Guitars Radio & Wild Wild Women. (Thank You) Chapter Extra

The Writing of my book “Guitars Radio & Wild Wild Women” has stirred up a lot of old radio memories but what I remember most are the moments when some very special people who changed my life so this next to last chapter is dedicated to them with much love.
FullSizeRender
My biggest benefactor was Jim Hilliard pictured here with me at the CKY Christmas party along with Barbara, Jack Wells, Flicka and Lana.
When Jim and I first met he was the newly appointed Program Director of CKY in Winnipeg and ended up being the one responsible for most of my success. When he gave me the break of a lifetime by hiring me to be his National PD of Fairbanks Broadcasting we had a great ride together and the best part of it all is … We ain’t done yet.
63503_10151827117384307_192927957_nThe man needed to be thanked first though is Mark Parr whom I knew before I met Jim. It was Mark who actually got me started in radio by teaching me how to run the board one day out of the blue then drove management crazy until they hired me as a part time board op. Without out his persuading me to give running the board a shot I doubt very much that I would have had a radio career.

11830877_10154065896314307_613367014_n11801904_10154067422824307_1939011784_nNext up is Daryl (“B”) and Chuck Riley (pictured) because Chuck taught me how to do great production and Daryl talked management into giving me the Music Director’s title when he left for Vancouver.

11781601_10154048231124307_9067135727541813866_nBefore Jim had left CKY for Indianapolis he’d made me the Production Director so now that I also had the Music Director’s title George Dawes our midday jock (pictured) used both of my titles to get me an interview with some folks he knew at CKOM in Saskatoon where I soon became their new Program Director.
67943_10151829946124307_1870727631_nBecoming a PD was good news but the bad news was, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.

I’m told that a person is usually the answer and that person turned out to be Gary (Vidler) Russell who also ended up becoming a life long friend.(pictured with me) Without his help my whole radio career might have ended right then.

1891213_1375162269420670_534958739_n

Here’s to Roger Klein who made me sound so smart in Sudbury Ottawa and Toronto where along with Keith Elshaw (photo) we created the first ever AC station.

190783_135273026543977_197894_nSpeaking of Toronto I can’t ever leave out Keith Dancy and Ted Rogers (pictured) who managed to lure me to Toronto from CFRA in Ottawa where ratings wise things were going real well.
They also had the balls to let me launch a brand new experimental format on CFTR which changed not only my whole life but probably a few others too including theirs.

320086_10151827089544307_580782341_n1When Jim Hilliard hired me to be his National PD I put my new format on KVIL in Dallas where Ron Chapman along with his Texas Hall Of Fame Staff took it to legendary status (Ron pictured with me after I inducted him into his third Radio Hall of Fame) Not only did the huge success of KVIL launch an entirely new career for me, it also allowed me my childhood dream of living in California to come true.

1453302_10153297953614307_8840166964075773340_nMy first priority at Fairbanks though was WIBC/WNAP in Indy where I was back working with Chuck Riley and Gary Todd again whom I’d worked with in Winnipeg. We had an incredible line up there like Fred Heckman Lou Palmer Tom Cochran Bob Lamey Jerry Baker Buster Bodine and one of the most creative guys I ever worked with, Cris Conner who made my first few years in America a pleasure (Cris pictured with me at his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame)

10373492_10153384414099307_5927178104755756993_nI’ve gotta thank sales guru Dick Yancey (photo) who convinced me that if I could just figure out a way to creatively tie sales into all of our promotions, wonderful things like my first Mercedes would soon happen.

581109_10151918938284307_880147102_n2Thank you attorney John King (photo) for getting our promotions past the FCC so well that when Dick Yancey syndicated “The Magic Ticket” it was stamped … FCC approved!

67590_10151827053899307_1043893693_nHow could I forget Norm Wilkens and his gifted artist Lotsy who created so many of our award winning billboards.(Billboard of the year)

10888560_10153433858284307_5479790178253898376_nI’ll never forget the first time I met Jack McCoy which resulted in me getting to run a lot of his great promotions first. Jack was also my secret voice on many of them but most importantly he taught me the “math” of ratings and was kind enough to spread my name across America.(pictured with me on a magazine cover).
1924268_1071944722915_1700_nHere’s to my smarter than me brother Reg who managed to combine a few of our better promotions and figure a way to put them up on the internet which made him real well.
179713_10151919139994307_515901215_n

When KVIL exploded I became a consultant and met Reid Reker (pictured) who was the operations manager of KOGO/KPRI which was my first client.
Ed and Tom Shadek who owned the stations also owned one in San Antonio where they allowed me and Reid to launch the first ever “CLASS FM”. KLLS soon became a big hit and before long Jim West had it on 40 stations and I thank God that we had a few talented guys like Cat Simon, Jason Williams, Bruce Buchanan, Al Gardner, Harry Nelson and of course my old buddy Bill Gardner who had been at KVIL for its birth and not only won personality of year in America during his tenure there but also helped us out in San Antonio. These guys thankfully not only totally understood the “Class” concept but were also able to hit the road quickly to launch a few others for us.
10400331_1087704719644_4721943_nHey how big do you supposes those cajones on Toney Brooks are. (pictured) When I first met Toney he was running a chain of very successful rock stations all over the country for Sandusky but gave me two of them to put “Class FM” on. It turned out that Toney was right because KLSI in Kansas City and KLSY in Seattle went on to very big things under the great leadership of Steve Dinkel and Dana Horner.

405623_10151896018809307_441721725_n

Accountants were a bigger part of my life than I realized and Cindy Adair along with Ric Hindes (pictured) covered my financial ass more than a few times but before him came Roger Snowdon.
After doing my taxes one year Roger shocked me the news that I had just became a millionaire. (Rog do you still have that Mill) In San Diego there was Jerry Perkins who kept the Feds off my back but it was Bill Yde though who talked me into buying Fairwest which led to our being able to purchase our own radio stations, what a mind boggling experience that was for a lad from Transcona.

1391957_10152288632444307_1679316170_nI can’t ever thank my old buddy Bob Christy (pictured) enough for all his help and all the fun we’ve had while working together on a few projects both in Indy and Boston where he took the lead on our launching of WKLB, Boston’s first ever Country Station.

10176231_10152811775364307_6925602966885010106_n Hey Mark Hubbard (pictured) what a joy it was traveling with you for all the years you were running Fairmont which allowed me to work with good friend Jim Harper in Detroit.
Thank you for not only introducing me to an up and coming new talk show host by the name of Rush Limbaugh but also being smart enough to put him on the air in the “land of entitlement” against my better judgement.

969933_10151896021274307_2005995881_nTim Reever (pictured with me) taught me not only how to be fast but he also showed me how you can take events to a whole new level while still having fun and telling stories.

305959_10151825017259307_1307603411_n2I can’t forget my favorite lawyer Betsy Cameron who not only got me involved with all of Joe Amaturo’s stations but also got me into my beautiful condo in West Palm Beach.

999816_10152679241629307_760827544_n

I better wrap this up before I begin weeping but first I must raise my glass of a fine Sonoma County red to the folks in Santa Rosa, Gordon Zlot, Tom Skinner, and Brent Farris.
(all pictured in Palm Springs along with me and Bobby Cole whom I once traveled the nation with back in the day when he was the V/P of Programming for Fairmont Communications) KZST became one of my first clients over 25 years ago and I’m very proud to say they still are today and I’m looking forward to seeing them all once again in a few weeks. Thank you for great radio and great fun guys. Hey I can’t leave out the folks who help me almost everyday like Matt Greeney and Rich Stevens. Matt is my favorite techie who actually taught me how to e mail which led me to start writing. Sorry that I put your name out there Matt, stand by for some angry responses. Hey Rich thanks for designing my Blog and also for fixing it when I screw it all up as I constantly do.
There are a lot of other people who have helped me along the way and they know who they are and hopefully they already know how thankful I am to them but this chapter is already longer than “War and Peace” so I’ve got to stop somewhere but I can’t stop without thanking the ladies in my life first, Lana in Winnipeg, Sharon in Toronto, Linda in Indy, Jamie in San Diego, Kari in West Palm Beach, and Laura in Miami. These women were responsible for making my journey so worthwhile not to mention very exciting, but that’s another story for another day. geo
 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *