Saturday, May 31, 2008

Announcing The KAAY Emperor Holiday Scavenger Hunt!

And here is the prize. It is a Crown reel to reel briefcase tape recorder AM/FM Combo. (records off AM or FM or use the included microphone)
It was used to record some of the KAAY airchecks. I could use some cleaning and could use belt replacement. It runs at 3 3/4 or 7 1/2 IPS. Sorry the reel size is maximum 6".

All you have to find is one of the hundreds of episodes of Emperor Holiday. These were short (1 min. or so) dramatized promos. The featured Col. Splended, Lt. Cavendish, Daphnie and a big voice announcer that always ended with "join now, become a Lt. in Emperor Holiday's Commandoes. Send a self addressed stamped envelope to Emperor Holiday, KAAY, P.O. Box .......

The first person to send me any form of recording of one of these promos will receive this very rare collectors item. Shipping paid. Questions? Email me at Decision of the Emperor is final. Duplicate prizes will not be awarded. Void where prohibited.

Friday, May 30, 2008

From Sky-Q RE: WLS Rewind

a short clip:

Comment from Dave Montgomery Re: Sun Records

AJ, your mention of recordings jogged another brain cell which took me to this web page. This page is an excellent history of Sam Phillip’s SUN Record Company in Memphis. There are several good photos including one of Sam sitting in the studio next to an audio console and a Presto 6N lathe, preparing an acetate master. This is definitely “recommended reading” about the little studio that gave birth to so many great artists.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

The First Doc Holiday

This was the first Doc Holiday a/k/a Dub Murry.
When old KAAY employees get together we always play the game "whatever happened to_____________?"

Before Pat Walsh passed on he wrote this very interesting item:

A note about the reference to George and Nancy Jennings. They have also passed on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

KAAY Razorback Air Mattress

I have put this item up for sale on Ebay. Here is the link:

I'm sure this was a giveaway item found by Pat Walsh. The reason I am sure it was his idea, is that it has a Razorback on it. Does any one know the year and how this item was given away?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thanks for the Hits and Comments

Thanks to your comments and posting several a day, kept the hits up over a weekend that has historically been slow for traffic on the blog.

Our hits were actually up over the Memorial Day weekend.

I know there are dozens of you out there who gobble all this stuff up and never comment.

I have a garage full of tapes and stuff, and it's your comments that keep me and others looking, converting to digital, and posting the airchecks.

I will be working on a Digital Camera class most of the day, but I thought I would give you a heads up on a couple of up coming KAAY items.

For the summer swimming season, I will be putting on Ebay, a KAAY inflatable air mattress. It has the KAAY logo and a Razorback. This is an old item and I'm not sure what year it is from. My guess would be late 70s.

Also I will be having a scavenger hunt or contest just for blog readers. To give you a head start, what I am looking for is a recording of any of the hundreds of episodes of Emperor Holiday that ran on KAAY. They were minute episodes with Colonel Splended, Lt. Cavendish, and Daphnie. The all ended with "join now. Become a Lt. in Emperor Holiday's Commandos. Send a self addressed stamped envelope to Emperor Holiday, KAAY P.O. box .........

The prize will be a very rare item. Photo and info to follow.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Comment on Memorial Day Weekend post below

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Memorial Day Weekend":

Bravo, and thank you, A.J.; unfortunately, the erosoion spoken of in the recording is still happening today. BUT, hopefully it is not too late. My son, who went through USCG boot camp between his junior and senior high school years, and others like him, are "getting it", that is, the reason why freedom is important...they are willing to help guard our freedom from whatever service they enter.

God bless 'em all, those that went before, those presently serving and those to come. Without them, well, there could be no freedom as we know it...there would be NONE....Bud, Mobile, AL

Father's Day Coming Up

I written much about Tommy Riggs a/k/a Rock Robbins. Here is one of the posts:

Steve Riggs one of Tommy's sons wrote and performed a song about his dad for the memorial to Tommy Riggs.
Here is the link to the song:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Double click on the picture to be able to read it.

"Day For Decision" is now over 40 years old. But just change the name of the war and it still have meaning today. Listen to "Day For Decision".

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Comment on comment on Beaker Street

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

Hi A.J.,

First, thanks for all the recent airchecks! Your efforts at preserving this
material are truly appreciated.

Some 40 (!) years ago, I listened to Beaker Street almost nightly
(never even thought about taping it!),and the airchecks bring back
a lot of memories. What struck me from listening to the airchecks
was how mysterious and new both the music and Clyde Clifford sounded.
There was something special happening here....

Regarding Bud's comment about CDs, well, I agree that CDs sounded lousy
till the late 90s, when engineers finally figured out how to master the
things properly. I bought LPs up to a few years ago, but now I feel OK
with CDs. (I kept my vinyl and turntables and do have a tube amp, by the
way --- the amp heats my basement in the winter!)

Regarding the current Beaker Street show, well, I faithfully listen every Sunday,
and Clyde and his playlist have evolved, like all of us --- it really is that Clyde
and all of us have ``grown up'' together, and it's absolutely great that the show
is still going and that we have the web stream to substitute for the AM signal.
(I'm hoping that Clyde will keep going into his 80s just like Danny Williams at KOMA!)

By the way, when Clyde's show moved from the ClearChannel feed at Magic 105
to KKPT's, the sound went from ``cold FM stereo'' to mono, and it sounds
like listening to AM again! The fact that Clyde is broadcasting from the old KAAY
building helps the ``karma'', too.

Have a good Memorial Weekend, and I'll be checking in on WLS on Monday....

Best regards,
Dave Schmidt
Manhattan, KS

Problems Playing Airchecks

Several of you have reported problems getting Beaker Street airchecks to play. Podomatic has had problems the last few days. If you are having problems getting them to play from this page goto:

and try playing them from there.

Comment on Beaker Street Comment

The Mighty Favog has left a new comment on your post "Beaker Street Comment":

CDs used to have an edge in sound -- at least over typical lightweight vinyl pressings of the late '70s and 1980s. LPs just got to the point where it was a totally hit-and-miss proposition whether you'd get a good pressing.

Since the mid- to late '90s, though, I'll take a well-pressed LP over a rock or pop CD anyday. The digital loudness wars have obliterated any advantage CDs might have had in distortion, frequency response and lack of surface noise.

Frankly, 7 out of 10 CDs sound like hell today, and that's just because of mastering insanity. Nothing like ripping a CD to your hard drive, opening up the WAV files in Adobe Audition and having them all look like bright green 2-by-4s.

Also, when you're putting a bunch of music on hard drive from various sources (and eras) -- including vinyl -- the over-the-top hard limiting and compression of contemporary digital material makes it a challenge to maintain a relatively consistent average loudness.

All your vinyl has to be hard limited to the upper edge of good sound (which makes click-and-pop removal critical), and most of your newer CDs have to be toned way down. What a pain.

Lately, I find I've been buying a lot more new vinyl than I have CDs. What goes around. . . .

As far as tube sound goes . . . I love me some vacuum-tube audio. It really is warmer -- which I understand has everything to do with how tubes distort when you get to the clipping threshold.

I have a couple of project studios here at home, and all of my mikes are run through those affordable little vacuum-tube preamps . . . with the output gain turned up somewhat shy of 11.

My main mike is a Studio Projects C-1, which is sort of a low-price Chinese knockoff of a Neumann U-87, and which sounds almost as good. With the tube preamp and some judicious basic EQ on the front end and on the audio-editor end, the results can be darned impressive.

Now, if someone would like to donate a vintage McIntosh tube amp to a worthy cause, the gift would be most appreciated. ;-) Right now, I use a Harman/Kardon 330c ($40 on eBay) and a pair of EV Sentry 100A speakers for monitoring.

Anyway, I've gone on long enough. But the beauty of inexpensive modern gear is that, now, you can put together a production studio just a versatile as any radio station's in a spare room at home . . . and you can do it for less than $3,000 if you know what to get second-hand.

And it's going to sound every bit as good as what comes out of most radio stations -- and better than many, if you know what you're doing.

If you'd like to hear what comes out of my humble back-room studio, you can go here:


Friday, May 23, 2008

XM Radio Salutes KQV

Sonic Sound Salutes- Today: KQV, Pittsburgh, PA
4:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT

Sonic Sound Salute KQV, Audio 14 Pittsburgh. HFome of the Marvelous Money Machine. Winky's Hamburger Drive-In on the Bridge to Nowhere. Catch the Jim Quinn Show on Audio 14, KQV, Pittsburg, PA.

WLS Rewind

Here is a link to the schedule for the WLS Rewind Memorial Day broadcast;

Again, I am counting on being able to hear this on the live streaming from their website.

Problem with Jerry Sims airckeck

Podomatic is changing their website and their system will be down for 3 hours according to them.

Try this aircheck again mid-afternoon.


KAAY Jerry Sims a/k/a Sonny Martin aircheck

Jerry Sims a/k/a Sonny Martin found thuis aircheck which was actually an audition tape.
Jerry explains: A.J.,

Here is an air check that is among many different tapes that I have begun to go through. Since I used Sonny Martin from the start, I believe this is a "practice run" that I did from the news booth with you in the control room. Jerry Sims was not used on air at all, I do not believe. I thought you would like the jingles and news fomat in particular.

Thanks for all your efforts on the blog. I visit regularly. As always, use things I send as you wish.

Jerry Sims/Sonny Martin KAAY

I know all you aircheck fans want "unscoped" airchecks, but keep in mind, internally, you never sent an unscoped aircheck to a radio station for a job. It was automatic rejection. Program Directors never wanted to hear the music.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WLS Flashback Show

WLS streams live on the internet. I do not know if they will be streaming the flashback show, however, here's the link:

Comment concerning WLS weekend

A.J., in light of the WLS event coming up this Memorial Day, I got to thinking: how many people will think they can hear it, or even have a chance? Hence, I got to thinking about a phenomena us Ham radio and shortwave listeners have taken advantage of for many years: "gray line DXing"! The "gray line" I refer to is the time, locally, when it's not-quite-dark, not-quite-light, or dusk after sundown or dawn before sunrise, local times. This is the time when local stations either reduce their power or shut down completely, or just before they come on or increase power for the new day, giving the listener (the DXer- more on that term) a chance to hear and log other stations outside the normal listening area.

The term "DX" is short for, "distant listening" or "distant monitoring" and comes from when Ham radio operators used Morse Code almost exclusively. Shortened words or phrases increased the efficiancy and shortened the transmission time of the sending operator and the listening of the receiving stattion...very similar to text messaging over cell phones today. A "DXer" is one who chases DX, especially rare DX!

Now, in that time when a local DXer is in the dawn or dusk locally, some stations to the east (dawn) or west (dusk) are up to or still at full power on possibly the same frequencies as the local station that just powered down or turned off. While these stations are still "up", the listener can log them, when they otherwise couldn't hear them. Get the picture?

Needless to say, as the "gray line" passes locally, the DX signals could fade into nothing (daylight) or get stronger (increased darkeness) or could just get mixed into the cacophany of other stations on the frequency. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to dig a "new one" out of several 10,000-watters! Needless to say, when KAAY was on one of five clear channels, it made it easier to hear.

Here is a good website to check into while you're "chasing DX":

Hope this helps in catching new stations for your log!


I got a chuckle when I read Bud’s (Mobile) comments about the “sound” of vinyl. Then I remembered this from the Gizmodo website – how to turn a used CD into a record that you can play on your turntable!! “Man bites Dog!” Heh.

Have a GREAT Memorial Day! We will be flying our flag on the front of the house.

Dave M, Vietnam vet

CDs Get Into the Groove, Do Music the 45RPM Way

This is a story of a not so environmentally friendly, but rather groovy repurposing idea: reusing CDs as records (remember them?) At the UK's Futuresonic festival last week, a guy named Aleks Kolkowski had his vintage record-cutting machine ready to carve sound tracks into old CDs and DVDs. People simply had to turn up with an old disc and a sound file and he'd "overwrite" the CD with a track ready to be played on a turntable. Neat! I'd have been there asking Aleks for a copy of my first ever record (that'll be the theme to Watership Down— I know, I know) on a crappy old AOL CD I found recently. [Futuresonic via DIYDaily via ]

Beaker Street Comment

Here is a comment that is sooooooooo true:

I'll bet I know why there were a bunch of hits on the blogsite...the realism of the broadcast & airchecks, and along with the memories, the "pop" of the needle as it played through the quiet spot on the King Crimson selection!

Listening to today's Beaker Street feels so....well, sterile...CD's leave something to be desired where memories are revived....Bud, Mobile, AL

Thanks Bud, all of us old timers were so glad to see CDs come along, that we overlooked the cold digital sound.

We were also glad to see solid state replace noisy tubes and A.C. hum. Now the hip thing seems to be vinyl coming back and folks paying a fortune for tube amplifiers.

I guess "the sound" was really good after all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WLS flashback show

Q-Sky sends this interesting item:
From Robert Feeder in the CHICAGO SUN TIMES

"Some of the greatest stars of the Top 40 heyday of WLS-AM (890) are returning for another "Big 89 Rewind."

Starting at 5 a.m. Monday, the Citadel Broadcasting station will host a 19-hour Memorial Day flashback to its pre-talk era.

Guest jocks will include Larry Lujack, Tommy Edwards, Chuck Knapp, Fred Winston, John Records Landecker, Bill Bailey and Jeff Davis.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pt b of 4-13-71 KAAY Beaker Street

This is the second part of the 4-13-71 Beaker Street Aircheck:

Click here to get your own player.

Correction on Beaker Street Date

If you have already downloaded the Beaker Street Aircheck that WAS labeled 3/13/71, please change the date to 4/13/71.

I think I have the post corrected and the podcast.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another Beaker Street Aircheck

Normally weekends are slow on the blog. The Beaker Street Aircheck has done wonders for the weekend hits. Sooooooooo let's keep it up. Here is an aircheck from 7-3-1970.

Click here to get your own player.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

KOMA and old age

KOMA ranked No. 2 in all day parts, with Danny Williams and Lisa Sykes in the morning, Ronnie Kaye in midday, Dave Martin in afternoon drive and Fred Hendrickson in evening. Program director Kent Jones' 9 to 11 a.m. show straddles morning drive and midday.

Williams, who turned 81 last month, shows no signs of wanting to hang up his microphone.

"He's like the Energizer bunny,” said Don Pollnow, Renda Broadcasting market manager

See, there is hope for us oldies but goodies. To read the full article go to:

Friday, May 16, 2008

KYA on XM Radio Today

Sonic Sound Salute KYA, San Francisco. The Boss of the Bay, 12-60AM. Hear Dialing for Dollars with Bob March, cartoons with Capt. Satellite on Ch 2 plus you can hang out with us at "In and Out" Burger. Pull in for a "double-double" Music from the official 12-60 Music Survey.

KAAY Beaker Street 4-13-1971

Many thanks to Bud Stacey for sending me this aircheck on cd.
Click here to get your own player.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bumper Stickers

JIn the early 60s radio station bumper stickers were a must. I have written of this before and posted pictures of KAAY stickers promoting the Razorbacks. The KAAY bumper stickers were always tied into contests. The follow contest always offered to double the prize money if the person had a KAAY bumper sticker on the car.

The bumper sticker evolved to a window sticker and today's generation doesn't seem to want any kind of sticker.

As KLAZ (originality a Little Rock FM) grew in audience, I thought they had the best window sticker ever and it is included in the group pictured above, thanks to Q-Sky, a blog reader.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tops In Pops from the BBC in London on KAAY

Thanks to Jerry Sims a/k/a Sonny Martin for this segment of Tops in Pops. This was a syndicated program that we ran segments of. (or should it be: this was a syndicated program of which we ran segments.) It was aired June 14, 1965.

Tune in tomorrow for the starting of a great new contest!!!!
To listen, click on the little arrow in the middle of the square.

Click here to get your own player.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Beaker Street Remembered in Cuba

Please never send email to the Podomatic website. I never read it. Today, I got an email through that site and it caused me to look in the mail box. There were two emails from Cuba. I guess I better start reading Podomatic.

The following message came in December 2007. Sorry Tony for taking so long to read it. Know that comments like this keep this blog going.

Dear Doc,
I sent you a mail last saturday to your Yahoo address. I hope to got it. It was on Saturday that I've discovered your site, looking as always for trivia on KAAY and Beaker Street. Then on Sunday I discovered your blog and spent hours reading all the information that you have posted. It is amazing all the work you have done, which for me, gives a body and a soul to the music that we used to hear back in the 60's and early 70's, when KAAY reached us at night. For us, it was almost as religion, getting together with the lucky one who had a radio back then, and sharing the music that was the forbidden fruit in Cuba. We didn't have clothes or food, but we had KAAY to nourish our souls. We still remember and speak of it everytime we get together. Back in 1998, I was posted to Paris, France, and was able to have internet (none was available in Cuba) and searching for KAAY I found the Beaker Street site. I was so moved by it that I mailed and mailed Clyde Clifford, who dedicated two songs to us on April 19, 1998. I've been in contact with him since then, and I've asked him to try to find some tapes from back then, but he always too busy; maybe you would be kind enough to find some of the evening programs of KAAY and also of Beaker Street and mail them to a friend of mine in Florida, who can send them to me. It would be something unique to us, kind of recuperating our young days gathered together close to a transistor radio.
Could you also post again in your blog the two Beaker airchecks, please? I can get somebody to download them for me, or maybe I will have enough speed to download them myself.
Keep on bringing back to us the Mighty 1090!!!! It was unique, it was our bond to the music we love forever.
Sincerely your,
Tony ------z

Friday, May 09, 2008

Absolutely nothing to do with KAAY

I would like to introduce you to a friend Mark Andrew Pope. I met Mark when he came to Heritage Church in Van Buren Arkansas. Mark was the Worship Arts Director. He is extremely talented and inspired us all. He has started an independent music ministry and has written and produced a CD. Enjoy the video below and go to his website where you can purchase his CD and get information about bringing Mark to your community.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

KAAY Airchexck PT2

This is part 2 of the Johnnie King aircheck. If you missed Pt1 just scroll down.

Click here to get your own player.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

More more Wolfman Jack

(From a reader)
There is a song by ZZ Top called I Heard It On The X which came out in
1975. The song is about the poweful radio station that blasts from Mexico. It is only about 2:00 long.
There is another Mighty 1090 on the airwaves in the US. It is a sports talk station in San Diego,CA. I heard it mentioned as the Jim Rome affiliate in San Diego. I know there are not many stations in the US that are on the 1090 frequency.

New, old KAAY Aircheck

This is an aircheck of Johnnie King from 1975 I believe. I'll double check the date and info and post it later.

My apologies for lack of posts lately. I have had a wreck and have been fighting with State Farm and will be tied up for a while.

Click here to get your own player.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

More Wolfman Jack !

"Just a hop, ionosphere skip, and a jump from Shreveport was the home base of XERF-AM, a superpowerful radio station in Mexico, just over the border at Del Rio, Texas. Filling its air time with U.S.based preachers selling all sorts of religion, XERF was reaching millions of listeners across North America, and by all accounts was making millions for the preachers who bought time on the station.

The true odyssey from Louisiana, to fame and fortune as Wolfman Jack on XERF in 1964, equals any hollywood fabricated mini series you might see on TV, complete with bags stuffed with hundred-dollar bills in the trunk of a Cadillac convertible, and a shoot-out at the desert compound where the XERF transmitter was located."

Monday, May 05, 2008

Wolfman Jack Comment

A.J., I remember reading about Wolfman's demise in Radio World back in '95...dunno if I have that issue any more. Doing a websearch, I found another interesting site:

Robert Weston Smith, b.1/21/39, d. 6/1/95

Although I never heard him on the air, he was very much "out there" in the industry...Bud, Mobile, AL

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wolfman Jack & KAAY

Wolfman Jack a/k/a Bob Smith started on XERF in 1958. This date is not cast in stone. An internet search found very little to nail down his starting date. That gave him a 5 year lead on KAAY. We were obviously very direct competitors. XERF was a 100,000 clear channel station licensed in Mexico but identified itself as Del Reo Texas. I believe Wolfman died in 1995 but his programs live on in syndication and on XM radio. To read more about Mexico AM power stations go to:

Every DJ could do a Wolfman Jack inpersonation. I used a Wolfman like voice to do a "Doctor Feelgood" show on a black radio station. Wish I had some tape of that experience.

Howard Watson a/k/a Ken Knight

I have received word Howard Watson has suffered some strokes. Please pray for Howard and his wife Gerry as they work through recovery.

I am also told Howard has not lost his sense of humor.

Please read about Howard by entering "Howard Watson" in the upper left window and click on search this blog.