Monday, November 30, 2009

Revisiting "Clyde Clifford, Then & Now"

Kevin Stottrup said...

"As a teen, the only good thing about returning from an evening out at a reasonable hour was to sit mesmerized under a starry Minnesota sky listening to Clyde Clifford's Beaker St.

These memories came back to mind tonight as I watched Pirate Radio in the theatre with my adult sons. I felt like a pioneer rock-listener.

Thanks Clyde, glad to see you're still with it.


(This found as a comment from the original post of 8/3/09, moderated today.)

Thanks for stopping by, Kevin! Please visit often and give us more memories to post here! I have yet to the the movie, "Pirate Radio", since its debut here in Mobile, AL was delayed...and I still don't know if it has made it or not, as of this date. I "chased" radio pirates for a large part of my radio monitoring life, but haven't trolled for them in several over 300 QSL cards and recordings from 'em, too!

Bud S.

Deep Water Reunion

"1969 self-released, private press LP from Minnesota's Deep Water Reunion. Tracks: 1. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - Bob Dylan 2. Cindy's Cryin - Tom Paxton 3. Steel Rail Blues - Gordon Lightfoot 4. I'll Be Your baby - Dylan 5. Break My Mind - J. Loudermilk (Made popular by The Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons) 6. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond 7. Games People Play - J. South 8. Good morning Starshine 9. Leaving On A Jet Plane - John Denver 10. Hey Jude - Lennon, McCartney "

Thought this was interesting...since numerous people over the years was looking for the song, "Cindy's Cryin'" since it played on KAAY, and now it's all over the web for download!  This self-titled album was shown on Amazon as "currently unavailable- we don't know when or if this item will be back in stock."

We'll just have to download what we can find and make our own collection, won't we?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rob Robbins, Thanksgiving Night, 1962

Bud S. has recently acquired a collection of airchecks from KAAY's classic years, and we plan to share these with you over the next few weeks.

We start with a 15-minute aircheck from Thanksgiving night, Nov. 22, 1962, with Rob Robbins.  It's a relaxed session, with Rob playing call-in requests  ("Franklin 5-5311"), including an unusual request from a high-school algebra student, who wants help with his homework ("what's the square root of 17,896?").  Can you handle that one?  (I used to be able to do square roots with pencil and paper, but hand-held calculators made me forget how!)

(download here)

Thanks, Bud!

---Dave S.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Wish

May your home always be filled with life, love and laughter...

May your table always be filled with food, your cup never empty...

May you always live in God's grace...

And may we remember this is a day of thanks and of prayer....

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Bud S. (

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Gobble, Gobble!"

Happy Thanksgiving all! Time to be with friends and family, and, of course, the WKRP Turkey Drop!

Ohhh, the humanity! ; > ) Gobble gobble !

Dave M/

(Wow, Dave, I needed that! I'd forgotten about that particular episode and you came through!

Folks, Dave also mentioned to me, as A. J. did on his blog a couple of years ago, that fictional WKRP was surprisingly close to real radio stations.

As a dishevelled Arthur Carlson said: "As GOD is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!"

Wow, what a, I've got to go and watch it! bs)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

KAAY Thanksgiving 1962

This is from the A.J. Lindsey archives.   In A.J.'s own words, from his blog:

I have been looking for this since the starting of the Thanksgiving season. This ... is what Mike McCormick a/k/a Jim Hankins called a "seasonal". It was a production element to set the stage for the season. Note this one runs 1 minute and 20 seconds. Jim wrote this and it aired as KAAY had been on the air barely 3 months. The voices are newsmen B.Bruce Jenkins and George J. Jennings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

“Ole Discount Jack Here”

That’s the way Jack Garner always began his radio commercials. He was “comin’ at ya with the new album by (artist) on (label). It’s hot. It’s rock and roll. And it’s at Discount Records NOW.” He invariably bought 60-second commercials and he’d pack as much music into them as possible so potential consumers could get a good idea of what he wanted them to buy. His spots always ended with “Discount Records, a better way to get music to the people.”

Sometimes he brought Trader Jim (Ledbetter) or Carroll Dee (Bland) with him to record, but the basic structure of his messages never varied. Unlike a lot of clients who cut their own commercials, Jack had a very clear concept of what he wanted to accomplish. And I think you could measure the vinyl he sold in tons.

I met him in the summer of 1972, after I left KAAY for the first time. He was an early and consistent supporter of KLAZ 98.5—the station that would have been KAAY-FM if the construction permit had not been allowed to lapse. He showed up one day with a handful of albums and his script written on a legal pad and all I could think was, “Oh, great. Here’s another client that’s going to take half a day in the studio because he doesn’t know what he wants.” Wrong! Underneath that hippie exterior lived a businessman who was always the sharpest knife in the drawer. (Small but telling detail: his mention of the record label in his spots earned him what’s called co-op money, meaning the label would help him pay the cost of his ad schedule.)

He was over six feet tall with bushy, curly hair and a beard that made him look like the missing member of Jethro Tull. His favorite wardrobe items were faded overalls and high-topped shoes—the kind my grandfather wore when he was plowing the fields. There was a gleam and a glitter in his eyes and he loved to laugh. You could talk to him for thirty seconds and tell you were in the presence of a great intelligence.

He had spent some years pretty high up in the food chain at Mattel, figuring out ways to make the mothers of little girls buy ever-increasing amounts of Barbie stuff. He was rather well off when “I just couldn’t take the hypocrisy any longer, so I blew it off. And I swore I was never going to wear a tie again!”

So he came from Up North and decided to settle in Little Rock to sell records. His business thrived for years (and radio benefited from it) until the chain stores squeezed out the Mom-And-Pop operations. (Try going to Walmart and asking for Steeleye Span or Daddy Cool. Jack kept them in stock, along with a thousand other esoteric delights.)

I’m pretty sure that he sold out for a good price when he saw the end coming. He was probably very comfortable for the rest of his life. Cancer took him out sometime in 2000, I believe. Pity, that. In all the years I knew him, I never saw him in a bad mood, never heard a negative word from him. I am blessed to have been given his KAAY Honorary Announcer certificate (thank you, Laura) from 1977.

How cool that he managed to live a good part of his life on his own terms. How many of us can say that? Rock on, Discount Jack—we’ll not see the likes of you again!

David B. Treadway
Doc Holiday VII

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hello, Visitors!

I just wanted to say "Thanks!" to all those who visit this blog!  I've noticed that more of our neighbors to the north have been stopping by: Saskatoon, Regina, and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; Calgary, Alberta and an unnamed place 'way up in the Nunavut Territory, as of late.

Most of these locations were in the direct northwest path of KAAY's upper figure-eight night-time pattern.  It would be interesting to us, I believe, as to what conditions were like, receiving KAAY's signal during all times of the year.  I guess its the "Ham nerd" in me.  Please, Canadian neighbors and KAAY fans, please drop us some comments about your memories of listening to KAAY!

Bud S. (

Another Record Shop, Per Dave M.

"One of the local record shops that advertised on KAAY, KLAZ, and other stations in the market, was “Discount Records”. “Discount Jack” Garner would ad-lib the opening of his spots with a very cordial and laid-back “Hi folks, Discount Jack here, from Discount Records, across from the University in Little Rock. Today we’ve got the new release from _______________ . . . “ and then he would have a few short cuts from the album as ear-teasers. He’d also mention anything else that might be of interest to the counter-cultured listener. And then close with something like, “be sure to come in Saturday when the new __________ album arrives.”

Jack (Discount Jack) Garner was a bit of a thorn in the local establishment society’s side. Aside from selling lots of bleeding edge rock and roll records, he also sold “paraphernalia”, black lights, incense, posters, and, well, you get the picture. Jack was also involved in some legal activity related to the definition of paraphernalia and what it might be used for. Quite a character he was, and certainly up for a good conversation or debate when you could catch him in the store."

Thank you, Dave!  We also had one of those places, but it wasn't a record shop- at least, I don't remember any records being in there- but they carried leather goods, wierd clothing, black lights & posters and, yes, "paraphernalia".  I didn't go there much, due to the fact they didn't have records and the times I did go there, I got the "hairy eyeball", probably because I wasn't part of their "regular crowd"...even though I had shoulder-length hair & a beard.  Maybe I was too "clean" for them, in more ways than one?
By the way, you may or may not believe this...the name was, "The Head Shop" and it was in a little out-of-the way place not normally travelled in one of our local malls.  I stumbled upon it one day by mistake.  Moms & kids wouldn't be normally headed out this particular exit to the parking lot- there wasn't much of one, basically being a very small employee lot, opening into the larger area quite some ways away.  It was actually in an alcove behind another wouldn't know it was there unless one heard of it by word of mouth or if you happened to go down an unlit hallway, which wrapped around the little shop "out front".....
Bud S. (

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Moses Melody Shop

Whew, when the ideas flow, the memories come back, especially when I'm doing research and find something ELSE that pops up in passing.

Moses Melody Shop was termed "the hippest record shop in Little Rock" by a couple of sources.  Several local bands were able to hawk their records there.  What little bit I could find is from the text of a book I found on Google Books and Amazon, "A Corner Of The Tapestry: A History of the Jewish Experience in Arkansas":

"Cleve Moses (1880-1949) established the Moses Melody Shop in Little Rock shortly after World War I.  It was one of the most popular stores of its kind for more than sixty years and was continued by Cleve's sons, Cleve Moses Jr. and James (Cleve Moses Jr. moved to Houston after World War II and established a music store there.)"

Moses Melody Shop was one of the tenants of the McCain Mall; others were the McCain Mall Cinema, Johns Jeans (mentioned in the blog previously), The Ranch, Foxmoor Casuals, Butler's Shoes, Musicland, Paul's Shoes and Mr. Dunderbak's, as per some info I found on another blog (and I lost the address!).  I'll have to find it again, for reference...does anyone remember any of these vendors advertising with KAAY?

AP Copy of the Kennedy Assassination, from Jerry Sims

In light of this grevious but historic anniversary, Jerry Sims passes along an AP (Associated Press) copy he had sent to A. J. for his blog, and thought it would be appropriate to post again here.  This is a link to one of A. J.'s freewebs storage site and still works:

Thanks to Jerry, a.k.a. Sonny Martin II, for this important piece of history.

Bud S. (

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tom Perryman: About the JFK Assassination

This Sunday, November 22, marks another anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

KAAY's "voice", Tom Perryman, was a highly regarded news broadcaster at WAKY, Louisville.  In 1963, Tom was offered a job at WFAA, Dallas, and he took it.  This led him to participate in the coverage of John Kennedy's assassination.

Here's Tom's story, in his own words:

When I went to Dallas in the summer of 1963 (a job offer from out of the blue), I joined a very good news team of six at WFAA.

When Kennedy came on that November trip, I was assigned to cover his arrival in Ft. Worth on Nov. 21 in the evening. JFK was flying up from Houston and was late getting out of Houston, and the several hundred people at Carswell Air Force Base in Ft. Worth were getting a little anxious, but he finally got there, as I recall --- about 11:30PM or thereabouts --- and got a lot of cheers, but I don't recall him making any speech there.  Since it was late, I suppose he was ready to get to bed.  His motorcade passed by my WFAA mobile news unit and we gave our report of his arrival and departure. Since I lived in Richardson, north of Dallas, It was about 2 or 2:30AM when I got home. 

I had press credentials (which I kept to this day) for the luncheon JFK was to attend in Dallas on Nov. 22 and I had planned on being there, but since I was so late getting back from Ft. Worth, I stayed in bed... until I got a call from a DJ buddy of mine at WAKY, Louisville, Jack Sanders, saying he wanted a feed on Kennedy.    (Jack will be remembered by fans of WAKY; he was very popular and a great guy.)

I said, "sure", and Jack said "you know he has been shot?"  I said no and rushed to WFAA to get involved in the assassination coverage of JFK.  (Later in the afternoon I gave the report Jack asked for.)

The newsroom was going crazy, and NBC Radio network wanted a live report from the studio.   I got info from what was available and was questioned by several of the top news people on NBC radio and TV at the time.  So after wanting one day to be on the network with polished and rehearsed news, here I was ad libbing around the world a very hot story that just broke.  I did numerous news reports that day and the following several days on NBC Radio (WFAA was affiliated with both the NBC and ABC Radio networks since we had 2 AM frequencies at the time). All the news guys did a lot of reports over several days to both networks and the many radio stations who called in. 

Recently in the Louisville paper they printed a letter from a reader that implied Dallas was full of right wing zealots wanting Kennedy dead and all the flags were flying upside down (a sign of distress), which was totally false.  Kennedy had received a warm welcome at Love Field.  A retired General Walker who was a right-wing zealot did fly his flag in front of his house in Dallas upside down.  It was later revealed that Lee Harvey Oswald fired a shot through the window of General Walker's home (this became known after bullets were compared) a few days or a week or two before the Kennedy assassination.  The bullet didn't hit anyone at Walker's house, and I always wondered if there was more to that story.

I later talked to and interviewed Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, who lived in Ft. Worth, and I can understand why Lee Harvey might have been a little goofy. 

Jack Ruby was represented by a team of lawyers headed up by Melvin Belli, famous San Francisco attorney, who got to know all the local news reporters because of the frequency of news conferences and edicts from the Judge in the case, etc... so Belli sent out a bundle of subpoenas to a lot of local Dallas people and reporters, including me, which he planned on using testimony that a lot of publicity in Dallas about his client would prevent a fair trial. But the Judge wouldn't have any of this and denied the hearing, but I did keep my subpoena.  Belli was a true lawyer/entertainer/orator and he loved publicity.  I remember on some issue that came up in Dallas while he was in California, I called his office and they told me the name of a restaurant where he was dining, and I called and got him very quickly on the phone for a comment.  He loved to talk to reporters and was always very gracious.

Thanks, Tom, for these remarks!

Here is a Youtube video of part of the CBS coverage of Kennedy's shooting.  It includes extensive footage from the luncheon that Tom had planned to attend.

Rest in Peace, JFK and Walter....  
---Dave S.

Black Oak Arkansas

The first time I heard Black Oak Arkansas was on KAAY.  I loved their music!  I still have the album, "If An Angel Came To See You, Would You Make Her Feel At Home?" and had a bunch of 8-tracks, until they were stolen....

I didn't know until recently that they'd formed back in 1965 as The Nobody Else.  I sure know they were popular on the 1970's.  Beaker Street gave the band exposure, "which introduced the band to a national audience by making such songs as “Lord Have Mercy on My Soul,” “When Electricity Came to Arkansas,” “Hot and Nasty,” and “Uncle Lijah” staples of its program.", re: encyclopediaofarkansas' link below.

All I know is, Jim Dandy Mangrum's gravelly voice, like Wolfman Jack's, was appealing to lots of us listeners, but it sure was hard to emulate either....

Bud S. (

Not Related To KAAY, But...

...I just wanted to throw these in here.  I spent many a happy hour at the Mobile Municipal Auditorium, now known as the Mobile Civic Center:

But of course, times and ticket rates change and I haven't been there in years, especially with some acts demanding up to $40 per person!  We also had our share of shyster promotors, who went to prison after skimming cash off the top of ticket sales.  The auditorium, as you can see, is round, while the arena is square and attached to the western side of the auditorium.  Just my memories, nothing more....

Stan's Record Shop, Per Ron H.

I first heard about Stan's Record Shop on KAAY. When I wanted to purchase an oldie, I would write to Stan's and ask them to send the records C.O.D. Stan's never let me down; I would have the records I desired in about ten days.

When I was in Vietnam, I wrote to my parents and asked them to telephone Stan's to order two 45's for me. Stan's didn't wait for my parents to send the money. The records were mailed directly to me in Vietnam about ten days after I wrote the letter to my parents.  I'll never forget that act of kindness.

Gary Wegner and I were both drafted on the same day; consequently, we were both released about the same time in September, 1968. We decided it would be fun to visit our friend who was stationed at the air force base in Alexandria, LA. Our friend had requested a leave, so we asked him to checkout and drive to New Orleans with us. Gary asked me if I would like to make a little detour to Stan's Record Shop on the way home. He could tell by the smile on my face what my answer would be.

When we arrived at Stan's the next day, I looked all over for the large stock of oldies which were supposed to be there. "Apache 65," for example, was a record I wanted to buy. The shelves were full of only the latest records, so I was disappointed. Something shiny on the wall caught my attention. It was the gold record for "I'm leaving It up to You" by Dale and Grace. It was on the Montel label which did not belong to Stan. That is the only gold record I have ever seen. My friend Ronnie Allen notified me he was doing a radio interview with Dale and Grace, so I asked him to find out the story behind the gold record. They told him they didn't remember it being there.

Just before we left Stan's, I spotted drawers below the shelves. Eureka! That is where all of the older records were stored. We had planned to stay the night in Little Rock, and it was getting late.   We had to hit the road if we were going to make it to Little Rock before dark.  I only took a few minutes to browse those drawers, but I still spent a wad of money before we departed.

We listened to WNOE all of the way to Little Rock; then we tuned to KAAY. The next day we listened to KAAY for about the first 300 miles during the last day of our trip back to Chicago. Wow, what a signal! It was a trip to remember.

Stan's Record Shop! There will never be another place like it.

Ron Henselman W9FT

(A further note per Ron-)

I forgot to comment about a ham radio conversation I had. I was in Northwestern, Wisconsin, and I was playing with my ham radio. It was the mid-ninties, and I contacted a gentleman named Ship in Shreveport. When I mentioned Stan's, Ship informed me Stan and he had been friends for many years. Ship said he was sorry to inform me Stan's was no longer there due to the poor economy of the area at that time.


Barton Coliseum

"Barton Coliseum, which was constructed in 1952 and named for industrialist Thomas Harry Barton. Located in Little Rock (Pulaski County), it was Arkansas’s largest public building at the time, containing 6,750 permanent seats and 3,000 portable floor seats. (Courtesy of Jim McDaniel)"

We've heard so many times about the concerts at this venue...and what a beautiful building!  Current records show that events are still being held here.  Here is another view:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grey Line DXing Revisited

Hi Bud,

During my last business trip, I was watching the moving map GPS display in the airliner and a thought occurred to me – that under very unique circumstances (and extremely difficult to reproduce, I might add) it might be possible for someone to listen to KAAY in Vietnam. Here’s how.

Gray line propagation is the unusual propagation of radio waves that happen twice each day during morning twilight and evening dusk. Many “hams” take advantage of this effect to communicate very long distances. The effect lasts only a few minutes, and fades as quickly as it begins. Don Payne has also mentioned gray line propagation in a couple of his posts.

Here’s a definition of gray line propagation from the website

Quote: “The grey line is a band around the Earth that separates the daylight from darkness. Radio propagation along the grey line is very efficient. One major reason for this is that the D layer, which absorbs HF signals, disappears rapidly on the sunset side of the grey line, and it has not yet built upon the sunrise side. Ham radio operators and shortwave listeners can optimize long distance communications to various areas of the world by monitoring this area as it moves around the globe."

What I noticed on the airplane’s moving map GPS display is that both Arkansas and Vietnam could both be inside the gray line at the same time during fall or winter months. Daylight hours are shorter in the northern hemisphere during winter months, and if you plot the gray line from Arkansas to Vietnam following the wintertime Great Circle Route, you go up over northern Canada, and then down into south-east Asia. If this theory holds any water at all, early morning in Arkansas would be sundown in Vietnam, and vice-versa. A late afternoon listener in Vietnam, for example might be able to catch a few short minutes of the KAAY morning show, when they are both within the “gray line”.

Also, there would only be a few days each year when both Arkansas and Vietnam would be in or close enough to the gray line to make this possible. I have absolutely no way of testing the theory but perhaps some of the wiser readers would be able to expand the theory or label it as “bs”. Have fun discussing!

Also, regarding the KAAY listener report from a military base in England – military radios are known their far-above average sensitivity, excellent filters, and variable “Q” tuning sections and when coupled with an amplified, tunable and directional long wire military antenna, you could in theory be able to listen to almost anything. But also remember that KAAY (1090kHz) would have to be sharply filtered against the “local” European long wave frequency 1089kHz, and that would take some specialized equipment not usually available to John Q Public.

I’m just sayin’,


(Yessir, Dave, those military and commercial receivers are hot properties...but, the average listener can't afford a $15,000 radio...and some of the top-line Ham tranceivers can run $9,000 to $13,000 for those who are very serious about getting every contact they go after...and that's NOT including the antenna(s), feedline/coax, tower/antenna supports, power amplifiers, meters and what-have-you.  I'm just happy to have what I have and enjoy the time operating and listening that I do.

Some of us dream of that multi-acre antenna "farm"- and I'm not talking of just a couple acres, mind you!- for huge rhombic antennas, etc.  Or even the hundred-plus feet [some go hundreds!] of tower and the biggest antenna on top.  But, its technique and persistance that count heavily, as well. Bud)

Floyd'sRecord Shop

And, speaking of record shops, let's not forget Floyd's Record Shop, 434 East Main Street, Ville Platte, LA.  I remeber hearing a segment of Timeless Tracks where Tony Warner had A. J., Pat Walsh and a couple other former KAAY stalwarts in the studio and A. J. and another fellow boomed out, "V-I-L-L-E, P-L-A-T-T-E!", just as if  they were still in the studio!

Floyd's was another advertiser on KAAY back in the day.  If you want authentic zydeco or cajun music, this is the place, but they also carry many other types.  Not only that, Floyd's carries musical instruments and also VINYL RECORDS!  How many kids nowadays actually know what a vinyl record is?

Anyone deal with Floyd's back in the day?  Please leave your comments here!

Stan's Record Shop

Another vendor that booked advertising with KAAY was Stan's Record Shop at 728 Texas Street in Shreveport, LA.  Due to KAAY's long-reaching signal, there were numerous customers outside Little Rock and the state of Arkansas who advertised with the station; this is one that immediately comes to mind, I'll have to try and research more.

There are several Internet references to Stan's Record Shop and several 50,000-watt stations carried his advertising.  He was the distributor for Chess Records of Chicago, IL, as well, and with KAAY, Little Rock, AR, KWKH, Shreveport, LA and WLAC-AM, Nashville, TN, he blanketed the South and became the largest independent record distributor in the region.  He also advertised on XERF, Del Rio, TX.  Stan Lewis also had an independent record label, but finally sold out while retaining the control of his music publishing companies.

I thought it quite interesting that, as a kid, Stan Lewis sold news papers to buy several jukeboxes and bought the records for them at a record store in Shreveport.  Later, when he found that the record store was for sale, he and his wife bought it in 1948, and Stan's Record Shop began in a little 8' x 12' space.  From humble beginnings came an empire!

Here are a few links you may want to follow...some have slightly differeng stories, but all tell the story:

One last link, with some really nice pictures and story of Stan in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame:

If anyone remembers buying or mail-ordering from Stan's Record Shop, please give us some coments- I'll bet his service was superb!

Bud S. (

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Little Barn, Revisited

Oddly enough, A.J. and I became competitors of The Little Barn in 1980. A.J. had ventured out of radio and into retail selling waterbeds. I was ready for a change, as well, and went to work for him, eventually, as the Manager of A-J's Waterbeds in Little Rock, just a couple of doors down from The Little Barn. Bottom line, both stores eventually closed up shop after the waterbed craze reached it peak. By that time, I had returned to radio, doing overnights at what is now The Point, and getting a couple of simulcast hours on KAAY each night.

Jim Harvill

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More airchecks from the Phil North collection

As we work our way through Phil's library of airchecks, we encounter these three items:
  1. The Campaign:  A commercial for The Campaign, where Napolean explains to Josephine that he must be off for another campaign at The Campaign, which has a load of sales merchandise to sell in just 10 days. David Treadway and Mary Donald star....(well, kind of)  PLAY STREAM | DOWNLOAD
  2. The Stars: Mike McCormick takes us from a pioneer's adventure, navigating by the stars, to buying a used car at Twin City Motors.  It's a bit of a stretch, but Mike almost pulls it off....  PLAY STREAM | DOWNLOAD.
  3. Love Story: Phil does his level best to convince us that we really do need to buy a 2-LP collection of the best dialog and music from the Love Story movie....  PLAY STREAM | DOWNLOAD
As always, thanks, Phil!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little Barn

You know, all these little things just pop up in my head at 4AM...I just wake up and lay there...I guess I need to get up and write it all down, since I forget most of it when I'm getting ready for work....

Whatever happened to Little Barn, 8500 South University, Little Rock, AR?  I suppose like most businesses, when the clientel dries up, so does the business...and there's not many head shops still around that I know of.

Just curious...they got a lot of exposure on Beaker Street....

Bud S. (

Beaver Productions

Another advertiser heard on Beaker Street and KAAY was Beaver Productions.  Maybe someone can tell us if it was Tom Perry(man) or Gary Gears who did that toenails-deep voiceover?  Needless to say, they brought many, many bands in, such as Spirit, Baby,  This is a picture from their website, dated 2008.  Does anyone have an earler logo from the Beaker Street days?  Was there even one any/much different?

For those who want concert information, you can register on their website:

Who could forget those concert ads, late at night with that deep, spooky voice?  Yeah!

As an afterthought, I've also heard David B. McCallum (sp?)...does anyone know anything about this promotor, advertising via Beaker Street, from the early 1970's?

Bud S. (

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Vietnam Radio

Phil Lenz wrote to me about another homebrew station in Vietnam. It was an FM station, so it is unlikely anyone would think a KAAY tape could be the real thing. Keep in mind most people didn't know the difference between a megacycle and a kilocycle back then; they just turned the radio on and tuned the dial until they heard something they liked.

One of the advantages of having an FM station is the simplicity of a full-size basic half-wave antenna. Another advantage is less radio frequency interference to your audio equipment due to the higher frequency and the type of modulation. When FM is randomly detected in audio equipment, it usually does nothing more than make the equipment produce hum; however, it can saturate audio stages causing them to distort the intended audio source. This is why homebrew FM stations were the likely choice in Vietnam. I'll bet there were more stations than I know about, but I'll bet Lee and Phil were among the few who had AM stations which actually worked.

Check out this link which I found from Phil's suggestion:


Ron Henselman
(Ron, I'd often wondered the possibility of how many "mini-broadcasters" that were put on the air by the technically-savvy folks...I'll bet we'll never know! bs)

"Proud Family of a U.S. Marine"

Amen! I have my "Proud Family of a U.S. Marine" sign posted again today in my yard.

My baby faced Marine (Step-Son) did not have a say when they decided to take him out of college to go defend US in Iraq. He did his duty and put his life on the line 24/7 for us. Fortunately, he has returned home, and is back in school. They do not ask....they just go do their job, and do it well.

Thank God for those like him. We can never re-pay what they do for US.

Jerry Sims
(Jerry, my sig line on my work computer contains, "Proud Dad of a USCG Son!" and I mean it!  We also fly the USCG flag 365 days a year and have, since he came home from boot....Bud)

Veteran's Day

Just a reminder, folks...shake the hand of, or hug, a veteran today and thank them...we have all been touched by their service and sacrifice....

God bless our veterans!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"A Warehouse", New Orleans, LA

Due to KAAY's far-reaching nighttime signal, many advertisers bought time, especially during Beaker Street.  One of those advertisers was the famous "A Warehouse", later called "The Warehouse", in New Orleans, LA.  For those of you who have heard the Beaker Street airchecks, you've heard their advertisements.  From Wikipedia (so far, the only source I've found information), here is a version of their history:

"The Warehouse, located at 1820 Tchoupitoulas Street, was the main venue for rock music in New Orleans in the 1970s.

The Warehouse opened on January 30, 1970 with Fleetwood Mac followed the next night by the Grateful Dead. The Talking Heads performed there on closing night, September 10, 1982. In between those dates, the greats and soon-to-be greats of rock performed at The Warehouse. A partial list would include Bob Marley, Chicago, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Rush, The Who, Yes and ZZ Top. The Allman Brothers were regulars.

Rock history was made there. The Grateful Dead's arrest on opening weekend for drug possession would be immortalized in their song Truckin'. Jim Morrison's last concert with The Doors was at the Warehouse on December 12, 1970.[1]

The Warehouse was originally called "A Warehouse" as it began in the 1850s as a cotton warehouse. Its non-heated or air conditioned space could legally hold slightly over 3,000 people. Its size was the reason for its popularity. If a band needed a larger place to play than a jazz club, but couldn't fill a stadium, they played at The Warehouse.

The Warehouse was finally demolished in April 1989."

(The notation [1] is no longer linkable on the Web, so no further notation is available.)

As many times as I've been to New Orleans and as many times that I went to concerts, I never made it there; it was too far to drive most nights and make it back for school or work the next morning.

Maybe more info will emerge or be found about this historical landmark....

Bud S. (

Comments From Don Payne

"Greetings QSL'ers!" (now THERE'S a familiar greeting! bs)

"As a DJ engineer wanna be (but at least I had a ham license!). And after working at about 20 other statons since then, I realize some stuff was almost paranormal about that signal. For instance-

The audio processing was tweeked to the max by LEROY and jim Loupas..... Two DAPs in series feeding an RCA BTA-50F plate modulation playin the hits! Directional 3 tower array facing North with an ERP of about 300kw.

The thing made some damn noise.

I remember when jocking Beaker Street ...If it kicked off the air at night you would hear a blip of delayed audio about a half second later in the air monitor as the signal propagated all the way aound the earth and hit the receiver. It was probably the most intense RF I've ever seen...Don

Don Payne
Chief Engineer
Radio One of Indiana

Don, I have heard fellow Hams talking about unkeying and hearing the last second of their transmission before the other station responded.  I have studied long- and short-path propagation and there's some odd, fun stuff about it.  I have communicated via both ways and found that, at times, the long way was the better way, when I couldn't make the contact via the shortest path.  I don't know why, radio waves just happen thataway.  All I know is, radio, in all it's forms, still amazes me, with all it's quirks and surprises.  Like I said before, radio still contains magic....

Don had some other comments to add:

"After thinking about this for a few days, I remembered that this phenomenon would happen during the antenna pattern switch when we had to drop carrier for a few seconds going from Night to Day pattern. After studying RF and propagation for about 35 years since then, I attribute this to an effect known as “Gray Line Propagation”, a condition that briefly exists at a given location in which it is just getting dark at the reception point simultaneously with the last few minutes of darkness at transmitter point. On the globe, this signal is following the area of darkness at the terminator line that is the line between night and day. This is called the grayline.

This is the only reasonable explanation I can provide. -Don"

DX Listener Reports

Hi Richard - I agree with your assertion - It would be an interesting exercise to make a scatter chart of the listening reports overlaid onto the "known" night time radiation pattern of KAAY. Just a quick unscientific look at the data points seem to suggest that the report is probably correct, or certainly within the range of expected result.


Monday, November 9, 2009

There have been several blog entries about the KAAY signal being received in other countries, including South Vietnam.  Dale Seidenschwarz ("Clyde Clifford") said that he used to get letters from soldiers there, indicating that they had heard "Beaker Street."  He did not keep the letters, unfortunately.  I have one letter, which I received from Pat Walsh, which reports the reception of KAAY at a Royal Air Force Base in England.  I do have copies of letters from Cuba, as well as numerous states throughout the Midwest.  Pat Walsh told me that they received letters and post cards from persons who picked up the signal of the station while going through the Panama Canal on a cruise ship.

As a historian, when something is claimed, you do your very best to "prove" that something actually happened.  The stock question is, "Is there evidence?"  While there have been claims that KAAY's signal made it to South Vietnam, I have no documentation or proof that this occurred.  Some engineers say that it is not possible for the signal to reach that far, and others say that if conditions were right, that it could happen.  Other than the letter about the reception in England, letters from Cuba, and documentation that the signal of KAAY reached 15 foreign countries (none of which included South Vietnam), I cannot say with any certainty that the signal reached Southeast Asia.  If someone out there does have such documentation, I would certainly like to speak with them about it.

One thing is certain - KAAY put out (and I suppose still puts out) one heck of a signal.  It has been referred to as a "blowtorch" station, due to the powerful reach of the station.

Richard Robinson

According to KAAY documentation (a brochure), the following pieces of mail were received during a six-week period, January 27 through March 7, 1964:

Here is the letter stating reception of KAAY at a Royal Air Force Base in England:

Friday, November 6, 2009

"QSLing" Stations said...


I have yet to send a reception report to any AM radio stations. Although, I have done so via snail mail a few times for shortwave broadcasts through the years. However, I did request a KAAY bumpersticker from the station's website recently as last I checked they will send them to Arkansans without a fee.

There is no doubt that cutbacks and changing technology are both affecting QSL card returns for reception reports. Many shortwave broadcasters, including pirates, have switched to sending electronic QSL's via email. As of last month Radio Sweden discontinued mailing printed cards and is only making schedules available online ( ).

Radio Taiwan Internantional has also discontinued sending printed copies of Taiwan Journal and it has been replaced by Taiwan Today online. As far as I know they still send cards and are a very easy catch for beginners due to broadcasts relayed out of Florida.

Sending postage and a self addressed stamped envelope is probably a good idea as I'm sure you know the financial situation for many AM broadcasters looks bleak at present. While I am not a member of the National Radio Club, they do offer a variety of pre-written forms available for download to any listeners who might be considering sending AM reception reports or requesting QSL cards at It only seems fair that when writing to stations you provide them some information that might be helpful or useful to them and the club's forms include a nicely laid out way to grade the quality of what you might have heard.

Now might actually be a good time to try some AM dxing and station commuunication, I suppose it is better late than never. I sincerely hope that many of the AM stations that have not already succumbed to entropy manage to survive. Late nights just wouldn't be the same without them, no matter what new technology brings.

Best regards"

I is the time of year when atmospheric noise is falling in intensity and stations will sound clearer for it.  Dave M. had some good notes in a post awhile back about why stations seem to sound clearer.  Wintertime is a good time for us Hams to operate the lower bands, as well, since this noise lessens during the season.  Shortwave listeners also enjoy more noise-free listening, too!

Some of the worst noise levels are in fall and in spring, when the rains come.  Here on the Gulf Coast, some thunderstorm crashes literally rip your ears off, even without headphones!  I can see how a spark gap transmitter can be heard hundreds, even thousands of miles away!  Thankfully, we no longer use them (they're outlawed) and we can enjoy the teeny-tiny bandwidth of a CW (Morse Code) character or the wider bandwidth of voice and music via AM, FM and single-sideband with ease.

Thank you for the sources you mentioned!

Bud S. (

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dave M.'s 50 KW List Contribution

Here’s your station list for all the Class I stations – happy QSL’ing!



the “50’s”


(It's been a loooong time since I DXed AM stations and tried to get QSL cards, but, in this day and time of cut-backs and consolidations, I'll wager, if I were a betting man, that hardly any stations would send out cards or promotional materials much any more.  Some folks would make a self-prepared card and send it to the Engineer In Charge, who would then sign it and send it back via a self-addressed stamped envelope.  Now, with so few engineers taking care of so many stations, most likely, they'd not get signed today.  Oh, well, it ought to be fun just trying to tune them in!  Bud S.)

Doug Krile Finds His Mark....

Doug Krile said...

J. Paul Emerson was the guy! Bless you, Google! Wiki says he died at his home in NM in 2001. He was 59.

Thanks For List, From A Blog Reader said...

Thanks Bud,

That list from your Google search will make a nice addition to my National Radio Club's AM Radio Log which I refer to when looking up MW broadcasters from time to time. Happy dxing.

(And, happy DXing to you, as well!  Thank YOU and we'll be looking for more info on the hobby!  Bud S.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ron H. Re: Expanded Band Stations

I think there is a low power limitation for all AM broadcast stations operating on 1610 KHz or higher. The local station in Chicago was operating 10 KW during the day, but they were required to reduce their power to 1 KW at night on their 1690 frequency. They continuously claimed they were applying to the FCC for authority to use 10 KW at night. The station changed format; therefore, I lost interest in following their fight for more power. The whole idea of having an expanded band was to give some low and medium power broadcasters a chance to have a signal without having nearby competition on the same frequency. I remember reading all of the stations in the newly expanded part of the AM band were going to be required to run AM stereo. It seems that requirement has been forgotten. There is another point of relevance: they could not be authorized a frequency which was twice the frequency of any other local station because of the possibility of harmonic interference. As an example, 1700 KHz could not be licensed if there is a station in the same area operating on 850 KHz. This seems strange to me because I thought harmonic radiation was not a huge problem in the AM broadcast band. I won't try to explain image frequencies, but they are a problem caused by a deficiency in the typical AM receiver. These phantom signals usually appear 910 KHz above the station's actual transmitting frequency. One might hear these phantom signals on his or her radio if it is tuned to the upper end of the band, and there is a local station operating in the lower end of the band. There is a good explanation at .

It is my guess receiver image frequencies would be more of a problem than harmonic radiation from today's sophisticated transmitters. Any comments are welcome?

Ron Henselman W9FT Melrose Park

More photos from "Broadcast Radio in Vietnam"

Ron Henselman, via Tom Hunter, has contributed these photos of Lee Hollihan and Tom Hunter at work.  Here's Lee in 1965 at Tent City B on the Tan Son Nhut Airbase:

 and here's Tom (sort of), in Chicago in 1967:

Thanks, Tom and Ron!
---Dave S.

Greg Barman: Clyde Clifford interview by Jim Snowbarger, 1995

Beaker Street fans, I think you will enjoy this.  In 1995 Clyde Clifford did this telephone interview with Jim Snowbarger, a self-described radio nut, KAAY fan, electrical engineer and internet radio producer/host in Marshalltown, Iowa (it's near Des Moines).  Jim sent me a copy of the interview a few years ago, and he has given me his okay to pass it along to this blog.

The interview last about 29 minutes and Clyde talks about:  The beginnings of Beaker Street; how the background music bed came about; the spookiness of the KAAY transmitter site; the transmitter studio equipment; the last Beaker Street show on KAAY; Beaker Street on FM (1995); Clyde's day job; and why he's still unflappably happy.


Greg Barman
Denver CO

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

50,000-Watt Radio Stations

I was just doodling around and the thought occurred to me...just how many 50,000-watt radio stations do we have in North America?

So, a Google Search led me to this:

From 540 to 1580 kc's...I wonder why not in the Extended Band (1610-1710)?  Maybe because it is so "open" or "clear"?  I'll have to look into it....By the way, there are several duplicated frequencies; differing directional patterns help reduce or eliminate interference to the targeted areas.

I may try to log a bunch of these...some will be harder than others, due to their directional (or lack thereof) patterns...but, it'll be fun to try!  So, on a weekend, I'll fire up the Kenwood TS-140S Ham rig and the Hammarlund HQ-100A shortwave receiver, and maybe the Realistic DX-400, plug in some different antennas and try my hand at it.

Bud S. (

Adrovdga Recipe‏

As per Dave M.

"Wouldn’t cha know it? I found a recipe for cooking Adrovdgas.


The Magic Of Radio....

How many times, as kids (even adults?), do we remember those magic moments radio has given us?  Not just the music, but those "A Ha!" moments that truly mystify us, that capture us, that spur us on to other better things?  How many careers have been launched through a love affair with radio and electronics?

As a kid, growing up in Semmes, AL (west of Mobile about 20 miles), I remember having a little pocket radio.  We lived just up the road from an airport Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) and just a short way from the Bates Airport west of Mobile.  I remember tuning around on the FM band and hearing some chatter of air traffic controllers on the top end of the band!  This fascinated me and is one of my earliest happy radio memories....

Needless to say, I chased stations on shortwave: utility stations, pirate radio broadcasters, Ham radio operators (eventually became one), dabbled heavily in CB...I scanned and monitored for the odd stuff!  Needless to say, I've always come back to my first love, AM radio....

I was reading an article by fellow Ham radio operator Dan Metzger (K8JWR), where his granddaughter wanted to know more about radio.  He helped her make the buzzer circuits, the motor systems, etc. and they eventually built a crystal radio, which needs NO batteries to operate.  When they connected the antenna wire to one end of the coil and a ground to the other end, it started working!  She asked her granddad about this and, although he knew that signals just "came out of the air", he admitted not knowing exactly how...and her response was, "That must be the part that's magic!"

Over the years, due to my various hobby forays, I've studied electronics (never completed that NRI study course, due to my lack of patience), built things, experimented and so forth, yet, it never ceases to amaze me- that "magic" that radio has about it!  Yes, there IS an explaination for those oscillator circuits, the mixer circuits, the tanks, filters, every discrete part, my heart of hearts, one cannot describe the "magic" have to experience it in that "A Ha!" moment....

Bud S. (

What does an Adrovdga look like?

If you read the posts and listened to the audio clips related to Tom Hunter's Adrovdgas (see the Halloween post, for example),  you might wonder what these critters look like.  One reader sent us this "mostly accurate rendition":

---Dave S.

Ron H. Has A Fan!?!?

Heather Spoonheim said...

Rahhhhh-n, from Chicahhhhh-go? Do you know how long it took me to remember your last name?

(Heather!  I saw your comment 'way back on A. J.'s old blog and wondered if you found us!  How about some comments for the blog, please?  Drop me some lines at  Thanks!  Bud)

Can Someone Help Doug And I?

Doug Krile said...

Nope, it wasn't Art Bell. He was/is in Arizona. This is driving me CRAZY, trying to remember this old guy's name! I believe I read a few years ago that he had passed away. I did a Google search for San Francisco radio personalities and couldn't find anything that looked familiar. Maybe it was another CA market? I know I didn't just dream all of this!

(Help, y'all! Bud)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dave M. Re: Bill Howell, KAAY & The Wiederkehr Winery

The picture of Bill Howell – note the KAAY “cooler”, a popular give-away. We all had ‘em. The event was a yearly wine festival held at the Wiederkehr Winery at Altus, Arkansas, about 2 hours up I-40 from Little Rock. Here’s a link to the Wiederkehr web page. They actually make some nice wines, well known in the region but not so much nationally. I see their festival was in September this year. If you EVER get a chance to go, it’s a great time. We rode there on a bus to keep things “safe” on the way home. The winery is not very far at all from where AJ lived.

Matt Wiederkehr was part of the family that operated the winery at Altus. One of Matt’s hobbies was hot air ballooning, and he flew the Wiederhehr hot air balloon all over the region to publicize the family’s winery business. Each year he would bring his hot air balloon to Little Rock for a flyover. He would team up with KAAY and fly over Little Rock with one of our air staff doing cut-ins from the balloon. I flew with Matt once that I remember, and there were others.

Part of the promotion was that KAAY would give away a trip to the wine festival, with bus fare, the nice dinner in the Winekeller restaurant, and of course the “safe” ride home.

Bumper Sticker From Dave M.

Here's a KAAY Bumper sticker, from the mid-'70's.

Earlier bumper stickers had the U of A "Razorback" on the right side, in place of the radio/slot machine.


Doug Krile Checks In

Doug regales of his time at the station:


My time at Cottondale Lane was quite limited, doing some part-time work there while anchoring at KARK. The first shot was doing early morning on the 1010 AM signal - when it was "Hot Talk" - with Tracey Carrington. Later, when Dick Price was doing mid-days, I recall stopping by and getting the story of the carpeting on the wall and how it dated back to the old days of KAAY. Later, I did a noon-1 pm talk gig on KSYG, during the period they were trying to establish it as a talk powerhouse - as I recall I followed a strange series of shows, including Dr. Joycelyn Elders and that guy who broadcast from his home in New Mexico - I'm drawing a blank as to his name, but he got bounced from a gig in San Francisco (I believe) and tried syndicating his own show from his home. I spent some time running the board for his show, too.

Along the way, Scott Anderson came on board after getting noticed as part of a three-man syndicated show out of Phoenix.

Honestly, I had more fun doing those deals on the side than almost anything else! The daily interaction with the listeners was incredible and I still miss that!


Thank you, Doug!  Maybe the guy in New Mexico was Art Bell?

Comments, station history, listener memories, etc. are ALWAYS welcome here, so y'all come on in- we have an "open door" policy here, kick your shoes off, sit back, talk about old times and enjoy!

Bud S. (

Pics From Dave M.

Hey, hope everyone had a good Halloween!  I escaped getting "tee-pee'd" this year, so I can rest assured that my daughter didn't make anyone angry!

Dave M. has sent along some pictures of Bill Edwards and the Funmobile...his comments:

"(here is a picture of) Bill Edwards (Bill Howell) made in late 1973 at the Weiderkehr Vinyards, wine festival. Havin' some fun with the grapes!"

"(And) A couple of the blue Funmobile, one in front of the W 7th Street studios, and the other at a remote broadcast from the LR Zoo."

Some pretty cool stuff!  Thank you, Dave!

I must say, the cooperation of everyone here has been stupendous!  These pictures, as well as many other things donated here, have been a source of great enjoyment for all.  Thank you to everyone and...