(3 very rare pictures of radio legend, the late great Chuck Riley)
When I was but a kid working at CKY in Winnipeg, I had the good fortune of learning how to do production from one of the best, Chuck (Dann) Riley. When Chuck and I first met, I was a part-time board-op at CKY where I was trying to get some kind of a radio career going. However, after learning so much from Chuck, production became my first love, and doing great promos ended up becoming my life long addiction. I’ve never ever been able to figure out how to do any kind of decent radio without having some super voices around like Riley, his brother Buster Bodine, Roger Klein, Earl Mann, Gary Housley, John Polk, Eric Chase, TJ Byers, Billy Moore, Eric Edwards, Jack Mccoy, and Bobby Ocean that I was honored to work with.
Luckily, I’d learned early on that creating promos was similar to writing a song, making a movie, staging a play, authoring a book, or creating a great bit for the radio. You need an attention-getting opening, put a little drama in the middle and then you wrap it all up with a killer close.
Chuck eventually moved back to America where some ten years later we worked together again at WIBC in Indianapolis but now I was his boss. (like anybody could be Chuck’s boss) Being reunited with my old production mentor, I couldn’t help but drag him back into the studio now and then to do a few promos. Chuck claimed that he got his mean voice delivery from me which he needed to round out his voice over demo tape. It was at one of these promo sessions with Chuck that we, along with help from Cris Conner and Buster Bodine, produced a top-hour ID for Wnap that became a classic.
You can hear that 1973 session by clicking on the Buzzard at the bottom of this page and below that is the demo tape that got Riley his shot in Hollywood. Lastly, I’ve included a taste of his on-air warmth (great acting on his part). Enjoy!
SOME ABSTRACT THOUGHTS…
Doubt, without a doubt kills a lot of great relationships.
I heard a thought-provoking line on a TV series the other night, “When I lived in Russia I was very poor, not American poor, poor”!
Speaking of not poor, the wealthy don’t like to show their wealth, but the rich are always ready to flaunt theirs.
A wedding ring is the smallest set of handcuffs in the world so choose your cellmate wisely my friend.
Socrates claimed if you marry a good woman you’ll be very happy, but if you marry badly, all is not lost because you can still become a great philosopher.
I was always told that the reason the Asians bound the feet of female babies was to keep them small for aesthetic reasons. Now I hear that the truth may have been that their undeveloped feet caused them to walk in a fashion which strengthened their vaginal muscles. I think Paul Simon may have had it right when he sang “All The Crap I Learned In High School.”
Just because you agree with something doesn’t make it less controversial.
Success won’t necessarily make you happy, but doing what makes you happy usually makes you successful.
Every situation has 6 different points of view.
Does anybody but the government think that tax evasion is a horrendous crime?
I wonder what our ancestors would think of today’s modern man?
As long as the sex is good a lot of men will hang in there, but I rather doubt that women will.
If you are passionate and have a great imagination, not only can you become a great lover but after the lovin’, you can also become a great air talent.
Modern Man in more ways than one was created by women.
Some women will actually love you enough to kill for you, but none will ever die for you.
The good news is that there are actually two ways to argue with women. However, the bad news is, neither of them works.
How many careers do you suppose would have been lost had we told our bosses what our wives told us to tell them.
Radio only needs to move @ the speed of life.
A couple of phrases that you don’t often hear in California anymore … Rain Delayed or Rained Out!
Isn’t it strange how upon winning, winners start to take on the appearance and style of losers?
If you don’t feel grateful you’re a long way from happiness.
I’ve been influenced by a lot of great women but unlike some of my friends and family members, I’m proud to say that I’ve never been pussy whipped.
The only way Democracy works is if you have a large middle class, otherwise, some form of Communism probably would be a better way to go.
Speaking of not having a middle class, isn’t it amazing how the President of Mexico always seems pissed at us for not letting his citizens into our country?
So here is how I think it should work … You tell all the cops that if any of them does anything that results in even a threat of rioting and looting, their pension is gone, and you tell the looters that they will be shot on sight.
The only justice in the world is the justice we as individuals hand out.
The ability to see what yet doesn’t exist is an amazing gift that very few have.
Over the years radio sales people have tried to upgrade their status by becoming Account Executives, Media Marketing Managers, etc. whereas on-air actors have become Jocks. How did that happen?
Who you are is the person you are at your worst.
Have you ever noticed that your failures are a hell of a lot better known than your successes?
The thing that is so neat about success is you can get up, and go to bed whenever you want, plus do whatever you want in between.
Absolutely everything begins with imagination.
The hardest part of any project is getting started.
The only folks I know who like selling older demos are old folks and I’m not so sure about them?
The Chicago Blackhawks are the Stanley Cup Champions and the neat thing is all the players get to take the cup back to their home towns this summer.
Speaking of champions, my Grandson Nathaniel owes me a pizza because the Golden State Warriors knocked off his Cavs.
Here is Michael Griffin on a morning shift, followed by Cris "Moto" Conner. Look for a very early comedy bit by David Letterman around the 7:15 time mark. The last couple minutes are various cuts from various Indy stations around and before that time
As I watch Chicago and Tampa I’m thinking that the Canadian Government needs to stop subsidizing things like the CBC and start underwriting activities that Canadians really want. I’m talking about Hockey Man!
The fact that Canada still produces the best Hockey players in the world leads me to believe that every province deserves to have at least one NHL team. How about a team in Kelowna and another in Regina or Saskatoon or maybe both, the fact that the Maple Leafs are always sold out means Hamilton is ripe for a team and how about Quebec City and Halifax. You also might want do what they used to do in Montreal and give the Canadian teams first dibs at all the players born in Canada. I see an Eastern and Western division which ends up with the winner from Canada playing America’s champion and I’m thinking that you may have to play that Stanley Cup in a football stadium and consider getting armed guards.
OTHER ABSTRACT THOUGHTS…
It really doesn’t matter who you were, it’s who you are.
I wonder what kind of a budget Lincoln had to run for president on.
Seeing as the liberals and conservatives who agree on so little agree on lobbyists I for one would like them to explain why they are good for America.
Speaking of our government why do they continue to tell us to hug Muslims, do they have some redeeming quality that I am unaware of because North America certainly doesn’t need their oil no matter what the oil companies say.
I think political correctness is hiding a bunch of creeps and thugs.
You know that tingly feeling you get when you first fall in love, it’s what all reason leaving your body feels like.
The smarter the woman the better the lover.
The difference between I love you and I’m in love with you is comparable to night and day.
An artist once told me that the innocence seen in the eyes of a little girl leaves when she is about 14.
Sometimes being well endowed will get you a free ride for a little while but never freedom.
What do you think about gay women that con a man into getting them pregnant then living off the child support payments with her lover or is that also politically incorrect to bring up.
Since 1776 America has been at war for 222 years.
When you retire you never want to be one of those people who has to admit to themselves that blew their only shot at greatness.
Most of the hits on the hit charts were never hits.
So with KISS toppling WTOP as the billing leader in America do you think that involved selling or allocation.
Not everything can be counted on or counted out.
If the Arabs didn’t have oil what would we chat with them about.
Nobody knows how to make someone or something popular.
Unless the Republicans can figure out how to use wealthy and integrity in the same sentence they better prepare themselves for another shock.
I read somewhere that almost half of all Americans just vote for a living.
Only the rich are afraid of the wealthy the rest of us don’t even know who the hell they are.
Without change Butterflies would not exist.
I wonder if there are any Hitlers listed in the Berlin phone book.
One of the reasons I was at all successful at AC radio was because I didn’t like the music.
You don’t accidently meet anyone, there is a reason for everything.
I once overheard a beautiful woman ask Jack McCoy why he didn’t date women his age, he responded with … They need naps, I don’t.
No matter how smart you may think you are just wander into an Apple store, they’ll straighten you right out.
American Pharoah wins the triple crown how cool was that.
Much more @GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio.