Friday, June 28, 2013

KAAY: Tommy Riggs' 45 Record, The Cotton Bowl Ambush

Another great record (remember records?) from the A.J. Lindsey audio archive --- we'll let A. J. explain in his own original post:

"At least it was good television. And the score was good through 3/4 of the game Arkansas fans are very frustrated. No longer is the entire state one big pep rally. The radio stations are just semi involved. It's been a long time since there was a Razorback record or CD produced.

In 1975 Tommy Riggs a/k/a Rock Robbins had left KAAY for Pine Bluff. He was Program Director and later Manager of KCLA. Pat Walsh needed a Razorback Record for the Cotton Bowl so he called Tommy to come up with a song. At the time "Convoy" by C.W. McCall had been a big hit and served as the inspiration for this song. Tommy picked a new name for himself, "T. Tommy & The Gray Ghost Crew". Greg Fadick a/k/a Hot Scott Fisher of KLAZ fame did the engineering. Recorded off the air, and for educational purposes, here is "Cotton Bowl Ambush"

---A.J. Lindsey, Oct 21, 2008

Tommy Riggs was a consumate performer; for much more information about Tommy, please use the search box in the upper left-hand box and type in "Tommy Riggs"...there's lots more about Tommy on this blog.

(or download here)

Although I haven't heard from him in quite some time, I presume Greg Fadick is still alive and kicking- I'll have to direct him to this post, maybe he can give us more insight into this record having been made!

Thanks to A. J., Tommy, Pat Walsh and Greg Fadick...and thanks to Dave S. for his rescue efforts and computer wizardry to bring back these formerly lost historical audio bits!

Bud S. (

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nice E-Mail From Tom Nichols!

"Greetings from Memphis!

While reading your blog, it occurred to me there was no mention of how KAAY was almost saved a second time. I’m not sure if anyone knows but the three people involved.

In 1985, I was assistant Chief Engineer at WRVR Memphis, a Viacom station. As 24 year old radio geek, I didn’t have much patience for the Adult Contemporary format or the suit culture of Viacom. So, after a bit of searching, I was hired as Chief for a new station in Little Rock, KZOU or Zoo98. I started in April of 1986. I was also in charge of Zoo’s sister station, KOKY, at that time on 1250. I have always had a soft spot for AM directionl arrays and the legendary stations, so I spent a lot of time with Felix McDonald at KAAY.

Sometime in 1987 or thereabouts, KAAY went up for sale again. I met Felix out at the transmitter site, took a lot of pictures, and put together a proposal for KZOU / KOKY GM Hal Smith. My idea was to either simulcast KZOU, move KOKY over to 1090 (at that time Power 92 did not exist and KOKY was pulling respectable numbers), or make it a vintage oldies station.

By this time Dick Oppenheimer had sold KZOU / KOKY to Encore Communications, headed by former Metromedia exec George Duncan. Hal arranged for me to talk with Duncan the next time he was in town, which was only a few days away.

The short of the story is it…almost…I think...happened. The selling price was 1.5 million at the time. Although George Duncan was interested and I think made a few inquires, the selling price was the show stopper. I didn’t know it at the time, but KZOU / KOKY was carrying the Encore group, and financial troubles for the company were looming. I would like to think if Encore had been financially solid, it might have actually happened.

I still have that proposal around here somewhere, and if I can find it I’ll scan it for you. It was, of course, done on a typewriter and copy machine.

Tom Nichols
KZOU / KOKY 1986-1989
KSSN 1989-1990
WMC AM/FM Memphis 1990-1994
WMC-TV Memphis 1994-1997"

Thanks for writing in, Tom!  We're looking forward to the scanned documents...we're very interested in the hidden history of KAAY!  Please keep in touch...

...and, for anyone who reads this blog, no matter how trivial you may think something may be regarding KAAY, PLEASE send it on in for us to share with MAY be a link to something they've been searching for, for years!

Again, thanks Tom!

Bud S. (

Thursday, June 20, 2013

KAAY: Light Hoss Harry Jones, By The Rivermen

Another 45 RPM record, produced for/by KAAY!  In A. J.'s words:

"If KAAY were a music station today, it would probably be playing a song about Mitch Mustain.

KAAY was always involved in Arkansas Razorback promotion. Many records, (45s with the big holes) had their beginnings at KAAY. In the era of payola, Pat Walsh wisely decided the station didn't need to be directly involved with the records. Also, if a Razorback song came from KAAY, other stations wouldn't play it. Enter J. Paul Scott. He wrote and produced may of the Razorback records on his labels and with his talent. Today's feature is a song about Light Hoss Harry Jones. As best I can date it. 1965. The group is The Rivermen, sounding a lot like the Kingston Trio. The flip side is "Quarterbackin' Man" which also got a lot of play. For legal purposes this was recorded off the air and is used here strictly for educational purposes.

Where are the radio stations today doing anything like this? "

---A.J. Lindsey, Oct 9, 2006

(or download here)

Yes, why aren't more radio stations doing anything like this?  In some cases, of the stations that ARE doing this, I have heard some raunchy stuff done by "shock jocks" (now an old term?) who barely skirt the law regarding slander and good taste...and, numerous years ago, I remember a duo who left Mobile, AL, worked in Birmingham, AL and I think in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, who got busted several times by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for their raunchy lyrics.  They got the ratings up at the stations who employed them, but at what cost to decency?

Where's the original, quality programming?  The cookie-cutter conglomerates just keep pumping out "the hits" (I wonder WHO decides some of this stuff is a hit?) via a computer base, located hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of miles from the targeted audience.  I still cruise the AM airwaves for something fresh, but rarely on the FM band, because the latter's stations all sound alike....

They don't make 'em like they used hat is off to those deejays who are still in the business, doing what they love- but I'll bet they're not having as much fun....

That's my rant- thanks to Dave S. for all his help in linking this audio for you to enjoy!

Bud S. (

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

KAAY: Beaker Street/Beaker Theater, Ken Knight, Dec. 1974

Here is the second aircheck that  our very own Greg Barman sent to A. J. back in 2006, as promised:

"The second aircheck is with Ken Knight, from December 1974. Note the Spanish ID and 'Greetings QSLers', the ad for a hard rockin' local band, and the intro for Beaker Theater."

---Greg Barman, Dec 21, 2006

Wow, what memories!  Thanks to Greg Barman for his original contribution!

(or download here)
Bud S. (

Thursday, June 6, 2013

KAAY: Beaker Street, Clyde Clifford, June 1, 1972

Beaker Street has always been a favorite of mine; searching for it a few years ago, in fact, led me to A. J. Lindsey and his blog!  In my efforts to help him with material for his blog, I searched out more audio, contacted and traded with collectors and such, and sent him whatever I could find.

This particular audio clip was originally sent in by our own Greg Barman to A. J.; I do not recollect if we have ever posted it here or not, so please forgive us if we have and enjoy it once again!  Herewith Greg Barman's comments from A. J.'s blog:

"Beaker Street Memories

A few reminiscences. I grew up in Evanston IL, a northern suburb of Chicago. And while the big city rockers like WLS and WCFL provided no shortage of great listening, I was an active DX-er and was fascinated by that exotic station from Little Rock that boomed in every night on 1090. What really made KAAY unique was Beaker Street, which sounded like nothing else on AM in Chicago or anywhere else. In the early 70's, album rock and 'progressive FM' was on the air locally but it lacked the mood of Beaker Street with the 'Head' music bed, Clyde Clifford's laidback style, and the blues and country-flavored music that rarely made it on the air in Chicago. It was strange and spooky, and I loved to listen to it at night as I went to bed. For a young man who was fascinated with radio and eager to work in it, Beaker Street and KAAY was radio magic for me. I occasionally airchecked KAAY and years later I was glad I did.

Here are two airchecks of Beaker Street. Both have mostly good skip reception with some fading. The first is Clyde Clifford from June 1, 1972. The music selection is tremendous, including Eric Clapton, the Grateful Dead, The Flock, Robert Johnson, Leon Russell and Judy Collins. Itâs interesting to hear the spots for the New Orleans club called A Warehouse, with the $4 concert price tickets - imagine that!

---Greg Barman, Dec 21 2006

This aircheck may well be the best and most representative of the original Beaker Street.

(or download here)

The second Beaker Street aircheck Greg mentioned will follow in a later post....

Many thanks to Greg Barman for this material sent in to A. J. in 2006 and to him for us sharing it again here...and to Dave S. for his great help!

Bud S. (

Monday, June 3, 2013

KAAY: The Blue Goose, Timeless Tracks Tribute

We've mentioned The Blue Goose here before, after I was priviledged to visit Little Rock awhile back.  Jerry Sims and David B. Treadway and I met at the KTHV television studios and Jerry posed on the stairwell in front of where The Blue Goose WAS; I used it to sketch what was in my mind's eye and I posted it on this blog, as well.  Timeless Tracks' audio was taken and Greg Barman, our ever-faithful audio technician, pieced what we were able to find and made about a 45-minute audio bed, which we also posted on this blog.  Please put "Blue Goose" in the upper left-hand corner to search these, in A. J.'s original words from his blog:

"From the Timeless Tracks broadcast here is a discussion of The Blue Goose and more:

The original Blue Goose was at 8th and Izard across the street from KTHV.KAAY, at that time was located on the 2nd floor of the Channel 11 building. Howard Watson, known as Ken Knight on KAAY started referring to the "elegantly appointed Blue Goose". He built on this illusion for the listeners by describing the LR elite arriving for the floor show.Night after night to 40 states and 19 foreign countries he painted a vivid picture of a great night club with floor shows and all the trappings. Of course locals knew there were only two tables in the Blue Goose and those were usually taken by George Moore or other KTHV celebrities. The bar-b-que was great and the beer coldest in town.  One evening a couple appeared at the door looking quite bewildered and lost. Come to find out they were from Wisconsin and had called trying to make reservations for the floor show. Of course the Blue Goose owner and help were completely oblivious to all that was going on. By propping open the control room door and looking out the windowed stairway, "the weird beard" could see all that was going on and verbally fantasize even more."

--_A.J. Lindsey, Feb 22, 2008

(or download here)
Tony Warner was the host of Timeless Tracks; I envy him holding court with all these Greats of KAAY!  I'll bet it was wild in that studio that day!

(Later, after we had posted the 45-minute version, Charlie Scarbrough ("Charlie King") had found the full, 4 CD version of the show and sent it to me!  It, too, is in safe storage...)

Thanks to Dave S., to Tony Warner and to Charlie Scarbrough, all 'round, for your contributions!

Bud S. (