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March 07, 2016 [Monday]
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ALL THE NEWS THAT IS NEWS
TOP RADIO PROGRAMMER DRIFTS AWAY If we ask any radio veteran about John Rook, they might reply it is John Rook who takes Chicago, IL flamethrower WLS-890 to its zenith in the 1960s. John also reaches his peak as PD of WLS-890 rival, WCFL-1000, when its ratings outscore WLS-890 in 1970. As a PD Rook brings KQV/Pittsburgh, KFI and KABC/Los Angeles, to new heights. So sad to report that numerous radio award winner John Rook dies on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in his beloved paradise Coeur d’Alene, ID.
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CANCER TAKES COUNTRY STAR Country music fans first meet Joey Marie Feek in 2008. She and husband Rory are Grammy-nominated duo Joey+Rory, which place third on the inaugural season of CMT’s reality talent search Can You Duet. Their debut single, Cheater, Cheater, rises to #30 in Billboard Country. Their seven albums top Billboard’s Country Albums sales chart. For nearly 2 years, 40 year old Joey battles stage IV cervical cancer. At 2:30 pm on Friday afternoon, March 4, 2016 Joey Marie Feek loses that battle.
36 YEAR WINDY CITY RADIO VET LEAVES THE BUILDING Since August 1979, Norm Winer calls CBS Radio Triple A WXRT FM Chicago, IL his broadcast home. But as happens so often in radio, his last day at WXRT FM is Friday, March 11, 2016. What causes Norm to depart WXRT FM is when after over 36 years at the helm, CBS Radio gives him the new title, Director of WXRT Music Initiatives & Special Programming. Thus ends a special era in Windy City radio.
IHEARTMEDIA POSTS MASSIVE LOSS In 1972, banker Lowry Mays and car dealer B. J. [Red] McCombs form Clear Channel Communications in San Antonio, TX. CC grabs over 1,200 radio stations. Later, CC sells hundreds of them. iHeartMedia buys CC’s remaining 850 radio stations. Revenue falls which gives iHeartMedia a fourth-quarter loss of $93 million compared to a $68 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2014. As of December 31, 2015 iHeartMedia’s debt increases to $20.87 billion from $20.33 billion in 2014.
TRIVIA QUESTION: When does Pop legend Frank Sinatra sing in front of a live audience for the last time? The answer appears below.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
•HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Billy Thorman Sunday, March 6th. Kevin Charles Friday, February 26, 2016. •KFWB-980 Los Angeles, CA formerly Chuck Blore’s Channel 98 Color Radio flips to South Asian-language Bollywood. •JASON CAGE popular nighttime host on WBBM FM (B96) exits to become Morning Show Host on WZMP FM in Philadelphia, PA beginning March 7, 2016. •DAVID BURRIER leaves his post as GM of Red Bull Records in Los Angeles, CA after 8 1/2-years. (email@example.com).
ENTERTAINMENT AND NEWS MILESTONES
•1953 KATHLEEN SULLIVAN [newscaster on E!] born on March 7th in Pasadena, CA. •1964 SKIP EWING Country songwriter (Randy Travis’ If I Didn’t Have You) born on March 6th in Redlands, CA. •1978 CHARLES BRACHT Belgian baron kidnapped on March 7th. •1986 RANDY TRAVIS debuts on the Grand Ole Opry on March 7th with an introduction by Little Jimmy Dickens. •1991 IRAQ explodes oil fields in Kuwait on March 7th. •2011 TAYLOR SWIFT’s Mean releases to radio on Big Machine records on March 7th.
EMAILS YES WE HAVE EMAIL
KENT BURKHART [KXOL-1360, WQXI-790] (Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL) William wahl is his real name. Tony the Tiger Taylor is his radio name. I hired him in the 60’s from small market in upper New York. He was in Atlanta for couple of years at WQXI. He lived across the street from me in ATL. He is a great golfer. Fat Jack was his favorite pro. Bill Drake hired him from Atl to WRKO fm in Nyc as I recall it. That is about all I recall. He was inducted into the GRHF as I remember. Great dj. Kent
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DAVE MICHAELS [former WSAI-1360/KONO-860/KBUC FM] (Dayton-Huber Heights, OH) Subject: Ray Scott WNOP-740. Before WNOP moved to a barge on the Ohio River as their new studios , they were in downtown Newport, KY over a barber shop in the hey days of Newport’s famous strip clubs.. Many strip clubs with illegal gambling & prostitution. And betting and shootings from Gangsters – rumor were these clubs were owned by Mob people in New Jersey. The town was wide open in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The Feds came into KY-Newport and started looking into all this crime and sex & drugs & gambling. And it was shut down one by one with tax charges, bordellos above the clubs and bars. Ray was there during this time before they closed Newport, KY down. My dad told me all his pals used to drive over The River (downtown Cincinnati) to Newport for a good time! It was 5 minutes from downtown Cincinnati. All the vice anyone could want was there. Ray was called The Silver Fox. Ray Scott WNOP-740 Newport, KY. I think about Ray every once in awhile. I think Jean is still alive.
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JACK PARNELL [ex WHBQ-560 PD/DJ] (Memphis, TN) Subject: My thoughts about radio. Jim: You are exactly right about the younger DJs…I’m also seeing NO interest whatsoever on their part; they’re almost like computers. I also had a friend here who worked at a jazz station about 10 years ago, and the pd told him he needed to sound like he “wasn’t with it”, by deliberately using “ughs, ahs” and other silly sounding stuff that I could never even think of using those, as well as pauses, etc. Wink and I often talk about when we were both at WHBQ and how we were given the freedom to be ourselves, playing what we wanted to play, as long as it was on the playlist. Wink and I didn’t even try to sound alike in our shows, so instead of playing records, we built shows as we moved along thru our time on the air. We even programmed the commercials with the records to make everything flow. I don’t believe any of today’s jocks really think about, or even have the feel what sounds good, but they just try and get it over with…we loved what we were doing, and were proud of the results! JP
TRIVIA ANSWER: On February 25, 1995 Frank Sinatra sings in front of a live audience for the last time at a private party for 1,200 select guests on the closing night of the Frank Sinatra Desert Classic golf tournament. His closing song is The Best is Yet to Come. Those words also appear on his tombstone. He dies on May 14, 1998.
CLAUDE HALL (Las Vegas, NV) Claude’s Commentary is now VOX JOX. Edited and published by Rollye James Cornell and written mostly by Claude Hall. Tales about Elvis, Steve Tyrell, and Charlie McCoy and comments from Jimmy Rabbitt, Ken Dowe, Don Graham, Art Wander, Tom Campbell, Kris Erik Stevens, and several others. Please join us each Monday! (www.VoxJox.org/ Home Page)
HOWARD STERN (January 12, 1954 – p) I don’t think there’s one thing I’ve ever said on the radio that would have been found indecent or obscene.
Jim Rose and Suzie
Houston, Texas – Laus Deo
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