Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Basketball Story From Jerry Sims (For Jim Clark)

Jim Clark had inquired again down the blog:

"Thanks for the answer. I wonder if Jerry may have recruited some Arkansas State Teachers College or Little Rock University players for that basketball team?

Jim Clark
Rogers, AR"

And here's Jerry's reply:


No college basketball players (usually) on our team, but we had to look respectful. Example: I had a brother-in-law who was a good athlete at 6' 4" who was always willing to go. I was the only one on mic besides The Emperor, so the crowd would not know who the jocks were until we introduced them. It was also easy to use Lt. Cavendish and Col. Splendid from the Emperor episodes. Better yet, we had Daphne (an Executive Assistant at the station named Barbara Lewis) in a cheerleader uniform, to excite the crowd (us too). She was a beautiful red head and might slip up behind one of the good ole boys at the free throw line to give them a massage, just to watch them shoot up a "brick" of a shot. We might tell our fill ins.... "Tonight you will be Buddy Carr. They will ask for autographs, so spell it right". It seemed to me that many of our D.J.'s, and other ones that I have known, were/are rather shy (me too, unless I have your attention), and did not want to make personal appearances. They usually had a great voice and some kind of All American image that they thought would be shattered with any kind of appearance. They certainly did not want to be on a basketball team where some coordination was required. I was always willing to make appearances and enjoyed them. Plus I was always playing sports, so the basketball team was mine while I was there.

The Commando Team never won a game. We could talk all week about how bad the next opponent would be and our first win would be against them. That would help bring in a full house. Sometimes though, the team (many times made up of their High School coaches, etc.) might be listening to us talk about how easy a victory we would have, and certainly would not want to be the first team we could beat. We would explain to them before the game that we guaranteed them a win, even if we had to throw the game in the end. We would tell them that the crowd was really not there to see a real game, but to see the show.

We always started off the game with A.J. running to center court (Purple Robe, Crown and all) to let the ref know that he always does the opening tip off. Then he would throw the ball to me racing my skinny legs down to our goal for the lay-up. Commandos 2, (Whoever) 0! We did it every game. I remember well a game at Havana, Arkansas which didn't go so well. I took the throw from A.J., went down court and was nailed to the wall, knees and elbows, by one of theirs, who apparently thought we were unfair and did not listen well to the opening conference. I thought I wasn't going to get up.

We actually got to play the Harlem Globetrotters when they came to town in a pre-game short game. They knew we would be talking about it all week for free publicity.

It seems the promotional possibilities were never ending and the staff nearly always ready to do whatever was needed....'cause it was fun.

I do not believe today's young listeners know what they are missing. They simply get...Corporate, cookie cutter, and rather boring radio..

Jerry Sims.....aka Sonny Martin KAAY"

Thank you, Jerry!

Folks, Jerry Sims has been a faithful and valuable contributor to the new blog. Jerry, we're glad you were able to survive that tackle!

If you look further down the blog, you'll also find a picture of Daphne (with A.J./"Doc Holiday").. We can see that she was most likely a welcome diversion at times (well, MOST of the time, eh?) for the Commandos to catch their breath!

I agree about the corporate radio comment... in many instances, it sounds neutered, in my opinion. That's why we're trying our best to gather as MUCH information about one of the greatest radio stations in history, KAAY.

Jerry, keep the good stories flowing!

Bud S. (

1 comment:

  1. You know, as has often been pointed out on this and A.J.'s blog, promotion was the genius of KAAY, and that's a touch of show biz you don't see with radio today. Some of the stunts were pretty outrageous for the times, such as the cow chip throwing contest. Some were just crazy, like the mowing contest. But all of them got attention, which is what promotion is all about. They also created listener loyalty. Of course, times have changed but I don't know very many people who would turn out now to see a team of "supposed" disc jockeys play a bunch of hometown boys. I wonder whether any other radio station ever had its own basketball team featuring the air talent. Does anyone know of one? For the jocks who worked at KAAY, what was the craziest stunt you ever participated in?

    Jim Clark
    Rogers, AR