While growing up in Winnipeg I had a band called The Jury who were lucky enough to cut a few records and get to play with the likes of Neil Young, The Guess Who, and BTO. We’d do concerts evwry weekend all over Manitoba and the Northern States so we drove all night to get home after the Saturday night gig. For some reason, the radio stations back then only played country and western music on the all-night shows. I didn’t care much for the music, but I kinda liked Buck Owens because he and the Buckaroos rocked a little.
Years later when my brother Reg and I had a consulting company based in San Diego, I was driving home from my office in La Jolla to my home in Coronado when “Guitars and Cadillac’s and Hillbilly Music” came on the radio. I’ve always liked Dwight Yoakam’s music I think because it reminds me a lot of my Buck Owens days back in Winnipeg. As the tune began to fade, the Dee-Jay mentioned that Dwight was in town to play at the Convention Center that night just as my headlights hit the Convention Center exit sign. Even though I had an early flight in the morning to Nashville for a client visit, I thought what the hell, parked the car and bought a ticket. Dwight was just great, and I was so glad that I took the chance on seeing him.
Bright and early the next morning I jumped on an airplane bound for Dallas where I was changing planes for Nashville. While waiting at the gate to board my connecting flight, I noticed a guy who resembled RC Bradley. RC used to be the sales manager at KZBS in Oklahoma City when we consulted them so taking a chance, I called out his name. Sure enough, it was him, and when he came over to say hi, I asked what he was doing now, he told me that he was managing a hillbilly by the name of Dwight Yoakam. Shocked when I told him that I’d just seen him in concert last night, he went to get him. When he got back, he was with two guys who were wearing these very cool long trail coats made out of Indian blankets. After introducing me to Dwight. RC then said, “And George, this is the legendary Buck Owens.” Are you shitting me? Wow! As we chatted, they told me that they were headed to Nashville to do a TV special at the Grand Ole Opry and I was invited that to the rehearsal.
When they called our flight I was so glad that I had used my air miles to upgrade to first class because after dinner Dwight and Buck both took their guitars down from the overhead. As I sat there sipping a little Canadian Club, I got to watch Buck teach Dwight the song they were going to sing together on the TV special. I had no way of knowing that I was also witnessing the birth of Dwight’s very first #1 hit, “The Streets Of Bakersfield.” (To hear them sing it, click on the link at the bottom of this page).
A FEW MORE RANDOM THOUGHTS…
There are only two types of radio, background or foreground.
Being local means talking about communities, not cities.
Women over 30, generally have lost their appetite for new music.
Smart people hire people smarter than themselves which makes them the smartest person in the room.
I’ve never liked Dee-Jays much, but I love characters.
When another person walks into the room, the person who is listening to the radio stops listening.
If your slogan isn’t true, you’re just wasting valuable airtime when you say it.
If you’re willing to give up authorship, you can make a lot of money.
What’s unique about your radio station is worthy of a lot of promos.
When an artist at an outdoor concert sings something from their new album, a lot of folks leave to get a beer. I wonder what they do when it plays on the radio?
The main reason R&B music finally became big in America was mainly because a Dee-Jay named Alan Freed started playing it on white radio. R&B had played on black radio for years, but because white people couldn’t understand what the Dee-Jays were saying, they didn’t listen.
It takes at least ten years to be the best at anything.
There is no rain check for a missed opportunity.
Men are into “What” it is, Women are into “Why” it is.
Did you ever wonder like I did what the hell the Japanese people did with all the photos they used to take?
If you wanna get rich America’s the place for you, but if you just want a decent lifestyle, you may want to check out Canada.
Justice was one of those great concepts that just didn’t get off the ground.
Why is it that the bigger and more successful an entity gets the more evil it seems to become.
Making a profit is a privilege, not a right.
Radio has two customers, listeners, and advertisers. Unfortunately, they don’t like the same things.
Even gay guys are not immune to beautiful women.
If you could do it all over again, what part of your life would you leave out?
If you married for any other reason than love, you deserve what happens.
The British invasion killed top 40 radio.
When Leonard Chess signed Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters asked him why he thought the label needed a cowboy singer.
According to Socrates, ratings are merely an effect caused by the product.
Even a cold and shrewd businessman can’t stay focused on a project when a beautiful woman walks in the room.
Did you ever notice when you got married how quickly your life began to resemble how your wife always lived?
Buck and Dwight await your click on the link below.
Much more @ GeorgeJohns.com and on Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Thanks for sharing.