Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Mystery" Ken Knight Revealed!

Folks, I was just contacted by Steve Morris, who was "Steve Scott" of KAAY 1974-1976, who has offered some stuff for the blog and who also identified the "mystery Ken Knight" from awhile back...here's his comments:

"The "KEN KNIGHT" y'all are referring to was 'BILL JACKSON". He was hired (from JOPLIN, MO) by Wayne Moss to replace "O'BRIAN" (MIKE VERDICHIO) on BEAKER ST. I left KAAY in Sept. of 76 to become P.D. at WROA in Gulfport/Biloxi. I hired "KEN KNIGHT" to be my music director shortly thereafter. The last I heard about him, he was in NASHVILLE (80's). samor.w5bib@yahoo.com Steve Scott (74, 75, 76) 8-11pm KAAY"

And here's the link, complete with audio, of the "mystery Ken Knight":


http://mighty1090kaay.blogspot.com/2011/02/mystery-beaker-street-ken-knight.html#comments

Steve left KAAY to work here in Mobile, AL at WABB, retiring in 1995; he mentioned that he still remembers Wayne Moss, Pat Walsh, Bob Robbins, Bill Edwards and David B. Treadway.

Looking forward to more material coming from Steve in the coming days!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ear On Arkansas, 1966, With Tommy Riggs & Charlie Okle

For those maybe finding us recently, "Ear On Arkansas" was a parody of a local Little Rock CBS television station's "Eye On Arkansas" news expose'.   KAAY regularly had this as a weekly show, poking fun at anyone and everyone, especially political figures....

After I got back from my vacation in Little Rock, Charlie Okle was able to transfer this episode and send it on to us for posting...and your enjoyment!  Herewith Charlie's comments:

"Me and Tom voicing.  Tom wrote the material...  Notes:  Harry Pearson (Piercing) was at the time an investigative reporter for the Pine Bluff Commercial newspaper in Pine Bluff.  We were friends with him.  Governor Orval Faubus was being raked over the coals about the expense of the glass being installed in his new house in the Ozark Mountains.  Ear aired on Sunday mornings, so apparently I taped this off the air at home, since I was back in Pine Bluff by the morning..."


(or download from the archive page)

Thanks to Charlie Okle, best friend of Tommy Riggs !

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Monday, August 29, 2011

On Wayne Moss And Charlie Scarbrough

Dear reader and visitor, I spoke to Charlie Scarbrough ("Charlie King", KAAY 1967-1969) about Jerry Sims' passing.  He went to the wake and said that there was a great reception for Jerry.  He recognized a few people, Gary Weir and Dale Seindenschwarz and a couple more.  Due to a hectic work schedule and some personal matters, he was unable to stay very long.  We spoke of some other, unimportant personal matters, about the station and personnel and I had a wonderful visit with Charlie.

I spoke with Wayne Moss later, who was the original "Sonny Martin" before Jerry, then returned to KAAY and used his real name when Matt White had the moniker locked up.  He'd not met Jerry personally, but knew of him.  I had another wonderful visit, with Wayne regaling stories, one very humerous I have permission from Dave Montgomery to relate.  Sadly, after an hour, my wife reminded me that it WAS long distance and she wanted to use the phone!

So, here's the promised story: while at the 7th Street location, KAAY had a hot air balloon that the mayor at that time was going to go up in, with a deejay.  Surprisingly, even though they were "game" for any and all events, Wayne could NOT get a deejay to go up in the balloon!  Well, Studio Engineer Dave Montgomery, fresh back from Viet Nam, was back on the job and Wayne asked him.  Dave said sure and climbed aboard.  Wayne said he did a great job of deejaying- even to the point where the balloon started losing heated air and was descending....

...down, down, down to the ground Dave and the Mayor rode...Dave was on the mic all the way to impact- right into a chicken coop!

Later, Wayne said that when Dave and the mayor arrived back at the station, they had feathers and chicken poop all over them!  The mayor got the worst of it, having some smeared all over his face!  Wayne said that Dave made mention of, while riding helocopters in Viet Nam, he never got shot down, but he had to come back to the States to get involved in a crash landing!!!

By the way, both Charlie and Wayne are well and trying to stay cool in this heat.  If you have any kind words to pass along, let me know and I'll let them know!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

David B. Treadway On Grass, Lawnmowers, Jerry Sims And KAAY

I wrote this piece ("Lawnmower Boogie") well before the untimely passing of our great friend Jerry Sims, who will always live in my heart as The Middle Sonny Martin. It was the correspondence between Jerry and me--begun back in 2009, long before we met face-to-face--that made me remember what a huge part of my life that KAAY so quickly became back when I was young. Whenever I'd be outside, grown and returned to Friendship, taking care of the garden or mowing the interminable grass that my Mother left me, I'd think of KAAY. And Jerry. And how that old Mighty 1090 was still so alive in both our hearts! I'd remember listening to that OTHER skinny kid who dreamed of growing up to work at the big station in Little Rock. That other kid who saw his own dreams come true at such an early age--and who never forgot how he came up, either. And now the hellishly hot summer of 2011 begins to fade and the grass and the garden walk out of the tomb like Lazarus. Here in a few days, I'm going to have to saddle back up on that lawnmower and slay me some grass that I woulda SWORN was dead and gone at least until March. Only now I'll mount up alone and diminished by the loss of my man Jerry Sims. Or maybe NOT. Maybe I will not be surprised in the least to hear his voice jocking those Silver Dollar Survey Hits while I go about my chores. Fly free forever, Jerry. As long as those three towers shall stand in Wrightsville, your name will be remembered.

In my heart, WAY longer. Love, David B. 8/25/11

(Dear readers and visitors, David B. had sent "Lawnmower Boogie" to me about midway of my Visit series and said to post it afterward, which I faithfully did.  Little did he and I know Jerry wouldn't be with us shortly later, before it could be posted.  No one knew.

Jerry was bigger than life to me, not only someone I also listened to when I was a little kid, but as a softball player who was still playing when I had retired from playing and coaching in order to help my kids along in their athletic endeavors.  He was an iron man, in my eyes, playing when most men would be content to sit in a recliner and watch ball on the tube.  Not Jerry- he was an avid player, letting me know he'd be away & unable to check the blog or e-mail me while on tournament trips.  He loved what he was doing and spent his last time there on the field.

Jerry's passing has left a BIG hole in my heart.  I miss him terribly.

You should have BEEN there, when Jerry, David B. and Barry Mac were together talking...being there with living history!  I wish we could have gotten together with more of The Greats and had dinner...but there was no time, or schedules clashed- or whatever.   I would have given almost ANYTHING to make another trip to Little Rock and set up some sort of get-together, whatever it took.  Again, time took it away from us...but there's still time for some....

David B., thank you, with all my heart...I didn't mean to steal any thunder here, I just HAD to include some of my thoughts.  My heart is overflowing and I'm still having to get it out....Bud S. [staceys4@hotmail.com])

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Lawnmower Boogie‏

When my Mother was a girl in the Great Depression, she dreamed of grass in her yard. What she got instead was hard-packed dirt, just like everyone else. Grass was a luxury that took time and energy away from every family member spending every possible moment working in the fields. But Martha was resolute (read: stubborn). Someday, she would have her grass.

Fast forward to 1962 and two freaking ACRES of grass at our place in Friendship--and guess who got to mow it! Though money was tight that year, Martha figured out a way to get a riding lawnmower on time payments from Western Auto. I thought my eleven-year-old-hiney had been BORN in that mower seat. It was a summer of unimaginable drudgery, torture without end!

The only thing that saved me was the Channel Master transistor radio that she had bought for me earlier in the year. (see http://mighty1090kaay.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-teenage-time-machine.html) Before Labor Day, there was no point in having it with me on the mower. After that, there was all the difference in the world: KAAY!

With the earpiece jammed in my head, the Mighty 1090 pumped Brook Benton and The Orlons and The Impressions and Booker T and the MGs into my thankful brain at a level just about equal to a Briggs and Stratton mower engine. Grass clippings and dust up my nose were neatly offset by the Silver Dollar Survey in my ear.

Over the next spring and summer, KAAY brought the world to me on that mower--and then there was 1964. Beatles and Stones and Kinks and Animals and The Dave Clark Five were my afterburner. Grass went down like the stock market.

Though this audio/hardware hookup would continue until I went off to college in the fall of '68, the pinnacle of it all was, without a doubt, April of 1965. It was then possible to hear The Beatles' "Ticket To Ride" and The Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda" in the same grass-cutting session, sometimes even back-to-back! (Yes, it was a Monumental Mower Moment, and it marks in my mind the first time The Beach Boys proved that they could hang with The Beatles.)

So here I am in 2011, back where I grew up at the family home in Friendship. Mom and Dad are gone, and there's THREE acres of grass to mow now. I don't have my Channel Master anymore, but somehow I don't need it. Every time I climb on my 21st Century riding lawnmower, KAAY cranks up inside my head.

David B. Treadway
Doc Holiday VII
The Last PD


(Great story!  David B., I now use a little mp3 player with Beaker Street and KAAY audio loaded on it when I'm working by myself...it's like "being there again" and helps liven up the drudgery!  By the way, my grandmother in Castleberry, Alabama hated grass.  If the chickens didn't eat it, she was sweeping the yard with a broom to kill every blade she could!  We played in a dirt yard when we visited.  Bud S.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy 105th Birthday, Philo T. Farnsworth

(Dave Montgomery, ever the sharp eye out for unique things, sent this along a few days ago...Mr. Farnesworth's birthday was last week and I didn't check my e-mail until Monday, August 22.)

By Alex Weprin on August 20, 2011 3:10 PM

Without the inventions of Philo T. Farnsworth, there may not have ever been an ABC, Fox News or MTV. While the invention of television was almost certainly inevitable (plenty of inventors were working on it) Farnsworth was the first to demonstrate a working version. As TVNewsCheck notes, he was also the first person to demonstrate an all-electronic image pickup device, the precursor to video cameras.

Yesterday Farnsworth would have turned 105, but his inventions live on every time you turn on CNN, or Food Network, or NBC, or ESPN.

Below, watch Farnsworth in a 1957 episode of “I’ve Got a Secret.”

'By the time television became a household appliance, the name of its inventor was sufficiently lost to the public that he could appear on a TeeVee game show in 1957 and not a soul would recognize him.'



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKM4MNrB25o&feature=player_embedded

(Many of us grew up watching interesting, wholesome, entertaining television, even learing something from it...nowadays, in my opinion, there's so much trash TV, I hardly watch anything unless it is of a learning nature.  What Hollywood has to offer ain't worth a hill o' beans- again, my opinion.

Thank you, Mr. Farnsworth, for bringing us this interesting medium, nonetheless...and thank you Dave, for passing this along!

You can find even more interesting things about Mr. Farnsworth at this archive:

http://philotfarnsworth.com/

Bud S. [ staceys4@hotmail.com ])

Monday, August 22, 2011

KAAY Day Of The Jackal Movie Ad

Barry Mac is back! After having some hard computer problems, he's got everything up and running again, transferred it all over and converted to usable format...and it's been a tough road, but we all appreciate his dedication to bringing us more classic KAAY ads!

This is from the #1 book and #1 movie of the year in its time and played at the U A 4 Theater...


(Or download from the archive page)

I remember seeing both the original movie and its remake. I liked them both, even though Hollywood sensationalism was employed in the remake.

Thanks, Barry Mac! Thanks to Dave S. as well for all the audio expertise!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jonnie King Presented Award At Salina, KS!

"Bud,

Just got back from the yearly MAJOR Car Event that I go to every year in Salina to Interviews the Pioneers/Legends/Hall Of Famers for my WebSite. About 2,000 cars there this year...biggest year ever !

Sat. Nite at the Awards Ceremonies/KKOA Bash I was shocked speechless. Since Rods & Customs and Rock & Roll always go hand-in-hand they created the "American Disc Jockey Award" and I was presented with the "America's Top DJ" Award. Talk about speechless ! Adding to the dynamics of the moment, it was presented to me by the Legendary Builder/Designer, Darryl Starbird, who is also the owner/creator of the National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame Museum.

George Barris "The King Of The Kustomizers" said: "Congratulations on your fantastic Award Jonnie ! Now you're Officially one of us and in our Winner's Circle !"

(BTW: A number of guys at the show told me that they used to listen to me on the Mighty 1090...nice thoughts after all these years !)
Asked the guy who owns this car to take a pic with me in it...then I took off ! Heh, Heh !!
 
Jonnie"

Dat waskawy Jonnie!  He almost made off with this coooool rod!


Jonnie mentioned that it was 113 degrees there at the car bash...glad you got home before you melted, Jonnie!  Hey, what radio station were YOU tuned to while cruisin' in that rod?

Thanks, Jonnie- keep 'em comin'!

(And happy belated birthday!  Couldn't you talk that guy out of the rod as a present?)

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ELVIS IN LITTLE ROCK, 1972...
            
             

It was a Major Event ! Elvis Aron Presley was on his way to Barton Colesium in Little Rock...and he'd be there on April 17th, 1972 ! Can you understand the excitement & anticipation that was felt by all of us at that time ?

Elvis lived in Memphis, just 140 Miles from L.R., and he was "one of us" if you comprehend the Mid-South nature of that area. You might not feel the same way in D.C., Provo, Utah, or, Bangor, Maine...but if you lived where we did at the time, Elvis was an integral part of our cultural geography.

I was the Music Director at KAAY at that time, and as such I was the most popular guy in town: everybody wanted tickets to see Elvis, and I was the one who they thought could help 'em out !

             


Well, that 1972 Concert came and went, it was fantastic and was an important part of my personal "bond" with Elvis. But, my link with Elvis had actually begun in 1956, linked further in 1964, and, culminated with his death on August 16, 1977...just three days after my birthday.

Therefore, on the 34th Anniversary of his death, and the start of a new "decade" for yours truly, I thought it was time that I share my memories, rare personal items from my Archives, pix, and, my thoughts on the various stages of my life with all of you...as you, and KAAY, have been one of the MOST important parts of my stay here on Terra Firma.

I've also asked my friend, "The King Of The Kustomizers", GEORGE BARRIS, to add his memories of Elvis as he created a fantastic Cadillac Limo for "The King".

PLUS, and this is important, you'll hear an ACTUAL National News Bulletin announcing the Death of Elvis.

Thank you for all of YOUR help, support, and, love that you've shown me through the years. Here's the Link: http://www.legends.thewwbc.net/gpage153.html


God Bless you all, and R.I.P. Elvis, my thanks to you...from one humble King to another.

J.K.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A "New" Emperor Holiday Commando Certificate, From Lynn Ross!

WHAT A FIND!  Lynn Ross, friend of A. J. Lindsey, a.k.a. "Doc Holiday", found this certificate where "Doc" had inducted her as one of his Commandos back on September 21, 1964!  Herewith Lynn's comments:

"I was really saddened to find out that AJ had passed away over two years ago. I had known him most of my life, and, as a matter of fact, my oldest brother, Zeke Wingfield, and AJ were friends for many years. My brother and I, and another friend, had coffee and a long visit with AJ a couple of years ago in ALMA...AJ didn't appear to have changed much at all over the years and it was great fun catching up on old memories and friendships.

In cleaning out my house to "downsize," I ran across one of the certificates awarded by Emperor Holiday. It is somewhat different from the one shown on the blog, with embellishments around the edge, and a caricature of AJ "Emperor Holiday" at the top. It is dated September 21, 1964, and stamped with the number 001102. I will send a scan of this Monday when I get back to the office and have the ability to do so.

Bottom line...thanks for the memories, both of KAAY, but also of the time Doc Holiday was so much a part of my youth..... Now...just stop the tears....Some things hit me kinda hard. Lynda Wingfield Ross (Lynn)"

Lynn had more to say in subsequent e-mails:



"What awesome memories this brought back. One of the other women in my department lived in northern Illinois during her teen years, and although she doesn’t specifically remember Doc Holiday, she well remembers KAAY and cruisin’ around on a summer eve listening to the best music ever!!!

I’ve accessed your (AJ’s) blog, and had a blast “looking back in time.” Those really were the days!!!!!!!

I’ve also come across quite a collection of 45’s that are “promo” or “disc jockey copy only” from that era. I know without a doubt that AJ was the one who gave them to me, and I’m working up a “master list” if you have an interest. I’m probably going to sell them, ‘cause I’ve discovered that quite a few of them do have some value ($10 - $15 resale)…again, I’m downsizing, and there are limits to what you can hang onto….

Thanks for your kind words……"

...and, I'd asked her for permission to use her e-mails and some memories for the blog:

"You are more than welcome to use anything/everything I say on your blog...not that you'd necessarily want to :)

As for my memories of KAAY....most of them are related to AJ because he and my oldest brother were such good friends. I was only 10 or 11 when they met and became friends. As I recall, AJ worked at another radio station back then, and he and Zeke would ad-lib things on-air. Once AJ moved to KAAY, things changed. From a "kid's" point of view, AJ was really a hero, and although he was at our house often, I really thought he was SOMETHING!!! To be able to get this certificate from him (even tho he misspelled my name) really meant something special. And I was really surprised when I ran across it.....of all the things to keep!!!

Yes, I listened to KAAY throughout my teen years and into college. I would often casually mention the fact that I knew "Doc Holiday" to some of my friends....Hey, it made an impression on them!!! And although I did my share of crusin' (don't tell...) I NEVER danced in parking lots. Well, maybe moved around a little.....but I wouldn't call it dancing.

Listening to AJ and Zeke talk while I was growing up really impressed me. When I went to college back in the late 60's, I took Radio Announcing/Engineering and actually got licensed. I worked at the campus station for a couple of years, both as an announcer and as an engineer, but when it came time to start working in a "career," that one didn't pay.....How did you guys/gals make it back then?????? I went off in another direction entirely and have ended up (for many years) in investments/securities.

I have never forgotten AJ, and the fact that he treated me like a peer, even though I was some 9 or 10 years younger. I always considered him MY friend, as well as one of my brother's friends. Even after "life happened," and Zeke and AJ went on their separate ways, he would stop by our house just to say hello. I know what that meant to my mother, and that is something I'll never forget.

I'll ask Anne (my co-worker from Illinois) tomorrow if she has any special memories. I know she mentioned cruising around on a Saturday night, just listening to the radio...and everyone in the car singing along. Maybe she'll be able to share some special memories with me.....

Thanks for letting me share memories.....when we get older, it's good to remember "the good old days." (Even if they really weren't...)

Lynn Ross"

And here's Lynn's Emperor Holiday Royal Commando certificate!



As you can see, it's shnazzier than the ones we've had here before.

Thank you, Lynn, for sharing those memories!  And, nooooo, we won't tell anyone you've been cruisin' and listenin' to KAAY!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thank You, My Heroes....

From my trip to Little Rock, I just wanted to say, "thank you"...

...to Jerry "Sonny Martin II" Sims, who was a wonderful host and guide who, without a lot of prompting, I may not have made "the trip".  Jerry is full of wonderful stories, of which I never tire of listening to, many of which you've read here on this blog and back on A.J. Lindsey's blog:

http://kaay1090.blogspot.com/

Jerry took me on drives around Little Rock, telling me history of that great city and we even visited many placed related to the station...and many not, but were still of great importance.  I must say, I was on sensory overload and Jerry just kept feeding me information.  Jerry made me feel like a friend and that was important to me...especially since we figured the math on his trip to Mobile awhile back and we realized I DID hear him at night on KAAY those many years ago!  What a connection...


Gosh, what a rush!  Thank you, Jerry!

...to Charlie "Charlie King" Scarbrough, who was the jokester of the bunch, keeping us in stitches as he also took my family and I on tours around the area, as well.  Yes, the stories flowed there as well, and it was like trying to take a drink from a firehose!  One instance, when we were passing a Kroger grocery store (did I already mention this?), I started singing the Kroger jingle from many, many years ago.  He jerked around and looked at me, almost shocked, asking where I'd heard that and I mentioned, from the airchecks I had.  He whupped into the parking lot and said, "Well, let's go Krogering!" and we all piled in and got gluten-free goodies from the store!  What a bunch of fun we had with Charlie, as well.


Charlie also made me feel like a friend...Charlie, my ribs still hurt a bit!

...to David B. Treadway, the giant huggy-bear of the bunch.  David B.'s warmth and passion for radio, especially KAAY, flowed like a river overflowing its banks.  So open with his memories, we all are great fans of his posts and comments here.  When David B. took me back to my motel on Tuesday, we both were exhausted from the day; we were almost too quiet, but I suspect both of us were on "sensory overload".  I wisely took his advice on waiting a couple of days to digest the days' proceedings, but we also talked of non-KAAY matters, as well.  DBT made me also feel like a friend, like I'd been his friend for many years.  I cannot begin to express the warmth that exudes from this man!


David B. Treadway, there ain't another like you...may your voice boom over Arkansas for many, many years to come!

...and Barry Mac...we didn't get to meet for that Friday morning breakfast, but duty called you and we WILL meet again...and those few minutes I witnessed with you, Jerry and David B. were like standing within a vortex of living history.  I almost forgot to BREATH with these guys standing there, sharing memories for the few minutes they had together!


There, again, Barry was holding court, regaling a quick history of the post-1985-to-present KAAY, up until his leaving a few short years ago.  I was the fly on the wall for this one....

Guys, THANK YOU for making me feel welcome!  I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to have experienced your hospitality on this trip, and continue to enjoy your hospitality via this blog!  I can never even begin to repay you for what you all did for me on this trip of a lifetime....

...and to Jim Cleveland, Charlie Okle and all the folks at The Butler Center, my hearty thanks for taking the time for me, a humble listener and fan of KAAY...you all made me and my family feel welcome and took the time to share with us.

All of these guys were fairly gushing with love for their station, KAAY; you could just feel it, hear it, experience it...I can't explain it any better than that!

I wish I would have had at least another week...but you never know what the future holds...?

Best regards to all,

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jerry Sims, 1942-2011



We shook hands through my truck window at a gas station in Wrightsville on April 19, 2011, on our way to see the KAAY transmitter facility.

"Have we not ever met?" I asked you. "I feel like I've known you all my life." But that Tuesday was the first time that particular Sonny Martin and this particular Doc Holiday had ever come face-to-face.

Certainly, each of us had been aware of the other and there was respect between us as brothers in that great KAAY fraternity of the air, but it sure was good to finally meet you. I thought I showed great restraint by not getting all fanboy and saying stupid things like "Man, I grew up listening to you!" Which, of course, I did.

Your dedication to KAAY--even after all these years--made a BIG impression on me. You kept the station's memory alive in your heart and your life, even as you moved on. I meant to ask you how you were able to do that, but I guess that'll be for later.

After Bud Stacey and I ran out of time and had to leave the transmitter building, you made the time to go back. YOU found that emergency studio downstairs that I thought was gone. YOU kept digging for important things that were destined for the scrap heap. YOU carried on.

And did you live a full life or what? I couldn't hit a softball on a bet, and there you are in the Hall of Fame! Wife, kids, grandkids, a job at which you excelled and a game that was your passion--you didn't have a single second for any boredom or regret, did you?

But, Jerry, what in the HELL were you doing, playing softball in this heat last Sunday? Did you think you were IMMORTAL? Ah, my dear friend and comrade, you are now. And I couldn't have kept you out of that game any more than I could have kept Marvin Vines off of that tractor back in 1978. You both went out doing what you loved, and there ain't one person in a hundred who can claim that.

There's nothing left for it now except to commend your great soul and spirit to the Skywave, which will one day carry us all out into the Universe to catch up with what we radiated over KAAY all those years ago.

So long, Jerry (you know we never say goodbye in this business because we always meet again). Say hello to Richard Wiethan (Buddy Karr), Pat Walsh, George Jennings, A.J. Lindsey, Barry Wood and Marvin for all of us who remain.

As long as those three towers shall stand in Wrightsville, your name will live.

With Love,
David B. Treadway
Doc Holiday VII
The Last PD
Friend of Sonny Martin II

(Folks, if I'd have been any sort of responsible blogmaster, I would have pre-empted the "Trip" series in lieu of news on Jerry.  Please allow me to apologize at this time for not thinking correctly...it had already been scheduled and I didn't think about moving it.  Please see a couple of posts down for more information on Jerry Sims.  Thanks, DBT.  Bud S.)

The Trip: "Face Time", Per Jerry Sims

Folks, dear reader and visitor, you probably have realized that I don't toot my own horn; I tend to magnify Those Who Were There and their history and stories.  I've been told by many that, by my being out front on this blog, I should be lauded for my efforts in keeping this blog alive, bringing previously-lost/mislaid/forgotten history of KAAY.  Humbly, I must say that it is my love of this station, and Those who I listened to, as the reason for my doing so.  One must enjoy what he does and I do enjoy bringing this to you.  If this is a labor of love, then may I labor a long, long time....

Jerry Sims snapped some photos of me while at the transmitter site in Wrightsville.  I barely remember any of it, since it was such a heady visit; I was concentrating on getting photos of Them while we were There!  Needless to say, Jerry said I need "face time" here on the blog, so here I am....

...in front of the RCA transmitter:


And later, as we were in the rear of the transmitter, myself and David B. Treadway:



Notice all those rectifier tubes next to us in the rack?  Still ready to go, I'll bet! Over David B.'s shoulder in the next room is his son Matt..

After we went outside, Jerry yelled at me to wave, and I did...as I was eyeing the far east antenna:



That was behind the transmitter building in the edge of the "antenna farm".  I'd gotten one of Jerry right about this time, as well...see him in one of the "Tuesday" posts.

After we found Glaspie's grave, Jerry got me to pose there, as well:


...and he got a much better picture of the site than I did:



Glaspie, bless his soul, never realized he'd be such a celebrity, nor connected with such a historical station, did he?

After we got back to the building and we got some other pictures, Jerry got me with the old West 7th Street sign:



By gosh, that sign has weathered some storms, hasn't it?

Thanks to David B. Treadway and Jerry Sims and Gordon Stephan of Citadel for getting us access to the transmitter site and allowing me to tour it with them.  What a wonderful time we had- I wish we'd have had another full day there, not just a couple of hours.  What a wonderful place, full of memories, of fun times, of spooky times, of great signals launched all over this hemisphere.

That's my "face time" here on the blog for now...I hope I haven't hurt your eyesight.

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jerry Sims: Arrangements

Dear reader, I made contact with Mike Sims, Jerry's son, who graciously passed on these arrangements...

Visitation Tuesday, August 9, 2011, 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Roller-Chenal Funeral Home and the funeral service will be at the First Baptist Church of Maumelle, Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM:

http://www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/services.asp?locid=17&page=odetail&id=24793




"Jerry Michael Sims

October 23, 1942 - August 7, 2011

Jerry Michael Sims, 68, of Maumelle died Sunday, August 7, 2011. He was born October 23, 1942 in Little Rock, and was the son of the late G. K. and Mertie Thompson Sims. He was best known as the on air radio personality, Sonny Martin at KXLR, KARK, and KAAY. He then worked in television at KATV and KTHV as an announcer, reporter, and weatherman; then in advertising sales. After that, he worked as an advertising buyer for Hanks Fine Furniture.

For many years he was very active in Seniors Softball Tournaments Nationally with various teams and leagues throughout the state of Arkansas. He was inducted into the Arkansas Men’s Softball Hall of Fame on July 2, 2011, following his daughter’s induction into the Arkansas Women’s Softball Hall of Fame the previous year.

He was a member of First Baptist Church of Maumelle.

He is survived by his wife, Leslie Hays Sims; four sons, Mike Sims (Abby) of Bryant, Matthew Gunn of Fayetteville, Patrick Gunn and fiancée, Natalie Brannan of Maumelle and Kyle Gunn of Fayetteville; a daughter, Karen Sims of Denver, Colorado; a grandchild, Mia Sims; a sister, Jackie Craft (Ben) of Benton; a nephew, David Craft (Cindy) of Little Rock and niece, Melanie Cook (Kevin) of Huntsville, Texas.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home (501)224-8300.

The funeral service will be at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 10, at First Baptist Church of Maumelle with Reverend Johnny Jackson officiating. Interment will follow at Pinecrest Memorial Park.

Pallbearers will be: Steve McNeil, Eddie Glover, Don Harris, Harlan Jensen, Bill Reed, and Don Haney. Honorary pallbearers will be: Milton Raabe, Bob Wooden, Carlie Brown, Fred Bedford, Aaron Summey, Dick Sippel and Jim Bodge.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Arkansas Men’s Softball Hall of Fame, 2506 Margaret Circle, Conway, Arkansas 72034 or the Maumelle Friends of Animals, P. O. Box 13061, Maumelle, Arkansas 72113."

Thank you, Mike...all of us send our best regards at this time.

Bud Stacey, staceys4@hotmail.com





Jerry Sims, Rest In Peace, My Friend

Dear reader, I am grieved to inform you that Jerry Sims, "Sonny Martin II", has passed away.  Here are the announcements from Mike Sims and his friend, Tom Burdick:

"Hi Bud,

I am Mike Sims, Jerry's son. I'm sorry to inform you that my dad passed away yesterday, Sunday Aug 7th, while practicing softball. It was very hot here and he apparently had some heat-related issue.

Thanks for all of your work on the blog and I know my dad very much enjoyed meeting you in Mobile and here in Little Rock.

Mike Sims"

...and...

"You don’t know me, but I work with Mike Sims, Jerry’s son.

I wanted to let you know that yesterday afternoon, Sunday, 08/07/2011, Jerry Sims was playing a softball game in Hot Springs when he suddenly and unexpectedly died. No further details have been released at this time.

Thanks

Tom Burdick"

As soon as details are released, I will pass them along.

Jerry became my very dear friend after another Great of KAAY passed on, A. J. Lindsey.  Jerry and I were able to visit one another in our respective states; as I mentioned before, Jerry was a WONDERFUL host.  We will all miss him.

Jerry, you swatted a home run on this one...we'll see you later....




One and all, please keep the Sims family in your prayers and thoughts.

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)



Friday, August 5, 2011

The Trip: A Few More Reflections

Sometimes, when someone else is manning a camera, you can get different perspectives and other things one misses...and Jerry Sims had a few pictures of things I may have missed.  Remember back in one of the Tuesday posts where the badge on the front of the RCA transmitter was missing?  He found this one and I missed it...it must have been in the back of the transmitter somewhere, because they were using my Fenix PD30 flashlight to illuminate it:


Glad I brought that light along- we sure used it, didn't we, guys?

Next, back upstairs, Jerry got a better close-up of the control in the middle of the room in front of the transmitter:




I wish we'd have pulled the junk off and made it more presentable...

And Jerry got a cleaner picture of the inside of the transmitter:



Looks like some cast-off tubes at the base of the fan ducts...?

Later, at an undetermined date after my trip, Jerry was able to go back and find something we all overlooked: the fallout shelter studio!  First, the pictures, then David B. Treadway's analysis:







Jerry mentioned that he'd seen a door that no one went into...when he went back, he opened the door, found a light switch and turned it on...WOW!  He said it looked like someone just got up from the chair and left...there were still LPs on the two turntables!  There was also tape still on the reels of the tape machine.  Fortunately, he was able to take these pictures with his cell phone (I guess there ARE some good uses for those darned things, aren't there?) and get them transferred over to me.

When I sent these pictures to David B., he said:

"If you'll remember, I was trying to FIND the "bomb shelter" when we were there on 4/19. Maybe I should have used a different term, but I was looking for a control room that could have been used to stay on the air in time of "disaster." This is it.

In my time, it contained a Collins tube console from the production room at 1425 W 7th. Now it looks like it has the RCA board from one of the production rooms at 2400 Cottondale Lane. I'd have to see the board up-close to know which one it was, but my hands have been ON this board--and the Ampex and the turntables and cart machines."
 
And some comments from Dale Seidenschwarz/"Clyde Clifford":
 
"Back in the good old days we would occasionally have a power failure to occur at the transmitter, but not of course, downtown. Major drag! So, Pat Walsh got some sort of grant from the Fed (Civil Defense, I believe) that resulted in that big generator behind the building. I used to know all about it but I've slept since then. I think it is 250 KVA but it might be bigger. It would carry the entire load of the fully modulated BTA-50, tower lights and the entire building. The requirement was that we were to have a fully functional "fall-out shelter" studio at the transmitter site. There were to be supplies and fuel sufficient for two weeks operation. That is the studio Jerry found.
 
The console is unfamiliar. all the consoles (mine included) while I was at KAAY were the older beige color scheme, similar to that of the BTA-50. That one looks to be contemporary with the Ampliphase or later.

The Mic looks like an EV RE-20. The Ampex looks to be one of the newer ones from downtown."


Thank you, David!  There's no telling what we missed while we rushed through on that day, when we had so little time.
 
Thank you, Dale, for more insight...your thoughts and comments are greatly valued here...
 
And thank you, Jerry, for a little more investigative work...we'd heard about this studio, but hadn't really SEEN it before....
 
One day, more?  Time will tell....
 
Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Trip: Reflection, Shared Goodies

What a trip...something I'd fantasized about all my life, practically...and I'd walked in the shadows of Giants!  Jerry Sims, in his humble way, said that they were just very lucky guys who happened to work at a great radio station, and that I'd walked in the station's shadow.  Nonetheless, I still maintain their status was that of gigantic proportions...no matter if they were the only ones in a darkened studio, transmitting to 40 states and 29 countries.

I wanted to share a few things that we'd gleaned from a trash heap and a present to myself and David B. Treadway by Jerry Sims...remember that shnazzy KAAY pen Jerry sent a picture to us for the blog awhile back?  Well, he presented one each to David B. and I, "...because we could appreciate them."


Wowza, what a treasure!  Thank you, Jerry!

Of the items we gleaned from basically a "throw-away pile" were the following...one of the half-wave rectifier tubes:


...a market share study, which clearly shows KAAY was "kickin' butt" back then (April-May 1971):


...a sales folder that fit into a drop-file, describing all of KAAY's attributes:



...and a 16-minute cart which had "KAAY" hand-printed on top, side and bottom.  I hope you can see it on the face of the unit.  There was no tape in it and it was also hand-marked "15-1/2":




Some of these things may not seem like much to some people, but they are like bricks in a building when someone collects mementos...these items, and many more are often thrown away by incoming and outgoing administration, never realizing they're throwing away history.  I'm glad we could share them with you.

Next...more Reflections, with pictures courtesy of Jerry Sims....

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)