Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Bumper Sticker From Richard Robinson

Thanks again to Richard Robinson for this bumper sticker!  I lament the fact that so many farmers are doing such a thankless task.  So many uninformed people think that meat and veggies come "from the c\grocery store" and have NO idea how to grow their own food, or where it comes from.

Having a farming background myself, I appreciate the farmers of America.  I have farmed beef, and later in life, had a huge garden...which lay fallow, after my hiatus awhile back while having to work two jobs.  But I still know how to grow my own food (and will get back into it this next season, since I am down to one job!) and appreciate those out there who work so hard to feed us.

Bud S. (

Sunday, September 23, 2018

"A Night To Remember"

(Hi, folks!  Here is an account of Professor Richard Robinson's experience at the latest KAAY get-together!)



On Friday, June 29th, I left my current home in Martin, Tennessee, headed for Little Rock, Arkansas. While Arkansas will always be my true home, my primary purpose for returning to "The Natural State" this time was to attend a special event. Dubbed a "Celebration of the Mighty 1090 KAAY," this promised to be a night to remember. My travel agent had booked me a room for one night at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Little Rock. I arrived around 4:00 p.m. and checked in. The hotel, I’m happy to report, turned out to be an outstanding property, with an incredibly friendly staff and impeccable accommodations.  

After unpacking and settling in, I texted one of my best friends, Sonny Rhodes, to let him know that I had made it safely to town. We had planned to have dinner together, prior to the event at 7:00 that evening. Sonny and I were in journalism school together at what is now The University of Central Arkansas, back in the 1970s. Both of us were influenced heavily by one of the most premier journalists ever to come out of Arkansas, J. Dean Duncan. Both of us had careers after getting our bachelor’s degrees, Sonny in print media and for me, it was radio and public relations work. Sonny earned his master’s degree in journalism from Ole Miss and I obtained a master’s in journalism from The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and later a Ph.D. in mass communication from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. After both of us enjoyed media careers, we turned to teaching. Sonny began teaching at The University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2001 in the Journalism Departent, the same year I joined the Communications Department at The University of Tennessee at Martin. Currently, Sonny Rhodes is an associate professor of journalism at UALR and I’m a professor of communications at UT Martin. We have remained great friends all these years. 

Sonny and his lovely wife Julie, picked me up at the hotel and we drove to the restaurant called "Sticky Fingerz Rock and Roll Chicken Shack" for dinner, before we crossed the street to the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater (no relation to me) on River Marked Avenue. The food and the beer were great and the company was even better. We had a wonderful dinner and visit.  

Just before 7:00, we walked into the theater. Admission was free, although I would have gladly paid to be at the event. The theater is modern and clean. As an old theatre manager, I tend to notice these things! The moderator for the panel discussion was Tom Wood, a longtime radio fixture in Little Rock, although he never worked at KAAY. The panel included Dale Seidenschwarz, a/k/a Clyde Clifford of "Beaker Street" fame, David B. Treadway, the seventh Doc Holiday for KAAY, Matt White, a/k/a Sonny Martin, Barry McCorkindale, a/k/a Barry Mac and Bob Steel, a/k/a Michael O’Sullivan. Bob Robins was supposed to be on the panel, but we were told that he couldn’t make it, due to problems with arthritis. The audience was asked to keep him in their thoughts and prayers. 

Frankly, I was a bit surprised by the size of the crowd. The theatre was essentially full, with an estimated 300 people in attendance and that isn’t a Chamber of Commerce estimate. The people that showed up were there because either they listened to KAAY or they had heard of KAAY. There were even some children present, who had obviously heard of "The Mighty 1090" from an early age.  

For nearly three hours, the crown heard from these icons of broadcasting, each one delighting the audience with stories, jokes and wonderful recollections about their time working the "The Friendly Giant." When it was over, we didn’t want to go home and neither did the panel.  

During the panel discussion, we were given a lot of information about our beloved KAAY. Did you know the name of the first song that was played on the station? It was "Baby Elephant Walk," aired continuously for 24 hours. The name of the background music/sound effects for "Beaker Street?" Originally, it was the dream sequence from the motion picture "Charade," by Henry Mancini Later, the selection was "Cannabis Sativa," by Head. Clyde Clifford talked about "Beaker Street," of course, but also his other duties at the station while he worked there. David B. Treadway, who has a most incredible memory, told several stories and added to many of the others. Matt White (Sonny Martin) discussed the experiences with morning radio on "The Friendly Giant." He informed us that while he was and is a morning person (he’s still doing mornings on another station in Searcy, Arkansas), Bob Robins was not. I think you could say that about a lot of early morning radio personalities. My motto has always been, "The early morning radio show you do for free; they pay you to get up early!"

Barry McCorkindale added his comments. Barry was one of the last employees to work at "The Big K" before it "Went to God," as Clyde Clifford is quoted as saying. Barry has spent many hours digitizing old tapes that were found at the transmitter building at Wrightsville. He has also been a big factor (along with Bud Stacey and others) at keeping this blog site and the memory of KAAY alive.  

When it came time for Bob Steel to offer his insights, he did it in the form of several stories. Bob Steel is another dear friend of mine, whom I have known since we were in college together. Bob was another one of those many "Dean Duncan disciples" at UCA whose influence inspired us to go into the world of journalism and elsewhere. 

For those who don’t know him, Bob is one of the best storytellers and funniest people I have ever known. He had the audience in stiches with his stories about George J. Jennings, Jerry Pitcock and more. It was rich. One story was about Jennings, who meant to use the work "tentacles" at the end of a newscast, prior to dishing it over to Steel, who was going to read another report live on the air. But, Jennings said "testicles," instead. Everyone on the panel that night had much to offer. The entire audience was enthralled, so say the least. The only thing missing were the audio clips of programming. The clips were ready, but there just wasn’t time to hear them! However, I don’t think that anyone felt slighted in the least. The final treat capped off the night perfectly. It was Barbara Rainey accompanied by Buck McArthur, who played and sang one of the great staple songs from the "Beaker Street" program, which is "Cindy’s Crying." Although it has been a few years, and many of us are much older now, their voices were in full form. For a few minutes, we were all young again, listening to "The Big K" and "Beaker Street." It was magical. 

Based upon the crowd and the feedback, it’s been suggested that there be more of these programs about "The Mighty 1090." I know that I would certainly like to see that. KAAY is now nostalgia, fond memories for us; and we all love those memories! Because of people like Bud Stacey, who through sheer force of will, has maintained this blog site, and many others, who have kept this extraordinary station alive on social media, owe a great big thank you to all of the people who made the night possible. It was truly special. I certainly hope there will be more sessions. If so, I plan to attend them, if at all possible. This one was truly a night to remember.

Richard C. Robinson

Martin, Tennessee

(Thank you, Richard, for that nice report!  I wish I could have been there...BS)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Some more comments

Here are comments recently posted on the blog.  Click on a comment to read it in larger type. Each comment is documented with the name of the post where it was attached, and you can jump to the post by typing its name in the search box located at the upper left corner of this web page.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

TV Digest Page From 1946 Re: KTHS

Thanks to H. W. Duncan for this golden nugget!

"Here is a page from TV Digest 1946 indicating that during it's attempted move to West Memphis, KTHS also filed for an FM License."  Credit for this file goes to American radio History:

Thanks, Hollis!

Bud S. (

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

More CALS Celebration Pictures, From Doug Virden

As per Doug,

" are some pics from Friday night.  First is Big John Miller who works at the Butler Center kicking things off.  He has all the reels Barry Mac has restored.  Second is the panel of speakers from left to right Clyde Clifford, David B. Treadway, Sonny Martin, Barry McCorkindale, and Bob Steel.  Bob Robbins wasn't able to make the event and he was truly missed.  Third, is moderator/emcee Tom Wood, his background is he came to Arkansas from Peoria, Illinois in the late 70's to start up a new radio station called MAGIC 105 which went on the air the following summer.  I'm sure Tom listened to KAAY in Peoria.  Barry also worked at MAGIC 105 on the weekends in the 90's in addition to KAAY.

Thank you, Doug!

Bud S. (

Friday, July 20, 2018

KAAY CALS Celebration Pictures

Sorry I've been dragging my feet on these, folks, there has been that four-letter word impeding my fun: work....

Here is the McDonald family:

From left to right: Pat McDonald Hardwick, Lynn McDonald, Nancy McDonald Rinehart, Cindy McDonald Terrazas, Larry McDonald.

Thanks to the McDonald family for posting this picture on Facebook!

I'd posted this cartoon awhile back that I forget where from, maybe Larry's Facebook, too:

No doubt doing that family afternoon thing on a Sunday after lunch: window shopping!  How many years has it been since we've done this?  Too many, as stores have gone to an inner mega-big box format.  I miss the old small town stores...

More to come!

Bud S. (

Thursday, July 19, 2018

More recent comments

Here are more comments recently posted on the blog.  Click on a comment to read it in larger type. Each comment is documented with the name of the post where it was attached, and you can jump to the post by typing its name in the search box located at the upper left corner of this web page.  Happy reading!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Nerwspaper Column Regarding The KAAY Celebration

Thanks to H. W. Duncan:

The reports are just now trickling in...

Bud S. (

CALS Ron Robinson Theater Celebration June 29, 2018

From Larry McDonald's Facebook post:

"My brothers, sisters and I attended a celebration of KAAY radio at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater Friday night in Little Rock. Our Dad, Felix McDonald was the Chief Engineer at the station for over 50 years. KAAY was a huge part of our lives growing up. — with Lynn McDonald, Nancy McDonald Rinehart, Cindy McDonald Terrazas and Larry Mcdonald."

More to come!

Bud S. (

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

KAAY Memories From Keith Parish

"Thank you Bud, for all the work you and the others do on the blog. I had listened to KAAY growing up, it’s hard to really pinpoint my earliest memory; earliest I can recall would probably put it around '72 or '73 which would've put me at 5 to 6 years old. I arrived at that from songs I distinctly remember hearing played on KAAY, Elton John's "Honky Cat", Stealers Wheel "Stuck in the Middle" among many, many others.  I know I went through several transistor radios and no telling how many batteries. I would listen when I went to bed and was supposed to turn it off but I seldom remember ever doing that, most times I would fall asleep or the batteries would go dead. 

I’m  quite sure some of my listening was Beaker Street I just don’t have any distinct recollection of. KAAY was the ONLY station I knew of that played the whole "Rockford Files" theme single, one of my all-time favorite shows, and "one more for the road...." Boz Scaggs "Lido Shuffle" would wake me up so I could listen. Sometime along the way I got an upgrade, my grandpa got me a portable 8-track player with a detachable speaker and an AM tuner.  I got a portable cassette recorder when I was probably 7 years old, most if not all were recorded off air with a mic, from that radio, I was very careful to try and produce quality recordings (not sure if I achieved that).

As I got older I began to pay more attention to the DJ’s and other air staff. I can remember my mom introducing me to Ray and Ram, she didn't care much for rock'n roll, but she liked his morning show, to which I was immediately drawn to. At some point like many others I moved on to FM, found KLAZ, KKYK and KLPQ- Q94, and reintroduced to Ray and Ram when they would do the morning show simulcast, probably around 1980. I would sometimes almost be late for school wanting to listen just a little bit longer to see what Ray would do next!

I was in my early teens but still a kid not thinking how things would change, if I’d known about the changeover of KAAY in 1985(I was in 10th grade)  I would probably have recorded all of the last day, as I recall my dad showed me an article in the state paper about it after the fact. I had originally wanted to get into radio and ended up not pursuing it as that my life and work took me in a different direction.  Looking back even behind the scenes or technician would've been ok too.

I have always loved music and the radio, still do. I think because unlike TV I could be doing other things and focus my attention on other things but yet it was still there. I miss the way it used to be, we are fortunate we have two stations in nearby Clinton, AR (3 if you count the FM translator) that are locally owned, KGFL AM 1110 5kw daytime only, and KHPQ 92.1 FM, they are for the most part satellite fed, with some local programming. But the owners and families are deeply involved in the community. 

There’s probably more, sometimes reading on the blog will trigger memories for me and I’ve gotten where I try and either write them down then or do a note on my phone or iPad.



(Great memories, Keith!  By the way, Keith has found some tapes he's repairing, we should have some audio for the blog in the coming months!  Thank you, Keith!  Bud S.,

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Remembrance of ReelRadio founder Richard Irwin (From Greg Barman)

Hey all,

As some of you may know, Richard Irwin (aka "Uncle Ricky") passed away on June 6 in Sacramento CA.  He was the founder, administrator and tech guru behind, likely the highest-quality paywalled radio aircheck site on the internet.  He had been in declining health for several years. He shut down his site a few months ago to deal with his health, and seek someone else to run it. 

But no one else could run it, not the way he ran it.  His standards were obsessively high.  It went beyond that airchecks had to be good technical quality.  He edited them to his own satisfaction, and even used an audio processor to present them on the site.  He wouldn't allow Mp3 versions of airchecks.  He stuck with the RealAudio format, which was cutting edge back in the day but no longer.  He knew UNIX to run the system that hosted the site, and did all the paperwork and payments associated with licensing and other legal requirements.  Who else would or could handle all of that?

He fought an impressive battle against the mighty RIAA in 2014-15.  The RIAA had cracked down on him for running untelescoped airchecks, claiming it amounted to being a streaming music site.  Irwin contended that Reelradio was a museum site, not an on-demand music site.  Irwin dropped the unscoped airchecks for a while and changed his site significantly to comply.  Behind the scenes, he obtained legal help.  Then, one day the site returned back to normal.  The unscoped airchecks were back with no further explanation.  I called him up to congratulate him, and I asked if he could share what happened.  He clammed right up, and wouldn't say a word.  That made me wonder if he so successfully embarrassed the RIAA that they made him sign an NDA to make the problem go away!  If the RIAA had prevailed this may have prevented others from posting unscoped airchecks elsewhere, so I'm glad that Irwin was a fighter.

He could be cranky too.  He insisted that contributors shared their airchecks exclusively with him.  I incurred his wrath one time when I shared one exhibit elsewhere.  His site was pirated endlessly by people who took the airchecks and posted them elsewhere, often for money.  He blames the piracy for the decline of his subscribers.  In reality, it's impossible to avoid theft on the internet.  Plus, there are other (and free) aircheck sites.  And, it's aging demos -- the audience that appreciates this kind of radio history is shrinking. 

So, hundreds of high quality exhibits are lost, possibly forever, unless his estate or the ReelRadio board members find someone to host them.  I have many exhibits there that I will now post elsewhere, most likely the Facebook groups "Radio Jingles and Airchecks", "Chicago Radio Timeline", "I Love AM Radio", "The Broadcasting Club", plus "The Mighty1090 KAAY Blog"  and maybe others.  

LA Dailynews columnist Richard Wagoner posted this remembrance:

And ReWound Radio's Allan Sniffen has this audio tribute:

Greg Barman