Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Emperor Holiday, cont.

Part II: Promotions and Giveaways

In Part I of this article, we reviewed how Doc Holiday became Emperor Holiday. In this Part, we'll look at the promotions used by the Emperor.

Of course, the primary promotion was the literally hundreds of one-minute episodes of adventures with the Emperor, Col. Splendid, Daphne, and Lt. Cavendish. These were "canned" episodes, made by the same production company for multiple markets, so that the Emperor's name changed for each market. As noted at
the origin of at least some of these episodes was KRLA, Los Angeles. This is supported by Casey Kasem, the voice of Lt. Cavindish, as he relates in an interview at
http://www.rbr.com/interviews/casey_kasem.asp :

"The next time that I [Casey] tried syndication was when I first came to KRLA in LA in 1963. The morning DJ at the station was Bob Hudson. He called himself "Emperor Hudson." Emperor Hudson had in his castle a Lieutenant Cavendish (that was me), Daphney and Colonel Splendid. We syndicated those vignettes to the top 50 markets."

According to Jeff Roteman ( http://user.pa.net/~ejjeff/halmur.html ), here was the full cast of the radio skits:

"Daphne was played by Sie Holiday, Colonel Splendid was played by KRLA newsman Richard Beebee, Lt. Cavendish was played by Casey Kasem, and the announcer at the end was KRLA DJ superstar, Dave Hull (The Hullabalooer)."

A syndication company, Mark Century, tailored the episodes to each market. For example, in one episode, Emperor Hudson wantedto take over San Francisco, cover it with water, and make it the world's largest ice skating rink. In the episode for KAAY's Emperor Holiday, it was Oklahoma that was to be taken over so that its oil derricks could be converted into Christmas trees!

Although A.J. searched and searched, he could never recover a single instance of the Emperor Holiday episodes. Fortunately, at
there are examples of the Emperor episodes that were customized for Emperor Hal Murray at KQV, Pittsburgh. Here are a couple. (Note: these require RealPlayer to play.)

Here's an episode of Emperor Clark Weber, WLS, Chicago:

In addition to the promotional episodes, there were giveaways specifically tailored to Emperor Holiday's KAAY commandos. As A.J. reminisced in his blog on August 2, 2006:

"As the Emperor Holiday promotion got into gear, promotional material begain to roll. This is a 45 record (remember those) recorded by a local band in the conference room of KTHV. The records were all given away, probably a pressing of 5000":

There was also a (misprinted) bumper sticker,

that, to this day, is valued by its recipients:

(That's Jerry Sims, a.k.a. Sonny Martin, with his!)

As for the misspelling, here's what A.J. had to say about it in a posting on his blog on August 1, 2006:

"Interestingly enough the layout for the bumper sticker went though several hands at the station and the screen printing folks at Adcraft of AR. No one caught the error. The stickers had been out for several weeks, when a loyal commando pointed out the error of our ways. Without missing a beat, we replied that was intentional. It was all part of the comedy of Emperor Holiday. (Holiday being spelled different from the historical Doc Holiday)" [?!]

Emperor Holiday also had plenty of Emperor play money to send to his faithful listeners.

But the most important memento, the one all faithful listeners of the Emperor must have, was the membership card. Many were sent to the members of Emperor Holiday's commandos, but for years, A.J. searched for one, without luck. Then one day, one appeared.

To Be Concluded....

---Dave S. (schmidt1953@gmail.com)

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