Nine months after my daughter Candis got married, there I was flying back to LA for the birth of my grandson and after checking into my hotel, I got a surprise call from the expectant mother.
She said that she was coming by to have dinner with me which came as a bit of a surprise because her Doctor was planning on inducing labor the very next morning.
After we finished dinner, she then asked me if I could take her back to work because she had one more thing she had to do before she became a mother. Her husband Charlie and her mother had refused her request to take because, as they said, “Enough of work already, you need to focus on becoming a mother.
However, seeing as Candis has never heard no from me, I didn’t think that this would be the best time to start so off we went.
When we arrived at Warner Brothers, she went immediately to her office, so I wandered around checking out all the gold records and posters that were hanging all over the walls.
When Candis came out of her office a few minutes later she was holding a box set of CDs. After handing them to me, she said with a tear in her eye, “Dad, your grandson is going to be so proud when he discovers that his grandpa was a Rock Star.”
The CD collection she had handed me was titled “Nuggets II” (see on top) which contained a track called “Who Dat?” by The Jury.
Now what was so neat about that was long before I was ever in radio, I played with my band The Jury back in Winnipeg and we’d recorded Who Dat? before Candis was even born.
Early the next morning, we all headed to the hospital for the big day. However, the induced labor thing wasn’t going very well, so they went the cesarean route. As the Doctor said to me, “Mr. Johns, your daughter is much too tiny to be giving birth to a big guy like this.” Thankfully, the cesarean went well, and soon I was welcoming my beautiful grandson Nathaniel into the world. (pictured above with his mother and me)
After telling her all the details about her nephew’s birth, including how cute he was, I also told her about the surprise gift her a sister had given me.
When I asked her if she would like to hear it and she excitedly said yes, I slipped the CD into the player and cranked it up. Terry’s thundering fuzz guitar soon filled the car with sound and I began singing along.
About a minute later though, my singing was interrupted by a tap on my shoulder. When I turned the CD player down she asked, “Is it almost over?” When I inquired why she was asking, she said, “Because it’s not very good, Daddy!”
(To hear what Cami heard, click on the link near the bottom of the page.)
I enjoy your words of wisdom.
Walking in Memphis (The Genius)
Ron Hamilton: Tyler, At least have the cojones to write your last name, totally disagree with you about George. For the record, my name is Ron Hamilton and George knows what the hell he’s talking about! (The Genius)
Nick Alexander: You sure know when the New Yorkers are in town. Nothin’ but horns! Here in Texas, we have a different kind of horns: we bow to burnt orange and say “Hook ‘Em”. :o) (The Genius)
I have met them all but Harry. Man what a voice. All these guys were terrific talents and wow what a great radio station that was!
I would still be listening if they were still around! (WVBF Boston 1974)
Mike McVay: George: As someone who built a large radio consultancy myself, and learned much from listening to your stations, you are undoubtedly the father of Adult Contemporary. You also taught us all how an AC could perform stronger than the then-dominant Top-40 stations of that era by building big entertaining morning shows. The model you created continues to be a huge part of the “Best Practices” of Radio today. You and I had some great battles that drove the overall shares of radio upward. We grew the audience by competing. In the words of Sun Tzu … “When the elephants fight, the ants take a beating.” (The Birth Of AC Radio)
Geo: Great hearing from you Mike, and thanks for the read.
I’ll never forget while attending a George Burns conference with a beautiful companion and when George spotted me, he pointed me out, I thought it was very kind of him.
However, when my companion leaned over and asked, “Did he just refer to you as the Grandfather of AC radio?” I had to respond with, “Nope, he said, Godfather ” 🙂
We did have some great battles, Mike, and the radio industry was the better for it. You’re always at your best when you’re competing with the best.
Tim Moore: Well, as a 27-year-old VP at TM Productions, the career leap of a lifetime thanks to Jim Long, Tom Merriman, and Jerry Atchley, I arrived from Michigan a “Northern radio Snob.” It’s not that I lacked respect for DFW radio; I simply hadn’t heard it. So shortly after occupying my office on Regal Row, I kept hearing staffers make references to “KVIL” and “Ron Chapman.” So I asked my top sales guy Mike Baer, “What is it about KVIL? I hear it mentioned all the time” He looked at me as if I was a Martian and asked. “Have you LISTENED to them?” I assured Mike I would, and for the first 2-3 days said to myself, “well, they’re really solid and the morning show is very good, but…” Then, after two weeks I said to myself, “This is the most incredible interpretation of AC on the face of the Earth. Chapman and his cast are incredible; everything the station does is relevant to the target and purposeful!” From there forward I coached KVIL’s packaging and atmospherics. The trouble was (and still is), so few can “hear it” much less execute it. (KVIL Jingles)
Geo: I love the word atmospherics, Tim. 🙂