Geo’s Media Blog. An Inside Look at Radio Music & Life. (KVIL’s Obituary) /18

The recent death of one of America’s finest radio stations, KVIL in Dallas, brought back many of my memories about her storied journey, like the day I introduced Ron Chapman to his new format. I had put together a special presentation tape back at the company headquarters in Indianapolis where I utilized all the great voices we had at WIBC and WNAP and did a couple of two-man newscasts, mixed in a few local commercials, added some killer promos and sweetened it all with a bunch of beautiful new Heller jingles. Then I blended it together with a new form of music which would later be called Adult Contemporary and would go on to become the biggest radio format in the world.
However, the best part about the tape was that it actually featured Ron Chapman taking you around the format clock. Earlier I’d gathered up some raw tape of Ron which I carved up and carefully laid it over the record intros. Ron sounded great, he was talking about the weather, the traffic, and also letting me what was going on in town and of course what was up with the Cowboys. Of course, he hit all the posts, he ain’t no rookie, and this was not his first rodeo. When the tape was over, all Ron said was, “Well there’s no sense saying I can’t do it because I just heard myself doing it so my only question is, when does it start?”
My next vivid memory is my getting a phone call from Jim Hilliard who after arriving in Dallas, pulled his rental over to call me from a payphone. He wanted to know how my search for an afternoon guy was going?  When I told him that I’d narrowed it down to three, he said, “Hire them all, we’ve got a shot man!” Not only did we hire them, but before I knew it, billboards promoting them were springing up everywhere. (see above) 
One of the new guys was Bill Gardner who right out of the box won Billboard Magazine’s radio personality of the year award. Wow, how cool was that! Unfortunately, we were so new that they misspelled the call letters on his trophy. Besides Bill and Ron, we also had other great talent like, Mike Selden, Jack Schell, Larry Dixon, Major Tom Lewis, Cat Simon, Andy McCollum, Bob Morrison, Ben Laurie, Suzie Humphrey, Bill Mercer, Billy Bob Harris, and so many others too numerous to mention except to say that most of them are in the Texas Radio Hall Of Fame.
And how could I ever forget the endless giant promotions we did which caused the rest of the radio stations in town to tremble? The Great Race, The People’s Choice, The Magic Ticket, The Prize Catalog, The KVIL Loves Dallas Bumper Sticker Campaign that gave away well over a dozen cars, and Ron’s, “If you’ve got a spare twenty, send it to me.”(In three days they sent him a quarter of a million dollars and got us some national press.) Or what about our shutting down the expressway twice which the local media covered, once when we had some pretty girls in Bikinis swinging on a billboard high above Dallas and again when we ran the 50% off free fair, and the whole city wanted to be there.
Then, of course, there was the time Ron did his show underwater with seven sharks when folks were afraid to go into their pools because of the movie Jaws. Then he decided to do his first ever parachute live on the air which was featured that night on the evening news on all three networks. Speaking of billboards as I was earlier, do I dare mention the naked one of Mike Selden located right across the street from a nunnery that caused a little controversy and put us in the newspapers again. (for a peek at that one go to GeorgeJohns.com and click on the “It’s a shame” Blog.)
As I think about how great KVIL and its Hall of Fame staff sounded, I’m not aware that the station ever winning an award. Hey, but I guess to win you have to enter huh? Hell, we were too busy winning the rating game to do that. R.I.P Kay Ville, you were a fine girl.

LIFE-LINERS

FAMILY BLOG.

My only fear about someday exiting the planet is that nobody will care about my kids as much as I do.

When a girl gets engaged the first thing she needs to stop doing is saying, “Well my Dad says.”

The only thing stronger than any religion or country is your family

POLITICALLY INCORRECT BLOG.

The Democrats are in such a state about Trump that they forgot to find us, somebody, to vote for.

Twenty years ago I had no idea who was a Republican or Democrat but, unfortunately, I sure do today.

Some people today are still saying that they wish Hillary were president, but I shudder at the thought. Hell, even Michelle Obama said, “Hillary, If you can’t manage your own house, how are you gonna manage the white house?”

What I can’t understand is when the French took the land from the Indians in Canada the French didn’t change their language but when the Brits took it from the French, somehow Canada had to become bilingual?

When a lawyer knows that his client is guilty of a horrendous crime, but uses every legal trick to get him off.  Should he fail, I think that he should suffer the same consequences as his client.

If anybody doubts that our government works for big business, just check out who got bonus checks when the Feds bailed them out with our tax dollars.

Do liberals really like Arabs more than Russians? Weren’t the Arabs the ones who brought down the twin towers and are continuing to kill people all over the world?

How are we sure that the FBI and CIA aren’t just thugs with credentials?

I love how the Media who bash Trump constantly, get offended when he bashes them.

LADIES BLOG.

Women love money much more then men do, hell we only use it to attract them.

There’s no way an American woman is gonna go back to how it used to be a thousand tears ago. The Muslims might as well move on.

REALITY BLOG.

If you were a pedophile wouldn’t you become a Preist?

I think Uber should be in charge of ambulances, the rates these bandits are charging are outrageous. 
 
Most folks don’t realize that what’s easy for them to do is what they’re good at. 
 
To succeed one must be an Alpha type or at least act like one. 
 
To grow, one must continuously test their limits. 
 
Nobody is gonna go for a health plan that gives the medical monsters want. (unless you have one like Obama’s) 
 
Why is California not outraged by their taxes? 
 
Isn’t Lite Beer just regular Beer with more water? 
 
I believe that the oil companies are doing everything in their power to keep gas under four bucks cuz they know waiting on the other side of that number is electric cars.
 
The moment a man discovers something worth dying for, he becomes very dangerous.
 
Nobody gets dragged into a street fight.
 
Not that long ago Americans were terrorists to the British.
 
People are much more loyal to their religion than their country.
 
RADIO BLOG
Radio’s biggest problem is that nobody under 25 listens to it. Right, Nielson? 
 
Nobody told me how to do good radio; I just overheard it. 
 
Content is King but if you’re not a great performer, give it to someone who is, it would be a shame to waste it.
 
SHOWBIZ BLOG.

The Godfather movie was long but not near long enough.

For sneak peeks at new blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.

5 thoughts on “Geo’s Media Blog. An Inside Look at Radio Music & Life. (KVIL’s Obituary) /18

  1. Hey George!
    Polite/nice/kind of you to use the word “demise” in the first sentence. Of course, we all (especially those of us named herein) know the bottom line is “death.” The whole thing is truly a heartbreaker.
    I tuned in to 103 for about 30 minutes while driving in Dallas a few days ago…wanting to get a sense of the music, the station’s pace, the spoken content….its overall sound…its general mood. It was kinda tricky.
    Let me say that I’m sure the staff, management, consultants and whoever was putting it all together were doing their best to make it all work.
    Believe me, George, I happen to like a WIDE variety of music types…from dance to easy listening…rock, folk, ballads, R & B, country…even hip-hop and Rachmaninoff!…to name only a few.
    Bottom line? At the end of the thirty minutes I realized I had no idea what I had heard…was it great?…was it good?…was it bad? Couldn’t say. The main thing I could quantify was that much of the music had that magical 120 beats per minute.
    Like you say, “…lots of memories.” I happen to think IN THE AIR TONIGHT (Phil Collins) is still a winner…and would love to have been in the control room to play DON’T BE FALLING IN LOVE – AS SHE’S WALKING AWAY (Zac Brown Band – w/Alan Jackson) etc., etc…
    Could Pandora or Spotify be today’s KVIL? I hear them EVERYWHERE!
    Oh well, enough said…my 50-second+ break is way over. Glad you put the blog together. Really. Over and O U T…Jack

    • Thanks for the read and the comments Jack. Yes, you’re right, death is a better word and she was dying a slow death as CBS was installing their own way of doing things. Why does New York always think they know better? I believe Kay-Ville began taking on water shortly before they decided that Ron was an “oldies” jock and put him on KLUV. That was the end my friend and she never recovered from it.

  2. Wish I had lived there and experienced the sound and excitement of the station. Would love to hear some audio of the talent.
    Is that possible?
    Thanks for sharing a wonderful memory.

    • Yes, go to GeorgeJohns.com and search for a recent Blog titled Its A Shame. At the bottom of the Blog, there’s a sample of KVIL’s first year on the air Duane.

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