Ask Bob Dearborn . . .

Do you have a question for Bob about Night Time America ?  How about his years at WTAE or WCFL ?  Now you can ASK BOB !  Fill in the form below and the best questions will be answered here on the Night Time America website.

Ask Bob Dearborn


Bob Dearborn Answers Your Questions. . .

from Bob Hale

Bob. You worked at WJJD for a time and worked with another >"Bob" from Chicago radio and TV. The fact that he did TV work in Chicago does that mean that Bob was much better looking than; that he had a face for TV; that he was much smarter and wiser than you?

I'll be eagerly awaiting your response. With my attorney!!!!!!!!

Bob Hale, WLS, WMAQ,WIND, WMAQ-TV, WCFL, WJJD...and a few other low rated outlets.

Bob's Answer

Bob, I'm really surprised to hear from you!  My understanding was that the inmates were not allowed to have computer access.  How did you get permission to send this message?  We both know it couldn't have been because of "good behavior."

from Spike Foster

Just wondering whatever happened to Jackie Gross your producer back on NTA? Thanks

Bob's Answer
Spike, Jackie Gross was the associate producer of Night Time America for the first year-and-a-half of its four-year existence.  She was replaced by Dean DeSantis, one of my favorite people in the world.  We had a blast working on that show together.  Jackie's work was invaluable in NTA's formative years but I think the chemistry between Dean and I allowed the show to grow and be more fun, for participants and listeners alike.

Thanks for your question.

from Michael DeSantis

Will there ever be another Night Time America even if only assessible primarily by internet?   I remember listening to your show back in the 80's and enjoying it.

Bob's Answer
Y'know, Michael, I've thought about creating an Internet radio station, one on which Night Time America could be a part.  I have hundreds of hours of reel-to-reel tape of the original shows and NTA specials, which could be augmented with newly created material.  Getting the necessary clearances, paying all the required fees would only be worthwhile if I believed there was sufficient audience that would find and support it in the context of today's entertainment options.  Perhaps, considering all the great technological advances of the last 29 years since NTA ended, we should just accept that Night Time America was right for its time and that no amount of wishing and effort can bring it back ... to capture The Magic of Radio as we once knew it.

from Tom McCarthy

    Bob - What a fascinating career you have had! I kick myself for not taking the time to get to know you beyond a quick "hi" in the halls at Sandusky. I worked for Warm 106.9 for 15 years before Marc Kaye cleaned house there and let all three of us go, last October.
    Anyway, I hope you're enjoying retirement - of your own choosing - and life is good.
    All the best!

Bob's Answer
Damn, Tom, I'm sorry to hear you're not doing the morning show at Warm anymore!  You did a fine job, and I always heard, in those Sandusky halls and elsewhere, that you're a great guy, as well.  Things were compartmentalized to the extent that staff members from any one of the five radio stations could go days, even weeks without bumping into someone from another one of the stations.  I enjoyed my five years there as PD of KIXI.  I might still be there today if my parents hadn't become ill and needed me more than radio did.  Or not.  A month or two later at the station, I could have been part of a housecleaning (or salary dump), just as you were.  In the 12 years since my departure from Seattle, those kind of changes in radio -- in all walks of life -- have become way too commonplace.

Whether it's another radio position or retirement that's next for you, Tom, I hope you find it fulfilling and rewarding.  It's what should happen to one of the good guys. 

from Allen Jackson

Bob, I used to REALLY enjoy your NightTime America Show back in the early mid 80s. I could not wait to get off the air on my 7-12 shift at WDAK in Columbus, GA to listen to you on WCGQ. I actually reached you on the listener line once and you let me intro a song, I think it was Culture Club, LOL.
    I have the cassette tape of it somewhere. Love ya man!
    Thank you for being my inspiration for many years! I still wish I could listen to you in Atlanta now. Allen

Bob's Answer 
I, too, wish you could hear me in Atlanta, Allen, but given the way music radio has changed, if I was still on the air you'd probably hear me for only about 10 seconds, three or four times an hour, basically as a board operator who gets to read a liner card once in a while.  Our NTA Phone Scans, you might recall, used to run 3 1/2-4 1/2 minutes.  No radio program director -- and especially the corporate consultant behind him who's really calling the shots -- would allow something like that on their radio station today.  It's unfortunate.  Trying to find inventive, informative, entertaining, creative ways to tie it all together was a lotta fun for guys like me.  And, thankfully, for listeners like you.

from Don "Morgan" Hanzlik

No question. Just a note saying it was great to share the RKO experience with you. I was hired in late 1981 as the overnight editor when RKO2 went on the air.I remember us discussing the 'CFL imaging line of arriving at the corner of Clark and Dearborn when you preceded Weber.Drop a line if you find yourself heading to the Sarasota / Bradenton area. We can exchange war stories over a beer at a local tiki bar!

Bob's Answer

Are you buying?  Now that I'm retired and no longer drawing a paycheck, I'll be looking for one of those Early Bird Specials for seniors at restaurants in your area.  A free beer would go well with that. Thanks Don.

from Dan Stromness

No questions... Rather a HUGE thank you, for keeping me company on NTA via WPEZ in Pittsburgh; during the early 80's.  Your show was the best.  I was 14 at the time and absolutely loved listening to the radio -even more so than TV.  Loved pulling in the NYC stations on my clock-radio at night, to see what a different crowd was up to.  Then NTA aired, and it tied a nation of night-owls together.  I would always make sure my radio was tuned to 94FM before I turned in, and then leave it on so I could catch your show. Primarily due to your show, I got interested in amateur radio, for the nation-wide potential it offered.  Though I put the hobby on the back burner whilst serving my country, I revived it and was finally able to gear up after an honorable discharge 10 years later.

I did not catch you on WTAE, since I primarily listened to WKTQ, before they got religion -haha.  I liked waking up to Jim Quinn's program in the morning on 13Q.  Then 96KX came into its prime when I got an AM/FM clock-radio.

THANKS MUCH for the memories Bob.  Glad to see you are still around.

Bob's Answer

I'm glad to be still around!

Thank you, Dan, for your kind words, for recalling those great memories, and for your service to our country.

from Chris Sallek

Not sure if you'd remember "Chris" from Ionia MI who did janitorial/custodial work at the Burger Chef fast food restaurant, but you kept me awake and "going" many long nights. I will always remember one in particular .... the night John Lennon was shot. 
Somehow I made it through the shift, even though I was a bit in shock. I imagine it was much the same for you. Sorry to hear you've retired but hope there is SOME seriousness in that hope to work in the 2010's with Dick Biondi, presumably on your old "nemesis", WLS-FM. Gee, you'd also be on the same station as John "Records" 
Landecker, although apparently he is syndicated. Enjoy your retirement!

Bob's Answer

Sure, I remember you, Chris!  So nice to hear from you again!

You're right about John Lennon's death being a shock, but that occurred a little less than a month before "Night Time America" had its first broadcast. 

I was in New York, staying at the Essex House on Central Park South (about a dozen blocks from the Dakota where John & Yoko lived) for the month of December 1980, readying the program for its January 2, 1981 debut. 

All I was given at the start was the only part RKO had figured out to that point: that it would be a satellite-delivered music and talk show, it would be done live at network headquarters in midtown Manhattan from Midnight-5 a.m. (ET) five nights a week, and it would be called "Night Time America."  They left it to me to fill in all the blanks: decide what music we'd play, the format of the show, features that would be included, and how we'd make it work for affiliate stations in the other three time zones who planned to carry portions of the show on a tape-delay.

One of our people at RKO was conducting a series of interviews with John Lennon in early December and I sure was tempted to try to tag along.  I had interviewed John & Yoko eight years earlier in Chicago and it was such a wonderful and unforgettable experience that I would have loved to spend more time with them.  But, it was my first week in New York, first week working for the RKO Radio Network, and I was supposed to be developing a new program in which the network had made a huge investment.  It seemed inappropriate, unwise and would surely create the wrong impression of me if I were to abandon my duty for the fun of spending time with John Lennon.  Besides, there'd probably be other opportunities for that.  Of course, that hope ended on the night of December 8.

I've lived in Pittsburgh when the Steelers lost a Super Bowl and their fans reacted in stunned, silent sadness, but that's nothing compared to the mood-swing in New York between December 8 and 9 in 1980.  We'd been part of the joy you could see in New Yorkers' faces that Monday, standing patiently across the street from Rockefeller Center waiting for the tree-lighting ceremony.  It seemed like everyone in Manhattan was full of Christmas cheer, couldn't have been happier  The following day, as word spread of what had happened to John Lennon late Monday night, it was as if every person in Manhattan had experienced a death in the family.  I remember people crying in the streets of Rhode Island when President Kennedy was assassinated.  It was very much like that again.

I've got lots of memories associated with that period in New York, the vast majority of them positive, but that was one night none of us will ever forget.

It would be a treat to work with Dick Biondi again (it'd be our fourth time) and I dearly love Chicago (on the air there for parts of four consecutive decades: the 1970s, '80s, '90s, and '00s), but my radio days are over.  Time to be quiet and let others get behind the microphone to have some fun.  I hope radio and its listeners are as good to them as they always were to me.

Thanks for writing, Chris.

from Howard Moser

Stan Major was at WIRL Peoria & came to WJJD when it was a top 40 station before WLS. During that 80's reunion a WJJD vet did not know where he ended up. He once stayed awake for a long time for a store promo in Peoria. WJJD at the time also had Carmen Anthony, Sid Roberts, Cy Nelson. Hope you can help.

Bob's Answer

I didn't see a question there, Howard, but I'm going to assume that you'd like to know the current whereabouts of Stan Major.  It has nothing to do with "Night Time America" or my radio career, but I always try to help out where I can. 

Not knowing Stan personally and never having heard him on the air puts me at a disadvantage, but here's a combination of what I remember and was able to dig up about him:

I followed him into another station besides WJJD-Chicago.  He was let go by WDAE-Tampa just a few weeks before I started hosting the morning show there in September 1976.  People I worked with said he was a colorful character and did an admirable job on the air.  Apparently some of his more provocative statements led his dismissal.  (I wonder if they would be considered even slightly controversial by today's Talk Radio standards.)

In the late 1980s and while based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Stan hosted  a national morning drive talk program, "American Breakfast," on the Langer network.

For many years after that he hosted a late-night radio talk show carried by affiliates of BroadcastTalk.

Stan is now "semi-retired" and living in Tamarac, Florida.

Thanks for writing, Howard.

from Dr. Wayne, 

Hi Bob,
In my high school years I would go up to WCFL and watch you broadcast. I did talk to you a few times and you were always nice. I currently do a radio show on health and medicine here in Chicago. I have been in practice for 32 years. I even treat some of the WCFL jocks who knew me as a kid.
No one seems to know what happened to Robert E Lee. Do you?

Bob's Answer

Thanks for remembering, Dr. Wayne.

Last I heard of Robert E. Lee (maybe 35 years ago), he was running a steak & lobster restaurant in Cortez, Colorado.  This information came to me from Larry O'Brien who was his roommate for a time when we were all in Chicago in the early 1970s.  I have fond memories of Robert and former WCFL Traffic & Continuity Director Terry Paul, the lovely woman who became his wife.  It would be great to know where they are, how they're doing, and to be in regular contact with them again.

Continued success to you, Doc, in both your chosen fields!

from William Fulgham
Hey Bob,

I was wondering what made u sit down and analize American Pie and how long did it take you.  I was just curious because I have heard the song over and over again and I never stopped to thinkg of the meaning behind it. I mean I had heard it was about Buddy Holly but never gave it much thought until I was online and ran across a link to a website where your broadcast was in a file to be downloaded. I gotta tell you what you said makes sense. I was so into the broadcast I almost forgot I was in Iraq so if you have the time I would really like to know what prompted you on this whole investgation.
thanks. William. 

Bob's Answer

It was a dozen or so off-air calls to my Chicago radio show from curious, intrigued listeners that started it, William.  Different callers had questions about the meaning of different sections of "American Pie" lyrics, leading me to think it might be prudent to sit down with the recording to decipher all the song's metaphors completely and in chronological order. 

Before I started the process, this was intended to be a fact sheet I could refer to if there were further inquiries.  As I worked on it over a couple of days and the calls continued, it appeared to me that this piece might even be air-worthy, although at (then) three pages, it seemed too long to be read on a fast-paced Top 40 radio station.  I had to make the choice of going back -- whittling down what I'd written to make it suitable for reading on the air, or going forward -- fully fleshing out the lyrics regardless of how many pages it took and making the finished product available to listeners who might be interested enough to write in for a Xerox copy.  Thankfully, I chose the latter.

Five pages not only got the job done, it felt like a comfortable length that didn't skimp yet wasn't bloated with unnecessary detail.  My guess is (and remember this was 35 years ago) that from start to finish -- listening, writing, rewriting, polishing -- the final version of my "American Pie" analysis took between seven and eight hours to produce.

I might add that I have since read many other subsequent interpretations of that great song.  Most of them aren't very remarkable or just retreads of what I wrote.  Some of them are so off-base, I can't imagine what they were thinking!  (Or smoking?)  A couple of them are really excellent, very detailed.  They, however, had the luxury of reading dozens of earlier versions, including mine, and weeks or even months to craft an analysis.  I was writing "under the gun," while the song was topping the charts, and was the first one anywhere to attempt a detailed analysis of "American Pie." 

It gives me enormous pride to know that at Don McLean's official Web site, mine is the only interpretation of the song referenced, linked to, and recognized as authentic, the first.

Trying to always super-serve listeners' needs and go beyond their expectations used to be the way many of us operated then.  I don't get a sense of that happening so much anymore.  That's a pity.  For all concerned on both sides of the radio.

Be safe, come home soon, William.  And, thank you.

from Tom Biggs
"Hey Bob, I was doing my own analysis for the song American Pie written by Don Mclean for a high school project and I totally agree with what youve had to say with yours but I think the queen might have been Aretha Frnaklin because she was a big hit of her own rock and roll at the time also. Like you said, all we can do for now is speculate on what McLean really meant until he himself says so, but it's a thought to consider."

Bob's Answer
Aretha Franklin was a force, all right -- of music, of Nature!  Still is.  But she was not the "queen" in this song, Tom.
At the time I did my analysis, I suspected who McLean was really referring to but I wasn't about to put it in writing.  Therefore, Connie Francis was my safe and seemingly logical choice. 
Had it been a year later, I would've been less conflicted about revealing the song's "queen" because by then, 1) Little Richard had "come out of the closet," made public his sexual orientation, and 2) Leon Russell had released a very Little Richard-esque song called, "The Queen Of Rock & Roll."

Thanks for writing, Tom.  And, good luck with that school project!

from Scott Strang
"I was a board op at one of your shows affiliates.  I've always wondered one thing; was the music delivery system all cart?  Any noise reduction such as dbx typeII?  I seem to remember reading somewhere that RKO used Tomcat cart machines but that's about all I ever could find. 
Not only was it one of the best shows I've ever heard, the sound quality was absolutely outstanding.  We received your show via a Scientific Atlanta DATS system and it sounded like we have a direct connection to the stereo line out on your board. 
I wish better sounding airchecks of your NTA show were available."

Bob's Answer
Many people wondered how we achieved the technical quality we did on NTA -- some asking if we had a secret, "black box" or some other kind of gizmo that made it sound so good.  We had good equipment like Tomcat carts (set at 15 IPS rather than the customary 7 1/2) and a Pacific Recorder board, but more than that the quality sound came from the high caliber engineers we had and the meticulous care they put into every step of the audio process. 
 Mike Phillips was a board op at the legendary Top 40 station WABC in New York before coming to the RKO Radio Networks.  In more than 45 years in the business, I've never known ANYone with an ear as great or audio quality standards as high as his.  Mike carted up all the (mostly) 45s we used for the show.  I'd leave a list of what I wanted, during his daytime shift he'd have someone go out and get the discs, then he'd transfer each one to cart with the kind of care that'd make you think his life and career depended on it.  He was amazing!  Frequently he'd throw out pressings with even the tiniest of blemishes and go through half a dozen 45s until he found a copy that was up to his specifications -- in other words, perfect.  With that kind of care throughout the process, our audio quality was second to none.
There are more than a hundred hours of "Night Time America," untelescoped, on tape in my collection.  Perhaps one day I'll figure out how to put them online.
Thank you for your observations, questions and kind comments, Scott.

from Erik Kunz
"Bob do you remember when you used to broadcast out of Chicago on WCFL in the early 1970's? I was a young kid and would be so excited to see you and a few other dj's on Super CFL that was housed in the Marina Towers Complex back then.  What I remember was what a nice person you were.  You came out of the studio when I came to visit with my mom and you said hi to us and welcomed us to the station.  I just wanted to let you know that your kindness was not forgotten and wish you and your family all the best!  Hope to hear you on the airwaves in Chicago soon."

Bob's Answer
Thanks for the memories and kind words, Erik.  Believe me, those of us who were fortunate enough to be part of that great radio station were as excited about it as little kids, too!
 I'd love to return to Chicago if any opportunity presents itself but I might wait until at least 2010.  That way I'll be able to join my pal, Dick Biondi, in saying I was honored to be on the air in Chicago during parts of five successive decades! 

from Grahame O'Brien
"Good Day Bob from Australia. 
I heard you on radio when I was on vacation in the US back in 1984.  I enjoyed your format of the program. can you tell me if you have a real audio site that I could listen to you on the net.   I should have read your info before I posted the last message. Any how I hope you are well and are enjoying life.  Regards Grahame."

Bob's Answer
G'day, Grahame!
If "Night Time America" were still on the air today, I have no doubt that it would be available on the Web.  As it is (not), you and I will have to rely on the streaming memory in our minds and pray that outages and rebuffering are kept to a minimum.  All the best to you in your new life Down Under.

from Crazy Ron Allen
"On this web page, it is metioned that NightTime America was also heard in the Detroit market. If so, what station was it heard on?"

Bob's Answer
Hey, "Crazy!"
Our affiliate in the Motor City was WNIC-AM (1310) which, ironically, was the successor (same frequency, same physical location -- 15001 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn -- different ownership and calls) as the station, WKNR-AM, "Keener 13," where I had been the morning host a dozen or so years earlier. 

from Joe Cook 
"Bob..I would just about every night catch your show on WCGQ in Columbus, Ga. and enjoyed it very much. You were always so kind and respectful to your callers but I remember one night a lady from Columbus called and I don't know what she said to you but you seemed a little shaken by it on the air. I believe your comments were something like, I just received a call from a woman in Columbus, Ga. and I have never been spoken to by anyone that way before. You went on to say that you had a lot of realy nice people phone you from Columbus, Ga. before and you couldn't believe any one could be so rude or something like that. I guess it's none of my business but I always wanted to know what she said to tick you off so bad."

Bob's Answer
Joe, I have just the faintest memory of that incident -- that something like that happened, but I don't remember the particulars.  I remember that your area brought NTA lots of enthusiastic listeners who were as polite as they were engaging and fun-loving, so it's not difficult t o imagine being taken aback by rudeness from a Columbus-area caller. 

Rudeness from any part of the country was never a problem.  I think most people who called NTA understood that I was there to make them comfortable, to "look" good, and give them all possible support to help them enjoy their minute in a national radio spotlight.  Unlike some of the things on the air today, I was never adversarial, never ambushed a listener or embarrassed them for the sake of a cheap laugh.  We had a relationship built on mutual respect.  And, I never forgot that the listeners were the star of that show. 

Twenty years later, my lingering memory of WCGQ's "Night Time America" listeners from Columbus, Georgia and nearby Alabama is a warm and positive one.  Joe, I hope that feeling also will become your dominant memory of our program.

from Sean Crowley
"What became of Tom Murphy (Murphy in the Morning)? As a high school student in the early 1970's, I dropped by unannounced at Marina City and told and guard downstairs I would like to see the station. He called, and an older woman (I guess a promotions person -- I don't recall her name) came down and took me upstairs for a great tour. She brought me into the Control Room and I saw you through the window. At the same time, Tom Murphy stopped by the Control Room and told us he learned he had an ulcer, and the woman giving me the tour seemed pretty concerned."

Bob's Answer
Let's let my dear friend and former morning show partner answer that question -- in his own words:

Hello Bob and Sean:

I appreciate Sean's interest in "What Ever Happened To Me?"  I often ask the same question.  Anyway, without turning this into a novel, here is approximately what The Murphy's did following the run in Chicago. 

I left Chicago and moved to Cleveland a few months after WMAQ went Country and let all of us go.  I was sorry that happened because I really liked WMAQ and the people I was working with, Jerry G. Bishop, Joel Sebastian and Jim Stagg, along with the GM Lee Davis. I was doing weekends at WIND when I left Chicago.  I stayed in Cleveland only a year at a station called WIXY. 

In late summer of 1976, I was offered a job back in Los Angeles and decided to return to the west coast, where I am from.  I have remained in Los Angeles ever since.

In the intervening years I worked for several radio stations, KGIL (MOR) KIIS FM(Top Forty) KIIS AM (AC and Music Of Your Life) KFI (AC)  When KFI changed formats to talk radio I decided maybe I should pursue some different avenues. 

I went to work at a broadcast syndication company writing, producing and hosting a variety of  radio shows.  I appeared on several National Radio Programs on CBS Radio. I also did humorous commentaries (sort of like Andy Rooney) on a show hosted by Wink Martindale which was nationally syndicated and in fact ran in Chicago on a station there.  I don't recall which one but the show was called 20/20 Music World. 

After the show was canceled I continued to do the features and they did fairly well in syndication. I also did voice work on some cartoons (Great Fun, even did a cartoon with Tommy Smothers) and did quite a bit of soundtrack "looping" which is recording dialog to replace the original.  Again very enjoyable.  Most of these projects took place in the early 80's to mid 90's. 

From 1994 to 1996 I did mornings on a suburban station and played Standards and Big Band music.  Not much money but total freedom to do the show I wanted.

In 1997, I was offered the position I currently have at DMX music.  Oddly enough, the offer came from a person I had worked with at KRLA clear back in 1971.  At DMX I program music for several different Channels (formats) including "Oldies," Big Bands, Standards and even Traditional Country.  I am the only guy old enough to remember Webb Pierce. 

I also program, write and host a weekly "Oldies" show that we put on our satellite systems and the cable systems that carry our music services nationwide.  In fact on the off chance that you receive DMX Music on your cable system, you could hear the show in what is called the Listening Room.  FYI    http:// 

I think maybe you have all the "info" you would ever want by now so I will close this "tome."  I appreciate your remembering me, Sean.  I had great fun in Chicago and had every intention of staying there but things didn't work out.  I really liked the city and I have always thought the listeners in Chicago were especially kind and supportive.  I still have some letters I received from listeners there.

Thank you again for your thoughts and all the best to you.
Tom Murphy
"Proud to be a former Chicago DeeJay"

from Laura Hall...
"Dear Bob: Do you remember anything about WJJD, 1961? My husband, Mel,  was program director there and did an air shift as well.  It was a top 40 station then, and gave WLS fits during the summer of '61.  It ended when he went to KQV, I believe around Jan., '62. He often says he'd like to know what happened to some of the people who were with him at WJJD.  Mike Renieri (Holiday), Ernie Simon, Jim Lounsberry, Stan major and the manager, Fred Harms. Hope you can be of help." 

Bob's Answer 
Laura, my WJJD tenure began 29 years later, long after these folks had moved on.  However, thanks to the Web site "440: Satisfaction," operated by my old WTAE pal, Johnny Williams, I was able to get some information about the people who used to work alongside your husband, Mel:   Stan Majors hosts an overnight talk show for the Radio America network heard in many cities (none in your area unfortunately) coast to coast.  The last reference to Jim Lounsberry that I could find (anywhere) was his 1970 stint at WPIX-FM in New York.   Mike Reineri has been a fixture in South Florida radio for decades, most recently hosting the morning show on WJNA-West Palm Beach/Miami.   Prior to that he was on Miami's WIOD and WAXY.  And before WAXY, Mike was on WIXY -- my old station in Cleveland (although he was there in 1968, 2 1/2 years after I helped WIXY- 1260 sign on in late 1965 only to depart two months later for the Army). 
At Johnny Williams' Web site -- -- one also discovers extensive coverage of your husband's illustrious broadcasting career.  For Mel Hall it all started in Alabama in 1952, continued in Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Pittsburgh, back to southern California radio, then to Cinira Corp for many years. 
Laura, I wish you and Mel nothing but good health and happiness in the retirement years you're planning to begin shortly. 

from Don Riley...
 "Hi Bob--  I always enjoyed listening to you on WCFL.  I'm the Ops Manager of an  oldies station in Lafayette, Indiana.  Several listeners have asked me what Don McLean's "American Pie" means.  I usually tell them about your excellent analysis on WCFL, but they want to know where they can get it.  Have you published it or is there an aircheck available of the entire show?  Thanks!" 

Bob's Answer 
Don, the original five-page analysis, subsequent radio special (for WCFL, plus the version syndicated worldwide by my Earmark Productions) and the 20th Anniversary recorded special (with updates, prepared for 1992 syndication but never released) have yet to make it to cyberspace.  Webmaster Jeff keeps prodding me to make all this available on the Internet -- especially in view of Madonna's "American Pie" remake -- but, at the moment, I'm near Toronto caring for my dad and all the material is in storage in Washington.  It'll have to wait.

In the meantime, former Chicago cohort, Dick Biondi, might still have some copies of the written analysis.  In 1989 -- after he asked about it and I had sent out more than 100,000 copies over the years -- I agreed to let him take care of any further distribution.  Call or write to Dick at WJMK-FM in Chicago.

Thanks for your question, Don.  And for remembering those wonderful days of WCFL.
 . . .  Bob Dearborn's American Pie Analysis is Now On-Line. . . . Jeff

from Brian Hopper '''
"I used to listen to Night Time America on 2 radio stations that penatrated the Lehigh Valley area in Pennsylvania, on the old WSAN in Allentown (which was AM), and WFMV in Blairstown NJ (which was FM and it was located near the Poconos.)  My quetsion is, "When you did the show with your associate producer, did you run your own board or did Jackie do all the mixing for you?"  Also what type of equipment did you use in "RKO Studio A" when you were doing the show live 5 nights a week?"

Bob's Answer 
Brian, Jackie Gross was the first of three regular Associate Producers/Engineers running all the controls for "Night Time America."  She was succeeded by my very dear friend, Dean DeSantis, then Glenn Sauter in the final days.  Although, for old times sake, Dean came back to engineer a portion of my final NTA show on New Year's Eve in 1984.  I believe the board in the Control Room was by Pacific Recorders (?) but I'm not much of a technical person.  That may have been painfully evident for a month or so in mid-1984 when I DID run my own board during an engineers' strike against RKO.  The studio mike was an AKG, there were some Pacific Recorders mic and cough buttons, the phone box was the invention of our Chief Engineer.
Thanks for the questions, Brian!

from Keith D. Kidd "Earphone Jack" . . .
" Hi there Bob. I'm here in Muncie, Indiana. I remember listening toyour show here in Muncie, but I can't remember what station it was for the life of me. I know it wasnt a Muncie station but it was fairly close to here. hell, for all I know the station may not even exsist anymore. Anyway, is there a way you could find that out? I'm sitting here wracking my brain and my ol' lady said if she cought me thinking again I'd be in big trouble. 
   PS; loved your show dude, hope to hear you on the air around here again  soon."

Bob's Answer 
Keith, I believe you heard "Night Time America" on our affiliate in Richmond, Indiana.  After 15 years, I no longer remember the call-letters, but I think there may have been a Q on the end. If Jeff Roteman ever does a tribute site about great nicknames, I hope he finds a prominent place for "Earphone Jack."
Thanks for your question, Keith.

from RC Price . . .
"Hi, Bob..great to see your site. No question, just a note. I grew up on WLS in the late 60's and early 70's, but switched to WCFL in 1972  when Larry Lujack made the jump. It didn't come in nearly as well indownstate Illinois where I lived (Bloomington), but I believe from 1972-1974, it was the better of the two stations (which would rank it as one of the best Top 40 stations ever!) Still have a collection of WCFLsurveys and recently started collecting airchecks (a few of yours!) fromthe two stations from that era. Great stuff. One of my most vivid memories was when you called me one day after I had sent in a postcard in one of your "SuperCalls" or "Last Contests"...I answered the phone "Super CFL" and won a fabulous "Bon-Sonic" tape recorder (at least an $8  value), which I could come pick up at some electronics store in Chicago (a three-hour drive). But I talked my Dad into taking me up there to getit. A couple of months later, we moved to Arizona and losing my Chicago  stations was devastating. But life goes on...just want to say thanks;  Top 40 radio meant an awful lot to me growing up, and you and all the jocks at WCFL were a big part of my life. Thanks! "

Bob's Answer 
Top 40 radio meant a lot to me, too. . . growing up IN it.  Also, WCFL and the jocks (plus all the wonderful behind the scenes people there) were -- and still are -- a big part of my life.  I've remained close to a couple dozen members of that old gang. Your assessment of 'CFL's greatest years being 1972-74 is right on the money!  We were almost there just before, and took a huge tumble right after that two year period.  But, for those two shining years, we finally beat our arch rival, WLS, and I think we could've beaten anybody, anywhere.
Thanks for sharing your memories, R.C. 

from Jason Bullett . . .
"How long was "Night Time America" on for and was it carried in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY area during the years it was on the air?"

Bob's Answer 
I hosted and produced the program for exactly four years, from the very startof 1981 until New Year's Eve, 1984.  My contract was up and I chose to notrenew.  After a tumultuous year of lawsuits and labor problems, the RKO Radio Networks were in big trouble: they asked me to take a pay-cut to "help them get through a difficult 1985," they could not make good on an earlier promise to hire some extra NTA staff, and they were rumored to be For Sale.After four years of 70-hour weeks and working all night, I was tired, and sawlittle chance for the show to grow to its full potential.  It was time to move on.
Our Saturday night fill-in guy carried on doing the show as best as he could for a few months into 1985, but the company commitment to the show hadevaporated, affiliates started bailing, the Networks were sold, and the new owner had different priorities.  NTA just withered away in the spring of '85. 

I think the station that carried "Night Time America" in the Tri-City area for almost all of its four-year run was WWOM-FM.  We used to get someterrific calls from RPI students in Troy.  Having spent some time in that area(Evenings/Music Director for WPTR in the 60s), I always enjoyed hearing from the "ol' stompin' grounds."

Thanks for your questions and the fond reminiscing they inspired.

from  Pamela Thompson . . . 
"That's pretty amazing that you got started in radio at the age of 15!  In which date/year?  Loved your aircheck on your final day at WCFL on 3/15/76!"

Bob's Answer 
" I started in 1960 as a weekend on-air host (Saturday and Sunday evenings, 6 PM to Midnight) and continued that way while still in school, through 1962.  Summers were the welcome exception during those first couple of years: I got to fill in for lots of people taking vacations from various positions (hosting, news, production) at the station.  It was wonderful training and experience.

Incidentally, March 15, 1976 was not only the day I did my last show on WCFL (ending a six year run at that station), it was the day the station changed from a Top 40 to a Beautiful Music format, it was the day we were forbidden by management to say good-bye on the air, it was the day a Channel 2 news reporter came over and did an in-depth interview with me during the show about 'CFL's impending format change, and it was my 31st birthday -- just about the UN-happiest birthday I ever had.

Thanks for your interest, Pamela!"