Geo’s Media Blog (The Birth Of Rock & Roll)

In my mind’s eye, I can still see the day when I discovered the two things that would dominate the rest of my life. I was at my friend Barry’s house practicing for the little league tryouts and after working up quite a sweat we decided to head inside for some water. Once inside, I couldn’t help but notice a blonde goddess swaying her hips to some strange music.
The goddess turned out to be Barry’s seventeen-year-old sister who was listening to a tune called “Crazy Man Crazy” by Bill Haley’s Comets. I found out later that this was one of the first Rock & Roll records ever made. As I stood there watching her sway, I was completely mesmerized and had no idea that the women who looked like her, and the music that she was playing, would rock my world forever.
In those days, radio didn’t play any Rock & Roll so when Patti Page recorded, “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window,” my friends and I were done. We were ready to rock even though we didn’t even know what that was yet.
I recently found a rare copy of Nill Haley’s “Crazy Man Crazy,” and whenever I play it, I can still see Barry’s sister’s hips swaying back and forth, back and forth, back and …

A torrid tale of a lusty night, when written by a man, is usually longer than the actual event whereas the woman’s version of the same event is always shorter.

Nielson seems to be in the business of measuring listeners who don’t buy anything.

Fear is the PD of most radio stations today.

Unfortunately, the instructions about thinking out of the box are written on the back of the lid. 

The only difference between making 50,000 dollars a year or a month. is the knowledge it takes to do so.

Beating last years numbers means nothing; the whole world is a new place now.

You eventually become who you are acting like at this moment.

The way you language things either makes or breaks your presentation.

Gary Russell: (pictured with me above) Geo,
Thanks once again for the kind words my friend, but I doubt that I ever knew more about programming than you did. But even if I did for the briefest of moments, you were the guy who inspired me in how to be a leader, how to get everyone to perform beyond what they believed they were capable of.

Geo: I miss and love ya man!

Dennis John Bailey:  Geo, you recently wrote, “The only people who read USA Today are out of towners and Dee-Jays.”
Something I heard recently also struck me as very George Johnsesque.
How many radio stations put in a great deal of promotional time and effort supporting their market’s Ronald McDonald House – a wonderful resource used exclusively by people from out of town? (If Monica Had Only Kept Bill Busier)

John Trout: I was a Top 40 jock who once worked for Fairbanks at WNAP where I was motivated and inspired by the creative freedoms allowed and promotional concepts generated. However, my love for broadcasting and a little foresight, I realized that before long, corporate handcuffs would not allow the radio medium to grow from the entertainer’s standpoint, so I became a TV Meteorologist. Here, the creativity rests in the changes of daily weather patterns and the winds of change are not measured over the skies of wall street. (Women Are Not Welcome Here)

Paul Goldstein: Current broadcast owners will squeeze all the profits they can in next 24 months or so & then exit w/lucrative packages leaving a collapsed FM/AM platform?  The lack of meaningful online content suggests that is exactly will happen.  Remind me of this quote from the CEO of Smith Corona in the early 90s:  “…We strongly believe in the continuing need for the typewriter….”  When asked what new products/services it planned to produce, Thompson said, “Nothing right now.” (The Beatles)

Bill Taylor: I have never experienced chronic depression but lived with someone who did. It’s hard to understand at first because it seems to the laymen (It doesn’t make sense.) It’s not till a person matures in age and is more understanding, do we realize that it is a sickness and a horrible one at that. I personally am so sorry that I never really understood depression. No one really talked about it but I knew Billy Wakeman and was shocked to hear how depressed he was how his life ended. I feel so sad about Kelly Richter, Barry Rodgers and a few others who took their lives because of depression. They should teach this subject in all schools and perhaps others lives will be saved and cured. Thank’s George for sharing this with me. (Depression Didn’t Get Rick Hallson, Cigarettes Did)

Jerry K: Jim Hilliard was a prince and an inspiration to me and many others. Although he climbed the ladder thru programming, he was a Hell of a fine salesman with a pretty keen knowledge of engineering.
Geo: He always bragged about having his “first,” whatever the hell that means Jerry? (3 Halls Of Fame Baby)

Jed Duvall: George:  I feel very sorry for those young people who became child actors and then lost their way when the grew up when they weren’t as cute as they once were, and then find out that their managers and/or parents spent all of that “big” money while they were still working.  It must be challenging when the roar of the crowd stops, phone calls for roles never come, and the bank account is hovering near zero. – Jed
By the way, the fantastic thing about Bill Gardner (and Ron Chapman) was that they could almost always say something meaningful within 140-words!  That’s what practicing all of the joke punchlines does for a professional. (Lightning Bolts)

Jim Davis: Thinking about Shakespeare’s quote “The play’s the thing”, reminds me that recently I was listening to Herb Oscar Anderson record his weekly show in our Ocean FM studio where he does a weekly Saturday afternoon show.  Herb is 82 and still has that amazing voice, and the great ability to “spin a yarn”.  I always noticed that when he introduces a song, he does it in a very theatrical way with lots of “bravado”.  I said, “Herb, you always make it sound so exciting”. He said: “Jim, I was taught that when the record begins, it’s like the curtain is going up and the show begins”. Shakespeare and Herb must have gone to the same school. (Steve, I Just Said To Slow Down, Not Quit)

Doug Herman: “Speaking of wealthy there is a huge huge difference between being rich and being wealthy.” Chris Rock explained this phenomenon in one of his standup shows a couple of years ago: “Shaq is rich, the guy who writes his paychecks is wealthy.” I think that pretty well covers it. (For The Good Of The Country)

Michael Gillespie: You wrote, “Back in the day, you could tell if a radio station was successful or not by how powerful the Chief Engineer was. I wonder who it is now, probably the accountant.” OK, I was a Chief Engineer I’m not sure what you’re implying.” Confused?
Geo: The Chief at unsuccessful radio stations not only get to attend all the meetings, but they also got to vote on promotions and other programming stuff. Not so much at successful stations Michael. (Radio Wars)

Jerry BoBo: Once upon a time, salespeople had to use both legs and a tank of gas to meet new advertising prospects. Today I’m guessing AE’s only use a chair, a screen, and a mouse. Back in the day, it was hard to get me out of your office, but now, clients can get rid of you with the mere click of their mouse. (And The Good Thing About Consolidation is?)

Doug Thompson: George, John Lennon, and George Harrison were never knighted.  Only Paul and Ringo are ‘sirs’ now.  Yesterday, I heard a DJ on the ’70s on 7 channel on Sirius/XM mention Ringo’s recent honour and say “John Lennon sent back his knighthood in 1969”. WRONG! John sent back his MBE medal in 1969.  He had no knighthood to send back. This jock lost all credibility for me in that instant and it would have taken 10 seconds to check it on google. (Let It, Snow)

Bill Gardner: As I changed jobs and cities for my old friend George Johns, I’d do this:  Drive into my new city and hit “scan” on my car radio. When it stopped on Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street,” that was probably the station I’d be working for……George’s station. 🙂 (Yes Men)

John Wells: Those days on lunch breaks at Portage and Main. A couple of young guys from 432 Main just watching the most beautiful Winnipeg women walk by on summer days. It was special! It remains difficult even today to find more purely attractive women anywhere than Winnipeg…..then and now!
Geo: John, the only thing that could compare, was watching the ladies of Dallas on their lunch break many years later. However, by then I was well trained by the Winnipeg lovelies so I better knew what to do with them. Miss our prowls man. (Last Dance)

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 On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.

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