I REALLY ENJOYED LITTLE ROCK, and from the time I moved there in April, 1969 till when I left in September, 1972, I saw many changes in the city, the people, and the Broadcasting Industry itself.
Wayne Moss had returned to KAAY to take over the PD position, and Mike McCormick (Barry Wood) my original PD, still stayed solid in his afternoon drive slot. Also, Wayne, who was doing mid-days, decided in the Fall of 1971 to take himself off the air so that he could concentrate more on his duties. He then asked me to switch from my night time shift to doing mid-days. So my last night time show was on October 29, 1971, and I began my new shift that next Monday, November 1, 1971.
THIS AIRCHECK IS FROM June 19, 1972 after I had "settled in" to the mid-day shift. Our "Summer Of '72" Promotion was in full swing, and we were pounding out hit-after-hit on the 50,000 Watt Giant "BIG K", and we were taking the entire Little Rock Area, and the State Of Arkansas, along with our WorldWide reach, to new heights with a terrific sound and dynamic energy that couldn't be matched...leaving our competitors in the dust !
THIS WAS Monday, June 19th, 1972, and on that date we aired an Historic Sports Bulletin about St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder CURT FLOOD who had refused to be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and had filed a suit that was heard by the United States Supreme Court...and would eventually lead to baseball "Free Agency".
The results of that suit, reported by Jack Lee, are heard in this brief-but-historic bulletin as it was announced just shortly after the Supreme Court ruling had been made public and was first heard on KAAY during my show.
(BTW: The voice over on our Intros was done by the late-GARY GEARS,)
Above Left: That's Bob "Bear" Hite from "Canned Heat" with me. He surprised me with a visit while I was doing a remote at Suzuki Of Little Rock, February 13, 1972. So I brought him into the Big K Funmobile for an Interview. Above Right: Jim "Dandy" Mangrum (l), "Black Oak Arkansas " and myself, backstage after their December 10, 1971 Concert in L.R.
ONE OF THE BEST VACATION'S I EVER HAD in my life was in 1972. I went from Little Rock to New Orleans, to Nashville (for the Stones Concert), to Los Angeles (spending time with my old friend Don "Johnny Rabbitt" Pietromonaco, and spending the 4th of July at Casey Kasem's house in the Hollywood Hills). The above pic is one of my favorites: The night of June 26, 1972, at the New Orleans Playboy Club. My friend from Columbia Records, Sam Harrell, was the Regional Promo Rep, lived there, and introduced me to the N.O. Bunnies. As you can see, they gave me one of those warm Southern "Welcomes".
ALSO, another highlight of that 1972 trip to L.A. was being a guest at THE MAGIC CASTLE in Hollywood. I used to see it all the time when I was living just down the street from it in the Highland Towers Apartments. But, you have to be a member or, know a member, to get in. So it was fantastic for this "former magician" to be able to have an evening in this legendary Magician's Club due to a connection of my friend Don.
Ironically, one of the hosts at the Castle was an old friend of mine from St. Louis: magician DON LAWTON. I was surprised to see Don , never knew he was there ! We had a nice talk about the "old days" at KSD-TV/St. Louis, and "THE PARADE OF MAGIC". Don told me that my former "boss" on The Parade Of Magic, ERNIE HELDMAN, had moved to New Orleans and had a shop in the French Quarter. I was dumbfounded at that statement ! I told Don that I had just been in New Orleans the week before, stayed in the French Quarter, and had no idea that I was that close to where Ernie was ! Strange things DO happen in this world.
THAT'S WHO YOU THINK IT IS: The Legendary CHUCK BERRY ! He and I are going over some notes on what I'll say in my introduction to his show. I emceed for both he and Black Oak Arkansas on that night of December 10, 1971, at the Barton Coliseum. This show happened to be at the same time we were doing our yearly "Toys For Tots" Drive...so, I didn't get much sleep trying to fit both events in ! But the "Toys For Tots" Campaign was, and still is, a very important part of helping and giving pleasure to so many kids who truly need it.
PS: IN 1987, I had the pleasure of doing another Concert with my fellow St. Louisan, Chuck Berry. This Concert was local, and I brought this picture and a couple of others from that night in 1971 back in Little Rock to show him. Chuck looked at them, cracked a big smile, and said: "Jonnie ! Look at us ! Weren't we YOUNG !!". Chuck put on two shows that night, and just blew the audience away. ( I, tactfully, didn't ask if he still had those pants.)
Above left: Eddie Gilreath promoting for Rare Earth sent me this pic after our lunch in July, 1971; Above right: Doing a remote for John's Jeans. It was January 28, 1971, and I'm in the middle flanked by two of the John's Jeans mangagers. Debby Archer also worked there, but isn't in this pic.
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