Friday, December 31, 2010

Beaker Street, New Year's Eve 1971 Revisited

I was so excited when we got these airchecks from Greg Barman, we just HAD to get them on.  Nonetheless, in the spirit of the holiday, here is a link back to all of them.  Enjoy!  And please, have a great evening, be safe, and have a happy and prosperous New Year!

Beaker Street, Dec. 31, 1971

Bud S. (

Thursday, December 30, 2010


AN OLD FRIEND OF MINE, THE LEGENDARY "WOLFMAN JACK" GAVE ME A SURPRISE PHONE CALL on New Year's Eve, 1993, when I was doing my show on JUKE BOX 96 Radio/St. Louis.

I've saved this audio in my Personal Archive's for all these years...and now, as a Special New Year's Gift, I want to share it with you. Just click-on here to listen:

... and be sure to pass this link onto a friend right now so they can hear it too !!

AND, A VERY Happy New Year to all of you ! God Bless & Thanks for making 2010 our best year ever !!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Beaker Street" Gaining Grassroots Support!

The fans of "Beaker Street" are angry and motivated!  There are currently several individuals making efforts to put pressure on KKPT's station management, in an effort to convince them to keep the program on the air, or to find another station to pick it up.  Here are some links, if you are interested.

"Keep Beaker Street Alive" on Facebook (created less than two days ago, and already boasts 158+ members):

"Beaker Street/Clyde Clifford Fans" Facebook Page:

This Facebook page currently has 914 members.  

If every member, as well as readers of this blog site would write and/or call KKPT, that would certainly put some pressure on the management.  KKPT 94.1 "The Point" has all live programming and many of us feel that "Beaker Street" belongs there.  As I wrote on one of those pages, "Beaker Street" is living radio history.  When it does go off of the air, Clyde Clifford, his legion of fans, and the program itself deserve to have a proper send-off, such as Larry King had on CNN.  I'm listing the link for KKPT below.  If you are so inclined, please take a few moments to write or call the station, and express your support for this groundbreaking program to remain on the air (and on the World Wide Web) in Little Rock.


Richard Robinson

Theater Of The Mind....

Oh, for the days of radio, when it actually stirred the imagination!

Remember when we could listen to programs, deejays, and such, and the pictures they painted?  Remember the hysteria created by Orson Wells' "War of the Worlds"?  I believe firmly that television has taken away much of our imagination.  We've become so jaded, that it takes more and more shock and drama to even stir us....

How about the mental pictures painted by Ken Knight (Howard Watson) of the Blue Goose Lounge, across from the studios?  And his imaginative creativity in "Ear On Arkansas" along with all the other various players?  What about the erie picture painted while listening to Clyde Clifford on "Beaker Street"?  How was your imagination while listening to the various Sonny Martins, Mike McCormicks, Doc Holidays, the Emperor Holiday himself, and all the other Greats?  They were larger than life!  The crazy ads put on by the various deejays, like The Foulk Monster, etc.?  And Those Voices, the ones that announced KAAY all during the day and night- Tom Perryman and Gary Gears, with those deep, gutteral, processed voices- they could have been the Hulk, they sounded so "large"!

Yes, since the consolidation began, radio hasn't been the same...but, like the young lad in the picture above may now do, we have learned to relish and cherish our memories of The Greats of KAAY- and other stations- and we honor them here in these pages and posts and audio clips and airchecks so many of you have graciously contributed!

May the great memories never die...and as long as I can muster something for the blog, it will be preserved here for all to enjoy!  My thanks to all those in the forefront and behind the scenes who help to keep these wonderful memories alive!

(The cartoon above was gleaned from a 1965 Amateur Radio Relay League publication- the caption has been changed for enjoyment on the blog!)

Bud S. (

Monday, December 27, 2010

"Beaker Street" CANCELLED!

Faithful blog readers, it is with great sadness that I must tell you that "Beaker Street" is slated for cancellation on KKPT "The Point" 94.1.  The last program is scheduled for February 6, 2011.  The word is out, and the Facebook page for this historic program has more details.  Here is the web link:

Here is the entry on www. (from Clyde Clifford himself):

Welcome to Beaker Street.

I have really felt at home here at the Point. The staff and especially the audience have been great. I had hoped that someday in the nebulous future that the Point would be where I would finally decide to retire.That is not to be. I have been informed that the last Beaker Street on The Point will be February 6th.
Check here often for information, which I will post as I learn it.
Keep the faith. I intend to continue Beaker Street as long as I can.

6 more Beaker Streets at The Point.

The options, as I see it, are to contact the management of KKPT at:

and register your anger and disappointment over this decision.  Should the station management stand by their decision, "Beaker Street will indeed go "dark," unless another station picks up the program.  There are other possibilities, including another station picking up the program in Little Rock.  If no terrestrial radio station is willing, some enterprising folks might be able to put the program up on the Internet, although that would take some doing.  It is such a shame that OUR "Beaker Street" is being cancelled, because Clyde Clifford had built up an audience again, both in the immediate listening area and truly world-wide via the Internet.  If you want "Beaker Street to survive, then please get busy and let your voice be heard.  We need you NOW!

"Beaker Street" is such an important part of Arkansas broadcast history.  It is the longest running radio program in the state.  It was ground breaking.  It is probably one of the few radio programs that has a Ph.D. dissertation devoted to it.  The program is important.  It should stay on the air.  Please do what you can to help keep Clyde Clifford not only in our hearts and minds, but also in our ears.  


Richard C. Robinson


To all my Mighty 1090 Friends:

NORM GRABOWSKI’S LEGENDARY FORD "T-BUCKET" BECAME A Media Icon in 1958 when it was launched into TV-Land on the Warner Brothers hit show “77 SUNSET STRIP” !

Through the years almost EVERYBODY reading this info, has either seen, or heard about "77 Sunset Strip" one of TV's legendary long-running shows.  AND, the "Kookie Kar" was an integral part of the show !

The car was recently released in Danbury Mint’s “Legacy Motors” catalog, and Norm’s “KOOKIE KAR” has become a hot topic all over again. Listen as Norm tells how the “car” became a “star” !   PLUS: YOU’LL ACTUALLY HEAR “KOOKIE” !!

Just click-on this link to the Hall Of Fame Legends WebSite, listen, and enjoy !

SPECIAL: COMING LATER THIS WEEK: New Year's Eve With "Wolfman Jack" !

Happy Holidays To All My KAAY/1090 Friends !

Jonnie King

Best Jock Vote

Boy, you never know what you'll come up with doing research!  I found this archived link from the RadioInfo boards where several folks were mentioning their favorite Arkansas male jocks:;topic=4328.0

Some of these people I've found e-mail addresses for, many have not returned repeated requests for a word or two.  Someone mentioned early on in this blog that some folks don't WANT to look back.  Maybe due to mismanagement, as in Multimedia?  I'm just "supposing" here....

Any way, it was a good, fun read to see others' enthusiasm for their favorite jocks.  Hey, you Greats, you're ALL special!

Bud S. (

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Art Vuolo's Video Tribute to Don Payne

Thanks to Devlan Roehling, via e-mail...a video tribute to Don Payne:

And another one that popped up from a former radio associate, also forwarded by Delvan:

If ANYONE has any airchecks of Don at KAAY, please contact me!  Especially of him on Beaker Street!  Thanks to Devlan for sending this to us and to Dave S. for setting up the video,,,.

Bud S. (

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Greetings From KAAY Jocks!

As promised, here is your Christmas surprise!  Several KAAY deejays sent in their Christmas greetings for all of you dear listeners and fans of KAAY.

Christmas greetings from KAAY deejays:   stream   |   download

Many thanks to Greg Barman for his audio expertise in putting this together...and to Dave S. for helping post the audio.  Without their help, this blog would be very dull.

And, many thanks and Christmas greetings to our beloved Great Ones, the deejays, engineers, program directors, general managers, the LIN staff and owners and everyone else involved with KAAY from 1962 to 1985- ROCK ON!

Bud S. (

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wolfman Jack Christmas And New Year's Greetings

From fellow blogster Thom Whetston, manager of the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) blog recently came upon a broadcast of Wolfman Jack's Christmas Show from 1975.  Since Wolfman Jack had appeared at KAAY, he's given permission for us to insert a Christmas greeting here from the Wolfman:

Wolfman's Jack 1975 Christmas Show:   stream   |   download

I've mentioned Thom's blog before and will continue to do so, since he and others did so much to entertain our troops via the very important radio and TV services.  Here is the link, look up "Christmas With Wolfman Jack", posted on December 9, 2010, and enjoy over 103 minutes of fun!

Thanks to Thom and all the other veterans who have served; thanks also to Dave S. for posting the audio.

Bud S. (

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Special Christmas Treat To Come!

A little teaser for you, dear visitor and reader!  Check here Christmas Eve day for a special treat for your ears!

Bud S. (

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hams' Memories Of KAAY

Just an interesting link to Hams (Amateur Radio) discussing their memories of KAAY:

One mentioned that, maybe Clyde Clifford/Dale Seidenschwarz had a Ham license?  I checked and, yes, indeed, Dale holds callsign WA5AVA

The only Hams I knew of previously who worked for KAAY was Felix McDonald, W5OVZ,  Don Payne, K9WP, and now Dale Seidenschwarz, WA5AVA.  Anyone else?

Bud S., KC4HGH (


Since my Great-Grandparents on my Dad's side came from Ireland & England, and due to my acting for many years and having great insight into the works of Shakespeare, I've always wanted to travel to England & Ireland.  What better way to spend Christmas than in the land of  Dicken's "Christmas Carol" ?

Which brings me to 1969 and my working at KAAY:

 I began at the Mighty 1090 on April 21st and, being single, occasionally found some nice girls to date.  But, in September of that year I saw a show at the Arkansas Art Center and was very impressed by one of the very attractive dancers in the show.

I found out from the program that the girl's name was Kerry, and sometime after the show got in contact with her and - since the feeling was mutual - we began dating in October...starting the beginning of a lengthy relationship.  But one of the things that really entranced me was that Kerry was from England !   She had actually grown up there, and later took up residence in Little Rock.

Since the Holidays were upon us, she asked me to spend Christmas with her and her family to which I agreed, but had to get the approval of the PD (Barry Wood) & Pat Walsh, GM.  They both gave their blessing, travel arrangements were made, and on Christmas Morning, 1969, Kerry & I headed for England to join her wonderful family for a most-unimaginable feast, and a day to remember...the first of many I would spend there.

How could we do it all in one day ?  Well, it was only about 26 miles from where we lived in Little Rock to England...England, Arkansas.  But it WAS England !

God Bless Us, Everyone, and especially Kerry...wherever you are.

Jonnie King

PS:  My newest list of Holiday Films & Videos are online, PLUS you can hear an Episode of the Special Christmas "Breakfast Serial" ("The Yuletide Miracle"), and hear a Christmas Classic from The Drifters !   Just go to my WebSite, look, listen, and, enjoy ! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Can Have Them, Also!

Even if you have no knowledge of how to rebuild or refurbish old radios, you can have that "look" easily and economically!  The pair of tabletop radios I have above are a manufactured by Thomas America Corporation; the one on your left (my right) is a 1940 replica #3 (of which I have two) and the one on your right (my left) is a 1932 replica Model 317.  My wife found them at garage sales for about $10 each.  They're available at all kinds of on-line auctions for $15 or $20 each.

I've also seen these radios (and others) in little sales flyers which offer all kinds of household "goodies", that have been mailed out on a bulk basis; the problem is, these replica radios are listed for $99 to $129 apiece!

To be sure, they are NOT tube radios, but transistorized versions of such.  The cabinets of mine are real wood.  Both radios (as well as others) are typically AM/FM with a cassette player on the side.  In my opinion, if any more show up on the market, they ought to include a CD/mp3 player, as well- there's plenty of room in the cabinets on these models.  It might be interesting to experiment with an input jack to enable the radio(s) to take CD/mp3 audio devices, but, since they are not stereo, an audiophile might not appreciate the effort.  Although the audio is monaural, I still enjoy some of my old-time radio shows played on cassettes through them.

Just another little tip from ol' "Bud Santa"!  Ho ho ho! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Bud S. (

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Story Of Christmas And (Ham) Radio

I'd been wondering if I should post this or not, then decided to do so, anyway.  You know, dear reader, this is the season of giving.  I play Santa Claus, both in the flesh and on special "Santa Claus Nets" (or networks) over Ham radio.  It can be greatly rewarding, and heart wrenching, as well....

A number of years ago, an old Ham radio friend of ours who was in his upper 80's and his wife a few years younger were both ailing. Bob was having a lot of maladies, but he cared for his wife first, then himself last. After all the kids checked in, he checked in and asked "Santa" (me) if he could have a Christmas wish, as well. I said, "Sure, we're all kids for Santa!"

Bob said, "Santa, I want one more year to live with my wife."

I choked. I bit back a sob as I cracked the mic and said, "Bob, God will give you the desires of your heart." and then I let out a "Ho ho ho!" to cover up my emotions. When the net ended a few minutes later, I broke down and sobbed....

Bob did have that year with his wife- barely. After Bob passed away, I met his wife at a little tailgater (a Ham radio fleamarket) in Milton, FL. She was very pale and weak, but she was with us, her and Bob's friends. Shortly after, however, she passed away, too.

Love prevailed that Christmas and throughout the year after. God gave Bob his wish...I was only the conduit.

Be that conduit for someone...not only this season, but every day of the year!
Bud S. (

Friday, December 17, 2010

Camaro Muscle Cars And Radio, From Dave M.

And now for something completely different - KAAY once gave away a brand new "Sprite" -themed Z-28 Camaro in a contest sponsored by the Little Rock Coca Cola bottling company. Here's a story about the new Camaros, and how technology helped solved a little radio problem -

Merry Christmas to all!

Dave M//

From :

When spy shots surfaced of the pre-production 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible sporting an AM/FM whip antenna positioned on the rear deck lid, mullet-wearing fan-boys began to bitch. So Chevy called in an unexpected problem-solver — a Ham radio geek.

After realizing the enthusiasts hated the idea of an R/C car-like whip antenna on the rear deck lid, Chevrolet commissioned self-described "antenna freak" Don Hibbard, an antenna test performance engineer, to find a way to fix it. "Antennas are a beautiful thing to me," says Hibbard.

Hibbard and colleague Gregg Kittinger had to do what some thought was impossible: conceal the AM/FM antenna without sacrificing radio reception. Adding to the problem is that, as Kittinger says, "Typically antennas are hidden in a vehicle's rear window, but with a retractable soft-top roof, that's not an option." So putting it inside the Camaro's windows? Yeah, that's not going to happen.

The two, who share three other patents, accepted the challenge despite Kittinger's belief it wasn't likely impossible.

But the two came up with a novel approach –- hide the antenna inside the rear spoiler. No one had tried that on a Chevrolet before because of the hit to radio reception.

"We responded to a legitimate criticism from devoted Chevrolet Camaro enthusiasts and in ten months found an innovative way to improve the overall aesthetics of the vehicle without sacrificing performance and quality," said Kittinger.

While the shark fin antenna that transmits XM Satellite Radio, OnStar and cellular signals is still present on the car's deck lid, the built-in spoiler antenna eliminates the need for a longer, separate whip antenna to receive AM and FM radio signals.

Hibbard, a lifelong Ham radio enthusiast, says the unorthodox placement of the antenna within the body of the vehicle created a number of technical challenges, such as balancing form by preserving the car's styling and function of unimpeded audio reception.

"Where other automakers have tried and failed, Chevy succeeded," said Hibbard. "We hope to take what we've learned with the Camaro Convertible, build on it and apply it to future vehicles."

But the main morale of the story? Mullet-wearing Camaro fan-boys will bitch about pretty much anything. But hey, Chevy will try to make them happy nonetheless.

The secondary morale of the story? When you have a girlfriend who's a licensed Ham radio operator — and knows Morse code like the back of her hand — you'll find any story about Ham radios to be absolutely enthralling.

(Thanks, Dave!  Being a Ham radio operator for years myself and a radio-listening enthusiast, I can attest that the antenna is the most important part of any radio system.  You can have the best radio or transmitter in the world, but unless you have a good antenna, performance will suffer.  One of the big loves in my hobby is antennas and their design.  I have hand-built many of the antennas I currently use in Ham radio and also for my listening pleasure and they WORK.

By the way, folks, Hams (Amateur radio operators) have developed much of the technology you enjoy today; chances are, most electronic and communication devices you use every day was developed by or improved upon by a Ham radio operator somewhere on this planet.  You're welcome!

Dave, thanks for this look into antenna technology; many of us rode around listening to The Big K for many, many hours.  I even put together a better-than-production antenna system on my old '66 Dodge so I could hear the station better.  KAAY's night-time signal was SO strong, that if my car radio had a signal-strength meter in it, the needle would have been pinned all the way over to the right!

And, as I've mentioned to Dave a couple of times, with all of his and other engineers' knowledge, they'd make great Ham radio operators!  Bud S., )

For The Beaker Street Fans...

...I've found another link that I hadn't come upon before...and it's quite succinct in it's history of the program, more so than I've seen in the past.  Clyde Clifford (Dale Seidenschwarz), Stuart McRae and Don Payne are all mentioned in the article.

The article is too long to print here...nonetheless, it makes a good read.  Influences upon listeners include that of a particular band (there were MANY musicians influenced by the music) and Cuban listeners, as well.

I remember somewhere, a comment as to how one listener liked the music, but not the problems brought on by the drug culture of some of the musicians...and that, as a child of six years old, he saw how several artists died from overdoses.  Liked the music, didn't like the drugs, never got involved with the latter.  I felt the same way, as a fan of the show....

Bud S. (

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stuart McRae Checks In! Picture Of Don Payne, WZPL

I called Stuart McRae today and had a wonderful conversation with him!  I am looking forward to more correspondence with him in the coming days.  Stuart knew Don Payne very well.  In fact, he sent along a picture of him at the mic:

Here's Stuart's comments:

"Make no mistake about it - this is Don having fun! (He loved those SM5Bs).

Gary Hoffman in Indy had this pic and it think it was from his daze at WZPL.

Stuart McRae"

What a wonderful piece of history!  Thank you, Stuart, we're looking forward to more in the future!

For those who are interested, Stuart also passes along that the gravesite service for Don in Hot Springs, AR will be at 4:00 PM, Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at Greenwood Cemetery.  Thank you again, Stuart.

Bud S. (

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Tribute To Don Payne

Simply put, here is the link, in tribute to Don Payne:

...and this link for condolences, please:


Bud S. (

Mark Larsen- Again!

Here's another picture of "Marvelous" Mark Larsen, back from 1983, on 95-YNF, an album rock station where he worked in Tampa Bay, FL at that time.  Mark informed me that the picture had been cropped; it was of him and Huey Lewis, who Mark was interviewing at the time the picture was taken.

Found here at Jon Anthony's Rock & Roll blog:

Thanks to Jon and Mark!  Be sure to visit Mark's podcast every day:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mobile Great, Scott O'Brien, Signed Off

Robert S. "Scott O'Brien" Griffith, another Great, this time from Mobile, passed away Saturday morning, December 11, 2010; he was 61 years young.  Scott had worked in many markets in Mobile, from news/talk, to rock 'n' roll, to country and sports/talk, on stations which included WABB, G100, 95KSJ (WKSJ), News radio 710 (WNTM), 92ZEW (WZEW) and Sports radio 105.5 (WNSI).  Scott was also a highly-decorated Viet Nam veteran.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at the Wolf-Bayview Funeral Home in Daphne, AL; his burial will be at a private service at a later date later at Barrancas National Cemetary aboard NAS, Pensacola, FL.

I listened to Scott many, many years in the Mobile market.  He valiantly fought cancer, but never let it affect his on-air time.  I'll always remember, when he signed off, he had a short recording of his son as a young lad, "Feed the birds, Dad!"

I mention Scott because he was another Great in the radio industry.  Several folks who worked at KAAY also worked at one or more stations mentioned above in Mobile.

Rest easy, Scott....we will miss you.

Bud S. (

Don Payne: Rest In Peace, Brother

Dear reader and visitor, it is with heavy heart and much sorrow that I must inform you all that Michele Payne has informed me that Don Payne has passed away:


I wanted to let you know that Don passed away yesterday at home. He loved looking at your brought back great memories for him.

I know you know many people that would want to know of his passing.

I am meeting with the funeral home here in Indianapolis today and will get back with you on his arrangements. He will be buried next week with a graveside service in Hot Springs.


Michele Payne"

Don had the distinction of airing the last "Beaker Street" on KAAY, before The Last Day, when Clyde Clifford aired that last hour.  Don had been couragiously fighting pancreatic and liver cancer and had recently undergone three operations, the latest about a week ago to relocate a bile duct.  In his last e-mail to me, he was upbeat and hopeful, albeit a little sore from the latest procedure.  He was alwayS Don, never down-hearted, always hopeful and thankful for all your good thoughts and prayers for his recovery.

Don was also a fellow Ham radio operator, whom I never got the opportunity to talk with over the air.  He expressed trying to get an antenna up and us getting together, but his work schedule, and consequently his illness, precluded his efforts.

As soon as Michele gets me the funeral arrangements, I will print them here for you.  May Hot Springs, AR experience a major traffic jam with his procession!

We love you, Don...tell Pat, A. J., George, Richard, Barry and all the Others "hello" for us....

Bud S. (

An Interesting Beaker Street Link

It's been a bit since we've mentioned Beaker Street here...and, in my ever on-going research, I found an unusual posting on another blog, as well as a YouTube link with audio, for the group "The Olivers", who cut the 45 r.p.m. record (remember those?), almost at the same time Clyde Clifford started the show of the same name!  Instead of my rehashing the info, see it here:

...but I couldn't resist posting a picture of the record here....

Bud S. (

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hollis Duncan Comments, Re: The KAAY Harris MW-50B

Ah, the filthy. maladjusted KAAY Harris MW-50B. This sure brings back memories. And at least a few nightmares.

The Harris MW-50B was reliable and never failed on my watch. This alone is remarkable because the MW-50B was the filthiest transmitter that I ever saw and had been completely misadjusted by my predecessor (an unlicensed engineer). Nonetheless, it just kept chugging along.

When I arrived in 1982, KAAY was sounding pretty rough. The MW-50B transmitter was filled with soot following a power transformer fire. That story has been told elsewhere on your site. Because I only had access to the transmitter between 1 am and 4:30 am on Monday morning, I spent the first four weeks cleaning the transmitter. It took many buckets of distilled water and ammonia (used because it doesn't conduct electricity and its absolutely wonderful smell) and I had to get a fresh bucket after a couple of wipes with a wet sponge. It was (finally) reasonably clean but all of those white wires will never be anything but a dull grey.

While I was cleaning this poor beast, the audio monitor was tuned to the studio signal. I kept hearing white noise rising and falling in the audio feed and soon realized that the KAAY studio-to-transmitter microwave link had a noticeable fading problem. That would lead us to the story of the infamous Tower Building KAAY-KLPQ microwave relay site. But that's a story for another time.

Here's my analysis of one of the secrets of the classic KAAY Sound.

The KAAY RCA BTA-50F was a high-level (plate) modulated transmitter, meaning that the audio and RF are combined at the output terminal of the final RF tubes. As noted, the biggest problem with a plate-modulated transmitter is the physical size and weight of the transformers. Plate-modulated transmitters can be very stable and can sound very good. The KAAY RCA was probably as good a plate-modulated transmitter as was ever produced. The MW-50B couldn't match it for several reasons.

The biggest difference between the RCA BTA-50F and the Harris MW-50B was that the Harris was installed, while the RCA was engineered as a part of a complete RF system. To explain, a little KTHS engineering history is in order.

Consulting Engineer A. Earl Cullum of Dallas designed and constructed the KTHS-KAAY array at Wrightsville, Arkansas. Mr. Cullum had been the KTHS Consulting Engineer since its days on the Arlington Hotel. Mr. Cullum was the top AM Radio Consulting Engineer in the United States and he was in active from the 1930s well into the 1970s and was still active when I met him in 1977.

Mr. Cullum designed the KTHS-KAAY antenna system to provide a proper RF impedance match both at the carrier frequency (1090) and at the sideband frequencies (1080 and 1100, or 10 kHz either side of the carrier frequency). If the antenna system does not present a good match at both of these sideband frequencies, then the station will sound crummy and no amount of audio processing will help.

To complicate matters further, this sideband impedance match must occur at the plate of the final RF tubes in the transmitter. Mr. Cullum knew this and engineered the KTHS-KAAY array to provide a good match to the output tubes of the RCA transmitter during both daytime and nighttime operation. And that is one of the underlying secrets to the classic KAAY sound.

To give an example of how finely-tuned the KTHS-KAAY RF system was, I removed the Common Point RF ammeter for calibration and the removal of that small inductance put the KAAY nighttime antenna system out of adjustment. If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have believed it.

As an aside, Mr. Cullum engineered a virtually-identical system at KOMO-1000 in Seattle, complete with an RCA BTA-50F and a 3-tower nighttime array.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cullum's engineering did not produce a good sideband match for the KAAY Harris MW-50B. The MW-50B RF output was fed through 50 feet (or so) of rigid coaxial cable to a switch near the output of the RCA transmitter. This additional length of coax, when added to the MW-50B output network, provided a poor match at the sideband frequencies and made it impossible for the MW-50B to achieve full effective modulation.

To make matters worse, my immediate predecessor (an unlicensed engineer) had adjusted virtually every available control on the MW-50B. It took me another month of Monday mornings to restore the MW-50B to its factory settings.

Although I had tuned the MW-50B with an intermodulation distortion analyzer, Veteran Multimedia Engineer Terry Baum came to town and and we used his magic audio spectrum analyzer to tune the MW-50B for lowest distortion. We discovered that every control on the transmitter affected the distortion level. By the time that we were through, the MW-50B sounded very clean, although still not particularly loud.

That was the best that I ever was able to get KAAY to sound. Because my successor decide that his first act of business should be to retune the transmitter, that sound lasted about two weeks, and KAAY never sounded that good again.

All of my work at KAAY was a complete waste of time. By then (as it soon became apparent), Multimedia had decided to sell KAAY and had given it (and KEEL-710 in Shreveport) over to a corporate lackey to play with. When the aforementioned lackey ordered me to fire Felix McDonald and Tom Rusk and I refused, I realized that my tenure at KAAY would not be long. But in terms of an experience, KAAY certainly was one.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bob Robbins: "Here's The Rest Of The Story..."

Thanks to the sleuthing of Dave Montgomery comes a nice story on Bob Robbins, from the Arkansas Times magazine.  From a rough childhood to a good notoriety on the radio, Bob is a very busy man, but not tooting his own horn- he's out there helping others.  Give the article a read, then re-read it...this is a story of character-building, a story of giving back to others.

Dave, thank you....

Bud S. (

Holiday Greetings From Bob Robbins

Heh, heh...Wayne Moss told me how to get Bob Robbin's (Bob Spears) attention, since I'd e-mailed him before and not gotten an answer- probably due to his busy schedule at KSSN- but Wayne's suggestion worked like a charm!  You'll have to read in between the lines, since I won't reveal it, but here's Bob's response and well wishes to you all:

"Hey great hearing from you and to know that "Geraldine" and Wayne are alive and well!!!!!! What some beautiful times in my life....KAAY... Merry Christmas to all of you KAAY fans and I hope a wondeful new year. Bob Robbins"

If you remember the video we posted awhile back on January 7, 2010, where Craig O'Neill did a segment on, "Whatever Happened To...", you'll see Bob in his signature black cowboy hat...and he's still wearing those cowboy hats today.  Here's the post, have fun watching the video again:

And you can still hear Bob on the air on KSSN every weekday morning:

It's good to know that some of The Greats are still kickin' it on the radio!  Thank you, Bob!

Bud S. (

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beautiful Crown Reel-To-Reel Recorder

This is a beautiful Crown reel-to-reel briefcase tape recorder that A. J. Lindsey had also offered as a prize to anyone who could find any Emperor Holiday promo episodes (he did so many but, sadly, none were kept as recordings).  He'd offered this back on May 31, 2008 in his "KAAY Emperor Holiday Scavenger Hunt":

There is also a picture there of the unit closed, but I figured the open picture was more...exciting...?  It would record off of AM or FM and included a microphone and the reel size was six inch; A. J. also mentioned that it was used to record some KAAY airchecks.

What a wonderful piece of history...and, as with the T-shirt, no one to my knowledge ever won it...and I darn well tried for this one, too!  To this day, in my constant search for KAAY airchecks, I have not (yet) found an aircheck with Emperor Holiday included...but I search on....

Bud S. (

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

KTHS Profile Now On Encyclopedia Of Arkansas

Well, I got the notice from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas when they accepted the final draft, but thought little of it until just now...and I thought I'd look and see.  Yup, it's there:

Again, it is hard to write in a mode such as enthusiasm, only cold, hard facts.  But I suppose an encyclopedia isn't supposed to read like a novel, right?  Needless to say, I hope one day some young mind will take on a research project regarding radio and get a good grade because of this.  Who knows, radio as WE know/knew it may even cease to exist in the next generation...but I certainly hope not.

Radio has come a long way, technologically,, but there's some things that you shouldn't fiddle with, in my opinion.  Look at what we have today: corporate radio...yech!

In the meantime, here are a couple of KTHS QSLs (verification of reception) for you to enjoy:

Bud S. (

Pearl Harbor Day, December 7

There are fewer and fewer WW II vets surviving today...and even today, some will not talk of the horrors they experienced while serving.  If you know one of these surviving vets, please express your gratitude and love for your freedoms to them due to their efforts.  Today's world is getting more dangerous and it seems that our great country has even more enemies, though we have lent our hand of help, dollars to feed and rebuild the world and aid in upgrading people everywhere...yet, war continues on....

There are "Freedom Honor Flights" going on recently, where WW II veterans are flown free of cost to Washington D.C. for a day.  If you would like to be a caregiver on one of these flights, or if you are a WW II vet interested in going to an honor ceremony in D.C., please check this link:

Also, from the Library of Congress, here is a link regarding "This Day In History" for December 7; please see the picture at the bottom of the link for a photograph of the ceremonial opening of the Pearl Harbor dry dock...a very interesting photo, indeed:

And don't forget to hug a veteran, no matter where or when he or she served!

Bud S. (

Monday, December 6, 2010

KAAY T-Shirt

A.J. Lindsey had offered this T-shirt as a prize back on August 6, 2008, in a contest he put forth, to give to anyone who could find (and send in) a previously-unposted KAAY music survey.  To our knowledge, no one every won it...and I darn well tried!

Just a lettle memento to share with you all again, if you hadn't seen it on his blog:

Bud S. (

Friday, December 3, 2010

In The Glow Of A Giant....

Last evening, dear reader, I again stood in the glow of a giant.  Through the help of David B. Treadway, I was able to contact none other than Wayne Moss, the first "Sonny Martin"!  For the better part of an hour, Wayne entertained me with story after story, reinforcing what we have found on this blog: a history, rich with great personalities, a winning team and an unbeatable format under some good managers.  To be sure, he reminded me that KAAY had it's rocks & ruts, as any place will....

Wayne did, in fact, work in Mobile, AL at WABB-AM.  I'd found WABB when I was 7 or 8 years old, but I cannot remember back that far.  In fact, he gave me a history of radio stations with which he'd worked:

-WKDA, Nashville, TN, 1240 AM (he worked on promos to go to work at KAAY with another soon-to-be KAAY employee from the Nashville LIN station, I forgot which one.)

-KAAY, Little Rock, AR

-WMAK, Nashville, TN (no comment on this station!)

- WABB, Mobile, AL

-WONE, Dayton, OH (great to work at, per Wayne)

-WDEC, Americus, GA (a scary town to work in, if you ain't from there!)

-KAAY, Little Rock, AR

Wayne mentioned that there were other offers of jobs at stations after he retired, but he's enjoying retirement too much!  Wayne is an outdoorsman and enjoys hunting & hiking, by the way.

One note here, that he mentioned of Jim Hankins/"Mike McCormick" and the Cuban Missile Crisis:  Jim got a call from Edward R. Murrow, when he was involved with a government entity before CBS, thanking Jim for his and KAAY's involvement in broadcasting to Cuba.  There are other facts that I'll have to clear before writing about here; however, I will do so in subsequent calls to Wayne.

I found Wayne to be very gracious and accomodating, very comfortable to converse with.  I have to admit, as in speaking with and meeting some of the other Greats of KAAY, I was nervous, but he quickly put me at ease.  Before we knew it, quite a bit of time had elapsed, my wife was giving me "that look" and supper was getting cold.  Wayne closed the conversation, promising to look for items of interest to share with us here on the blog...!

My thanks to David B. Treadway for his initiating the contact, and to Wayne for his hospitality to this humble listener and enthusiast.  More is to come!

Have a nice weeekend, all!

Bud S. (

KAAY Article, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 2000

And here's the third article, again compliments of Greg Barman:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

KAAY Article, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 1995

Here is the second article, ten years after, compliments of Greg Barman: