dad worked at Groovy QV from the days before World War II through the mid-
1970s, so a lot of station history is like family history to us. Favorite
memory is Jim Quinn's "picnic" on the Allegheny in the late 1960s -- got
him chased out of town... any way great site."
... David Sedore (5/17/2000)
"Someone asked about the Breakfast Club good morning song. There were 2 of them, the old one prior to 1968, and the one used during 1968. Tapes of the Breakfast Club can be gotten from Chuck Shaden who can be reached through the broadcasting museum in Chicago. He has tapes of the Breakfast Club with both songs on it. In the early 70's Mort Crim, as far as I know, left radio network news and started a syndicated program. We used it on a station that I owned at the time. Hope this answers a couple of questions that were asked." ... (4/23/2000)
Former KQV PD Mel Hall was kind enough to add a memory or 2 of his time at KQV...
"When I left WJJD <Chicago> , good fortune smiled quickly. The General Manager of WLS, Ralph Boudine, got in touch and asked if I would like to go to KQV in Pittsburgh as Program Director. Among other stations, KQV was a sister station to WLS, both owned by ABC Radio, New York. Ralph said he admired the job I did at WJJD, and the job at KQV was mine if I wanted it. So, I went to KQV, on Nov., 1, 1961. Another station, another challenge, but secretly, my heart was hardly in it. For me, WJJD was an absolutely glorious time, and now, it was over. My sudden departure made the front page of Billboard Magazine, the music and radio industry's bible. A few months after I left, WJJD went all country music. Several years later, Plough sold the station.
At KQV, every fun promotion or contest had to be approved by the ABC Continuity Acceptance Dept. and Legal Dept. in New York City. Ah, for pity sakes ! For example, I had come up with a promotion called "Send Me Mine." We ran it in Chicago with fabulous success. I planned go on the air with it at KQV. The idea was to make announcements over the air saying:
Announcer: "Have you got yours? If you haven't received yours, send a postcard with your name and address to KQV saying, "Send Me Mine!" We'll send you 'yours' immediately. 'Yours' will be waterproof, completely portable, adjustable in size, and will come in a beautiful decorator color. 'Yours' will have exclusive numbers printed on the side that could win you cash from KQV! Write Send Me Mine, KQV, Pittsburgh." The idea was to never tell what 'Yours' was. Our 'Yours,' was a small pastel balloon with KQV and a contest number printed on it. The deal was to call out the number on the air and the person with the right number on his or her balloon would win $14.10. It was a fun gag from a fun loving radio station. In Chicago, we saw our balloons everywhere. Well, ABC New York said we had to 'tell' the audience exactly 'what' they would receive. We must tell them that they'd receive a "nice, small balloon, worth 1/10 of 1 cent." Aw, for cryin' out loud! There goes the fun, the mystique, the mystery, the giggle, and now, its just another stupid, unimaginative radio contest. Well, I put it on the air my way. We sent out over 20,000 balloons in a two week period and it was a super successful promotion, just like it was in Chicago. ABC New York was perplexed at such disobedience from a brash young Program Director. Then again, KQV had never experienced such a tremendous response from any of their earlier promotions, so no one slapped my hands. To keep the mystique and fun going, we recorded the winner's voices over the phone saying, "Hi, this is (name). I got mine, did you get yours? Mine's candy apple red (or whatever) and I keep it under my pillow (or where ever). I won $14.10 from Colorful KQV." People loved to hear themselves on the radio. The DJs at KQV during my time were Jim Gearhart, Henry DaBecco, Dave Scott, Larry Aiken, Jim McLaughlin and me. Good guys, all.
KDKA, the big 50,000 watt Westinghouse rocker was our main competition in Pittsburgh. The KDKA DJs I remember were Rege Cordic and Clark Race. Rege was an institution in Pittsburgh and did a super funny morning show. Clark, who also did a TV dance show, was a glib professional and worthy competitor. Rege moved to Hollywood years later and I hired him for voice work on a couple of TV commercials I produced and directed, through my company, Cinira Corp.
Once, we pulled off a sneak attack on KDKA. We had a new KQV jingle package produced in New York City. The "Colorful KQV" package. I had the music company compose and record a full length instrumental song based on the 'melody notes' of our new musical logo, "Colorful KQV, The Pulse of Pittsburgh." Before we started playing the new jingle package on KQV, I talked record promoters Nick Censi and Jack Hakim into taking the record we had made of our new jingles logo over to KDKA.. They didn't promote it, they just dropped it off along with some other new releases. Lo and behold, KDKA thought it was a great instrumental. They put the record on the air and played it for two weeks! Then.... we put the new KQV jingles on the air. "What!!? KDKA has been playing the logo melody of KQV's new jingles!? We giggled over that for a month.
I recall another neat thing that happened at KQV. Ray Charles had just come out with a new, 33 1/3 LP album with Ray singing the country hits. Ray Charles was just coming off another great song called Hit The Road, Jack! So, Larry Aiken, our Music Director/DJ put Ray's album on the air as the "KQV, Pick Album of the Week." However, there was only one song in the album that the DJs picked to play. The station got hundreds of phone calls from people wanting us to play the song again, and again. They'd always ask where they could buy the record. Well, they couldn't buy an individual 'single' record of the song, they had to buy the album. We let the people know at ABC Paramount, the record company, and informed them about our tremendous audience reaction.. They decided to release the song on a 45 rpm single, nationwide. The song became Ray Charles' biggest hit. It stayed #1 on KQV for six weeks. The song was, I Can't Stop Lovin' You.
The people at KQV were great! Especially, the General Manager, John Gibbs. However, I was simply unhappy in the East and wanted to return to the West Coast. I resigned, and went back to San Diego as Program Director of Channel Six Television."
... Mel Hall (3/25/2000)
"Jeff, I was looking up something on Johnny Williams' 440 site the other day when I noticed that he had an e-mail address for Tom Lee/Lyons. If you haven't already, you may want to send him a note and see if he might have anything to add to the sites since he worked at both KQV and WTAE in their prime years (and ask why he used two different names in the same market). I met him when he was running WEDO and he seemed like a nice guy. Quick story on the end of his days at TAE, if you don't already know it: O'Brien and Garry were indirectly responsible for costing him the overnight job. They were negotiating a new contract (in 1977, I think) and had a firm offer from a station in Cleveland that they challenged Hearst to match. I believe they were each going to get $75,000. Ted Atkins signed them but had to drop Tom's salary to get back under budget. I don't recall if TAE automated overnights or hired a board op. Tom wound up at WEDO, was part of the original crew on WPNT and moved to KOGO/ San Diego when Chuck Brinkman became PD there. He used to referee high school basketball games in the area."
... John Mehno (3/24/2000)
(Thanks John, I have sent an email to Tom. *** John is the author of the Tribune Review's article on KQV's 80th Anniversary. John also wrote a great article on KDKA's Rege Cordic.)
"Hello! I'm writing from Baltimore. Rex Miller was heard on WITH here in 1960 and 1961. He later moved to St. Louis and then to Pittsburgh, where he was heard on KQV in 1968. Do you have any idea of his whereabouts? I understand his real name is Spangburg. Thanks very much."
... Joe Evelius (3/21/2000) More information on Rex Miller did after KQV is on the Rex Miller Page.
"Jeff, you have a great web site. I moved from the Pittsburgh area in 1970 but still have fond memories of KQV. The airchecks, old jingles and biographies of the disc jockeys you have here are terrific! I listened to Jim Quinn then and am fortunate enough to listen to him now on WRRK audio archives. Keep up the good work!"
... Dave Mucha (2/05/2000)
"Hi there, As an old broadcast guy myself, I love these pages. well anyway, I found some pictures I thought you might want. (I don't think you have them, but you may...) They are identified "Central control at KQV Pittsburgh" and "the radio studio for disc jockey operation at KQV"
... Bob Mayben (2/04/2000) (you'll find these pics on-line now)
"Hi, Just a short note to complement you on your fantastic KQV site. I'm a music journalist in Ireland working mainly for hot press magazine (www.hot-press.com) I stumbled across your site while researching an article on the current healthy state of radio in Ireland and the fact that playlists are slowly (very slowly! )being abandoned in favour of more eclectic music radio - even on commercial independent stations. I look forward to checking in again to listen to those wonderful archive clips.
Keep up the good work"
... Colm O'Hare (2/02/2000)
"I really appreciate hearing the old days on KQV. I grew up in Pgh listening to Ravin Dave and Henry D. My father was the architect who designed the picture window studio. The firm was Liff & Justh. As a boy of 13, I got to sit in with Henry DaBecco, Roy Elwell, and Jim McGlaughlin. What ever happened to Roy Elwell and Lee Vogel? You never mention him. I loved KQV. I also listened to WEEP, WABeatleC, WLS , WKBW, CKLW. KYW, WLAC, WMCK (the "Mighty 1360"} in McKeesport , and later WTAE in the Tom Lyons era. Thanks for the memories."
fonzielf (1/30/2000) (can anyone give some info on Roy Elwell or Lee Vogel)
"Hi Jeff: I'm Mel Hall. At KQV from late 1961 through 1962. I was PD and did 4 to 7pm. After my last radio job, PD at KRLA, I returned to San Diego in 1966 and established Cinira Corp., a film production company and broadcast creative service for radio an original music. For the most part we do commercials. For 33 years I've been pres. and exec. producer. I write, produce and direct. Now, at age 68, I plan to close the company and retire in a few months, sit around and let the neighbor kids watch me wrinkle. By the way, John D. Gibbs was GM when I was there and he's a guy I liked a lot. ... Great page, many thanks, enjoyed it very much."
... Mel Hall, Last of the Great Flying Do-Gooders. (1/21/2000) (thanks for the picture Mel, I had a chance to call Mel and he is a great guy ... Jeff)
"Hi Jeff: First, let me express to you how delighted i was to have spoken with you on the telephone. Shortly after our conversation I called John Gibbs. He was more than surprised and I think, very pleased to hear from me. After 38 years, I finally got to tell him how much I appreciated his gentle ways; how fortunate I was to have worked for him and how others who remember him carry great respect and admiration for a just plain "good" man. Henry DaBecco wasn't home. I'll try again.
The logo line for the jingle package that was created for us after I arrived at KQV was "Colorful KQV, The Pulse of Pittsburgh." The music was composed and arranged by N.Y. music guy Billy Verplank. Lyrics by a couple of guys; a Paul ???, and the other guy I've forgotten completely. I guess they continued to use the logo on later packages, after I had returned to S.D. The jingles that were created were a bit long and I wasn't all that fond of them. They were well executed however, and reflected the 'modern' big band sound of the day. I recall the nighttime jingle lyrics went something like: Take wing with the night, set your dreams in flight with music. etc., etc. It sounded a little awkward to have Larry Aiken come out of that with the Isley Brothers and Twist and Shout. Again, thanks for the chat and many more thanks for your work on the KQV site. You deserve a lot more than simple thanks. Fine, fine job. Very best regards"
...Mel Hall (1/25/2000)
"Jeff, Just got on line as of the first of the year, the first thing I did was hit that BIG 14 web site ... IT'S GREAT!!!!! My name is Mark Mervick, I'm friends with Chris Lash. Back in the 70's I had a KQV connection and have additional airchecks and jingles. A few on the site now I believe came from me. E-mail me and I hope we can hook up so I can be a part of this great site. LONG LIVE TOP 40 RADIO !!!!!
... Mark Mervick (1/14/2000) (A number of items from Mark's collection are now on-line ... Jeff)
"I am currently looking for the words to the song of the Breakfast Club show that Don McNeill hosted. My mom sang only a portion of those words to me growing up and I just loved it. She recently past away and just before she died I had her sing that song as I videotaped her. She told me to look for Don McNiell and the Breakfast club, which I have but have had no luck with finding the words to the "Good Morning" song. I know it went something like this:
Good Morning, good morning ... I like to see you smile
Good Morning, good morning ... you make my life worth while etc.
I would love to know the rest of the words if anyone has them.
... Janette Davis (1/03/2000)
"Dear Jeff, I remember the day the Pirates won the World Series in ' 71. I had just gotten back from vacation the day before. They played the last and seventh game on Sunday. Quinn was on the air at the time. The city went berserk if remember or know anything about it. People were doing the "wild thing" right out in the open on other people's lawns, cars were turned over, stores were looted, etc. You get the picture. Well, Quinn was doing the afternoon shift when all hell broke loose and someone tried to heave a metal beer keg through the plate glass windows of our studios. We were right there on the street level. I called to ask him something and he told me he was fearing for his life, so I drove down there as quick as I could. It was probably what it would be like if there had been a nuclear attack. It was the most frightening thing I've ever experienced. You really could have been killed and no one would have been caught for it. As more stuff comes to mind like the women baring their breasts or bending over to pick something up with a mini skirt on (they knew exactly what they were doing, too) and anything else I can think of, I'll write again. Take care!"
... Jon Summers (11/20/99)
(I asked Jon for info as to how long exactly his stay was at KQV... Jeff)
"Jeff, I was there from Dec. 1970 to Sept. 1973. As to the promos, yeah I did a lot of stuff for DeCaesar. That was in the days before Englar. Pat came to KQV and talked to Bob Harper the P.D. and told him he wanted one jock from the staff to be the official MC for all his shows. He didn't want to shuffle it around because he wanted to get to know one person and that person would get to know him and that would be one less problem for him to worry about at each show. I met some incredible stars during those three years. One of my most memorable moments was having dinner with David Bowie after one of his concerts. He was dressed (now get this) in a suit that was made from Holiday Inn towels. In those days, Holiday Inn towels were distinctive in their design and he was wearing a suit made out of them. It was outrageous. He proceeded to tell me the joys and advantages of being bi-sexual. Far out stuff, man! I got to know Jim Croce personally. He did about three or four gigs in Pittsburgh while I was there and each time he came to town his venue would get bigger. He started out at one the the colleges, then he played Syria Mosque, then he hit the Igloo. He got to be a good friend, he and Maury (his accompanying guitar player). I had hot chocolate with the Osmonds in their hotel rooms with their parents after one of their shows. Each one of them was in their pajamas by the time I got there. Each brother had his name embroidered over their shirt pocket. Not long ago I met Donny when he was here in town making the rounds and I reminded him of that. I don't think he liked it too much as he was in the middle of a radio interview and was trying very hard to convince people that he was all grown up now. He had just done Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat up in Toronto to rave reviews and then he comes to Buffalo and some idiot tells about the night they all had on their PJ's with the names over the pockets. Well, as more comes to me, I'll write again."
... Jon Summers (11/22/99)
"Jeff, Thanks very much for keeping us in mind and finding another memento of my brother's career on KQV. Just yesterday I was talking to someone who I work with about your website and about the first time I got to here my brother's voice again. She understood how special that was since she has lost someone who was very close to her. I have made copies of all the taped segments we have of Jay and gave them to his wife, his daughter, who happens to live here in Cincinnati, and a great friend and coworker of Jay's who attended his daughter's wedding here this summer. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness. What you've done means a lot to us. I'm going to take a look at the website now."
... Mark Davis (11/15/99)
(Mark is Jay Davis's brother, I've been keeping him up to date as we find any airchecks or memories of Jay's time at KQV. If you have any Jay Davis airchecks or pictures, let me know and we'll add them to this site and forward them to his family ... Jeff)
"Dear Jeff, Just got your e-mail regarding KQV. Sounds great. I'll think back to those times and send you some memories soon. Glad someone's keeping the faith."
... Jon Summers (11/15/99) (Jon's been in Buffalo since leaving KQV in the early 70's. In addition to afternoon drive on KQV, Jon did some tremendous production on the Big 14 ! Jeff)
"Needless to say, I have enjoyed reading and hearing the history of KQV. It sure brought back many memories. But what about us! Those record promotion men who went through hell to help make KQV one of the greatest top 40 stations in the country. There were just a few of us that worked our butts off to help pull off some of the great promotions (through our connections via the labels) for KQV.
We were put in situations were we sometime drove a hundred miles to do records hops for the dj's and the list goes on and on. So please give some credit to those who worked hard to make these successful and helped put them on the map. I gave KQV many exclusive's and had to dodge the bullet from KDKA. John Rook in my opinion was the greatest PD that ever came to KQV. I know because I worked with them all and I mean all of them. Boy! those were the days. It was great.
... Jack Hakim (11/04/99) (Thanks Jack, There were so many KQV exclusives over the years, you guys were indeed a part of what made KQV great ... Jeff)
"Hi I am George Hart's sister, and I got the address of your internet site from his wife Jeannie and I wanted to thank you for allowing me to hear his voice again. It's nice to know that he is still remembered even though he is no longer with us. It's nice to be able to let George's nieces hear what their uncle sounded like since they were so young when he died. Thank you so much again hope to keep in touch with you."
... Addie (11/03/99) As I've said before, George Hart was always one of my favorites. I'm glad I'm able to bring back memories to his fans as well as his family... Jeff
"George was a great guy. I didn't know him long, He headed out shortly after I married his youngest sister. We shared a common background of having gone to catholic high school and both having a love of music. We'll keep an eye on your site. It brings back some great memories of the old KQV before FM took over.
... WL Hook (11/05/99)
"I really enjoyed looking through your page on KQV. Although I "Didn't fit in" at KQV I enjoyed my stay very much. As a side note. I was offered a job at KDKA and KQV would not let me out of my contract. Best wishes ... Allen (with an e) Dennis (10/05/99) Great to hear from another KQV alum !
"I have a Bob DeCarlo aircheck of him filling in on the Chuck Brinkman show from the 70's right around the time of all the rain and floods in Western Pa. I also have some dj photos from KQV and WDVE and surveys and other stuff. (these items are now on display on this web site - Thanks Fred)
... Fred Bourjaily (10/02/99)
"I lived in Pittsburgh June 1967 through June 69. Quinn was it. I remember Quinn leaving for the BIG 990. I taped the program but who knows where the tape is after going to through several moves. ... I do have a small portion copied over to cassette. "were going to change the rules tonight ... that was your cue to play your jingle". I was able to hear "Happy Jack" on WIBG through much static ... no tape though. Back to KQV two of his best spots were:
1. When he cut the American Plumbing -&- Heating commercial off in mid stream and said "that commercial stinks", the next night "Fred" the engineer kept interrupting the commercial and Jim said at the end I know the commercial still stinks but the boss said we still have to play it.
2. Some of his stories especially one about about a car load of polocks riding around in the hill district.
I too hung out around the corner of "walk and don't walk" when all the rest of my friends were in Shadyside. Well at least I still have my mind. ... maybe listening to Quinn was more damaging than the drugs of the 60's.
Jeff... Thanks for the memories.... I always wondered why I had this strange feeling to KQV... a little 5K station instead of the Powerhouses like WABC, WKBW, WGAR, WLS -&- WCFL..... it came to me after reading that KQV and I share the same day that we came into existence ... Jan 9"
... Paul Bosak (9/15/99)
"Any news on Chuck "Chuckie from Kentucky " Dougherty and "Little Red, the Bloodshot Thermometer"? ... John France (9/02/99) (does anyone have any information on what happened to Chuck Dougherty ...Jeff)
"Jeff, How nice ... reading it brought back many memories, especially the Variety story written by Lenny Litman. I was back in your area in June, spent two weeks in Ohio and Pa. Was saddened to hear about Clark Race. ... we had a good time back then... "
... John Rook (8/23/99)
"Wow! I can't believe it. I use to have all the old air checks from those days. This will be a real treat. One of the things I remember most was how we use to break the station format. Sometimes when when we didn't like a particular song on the playlist, we would flip the single over and played the other side just for the heck of it. Another time we did a take off on Coal & Steel announcing live from the March of Dimes Walkathon. Neither Joey or Bob (DeCarlo) ever complained about our antics. Thanks for the Memories"
... Robert Goldberg (8/18/99)
|KQV Memories Page 4|
This page updated on May 20, 2000 .