Thursday, September 30, 2010

1768-Foot Tower Climb

Sharp-eyed Dave M. caught YouTube ditching the previous video...his alert, and a new link, is below:


The YouTube tower climbing video has been take down, but a copy of it can be found here:

You can also Google "1768 ft tower climb" and a bunch of different locations will pop up.

Dave M."

Thank you, Dave!

Bud S. (

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


If you have no idea, dear reader, what broadcast engineers go through climbing towers, watch this video of two men climbing a 1768-foot tower!

Compliments of One Who Was There, Dave M.! (No, he wasn't one of the ones on this tower!)  His suggestion was to click on the video to fill the screen...HANG ON!

Bud S. (

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lind Voth/Len Carl Checks In!

Wow, what a start to my Monday morning!  Another of The Greats, Lind Voth, a.k.a. Len Carl, found our this blog and contacted is his e-mail:

"Thrilled to see that you're keeping AJ's blog alive. Margie and I were blessed to be able to spend a weekend with him about 3 years ago. That's when he did the interview.

I had sent most of my memorabilia to AJ sometime back, so I don't have much to contribute. Will look around and see if I missed anything that might be of interest.

Keep up the great work.

Lind Voth
Len Carl"

Len Carl is the handsome fellow in the purple basketball jersey right behind Emperor Holiday!  Len carl was the second Manager of KAAY.  The interview he mentioned was in several parts on A.J.'s blog; the problem is, the players there have gone silent once again.  However, just Googling "KAAY Lind Voth" will point you to the videos (they're blocked here at my work, due to policy).  If I can get the direct links, I'll repost them here....does anyone have the ability to download and record these videos?  If so, I'd like copies!

(P.S. From Dave S.:  A.J. split Lind's interview into four parts.  You can find them on Youtube.
Here they are:
  4.  )

In the meantime, we'll be looking for more of Lind Voth!  Thank you, sir, for checking in!

Bud S. (

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Cute Cartoon

I found this cartoon in a 1963 publication by the Amateur Radio Relay League, "Understanding Amateur Radio"...I figured out that, after all these years, they wouldn't mind us using it.  I added the call letters to the side, of course!

I remember listening to the music my mother tuned in when I was a child...driving around in a '62 Buick Skylark, tuned to WKRG, 710 AM.  (WKRG went through several call letter changes, added FM and is today WNTM, Mobile, AL.  WKRG is still TV channel 5 in Mobile and the FM station is now WMXC on 99.9.)  Paul Anka, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and a host of others were the fare.  Then, when I was about 8 or 9 years young, I was introduced to a Top 40 station, WABB- and I was hooked!

From there, my love affair with radio took off.  I tuned all over the place, when I wasn't doing chores.  I got the old aforementioned green Zenith tube table radio and would tune around...stations with calls such as WLAC Nashville, TN, XELO Monterrey, Mexico, WWL New Orleans, LA, KMOO, Kansas City, MO and a whole host of others were hastily scribbled on sheets of notebook paper (I still have them!) and then....and THEN, one evening, "that" radio station that almost busted my speaker- KAAY- was THERE!  I thought they were local, until I heard the town of "Little Rock" announced.  I'd not previously heard of "Little Rock", but I knew it had to be close to Semmes, Alabama.  Then I got a road atlas...and realized it could have been the moon, it was so far away in my young mind....and fifty thousand watts?  It could have been a hundred million, I couldn't conceive it!

Later, as I began studying radio in general, wave propagation and such, it dawned on me how everything worked.  As I grew in my hobby, I operated as well: CB and Ham (amateur) radio, listened to shortwave and scanners, always looking for the new and unusual.  I'd also considered going to communications school and getting a job at WABB, but I noticed how many deejays came and went all the time- I had more roots down than I wanted to tear up....

As I'd mentioned before, I've always come back to the AM broadcast band.  Radio STILL has a magic to it, no matter how much or how little I understand it!

And it all began with a kid twiddling a dial....what a wonderful hobby it continues to be!

Bud S. (

Friday, September 24, 2010

Eddie Fisher, 82 Years Young, Rest In Peace

Another pop music icon, Eddie Fisher, passed away from complications following hip surgery on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010.  I remember growing up listening to his music- still catch it from time to time on a local AM radio station, which plays 40s, 50s, 60s and some 70s music.

Croon in peace, Eddie....

Bud S. (

The Paper Chase Movie Ad on KAAY

Shown at the John Miller Quartet and John Miller North Twin Theaters, The Paper Chase...  a movie ad, compliments of Barry Mac.  Who was the announcer at the end of the ad?

With a few exceptions, "they" don't make good movies any more, in my opinion.

Thanks, Barry!

"The Paper Chase" movie ad:  stream   |   download

Thursday, September 23, 2010


If you remember, in listening to "New" Aircheck #3 from February 6, 1972, I mention in a PSA that you can see the "behind the scenes action of what goes into a play at the Arkansas Art Center", and that I may be there.

Well, here's the follow-up:  As stated in my previous info that you may have read  (Scroll down this page and read it if you haven't ) in my description of "New" Aircheck #2, in February, 1972 I tried out for the AAC Production of Neil Simon's "The Star Spangled Girl" and won the role of "Andy". It was a fun show, with a cast of only 3, which meant a lot of lines, and a lot of script to memorize.

[NOTE: "The Star Spangled Girl" had just been turned into a 1971 feature film before we did this version of the original stage play. The film starred Tony Roberts, Sandy Duncan, and Todd Susman in the lead roles. Ironically Susman, like myself, was originally from St. Louis. ]

The show was directed by Fay Martin, and Tom Carlisle & Susan Moore were my cast mates.  Tom worked in the Promotion Department of KARK-TV, Susan was a pretty blond who was a student at the UALR.

In addition, the Set Dresser/Art Director for the show was a sweet, cute, wonderful little girl named Sidney who became the "special one" in my life.  Sidney was an Art Director for an advertising agency in LR., and is just as talented & cute today as she was then.

I don't know where Tom & Susan are today, but Sidney is a Katrina survivor who fled from her beautiful home in Waveland, Mississippi to Baton Rouge, Louisana...where she is today. (Her home in Waveland was completely demolished, all that is left is the concrete slab it was built on. ) Sidney found me again through the power of the www a number of years ago, and we're in contact everyweek.

"The Star Spangled Girl" was On Stage at the AAC from March 1 - 4. The above pic is an "in-rehearsal" shot of myself & Tom Carlisle from late-February, 1972...I'm on the left.

What wonderful memories this all brings back to me, AND how "random" is it that 38 years after this event I've just chronicled for you, Bud would send me an Aircheck with THIS SPECIFIC PSA on it, an Aircheck that I didn't even know existed, and that directly ties-in with one of the most important times, and, most important & wonderful persons, in my life ??

I DON'T think it was "random"...I think it WAS Fate !

God bless you all and, right now especially, Sidney, Fay, Susan, Tom, and Bud.  Also, thanks to Dave for the audio !


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

KAAY Sponsor, George Lindsey Chicken

Oh boy, another food-related ad!  George Lindsey's country-fried chicken!  Two locations were mentioned in the ad, George Lindsey Family Steakhouse in the Northpark Mall or on West 65th Street.

Mmm-mmm!  Another tasty ad from the library of Barry Mac!

George Lindsey's Country-Fried Chicken:   stream   |   download

Friday, September 17, 2010

"New" Jonnie King Aircheck #3!

Why do I say, "new aircheck"?  because they've been hidden away for years and not heard here before!  I'm like a kid with a new toy when I'm fortunate enough to find a "new" aircheck- many of us never were able to hear the daytime signal, which had a different "flavor" all it's own from the nighttime broadcasts...that's the best way I can describe it.

What one deejay did at night was different on a day shift --- as Jonnie has mentioned.  Still, one may not have heard a particular deejay until they've been exposed to the airchecks posted here.  Needless to say, it is our pleasure to bring them to you!

Without further ado, here is the second part of Jonnie's February 6, 1972 aircheck:

Jonnie King, February 6, 1972, Part "B":   stream   |   download

I'd like to thank Dave S. for ALL the hard work he does behind the scenes setting up the media!  I couldn't do this without him!

Bud S. (

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hollis Duncan Recounts KLRA, Little Rock, AR History

If I remember correctly, A. J. had mentioned Little Rock station KLRA, numerous times on his blog; here, Hollis also recounts some interesting history:

"Here's some information on KLRA. I have derived most of this information either from memory or from a thorough review of a suitcase full of engineering documents that I rescued from the rat-dropping-covered floor of the old KLRA transmitter building.

In the late 1960s, KLRA-1010 was operating from its transmitter site at Galloway. KLRA operated with 10,000 watts nondirectional days and 5,000 watts at night into a 4-tower parallelogram array. The towers were too short to operate properly on 1010 and therein lies a story.

Before 1942, KLRA operated with 5 kw days and 1 kw at night from a 2-tower array slightly NE of the 15th Street Exit on I-30 in North Little Rock, later the site of KDXE/KEWP-1380. During WWII, new radio station construction was placed on hold with very few exceptions (like KCTA-1030 in Corpus Christi). However, KLRA was owned by the Arkansas Gazette and they had enough political pull to obtain a Construction Permit to increase KLRA's power. The Gazette obtained a Construction Permit for Galloway and started construction. But it was wartime, KLRA could not buy a new transmitter, so it obtained a 10,000 watt RCA transmitter, which was an older unit and was at least one generation older than the KAAY transmitter. Because 10,000 watts is an fairly odd power level, the transmitter may have been even older than that. I have a vague memory that the transmitter was in a warehouse in South America. The phasor, open-wire transmission lines and the antenna tuning units were scrounged and filled with scrounged components, making everything rather unstable and it provided an odd and very poor match to the transmitter. The war also meant that KLRA couldn't obtain enough steel for proper-size towers or enough copper to install a proper ground system.

The KLRA nighttime array generated a big lobe of radiation toward Memphis and another big lobe pointed toward Dallas, with a broad SE null and a huge null covering the entire north side of the array. Because 1010 is Canadian Clear Channel, KLRA was required to protect the entire Canadian Border at night. In my experience, KLRA's nighttime coverage extended almost to the northern Pulaski County Line, but you could hear KLRA at night in Dallas and Memphis. It later appeared that the original proof of performance may have been fudged or maybe even faked (the so-called Hotel Room Proof of Performance).

Ancient transmitter, short towers, poor ground system, flaky phasor, faked antenna proof. All of these problems would haunt KLRA throughout its doomed existence.

By the middle 1960s, KLRA was owned by the legendary Mr. Leonard Coe. Mr. Coe made a fortune building the Texas Quality Network (later TSN - The Texas State Network) and (I think) as Sales Manager of WBAP-Fort Worth. He moved to Little Rock and either started or bought KVLC-1050, The Voice of Leonard Coe. KVLC's transmitter site was east of Little Rock. When the City wanted to expand Adams Field, Mr. Coe made the City build him a very nice antenna site at the foot of Big Rock in North Little Rock. Mr. Coe later sold KVLC, which became KMYO, KSOH, and so on, and bought KLRA.

As an aside, Mr. Coe owned a lot of vacant land on Hayes Street and stock in a little gas company. As I heard the story from the KLRA crew, Mr. Coe fell under the influence of some New York investors who convinced him to sell his land on Hayes Street (now University Avenue) and his stock in Arkla Gas. I met Mr. Coe when we were testing KLAZ one afternoon and Mr. Coe heard it on his radio and stopped by for a tour.

When I became aware of radio in the mid-60s, KLRA was "Ten Thousand Watts at 1010 on your dial, KLRA. First in Little Rock." KLRA advertised on taxicabs and (along with KARK and maybe KAAY) published its schedule in the newspapers. KLRA had CBS, the Cardinals, the Razorbacks, and Herbie Byrd. The air staff was Blande Perry (Chief Engineer) at sign-on. Brother Hal, Dick Alford, Jerry Hendrix (the Jerry-Go-Round), Marv Heffington, and Paul DeMaree. Elmer Overton "Alan"" Hurst was the long-time production director and copywriter at KLRA and may have done traffic.

KLRA was a strong local presence in the 60s. KLRA flipped from standards to country music around 1970 and started trying to compete with KXLR and KDXE without much success. However, the Brother Hal show was a real money-maker and Mr. Coe added to his profits by requiring that all advertising on Brother Hal must be placed through the Arkansas Advertising Agency, which was owned by his Son-in-Law, Gary Carroll.

During the 60s and 70s, Little Rock started to grow westward and northward into KLRA's nighttime nulls. At night, the NW starting point of KLRA's nighttime pattern null to Canada fell right across the Heights section of Little Rock, producing fading along Cantrell Road. Because KLRA was a secondary occupant of 1010, a new station in the St. Louis area (KXEN-Festus) was allowed to begin operation with a 6-tower antenna array that is pointed straight toward North Arkansas. This station caused severe interference to KLRA in the early morning and late-evening hours even in Little Rock. KLRA also knew that its daytime coverage wasn't nearly as good as KAAY, KARK, or even KBHS and set out to fix this, only to encounter a set of built-in problems.

First, KLRA took the logical step of upgrading its ground system. For reasons of confusion and poor documentation, KLRA ended up installing two ground systems over several years. KLRA also discovered that it was radiating too much power toward Canada at night and spent a year with an on-site Consulting Engineer to try to correct this problem. KLRA operated with antenna parameters at variance for many years. Unfortunately, this effort was directed toward returning KLRA to its 1942 antenna settings and it turned out that these settings were wrong. As far as I know, KLRA never did achieve proper operation of its nighttime directional antenna system.

Next, KLRA tried to increase the height of its towers. Up to a point, more height = more radiation at AM frequencies. But by then, Adams Field had become the Little Rock airport and KLRA was right in the runway flight path, so the FAA would not permit KLRA to increase its tower height. Of course, any change in the antennas would have required a full nighttime antenna proof of performance with requirements that KLRA might not ever be able to meet.

Finally, KLRA decided to add top-loading to the towers to increase their effective radiation. But by then, other stations had begun operation on 1010 and KLRA found that it was limited by a station in the Houston area. As far as I know, that was the last time that KLRA tried to improve its operation.

KLRA repeatedly tried to find a different site, but the requirements of suitable land and maintaining good City coverage made it difficult to find a good site. I would have moved it slightly to the north and far enough to the east to be able to build taller towers, but they didn't ask me.

To make matters worse, KLRA just never sounded right. I believe that the combination of the very old transmitter, which may not have even been designed with enough bandwidth to broadcast music, and a deficient antenna system that wasn't matched properly at the sidebands. KLRA replaced the RCA with a Collins 10,000 watt transmitter but as far as I know, the antenna phasing and coupling system was never upgraded. KLRA even went stereo in 1982 or so but it never sounded right.

The KLRA transmitter site now looks like the aftermath of a nuclear (in Texas, nucular) explosion. As I understand it, KLRA was bought and closed by a station on 1010 in New York. At night, many licensed radio stations have a "night limit," which is the coverage contour that the station is limited to at night because of interference from other stations on the channel. Each station likewise contributes to the night limit of every other station, depending on the distance between them and the radiation to or from that particular direction. It appears that KLRA, probably because of its Memphis radiation lobe, was limiting the New York station and they improved their coverage somewhat by eliminating KLRA from the dial. But by that time, KLRA had apparently started to drift and was no longer a factor in the Little Rock market.

Now, if they had asked me, I might have recommended that the New York station could solve its problem by buying KLRA a new antenna system. I would have eliminated the Memphis lobe and moved KLRA far enough from the airport to be able to erect tall towers and increase my coverage of Little Rock.

But, bottom-line, KLRA is a missed opportunity. Like KTHS/KAAY and KARK, KLRA should have upgraded its facilities during the 1950s and by the time that it came to its senses, it was too late. And KLRA is a rapidly-fading memory in the minds of increasingly-senile engineers.

Best regards,

Hollis W. Duncan
Edmonds WA"

Thank you again, Hollis!  You mentioned some "large" names  of whom many of us are familiar.  Keep 'em coming!
Bud S. (

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"New" Jonnie King Aircheck #2!

Here's the next installment of Jonnie's comments, this time on February 6, 1972, the first part:

"Next up: February 6, 1972, Okay, this was a Sunday Afternoon and we were doing a Golden Oldies-Style Weekend...which was pretty cool. There were a LOT more commercials than I remembered ! Plus, I was on MANY of the spots, along with Phil North, Wayne Moss, and, Mike McCormick (Barry Wood).

As I partially stated above, everytime period & daypart must be handled differently...and that includes Weekends. All in all I did a good job in this Air Check (which I had NEVER heard before !), considering the "Check" is not scoped, and that there were really SO MANY COMMERCIALS !

ONE THING FOR YOU TO LISTEN TO very carefully for in Pt.2. is when I do a PSA for the Arkansas Art Center stating that "you can go there this afternoon, and see the behind-the-scenes activity going on. I may be there too." WELL, here's the story on that:

If you've read my Bio you know that I was an Actor before I got into Radio. Well, in January, 1972, we had a notice that the Arkansas Art Center was holding tryouts for a play they were producing. It was Neil Simon's "Star Spangled Girl", and it only had a cast of three...2 guys, 1 girl. Since I now had my evenings free and could attend rehearsals if I got cast, I decided to tryout and did so on the night of January 22, 1972. I got cast, and we started rehearsals on January, 31st. The "Star Spangled Girl" opened on March 1st to great Personal Reviews were truly great also and it enhanced KAAY as well as myself by the response & publicity that we got.

Well, Bud, that's about it. I don't know how many times I've said this "in person" or on this Blog, but if I could go back to that time & place, and redo all of my KAAY/Mighty 1090 days all over again...I would be there NOW !

(If anyone wants to drop me a note please do !  )

God Bless --- Thanks !

Jonnie King"

Jonnie King, Feb. 6, 197, Part A:  stream   |   download

Thank you, Jonnie!  Folks, stand by for the second half of this aircheck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hollis Duncan Checks In!

At my request, I was pleasantly surprised to find an e-mail today from Hollis Duncan!  He has quite a history to report and I'll let him tell it:


After spending last evening posting comments on your site, I thought that I might introduce myself. I was delighted to find your invitation. Please feel free to post, edit, or disregard this message as you see fit.

Here's my history in Central Arkansas radio.

I grew up in Heber Springs and clearly remember KAAY playing the Baby Elephant Walk and then turning itself into the Silver Dollar Sound of Music. I remember the controversy over Louie Louie and Len Carl's
editorials defending the song.. I even ordered a copy of the lyrics from KAAY. Somewhere I might have autographs by Doc Holiday (presumably A.J. Lindsey) and the late Buddy Karr, whose family ran a highly-successful radio station in Portageville, Missouri, near Poplar Bluff.  As the only rock station on the dial, KAAY was a pretty big deal in Heber Springs.

Thanks to Charles Rasberry at KASU, I knew that Harold Sudbury (KLCN-Blytheville, KNBY-Newport, KSUD-West Memphis) held a CP for 1370 in Heber Springs. Mr. Sudbury acquired the Heber Springs CP
when he purchased KTPA-Prescott from Mr. Cochran (KCCL-Corning). Mr. Sudbury put KAWW-1370 on the air in 1967 with used tube-type equipment and, thanks to Mr. Rasberry, I was prepared and was the only kid in town with a Third Class License. I was an easy, though talentless, hire.

Tommy Riggs helped me get the KAWW job. I needed some teletype copy for an aircheck and called KMYO, who told me to go to hell. I then called the KAAY newsroom line and Tommy answered. He was delighted to help me. He let me in through the back door and gave me a big pile of copy that I used to create an aircheck. I then stood on the corner of the control room and watched the legendary Rock Robbins at work. I also met Jerry Pitcock, who was then Ken Knight, and Jerry encouraged me to pursue a radio career and gave me several tips. I never forgot the kindness that I received from Tommy and Jerry that evening.

I did weekends at KAWW for its first two years and after the Chief Engineer left, I became the de facto engineer. KAWW was one of the first affiliates of KARK's Arkansas Radio Network and as I recall, Les Bolton did the very first ARN newscast. Because of our ARN affiliation, I spent a lot of time around KARK and soon made friends with KARK's Assistant Chief Engineer Tom Spencer, who taught me a lot about radio engineering. In those (pre-Snider) days, the KARK engineers were in the Union and it was fun to sit in the control room and watch the engineer-announcer operation at work. I remember watching Bill Deitz, Lloyd Denny, Jim Elder & Bill Valentine, and Tom Longfellow on the air at KARK-AM. KARK was a fast-paced operation that took NBC feeds several times an hour and ran NBC Monitor all weekend. It was a great place to see traditional radio at work.

I then did weekends at Conway's KVEE-AM and KVEE-FM (separate locations and programming) and then moved to KCON-1230 while Bill Johnson was still the boss. I also made friends with Dale Seidenschwartz at KAAY and would visit him at the KAAY transmitter at Wrightsville. Dale showed and taught me a lot about the KAAY transmitter and antenna and those lessons came in very handy when I joined KAAY as Chief Engineer.

While at KCON, I received my First Class Radiotelephone License. The ink barely dry, I quickly joined KALO-1250 as Chief Engineer. Bernie Mann had just purchased KALO and was trying to bring it out of the engineering dark ages. KALO was originally KGHI (and briefly KAJI) with studios at Stiff's Station (later the location of Pizza d'Action) and 3-tower array behind Shakey's Pizza on Rebsamen Park Road.. KALO was the first new radio station in Little Rock after WWII and the transmitter site was mostly original from that era. Everything was wrong with it. After an exciting studio and transmitter rebuild, I decided that working the evening shift at KXLR would be a lot more fun (and it was).

By 1972, KXLR was operating from its transmitter site in Protho Junction. I was the third in a series of Bob Roberts. At the time, KXLR and KDXE-1380 were the Country Music stations in Little Rock, although KLRA soon joined us. KXLR had a 4-tower array that was built in 1953 after KXLR (formerly KNLR) won 1150 in a contest with a Forrest City application and moved from 1450. The transmitter and antenna had been very well constructed and the KXLR antennas had a counterpoise like the KAAY antenna system. As an aside, counterpoises do wonders to stabilize the base impedance of an antenna but are currently disfavored because they are hard to model on a computer.. KXLR needed me because I had a First Class License to operate the antenna array at night. the antenna array was located at the edge of the Arkansas River swamps and we regularly used a boat to read the base meter at the NE tower. But with the counterpoise in place, the antenna array was stable even as the river level rose and fell.

I also made friends with the crew at KLRA-1010 which was at Galloway, just east of KXLR. KXLR signed off at midnight, so I would drive to KLRA and keep Paul Demaree company until he signed off at 1 a.m. I got to know a lot about KLRA, but that deserves an email of its own.

While I was working at KXLR, I did a little transmitter work at KEWP. Does anyone remember that brief operation?

I left KXLR to build KLAZ and I have already told you a lot of that story. But perhaps it deserves its own email. And that leads to my only meeting with A.J. Lindsey. In 1972, A.J. was managing KOKY. Eloise Bibbs left KALO for KOKY and A.J. asked her to introduce us. I came in and A.J. told me, with a smile, that by giving KALO a decent air sound, I had caused him a lot of trouble. And then, completely unbidden, he picked up the telephone and called Joe Dickey and recommended me for the KLAZ job. I never forgot this unexpected act of kindness.

Meanwhile, the Texas Border was calling. I moved to Del Rio in 1974 and went to work at KDLK-AM-FM. There is nothing like having your radio station off the air and knowing that you are the only engineer within 150 miles to focus your attention. During my time in Del Rio, I became acquainted with Paul Kallinger, legendary announcer at 250,000 watt XERF across the river. I worked in Eagle Pass, Laredo, and KINT in El Paso before ending my Texas phase at KVIL AM-FM in Dallas (Highland Park). I can tell you through personal experience that Ron Chapman, PD of KVIL, deserves an even bigger reputation than he already has. Unfortunately, Fairbanks was a cheap outfit and starved me out after a year, so I went back to El Paso and built KFIM, a new Class C FM at the far end of a tramway. I then moved to Seattle as a Consulting Engineer and did a lot of directional antenna work.

And then KAAY came calling and that deserves an email of its own.

As Ray Taylor - Coyote Kincaid later said, we were part of KAAY's last dying gasp as a Rock & Roll Radio Station.. I left the oncoming KAAY disaster to help build KLRT-16 in Little Rock under Chief Engineer Dexter Merry. After a couple of years at KLRT, I took an Electrical Engineering degree from Seattle University, became licensed as a Registered Professional Engineer in Washington, took a law degree from Seattle University School of Law, and then Graduate studies in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. I now practice Electrical Engineering in Seattle but have long since priced myself out of reach of broadcasters. Like Little Rock, there are several radio stations in the Seattle area that have gone away,
never to return.

So there's my history in Arkansas radio. I haven't seen the inside of a broadcast transmitter in over 20 years.

Best regards,

Hollis W. Duncan
Edmonds WA"

Hollis' comments of how helpful and kind Tommy Riggs, A. J. Lindsey and Jerry Pitcock were reminds me of how classy folks at KAAY were- and still are.  No matter if they were a deejay, an engineer or anywhere in between, I have seen nothing but class.  You have to admire a station and people like that- I have, for all these many years.
Thank you, Hollis!  Please visit, comment and e-mail any time!
Bud S. (

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget!

Please, never forget....

...but, many of us fear that so many others HAVE forgotten...

In the light of many things that have happened since the 9/11 attacks, we seem to have gotten comfortable again, even when the wolf is at the door.  I remember hearing the news alerts on the way to work that morning- it was too unbelievable.  We even had several incidents which happened here in Mobile after 9/11- evil was too close, knocking at our doors here.  Sadly, only one of three incidents were reported on our local news, none in the national media that I am aware of.  The one was of a person who was caught at the airport trying to rent a car, with nothing but the clothes he was wearing and a briefcase stuffed full of cash.

The other two came very close, personally; one of our marine industry dealers called us saying that three persons came in their office at lunch wanting to buy a boat for cash- any boat- but would not wait on the salesmen to return from their meal.  The FBI was called, but the men could not be found.  Another close friend worked at Ingalls shipbuilding facility, where the U.S.S. Cole had been brought in for repairs to its hull, after it was attacked and bombed in Yemen. He had originally drawn the plans for the Cole and was due to retire, but stayed on until the ship was finished; he passed away shortly thereafter, due to a brain tumor. He mentioned that they floated the ship two weeks early out of drydock and never mentioned it to the press, due to security reasons. The published date would have slightly preceded the date the aforementioned men tried to buy the boat.  In comparing our notes, we both believed that these persons intended to try to "finish the job" on the Cole.

Another of my friends, whose father worked at a local chemical plant, mentioned that a large Ford sedan pulled up short of their security gate, filled with several individuals, two of which were taking pictures as fast as they could; their security force advanced on the car, which made a quick 180 and left, never to be found.

Needless to say, we found later that there were many, many "targets" up and down the Gulf Coast.  Only due to vigilance on the part of law enforcement and other officials, we did not sustain any attacks locally.

I sometimes believe the media does not need to know many things, due to security reasons; I am thankful, however, for the media who report things in a correct manner and do not dramatize the news.

God bless our civil servants in all their capacities; God bless our soldiers; God bless those who perished in the attacks that day; and God bless America...may we NEVER forget.

Bud S. (

Friday, September 10, 2010

"New" Jonnie King Aircheck #1!

Folks, I was able to find three airchecks of Jonnie recently; one was of November 29, 1971 and the other two were from February 6, 1972.  The latter is in two parts and originally came to me mislabled, but Jonnie set me straight.  They are concurrent, breaking in the middle of a selection, Ben E. King's, "I Who Have Nothing".

I encouraged Jonnie to send along some comments when I called him one evening; he's a great one for detail and readily complied, for our reading and listening pleasure!  Here's Jonnie's comments on the November 29, 1971 aircheck:

"Hi Bud !

Good talking to you the other night and, as promised, here's the Information on the 2 Airchecks you sent me from November, 1971 & February 6, 1972.

Let's start with November 29, 1971: Since I arrived at KAAY in April of 1969, my On Air Shift had been 8pm-Mid, and, later 8pm-11pm. (Since I was Music Director also, I was actually in the building & my office from about 3pm on.) My ratings were super for that Time Period...I think my first one came in at about a 39 Share of the Audience in 1969. And they stayed high all through my years in that slot, thanks to my audience, my fellow air personalities, and the great people in KAAY management with all of their help & support.

But Wayne Moss, who was the PD in 1971, had been doing the Mid Day shift and wanted more time in the office, so at the end of October '71, he decided to place me in that slot...knowing that I could bring some of my Night Time Listeners & already-established "name recognition" along. SO, my first Mid Day Show began on November 1, 1971. It was 10am-Noon, gave me more "daytime" in my M.D. Office, and freed-up my nights. (A number of my girlfriends were truly thankful for that ! )

However, as with ANY Shift Change, there is a "learning curve" that you have to go through to get the pace & rhythm of the new Day Part, the Audience, and, the focus of the "room" itself. What do I mean by that ? Well, during the day shifts the FULL Office Staff is in the building, and many in sales, traffic, engineering, management, etc., will come into the Studio to check the log, ask about a remote, check on the equipment, et al. These are things that you usually don't have to worry about too much after 6pm...but they definitely disturb your focus while your On The Air ! Now back to November 29, 1971.

I had only been doing this shift for a few weeks as you can see. It was the Monday after Thanksgiving, and so some Christmas Spots were in the mix. But, in reality, I hadn't settled completely into the Time Period. That sometimes takes a few months, and I ask that the listener have mercy on me...'cause I was not at my best in that slot yet. (SPECIAL NOTE: To hear what I sounded like after I REALLY locked-into that shift, PLEASE go to my Personal WebSite and listen to my "Summer Of '72" 10am-Noon Air then I had it nailed ! )

In addition, the night of November 29, 1971 I was a Judge at the Talent Contest given by the Mayor's Youth Council of Little Rock. (I don't remember who won, but I know it wasn't David B. with his harmonica solo of "Shaft" !! )"

Jonnie King Nov. 29, 1971:   stream   |   download 

Next up, February 6, 1972, what I call the "A" aircheck!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

SEPTEMBER 10th: 1967-2010...


I Had Posted This A Year Ago, But Since Time Is Precious And Many Who Were Reading This Last Year Are No Longer With Us, I Felt It Important, Due To Those Mentioned Within The Post , To Again Thank All That Have Touched My Life In These Last 43 Years...They Are Never Forgotten:

A friend of mine called me this morning to say "hello" and congratulate me. I said "Congratulate me ?", and he said: "Remember, old friend, today is your Anniversary ! You've been in Broadcasting for 43 years as of today !"

I said: "Wow ! You're right ! But, I've been working on my WebSites this morn. and haven't really had time to think about it."

Well, okay, now I HAVE thought about it. And, I want to thank everyone taking the time to read this, because the driving force behind what I've been doing since I started this "art form" of Broadcasting back on Sunday, September 10th, 1967, has nothing to do with me. It's because of Y-O-U the listeners, my co-workers, the visitors that go to my WebSites, and, all of you reading this...that I do what I do. Without you there would be no need for me.

And, I sincerely thank all of those involved in my life that got me "from there to here": my late parents, Bill & Mary, for their undying love & support; my friend and mentor Don Pietromonaco (KXOK's Johnny Rabbitt); Don Liddenton (KLID), who gave me that first job; Pat Walsh & Barry Wood (Mike McCormick) who hired me at KAAY. And, in order: Jim Brown (WDRQ), Al Casey & Joe Kelly (KSLQ); Richard Miller (KADI/KRJY); Gary Mitchell & Gary Brown (KGLD); Mike Waterman (WSSM); Mike Anderson (St.L.Media); Darryl & Donna Starbird (The National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame/Museum); Jerry & DeVona Titus (Kustom Kemps Of America).

Also, all of those great friends I worked with including: Jerry McDaniel, Bill Steiger, Frank Terry, Charlie Moore (KLID); Mike McCormick, Sonny Martin, George Jennings, Ron Owens, Dave Treadway, Phil North, Dave Montgomery, Clyde Clifford, Greg F.,Mary Donald, Felix McDonald, Marvin Vines, Joe Dickey, Eddie Graham, Wayne Moss, Eula Mae, and some I know I've forgotten (KAAY);Ted Smith, Guy Phillips, Mike Wall, Chuck Roberts, Bill Bailey, Gary Bridges, Terry Fox, Kevin McCarthy,Ted Anthony, Joan Kelly, Jo Jo Kincaid, et al (KSLQ); and, Ron Elz, Dick Williams, Jackie McCoy, Mad Maynard, Kent Hall, Jason Church, Debbie Alexander, Dena Pietromonaco, Doug Lyon, Frank Absher (St.L Media Historian), and many others who were also there.

But, most of all, I thank God for giving me the talent that I have and the ability to use it, and, to do what I done for the last 43 years.

Always Remember: You Never Do It Alone.

Thank you, all of my KAAY Friends, each and everyone !  AND, to find out just how I got to THE MIGHTY 1090/ KAAY to begin with, click-on this link for some very Personal History:

Jonnie King

Another Nostalgic Jump....

Go to the website below and type in the year you were born.  I did it for mine, and the year KAAY came on the air.  There's some neat memories that've happened!  Music, movies, historical events, accomplishments and awards:

Bud S. (

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Welcome To Hollis W. Duncan!

This morning, I signed on to find numerous informative and timely comments by Hollis W. Duncan, a former KAAY engineer.  If you, dear reader, will go to the posts in the past, "The 'Other' 1090 Stations", "KAAY Transmitter Building", "A Day In The Life Of A KAAY Engineer", "Greg Fadick And FM", "Tom Roberts, Don Payne and Beaker Street", "KAAY Personnel (2010 Update) in all the parts, "Critical Directional Antenna Patterns" and "KXLR Survey-Who Is This Guy?", you'll see some interersting, historical comments about the transmitter, people and daily life at KAAY!

Hollis, thank you for visiting and leaving your comments!  Would you care to e-mail me at my address below, please?

Bud S. (

Another "Voice": Gary Gears

Awhile back, Phil North had mentioned Gary Gears in a post; we'd also heard some of his work in an intro or two of Beaker Street.  He was another "voice" contracted for talent on KAAY, as well as many other stations around the country.  After a short stint at WCFL, Gary worked for WSL from 1971 until 1973.  He is touted, by Jeff Roterman's webpage, to have been "one of the best voices of all".  Gary's voice was heard all over the country in the 1970's, doing ads, as well as on many stations (most in the Chicago, IL markets).  See more comments, and some airchecks, at the link below:

Phil also sent along another link about Gary Gears:

If you can access Reelradio via your account, you can also hear an aircheck of Gary there.

Gary served in the Armed Forces and was also on AFVN; I wonder, since I listened as a kid, was he ever on shortwave?  I listened to AFRTS a lot on shortwave, growing up.  (I'll have to post a picture of my grandfather's Zenith TransOceanic here that I used back then.  I still have it!)

Sadly, Gary passed away from cancer at the age of 46, in 1991....

Phil comments: "Gary Gears…he was a great DJ in Chicago…I first heard him on WLS Chicago…I went up to visit him one weekend and he showed me the WLS studios and we hung out a little…nice guy…loved hockey and women…..he was very kind to help a 20 year old upstart…."

A big "Thank you!" to Phil North/Eric Chase for setting me in the right direction and providing links! (For some reason last year, I wasn't getting much in the way of research done on Gary Gears and this info eluded me.)

Here's a link to a couple of Gary Gears' intros, from Phil North:

There's GOT to be a Radio Heaven, 'cuz fols like Gary, A.J. and others MUST be there....

Bud S. (

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jefferson Thomas, R.I.P.

Today, one of the "Little Rock Nine" passed into eternity, Mr. Jefferson Thomas.  As a teenager, he was one of nine black students to integrate Little Rock Central High School in our country's first major fight for integration.  Mr. Thomas suffered from pancreatic cancer and was 68 years young.  He, and the other eight former Central High students, were issued Congressional Gold Medals on the 40th anniversary of the event.

The following link will connect to an AP article outlining his life and accomplishments:

48 Years Today!

Once again, happy birthday, KAAY!  Forty-eight years ago today, on Labor Day, one of the greatest radio stations came on the air as KAAY, born out of KTHS, and we're still around to see it and celebrate!

All of us who work so hard to bring you little bits of history, in print, picture and audio, hope all enjoy what we're able to bring to you!  We certainly hope this blog will be around for quite some time and that more readers, fans and former employees dig around and find more bits of history to share with everyone here.  Who knows?  That box up in the attic or out in the garage or shop may have some long-forgotten station memorabelia!  Scan it and e-mail it to me at my address below so I can share with other KAAY fans.

Forty-eight, time sure does fly when you're having fun....

(Some of you MAY get the picture above!)

Bud S. (

Sunday, September 5, 2010


To All My KAAY/Mighty 1090 Friends:

Labor Day is Monday. A day we honor all of those, including most reading these words, the men & women of America who toil daily in their pursuit of the American Dream:

A family and friends to love & care for, food, clothing & shelter for ourselves and our family, and producing a product, selling a product, providing a service, or, whatever means of "labor" that is used to contribute to the people and the country that we live in.

I was struck by the majesty of this cover of Collier's Magazine from Labor Day, 1942, as America waged War. Production of automobiles & related products had ceased and the factories, instead, turned out Airplanes, Ships, Tanks, Jeeps, Guns, Bullets, Mortars, Hand Grenades, and every conceivable type of product they could to help our fighting men & women.

WITH ALL OF THE ABOVE IN MIND, please take a close look at this painting by reknowned artist ARTHUR SZYK that was used for the Collier's cover, September 12, 1942. Although this is NOT Memorial Day, we still have men & women in harm's way today. So let's not forget them...nor those, including my Dad, Bill Edwards working at Wagner Electric Corporation in St. Louis, who labored for the greater good on the Homefront on all of the Labor Day's during WWII.

God Bless America...and the men & women who labor in all fields of endeavor to make it, and keep it, the greatest Nation in the World.

Jonnie King

Saturday, September 4, 2010

1st Nationwide TV Broadcast Today, Sept. 4,1951

It is documented that today in 1951, the first nationwide TV broadcast took place; NBC was said to have been the country's first nationwide network.  In the '50s, names like Charlton Heston, Jack Webb, Gene Autry also became a lot of "firsts", in their own right.  Shows like "The Honeymooners" and "I Love Lucy" hit the screen about 1951 and many other great shows and sitcoms followed.  Here's some neat history to follow in "Film History of the 1950s":

In the mid-1950s, KTHV was born out of radio station KTHS, when the radio station built television studios.  In 1954, a new building was built and the TV and radio station was moved to 720 Izard Street.  It was the first building in Arkansas to be built for both radio and TV, with KTHV-TV on the first floor and KTHS on the second.

As history shows, KTHS was sold to KAAY, Inc. in 1962...and the show goes on.

KTHV first signed on November 27, 1955 and wasn't involved in the original nationwide broadcast; I thought it was a neat tie-in, though!

Bud S. (

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day Weekend- Best Wishes

From the U.S. Department of Labor website, what Labor Day means:

"Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

We live, work, play, love, grieve, worship and celebrate in the greatest country in the world!  Our ingenuity and stick-to-it attitude has in the past and will again make us great.  My wish to all of you out there, hard-working reader and visitor, that you have a safe, happy and restful Labor Day weekend!

Now, where's that BBQ and root beer I ordered?  Yes, and turn up that radio!

Bud S. (

Razorback Grill Ad!

Compliments of Barry Mac, here is a neat ad for the Razorback Grill!  Sure makes me hungry every time I listen to it!  Bill Montgomery, former Arkansas quarterback, is the man in the ad.  The grill was a promotional item whose sales benefitted the Razorback football team.

I couldn't readily find a picture of the grill on-line, so if anyone has a picture, or even one still in existance, it would be neat to see a picture of this grill, for historical reasons!

Send any KAAY or related pictures, material or what-have-you to my e-mail address below.

Razorback Grill ad:   stream   |   download

Bud S. (

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"NEW" Video Uncovered, KAAY Kommandos and Harlem Globetrotters!

WOW!  Compliments of "Charlie King" (Charlie Scarbrough) comes a video from 'way back, about 1968!  This was actually a promotional video by Little Rock TV station KATV, channel 7, but it featured the two aforementioned teams.  Charlie says that KATV did the feature specifically on Bozo, since he was on their station, but KAAY got some publicity, nonetheless.  A. J. Lindsey had originally mentioned the KAAY Kommandos in his blog:

Pay attention to the video, you'll see these players all over the place!  From left to right in the picture above is #32, "Sonny Martin" (Matt White), #51, station manager Pat Walsh, Bozo (Gary Weir), #31, news director George J. Jennings, #25, weekend newsman Steve Riggs (Tommy Riggs' brother) and kneeling, the supplier of the video is #16, deejay "Charlie King" (Charlie Scarbrough)!

Whether we call them "Commandos" or "Kommandos", I don't know; I've seen it both ways.  However, the GREAT thing is that live video of the team exists!  Please note that this was taken from an old tape, so the visual quality is not what we'd have today and I'm sure there was some degradation while being stored, BUT, it is wonderful, priceless, newly-exposed history!  And, thanks to Dave S. who was able to work his computer know-how and get it here, please enjoy!


Thank you, Charlie Scarbrough!!!!