Thursday, August 13, 2009

Question From Jim Clark/Answer From Jerry Sims!

Jim commented on "A King-ly Interview" with a question:

"I've been reading all of the old posts on A.J.'s blog, many of them bemoaning the passing of AM radio, and I agree with them. Modern FM automated radio is so boring. No "live" disc jockeys playing songs, no patter, nothing but monotony. O course, I am old, and this might influence my thinking, but I lived in Little Rock during the first years of KAAY, and it was exciting. I was surprised, in reading this blog, that the KAAY jocks were so young. A.J., apparently was only about 21 or so when he became program director and the second Doc Holiday. Maybe, it was the exuberance of youth that made the station so different and interesting. I have one question. I would swear that, during the British invasion back in 1964, KAAY had a late night jock who called himself Bill Shakespeare. Does anyone remember that?

Jim Clark
Rogers, Arkansas"

And, once again, Jerry Sims comes to our rescue with some great information:

"We had a friend named Gary Robertson who was the son of the General Manager of KTHV Channel 11 (that was in the same building with early KAAY). Gary could do a great British voice, so we put him on the air for a while. I am not sure what name he used on the air, but surely this was Gary. I am not sure he was comfortable doing a regular shift. I believe he decided to end it himself. 1964 was also perfect timing for that.
We had a show called Top of the Pops, which came from England. It featured various groups and had interviews, as well as music. I sent A.J. a portion of one of the shows a good while back, and he posted it on the blog.
Yes, we were a very young bunch of jocks. Most of us were local, after the first sign on bunch. A.J remarked to me, I believe on the blog too, that they found we would work cheaper. We had so much fun that it did not matter. Also when we had the KAAY Commando Basketball team traveling around the state, I made enough money that sometimes I would realize that I had not cashed my payroll check. We always played for 50% of the house. I think we had a minimum, but the 50% was always much higher. We would talk about it on the air a lot, and would usually pack the house. I was about the only one of the "real" jocks who played, but could bring in enough players to play, and I would tell each one who they would be for the night. They would not be on mic so nobody would know the difference. I have several stories that I can share on this subject if anyone is interested.

Yes, Jerry, we would really like to read those stories! Thanks for sharing more great information!

Jim, I agree...and I may have said it before, but corporate radio seems really...well, sterile. There are a few instances where its fresher and more lively, but there's more to radio than a string of the same 200 songs played over and over....this is exactly why I still dial around these days, listening for local "mom-n-pop" stations that refuse to sell out, who still air local, home-grown programming.

Bud S. (


  1. 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, Arkansas

  2. No matter what genre of music you listen to, music radio is so bad at playing the same songs over and over and over that it's hardly worth listening to.