Friday, February 25, 2011

Old School Radio DJ's, From Dave M.

OK, this is definitely “inside baseball”, but some of the blog readers might enjoy this. This was sent to me by a good friend who had a long and very successful career in radio -

---DM ---

You can tell you’re an Aging Disc Jockey if...

You still refer to CDs as "records."

Radio stations were no place for kids.

You even REMEMBER "Name That Tune."

Sales guys wore Old Spice to cover the smell of liquor.

Sixty percent of your wardrobe has a station logo on it.

You answer your home phone with the station call letters.

Your family thought you successful, but you knew better.

You used to smoke in the control room and nobody cared.

You played practical jokes on the air without fear of lawsuits.

You've been married at least 3 times, or, never married at all.

Agents were people like James Bond and the “Man From Uncle.”

You were playing Elvis' number one hits when he was still alive.

You remember when people actually thought radio was important.

People who ride in your car exclaim, "Why is your radio so loud?"

Dinner? Let's see what the last shift left for me in the refrigerator.

You remember how upset people used to get about Richard Nixon.

You knew exactly where to put the tone on the end of a carted song.

You're at least 10 years older than the last two GM's who fired you.

You know people who actually listened to baseball games on the radio.

Somebody would say, "You have a face for radio", and it was still funny.

You only did "make-goods" if the client complained. Otherwise, who cared?

You worked for only ONE station, and you could name the guy who owned it.

You knew at least 3 people in sales that took credit for you keeping your job.

You've always told your listeners "Yeah! I'll get that one for you right away."

You never thought twice about drinking from the same bottle with another DJ.

You were first hired by a GM who actually worked in radio before becoming GM.

You can name at least 2 receptionists that you nailed who now have grandchildren.

Engineers could actually fix things without sending them back to the manufacturer.

You know the difference between good reel-to-reel tape and cheap reel-to-reel tape.

You remember when normal people listened to AM radio, and only "hippies" to FM.

Radio stations used to have enough on-air talent to field a softball team every summer.

You had listeners who only tuned in for the news, and not you. You could never figure that out.

You still have dreams of a song running out and not being able to find the control room door.

You got off while turning the radio up at the sound of "dead air" on the competitor's station.

You could post a record, run down the hall, go to the bathroom, and be back in 2:50 for the segue.

You still have a couple of old transistor radios around the house with corroded batteries inside them.

You wish you could have been on "Name That Tune" because you would have won a million bucks.

You've run a phone contest and nobody called, so you made up a name and gave the tickets to your cousin.

You always had a small screwdriver in the studio so you could take a fouled-up cart apart at a moment's notice.

You have a white wax pencil, a razor blade, and a spool of 3M splicing tape in your desk drawer - - just in case.

You can remember the name of the very first "girl" that was hired in your market as a DJ. (Margaret? Leilani? )

You were a half an hour late for an appearance and blamed it on the directions you received from the sales person.

You knew how to change the ribbon on the teletype machine, but you hated to do it because - "...that's the news guy's job."

Engineers always had the worst body odor, not because they worked too hard, but because they just didn't shower that often.

You used to fight with the news guy over airtime. After all, what was more important: your joke about your ex- wife, or that tornado warning?

The new guy you're training has never listened to an AM station. He couldn't even name one in his own home town if his life depended on it.

You spent most of the time on Friday nights giving out the high school football scores. And when they weren't phoned-in, you got really pissed off.

You have at least 19 pictures of you with famous people whom you haven't seen since, and who wouldn't know you today if you bit 'em on the ass.

Religious radio stations were locally owned, run by an old Protestant minister and his wife, never had more than 20 listeners at any given time, and still made money.

You have several old air-check cassettes in a cardboard box in your closet that you wouldn't dream of letting anyone hear anymore, but, you'll never throw them out or tape over them. Never!

You would spend hours splicing and editing a parody tape until it was "just right", but didn't give a damn how bad that commercial was you recorded. Hey, I can only work with what they give me, right?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Word From David B. Treadway

"It's rather intense to hear my station coming in, unaltered, across forty freaking years of time/space!

One thing that seriously delights me is the SOUND of the station, especially the bass. It is exactly the way I remember it from the first moment I sat down at the controls! I think Felix had an absolute razor-sharp cutoff in the audio at 70 cycles (Dave Montgomery called it a choke), his theory being that everything under that was just hum. This really gave the low end some definition and clarity; anything below 70 cycles would have simply been muddiness.

Couple this with the tube audio out of the Collins board in the studio, the 15 khz equalized phone line to the transmitter and the tubes in the transmitter itself, and the result was that big, warm, punchy sound that became legendary and elusive when solid-state took over. Yeah, it was that simple."

It's great for those of you, dear visitor, who share your recordings with us...I also dearly love and enjoy listening to them so many years later...the atmospheric fade and rise, the thunderstorm static, the mix of another station trying to fade into the 1090 frequency, the pop of the needle on an LP (you DO remember LPs, don't you?) realistic, just like it was yesterday, all combine to give wonderful memories of KAAY's heyday.  It personally gives me warm memories of, as a kid, laying in bed and listening to that old green Zenith, its tubes glowing in the dark room....

Great memories...we love to bring them to YOU, dear visitor!  If you have airchecks or other KAAY-related audio to share, or memorabilia of the station, please contact me at my e-mail address below, we'll definitely share it here...and thank you, David B. for what you did!  Rock on!

Bud S. (

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Day At KAAY #3, May 18, 1971

It's Part 3 of Pat Walsh's all-day archival recording of KAAY, May 18, 1971 !

The day continues, with Sonny Martin (Matt White) at the helm, from 9:00 to 10:00 AM.  Mitch Michaels (Nick Markel) was the newsman.  More great music, advertisements and more, enjoy!

(or stream/download here from the archive page)

Thanks again to Russell Wells for his contribution of these wonderful audio files and to Dave S. for audio posting !

Bud S. (

Monday, February 21, 2011

Downtown Little Rock, Circa 1910, Then 2010

From our friend Jim Cleveland:


Attached is an old photo showing a portion of downtown Little Rock, circa 1910, many moons before the birth of the Mighty Ten Ninety. As I understand, this is near the time that radio first became a reality!"

Now, he shows the same photo, with 2010 Little Rock superimposed upon it, with his comments below:

"Attached is a photo showing Little Rock in 1910 and a hundred years later in 2010. KAAY, The Mighty Ten Ninety, was a big part of that century of growth.

Jim Cleveland"

Thank you, Jim!

Bud S. (

Saturday, February 19, 2011

John Peel recordings from BBC 1

Occasionally non-KAAY-related articles appear on this blog, and here's one of them.

The recent demise of Clyde Clifford's Beaker Street on KKPT brought to my mind my years of listening to John Peel on BBC Radio 1.  And I remembered I had some recordings....

Here's some background and some connections. 

The background:  from 1979 to 1983, I lived abroad, in Denmark and Britain, doing student things.  Late in the evenings, BBC 1 came in loud and clear in Aarhus, Denmark, where I lived in my student dorm.  After 10pm on Mondays to Thursdays, I'd tune in to the BBC on "medium wave" (AM), as they called it, to hear this slightly off-kilter, witty DJ named John Peel play music one could not hear anywhere else on the airwaves, let alone anywhere else on Planet Earth.   Peel was a legend in British radio, having been born in Britain, done DJ work at KOMA in Oklahoma City (!), recruited back to the pirate radio station, Radio London, on a ship in the North Sea, and eventually hired to do the night shift at Radio 1, where he was allowed to play whatever he wanted, just so the show kept going till the next shift.

The connections: Does this sound a little bit like someone named Clyde somewhere in Arkansas?  For sure.  Having heard Clyde in 1969-72, I found Peel to be right up my alley.  John Peel would play almost anything: R&B, rockabilly, country blues, swing, reggae, punk, tuneless stuff  --- anything (but not bop or post-bop jazz, not classical, and surely not Top 40.  Oh well --- I guess no one likes everything!).  People from round the world mailed him their records, and he tried to play as many as possible, if only because of his dislike of the commercialized nature of popular music in Britain.

There's no way I can properly tell Peel's biography here, but there is an informative summary at this Wikipedia page:

In 1983, I realized that I should tape a few of Peel's shows, if only to remember his incredible monologues between the songs.  I threw the cassettes in a box, and didn't think about them for years....

Until last week Sunday.  No Clyde Clifford to listen to --- what now? I found the shoebox, and there were a pile of cassettes in there.  They played, not at all badly.  I've salvaged what I found, and I've uploaded them to a Podomatic account.   (My wife's out of town this week; I can do these things without guilt!)  These aren't meant to be a substitute for Beaker Street (it's apples versus oranges, here), but they sure are unique.

These shows were broadcast between 1983 and 1985, when Peel was playing post-punk and reggae.  This is what you'll hear.  There's also a terribly recorded segment from Peel's Festive Fifty broadcast at the very end of 1979; it's glorious "high punk", including Peel's favorite tune, "Teenage Kicks" by the Undertones.   But if you want just a sample, listen to one of the 1983 recordings.

Here's the link to the recordings:

And here's a montage of John Peel from start to finish:

R.I.P. John.

---Dave S.

P.S.  There is an excellent clip of Peel doing a 1967 Radio London broadcast, at     Real flower power here....

Also, there is a good John-Peel-tribute blog at    There are a number of audio clips of Peel shows at this blog to download.  The downloads are tedious (ads and malware to dodge), but I lifted a segment of a show from 29 August 1977, which reflects Peel's daring and verve to play punk rock on the hallowed BBC at a time when radio management were actively trying to kill the genre.  Whether you like the stuff or not (I do), you gotta admire Peel for risking his job to serve his audience.

P.P.S.  There is a John Peel Wiki, which has an extensive library of recordings....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Radio Noise, From Dave M.

Radio signals are subject to all sorts of interference and perturbations from external sources that ultimately affect how well the signal reaches its intended audience. KAAY was affected by spring and summer thunderstorms (static from lightning), the varying conductivity of the earth's soil, and a variety of manmade electromagnetic noise sources. (Are you old enough to remember having to install resistors on your car's spark plugs to help hold down the car's ignition noise??!!)

Here's the mother of all noise sources, the SUN, now acting up and creating radio mischief:


Huge solar flare jams radio, satellite signals: NASA

February 17, 2011 - 11:49PM

A powerful solar eruption that triggered a huge geomagnetic storm has disturbed radio communications and could disrupt electrical power grids, radio and satellite communication in the next days, NASA said.

A strong wave of charged plasma particles emanating from the Jupiter-sized sun spot, the most powerful seen in four years, has already disrupted radio communication in southern China.

The Class X flash -- the largest such category -- erupted at 0156 GMT Tuesday, according to the US space agency.

"X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events that can trigger radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms," disturbing telecommunications and electric grids, NASA said Wednesday.

Geomagnetic storms usually last 24 to 48 hours -- but some could last for many days, read a statement from the US National Weather Service.

"Ground to air, ship to shore, short-wave broadcast and amateur radio are vulnerable to disruption during geomagnetic storms. Navigation systems like GPS can also be adversely affected."

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory said it saw a large coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the flash blasting toward Earth at about 560 miles per second (900 kilometers per second).

The flare spread from Active Region 1158 in the sun's southern hemisphere, which had so far lagged behind the northern hemisphere in flash activity. It followed several smaller flares in recent days.

"The calm before the storm," read a statement on the US National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Service.

"Three CMEs are enroute, all a part of the Radio Blackout events on February 13, 14, and 15 (UTC). The last of the three seems to be the fastest and may catch both of the forerunners about mid to late ... February 17."

The China Meteorological Administration reported that the solar flare caused "sudden ionospheric disturbances" in the atmosphere above China and jammed short-wave radio communications in the southern part of the country.

The CMA warned there was a high probability that large solar flares would appear over the next three days, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said meanwhile that the solar storm would result in spectacular Northern Lights displays starting Thursday.

One coronal mass ejection reached Earth on February 14, "sparking Valentine's Day displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) further south than usual."

"Two CMEs are expected to arrive in the next 24-48 hours and further... displays are possible some time over the next two nights if skies are clear," it said.

The office published geomagnetic records dating back to the Victorian era which it hopes will help in planning for future storms.

"Life increasingly depends on technologies that didn't exist when the magnetic recordings began," said Alan Thomson, BGS head of geomagnetism.

"Studying the records will tell us what we have to plan and prepare for to make sure systems can resist solar storms," he said.

A 2009 report by a panel of scientists assembled by NASA said that a sustained and powerful solar flare outbreak could overwhelm high-voltage transformers with electrical currents and short-circuit energy grids.

The report, titled "Severe Space Weather Events -- Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts" warned that such a catastrophic event could cost the United States alone up to two trillion US dollars in repairs in the first year -- and it could take up to 10 years to fully recover.

© 2011 AFP

(Thanks to Dave M. for this a Ham radio operator I got this same notification from a fellow Ham who is involved in emergency communications.  We are accutely aware of communications disruptions when we provide much-needed emergency communications when other means "go out".  As the saying goes, "When all else fails, Ham radio gets through."  And sometimes, that's tough when conditions are against you....

No, the earth isn't coming to an end- yet.  Just be aware that if your favorite terrestrial or satellite service gets warbly or disrupted over the next few days, it's Old Sol doing the dirty work.  Bud S.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Russell Wells' Correction, Re; 1971 Audio Material

I just heard from Russell, re: the 1971 airchecks you are enjoying so far...these ARE indeed airchecks, not from a studio reel, as we thought before, " heard through that marvelous RCA transmitter", per Russell.

We do have some studio-quality material we'll post later, about mid-year.  Stay tuned, we've been blessed with lots of audio as of late and it'll take a while to archive and post!

Bud S. (

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Day At KAAY #2, May 18, 1971

Here's Part 2 of the 13-part unscoped broadcast of  "a day in the life of KAAY, 1971"!   As we stated in Part 1 of this series, Russell Wells copied audio tapes once sent to him by Pat Walsh and later converted them to mp3s for our listening pleasure.

Sonny Martin (Matt White) continues the morning in this installment, from 8:00 to 9:00 AM.  Pat Walsh is in the Cash Cruiser.  This was a contest where someone at KAAY would follow a vehicle, would call in to the station and read off the license plate and description of the car.  If that person was listening and would pull over, they'd be given cash...and if they had a KAAY sticker anywhere on the exterior of the automobile, they'd get MUCH MORE cash!

George J. Jennings is the newsman in this segment, as well...enjoy!

(or stream/download here from the archive page)

Thanks to Russell Wells for this studio copy and to Dave S. for audio help!

Bud S. (

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Day At KAAY #1, May 18, 1971, From Russell Wells!

Boy, oh boy, what a treat we have to share with you, dear visitor!  Russell Wells recently sent over some CDs of audio for us to enjoy, one of which you've already enjoyed, of Phil North, a few days ago.  The audio you are about to enjoy will be in thirteen parts, from 6:50 AM until 7:20 PM, broadcast on KAAY on May 18, 1971.  These are complete hours, some more, some less than a complete hour, but with the exception of a minute or two maybe here and there, the audio is totally unscoped.  So, in essence, you'll get the feeling that you're listening to an entire daytime broadcast!

These are not airchecks, but copies from actual tape that Pat Walsh himself rolled on that day (as he seemed to do regularly).  He actually sent Russell tapes and this is one Russell kept and digitized...and consequently sent in to share with us!  (You can read Russell's own story at our earlier January 24 blog post.)

Today's hour (actually from 6:50 until 8:00 AM) will bring Sonny Martin (Matt White), and George J. Jennings with the news.  As some of you know, Sonny and George were always good-naturedly jabbing at one another, poking fun and throwing barbed comments each other's way.  You'll experience music, news and history made here.

So, with that said, please enjoy this first installment of "A Day At KAAY"....

(or stream/download here from the archive page)

Please visit Russell Wells at his Facebook page:

Russell says, "I would love friend requests from the KAAY old-guard. I enjoy talking retro radio with anyone."

Thanks to Dave S. for his audio help!  He has now employed a new player at OurMedia, please let us know how you like it!

And thanks again to Russell, as well!

Bud S. (

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

View Vintage Ticket Stubs!

Well, I was amazed while doing research, finding this website.  Have you ever want to view a little bit of history after you threw your old stubs away?

Just click on the "home" to view other unusual collection, to be sure!

Bud S. (

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jerry Sims/"Sonny Martin II" And Herman's Hermits

Jerry just keeps surprising us with little bits of history!  One picture below appeared on A. J.'s blog and the other has NEVER been on either blog- what a treat!  These little bits of history are wonderful to share and experience and I am SO grateful to everyone who sends them in.  Herewith Jerry's words:

"On the front row left to right....Doc Holliday (Ray Brown), who came to the station for a shoot-out with Emperor Holliday (A.J. Lindsay) and ran him out of town (A.J. went into sales) Next is me, Sonny Martin (Jerry Sims) , then Buddy Karr (Bob Mullins)."

(Handsome feller, wasn't Jerry?  Still is!  bs)

"(This) one has not been seen on the blog. The year was about 1966. In the picture are George J. Jennings on the his right is Rock Robbins (Tommy Riggs)....and Herman's Hermits. They had just arrived in Little Rock's Central Flying Service for a concert.

Makes one wonder where all the nice-looking, nicely-dressed rock musicians went, huh?

For all you Herman's Hermits fans, there you go, courtesy of "Sonny Martin", a.k.a. Jerry Sims...or something like that....!  Thank you, Jerry!

Bud S. (

The last Beaker Street, KKPT, February 6, 2011

Beaker Street is perhaps the last existing artifact of the "classic KAAY", and last night, another milestone was reached.

Clyde Clifford's final Beaker Street on KKPT was yesterday evening, February 6. Despite the conflict with Super Bowl Sunday, the show's audience were out in force, and a good evening was had by all, certainly more of a party than a wake.

One high point was the 9pm segment, when all three hosts of Clyde's FM era, Mark Arouh, Wil Warren, and Scott Reed, gathered in the studio and related how they became involved with the show.

A true professional, Clyde presented an evening of Beaker-Street classics and cuts that should have been classics "back then," if only they had been recorded "back then". You can read his playlist at the show web site:

Here's a photo, courtesy of Matthew Travis from his Facebook posting, of Clyde in the studio on his last KKPT night.

What happens next ? It seems that Clyde has next Sunday off --- when I spoke with him on the phone last week, he said he's had only 3 Sunday evenings away from the radio studio in the last ten years, and he thought it might be nice to spend a Sunday evening with his wife !  Clyde is venturing carefully into the "third age" of Beaker Street, deciding upon the format, venue, and location.

The Blog has recordings of Clyde's last KKPT show, and these will appear in the not-too-distant future, for those folks who weren't able to listen last night....

Dave S.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Request From A Visitor, Re: Downtown Little Rock

An anonymous visitor to the blog left a comment in the form of a request on this post entry:

He/she said, "Does anyone have a full list of shows.  My Mother was a singer for both the radio and television programs I was told.  Performed as one of the Velvetones."

Dear visitor, if you will, please drop me a quick e-mail at and we'll see if we can find anything on that!  This sort of history-finding research is what we crave!  Or, if any other readers or visitors have anything regarding this request, please e-mail me....

And, please, if commenters would just type their name in, it would be more personal than "Anonymous"; all e-mails to me will be held in strictest confidence unless you wish to have me post your e-mail here on the blog.  We will not publish any personal information unless OK'ed by the sender.

Thanks, all!  Have a great weekend!  Cruise 'til the wheels fall off!

Bud S. (

Thursday, February 3, 2011


ONE OF THE MOST TRAGIC EVENTS in the History of Rock & Roll happened on that fateful day. Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and, J.P. Richardson ("The Big Bopper"), were killed in a plane crash...trying to get from one Concert to the next.

Teenagers and young adults mourned the trio, and radio stations played their songs...knowing that the History of Rock & Roll Radio would never be the same. How many times have you Cruised to "Maybe Baby", "La Bamba", or, "Chantilly Lace"...and never thought about the tragedy involved with each of the singers of those songs ?

Well, number of years ago I acquired an Historic News Bulletin of that event from February 3, 1959, and I've pulled it out of my Archives to share with all of you. I've also added some music from Buddy Holly & Richie Valens so that you could once again hear their voices connected to this Historic Broadcast. It's not very long...but it is very important.

After listening to this special audio, maybe the next time you hear Buddy, Richie, or, J.P. on the radio, you'll remember what happened and understand the importance of the legacy that they left...and how much their music still means to all of us after all these years.

NOTE: My personal thoughts on having been a teenager at the time and experiencing the news myself are also on that Special Page. It's something I'll never forget. Just click-on this link to listen.

Jonnie King

A "Mystery" Beaker Street Ken Knight Aircheck From May 1975!

Wow, I don't remember where I got this aircheck- maybe from one of the blog readers here- but in listening to it and seeing the date, I had to ask a few of the guys from the time period.  No one could identify this "Ken Knight", but they DID remember him as a tall fellow, medium build, long, dark hair.  Also worked at KAAY only a few months.  One former KAAY employee thought that Don Payne may have been his replacement?  I'd immediately thought of Stuart McRae, but he simply went by "Stuart", from what I was told (I'll have to ask Stuart myself!), and this fellow also mentioned he thought this "Ken Knight" came in-between Stuart and Don...any takers on this?

This recording did not originate from the transmitter, but came from either the Cottondale Street studio or, more likely, the West 7th Street studio, according to the 375-0105 telephone number (thanks for these tips, from Hollis Duncan and David B. Treadway).  When Clyde was at the Wrightsville transmitter, the 375-1090 was patched over to him (also according to David B.).

He takes on the Clyde-persona quite interestingly, laid-back and quiet over the microphone.  Listen in and see what you think!  And, if anyone can identify this "mystery Ken Knight", please let us know!

By the way, in the news segment opening this aircheck, you'll note the newsman signing as "Holiday"...could this be our very own David B. Treadway?

Thanks to Dave S. for the audio work!

Bud S. (