Sadly, we no longer have Bill Haley, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, or Chuck Berry around anymore, and the only one left of the originators is Jerry Lee Lewis. Who would have figured that?
When I first saw Elvis Presley, it was on a big band show that my father was watching on TV. Not only did Elvis blow my mind, but he also changed my life; I just knew right then that I had to be a guitar man.
Hey, when you’ve got Bill Haley, Elvis, Buddy, John, and George along with Michael Jackson, Hank Williams, Fats Domino, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Chuck Berry, and Jim Morrison, not to mention, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Croce, Bobby Darin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Roy Orbison, Freddie Mercury, Glenn Fry, Prince, and Tom Petty waiting in the wings to go on. Hell, it’s almost worth dying just to see them live.
I do know though that both my Grandfathers were from England, and my Grandmothers were both from Scotland.
Legend has it that my Grandfather, Ben Vince, an engineer, stopped his train in the middle of a field in Scotland so he could chat up my Grandmother, Charlotte Hunter who was there picking flowers.
I can’t even imagine what must have gone on during the band breaks because my Father was the youngest of their six kids.
It all began in Winnipeg,
but we moved around a lot
Melbourne and Sydney
where the first of our many stops.
Two years in Australia
then it’s off to Vancouver
Now back to the prairies
and a town called Swan River
Then back to Winnipeg
for the birth of my brother
Where we lived in my grandpa’s house
’till my folks bought another.
Hooked up with a friend named Barry
and we played a little ball.
I loved his sister’s strange music
and she was a doll.
Then came the day
when I began to scheme
About making music and pretty women
more than a dream.
I can still remember the day my world turned upside down. My friend Barry and I were at his place practicing for the upcoming little league tryouts which my dad thought was a waste of time.
When he tried to play catch with me, I was so afraid of the ball I didn’t even try to catch it; I just covered up and cringed.Not only did I make the team that summer, but I also made the “Dream Team,” which played its final game in Goldeye Stadium where my father not only saw me play for the very first time, but he also saw me hit a triple.
After Barry and I worked up a bit of sweat we went inside to get some water. Once in there I couldn’t help but notice this 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 one of the first Rock & Roll records ever made, called, “Crazy Man Crazy,” by Bill Haley and his Comets. (pictured above)
As I stood there watching, I had no idea that women who looked like her and the music that sounded like that would dominate the rest of my life.
It was in my blood
to be a radio guy
And most of what I still do
I learned at old CKY.
Had a boss named Jimmy
who just let me run
And to this day
I’m still having fun.
As I celebrated my 26th birthday in the waiting room of the St. Boniface Hospital, to play or not to play was what was running through my mind.
I was only a radio rookie, but I was really starting to enjoy it, and even though, at the moment it didn’t interfere with my band, I had a feeling that it soon would.
Earlier that same evening, I was having my birthday celebration dinner with Lana and my parents when suddenly she went into labor.
Upon our arrival at St. Boniface Hospital, I was relegated to the waiting room because expectant fathers in those days weren’t welcome in the birthing room. (I have no idea why they want to be in there now)
As I sat around waiting, the more excited I got about the arrival of my brand new son Curtis and could hardly wait to do all the fun things fathers and sons do together.
After what seemed like forever, finally, one of the nurses suggested that there was no need for me to hang around because it looked like it was going to be a long night.
Thankfully, my good friend Jim Coghill (pictured above) who worked with me at CKY, lived nearby, so we spent the evening at his place toasting my son’s arrival.
I continued to check in with the hospital every half hour and finally, they told me that I should return to the hospital. Unfortunately, though, it was a false alarm, so I decided to take a nap.
A few hours later, I thought I heard someone call my name, and when I sat up groggy and still half asleep, I noticed that a nurse was standing there holding what looked like a tiny alien in her arms.
The unfortunate poor thing was covered in goop, and its tiny little head appeared misshaped. (They told me later that it had been a difficult birth so forceps were involved )
While trying to clear my head so I could figure out what was going on, I heard the nurse say, “Congratulations, Mr. Johns, you’re the proud father of a baby….” Now, this is where it begins to get really weird because it didn’t sound at all like she said, boy or son.
I thought that maybe it was her French accent getting the way until I suddenly realized that she hadn’t said boy or son, she said a baby girl. Huh! A daughter, what the hell do you do with them?
(My daughter Candis and I pictured above, skiing in Vermont, at her graduation from UCLA, and below, competing in the Iron Man competition.)
Speaking of birthdays, this week I travel to Tampa to spend mine with my daughter Cami. She says that she’s taking me to her favorite bar where her friends are going to take on the legend. What the hell does that mean?I would think that the chromosome count XX for females and XY for males would better determine what category athletes should compete in rather than the athletes choosing?
Why do people who escaped from their homeland still proudly wave the flag of the country that they left behind?
Why don’t they have production people in the Radio Hall Of Fame? What was better on the radio than the promos Jack McCoy created and voiced for the last contest?
How come it never gets as good as it gets bad?
Didn’t we all wonder just how long it would take Jameis Winston of Tampa Bay to get in trouble again?
Speaking of thugs, don’t they wish that we were as tolerant of them as the NFL is?
The only women I love unconditionally are my daughters; I have questions for the rest.
Speaking of daughters, I wonder how scary it is for my daughters to rely on me after hearing how irresponsible I am from their mothers?
I’ve heard that the reason that Canada wants to legalize recreational marijuana this month is so they can better cope with their neighbors to the south.
We only agree with statements that are about what we already believe.
You really have to work at it to stay stupid.
The big difference between Michael Jordan and LeBron James is … When down by 1 with seconds left, Michael wants the ball, LeBron doesn’t.
What the left still doesn’t get is the fact Hillary lost the election more than Trump won it. If the Democrats don’t get some good leadership soon, Trump bashing is just gonna get him reelected.
The only people who understand how government assistance programs work are those who abuse them.
So Washington, on a scale of 1-10 how goes your war on drugs and terror?
You would think that eventually, politicians would get bored with lining their own pockets and want to share some with the regular folks? Nope!
After watching Billy Bob Thorton in a few things like Goliath I’m convinced that he and his ilk make a good script a great script. Unfortunately, even a great script can’t make a bad actor any good.
Now I hear that they want to expand the nominees for the Grammys so that more people can win. Hey, why don’t they just hand out participation trophies and be done with it?
I think that the reason instrumentals aren’t popular anymore is because Dee-Jays can’t figure out how to hit the post, so they don’t play them.
Watch for, Writing Radio’s Wrongs, coming to a Website near you.
Geo’s Blog above is about #Fear at 35,000 feet, #MedicalMerijuana, and #MartinLutherKing plus a few other #Life-Liners. Much more @ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter@GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.
Geo: I doubt if he is going to win PD of the year with how it sounds Bob, you’ve gotta wonder what the hell he’s working on? You’re right though, most programmers are basing what their station sounds like on their lack of time but he sure can’t. What a blown opportunity though, the only country station in America’s #1 radio market, it easily should have double their ratings. Tom Hoyt’s KFROG out of Riverside if in LA would blow them out of the water in a week. Somebody better call Saul.
We didn’t go up to wine country this weekend. So KGO can wait, I did look at their schedule for the weekend, Paid programs, syndication, and more paid shows.
Hockey is still hockey, you have to put the puck in the net to score. The game has evolved, the game is better, it’s faster and nobody is smoking in the locker room. Radio is still smoking in the locker room. It has to evolve to be relevant in today’s world. Bobby Orr could still play today, but how many of his teammates could? The difference between today’s hockey and radio is there has been almost no evolution in radio. What George and I want to do is to challenge radio to evolve and become relevant again.
Exactly Bob, Could all the folks who got inducted into the numerous Radio Halls of Fame play today? I doubt it, but some sure could, and they’d be the ones who evolved. The content would have to be different and also the way they presented it. Hey, we all love that old youtube aircheck of Jo Jo Kincaid in San Diego, but would that work now, I rather doubt it. However, the philosophy the Hall of Famers used has not changed, it’s still true today. First, you have to be professional, then you need to become interesting. Then and only then do you try to be entertaining.
I’m really looking forward to this Bob because I recently read that Fred Jacobs after doing a research project with a ton of air talent across our nation found out that nobody is doing critique sessions anymore. Ours may be the first critique of their air show that they have had done in years. Geo