Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Memories From Barry McCorkindale

Folks, here is another memory from our very own Barry Mac!  As you recall, (and even if you don't), Barry was the man on the board for Clyde Clifford on the last hour of The Last Day; Barry also stayed on for another few years...there is a wealth of info on Barry, just search him in the upper left-hand corner!

Here's his take on "The Singing Pig" (and I've never heard this before, thanks, Barry!):

"Bud, I saw your correspondence, imploring old KAAY listeners to pass along any stories (my plea was on the KAAY Facebook page bs).  Well, even though this is a "latter day" story, and not really much of a story, as much as it is a historical perspective, I think it's significant, because it really did mark the beginning of the end of the old KAAY days, and AM music radio in general.  It seemingly came out of nowhere, as I don't recall KAAY promoting it beforehand.  But on one night, in September of 1979, while driving the last of my Don's Drug Store delivery route, I was listening to KAAY, in good part because my company car was equipped with only an AM radio.  It hit 7:00, with the obligatory legal ID, and instead of more music, I heard a voice I'd never heard before, introducing himself, and talking about how they were going to start doing something different weeknights at 7:00.  This was the introduction of talk radio into the KAAY format, and the host was a guy named Dick Price.  Even though I was more interested in music, out of curiosity, I listened for awhile.  I think after I finished my route, probably half an hour later, I took the company car in and got into my vehicle, and in all likelihood listened to an FM music station on the way home.  Either that, or I pushed play on whatever was in my 8-track (!) player.  But I listened more and more to this experiment on KAAY, and came to like it more and more, not minding in the least that they went from music with Joe James, their then-afternoon drive time jock, into talk radio with Dick Price at 7:00.  I'm not sure if it was 7:00 to 10:00, or if it was 7:00 to midnight, but it got to where I'd listen to Dick's show in my vehicle, and occasionally from the home radio.  And even though this did kind of mark "the beginning of the end," from my understanding at the time and since, the ratings at night went up.  Dick eventually named the show "The Singing Pig," in dedication to one of his callers who just wasn't getting his point (as Dick said, "You just can't teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig"), and he stayed on for several months, possibly a year, before moving on to cross town AM rival KARN, which had a full news/talk format in operation.  And not long after that, late in 1981 I believe, Ray Lincoln also departed.  With their exits, as well as the aforementioned Joe James, and the changing face of AM radio, this marked the end of the station's glory days, even though there was a brief resurgence in its last year, mid-1984 until April of 1985, with the implementation of the oldies format.  Alas, that was short-lived, as owners Multimedia sold the station to religious broadcasting Sudbrink Media, and the station overhauled the format to Christian programming, as well as relocating the offices and broadcasting facilities to a completely different part of town.  But all that change, in my estimation, began late in 1979, with Dick Price and "The Singing Pig!" "

Thanks, Barry!  Please send your memories of KAAY/Beaker Street/Beaker Theater to me, I'll get them posted here!

Bud S (staceys4@hotmail.com)

2 comments:

  1. Came back to KAAY and did mornings in '82-'83. Remember listening to him on the way to school.

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    1. I went back and onto mornings KARN as I had gotten married and the 7pm till12+ didn't
      lend itself to being a romantic newly wed..after that second gig at KAAY (with Ron Casteel) I re-returned to KARK until running afoul of Neal Gladner (who failed to recognize my awesome talents;-)

      While the morning/afternnons and evenings gigs on KARN and the morning on KAAY were fun, NUTHIN ever held a candle to riding that night time skywave On KAAY with NO interference from suits and the indulgence of Johnny Scott who was scheduled on at midnight, but who happily agreed to snooze in the lounge and let me "play radio" on into the mornings.
      In 35+ years of broadcasting, I never worked anywhere (nor did I know anyone else who
      after grinding out 5 hours of straight talk delighted in sticking around for additional free hours.
      That massive signal allowed virtually unlimited access to just about any group you wanted to focus on.
      We held gabfests 5 hours, about Pizza workers...off shore oil rig folks,,,pilots,,,hookers...everyone from Sweet Sweet Connie Hamby to Johnny Carson,,Bob Hope (terrible guest) Dick Clark to Maddie O'hare.
      Hmmm, can't get on other than anonymous,, dickprice@bigfoot.com

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