Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Johnny Cash was a musical giant that became known as "The Man In Black".  He was also "Arkansas Own",  born  in Dyess, Arkansas.   

Through the years his friends included many whose names you know:  the Reverend Billy Graham, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Horton, Kris Kristofferson, "Cowboy" Jack Clement...and many more too numerous to mention. 

I had followed Johnny Cash's career since I was a teenager in 1956, and was privileged to receive a phone call from him while I was Music Director at the 50,000 Watt Giant on May 31st of 1972, when I was doing the Mid-Day Shift.

That call turned into an On-The-Air Interview that I'll never forget, and Johnny Cash was one of the most courteous and kind individuals I've ever known.  His music had been a part of my life for as long as I could remember, but his thoughtfullness and warmth that came through the phone that day during our conversation will forever live in my memory banks.

That live Interview was the talk of the town in Little Rock for days: "Johnny Cash on KAAY !"  And, if you're reading this and remember it, you were among the privileged few, as the equipment I had to record it on in our Main Studio that day had a problem...and I never was able to save it !

Johnny Cash was an American "original" in every sense of the word.  His body of work continued for over five decades, and his life, his music, and the impact of his great career, continues to touch all of us...years after his death. 
 NOTE:  My favorite Johnny Cash songs ?  Many have asked me that through the years, so here's my list: "I Walk The Line", "Home Of The Blues", "I'd Just Be Fool Enough", "Understand Your Man", "I Guess Things Happen That Way", "I Got Stripes", "Get Rhythm", "Folsom Prison Blues" (live), and "Sunday Morning Coming Down".
My ultimate favorite though for many reasons, some personal, is the haunting, beautiful "I Still Miss Someone" from 1958.  If I were to loose all of the rest, this is the one that I'd have to save.  

Jonnie King

NOTE: For my complete Tribute to Johnny Cash, and a Review of "House Of Cash" written by his son, John Carter Cash, simply go to this Link on my WebSite:

KAAY Christmas Jingles

Yes, it's a little late for this past Christmas, but the cheer is still there!  We've used these jingles a couple years ago when we had numerous former KAAY deejays lend their talents to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  These are the "raw versions" that were aired as spots in season.

Courtesy of A. J. Lindsey:

(or download here)
Bud S. (

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

"All gave some, but some gave ALL...."

Please remember those who have fought, and those who died, so that we and others may be free.

Bud S. (

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dickie Goodman: The Flying Saucer

A.J. Lindsey, in his own words:

"If you listen to the newscasts that have been featured on this blog, you understand that times were trying just as they are now. At KAAY we were always looking for the bizarre, the ridiculous and satirizing all that we could. You have seen the "Ear On Arkansas" discussions. Later, I will feature some recordings from "Ear". Today, I ran across a record that the oldies stations never play even though it reached number one. And several of his succeeding records also were as big. Even in the KAAY days I don't remember playing this song as an oldie. This is a little bit of history that needs to be brought forward. Read about it and then listen to an off the air recording, for educational purposes only:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Dickie Goodman (April 19, 1934 - November 6, 1989) is considered one of the earliest proponents of sampling in music, through a series of "break-in" records he created from 1956 to 1986. His first song, "The Flying Saucer," was co-written with partner Bill Buchanan, and featured a description of a news-covered invasion of earth from a Martian space ship. While Goodman asked questions of pedestrians, scientists, and even the Martian himself, their responses were "snipped" from lyrics of popular songs of the day, including tracks from Fats Domino, Elvis Presley and Little Richard.

Although "The Flying Saucer" became a major hit, it also landed Goodman in court for infringement of copyright - e.g. the songs he used to create his "break-in" records. The lawsuits were later settled out of court when the judge ruled that Goodman's records were burlesques and parodies, and were original creations in and among themselves.

Goodman later recorded other break-in records, usually based around a political theme, or having his reporter alter-ego interviewing Batman or Neil Armstrong. In 1975, Goodman returned to the pop charts with "Mr. Jaws," a break-in record in which he interviews several characters from the motion picture Jaws.

Goodman's singles often had instrumental numbers (in which his actual role is uncertain) as B-sides. These are not found on either his original LPs or his CD compilations.

Goodman died in 1989 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His son, Jon Goodman, continues to promote and administer his father's works. In 1998, Jon supervised the issue of Greatest Fables, the first authorised CD collection of Dickie Goodman's recordings, which included Jon's own tribute, "Return Of The Flying Saucer". (This included sound bites from The X-Files and Hanson, among others.)

Goodman also is survived by his son Jed and daughter Janie.

Goodman is recognized by Billboard Magazine as the #1 Novelty Artist of All Time."

---courtesy of A.J. Lindsey

(or download here)

I remember this compilation when I was a kid and thought it hilarious!  I'll bet this enjoyed plenty of air time on KAAY!

The posts A. J. mentioned in his comments above were from his own blog, now dormant after his passing.  You may search his blog on this link:

Thanks to Dave S. for snagging this one!

Bud S. (

Friday, May 17, 2013

Where It All Began....

As many of you know, KAAY began life as KTHS 'way back in the early days of radio (1924), in Hot Springs, AR at the Arlington Hotel.  I was priveledged to have an entry accepted in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas regarding KTHS and KAAY:

KAAY engineers Hollis Duncan and Dave Montgomery have included me in some of their e-mails back and forth regarding the Arlington Hotel and included some pictures for all to enjoy, both past and near-present:

As you can see in the first photograph from 1925 (about a year after KTHS's birth), there is a radio tower on the roof.

Enjoy the articles and the pictures...thanks, Hollis and Dave!

Bud S. (

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Beatles On KAAY (Teenage Wasteland I)

The radio in my Mom's '65 Ford Galaxie 500 was pretty good. Nice bass response for a 6X9 dashboard speaker and instant-on thanks to transistors. We're flashing back to about 1965 here; there may be some fuzziness about dates, but the Big Picture is beaming in loud and clear. Every note is as pristine as it was Back When. The message will not end.

Every now and then, I'd catch a ride to school with Martha on her way to teach Biology at Malvern High. She had long since learned that the radio belonged to me and she was okay with it (loved her some Wilson Pickett, she did). Naturally, that radio was tuned to KAAY and cranked up as loud as she'd let it go.

I was fourteen and clueless (I would not know everything in the world until I was fifteen), but there was just something about Beatles records on my favorite station. Compared to everything else on the air in those days (with the great exception of Motown), they seemed to leap out of the speaker. They demanded attention, they dared you not to listen. I always tried for an extra notch of volume when one came on.

I would not learn the why of this audio magic until decades later, when I read George Martin's elegant book, All You Need Is Ears. He wrote about compressing Beatles recordings so they'd be as loud as possible when played on the radio. He and his team of engineers were also fascinated--and frustrated--by the amount of bass that Motown records could achieve. If they cranked up the bass on Beatles recordings beyond a certain point, the arm of the cutting lathe would jump up off the turntable and ruin the master. "We could never figure how the Americans were doing it."

Turns out there was some more audio magic at work up in Little Rock, where KAAY played those Beatles 45's on Gates turntables into a Collins vacuum tube console. From there, it was off to Wrightsville and into some more (huge, glorious, delicious, creamy, fat) tubes in the mighty RCA BTA 50-F transmitter. At the last minute, the sound would pass through Felix McDonald's legendary 70-cycle "choke," where anything below that frequency would disappear--and the remaining bass notes would get shaped and clarified, cut like a bodybuilder's torso. (To this day, Felix maintains that anything below 100 cycles is just hum.)

Oh. There was one other bit of magic afoot in those fabled days. On one of our morning rides, I discovered that I could predict when the next record played on KAAY would be by The Beatles. It only worked when I was in the car with Martha (go figure), but I hit it every time. Now what do you suppose that was?

David B. Treadway
Doc Holiday VII
The Last PD

Bonus Points: When I was grown and working for a living on the air, it disturbed me that every available version of Penny Lane was missing those seven piccolo trumpet notes at the end, which I was certain I had heard every time KAAY played it. Where had they gone? Had I only imagined them? Nope. The original promotional copies of the 45 had, indeed, contained that wistful signature at the end of the song. Subsequent mixes and releases did not. When you hit the link below, you can hear what we all heard on The Mighty 1090.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Life In The Funmobile‏

The recent picture of Ron Owens (and Sonny Martin III, just to his left) at a remote broadcast in 1969 made me go time traveling again, back to the days when taking KAAY on the road was a pretty big deal. Now, you just stick a DJ with a cell phone into the store of whichever client is willing to pay the freight, send along a few t-shirts and the station banners and it's called going "On Location." It's also supposed to fill the store with customers, but it mostly never does--unless there are some Monster Trucks or Pro Rasslers on display.

In the Glory Days, a KAAY remote broadcast took some doing. We rolled our portable studio--the Funmobile--to the client location, hitched it up to a specially-ordered telephone line and cued up the 45 RPM records on QRK turntables (we called 'em Rumble Kings) positioned to either side of what is, to this day, the smallest audio console I have ever seen: a Sparta four-pot with a single VU meter. It was identical to the one below (ignore the microphone; we had a duplicate of our studio mic in the Funmobile).

We did use a gooseneck--a fair bit longer than the one above--to mount the Electro-Voice 667 A (I've never been sure of the model number, but it was a big honking beast that made voices sound huge on the air). It was nice to cuddle up to something nearly as big as your head:

In a time before widespread use of Marti remote pickup transmitters, a specialized phone line had to be ordered a week or two in advance of the remote. It was known as a 15K equalized loop, the "15K" referring to the highest audio frequency that it would carry: 15,000 cycles per second, now referred to as Herz. The human ear (especially the female human ear) can detect frequencies a bit higher than 15K, but such a limit was plenty good for music and voice. (Ah, we always went for Maximum Sound Quality, didn't we?) One end of the loop would be installed at the client location, the other end would come to the 1425 West 7th Street studios and terminate at the studio patch panel in the control room equipment racks.
In my memory, it generally fell to the unfailingly cheerful Dave Montgomery and his all-around assistant, Larry, to hitch up the Funmobile to what we'd now call a big SUV and tow it to the location. Larry would get out the jacks and set about leveling the unit, while Dave powered it up, connected it to the loop and sent a test tone to the studio. Depending on the time of broadcast, all this would have to be done early in the day or the day before. It was also important to ensure that there was enough AC power on-site to pull a rather large air conditioning unit; the Funmobile could double as an oven in the summer.

Music Director Jonnie King, a mighty man his ownself, kept a duplicate set of the 45's that we were playing in a sturdy wooden box in the Funmobile, divided by category and stored out of direct sunlight to prevent warping. Music and DJ content would come from the remote, with commercials inserted by a board operator back at the station. When the spot break ended, the board-op would hit a jingle and we'd take it again.

The Funmobile was what you'd probably call a camping trailer. We got it second-hand from WBBM in Chicago, where it was the BeeMobile. I am pitiful at estimating dimensions, but it looked about twenty feet long by ten feet wide by ten feet high, with huge windows to the front and to either side of the DJ position. There were horn-type speakers on the front and Pat Walsh (who must surely have been the P.T. Barnum of his time) had heavy cardboard signs printed for each DJ to put in the windows.
And did we draw some crowds or what? The Razorback football pep rally remotes with Sonny Martin and George Jennings on game days would pack 'em in downtown for a block or so. I remember one Jackpot self-serve gas station remote where the traffic got so bad that the police had to show up to break the jam and try to restore some semblance of a flow. Once when I ran out of prizes, I noticed that Sonny had left his hairbrush in the Funmobile, so I forged his initials on the back of it and gave it away on the air. Six women immediately showed up to try to win it! (I have never before confessed this. Sonny, this is what happened to your brush back when we were all famous.)
Remotes then were a bunch of work, but that Funmobile helped KAAY to always be bigger than life.

David B. Treadway
Doc Holiday VII
The Last PD

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tom Bigby Checks In!!!

As per Tom's comments:

"Phil Beckman passed this site on to me this morning.....what a trip down memory lane.. I was one of the originals.. Itty Bitty Buddy Car.. Mccormick gave me the name when I came up from Odessa Texas.. I think I was 21 and doing PM Drive on this big Monster Radio Station...would love to know how many of the originals are still around.... Sorry to read of AJ's passing...."

Tom Bigby, Tom Bigby Media Pros, Sports Radio Consultants Dallas, Texas on KAAY 45 RPM Record: The Pig:

Tom, it is a pleasure to hear from you!!!  We would like to know more of your stories, please!  Would you contact me at my e-mail address below?  Thanks in advance, Bud Stacey   BudS. (

Thursday, May 2, 2013

KAAY: Ron Owens

Snatched from the jaws of obscurity by our own Dave S., here is a formerly "lost" clip of Ron Owens with Bill Edwards, with Comex Contemorary News opening this aural treasure!

(or download here)

Here is the link in A.J.'s blog to info about Ron Owens:

Bud S. (