#3 Geo’s Media Blog (Corona Special Edition) 5/21/20

Back in the day when the FCC required all radio stations to broadcast a certain amount of news each week, you had to get creative. In ’73, when we launched America’s first AC station on KVIL in Dallas, everything else had to be entertaining.

The other things that counted as news content other than our regular news were weathercasts, sports, traffic reports, and stock market tips.

Our news was done by future Hall Of Famers Andy McCollum and Bob Morrison. For weather, we got color radar. The radar enabled Chapman, Gardner, Schell, Selden, and Major Tom to do block by block coverage of a storm as it passed through Dallas.

The sports was done by Wes Wise, who was the Mayor of Dallas at the time, which, to say the least, was very controversial, and for our traffic reports, we put the highly entertaining Suzie Humphrey in a chopper.

Now comes the hard part, how the hell do you make stock reports entertaining? I was taught early on in my career by Jim Hilliard that a person is always the answer. So with that in mind, we went out and got a stockbroker by the name of Billy Bob Harris. (see on top) What a character, when he called in each morning to Ron Chapman’s show on his two-way, he claimed he was driving from Ft. Worth to his Dallas office in his beat-up old pickup truck. The reports were hilarious, but knowing Billy Bob as I do, he was probably doing them from the back seat of a Bentley with a driver.
Billy Bob and I have stayed in touch over the years, and the other day he was telling me about a conversation he had with his neighbor, Lara Burnside, who is the Administrator of John Peter Smith Hospital. Lara said that they had 7200 employees at JPS who were all putting their lives on the line 24/7 of every day, and she no way of communicating to them how much they were appreciated.
After thinking about it for a few days, Billy Bob got his friends, Larry Gatlin (pictured on top) of the Gatlin Brothers to do a special message for the staff at JPS, and Bill Melody of the Righteous Brothers (also pictured above) to do one for the 50,000 employees of Baylor Scott & White.
To see and hear what the staff saw, click on the links below. However, be warned, you may need a tissue for the Righteous Brothers.

Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs, or to see some that you may have missed, go to Geo’s Media Blog @ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.


6 thoughts on “#3 Geo’s Media Blog (Corona Special Edition) 5/21/20

  1. Jerry Keifer: Bucky is a great replacement for Bobby Hatfield..Thanks, George for sharing… (Corona Special Edition)

    Geo: I agree Jerry, he can really get up there.

  2. Billy Bob Harris: George, thank you for running the tribute(s) from Larry Gatlin and The Righteous Brothers honoring our selfless healthcare workers on the front line of the COVID pandemic. As you know, I was a young stockbroker in Dallas and had zero journalism, radio or media experience, but by the grace of God, I got to piggyback (for about 15 years) on the smashing success of this radio station as it was blowing up the charts in radio history. It would be impossible to exaggerate what it did for my career and life experiences. As I recall, in the late ’80s New York-based Infinity Broadcasting bought KVIL for more than $80 million dollars, which was the highest amount ever paid for a stand-alone radio station in the U.S. at that time. I’m forever grateful to Ron Chapman, you, and all of the people that you mentioned were the heartbeat of KVIL, which I was so blessed by being at the right place at the right time, and most particularly with the right people. (Corona)

    Geo: My pleasure, Billy Bob, we all owe the front liners so much and that special blog is already the second most read this year.

    • The tribute to our first responders was moving & hearrfelt! Billy Bob Harris is probably the most selfless human on Earth! His wealth of friendships is incomparable! I have been blessed with his Friendship for 51 years and many of my most cherished life experiences include him! He is what every person strives to be as a Friend and just a GOOD person! When he sent me the Bill Medley tribute….It affected me Personally! I lost my precious Mother on 12/30/19 & my shattered Heart was having a hard time with being aline in our Home we shared for 30+ years! She was my Best Friend & oh how she loved Billy Bob! The Rightous Brothers sang directly to me with every word of…”You Will NEVER Walk Alone”! It was as if God, himself, had sent me a message from Heaven! Just wanted to share this! God always knows what we need and when we need it! #Amen

      • Amen, indeed, Jill.

        Thanks, Billy Bob, I enjoyed George’s stories and one liner’s, and the picture of you and Holly—two of my favorite friends. You are also a Dallas legend! All the best, Danny Robinowitz

        Thank you for sharing George’s blog with me. No doubt those were the greatest years in radio and happiest memories for you. Hugs. Tracy Glover

        Billy Bob – -this is the coolest thing ever!  You haven’t lost your touch!!! Terry Savage

        Thanks for sending, Billy Bob!!! Kate Ditzler

        I am logged in. Gene Street

        That is great. Thnx, Signed up to receive his blog. Billy Emerson

        Awww! That was AMAZINGlY beautiful!  I got chills!!  God Bless them and all our healthcare workers. Thank you for sharing! XO Holly Forsythe

        This is awesome! Love it and great job!! XXOO Kim Gatlin

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