1959, we put a "Good Guys" Top 40 format together at a little
station in York, PA owned by Susquehanna Broadcasting. For
its time, it was very innovative.
company purchased a station in Ohio (Akron to be exact) and in
1961 they named me as their first program director at WHLO and
of course, the "Good Guys" format trailed along with us.
1966, the station came to the attention of Bob
Howard, the GM of WPGC, whose family lived in Cleveland.
He would monitor the station when he visited his relatives, and
somewhere about 1966 he and I got in touch and next thing you
know, I was living in Silver Spring, MD and I was the afternoon
jock and the PD of WPGC.
left WPGC to take a hiatus, moving briefly to St. Thomas in the
Virgin Islands for a time of rest and re-focusing because - frankly,
45s were dying out and LPs were coming in and that meant a new
format which I called "underground" and took that format to Boston
and WMEX - also owned by the company
that owned WPGC. Then, I brought the "underground" format
to Los Angeles and in 1969, put it on the air at KMET FM.
returned to the air briefly in 1974 - with Wolfman
Jack - on KDAY here in Los Angeles - a blend of albums and
45s that was semi-successful until the station was sold to black
ownership and all the white guys were fired - including me.
was one of my best cities in radio, until I came to Los Angeles.
The Air Staff:
was there for about 3 years - using the name "Cousin Duffy."
Jack Alix had been one of our
competitors on WEAM -
so we hired him to join us. Also, from the upper Michigan
peninsula - I hired a DJ and since Peyton Place was such a big
hit TV show at the time, we changed the guy's name to Bob
Peyton - he did our mid-days.
Moore was the morning man when I arrived and he was still
there when I left.
of our weekend DJ's was Bob
Raleigh - who we called "Tiger Bob" when he was playing records.
Brooks had been one of the disc jockeys when I got there,
but we thought his talents were better used in the newsroom and
so he became one of the station's premier news
Memorable Station Promotions:
remember coming on the air with a big promotion: for the March
of Dimes, I marched from Dulles Airport to the Washington
Monument - and as long as the phones kept ringing, I kept walking.
I don't remember how much money we raised, but I do remember I
walked in a blizzard from 6 in the morning to about 6:30 that
had many, many successful promotions and events connected with
the station including the WPGC "Hide
the Picnic" where we invited listeners to come to a free picnic
- but we only gave them clues to the location. They had
to find out where the big event was being held. That
was lots of fun.
of course, hosting the concerts with Hendrix and Joplin - with
Jim Morrison - and so many others. Brings back wonderful
Beatles had already hit by the time I got to Washington.
I was one of the first 3 program directors in America to feature
The Beatles on WHLO in Ohio -- they had recorded a single on a
small label prior to their major releases on Capitol Records,
and we made one of them our PICK HIT OF THE WEEK, played it every
other hour and even had Brian Epstein on the air thanking us for
playing their record in America. None the less, we tool
full advantage of connecting to the British invasion while I was
have no airchecks - no jingles - very few souvenirs from that
era - just some wonderful memories of a time in radio history
that perhaps can never happen
The Passing of Jack Alix:
and I were young kids getting started in the radio biz back in
DC. As I remember, he was at WEAM
when I first heard of him. For a very long time General
Manager, Bob Howard and
I were very aware of Jack's presence in the marketplace and his
great work and secretly we always hoped he would someday be part
of our Good Guy team.
he arrived and quite honestly we didn't know what to do with him
so we gave him the evening show. But as you know, with 'PGC being
a daytimer back then, I didn't even get to do my entire drivetime
show during the winter (we signed off at 4:45PM for a few weeks).
So it took a little convincing but Jack came onboard and he was
simply wonderful to work with.
He was very professional -- far beyond his years (or mine). He
argued, never disagreed, always made things work for the good
of the station and that was always his first thought. He also
had a terrific promo mind and was constantly bringing famous recording
artists to town for live shows. We teamed up on a few of them
over at the old Arlington Roller Rink - remember?
always had a smile. That's what I remember most about Jack. He
was never down or depressed. He always had something to smile
about. It -- and he -- were infectious. He not only smiled, he
laughed out loud long before the internet. It was a combination
giggle / laugh and many times he laughed so hard he broke into
a cough. He was simply a joy to be around.
went on a vacation to Mexico one year and brought me a beautiful
silver gift back from his trip. In all of my years in broadcasting,
nobody before and nobody since has ever been so thoughtful. He
was a real pioneer. He was a good friend back in the '60's. I
send my condolences to his family and my thanks to God for knowing
- and have the chance to work with - such a great, great man.