I ARRIVED BACK IN ST. LOUIS FROM DETROIT just in time for the KSLQ 4th Of July Staff Party & Barbeque. My Dad had wanted to help me pack-up my U-Haul trailer, and we drove straight through from Detroit for about 14 hours.
After some downtime, I called my old Detroit friend Chuck Roberts, who had also come down to work at KSLQ, and he invited me to the party to get aquainted with the St. Louis "Q-Crew".
Al Casey was the Program Director at KSLQ. Al & I had known each other from a few years back when he was at WHBQ in Memphis and I was at KAAY. Al hired me as Research Director to start-up a new in-house research department that he'd wanted to put together. He also knew that I'd still love to be on-the-air, so he gave me a weekend schedule that worked out very well. I began those duties, after a brief vacation to get re-oriented and get some relaxation in, on August 22, 1973. Al Casey was a good friend, and an excellent PD.
On May 30, 1974, both Al Casey, and Chuck Roberts (who had been Music Director) left KSLQ. At that time Gary Bridges took over as Program Director and appointed me Music Director. KSLQ continued to gain ground on the FM Band, and we were also making a dent in our AM competition. Here's how that played out:
IN THE SPRING OF 1974 KSLQ was the highest-rated FM station in the Country ! We had a 9.9 Rating, and were #2 in the Market behind KMOX-AM. St. Louis, at that time, was the 10th largest market.
(On the left my good friend & Sunday Nite talk show host, Lee (Ford) Lankford, with me at our Super KSLQ-FM Media Party. The date was March 24, 1975...and it was truly THE Party Event of the year !)
IN OCTOBER OF 1973, with the support & help of Al Casey, our PD, and, Joe Kelly the General Manager at KSLQ, I created a special Morning Feature for the station. We needed something to add a broader, more locked-in audience for the Morning Show. "THE BREAKFAST SERIAL" was created out of my love for not only "Golden Age Radio", but those great cliff-hanger serials that ran on radio...as well as in the movies. The shows were all authentic Old Time Radio programs which I edited into five parts that played Monday thru Friday. Simple really: If you listened all week you heard the complete story...and the audience was brought back to the KSLQ Morning Show day-after-day so they wouldn't miss an Episode.
But, "The Breakfast Serial" was more than "just old radio shows". Along with the shows I gave information about the stars of the shows, information about the shows themselves ("Suspense", "Inner Sanctum", "The Mysterious Traveler", "Richard Diamond, Private Detective", etc., etc.), a history of the time-period involved, and also a synopsis of the previous days Episode to tie everything together.
"The Breakfast Serial" became so successful that, beginning in 1976, I started syndication of the show. Through the years it went into markets all over the Country: Detroit, Connecticut, Washington, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Kansas City, and many other cities carried the show. The show had a "cult" following wherever it aired, in fact, due to many requests, I've set up a complete WebSite devoted to "The Breakfast Serial" ! It has a complete listing of all of the shows that were aired, on-line Episodes you can listen to, a "Special Programs" Section, the actual Demo that prospective stations would receive to preview the show, etc.
To access "THE BREAKFAST SERIAL" Special WebSite, just click-on: www.serial.thewwbc.net
PS: HALLOWEEN is on the way, SO don't miss my Special Yearly list of Classic Halloween Film Rarities that will give you some cool, and VERY SCARY films to watch between now and then ! You can hear my choices for 2011 and make your own decisions. It's available on "The Breakfast Serial" WebSite ! Drop me an eMail and let me know what you think...and maybe give me a few ideas for next year's list. Here's the Special Link to take you there: http://www.serial.thewwbc.net/gpage2.html
OKAY, although due to age, and the type of stock they were printed on, the above scans are very faint. But, I included them due to the fact that the company we worked for, Bartell, and our Promotions Director, Mike Ross, fully believed in promoting the ENTIRE Airstaff because we were all a part of a Team Effort. It was a time when ALL of the Airshifts were "live", we all pulled together for the common good of the station...and Radio was REALLY FUN !
In the Fall/Winter of 1973 the Air Staff listed above consisted of: Al Casey, Program Director; Jay Stone, 6-10am; Bob Hooper, 10am-2pm; Chuck Roberts, MD,2pm-6pm; Gary Bridges, 6pm-10pm; The Red Baron (Mike Phares), 10pm-2am; Otis Thomas (The Boogie Man), 2am-6am; Dan Abernathy, News Director; Edward "Q' Lewis, Asst. News Director; Jonnie King, Research Director/Weekends; Lee Ford, Talk Show Host.
The Air Staff changed frequently in those early days. This was our Air Staff at the KSLQ Media Party, March 24, 1975.
Above Picture on the Left, L to R: Gary Bridges, PD; Otis (Boogie Man) Thomas; Jo Jo Kincaid; Bambi; P. J. Timpone; Jonnie King, MD; Terry Fox, Production Director; Mike (Red Baron) Phares. Picture on the Right: Same crew...different positions.
(Above, Fall, 1974: That's me the MD in my Office trying to find a hit. BTW: My percentage of finding hits was always good ! )
NEXT: KSLQ-FM, ST. LOUIS, Pt. 2