Doug Thompson: George wrote: “I believe in and love local radio but what I don’t believe in are carnival barker car commercials and tire store remotes.”
Bad ads have driven/are driving listeners away. Most commercials on local radio are terrible. My solution is I push the button and move on to another station or switch to Sirius/XM where, at least on the talk or news channels, the commercials are equally as bad if not worse. Ever hear the Bronx accent guy, Jimmy from Zyppah? Annoying to the nth degree. I worked with one of the best writers in the radio biz, my former creative partner Bill McDonald. I’m embarrassed to hear some of the so-called ads on the radio today.
Geo: I was lucky enough to work with Bill in Toronto at CFTR Dougie where his commercials were better than some of the tunes we were playing. The two of you together must have been outrageous.
Doug Herman: Loved the story about the “Cri.” In those long-ago days, I think most radio stations had a “chief joint of staff” to which the crew adjourned after work. When I worked WOKY/Milwaukee, the official bar was The Annex, across the street. There was even an extension of the PD’s (George Wilson) office phone over there. Later, at WRIT, where the late Bob Collins and I did PM drive, the next stop was Orlando’s, where we’d usually find half the station staff when we got off the air. Fun times that I’m pretty sure don’t exist in radio any longer.
Geo: Ahh yes, Doug. In Indy, it was the Grog Shoppe right across the back parking lot from WIBC & WNAP. I think the main reason we loved the Grog was because we had trade there so that’s where you’d find a lot of the staff every afternoon. As a matter of fact, it was the only time you ever saw the sales and programming folks hanging out together.
Jim Harper: Speaking of “shitload,” that would describe my career before we started listening to your wisdom as our consultant. Every great Radio jock needs a Brian Epstein to become a Beatle. That is the best way I can describe you, George. Someone who can see the potential in others, recognize talent and how to optimize it and then, the most important part: How to manage and HANDLE success. Add to that all the Life-wisdom you so generously share with anyone who will listen, and all I can say is: I’m glad I know you, George. And I’ll never stop being grateful.
Geo: I pride myself in quick comebacks Jim, but I ain’t got nothin’ for this so I’ll just go with thank you.
Pat O’Day: Back in my Concerts West days, I was arriving in Oklahoma City with Three Dog Night late on a Saturday night and driving from the Airport listening to WKY. This guy caught my attention. Strange, such a talent on so late at night and on the weekend. Sunday night after the show, on my way to the airport I hear the same guy and I’m impressed.
Returning to Seattle where I was the GM of KJR and KISW FM, I had my Assistant call WKY under the guise she wanted to hire the guy for a school record hop. Now with his phone number, I called him and after a short visit, asked him if he would come up to Seattle and get acquainted. He said he had a problem. He was still in High School but could maybe come during Easter break. He came, I hired him to do 6 to 9 PM which he did, AFTER HE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL A MONTH LATER. HE BECAME A BIG SEATTLE STAR UNDER HIS NEW RADIO NAME, KEVIN O’Brien. (His choice) Years later, he went back to being Kevin Matheney. He was a great PD, but he should never have left the air. Kevin was spectacular with a voice that stunned with its love and charm. Loved ya Kevin and we miss you so!!!
Geo: Kevin worked for me as a PD in Philly, Pat. Wish I’d known at the time that he was also a great jock, great PD’s are a lot easier to find than great air talent. Like you, I also miss him.
Dee McGinn: George, I knew you via Don Garrard (Dandy) back in the late 70s/early 80s. I was married to him while he was in Indy at the buzzard through his stint with you in San Diego. I still have a note you sent him asking, “Don, you haven’t caused any trouble for a while…are you ill?”
I only met you a handful of times, but you were just delightful to talk to, and Don thought very highly of you. I spotted your blog while trying to see what Tom Cochran and buster are up to now, and thought I’d just say hello and wish you well. Take care! Dee (Garrard) McGinn.
Geo: Dee, how nice of you to reach out to me. Don truly was a memorable character which I’m sure you’re well aware of. The thing that helped make me successful Dee was surrounding myself talented people like Don and then trying to handle them as best I could. They, in turn, were very loyal and I remember them all fondly.
Robert Woyna: Hey! Just a terrific blog. I grew up with you guys in the Jury and Burton Cummings back in those great days. We lost you to the states but got now we have you back again via your blog, witty and smarter. Great on the Canadian shit, keep it up, my friend. Rob Woyna. Transcontinental.