Friday, July 24, 2009

Dick Downes and KAAY

I've just heard from Dick Downes, a former Program Director of KAAY...we've traded e-mails back & forth and I've gotten permission to share some notes with you. Dick was the PD back in 1975 and had a nerve-wracking episode happen at a cocktail party just after he was, let him recant it for you:

"Bill Paddock owned the local record store in Little Rock (and is one of my "Friends" on FaceBook), there's a photo of him, me and The Wolf that he posted recently that reminded me of this story. It's short, but I don't have time right now to tell the whole tale.

... I was PD at KAAY. We moved into new studios and brought in Wolf to do the night show - one night stand. Picked Wolf up at the airport in a limo (this was in '76 in Little Rock) first thing he does is roll and smoke a fattie - in the limo! Then we visit the record store, meet Bill, do a live remote and all of us head to the brand-spankin' new studios.

Then, during the evening - huge cocktail party including all local and state dignitaries and advertisers - there's this strange odor from the men's room just down the hall from the studio where Wolf is doing his show.

Then Jim Dandy & Ruby Starr show up (with friends) and the odor doubles - and we add the ladies room. Smoke's leaking out from the door to both potties. I was a wreck. I'd just been hired there and thought "Oh s***, this promotion was all my idea and we're gonna get busted."
Nobody ever said a word, but there were a lot of smiling faces.


...and some further notes, in addition:

"In fact, I was chatting online with Lonnie Napier, Wolf's manager (and long-time friend), this past weekend and he remembered the gig and added that he also remembered a boat ride (possible, the new studios were right on the river, but I don't remember it) and the limo turning into a taxi because he saw this knob on the dash and, as he was pulling it, asked "what's this do." Well, that killed the limo and we ended up in a taxi. I suspect Lonnie found the choke but was mechanically challenged and flooded the thing.

On the last day in the old studios (a real toilet - in fact the former GM, Pat Walsh, had a phone extension in the toilet and would do his business while doing business), we sponsored a "Parade" to the new studios at 6 or 7AM. A bunch of people showed up and the cops were really PO'd - I don't think we'd thought of notifying them in advance.

Good luck on the new site and RIP, AJ. Dick"

Thank you, Dick! Please visit often!

Bud S. (

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