Sunday, August 31, 2008

George J. Jennings Link

Bud Stacey found this link as he searched for KAAY stuff.

I'm not sure if they got that photo from me or not. I have a 8 X 10 black and white print. It is one of my favorites because it includes the RCA 77 D mike and the original newsroom of KAAY in the Channel 11 building. George was probably 25 at the time. He was collecting old time radio shows, starting a family, and grumping a lot. While the industry was full of drugs and booze, George had a briefcase full of Diet Dr. Pepper and Neo snyferin. I still have some of the old time radio shows and plan a project to use them. George and Nancy, along with some neighbors had a business that put old time radio shows on 8 track tapes that were sold through Cracker Barrel. They also manufactured the golf tee game you see on the tables at Cracker Barrel.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mark Winston

Mark Winston started in radio broadcasting in 1972 as a Morning Drive Announcer and Music Director. Over the years he found himself spending more and more time in the production studios at the various stations.
He was a Production Director and/or Program Director at KAAY-Little Rock (a 50,000 watt AM giant back in the early 80's), as well as many other stations around Kansas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. He now owns and operates Winston Creative Sound Studios in Wichita, Kansas- a 1,500 sq.ft. state of the art audio and video production facility where they produce commercial and industrial projects as well as complete CD projects for Christian and Southern Gospel artists. Mark accepted Christ at the age of 15 during a revival at church. Currently he and his wife Cindy, along with their daughter Kelsey are active members of Crossway Christian Church. Over the past 20 years he has served in different ministry positions and has written and produced many contemporary Christian songs.
Mark Hosts “The Music CafĂ©” on CJLU & CITA.

Friday, August 29, 2008

WHB spotlighted on XM Radio

Today is a great rewind of WHB. Lots of great airchecks. Tune it in on XM Radio. If you don't have an XM radio, it is available on the web. Channel 6.

Gary Weir a/k/a Bozo

I was listening to a local (Fort Smith AR) talk radio station this morning and to my surprise they were talking about Arkansas Bozo. A lady called in, Tracy Winchell and said she worked at the TV station in Little Rock in production on the Bozo show. She went on for several minutes talking about Gary and what he is doing now. I thought this was very unusual because Fort Smith is very isolated from Little Rock. We have our own tv and radio stations and even though KAAY has a marginal daytime signal in Fort Smith it is not well known in the area, nor is any Little Rock media. Even though the state capitol is in Little Rock, Fort Smith is largely ignored. The city limit on the western edge borders Oklahoma. Fayetteville is almost the same way. Little ROck folks think of Fayetteville as a nice college town. (Home of U of A Razorbacks).

Gary, the only think Tracy couldn't attest to is the accuracy of your tip sheets.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bob Robbins

Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. ® Announces DJ Hall of Fame and Radio Hall of Fame Inductees:

Bob Robbins has been recognized as the number one disc jockey in Little Rock for over 20 years, leading his station to win a number of industry awards. His career started in Little Rock at Top 40 powerhouse KAAY (Little Rock, AR) in 1967. He moved to KSSN-FM (Little Rock, AR) at the station’s inception in 1979 and was named CMA Broadcast Personality of the Year in 1996. KSSN-FM’s awards include: 1990 NAB Marconi Award (Best Medium Market Station), 1990 Arkansas Broadcasters’ Association Most Admired Station, 1991 Billboard Country Radio Station of the Year, 1991 CMA Station of the Year, and 1996 NAB Marconi Award (Medium Market Station of the Year). He remains at KSSN-FM (Little Rock, AR) as morning air personality .

Obviously, Bob does not have the "up and down the dial" gene of most D.J.'s. Many of the Little Rock personalities are constantly changing stations, mediums, or getting out of the business. Many congrats to Bob for keeping on doing what he does best. Being the best country or leave out the word country D.J. in the market.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Billy Bob Thornton listened to KAAY!

As children, he and his younger brother Jimmy were eager participants in the family ritual of listening to albums each night before going to bed, absorbing everything from Elvis Presley, Ray Price, and Jim Reeves to The Beatles and other British Invasion stars. At one point, Virginia actually brought Billy Bob out to the highway so that they could wave at Elvis when The King's tour bus passed by. After lights out, Billy Bob and Jimmy would lie in their beds and listen to classic rock from station KAAY on their transistor radio. Billy Bob took his first crack at the drums when Virginia bought him his own drum set for his ninth birthday. A year later, he made his performance debut at a PTA meeting, delivering Barry Sadler's patriotic hit, The Ballad of the Green Beret. The members of the popular Malvern rock band, the Yardleys, allowed the twelve-year-old Billy Bob to try his hand on a professional set of red Ludwig drums. Inspired by the inventive and witty classic rock of Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, he started forming his own bands, beginning with the British Invasion-inspired McCoveys (named after legendary baseball player Willie McCovey).
Thanks Bud for finding this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I have written several times about the reverb at KAAY. Oddly, the reverb topic brought in lots of readers. Especially the one where I discuss the garden hose reverb we built at KXLR.

For all you reverb fans, and I am one, here is an interesting article:

Matt White a/k/a Sonny Martin

I have written before of Matt and I hope you will look at the previous posts.
I have hoped out loud on this blog that Matt would contribute because he has so much history on KAAY. I have even emailed him through the fishing place but got no response.
A reader to this blog found Matt's bio on the station website where he works in Searcy AR. Here is the link to the bio:

The reader who sent me this link said:
He's still working? WOW!

Yes and I think Matt is my age or a year or two younger.

Lot's of the "old timers" are still on the air.

Radio is one medium that doesn't judge you by your age.

I hope those of us who are "older" will never use that as an excuse.
I look on age as a state of mind and I hope I can continue to stay up with technology and continue to try to be creative and be ready for the rapid evolution in entertainment.

Hang in their Matt and never ever give up.

Monday, August 25, 2008

RCA Microphones

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "RCA 44-BX & RCA 77D":

Oh, boy, those mics are sweet! I'd not had the fortune of having worked with them, but I have played with some decent mics in the past, having been a sound tech in the Mobile, AL area for about 15 years. And having to use lower-end mics for singers, I always worked that EQ and reverb HARD to make 'em sound good.

I'd always worked in live venues with instruments and singers and have played with a few ribbon mics, but not with just plain speech and announcers. When I did some announcing intros and outros for programs for churches to go to local radio stations, I had to use what was afforded me...there again, judicial useage of effects. It was fun, however! Bud, Mobile, AL

Contest Comment

I remember some contests where they spliced clips from a number of songs together, and you had to name all the songs.

I remember those too but I can not recall what those contests were called.
They were fun to put together and try to stump the audience.

There was always a dedicated listener who would get them all right.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

RCA 44-BX & RCA 77D

I grew up in radio surrounded by the RCA 44-BX and RCA 77D. They are the greatest microphones the world has ever known. I substantiate that with the fact that these microphones, many well over 60 years old sell for almost $2000.

I bought a Nady ribbon mike the other day for $60. It sounds ok but the real sound of an RCA is wrapped up in the mystique of Elvis, Johnny Carson and hundreds of entertainers who used these microphones.

The secret of the RCA is that it is a large ribbon diaphragm microphone with great coupling transformers. The RCA will make your voice sound better than it is. Many recording studios today still use the RCA for voice work and some instruments.

I have one, pictured to the right. Elvis may have even used this very microphone at the Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock, very early is his career. I can't prove that but if my uncle were still alive he probably could.

A comment was left about a much earlier post. Be sure and click on the link to read the early post. I would like to hear from even more KBBA alumni. The station was started by Preston Bridges and Lavelle Langley in the mid 50s. I was in high school and KBBA was my first radio job. I remember skipping school, so I could work the board at KBBA while all the regular announcers did a remote broadcast at a high school track meet. That's right, a track meet on the radio.

Here's the comment:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post
Ah yes... KBBA. My first radio job. I believe that RCA ribbon mike in your picture was the one I used to see collecting dust in the transmitter room. The control room was using a Shure mic by the time I worked there in the late 1970's.


A KBBA alumni

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Contest Comment

Russell W. has left a new comment on your post "Name the sing contest from a reader":

A curious twist to the 'song fragment' contest: playing a clip of a given record backwards. Not all that easy if the snippet comes from something other than the song's hook.

This brings to mind a couple more contests from way back:

ZAP: The caller has to guess which of the station's call letters are replaced by a sonovox "ZAP" ... versions of all four combinations would be randomly placed onto one cart, and after the caller makes their guess, the next cut is played. If it matches, they win.

A small station in Selma, Ala. used to have a contest called "What's Cooking?" -- the jock would start reading one ingredient, adding another one after each record, and the object was to guess what the recipe was. I have a clip of one, and the callers had some awfully creative guesses.

Name the song contest from a reader

I remember a contest that ran just the first second or two of a song – sometimes just the first note (!) and the caller had to identify the song. The contest song nuggets were pre-produced onto tape, and the announcer could play the same “nugget” more than once if the caller was having trouble identifying the song. There were always the easy ones to identify, guaranteeing a winner.

But then there were the difficult ones – sometimes a very popular “oldie” that sometimes took several callers to get it right. The harder contests might span an hour or more by taking one caller at a time until someone finally got it right. The reward would be a prize, -AND- you got to hear the entire song from beginning to end.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thanks for a few comments on Contests but I need More

Here's one:
This brings to mind an aircheck I have of David Letterman in the late '60s, jocking on his college's carrier-current AM station in Indiana. Dave does a really good parody of the "secret sound" contests. Caller: "Is that a set of horse dentures hitting a metal shotgun casing?" Dave: "You're RIGHT!!"

We need a return to the good old days of radio contests - back when stations gave away smaller prizes to more listeners. Not the "be the 300th caller to qualify for the luxury Caribbean cruise!" stuff you see today.

One thing I learned from the small-ticket prizes we gave away when I worked at KOTN in the late '80s: you've made the listener's month. Even if it's just a free Big Mac or a TCBY waffle cone, they just WON SOMETHING ON THE RADIO.

Just my .02 in tarnished slugs. Please keep doing this blog! I read every word you write, as clearly many others do. Generally I comment on blogs when I feel like I have something to say, but otherwise keep silent.

--Russell Wells, Savannah GA
I always liked the small contests. And Russell you are right on with the smaller prizes comment. If I had a $5000 budget, I would rather give 100 people $50 than one person $5000. You get far more word of mouth and station loyality with lots of winners.

We gave away lots and lots of records and albums. "Spin it and Win it" < name it and claim it, etc. We once had a cart with all the "spin it and win it different phrases we could think of and alternated them.

I thought sure I had written about the acre of records give a way but I couldn't find it. I'll have to do that soon. Meanwhile, leave your comments about radio contests.

Toys for Tots Remembered

A. J., I remember the Toys For Tots broadcasts...and, as I mentioned before, I'd always wanted to drive up there and participate. Never got to it, since I was supporing myself in high school and had little money to spare. Needless to say, I still have those memories! Bud, Mobile, AL

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Secret Sound Contest Remembered

One contest that was really big around the late 80's was The Secret Sound Contest. A caller had to guess what the sound was.
If the answer wasn't right, the jackpot would increase. The sounds could be anything from a pulley being pulled to a car door closing. Some of them were really tough. The station that orginally did it was K-LITE 94, which is no longer on the air. Another station did it for a brief period, however I can't remember which one it was.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DJ Marathons

Chennai, Aug 20 (IANS) A popular Tamil radio jockey (RJ) is aiming to enter the Guinness Book of World Records by attempting to stay on the air non-stop for over 136 hours.Big Dheena, of Adlab’s radio station BIG 92.7 FM, is one of Chennai’s most popular RJs. He will begin his record-breaking performance Aug 21 - the day Chennai was founded - and continue non-stop for 136 hours or more. Chennai, earlier known as Madras, was founded as a British trading outpost Aug 21, 1639.

“The current Guinness record is held by Stefano Venneri (Italy) on the Radio BBSI station in Alessandria, Italy. He performed for 135 hours from April 21 to 26, 2007,” P.B. Ramaswamy, cluster director of BIG 92.7 FM, Tamil Nadu, told IANS.
The only DJ marathon KAAY did was Matt White a/k/a/ Sonny Martin and that was for Toys For Tots from the Marines Toy Hill. I don't recall how many marathons he did but it was
many. He was awake for the entire time, even though he did not do the actual D.J. work.
He had a microphone from the remote unit. I wish someone who was at KAAY at the time or even Matt himself, would write a detailed story of Sonny Martin and Toys for Tots.

Contest Memories

My memory is not as good as it used to be, but I do remember the contests on KAAY. The "For the People" bumper strip contest is the one that is uppermost on my mind. It was a classic. In Pine Bluff, Buddy Dean conducted a contest in 1978 or 1979, where the station was giving away $1,410.00 (for 1410 AM, KOTN's frequency). That year he got a bit miffed, because after only a few clues, someone found the prize document underneath a mailbox at a street corner. Needless to say, I was driving all over Pine Bluff (as were many others) to attempt to locate it. Unfortunately, it wasn't me that found it.

When I was running a movie theatre in Pine Bluff in 1978-1980, I was also working part-time at KCLA "Razorback Country" there in the city. I conducted a contest at the theatre, with none other than a Mr. A.J. Lindsey, where patrons received a ballot at the theatre and numerous locations, and voted for who they thought would win the six top academy awards. The grand prize was a complete waterbed outfit from A.J.'s Waterbed Store. There were other prizes too. The promotion/contest won a circuit award from Commonwealth Theatre Circuit (now defunct). It was a great contest. We got hundreds of entries and it was successful in large part because of A.J. Little did I know at the time that our paths would cross again years later, when I began doing research for graduate school on KAAY. We just never know, do we?

Contests with radio stations are great ways to promote listener involvement. I wish the stations would do more in this area.
Radio stations have always relied on giving away movie passes. They make great small contest prizes. Everyone wants them. The movie distributors are clamping dowm on allowing theaters to give away passes. Many movies now carry the phrase "no passes".

Contests are extremely important in radio. We felt they built audience and helped ratings. In fact, at a point in time Pulse would put an asterisk on your rating
if they felt you ran a contest that was completely aimed and artificially influencing ratings. One contest was an "answer your phone with........" and you will $1000, or "don't say hello
say KAAY 1090:. We never ran a don't say hello contest. THey were mostly aimed at surveys that relied on phone interviews surveys like Hooper.

Just a little thumbnail history as to how wound up in the above comment. I had just got married and returned to KAAY from Lin Broadcasting's TV station WAND in Decatur, Il. I moved into the sales department and was reasonably happy. At a broadcasters convention I met a new owner of KCLA in Pine Bluff. After a few days, I got a call with a job offer to manage KCLA. We moved to Pine Bluff. I spent several years managing KCLA. I had been doing some consulting for a station in St. Louis. That owner bought an FM in Kansas City. We moved to Kansas City to turn a country FM, black. We were picked by white folks. I then was offered Manager of KOKY in Little Rock. From there back to KCLA. I was interesting in owning a radio station but at that point in time, stations were already very expensive so I started looking at other businesses I could own. I decided Pine Bluff didn't have a waterbed store so I opened one. This led me out of broadcasting and to the contest mentioned in the comment above.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whatever happened to KTHS?

Here is another where are they now story. I was listening to the show The Zone on 1037 The Buzz this morning and heard that KTHS in Berryville now carries The Zone.
The Zone is on weekdays from 10AM-1PM weekdays. KTHS and a station in NWA are now affiliates of The Zone. I mention this because KTHS was on 1090 before KAAY. I wasn't born yet when KTHS was in Little Rock, however I read the history.

If you haven't read the history Dave is referring to, search this blog for KTHS.

Again, I must speak against the trend to promote only a station name, like "big dog", "alice" etc. The listener has always been conditioned to call letters. In the early days of top 40 much effort and even money was expended to get a good set of call letters. Often the call letters spelled something, I.E. WAKY, KEEL, WONE, (even though I never remember them calling themselves "one". Just like we never just called ourselves "Kay". T.V. stations are falling into the same trap of building an image based on a channel number, which on cable is meaningless.

I have not received one single comment on the "contests" discussion. If I don't get at least one, THIS WILL BE MY LAST POST.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thanks Bud for a great link

Click on the picture for a video of Rock & Roll legend Roger McGuinn's collection of small transistor radios...a poster mentioned listening to KAAY, which was his favorite R&R station:

I have a friend and fellow Ham operator who, as a kid, used a small transistor radio in bed late at night to listen to KAAY; it ate 9-volt batteries like crazy, so, being a Ham, he built a little 9-volt power supply he could plug into the wall and listened without eating any more batteries!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

What are your memories of contests?

What contests do you remember from any station? Particularly from the top 40 days.
I mentioned yesterday, the Hi-Lo game which many stations ran in different forms. At KAAY we ran so many different contests it's hard to recall specific contests. Many were seasonal related. Like at Thanksgiving there was a turkey shoot. The listener on the phone was ask to load their imaginary shotgun and shoot at the turkey. There was a game cart which had random hits and misses. The listener had to trust the rotation of the cart. The jock didn't know what was going to come up.

Now what contests do you remember? Just click on the "comments" word below, type in you contest memory. then scroll down and put the dot in anonymous circle and then click on "publish your comment". It will appear in a few days. Your comments will keep this blog going.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Word About Contests

Listening to XM radio this afternoon, I heard an aircheck that had the old Hi-Lo contest. That reminded me of many of our contests at KAAY. Most involved audience participation. The normal format was three cuts on a cart machine. The open was played going into a record asking contestants to call. After the record, spots, and stuff, the contest intro was played, the contestant put on the air and the game was played. AFTER the winner was declared, the contest CLOSE was played. Often times, the jock forgot to run the close. Then when a new jock tried to play the contest again and got ready for the open, what he got was a CLOSE, making everyone look bad. A good jock would have played the cart thru on cue to make sure it was in the right position. Few did. Many a jock got caught. This was true with any of the carts that involved several segments. Like the news cart. It could contain many elements, i.e. an open, middle, weather intro, and close. Lord help if George J. Jennings was doing your news and you started him off with a bad cart intro. We usually has several different contests going at the same time. Some might require a mail entry. Others might require registering at a sponsor. There was great variety and not once did we just simply take "the 7th caller."

Golden Oldie

KAAY began in September of 1962.

Here is a good presentation of the era that set the stage for KAAY:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Arkansas Airwaves comment by Dave Montgomery

I ran across my copy of Ray Poindexter’s “Arkansas Airwaves” today and flipped through its pages once again. It’s been quite a while since I went through the book. I was reminded how much radio history is in that book and how much I have forgotten! What a wonderful history of KTHS, and no detail was left out. For your readers interested in the genesis of KAAY, from the first days of KTHS in Hot Springs, this is the book to have.

There’s not much contemporary history of KAAY in the book, but it mentions the application to transfer license to Multimedia. I’d bet you have enough information to write that missing KAAY chapter in Ray’s book with what you’ve gathered in your blog work and your other sources.

One thing I regret is that during my time at KAAY, I took few photos of the buildings, the people, and the studios. I can still draw the floorplan of the 7th street studios and the Cottondale Lane studios in my mind, but I don’t have the photos that show the inside.

There’s a copy of “Arkansas Airwaves”, listed for sale on this website for about $45 -

The listing says “signed by author”.

Thanks Dave, I think the $45 for a signed copy would be a good investment. Many radio books that are out of print are $100 or more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Buddy Carr & B.Bruce Jenkins

I have seventy four - seven four - street level degrees on the Buddy Carr Car Pool Party Program... Another treasure of my adolescence, this off-air gem includes genuine atmospheric noise and B. Bruce Jenkins with: KAAY COMEX NEWS - FIRST AT 45! Although a bit lighter on bells & whistles than the 1961 WFUN Fundamental News, this was what Bill Clinton could have heard as a kid in Arkansas.

The pioneers of the "big production" Top-40 newscasts felt a real need to make a big deal about finishing the news and getting back to music. As with the WFUN Funcast, getting there is the best part. KAAY Communications Exchange (COMEX) News begins to end about 3:22 into this aircheck, and actually finishes about a minute later. I'm still in awe of the passion of the "superhero" voiceover in these production elements. When he says, "In the meantime - Com-EXtras at anytime.. And NOW..." it's like you know something wonderful is going to happen.

And our reward, short as it is, is one set from Buddy Carr and the Car Pool Party Program. Whoopee! It's a hot tune from the "Kay Silver Dollar Sound Survey - here in Kay country."

Found here:

This is the aircheck that is referred to above:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


It's interesting how a radio station could positively affect so many lives...we'll probably never know how many people KAAY influenced during it's Top 40 heyday. In another vein, KAAY is still influencing people in a positive way.

Thank you, A.J. and all the other personalities behind were, and still are, awesome!

What's also interesting is that behind the scenes the character of most of the employees is top notch. Most are still married. Most are not addicted. During the age of payola, the station or the jocks were not involved.

From day one, KAAY had two religious blocks per day. That was for financial reasons as it is today. Nothing wrong with that.

I hear so frequently from people who were influenced as a youth by KAAY. That is a great personal reward. I just hope we have radio stations today that can have a positive influence on youth.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Many thanks to Bud for finding this on the web:

Monday, October 29, 2007
Remembering Duane Allman
Today marks the death on the person who most influenced me on the guitar – Duane Allman.

I was all of 12 when I awoke at 1 am in the morning and turned on the radio to KAAY, Little Rock. From 11 pm to 6 am, the radio show "Beeker Street" was on. They played all the music you would never hear on AM radio. I awoke to the most incredible guitar playing. I did not know who it was. My brother had been listening and said that maybe it was the Allman Brothers Band. I had never heard of them, even though "Ramblin Man" was a hit at the time. Later that week, I bought the Beginnings LP, which had the first two LPs repackaged. I did not hear the song, but I still loved what I heard on the record.

I bought a $10 folk guitar from a classmate – I was in the 6th grade – and started to figure out how to play. My sister gave me a few lessons and I learned G, C, and D chords. A few weeks later, I bought the Fillmore East LP. I then heard the song – You Don’t Love Me – I had heard the part when it was just Duane playing by himself. Within a few months, I had all the Allman LPs, thanks to my mom, who was nice enough to buy them for all of about $7.00 each. By then, I was absorbing all I could from Beeker Street – Robin Trower, Hendrix, Marshall Tucker, Rush, Mahogany Rush, Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, Yes…the lost goes on and on. My LP collection grew quite a bit that year. I spent hours playing along with records trying to learn it all. I got a Teisco electric guitar and amp by the time I was in 7th grade, and continued to buy a new guitar every year, using my money from weeding the bean fields during the summer.

Those few moments over the Christmas holidays in 1973 changed my life. I never did really play professionally, and I can’t play at all like Duane Allman. However, it has been a lot of fun and I still love to play and listed to music of all kinds.

Thanks, Duane.
Posted by The Road Traveler at 4:22 PM


Sunday, August 10, 2008

More on Ratings

From a comment:

The ratings systems that were used in the 60's, were demographics used to measure ratings. For example, one station was #1 with one group and another station with another demographic. Were ratings measured during the time of day and between age groups?
Arbitron just released the ratings of the stations in Little Rock late last week. You can check the overall ratings at
The top 5 stations in Little Rock are KSSN,KOKY,KKPT(The Point 94.1),
KHLR,(Halleluah 94.9), and KABZ (103.7 The Buzz). These are the overall ratings from 6am-midnight.
The Point 94.1 ratings jumped in part to adding Beaker Street.


I will dig up some of the old Pulse ratings and show some examples of the information they contained.
You could take a Pulse book and prove your station leading in something. It could be left handed midgets.
In order to use the ratings for sales or advertising purposes you had to be a subscriber.

I notice in the current Arbitron for Fort Smith AR, that two of the top stations are not shown in the public information because they are not subscribers. Those who subscribe can see the numbers but to the general public the release of the ratings do not show the top two stations in the market.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

KAAY Silver Dollar Sound Survey

Here is a memory from another site:

DXing, at least in terms of nighttime skywave reception, didn't mean all that much to me as a small child--after all, I was put to bed at 7 or 7:30 every night (and the radio was usually in my sister's room)! But I do remember hearing KAAY-1090 and their "Silver Dollar Survey," which confused me at the time--I thought I heard them say "Silver Dollar CITY", but my sister insisted it was just a theme park and not a *real* town, and didn't have its own station! And I can recall being intrigued by the Mexicans that were audible all over the dial on sunrise skip (some things never change!
When KAAY first started in Sept. of 62, Jim Hankins a/k/a Mike McCormick named the music survey "The silver Dollar Sound Survey". He got the name from somewhere else and I never knew why it was called that. The name was kept for several years and the third or fourth program director changed it. It went through several design changes over the years. A copy of the Survey with the original jock line up is posted on this site. Just do a upper left search window for "silver Dollar Survey" and click on search this blog. Also, scroll down for the contest to find more surveys that are not posted on this blog. I have nad no winners so far.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Lee Abram's KAAY Comment

Lee Abram was a big executive with XM Radio and has a distringuished past radio. He used to write a very interesting blog that I have quoted may times. I missed a comment he made about KAAY. Thanks to Bud for finding this and passing it on:

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New Additional Contest

The prize is a KAAY Tee Shirt Large, probably from the late 70s. This is original, never worn or given away until now.
Just find a KAAY music servey that has not been previously published on this blog. To check, just enter "music survey" in the search window upper left, then click on search this blog.

You can email me a scan of the survey, or sent a web link or mail me the actual survey and I will scan it and return it to you.

Email me at

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More Alma Rock & Roll Show

Please be advised that this whole
show is a bogus. The Coasters name
is owned by Carl Gardner and no one
else. Myles Savage need to get a job.
Also he is using the photo of one of my guys J.W who is only an employee with the Coasters and not the lead singer. Carl Gardner is the lead singer. Kindly cease and desist from advertising the name The Coasters on your show.

Veta Gardner
Please understand this is not my show. I have nothing to do with it other than I live in Alma. I suspect it is an independent promoter bringing it in. I suggest you contact the Alma Performing Arts Center, who can put you in contact with the promoter.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Remembering Tommy Riggs a/k/a Rock Robbins

I failed to do this in July the birthday and death month of Tommy Riggs.

Much has been written about Tommy on this blog. Please enter "Tommy RIggs" in the seach box in the upper left of this blog and click on search this blog.

Go to this link and there are some great Tommy songs to download:

Truth In Labeling

carl.gardener has left a new comment on your post "Rock and Roll Coming to Alma AR":

This show is not anyway part of The Coasters. None of these singers has ever sang with The Coasters. The public is being duked to think that these people have sang with these groups and they haven't. I should know I'm the lead singer of The Coasters and that's the web page below.
Carl Gardner of The Coasters


Even back in the early days of Rock and Roll, I remember having booked Fats Domino. At the time there were impostors appearing as Fats and they were not. Fortunately, I got the real thing but I had many anxious moments.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rock and Roll Coming to Alma AR

As most of you know, I live in Alma AR. It is a bedroom community to Fort Smith. We do have an entertainment venue as good as any in Fort Smith.

This coming Saturday we have the following event:

The Stars from the Platters, Coasters, Drifters and Temptations
Myles Savage, star lead singer from The Platters, brings his star studded show from Las Vegas to the Alma Performing Arts Center for a romantic evening of world class entertainment. Returning to Alma after a three year absence, organizers say this show is better than ever. Hear the many great hits made famous by the stars and musicians of these famous musical groups. The Stars are all former members of these groups and enjoy keeping their music famous. Don't miss their authentic performances of "Only You," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," "The Great Pretender," "Poison Ivy," "Charlie Brown," "Love Potion #9," "My Girl," "Old Man River," "Up On The Roof," "Under The Boardwalk" and more. Stars is a bonus show not included in Alma PAC's season ticket package. $45 (VIP), $40, $35 and $30.
7 p.m.
Alma Performing Arts Center
101 East Main Street
Alma, Ark.

For years individual members of groups will put together rewind shows. I was interested in maybe booking The Four Preps. When I looked into it they would appear as either the Four Preps or the Four Lads (I think). One guy had sung with both.
The problem any promoter has today in a small market is cost. The Alma PAC has 1500 seats. When you divide the cost of the act by the seats you get a price most folks in Alma won't pay. When you listen to aircheck tapes on this blog, you will hear big names with a $5 ticket price. You see kids, those were the good old days. But, alas we had nothing like Hanna Montana. This was before Disney got so heavly into entertainment. Walt was busy building a theme park.

Did You Encounter Problems Accessing this Site?

A few days ago, alert reader Dave Montgomery emailed us that trying to access this site with Internet Explorer resulted in an ERROR. And he went on to suggest it was probably the site meter on the blog that I use for counts, and referrals, and all sorts of information. He was right. I didn't catch it as many of you, as well as I, use some other browser. The problem only seemed to affect I.E. I quickly removed the counter and that solved the problem, except I didn't have a good counter. I use other counters on other blogs but they don't have as much info as site meter. Thanks to a computer guru of mine, I have a new free counter that gives me most of the info that site meter did.

I hope they become aware of their problem; Microsoft, Sitemeter or whomever.

I have had no responses to my contest with the free gas card or the portable reel to reel tape recorder. If you are new to this blog, do a search in the upper left and search this blog for "free gas card".

I ran across some old KAAY tee shirts I would like to give away. Let's start another contest for any KAAY music survey that is NOT posted on this blog. It can be a scan, link, actual survey or whatever you can come up with. I will post a photo of the KAAY Tee shirt soon. This was the actual shirt given away by KAAY. (Not a repo).

Friday, August 01, 2008


I want to put in a comment about the ratings. How were ratings done? Now ratings are divided into different groups. For instance between the age groups between men and women. The overall ratings posted on Arbitron are listeners 12 and older. The ratings are ranked with all these groups mixed in together. Just check out the ratings @
Thanks for the comment. When I started in radio in the late 50s while I was still in high school, there were several rating services. C.E. Hooper had Hooperatings. They were telephone surveys. The sample size was usually around 1000. They were fast and you could get the results back quickly. Several stations could pay or just one. You only got legal copies if you subscribed. It was often rumored that subscribers usually got better ratings. I have no first hand experience with that. I felt Hooper offered a reasonable service. There was not much demographic data and I don;t believe they called after 9 PM, Programmers liked Hooper because you could get the results quickly. Sales didn't care too much for Hooper unless you had a strong number one.

There were several other smaller rating services whose name escapes me.

Pulse started becoming the most popular rating service in the 60s. They offered
larger sample sizes, more demographics, county by county counts, but slower service.
It took several months from the end of the survey to the arrival of the book.
Pulse used the diary method. I have a problem with that mythology because it requires the person to remember to write down the stations they were listening to and the time. You could break out a DJ show in 15 minute increments. Pat Walsh, long time KAAY manager was a big ratings fan. He subscribed to Pulse books from markets all over the country along with all the counties in Arkansas.

I have no experience with Arbitron and cannot comment on it.

Little Rock University did car radio surveys for several years. They had students at high traffic locations who would interview people stopped at a light. The had a great sample size and good demographic info.