I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to work with some incredible talent during my career in radio which most of are deservedly in a Radio Hall of Fame or two. Of course, if you’re Ron Chapman, then you’d have to make that three. I’m not only talking about the record rollers; I’m talking about great newscasters too like Greg Tantum in San Diego, John Erickson in Portland, Bill Trebilcoe in Winnipeg, and Bob Durant in Ottawa to only mention a few.
However, one of the most creative ones had to be John Evans whom I worked with at K101 in San Francisco. (pictured on top) John, currently anchors the news at KCBS but back in our day he was the News Director of K101 where he also did the morning news. I always enjoyed his newscasts because they were full of surprises like construction sounds creeping into the end of a news story. As the sounds got louder and you were wondering what that was, John would finally say, “What you’re listening to is what’s going on right now at (street address) where they are tearing down one of San Francisco’s more historic buildings to make way for the future.” Or you would hear the sound of pouring rain and John with his conversational style, saying,”This is exactly what you’re going to experience during your drive this morning.” Sometimes it would be kids playing in a playground or the sound of seagulls because the story concerned Fisherman’s Wharf. K101 at that time was full of surprises and John was just one of them. In fact, whenever I heard John Evans do news, I could see what he was saying.
Speaking of Hall of Fame radio guys, we had a couple of them in the news department of WIBC/WNAP named Fred Heckman and Tom Cochran who made the winning easy in Indy. (pictured above) However, the one I loved to watch while he was doing the news was the great Lou Palmer (pictured right above) who was Chuck Riley’s newsman. Lou would prepare his newscast every day by going through the reams of news copy that was everywhere and then make some crib notes about anything he found of interest on some 4×6 index cards. When the news intro fired, Lou would adlib his way through the entire newscast using a staccato type delivery while only glancing at his notes occasionally. His booming voice almost sounded like he was angry at us as he made frantic stabbing motions in the air with his finger which made you deathly afraid of not listening. Incredible!
The person though who took the word adlibbing to new heights, was Andy McCollum of KVIL in Dallas. We teamed Andy up with Bob Morrison in the morning on Chapman’s show and they sounded fantastic. Bob like Lou Palmer had the voice of God, so his job was to announce the beginning of World War III should it come to pass. Andy, on the other hand, had that warm folksy sound that would convince you that everything was gonna be ok.
I loved the way Andy crafted his words, the way he paused so you could think about what he was saying. In fact, he sounded so good that when RKO started a younger hipper news network out of New York, they hired Andy to anchor it. However, New York was where Andy ran into a little trouble because he had to deal with the network lawyers. The lawyers’ job was to check all the news copy for legalities before it could be cleared to air. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Andy had a reading problem which the network lawyers quickly discovered when Andy started adding words to the newscast that they hadn’t approved. It turned out that all those little sidebars that I enjoyed, and the phrases filled with pauses that I loved so much, was just stuff Andy made up. He used them as a stalling technique until he could find his place again.
RIP Andy, screw the lawyers! The listeners I’m sure loved your version of the news more. I know I did. 🙂
POLITICALLY INCORRECT BLOG
I love how politicians refer to voters as the Hispanic vote, the Black vote, the Asian vote, the Jewish vote, the Youth vote, etc. This insinuates that they all vote the same, surely there must be some individuals amongst them?
I wonder who it was that came up with the concept that its ok for a lawyer to lie about their client’s guilt? Had we killed all of them as Shakespeare suggested, it really would be a wonderful world as Louis Armstrong sang.
How come the black officials who claim that they represent their brothers and sisters, all live in white neighborhoods?
Asia doesn’t seem to have an immigration problem, maybe we should do whatever they’re doing?
Only America craves world approval.
I’m not a big fan of Trump but I am a fan of his strategy. He distracts the liberals with an outrageous statement, then as they chase his fake news, he does what he planned on doing all along.
I wonder why my fellow Canadians don’t bash Trudeau more? (He appears to be pretty lame) Hell, when Harper was in power they bashed him as they now do Trump. Is that just a liberal thing?
THE REALITY BLOG
Nobody is smart enough to convince a stupid person that they’re dumb.
People seldom quit their job; they just leave their bosses.
Men want money, women lust after it.
Unfortunately, if you took the rich people’s money and gave it to the poor, the poor people would still be poor, but so would be the rich. The middle class has always had all the money, but we’re tired of giving it away to the rich & poor.
With 1.5 million charities registered in the US, how can there be any poor people?
Imagining something without any action makes it just another idea.
I learned a long time ago that women aren’t as innocent as they appear just as Trump ain’t stupid. However, they both fake it well.
Have you ever noticed that the only phones that get answered today are the ones in a TV series?
Who is it that decided that globalization is a good thing, big business, and their puppet politicians? Well, we trust them right, they won’t put the price of medication, gas, and interest rates up?
LOVE & MARRIAGE BLOG
How can you not tear up at the videos showing military parents reuniting with their kids as a surprise?
Much much GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter@GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.