Thursday, July 2, 2015

We Hear From Jonnie King!!!

It had been some while since I'd heard from Jonnie King, so I decided to reach out- and I'm glad I did!  Jonnie had just unearthed some photos (which we'll share here) about the same time my e-mail reached him!  Here is his message:

"I did unearth a couple of photos that you're free to use on the KAAY Blog if you want.  They're from July 8, 1969, when I Interviewed Marilyn Kay Allen, who was  "Miss North Little Rock" in the "Miss Arkansas Pagent" for 1969, at her home in North Little Rock.  Then on the night of July 19th, 1969, I went to Hot Springs to cover the "Miss Arkansas Pagent" live for KAAY.

As we all know by now KAAY was a truly respected station, AND, since it was 1969, I didn't have a Cell Phone with me, and so with my KAAY Press Credentials, I was allowed Backstage Access all evening to do my "Live" call-ins from the Pagent Headquarters Area...and in the process saw ALL of the contestants before, or, after they were On-Stage.  All those beautiful girls in-one-place-at-one-time ! What can I say ?  It was a one-night "Bachelor's Paradise" for yours truly. (What made it even MORE fantastic was the fact that all of these beauties who came by and said "hello", told me that they listened to my show every night.  I was sincerely honored to meet them one-on-one...and they were all as nice as they were beautiful.)

BUT, I've saved these TWO Special "Backstage Encounters" for last:  #1.  While I was doing one of my live call-in's during a Pagent break, whom did I see coming toward me but none-other than Judith Anne Ford, the reigning 1969 Miss America !   I was stopped-dead in my tracks.  She was truly much more radiant and beautiful in-person than on TV or in her pictures...stunning in her own way.  Since she was only about three feet from me, I quickly said "Hold on for just a minute !" the jock running the board at the station, and introduced myself, asked her that since I was already doing a live call-in, if she would just say a brief "Hello" to all of our "Big K" listeners all-over Arkansas, and all over the World.  She was more than gracious, said "Sure" !   I went back, told the jock that I had a very special message from a very special guest.  I introduced her, and she did exactly as I had asked, said a number of nice things about being in Hot Springs  for the Pagent, and, thanked me for giving her the opportunity to be on-the-air on such a great station...said that she had heard us at her home in Illinois !  She was just spot-on-perfect !

#2. Guess who the Winner of the 1969 "Miss Arkansas Pagent" was ?   The same sweet, so-very-pretty Marilyn Kay Allen, "Miss North Little Rock" that I had Interviewed just 11 days earlier !   As soon as the Pagent was over, I hurried Backstage, found the new Miss Arkansas, again, got her "live" with me as I called the station to do my final report, and did a brief Interview with this very happy Winner.


 So, yes, those photos that I've forwarded to you, bring back vivid memories for me of that wonderful time, and all of the events that transpired.  My time at KAAY was truly one of the most fantastic times of my life...BOTH Personally, AND, Professionally.  We were a Super Team...the entire staff pulling together to achieve the best we could for our station, for our listeners, and, for each other.

BTW:  Bud, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that I was able to do so many Interviews after I got to the station, and I really loved doing them.  And, many of those were with other very wonderful beauty queens.  Some of my most-memorable were Jody Boggs, "Miss Dogpatch, U.S.A." in 1969, Reba Collette Walsh, "Miss Teenage America 1971", and, Paige Young, the talented, wonderful, "Playboy Playmate" for November, 1968.

In this pre-Intenet era, people actually wrote letters !  I still have the personal, handwritten "thank you" letters from Jody, and, Reba...both remarkable, beautiful young ladies, as well as the personalized photo, and other memorabilia, from Paige. These three, as well as Marilyn, and the many, many, others that I was privileged to Interview while I was at KAAY, have all enriched, and added wonderful memories to my sharing their lives - no matter how briefly - with me.

God bless you, Bud, tell my friends at the KAAY Blog I haven't forgotten them either !  

Your friend,

Jonnie King"

Thank you, Jonnie!!!  Who said "timing is everything"?  This was an opportune moment, both back in 1969, and today, when I contacted Jonnie, as he'd JUST found these pictures.

And, as in the admonition of Clyde Clifford and David B. Treadway, I am not ashamed to say that I love you, Jonnie!  Keep up the good work, keep the memories coming!

Bud S. (

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