Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jim Clark's Recollections

I lived in Little Rock at that time and was an avid radio listener. I was a newspaperman for the Arkansas Gazette, and I worked nights. I listened to KLRA (Brother Hal) in the mornings, KXLR, which was a North Little Rock station, in the afternoons before I went to work, and then I "surfed" the dial after I got off work at 1:30 in the mornings. I would go home; my wife and kids, of course, were in bed because they had to get up for school in the morning, and I would sit in my kitchen, drinking beer to decompress, and listen to great radio--WLS, WSM, WBAP, the Des Moines station, and I can't remember its call letters, the New Orleans station, and others that I would pick up by accident. I heard Wolfman Jack when he was still in Mexico. I remember the incidents that Jerry describes, the reading of the phone book names. Since, I was on the Gazette staff,I knew what was happening because I knew that KTHS had been sold and a new station was coming on the air. When that station came on the air, it was different then anything I had ever heard. I picked up immediately on the disc jockeys' names--Doc Holliday, Sonny Martin, Rock Robbins, Ken Knight, who at that time had the midnight to 6 a.m. shift, and I knew there was some great imagination at work in the programing. The music was about the same as was being played on KVLC and other top 40 stations, but it was the presentation that was different. I knew Pat Walsh by reputation; i had gone to the U of A with him in the early 1950s and had met him casually. He was in sales at the time KAAY went on the air. I knew he was a promoter type. So, we waited during the week end that Jerry describes to see what was going to happen. When it came on the air full blast we were not disappointed. The KAAY years were great times. I am no longer a newspaperman, and AM radio is no longer what it was. It has disintegrated into loud-mouths yelling at each other, and I think the world is worse off because of what it has become. Like most old farts (I'm 75), I yearn for the old times.

Jim Clark

Rogers, AR

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