Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dr. Grady Brock, R.I.P.

Alerted by Doug Virden:


We haven't had enough info about this KAAY Great- can anyone give us some more stories, please?

(I must apologize for not being more "up" on current events, what with the current workload, etc.  I am looking forward to the day that I can quit the second job and get my life back- and being able to report things in a much more timely manner. Bud S.)

Thank you, Doug Virden....

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Focus on the Newsmakers - October 9, 1966

Here is another "Focus On The Newsmakers" show, and one of the earliest that we have been able to find, from October 9, 1966.   Hosted by George Jennings.

Thanks to Barry Mac for retrieving this from storage at the transmitter site, and providing it to the Blog.

(or download here)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Eric Thomas and Beau Ryder

This is Eric Thomas' account of working with one of the "Ryders":

"I secured my first paying job at KKYK in the spring of 1980. At that time, Mike Lewis, was working 7-midnight and he basically trained me at KKYK. He was - and I’m sure still is - a great guy. So upbeat and positive. He was very helpful to me.  Anyway, it was during the summer of 1980 when Mike moved over to the Mighty 1090. He began doing 7-midnight on the AM dial. It was at this point in time he created Beau Ryder (later becoming “The Original Beau Ryder.”) Ray Lincoln was KAAY Program Director then.
As I said, Mike/Beau was very kind to me, and he was the one who opened the door for me to get on-the-air at KAAY. Steve Kelly had come on board as Program Director in the first half of 1981 and Beau had asked me if I would be interested in coming over as a weekend and fill-in guy with the possibility of more. He put in a good word for me with Steve Kelly, and after my meeting with Steve I was hired away from KKYK. I was thrilled to be working at my dream station! Amazing days!
Beau worked at KAAY doing 7-midnight while I was there and once again showed me the do’s and don’ts of the station. It wasn’t much longer – maybe several months – when Beau left. I’m not familiar with the details of why he left KAAY but PD Steve Kelly saw fit to immediately plug in part-timer, Mike Young, as (the new) Beau Ryder. Yep, it sounds crazy! So Mike Young (a friendly, always smiling guy who LOVED radio and sadly passed away much too early) became Beau Ryder. Mike Lewis/Beau Ryder had moved on and thus became known as “The Original Beau Ryder.” KAAY still had their own Beau Ryder though it was obviously not the same guy. I don’t recall how this was resolved. Eventually Mike Young/Beau Ryder was moved back to part-time and Billy Dee came on as the 7-midnight guy at KAAY. And for the remainder of my time at Multimedia, Mike Young simply just used his real name “Mike Young” while on-the-air.
And that is the story as I witnessed it all those years ago. And the link to the aircheck you have on your site from March 13, 1981 is the voice of “The Original Beau Ryder” – Mike Lewis. I am 100% sure of that. That is the voice of the guy I worked with at KKYK and KAAY.
Oh yea, and “The Original Beau Ryder” is still working today. For years he has been working afternoon drive at a station up in the Midwest. Quite successful. And Mike Lewis isn’t even his real name.
So that is what I know. Maybe this info fills a few holes in the storyline of KAAY – and Beau Ryder.
Like the old 1974 song by Reunion states, “Life is a rock (but the radio rolled me).”
My condolences to the family and friends of Bo Ryder. I know how it feels to lose a parent and my thoughts go out to his children and friends."
Thank you Eric, for helping fill in some "historical holes" for us and identifying the "Ryder" of our aircheck.
If ANYONE has any information an\bout Andrew "Bo Ryder" Williams, PLEASE forward it to my e-mail address below- thank you!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Obituary for Andrew "Bo Ryder" Williams

The particular "Bo Ryder" we're concentrating on at the moment is Andrew Allen Williams.  I had a nice conversation with his son John Williams and have been in Facebook contact with his daughter Jennifer Eversole, both great, sweet folks.  Here is the obituary:

Andrew Allen “Bo Ryder” Williams, 59, of DeWitt, died Monday, June 8, 2015.
He was born November 11, 1955 in Dermott, son of John Williams, Sr. and Lennie Abbott Williams Derrick.
Andrew was reared and received his early education in DeWitt, graduating from DeWitt High School.
“Bo Ryder” loved music, working for many years as a Little Rock disc jockey.
Andrew was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Robert Williams and Lloyd Derrick.
Survivors include his son, John Williams of Greenbrier, Arkansas; daughter, Jennifer Eversole of Sacramento, California; and brother, Danny Derrick of DeWitt.
Private services will be held at a later date. Cremation arrangements were handled by Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors (online register:

If you would like to leave a word of comfort or an encouraging word or just a good memory about Bo, you may do so here:


I'd sent the link of the short audio bit we have here of a "Bo Ryder", but unfortunately, it was not their dad.  So far, as you'll read in an upcoming post, there were probably three "Bo/Beau Ryder/Rider" personalities.  If anyone has any memories of Andrew "Bo Ryder" Williams, please forward them to me ASAP.

John Williams told me that they had a memorial service for Bo at Dewitt Park on June 17 and was wondering how they were going to put it all together when they got there; when they arrived, they found out that friends of Bo had already set things up and they had to do nothing- that it was a beautiful affair!  Thus shows the love for this man and his family.

Rest in peace, Bo... I'm sure Pat, Jerry, Howard, George, A.J. and others were there to welcome you into the fold....

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Radio Yesterday from Barry Mac -- late November 2005

Here's another of Barry Mac's Radio Yesterday shows that aired on KAAY about 20 years after the station changed format from rock to religion.  Barry brings back the tunes, the spots, the jingles, and the memories.

From late November 2005, this show features:  Letting more than 3 winds blow, "Respect" before Aretha, a good dose of the British Invasion, a tale of two Santanas, Simon pays homeage to America, and the one-hit wonder of the week.  Plus, some classic KAAY flashbacks.

(or download here)
More shows to come.

Greg Barman

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bo Ryder, R.I.P.

Dear friends, I just learned a few minutes ago Saturday afternoon (6/13/15, 4PM) that Bo Ryder passed away a few days ago, from his daughter Jennifer Eversole.  I don't have all the details yet, but his obituary will be in the Arkansas Democrat on Sunday, 6/14/15.  There will be a memorial service for him at DeWitt City Park on Wednesday following, at 3PM

We have just one aircheck of Bo Ryder, from March of 1981... I forget the exact dates, but one of his Facebook followers remember him from Summer of 1980... here is the aircheck we posted back in 2009:


Rest in peace, Bo...here he is with his daughter Jennifer back in 2006 at the Little Rock Zoo:

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Felix McDonald And The RCA Transmitter

I was reminded of a story by an anonymous commenter, one that has been recanted over and over.  It is the awesome, fantastic, wonderful story of when Felix McDonald had repaired the RCA transmitter when NO ONE else could.  Here it is as it was related to me....

Seems as if he was on vacation in Texas and the transmitter had gone down.  Technicians had been called in, even those from Channel 11.  No one could seem to get "Big Mama" (as David B. Treadway lovingly calls her) back on the air.  Pat Walsh was so desperate to get KAAY back on the air, he chartered a private jet to go and get Felix and bring him back.  When the plane landed, Pat picked Felix up and screamed though the traffic, getting him to the transmitter site.

Upon arriving, some wise guy said, "Let's see YOU get this thing going, boy!"  Felix methodically put parts back where they should have gone, then asked someone to hand him a broom.  He reached over and shoved a contactor back into place that had been opened (for what reason? No one knew) and the RCA roared back to life!

When I was in Little Rock on vacation back in 2011, Jerry Sims, David B. Treadway and I visited Felix; David B. had to take his son back to town, so Felix and his wife invited Jerry and I to come in and visit a while.  Here's a picture of these three Greats before out visit:

As to the aforementioned legendary story above, Felix went and got a commendation written by then Operations Manager Wayne Moss:

 What a story- what a man- what a legend!

When we left to leave, Jerry was almost out the door when Felix pushed past me, grabbed Jerry by the shoulder and turned him around.  It had been SO long since he'd seen Jerry that he didn't relate the Jerry Sims/"Sonny Martin" of yesteryear with the Jerry Sims of that day...but he said that he FINALLY put together who he was.  Then the tears almost began to flow for all of us.  I was so moved and stunned, I forgot to "roll tape" or take pictures of this now great reunion of these two Greats.

Now, I'll bet that Felix and Jerry are in "radio heaven", if there is such a place, having some good laughs and great memories.  I was SO blessed to become friends with these men- and hope to see them once again, myself.

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Felix J. McDonald, R.I.P.

Folks, I apologize- with working two jobs, exhaustion has been the order of each day- and I missed this e-mail sent to me by Dave Montgomery and Doug Virden yesterday (6/8/15):

Obituary for Felix J. McDonald
Felix J. McDonald, 89, of Wrightsville, Arkansas, passed away, Friday, June 5, 2015. He was born, February 4, 1926. Felix was in the U.S Army -40th Calvary Reconnaissance Troop during World War II. He was the Chief Engineer at KAAY radio and a founder of Alice 107.7 radio. He was a member of Mabelvale Pike Church of Christ.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lois Oletia Hatley McDonald; daughters, Nancy Rinehart (David), Patricia Hardwick (Mark), Cindy Terrazas (Juan); sons, Larry and Lynn McDonald (Carla); fifteen grandchildren, Jason Rinehart, Aubrey Futch (Brandon), Rachael Mizell (Chris), Travis McDonald (Allie), Chris McDonald ; Doug McDonald, Zachary Williams (Danielle), Caleb Williams, Stanley Hardwick, Kali Terrazas, Shea Terrazas, Blayne Terrazas, Aaron McDonald, Alex McDonald and Andrew McDonald; five great-grandchildren, Rylin Rutch, Tynlee Futch, Zane Mizell, Wyatt Williams and Charlotte Williams; brother, Quitman McDonald; sisters Betty Fowler, Lucy Brann and Lois Sikes. 
He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Ella (Brown) McDonald; brothers, Colvin McDonald and Robert McDonald; sisters, Edna Young, Norma Dreher, Mary Riggin, Helen Johnston, and Ruby Johnson; 
Funeral service will be held 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at the Smith-North Little Rock Funeral Home. Visitation will be held Monday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in Martindale Cemetery. Online obituary at www.SmithFamilyCares.com.
To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Felix J. McDonald please visit our Sympathy Store.
David B. Treadway said, "Always knew where to hit it if it didn't work.  What a WIZARD."
I was fortunate to meet Felix and his wife when I visited Little Rock a few years ago- what a gentleman!
Thank you to Dave and Doug for letting me know...


Monday, June 8, 2015

More Info, Goodies From Eric Thomas!

Eric Lensing, a.k.a. "Eric Thomas" and I have been e-mailing back & forth- what a thrill to meet another one of The Greats!  Eric, however, is very humble, in that he was enamored with working with whom he considered The Greats at KAAY and other stations... here is more of his story, edited for content, along with some goodies he sent our way:

"As for Joe James, I didn’t work with him. I just sat in with him several times and then when KAAY had their summer softball team, my neighborhood guys played the Mighty 1090 – and Joe was a big promoter for their team. He was so smooth – I don’t think he was at KAAY long. He did afternoon drive."


And when I mentioned "Steve Scott" (Steve Morris) and our Amateur radio hobbies:

"And on top of all that you were able to reach Steve Scott who lives just on the other side of the your county. How cool is that? Of all the friends I met at various stations I never spent time with one that was a ham operator. Otherwise, I might have gotten into it back then. You have a great passion for it, and after all, that’s what keeps us young at heart! Passion. You mentioned how you were hooked on radio as a kid – so was I. I never called the out of state stations like you did, but I spent hours and hours listening to John Landecker on WLS in Chicago, The Roadrunner on WOAI in San Antonio, and The Mean 15 – WLAC in Nashville. And, of course, I did call in requests to Steve Scott at KAAY. Those were my stations."


"I didn’t want to expose the actual names of those that helped me on the way, but I did see where Bob Nelson wrote on your site and mentioned some real names - so I guess it’s ok to say the Bob Majers I mentioned was in fact Bob Nelson. And the Dave Freeman was actually Boyce Barger. Great guys."


"I also saw you were asking for help from anyone who worked with or knew the whereabouts of a few jocks. One was Dr. Grady Brock. I worked with him at KKYK and he was a true pro. He had worked in Chicago with Larry LuJack and I asked about him from time to time. He did tell me Larry LuJack liked to walk around with his cans around his neck with the plug stuck inside one of his back pockets. I started doing it from that moment on. Dr. Brock was very intense when working and would not let anyone in the control room, and I admired that. If only I could have that much swag- haha! Another great guy I worked with was David B. Treadway. What an original! The man was hilarious on and off the air. He worked with Dr. Brock so he may have some information."

David B. Treadway is definitely one of a kind!  he is still working on KQUS, "US 97" in Hot Springs, AR, with the beautiful and talented Vicki Parker!

"I’ve attached a few memos from KAAY PD Steve Kelly. He was a man in control. The memo about the hotline just made me laugh and brought back a good memory. I had just starting working at KAAY and one beautiful summer Sunday afternoon I was on the air and the hotline lit up. Really surprised me. I grabbed the phone and a voice said, who is this? I gave my name. Then a pause. What song are you playing? I told him. Another pause. Who is singing this song? Gave him the info. Then he asked if it was a new song. I said no. I was playing Pleasant Valley Sunday by The Monkees and our then GM Phil Zeni was outside in his yard cooking out and was listening to the station. And he actually lived in a neighborhood in Little Rock called Pleasant Valley. I don’t know who was more freaked out – him listening to the words of the song or me having the hotline go off. Good times."


"Once again, thanks for all you do. Keep up the good work.

Eric Thomas"

Thank YOU, Eric, for sharing!  We hope to see more goodies one day!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

The 30th Anniversary Reunion, Part 3

OK, we come to the end of the pictures and memories.  Sure hope someone thought to roll tape (video or audio) of this reunion... if you did, please contact me, I'll put it on here!

OK, some parting comments of Doug Virden, with pictures:

"The first and second pics are of Bob Robbins and Sonny Martin telling some good stories of them working together over the years.

  Barry McCorkindale playing some old audio.

Clyde Clifford telling his story about the final night of the old KAAY.

Felix McDonald and his family were sitting to the left of the stage, right before Felix started making his way around the room.

Finally Rex Nelson is speaking, is very knowledgeable of everything Arkansas.  Had held various media jobs over the years and telling about his days of listening to KAAY.  His most important line was that the old KAAY still is alive is each and every one of us."

David B. Treadway was unable to make an appearance because of company arriving all the way from Scotland... but I'll bet if he were to have made it, would have been another powerful personality in the room; he mentioned regretting not being able to come.  AND, for your further enjoyment, here is a link from Michael Hibblin's report on UALRE Public Radio- listen to the audio!


Thanks again to conttributors Doug Virden, Barry McCorkindale and Michael Hibblin- and to those who attended!  Also thanks to Greg Barman for his great assistance.  May KAAY's memories live on forever!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

Monday, June 1, 2015

"Radio Yesterday" from Barry Mac - April 1, 2005

Here is another in the series of Radio Yesterday shows from Barry Mac that aired on KAAY as a reminder and celebration of the station's roots. 

This show is from April 1, 2005, and features:  Brubeck taking less than 6, Wilson Pickett in love, a Beatles B-side, John Fogerty's post-CCR venture, and another one-hit wonder.  Plus, more fun with old KAAY audio:

(or download here)
Thank you Barry!  More shows to come.