Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 149
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|Time: October 27 2003 at 07:01:48
Name: Billy G. Spradlin
Location: Somewhere in East Texas
Comments: Re msbv2's comments below: "I remember when KKUL became KTFX the public response was mixed...(I don't know what they play now). I also recall KWEN changing formats about 4 times over just a couple of years, including going from light AC to rock. They surprised a lot of folks more than once."
I remember when KKUL became KTFX. I remember they were an R&B/Soul station with a short stint as a free-form AOR station in 1975-6. KKUL changed to Top 40 "Superfox 103" around September 1977 (the calls were changed to KTFX in 1978) and quickly stole most of KAKC and KELi's teen listeners. I think KTFX was Tulsa's first full-time Top 40 FM station (KRAV was not - they were "Adult contemporary" and didn't play any hard rock). I used to listen to KTFX a lot back in my high school days because they had a strong signal into Bartlesville and a great night DJ named "Crazy Steve" (whatever happened to him?) who pulled a lot of on-air stunts, including playing Foreginer's "Hot Blooded" for 3 hours straight!
I think KTFX's quick success caused the end for KAKC since they switched to Middle of the Road music in the winter of 1978. KAKC moved back to an Adult Contemporary/Oldies mix later that year before they were bought out and became Christian KCFO-AM in the fall of 1979.
KWEN was a beautiful music station for most of the seventies. They moved
to Adult Contempory in 1979 when KTFX became "The Country Fox". In 1980 they
moved to a Top 40 Rock approach as "Rock 95" (a really good station) until
the summer of 1981 when they became Country "K-95".
|Time: October 26 2003 at 16:50:38
Name: Ken Raphaelsen
Location: Hollywood, CA
Chuck Wheat was a true champion of Tulsa entertainment, he was never afraid to call it like he saw/heard it. He left Tulsa, a major loss when it happened, headed to New York and Time Magazine.
Johnny Martin did a special tribute - send off - show dedicated to Chuck Wheat. Wheat was named to the post of "scribe" in Johnny Martin's royal court (created after Wheat named and constantly referred to Martin as "The King" of Tulsa radio), I think Lionel was also knighted or something as well since Johnny always talked up other local media celebs including Lee & Lionel and later Mazeppa.
Lee mentioned Chuck as an early supporter in his history of Lee & Lionel.
|Time: October 25 2003 at 16:09:06
Name: Si Hawk
Comments: After seeing Chuck Adams' comments I started fondly remembering those years in Tulsa.
At KCNW we were honored to have some great air talents: Chuck Adams was our Program Director, Sam Stewart was a member of our news department along with Don Stubbs, Kitty Roberts, Terry Stafford and Mark Boyce. On the program side included Dave Boyd, Gary Chew, Dave Jones, Sid Wood, Michael (White) Day, Howard Lane, Charlie Derek and me.
During late '72 to early '74 we went from being Tulsa's Country-politan Giant to Tulsa's Good Music Station 1300. Toward late '73 (I believe) San Antonio Broadcasting came in and purchased KCNW and sister station KMOD (which was not on the air). San Antonio Broadcasting later changed its name to Clear Channel Communications. That outfit has come a long way, too.
KCNW was a great place to work and I count myself greatly honored to have worked with a number of radio-TV legends during those years.
|Time: October 25 2003 at 13:02:52
Location: In the new house smoke hole (computer room)
Comments: I'm pretty sure the Dragon Lady was Christina from the "Christina's Flower Shop" fame. She was a funny old gal who did her own spots on KRMG. When she died the place turned into an audio recording studio for a short time. Oh yeah, I believe it was on 10th or 11th & between Main & Denver.
|Time: October 25 2003 at 09:58:54
Comments: I also remember the early KRMG days. And Chuck Wheat (the "other" Chuck). Does anyone know what happened to him after he left Tulsa? His column was called "Wheat's Field" and he covered the entertainment scene. And his name reminds me of the silly little ditty we used to pass around. Remember?
Say it with me.
"How much wheat could a wheat chuck chuck if a wheat chuck could chuck
|Time: October 24 2003 at 12:27:01
Name: Laura Brittan
Comments: How absolutely delightful to read the words of Chuck Adams. KRMG was indeed this bigger-than-life institution in Tulsa, and Chuck's morning show was the way to start your day.
I can now admit to being better off for all that forced listening to KRMG,
the only station allowed to play in mother's kitchen and in the both cars.
There was something unique and special about KRMG back then because the DJs
seemed more like friends who cared about their listeners and about Tulsa.
Well, guess my Tulsa pride is showing.
October 24 2003 at 12:02:57
Name: Chuck Adams
Comments: Since the visitors to TTM seem to be interested in the early KRMG days, here's a couple of tid-bits...
The KRMG music format was a concept of our General Manager Ken Greenwood. It was by listening to "jukebox" selections at places frequented by our target audience that created the KRMG sound. Additionally our personalities were encouraged to be involved in the community, not talk down to the listener, and have fun.
Now, about "Dratman"... This was of course a parody of the popular TV series "Batman", and was another brainchild of Ken Greenwood. Ken employed the writing talent of Chuck Wheat, who many may remember wrote a daily column in the Tulsa Morning "Glom".
Chuck created a series of episodes, each featuring a villain patterned after a local figure (usually a politician) or event going on in the Tulsa area. (Anyone remember who the "Snap Dragon Lady" was?)
Once a week an episode was recorded at the "Stately Studios" of KRMG, then located at 3rd and Denver (this is a 1953 view of the Akdar Shrine building...webmaster). The cast consisted of most of the KRMG staff along with an invited guest, who played the villain. Each episode was edited and cut into five minute (or so) segments, and aired twice daily the following week.
The recording sessions of Dratman were usually quite lengthy, with a lot of ad-libbing and funny stuff. Some of the funny stuff was a little TOO humorous for the tender ears of our audience and of course never made the air. After all, this was during the middle sixties and unlike today four-letter words were pretty much forbidden.
Initally, none of us at KRMG (except Ken) knew what we had with Dratman. We envisioned that our volatile audience would dial away, never to return. As it turned out, the listener reaction was fantastic.
It's a little surprising to me, that nearly 40 years later Dratman is still remembered. But that's what KRMG was about. While our format was considered musically "middle-of-the-road", it was more than music that made the station popular. It was the personality of the station. Listeners knew what to expect, which was the unexpected.
More about early KRMG another time.
Thanks so much for that, Chuck. I wish we had you back on the air. Did any of the tapes survive?
|Time: October 23 2003 at
Name: R dubya dubya
Location: 8 miles from the Series
Comments: Among the magical radio moments of my childhood was seeing, for the first time, the old KVOO xmitter building out in what was then the sticks as I rode in the back of my parents' Studebaker.
I remember thinking "So that's where that man lives who sings "Kay-ay-ay Vee-ee-ee Oh-oh-oh Oh-oh-oh" all the time.
Who was that guy anyway? And could they have put a little MORE tape slap
|Time: October 23 2003 at 19:03:23
Name: Noel Confer
Comments: Knowing that most of you think and talk about me a lot, I am prompted by this talk of K-V-O-O to make a confession. I know some have been waiting for it.
For the 1948 Central "KVOO Days," I was assigned noon broadcast of Johnnie Lee Wills from Cain's. It was, of course, live. Some of you know and most have heard, that a live "goof" became history. Done and lost forever. I had several live breaks selling something or other that adorned lots of "simulated diamonds." I, however, pronounced it each time as "stimulated diamonds."
Later I excused my mistake with "simulated": "SIMULATED!? I never heard of the word 'simulated' and I don't know anyone who has!!" It was just my luck to say that to my old friend Jim Ruddle, who, of course, replied, "I have," and then proceeded to give me the proper definition. I haven't spoken to him since.
A Google search reveals that, to this day, the same mistake is made, but without the extenuating circumstance of being live.
|Time: October 23 2003 at 16:29:41
Name: Steve Bagsby
Location: Aiming the loop stick antenna towards Chicago
Comments: I was listening to a tape of a Cain's Ballroom remote from 1957-58. Bob Wills had come back to Tulsa and had merged his band with his brother Johnnie Lee. Johnny Ryan was working the remote and at the and of one the segments, an announcer back at the studio says -- "This is KVOO Tulsa - Oil Capitol of The World".
|Time: October 23 2003 at
Name: Jim Ruddle
Location: Rye, NY
Comments: Another bit of useless information, prompted by Mr. Hillis' mention of KVOO.
In the olden tyme, before tape and reverbs, the staff announcers at the station,
on hiring, were instructed in the proper way to identify the station. It
was not "K-V-O-Oh," but a distinct elision of the "V" and the first "O."
It came out "K-VO-Oh." Dat's what management wanted, and dats what management
|Time: October 22 2003 at 21:05:54
Name: Lowell Burch
Location: Toy aisle
Comments: Toy Master Bill Brewster died this weekend at the age of 94. His wife followed a few hours later.
About 1960, I received a very nice marionette for Christmas purchased from Brewster's, the only toy I remember getting from that store. I broke it in record time (I think most Christmas toys last at least an average of three minutes) but my parents graciously replaced the broken item a few days later - with a cheaper version.
I loved Chuck Adams on KRMG. He was clever and personable, no whining or agendas to promote, just fun and entertaining.
I'm sorry to hear about Mr. Brewster. He always came across in his TV appearances as a really good guy. He had already been honored on this site with the Brewster's Java TV Toys page. I added your comments and others to that page, plus the Tulsa World article about him and his wife.
|Time: October 22 2003 at 00:40:23
Name: Teresa Roberts
Comments: I accidentally found your website and boy did it bring back some memories. I remember being on the Mr. Zing & Tuffy show for my birthday when I was very young. Does anyone else remember being a guest too?
|Time: October 21 2003 at 19:59:20
Name: John Hillis
Location: In the Reverb Chamber between the K, the V, the O, and the other O
It was a small trip just to hear Garry Kemp say Billy Parker's name--Beeehly Pah-kah.
And you don't have to be a news guy to miss the days when more than one radio station in a town had a good local news department...but maybe it helps.
Excellent approximation; I can imagine Mr. Kemp's pronunciation exactly.
|Time: October 21 2003 at 19:21:30
Name: Gary Chew
Location: Sacramento, CA
Comments: I was just clicking around on this great web site and found Ray Rivera's comments about those "dark" days at KWGS when we were feeling the pains of going into NPR affiliation. (It was in early December of 1977 that KWGS first broadcast programming from National Public Radio; well before the first transmission of Morning Edition.)
Later, I remember putting Garrison Keillor on the air in Tulsa. And I also remember Ray, and say hello to him, hoping he's well. But I don't recall the incidents he cites, which, however, I'm sure DID occur. I'd like to say to Ray that I'm sorry he had fear of me. It is pretty funny today, I suppose. I just hope it wasn't as great as that which I held for some of the managers I had to work under when in commercial TV and radio. It was my intention to not let their styles rub off on me as I went to manage KWGS.
Oh, well, just listen to KWGS today (I do when I'm in Tulsa.) It sounds great, especially with those scintillating ID's delivered by Edward Dumit. What a great example he has set at TU through the many years of teaching there. And truly, a pro, as well. In my experience: not an easy combination to find or be.
I'd love to hear feedback from anyone on the
film reviews I write that Mike Ransom
|Time: October 21 2003 at 13:01:11
Comments: Billy Parker hosts a show, "Big Country", Saturdays at 8-10 am on Big Country 99.5.
That sounded like a paid advertisement, didn't it?
Great, thanks for that info. Billy also hosts "Sunday Evening At The Memories" on 8 - 10 pm Sunday (of course) on KVOO-FM 98.5. Billy can be emailed from the bottom of either linked page.
|Time: October 20 2003 at 09:22:36
Name: P. Casey Morgan
Location: KWGS at fund drive time
Comments: For those of you who miss the Billy Parker / John Wooley western swing show formerly on KVOO, you should know that John is doing the show alone on KWGS now. It's called "Swing On This" and it airs Saturday nights from 7 to 8 on 89.5 fm.
Thanks for mentioning that, Casey. KWGS streams its broadcast on the internet, so you needn't live in Tulsa to listen. John Wooley's documentary on Western Swing, "Still Swingin'", is available from Amazon.com.
|Time: October 20 2003 at 01:25:24
Location: Midwest City OK
Comments: I do miss KVOO 1170 BIG COUNTRY when it was the best country station in Oklahoma in the 70's-80's. What became of Billy Parker, Jack Fox, Jay Jones, Will Jones and others I can't think of?
Courtesy of Si Hawk
Billy Parker and John Wooley did a western swing radio show ("Swingin' Country") on KVOO-AM until shortly after the station was taken off the air permanently and transformed into conservative opinion KFAQ last year (see Guestbook 108). Here is a photo of Billy from 1977, courtesy of Si Hawk.
|Time: October 19 2003 at 18:10:28
Location: Back on the other side of Arkansas
Comments: Hi everybody!
Got to see some of how much Tulsa's changed in the last 20 years or so last week. Wow! When did the 71st Street thing happen? 21st was "Tulsa's Big Corner" when I was a kid.
Anyway...all these radio topics bring back a lot of memories. Remember that English man who worked at Big Country 1170 AM (KVOO)? They had a lot of power back in the '70's. We used to pick up KVOO's signal on small household appliances.
I remember when KKUL became KTFX the public response was mixed...(I don't know what they play now). I also recall KWEN changing formats about 4 times over just a couple of years, including going from light AC to rock. They surprised a lot of folks more than once.
When I left Tulsa, Sapulpa's KXOJ FM 101 had just gone Christian, where they'd previously been adult contemporary all day, and a guy named Kevin Grady would come in at around 6:00pm and play Contemporary Christian music til midnight.
KRMG had John Erling and Arlton J. Dooright ("Maintain"). I noticed Denver Fox is still there, too. On clear nights I can still hear KRMG here in TN, since the 740 frequency here is vacant. (Is Dianna Proffitt still with KRMG?)
That English man was Garry Kemp. He has been mentioned here previously (try the TTM Search Engine). He started on English "pirate" station Radio Caroline in the mid-60s. Hear a couple of sound checks with Gary at The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.
|Time: October 19 2003 at 15:03:28
Name: RB Redd
Location: Ozark Country
Comments: Miss Tulsa and spent hours remembering all those 1960s and 1970s before we moved.
Started and ended each day with KRMG (Chuck in the AM and Johnny in the PM), the one station that had everything you could want or need. I remember KRMG doing a Batman parody, like an old radio serial, sometime in the 1960s when the TV show was popular, they ran it in the morning. It was very silly and the players included Chuck Adams and, I think, everyone's favorite weatherman Lee W. It would be neat to hear that again.
Thank you for bringing back so many fun memories of Tulsa.
You're welcome, and I also remember that parody ("Dratman"?) Maybe Chuck can tell us more about it and his show.
|Time: October 18 2003 at 15:30:26
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Working the weekend trick on a nice Fall day
Comments: Yo, Ron Swasta! Last heard of - thought you were in upstate NY or somewhere else! You were a great guy and a great engineer! What are you doing now?
|Time: October 18 2003 at 01:29:30
Name: Ron Swasta
Location: Montgomery, Texas
Comments: I worked behind the scenes at KTUL for a number of years in the 70's. So many great memories flood my mind...working with Carl on promos (especially 8's The Place); Pete, Kent, Mike, Richard and so many others on news, weather and sports! Some of it was actually fun--like flying anything Bob Hower and I could get our hands on to taping BB King late night in a smoke filled room somewhere this side of the Mississippi. Man, those were the good ol' days...
|Time: October 18 2003 at 01:05:31
Name: Storme Warren
Location: Nashville, TN
Comments: I got a little sentimental this evening and decided to take a walk down memory lane.
I started my broadcast career at the old 14k/92k in 1983. Actually, when I started, the FM was still Sunny 92 and the AM was KELI. But during my run there, it switched to the semi-simulcasted 14k/92k.
Where is Mel Meyers? He was my program director there. He started at KMOD and moved to 14k/92k. I owe him a debt of gratitude and I'm long overdue. If anyone knows where to find him, let me know.
As a 13 year old, my experience at 14k/92k was like pulling the curtain back on "OZ". I was only there for a year and a half, but that experience fed a career. Mel took in a wide-eyed music junkie barely in his teens and gave him a shot at the "big time". Dave Michaels was another huge inspiration. But it was Mel who believed...or rather, was just dumb enough, to allow me to hang around the station to learn the tricks of the radio trade.
While answering request lines on weekends, Mel allowed me to practice "air-checks" in the news studio. He couldn't pay me, because of my age, and instead compensated me in albums and concert tickets.
After about 6 months, he gave me my dream shot...my own Sunday morning show on 14k. My "show" consisted of running "Rick Dees Top-40 Countdown" with an hour on each side to do my own thing on-air. I still remember my first break coming out of the song "Everybody Wants to Rule The World"... "It's 6:30...no, it's 7:30 in the morning. The sun is shining, the birds are singing. If I'm up, you need to be up too. Here's a little "Rebel Yell" to get you up and going on 14k!".
Two-minutes later, the phone rang, and Mel was on the other line. He proceeded, in a polite yet firm tone, to inform me that "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol might be a little too much for early Sunday morning risers. I'll remember that moment for the rest of my life.
I'm now the host and Co-Executive Producer of a TV show called "Country Music Across America" on GAC (Great American Country). In 20 years, I've worked with CNN, Westwood One, TNN, and "Access Hollywood".
Radio has always been my first love. And Tulsa's 14k/92k gave me my first break. I'll never forget Mel, Dave and the rest of the gang for giving a snotty-nosed teenager a shot. These days, it just doesn't happen.
Thanks Tulsa, and thanks to this web-site for letting me take a few moments to share my own, albeit boring, story about my little part in Tulsa's broadcast memories.
Storme, thanks for the story, and congratulations on your success. Mel Myers and Dave Michaels are both at Star 103. I thought I remembered Mel spelling his name "Meyers" just as you have it, but the link shows it as "Myers"; did it change?
|Time: October 17 2003 at 17:03:23
Name: Si Hawk
Comments: What a delight to read Chuck Adams' note. I spent some great years listening to him on KRMG and was honored to work for him for a short time at KCNW. I hope he'll leave some more pearls online!
|Time: October 17 2003 at 16:41:50
Name: Noel Confer
Location: Back in Tulsa
Comments: I remember Mr Hillis, at least by name. But it is nice to hear from someone who remembers when the Tulsa Press Club was in the hotel. I remember Cain's when the band played from nine 'til fistfight. I remember announcing Leon's show from the ballroom. It was broadcast over Channel 2. We wouldn't let them fight there until it was between rounds over at Cain's.
|Time: October 17 2003 at 15:38:26
Location: be here now
Comments: Hey Mike...the great Lord - Robert Fripp. The Master of the reel to reel tape loops. KING Crimson......indeed! (ya should have seen (@(^%$*&) them as I did in the city!) I sat on the stage...if you please!
I saw Mr. Fripp and his League of Crafty Guitarists at TuCCA downtown...when was that, late 80s? (later: it was Nov. 4, 1990)
|Time: October 17 2003 at 15:20:44
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Re Cain's celebs...
Comments: Honest John (the late John Foutz) - often hosted Cain's talent on unofficial visits to the Rock Shop. Met Eddie Money about 3 times after Cain's appearances and Johnny Rotten and Steve Martin were to have stopped by - but didn't. Had lots of the guys from King Crimson come by - but can't remember whom else.
Several members of the Irish band, Horslips, visited after appearing at Cain's.
Later when 3 of the staff went to Europe they hooked up. I think one of the
band married/co-habitated with one of the clerks from HJ's and may live in
|Time: October 17 2003 at 15:13:58
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Listenin' to that Tulsa sound
Comments: Have ya'all seen the new Suzuki SUV spots? Has Asleep at The Wheel doing - "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" as the theme.
|Time: October 17 2003 at 13:15:33
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence KS
Comments: I was supposed to go to the Sex Pistols at the Cain's but my ride chickened out at the last second. Always be a major regret since they broke up at the next show in Dallas I think. I heard they took the pictures of Bob Wills down near the stage for fear of damage. It always puzzled me that so many of my high school cohorts absolutely HATED them but if you asked them if they'd heard any of their music, the answer was always NO.
October 17 2003 at 10:55:51
Name: Chuck Adams (via email 10/13)
Comments: I have spent the past three hours scanning through your guestbooks, and a couple of related websites and have enjoyed every minute of it. Tulsa Radio (and TV) in my era was truly a hoot!
It's good to see the names and faces of so many talented people that I either worked with or knew... And of course, saddened to hear about those no longer with us.
My time at KRMG (1964-1971) was so special. I consider it an honor to have been a part of such a great radio station in its early days.
The stories I could tell about my Tulsa media friends...Ken Greenwood, Ron Blue, Johnny Martin, Vic Bastian, Bob Parkhurst, Freddie Campbell, Troy Gordon, Chuck Wheat, Jack Morris, Clayton Vaughn, Jerry Vaughn, Scooter Segraves, Dick Schmidt, Jim Wheaton... and many others who I've temporarly forgot...
Thank you for your site, which has brought back some wonderful memories.
Thank YOU, Chuck, I was a faithful listener to your morning show for years.
|Time: October 17 2003 at 10:42:46
Name: Bebe (via email)
Comments: What was Modell's pet spider monkey's name?
I remember his wife's name was Lurleen...
|Time: October 17 2003 at 02:21:17
Comments: I sent Steve the kid to shoot that (Sex Pistols) concert.....I instructed him not to get "into" it.....what I got back was a bunch of zooming in & out & exciting something that had nothing to do with TV.
|Time: October 16 2003 at 14:28:09
Name: Mike Miller
Location: Fort Smith, AR
Comments: Thanks, Dave. From reading the Fort Smith Times Record it seems the editorial page has shifted somewhat to the left. I recall the Las Vegas Review-Journal was conservative enough to endorse my old boss, U.S. Sen. Chic Hecht back in the '80s. The Stephens Media Group appears to have a major office in Vegas, according to their website. BTW, it made no mention of Jack.
Jack Stephens was closely linked to the late Bob Doubleday of KATV Little
Rock fame. When I was news director there, the station had just moved into
the old bank building owned by Stephens.
|Time: October 15 2003 at 20:47:23
Name: John Hillis
Location: Fairfax, Virginia, Soccer hub (GOOOOOOOAL!)
Comments: Missing Cain's, the ballroom and the coffee...
Two Cain's stories from my mid-70s days. One of my rare on-air reporting appearances was a Johnnie Lee Wills appearance one night at Cain's. That may have been the event that convicted me that I was far better off behind the cameras. Didn't even need Mr. Vaughn's encouragement to know it, though he certainly believed that way as I recall.
And speaking of convictions, there was the ruckus when the Sex Pistols with Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten played Cain's. (Some dim remembrance says Elvis Costello opened, but I'm guessing that's a misfiring neuron on my part. Edwin may remember.)
A reporter who can own up to it if he wants to was part of one of the groups picketing the Pistols' performance.
Even back then, pre-renovation and not withstanding Messrs Vicious and Rotten, Cain's was a pretty cool venue, if you could overlook the restrooms.
As for the haunts of the Mayo, those may not be ghosts, just some leftovers
from the days when the Tulsa Press Club was upstairs. Some of them were pretty
spectral even when (allegedly) alive...
|Time: October 15 2003 at 19:28:49
Comments: We had just discussed the old Akdar Temple, which was home to KRMG, KVOO-TV and the Cimarron Ballroom (Leon McAuliffe's home base). Pictures of Leon in the Cimarron and of the Akdar building were seen in the TTM Photo Album.
After talk of the Horn Brothers Country Music Show (aka the "Longhorn Wingding"), we heard from Pam Van Dyke Crosby, who sang on the show and is today a fine jazz singer.
The tragic Girl Scout murders of 1977 were recalled. Lee Gideon (aka Tulsa radio's "Modell Phipps") passed away and was remembered here.
Koolees, Icees and Zemis (frozen drinks), and the tag end of Tulsa State
Fair talk started the just-archived Guestbook