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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- 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.
I hope you're enjoying retirement - of your own choosing - and life is
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.
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.
have the cassette tape of it somewhere. Love ya man!
you for being my inspiration for many years! I still wish I could listen
to you in Atlanta now. Allen
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!
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.
glad to be still around!
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
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!
I remember you, Chris! So nice to hear from you again!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
the late 1980s and while based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Stan hosted
a national morning drive talk program, "American Breakfast," on the Langer
many years after that he hosted a late-night radio talk show carried by
affiliates of BroadcastTalk.
is now "semi-retired" and living in Tamarac, Florida.
for writing, Howard.
from Dr. Wayne,
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?
for remembering, Dr. Wayne.
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.
success to you, Doc, in both your chosen fields!
from William Fulgham
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
Franklin was a force, all right -- of music, of Nature! Still is.
But she was not the "queen" in this song, Tom.
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.
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."
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."
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
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.
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
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."
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!
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."
"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?"
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
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."
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.
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.
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
let my dear friend and former morning show partner answer that question
-- in his own words:
Bob and Sean:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
you again for your thoughts and all the best to you.
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."
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).
Johnny Williams' Web site -- www.440.com/440sat.html -- 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.
I wish you and Mel nothing but good health and happiness in the retirement
years you're planning to begin shortly.
from Don Riley...
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!"
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.
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.
for your question, Don. And for remembering those wonderful days
. . Bob Dearborn's American Pie Analysis is Now On-Line. http://BobDearbornAmericanPie.musicpage.com
. . . Jeff
Brian Hopper '''
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?"
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.
for the questions, Brian!
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
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."
for your question, Keith.
RC Price . . .
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! "
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.
for sharing your memories, R.C.
Jason Bullett . . .
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?"
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.
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.
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."
for your questions and the fond reminiscing they inspired.
Pamela Thompson . . .
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
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.
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.
for your interest, Pamela!"