Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bob Mullins, The 2nd Buddy Carr

I was excited to find among my old stuff a picture of the old control board at KAAY. This is from the original control room upstairs in the KTHV Television station. This was home to KAAY from the start and for a few years after. I am not certain of the year we moved from there to the 7th Street location. (Help me somebody! ...1965 or 1966?) We did not take a lot of pictures back then, unless they had a promotional purpose. This one is of Bob Mullins, the second Buddy Carr. There was one after him, Richard Wiethan, who was number three. The station retired the name after Richard was killed in a National Guard training accident in 1967.

There were lots of exciting times behind that board. These were the most popular days of the station ( in my opinion). You can see one turntable off to the left....there was another off to the right. The white labels are carts with all commercials, jingles and promos. You can see three cart machines behind Bob. In the upper right corner you can see a little of the window that provided a view into the KAAY Comex News booth/room. The phone on top of the board was left alone for transmitter calls, etc.

Just to the right of the board was a phone with ten lines. They were flashing most of the time at night. Most of us would answer when we could. It was always fun to see who was listening and from where. I recall that when I was working the 8pm to midnight shift, the lines would start to light up about ten minutes before we returned from our religious block (6:30 to 8pm) to good ole Top 40 fun for our part of the world. Salesmen, who made lots of money off the religion, would prefer we come out of the religion with one of our softer sounding records. I, on the other hand, thought all those listeners had waited long enough, and might prefer some Mitch Rider or Paul Revere and the Raiders. I never got any negative thoughts from A.J. (Program Director) or Len Carl or Pat Walsh (General Managers). Always, they let us do our thing. It seemed to work very well.

Many times regular listeners from other states outside Arkansas would travel to Little Rock and want to visit us there. Visitors after hours was a definite no-no with the TV station. That did not usually slow us down. I always thought that if a listener traveled to Little Rock, and wanted to visit for a while in person it was the least I could do. I do not remember any visitor not being in full surprise, that all that fun was coming from just one guy, behind that board with a stack of 45's, many more recorded voices, and the greatest jingles in the world. I suppose I am now kind of amazed too, looking back on it. Lots of credit goes to Felix McDonald and his crew too, for cranking that signal out so far to so many. I sure am proud to have been a small part of it.

Last time I saw my friend Bob Mullins was many years ago when he flew through Little Rock delivering a small airplane from California to someone back east. He made a short stop in Little Rock to refuel. He called, and we got to visit for a while. Possibly some day he will get word of the blog. He was a great Top 40 DJ with a great voice. I promise he would have some interesting stories of the glory days of KAAY.

Listeners were not the only ones having fun.....can you tell?

Jerry Sims......Sonny Martin .....The middle one

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