to Paul Courson, WA3VJB, before, on AM and he has extraordinary audio! And, such a gentleman on the air! He was quite accomodating to me, picking my peanut-whistle signal out from amongst the "big boys" and made me feel welcome (I can only run 40 watts from my Kenwood TS-140S). He, and others, try to rescue these fine old transmitters from the scrap heap and put them back into service. They may not be the newest, or the prettiest, BUT, with some TLC and P.M., retuning to the lower Ham band(s) and lowering their power to our lower, legal levels, these transmitters will last 'way past our lifetimes!

Many of these Hams were (and some still are) broadcast engineers that have a love and appreciation for older equipment and hate to see it scrapped.

Personally, when I get my Drake TR-4 on the air (and later, my Johnson Viking II), I'll have a little more power for "ancient-mode" operating...maybe one day, I'll be fortunate enough to grab one of the big 'uns and build a shack for it (and me?). AM still rules! Bud, Mobile, AL


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Budweiser Jingles":

I have the 45RPM record that has the vocal on one side, and the instrumental on the flip side, of the long Budweiser Malt Liquor jingle. Happy to send the mp3

Please, I would really like to have it.


Engineers hams?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Were DJs Hams?":

Loads of us had Ham Licenses as well as First Class FCC Licenses back in they day.

Comment of Very Important Aircheck

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Very Important Aircheck":

And, VERY cool music, too, as I noted in another entry! By the way, A.J., mentioning The Mod Squad also reminded me of another cool music track: that of Police Squad, with Leslie Neilson! Here's a YouTube link:

This a Police Squad intro...and, even though this isn't radio-related, I believe it's one of the funniest shows ever aired! Bud, Mobile, AL
vdog has left a new comment on your post "Finally Found It":

A tradition that started on KAAY is still going strong today. It is the Toys for Tots campaign at toy hill in War Memorial Park. It will be Dec. 5th-7th. Bob Robbins has kept this drive alive after all these years. It was originally done by Sonny Martin (Matt White). Bob must have taken it over when he was still at KAAY.
Actually, I think it goes back before Matt was at KAAY. Richard Weithan a/k/a Buddy Karr started it. I am not sure who did it between Richard and Matt. Can someone fill in the gap?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Production Music

A.J. no longer do you hear the spectacular music on radio, as heard here on this (and other past) promos. Seems like all you hear is the latest (c)rap artist(?) offering or such other cruddy "popular" fare as a music bed. Maybe I'm gettin' old, but maybe, just MAYBE, I prefer quality music, like found on this promo!

I certainly hope more of these are found; if THIS was played on modern radio, maybe I'd listen to more MUSIC stations! Bud, Mobile, AL
Glad you noticed. The production policy at KAAY was NOT to use background music of the same type we played. NO ROCK & ROLL. The only exception is for a record shop or a performance that required rock and roll. Even the drag strip spots used a stylized, looped background. We had a library of big band, jazz, movie soundtracks, etc. That's where the music you heard on this promo came from. Also, several cuts from different albums might be used. The Tom Perryman IDs used this type music. It was usually a secret known only to the person who produced the spot and you rarely shared it with others. You showed off your production talent by finding just the right music. The end of the spot or promo was always an obvious stinger to indicate the end. Every spot or production element had a great stinger.

Dick Biondi & More

Dear A.J.,

Once you asked me why I listened to KAAY and not WLS. I told you I liked Dick Biondi, but KAAY played some different music. KAAY seemed more personal to me; I liked the sound of the announcers better than the stuff on WLS. Dick Biondi is still here,and each year he collects toys and money for Christmas gifts for poor kids. If you look at the attached photo, you will see what Dick Biondi looks like now. Dick is on the left. Ronnie Rice, who is the lead singer of the New Colony Six, is in the middle and my friend Mike (Waldo) is on the right. I like going to Dick Biondi live broadcasts because I win all of his trivia contests. Dick Biondi was nice enough to write to me when I was in Vietnam. KAAY was just plain fun and that's how I'll always remember it.

When Clark Weber was doing the Emperor Weber routine, his friend Ron Riley had his own group on WLS. Ron's counter-part to the commandos was called Rebel Ron's Raiders. I don't think he ever offered membership cards. Clark Weber, Ron Riley and Art Roberts were all ham operators working at WLS as announcers during the emperor era.

Very Important Aircheck

(The player for this post is on the very top of the stack of players at the top of the page)

This may be my most valuable aircheck. Actually, it's just a promo. It's a promo that has a short clip of the voice of each of the original jocks that started KAAY.
The first Doc Holiday, the first Mike McCormick and so on. This is long for a promo 1:49. I am so thankful that it was done. To my knowledge, this type promo was never done again. In a year many of these voices were gone and replaced with another Doc Holiday etc. The guys moved on the bigger stations. The promo is a take off on a TV show "THe Mod Squad". Sonny Martin The voice on this promo was probably John K. Anderson a/k/a Jack Grady. If anyone can confirm that please let me know. Listen closely to each voice. They are short clips that at least give you an idea of each voice. The player is on the far right and please save this on your computer with this:


Monday, December 01, 2008

I Need Your Help!

Much like the post below, this is a Thanksgiving promo produced about the same time. I need your help identifying the first voice. The second voice you hear is George J. Jennings. My best guess is John K. Anderson a/k/a Jack Grady. The player is on top on the right. For saving the link is below:


Finally Found It

I have been looking for this since the starting of the Thanksgiving season. On your far right is a player with what Mike McCormick a/k/a Jim Hankins called a "seasonal". It was a production element to set the stage for the season. Note this one runs 1 minute and 20 seconds. Jim wrote this and it aired as KAAY had been on the air barely 3 months. The voices are newsmen B.Bruce Jenkins and George J. Jennings.

Here is the link if you want to save it to your computer:


WCFL Music Charts

I am always interested in music charts. They tell so much more about the station than just the music they played. For example, look at these charts and you will see pictures of many of the great music jocks as they moved back and forth between WLS and WCFL.


Hi AJ –

A little more “backroom” stuff – you mentioned WCFL as being one of your favorites.

In the ‘70’s, KAAY used a consulting engineer to help develop the sound of the station and work specifically on the audio processing of KAAY and its new sister station, KLPQ. We hired Jim Loupas, former chief engineer of WCFL to come to Little Rock and work us on various aspects of the sound of KAAY and KLPQ. During this time, I became friends with Jim, which continued through my ITC days.

When Jim first came to KAAY, I have to admit being a bit nervous about what he would say about how the station sounded. It turned out that he was highly complimentary and he helped us get some of the things we had wanted; specialized audio processing equipment and better microphones, for example. Jim was already familiar with KAAY’s big RCA 50kW transmitter (WCFL used the same model), and most of the studio equipment we were using was already on his “A” list. We spent hours talking about how he did things in Chicago, which was a first rate learning experience for me.

Jim could talk ratings with the PD, he could talk sales with the Sales Manager, operations with the GM, and he could also talk technical with us engineers. He knew it all, and he moved easily between all the major disciplines within the station’s hierarchy.

Jim Loupas’s website is and you can read about his principles of loudness versus ease of listening.


Dave M//
Very interesting. I never knew of this. How did he get along with Pat Walsh?
I never heard Pat mention this.

Bill Drake Passes

Bill Drake, who set the tone at hundreds of pop stations with a radio format that placed music — rather than disc jockeys — at the center of the broadcast, has died. He was 71.

Drake died Saturday of cancer at West Hills Hospital in the San Fernando Valley, his domestic partner Carole Scott said. He was 71.

At the height of his career as a radio programming consultant in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Drake championed a streamlined format that came to be known as "Boss Radio," which made announcers' personalities secondary to the Top 40 hits they were spinning.

Under Drake's guidance, radio stations such as KGB in San Diego, KHJ in Los Angeles and KFRC in San Francisco shot to the No. 1 slots in their markets by promising more music and less chatter.

Drake, whose given name was Philip Yarbrough, was born Jan. 14, 1937, in southwest Georgia and began his professional radio career as a disk jockey and later program director at WAKE in Atlanta.

His name was changed to Drake because the station wanted a name that rhymed with the call letters, according to a biography on Drake's Web site.
Obviously, KAAY was never a Drake station or even tried to imitate the very successful format.

Mike McCormick a/k/a Jim Hankins started the biggest lie KAAY ever told..."we play much more music" . Actually he had the turntables speeded up slightly but that did more to make the other stations sound slow. We never ever played more music. We had more promos, contests, commercials, intros, etc than anyone else in the market.

We finally gave up on saying we played more music, when a rating came back with us as number one while playing more than 18 commercial minutes per hour. Add to that the religious block, the farm block and the news, it's a wonder we had any music listeners at all.

Felix McDonald

Long time Chief Engineer for KAAY. He goes back to KTHS. If my count is correct, he worked for 5 or 6 owners of KAAY.

Much has been written on this blog about Felix.

Here is just one great comment about Felix: for sale

The domain is for sale.
This rare 4 letter ".com" is now available! $7100 OBO plus escrow**.

WCFL Comment

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "My Favorite Radio Station WCFL":

Hi AJ -

WCFL canned Draper in 1972 and brought in John Rook as a consultant - that's how 'CFL was able to coax Lujack away from WLS.

It was during this stretch that 'CFL beat WLS in the ratings (the one-and-only time). I believe Rook was gone by 1975, and by March 1976, WCFL was playing beautiful music - with old Uncle Lar' reading liners 4X per hour!

Yes, WCFL was a GREAT station that will live forever in our airchecks!!
Thanks for the time line. Being out of radio, and into TV sales, I was just a listener. So of the difficulty of CFL reaching its potential may have to do with the ownership, which at the time I believe was the Chicage Federation of Labor.

Translation of Post Below

Gazmik has left a new comment on your post "Translation Please":

Using the "translate" on the Google toolbar:

"On the day he heard the dobliu. Upon arriving at seven or eight o'clock in the evening the signal was lost until you could not hear more. It was then that sintoniz√°bamos the keyeyeiguay.

"At the end of 66 a guy named Clyde Clifford said it was very rare that a program was beginning to midnight: Beaker Street. Unlike other DJs, spoke very slowly with a background of music and spatial sounds unusual, put to music that you could not hear at any other station. Underground. Many of those rare songs later found their place in what is now considered Classic Rock. The program lasted until 77 but already to end the FM Clifford had taken almost all the listeners into the stereo. KAAY became a religious music station.

"Even today can be heard on the Internet Beaker street and there's a blog on the KAAY that has an interesting history of the involvement of the station at the VOA broadcasts to Cuba. Clifford also has his blog, though not much talk about music."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Favorite Radio Station WCFL

Every DJ has his favorite radio station other than his own. Mine was WCFL. It really didn't become my favorite until after I left KAAY. I became familiar with a jingle package done by Chuck Blore for WCFL. I was so impressed. When I moved to Decatur, Il to the TV station Lin Broadcasting had purchased WAND,I could hear WCFL during the day. This was the time period when Dick Orkin was at CFL and Chickenman was produced. Their production was the greatest in the country. The DJs were also super. Larry Lujack went back and forth between WLS and WCFL. I believe Ken Draper was the PD responsible for the sound. Here in the player on the far right is an aircheck shortly after Thanksgiving in the 70s. If someone can nail the year I would appreciate it. Also, here is the link for anyone wanting to save it to your computer:


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Translation Please

I am always interested in the reach of this blog. My counter reports over 52 countries and 17 different languages.

Does anyone know how to translate a blogger page into English?

Here is a link to a blog that mentions Beaker Street and links to this blog but I have no idea what it is saying.

Incidentally this blog was about 15 down the list of referring sites to this blog.

KAAY 1968 Aircheck

This aircheck starts with Marvin Vines closing out his farm block that ran 6-6:30 AM.
Then you will hear a Tom Perryman ID, more upbeat that usual. Sonny Martin a/k/a Matt White intros George J. Jennings with the news of Senator Robert F. Kennedy being shot.
This aircheck runs about 13 minutes. Player to the extreme right.

It has been pointed out to me the new player system I am using makes it difficult to save the airchecks. With the podomatic stuff it is very obvious. To assist you in saving the airchecks in the future, I will put a link in the text here and all you have to do is right click on the link and select "save link as" to save to your computer. Here is the link:


KAAY Chirstmas Jingles

To put you in the Christmas spirit here are the KAAY Christmas Jingles:

KTHS Remembered

Dear A. J.,

I told you I was a longtime listener to 1090 KC., but I never told you how it all started. I talked my parents into buying me a little tube type portable radio. It was 1957, and I was ten years old. One night I was up late, and I heard KTHS. This seemed quite amazing to me, so I decided to leave the radio dial tuned to 1090 KC. The next day I brought the radio down by Gary Wegner (KAAY "Dixie" signoff) to show him how my radio would pick-up a station as far away as Little Rock, Arkansas. When I turned the radio on for Gary to behold my discovery, there was nothing but a little bit of hissing noise coming out of the speaker. We were both disappointed. That night my father explained about the ionosphere and skywave only occurring around the hours of darkness on the AM radio band. It is sad to realize the 1090 KHz signal from Little Rock is barely heard here anymore.

My next contribution will be the "KAAY Kissing Tone" recording from 1962.


Ron Henselman

Friday, November 28, 2008

The First KTHS/KTHV Building

I graduated high school from Mabelvale Hi just outside of Little Rock. When Central Hi in Little Rock was closed many students joined us at Mabelvale. I got an email from Raymond Merritt who also graduated from Mabelvale and has done some great work on a website with more than just Mabelvale Hi. It has a lot of memories of the 50s and 60s and the photo above was on his site. The significance of this photo is the KTHS sign.(double click on the image for a better view.) This was the building where KTHS/KTHV was located on Main St. before the building on Izard was built. At first just KTHS was located there but as the TV license was granted, a very crowded radio studio also hosted KTHV. Raymond's sight is great even if you have no interest in Mabelvale or Little Rock. There are some great memory items there. Here is the site link:

Below is the text from the site that goes with the picture:

Main Street looking north from about a half block south of Fourth Street in 1956. The single traffic light is a part of the new "Denver Lights" which allowed pedestrians to walk directly from any corner to any other corner. Note the absence of overhead transit power lines that were present in 1950. By 1956 the transition was complete and all busses were diesel-powered.

Some of the businesses I can make out with a magnified version of this picture are:

From south to north, west side of the street (left side, going away)

Woolworth, 400 Main
Blass, 4th and Main
Green's Furs, 304 Main
New Theater, 112 Main (in the distance)
Hotel Grady Manning (The two-tone white-topped red-brick building at Markham and Main)

From south to north, east side of the street (right side, going away)

The edge of the Center Theater marquee, 407 Main
Worthen Bank and Trust, 401 Main
Economy Drugs, 4th and Main
Livingston's Family Credit Apparel Store, 317 Main
KTHS, 313 Main

Ann Pressly Alleged Killer Caught

I have not posted this story, because it seems to have gotten national play. In case you have Little Rock ties and have not heard this story, here is a link:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Perryman Comment

A.J. I love all the air checks and bits of audio from KAAY. The jingles thrill me. But the Perryman clip is the biggest thrill of all. Whatever Pat did to keep him involved (and I think I got one of those broken shoe polishers too) was a real stroke. That voice was KAAY.

Jerry Sims
I couldn't have said it better. In the succession of program directors the only thing they all agreed on, was to keep Tom Perryman doing the station IDs and image builders.
Pat certainly contributed to keeping him happy because just like the programming side, Pat recognized the voice and the talent there. The scripts were always written and produced by the program director or Eddie Graham. However, they were certainly influenced by previous work. The credit for starting Tom doing the voicers was Jim Hankins a/k/a (the first) Mike McCormick. I will try someday to go through the airchecks I have and just pull out the Perryman IDs. That would make a great reel.

Thanks Alert Reader

Thanks to the alert reader who pointed out the Tom Perryman and the Tom Roberts airchecks in the players on the right were the same thing.

When I added the Perryman cut I named the file "Tom" which was the same name I had given the Roberts cut. duhhhhhh.....

Did you ever mislabel a cart and something bad got on the air?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


nonymous has left a new comment on your post "More Ham":

Here is a reply from my buddy Doug, W5DUG, on being a deejay and Ham:

"Hi Bud,
I didn't have my ticket the first time I went on the air at a local radio station, but when in El Paso, I did."

Bud, KC4HGH, Mobile, AL

More on Tom Perryman Station IDs

On the far right top player is a short aircheck of one of the earliest Tom Perryman voice tracks doing a KAAY station ID. Following the ID is discussion from a Timeless Tracks program that Tony Warnier did on the 40th anaversary of KAAY. Also heard on the cut is Pat Walsh (former manager who almost never talked on the air until this pgm)and myself.

Here is a link so that you can record this on your computer:


Right on Target

I think I have linked to this guy before. Here is a long piece but it nails today's radio. It also relates elements of success of early rock and roll radio.

More Ham

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Were DJs Hams?":

A.J., one of my fellow Hams, W5DUG, Doug Robbins, was a radio personality over in Memphis TN. Here he is:

I forgot to ask him, but I think he got his callsign after he got out of the biz. I'll check with him later

Monday, November 24, 2008

Comment on post below about a bicycle radio

I have seen "bicycle mobile" regarding Ham radio, but this is a first for listening to AM/FM radio! It shows someone was thinking, and really loved their music.hobby!

Comment on were DJs Hams?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Were DJs Hams?":

Hello, Ron, from Bud, KC4HGH! Couldn't see your e-mail on QRZ, so could you contact me directly, please?

Thanks! Bud, Mobile, AL

Vatican ‘forgives’ John Lennon

LONDON: The Vatican has forgiven late English singer John Lennon for saying four decades ago that the Beatles were “more popular” than Jesus Christ. Mr. Lennon told a British newspaper in 1966 that he didn’t know “which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity” — a remark that led to public burnings of the Beatles’ records in the United States Bible Belt.

But the Vatican’s official newspaper the ‘L’Osservatore Romano’ said that Mr. Lennon had just been showing off.

“The talent of Mr.Lennon and the other Beatles gave us some of the best pages in modern pop music. After so many years it sounds merely like the boasting of an English working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success,” the newspaper said. — PTI

Flute jazz version of "Where there's life" jingle. Obviously before pop tops.

Close your Eyes...It was a great Radio Jingle

I really loved Top-40 radio in the early 70's and couldn't go anywhere without it. I installed a 1962 Ford car radio on my old Schwinn in high school. It was with this "radio bike" that I would occasionally ride to Grand View Drive (a drive overlooking the Illinois River valley) at night and listen to "Beaker Street" on KAAY.
This is from The Larry Ware Collection on Reel Radio. Reel Radio is worth subscribing too. There are lots of great airchecks. Unfortunately there are only of couple of KAAY that have been widely distributed. Thanks Bud for the tip on this.

Comment on Carlin

That was COOL! I listened to George Carlin until he got really nasty or got to be a really mean comic, after all his heart attacks, but this was FUNNY! Thanks, Doc! Bud, Mobile, AL
This comment pertains to the George Carlin post below. I totally agree. I don't understand why comics think they have to cuss or be dirty to be funny.

Were DJs Hams?

This is Ron Henselman from Melrose Park, IL. I think I was the first contributor to
mention I have a ham radio license. My call sign is W9FT, and I don't have 50, 000 Watts.
I did get a first class FCC license with a ship radar endorsement. Yes KAAY warped my mind,
and I still work in radio related fields.

I expect to be contributing a few more early KAAY skywave recordings and maybe even a recording
of KTHS 1090 Kilocycles. I was a strange fifteen year old kid who swiped his older sister's tape recorder
for devious purposes such as recording KAAY. I never dreamed anyone would like to hear what I recorded
forty-six years later. Let's hope my old acetate tapes hold together long enough to digitize them for the
KAAY blog.

Who said DJ's are not hams? I think Emperor Weber, W9FFB, is still a ham here in the Chicago area.


Ron W9FT

Time Killer for those of you at work

Here's an almost 10 minute time killer for those of you at work:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

George Carlin

George Carlin did a great satire on top 40 radio. It's worth listening to again.

Here is the link:

Where Were You?

Everyone remembers where they were when they heard JFK had been shot. I would really like to have lots of comments of where you were. So please leave one.

I think I have said before, I was working for KAAY and going to college. I was in the car headed for school when I heard the news and made a u-turn back to the station. George J. Jennings was on his way to Dallas for vacation. (He was originally from Dallas) He drove even faster and immediately started calling in reports. We had no network at the time, so we originated everything. At first it was Associated Press reports but then as George started feeding reports, and we were able to get voicers from other stations the coverage grew rapidly. I don't remember when we decided rock and roll was not appropriate at the time, but at some point we suspended top 40. Jim Pitcock put together a great hour long special with voice tracks from everyone at the station, actualities, and some of the best production music I have ever heard. Jim and I lament that the master recording has been lost and no copy has ever surfaced. I remember we needed a short clip of "Taps" to play under some narration. We couldn't find it anywhere and a fraternity friend Bob Sealy put his fingers in his mouth close to the mike and made us a recording of taps.

So, where were you? Leave a comment.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Is XM changing?

I notice on the 60s channel they are not running the XM jingles. They seem to be editing the jingles to not refer to XM. I also notice some new production elements that sound like they were done by some just out of FM radio production school.

This warning to current management. As an XM subscriber who liked the old XM, I will be looking for a reason to cancel. With all the download music services on the internet I don't need another juke box. I liked the DJs, the production elements, the jingles, the very large play list. The minute I detect XM-Sirius is using music research to shorten the playlist, reduce the talk or other efforts to make it just another FM channel, count me out of there.

Thanks for the Hits

Yesterday was close to an all time high in number of "hits" to this blog. Which is strange, Fridays are usually down and the weekends are off considerably.

Thanks to all of you for reading. That's what keeps me going.

Thanks too for the contributors that help me with new old material.

After all Thanksgiving is coming up and we all have so much to be thankful for.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Interesting Beaker Street Clip

It's short but very significant. It has a Spanish ID. Then the Multi Media ownership...then introing Tom Roberts as host of Beaker Street. Here it on the player on the extreme right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This comment applies to the first "Cart Machine" post...scroll way down

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Cart Machines":

Ahh, these bring back memories for me. The cart machine is an ITC "Delta III", which was introduced during my years in Bloomington (and post-KAAY). The audio console is very similar to the ones I installed in the new KAAY building on Cottondale Lane when we built the new building.
Thanks for the memories!! /DM/

(Thie cart machine immediately below is a Spotmaster. In no way to be confused with and ITC. -AJ)

Monday, November 17, 2008

More on Cart Machines

Above is Jerry Sims a/k/a Sonny Martin, now holding a KAAY Spotmaster. Jerry tells me Felix McDonald, long time KAAY Chief Engineer, gave him this relic found at the transmitter. You will notice the Emperor Holiday sticker with the word maneauvers spelled wrong. Several of us approved the art work and the silk screener never corrected the spelling. When a listener pointed it out we simply said it was done on purpose as all the Emperor material it was a farce and/or satire.

This cart machine was probably used at the transmitter for Beaker Street. There was a studio setup in a bomb shelter that was almost never used. Beaker Street originated upstairs so Clyde/Dale could keep an eye on the transmitter.

Thanks Jerry for the photo and his wife Leslie for taking it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Budweiser Jingles

As you know I am a big jingle fan. Over the years, especially the 60s and 70s Budweiser had some of the best. Does anyone have any? I have a couple but not the really good ones.

In case you missed this a while ago, with Veteran's Day this week I thought this might be appropriate:

Correction on Date

The aircheck on top to the right is April 3 not 13 as was previously posted.

Mystery Solved Thanks Bruce M.

A.J. I heard from Bruce M. and he provided a link that solves the mystery of the intro music to Beaker Street that I've/we've been looking for! It's the MOOG version of "House of The Rising Sun" and can be found here:

When you get to the link's website, you can click on the "House of The Rising Sun" and hear the entire version! It, and the other selections, are downloadable as well.

Please give Bruce M. all the credit for finding this...all I'm doing is passing on the information!

Bud Stacey, Mobile, AL

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

This presentation is several years old. I have seen it and used it in classes dozens of times but on this Veteran's Day it will still bring a tear:

Another Beaker Street Aircheck

Sometime back Bud sent me a Clyde Clifford aircheck for April 13, 1971. It was in two parts and I only posted part one. So, over on the right is a new player with Part 2.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Future of Radio

WKRP Episodes Streamed on the Web

I hope you have been enjoying WKRP on WGN (cable)Sunday nights. Now I have found episodes streamed on the web. (for all of you who need something to watch at work)
Here is the link:

What has your ad agency done for you recently?

Cart Machines

In the past, I have written about cart machines. If you have not been in radio you may not have ever encountered "the cart machine". These are now obsolete, but I will bet, somewhere in America there is a station still using cart machines. If you know of one let me know. For those of you who are in the dark here is a video of a cart machine in action. On thing, the board being used has slider faders. In my day the knobs on the board were round, mechanical, and a source of problems.

And here is a "old style" board:

Great Jingle Montage, logos and some Surveys

Bay of Pigs (no not a reference to Sat's Game

In the past I have written and posted part of RIchard Robertson's disertation on the use of 50,000 watt radio stations to broadcast to Cuba during the bay of pigs incident. I have even had response from Cuba about that subject. At KAAY we often received response from Cuba. Even though we were in English, there was a clamor for rock and roll. I would again like to hear from anyone in Cuba if they listened or listen now to KAAY.

Meanwhile, here is the conclusion of one of Richard's papers:
The use of private commercial radio stations during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was unprecedented in the history of the United States. President Kennedy relied heavily on his propaganda agency, the USIA, and its broadcast propaganda arm, the Voice of America. The effort to prepare and secure the radio stations for broadcasting to the island of Cuba went quite smoothly and was accomplished in a short period of time.
The ten radio stations did get some publicity from their effort in cooperating with the government, but received no money from the government for the air time. Newspapers carried both locally written and stories from the Associated Press in New York, Little Rock, and Kansas City. However, in interviews with individuals during the research process, few people remembered this aspect of the crisis. This included officials at the FCC, VOA, USIA, and others. Most of the publicity was not that great in comparison to other angles used in news coverages. It is possible that the use of the commercial broadcast radio stations may have been "lost" in the shuffle, especially since the major news interest was what Soviet Russia was going to do in regard to the missiles in Cuba.
There was no way at that time to determine what kind of penetration or impact the broadcasts had during the crisis. Signal strength tests revealed that the stations covered the island of Cuba, but no type of audience poll or survey could be conducted. While KAAY in Little Rock did receive letters, which showed that some people were listening, how many is not known. The impact of the VOA transmissions on the Cuban people is an unknown as well. If the Cubans heard the broadcasts, did they (the broadcasts) effectively sway their opinion? It was suggested that Castro practiced "jamming" the signals, so that the effectiveness would be reduced, but there is no data to support this.
At no point in the research was the question of CIA involvement answered. Radio station officials, as well as FCC and USIA officials denied it. A cooperating radio station employee stated that an FCC field inspector told him that the FBI watched the transmitter locations at the ten radio stations around the country for possible sabotage, but there was nothing to substantiate this statement. An official at the USIA said that the CIA had made "such a mess" of the Bay of Pigs a year earlier, that he felt the CIA was told to "lay low" and not participate.
According to the USIA, the Cuban Missile Crisis was indeed the first time in U.S. history that private radio stations were utilized to carry propaganda programs for political ends directly to foreign countries. In this author's opinion it has not happened again. No evidence could be found to support any further usage by the USIA. It would now be difficult to achieve in today's fragmented media environment, taking into account the media and political environments of the present day. CNN and the "global village" concept, along with computer interlinks, may make this type of activity more difficult (Wilson; Robinson, 1997).
The event does raise ethical questions as to whether or not the government should have handled the broadcasts in this manner. In 1962 radio stations were licensed for a period of three years, and while the station owners willingly gave up blocks of air time for this government effort, they surely had the question of applying for renewal of their license on their minds. This may have played a significant part in their decision to offer their stations for use by the government.
Further research might investigate whether any USIA programs or materials were used after the Cuban missile crisis; does the USIA have any links to radiio and television stations in the United States on any level?; what, if any is the current relationship between the USIA and U.S. broadcast stations?; are there new methods of disseminating propaganda in the current technological environments, and are current propaganda transmissions to foreign countries effective?

Beaker Background Music

John Shultz said...

I listened to the attached aircheck, and it's a different date than the one I was referring to. What you sent me uses music that sounds for all the world like a music library needle drop from the late sixties or early seventies, the kind of stuff that got direct distribution to production houses and stations, but was ultimately disposable. Unless you cross paths with a good-natured radio old-timer who has both a great memory and a packrat obsession, the origin of that piece of music is likely long lost, and the probability of laying one's hands on it just about non-existent. But I'd love to be proven wrong on this...

The cut I was describing is from the 4/3/71 aircheck, which starts with the three-testicle voice intoning "The Mighty 1090". There are two pieces of "If 6 Was 9" used there, but there's also a wolf howl edited in. Any ideas where that came from? My first guess would be some obscure Ted Nugent, but that's just a guess.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

More more more...wait that was a disco song.....

Anonymous said...

Bruce, on the Beaker Street FAQ site, Clyde/Dale mentioned that he switched over to KLAZ about 1974, "the first significant FM station" (I guess in the area?)

Wonder if you got the last of him on KAAY, or was it early in his tenure on KLAZ-FM? Do you have more recordings, please? My e-mail address is:,
Bud, Mobile, AL

6:48 PM

Note to John Schultz

Anonymous said...

NOTE, to John Schultz: I have an MP3 I'd like to e-mail you, for perusal...please contact me at:

Bud, Mobile, AL

Discussed on Algodar

Al Godar said...

This was recently posted and discussed in Algodar. I thought you might be interested.

During daytime it was the Dobliu. By seven or eight in the evening the signal was fading out until it was not audible anymore. It was then that we tuned “Key-ey-ey-why”.
At the end of 66, a guy who said he was called Clyde Clifford aired a strange program starting at midnight: Beaker Street. Unlike other DJs, he used to speak very slowly against a background of space music and bizarre sounds; he played music unheard of in other stations. Underground. Many of these strange songs later found their way into what is today considered Classic Rock.
The program aired until 77 although in the end, stereo FM has taken away Clifford and almost all of his listeners. KAAY became a religious music station. Today Beaker Street is on the internet and there is a KAAY blog with an interesting story on the role of the station in the transmissions of the VOA for Cuba. Clifford also has his blog, although he doesn’t writes much about music anymore.
Not to be confused with Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty.

Al Godar

Fab Four in Alma AR Sat. Night

Sorry I have been behind on posting lately. The excitement in Alma this weekend was a concert at the Alma Performing Arts Center.

The Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band did a great show to an almost sold out house.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Beaker Street Intro Music

I always try to post comments also as a main entry, just in case you don't read all the comments.

I am not sure if i published this one so to make sure here it is:

Blogger John Shultz said...

The music I have heard in the intros of the early seventies airchecks is from Jimi Hendrix's tune "If 6 Was 9" from his "Axis: Bold as Love" album from 1967. It was also used in the soundtrack for "Easy Rider". The intro excerpted from the middle of the piece, where Hendrix was using feedback from his amp to create a psuedo-melodic electronic warbling that is unmistakably psychedelic. A perfect choice.

Question for Bruce

Thanks for the aircheck, Bruce. Where were you when the recordings were made? Thanks! /DM/

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

New Beaker Street Airchecks

AJ -

I have 2 short air checks of Beaker Street in it's later years. Might be worth posting.

BS 1977 - Poor quality, it might require a little editing. Stuart is closing Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, and then talks about the new Rush, Farewell to Kings album. This places the clip around Sept of 1977, the album release date. I was 16 at the time, and lived in Hannibal, MO.

BS 1975 - The DJ sounds like Clyde, but what do I know? He closes Black Sabbath - Megalomania (Sabotage album rel. Aug. 1975). I'm pretty sure this clip was recorded between then and no later than the Spring of 1976, while I lived in Jefferson City, MO.

Both were mic'd from a transistor radio onto a mono cassette recorder.

I read the blog discussion about BS's later years at KAAY, and was glad to read it. I didn't realize they extended the show to 4:30 am. I usually went to sleep within the first hour - had to get up early for school. The 1977 clip also confirms Stuart as a DJ. I believe you said the show ended in 1977, so the above clip in Sept 1977 must have been very close to the end of BS at KAAY?

I began listening to BS in 1972/1973. I had a bunch of teeth pulled one day to get ready for braces, and I couldn't sleep that night. So I was turning the dial and stumbled across BS, and was hooked. I wonder if there are other air checks from this 1975 - 1977 era?

Please don't post my email address, but you can post my comments & give credit to Bruce M, Houston, TX.

Thanks Bruce,
Airchecks are on players over in the right hand column. I have not edited them.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Great Pat Walsh Story from Tom Perryman

Well, I suppose there are a lot of stories regarding the old radio days of the Sixties, but most of the ones I know concern Louisville and WAKY. Pat Walsh became Mgr. of KAAY, about the same time, roughly, that I became a Mgr. at WIL AM/FM, St. Louis...he probably had some time more than me as Mgr. Anyway, he was always very direct in his conversations with everybody..and he considered himself pretty much a good 'ole boy..which he was. Very southern with his views. I remember one night in New York when the President of LIN Broadcasting took us to dinner at a very nice little restaurant in Manhattan. There was 4 of us, including Don Pels, the President..I remember just behind us was Arthur Godfrey having his dinner...anyway...Pat must have insulted Don with some
statement regarding integration or some such which apparently didn't sit well with Don, as he decided to leave rather quickly. I know Pat didn't mean to come across as it sounded, but he didn't mince words and was too direct for some people. He was to me a very nice and caring person. I think it must have been him who promoted KAAY as the 50,000 watt Hog-Calling Service of LIN Broadcasting Co...Razorbacks and did tie in. Pat had some way in finding out all the goings on in LIN and radio in general...if you wanted to know the latest rumors, Pat was the man to call. Pat was always nice to me and even after I left LIN to go to WFAA Dallas in1963, he had his production people ask me to keep doing some of his call letter promotion and news intro's. I was glad to do it (no payment, of course) and out of gratitude for my doing so, they sent me a battery operated shoe shine kit that didn't work! KAAY was great sounding Top 40 station and its signal covered thousands of square miles and a lot of people listened to it. Radio back then relied on the newest music and good DJ's and fast breaking news reports to survive. The promotions were fun and plentiful and listeners never knew what to expect. Well, I gotta go for now...
Regards, Tom Perryman (Tom Perry back then).

"The Voice" of KAAY Located

Many thanks to Bud Stacey for tracking down Tom Perryman a/k/a Tom Perry. Tom is the big voice that we have wrote about several times. He is the voice for all most all of the KAAY ids. Tom would mail reel to reel tapes of the voice tracks to KAAY and their the music, echo, and production would be added. He never worked for KAAY but did the voice tracks from the beginning to the end. Pat Walsh the manager for most of the time, took care of compinsating Tom for his great work. Tom is now doing a DJ shift on

Sunday, November 02, 2008

XM Progamming Note

vdog said...

ON XM Ch. 2 they are playing every pop music hit starting from the 1930's to today. It will be done in 96 hours. On Sunday morning the fall of '62 was covered. As I am writing this, they are at late '63-early '64.

9:56 AM

Some Good News at KATV

vdog said...

There is some better news to share concerning KATV. The steel for the new tower arrived to Thursday.
The new tower is scheduled to be completed around the middle of January. This is around the time of the one year anniversary of the collaspe of the prevoius tower.
The new tower will be located on Shinall Mountain. I saw the footage on the news this evening and the concrete foundation is finished.

Some Good News at KATV

vdog said...

There is some better news to share concerning KATV. The steel for the new tower arrived to Thursday.
The new tower is scheduled to be completed around the middle of January. This is around the time of the one year anniversary of the collaspe of the prevoius tower.
The new tower will be located on Shinall Mountain. I saw the footage on the news this evening and the concrete foundation is finished.

Message to John Shultz and RIchard Robinson

Anonymous said...

Message to John Shultz and Richard Robinson: I have a short attachment I'd like to send you both for perusal! Please contact me via e-mail at:

Thanks, guys and thanks, A. J.! Bud, Mobile, AL

Jonnie King (Subject of several posts previously)


I am writing this one-handed so please bear with me.

Tues. Oct. 21st I suffered a severe accident here at my home. My cars were in my driveway and my newly aquired 57 Dodge D-500, which was running, in neutral & had the parking brake on, jumped into gear and was headed for the rear of my 97 Olds LSS.

I tried to run as fast as I could to stop it, my foot got caught in the gravel and I slipped and was propelled forward and headfirst/chestfirst into the concrete, the gravel and the ground.

My right hand was sliced open leaving a flap, my jaw was broken in 3 places, my right shoulder was dislocated AND broken, my right big toe was broken, 2 of my ribs were broken, my knees were severely scraped. I spent over 13 hours in 2 different emergency rooms.

My jaw was operated on and is now wired shut and has screws in all of the side joints, my left hand required 13 stitches, my bruises are still not healed, and my right big toe is now getting some feeling in it.

My right shoulder is another story. It still has to be operated on and may require a complete new socket/ball replacement. That surgery may be next week...depending on how stable my vitals and body are to accept another surgery.

Recovery time for both of these procedures jaw & shoulder could be as long as two months. And, since I can only drink fluids through a straw, my body is not going to heal as fast as if I had real food to eat.

At this time I ask you all, my friends, to just keep me in your prayers and thoughts. Since I can't reach everybody with this note, please tell our other Industry friends about the situation so they will understand.

I will return to working on the WebSite when I can...but I know you now understand the circumstances. I live alone, so that makes the problem a little more hard to bear, trying to work everything out on my own.

Thank you for your friendship & support.

Jonnie King