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Added October 20, 2006 . . .

Jim Wood & his boobies

KILT, Houston, 1964, Jim Wood

In 1964, if you weren't watching the Boob Tube, you were probably listening to Jim Wood address his Boobies on KILT.

The notorious B-I-G Jim Wood was Houston's first shock jock and KILT's main night DJ of the early sixties. Marv Miller, a former engineer at KILT, sent this recording.

According to Miller, Wood "was always doing things that would raise the wrath of management. They let him get away with a lot of things that others couldn't because his ratings were #1." He was eventually replaced by Russ Knight sometime in mid or late 1964.

Although Wood was noted for his risque patter, the only specific instance I can remember was when a young female listener wrote or phoned to ask if he was married. He suddenly changed his voice to a more intimate tone and said, "No I'm not, baby, but if I was, would it make a difference?"

It was remarks of a different kind that lead to Wood's departure from KILT. According to Marv Miller, Wood did "a thing where he would 'Hurl an Invective.' " He would start by asking listeners "in a hushed tone" to turn their radios up full blast and open their windows. He would then say something provocative.

According to Miller, in the case leading to his firing, Wood exclaimed, "THIS IS THE POLICE. THE BOMB SQUAD NEEDS YOU TO EVACUATE THE BUILDING." Marv Miller recalls that "Several buildings were evacuated including a church where services were going on. They let him back on the air but told him he was on probation."

It was the beginning of the end for Jim Wood at KILT. Even back then, the Powers That Be had short fuses when people joked about bombs or shouted "fire" in a public theater.

No, Wood didn't shout fire in a theater. However, in an earlier "invective, " he did ask listeners to play their radios in theater lobbies. Then, Wood yelled "This movie stinks! This movie is terrible! We want our money back! Kill the manager!"

Houston DJ Chuck Tiller, a Jim Wood listener while growing up, describes this stunt in a 2006 email to this site.

Tiller also describes an antic in which Wood would"ask the listeners to turn up the radio and shine a spotlight on the neighbor's house.

Jim would then say, 'Come out! Come out with your hands up! This is the police! The house is surrounded!'"

Miller and Tiller agree that the final incident was one which pitted Jim Wood against KILT's arch rival KNUZ. It was 1964, the peak of Beatlemania, and each of the two top 40 stations claimed to have the inside track with the Fab Four. I distinctly remember a jingle on the Jim Wood show which went

KILT is your station
For Beatle celebrations

The melody was the same as

Close your eyes and I'll kiss you,
Tomorrow I'll miss you

from the Beatle song All My Loving. KILT, a station which was already number one in Houston, was tying its very identity to the Beatles. That tells us something about the fierceness of the competition with KNUZ as each vied to cash in on Beatlemania. It was within that atmosphere that Jim Wood ventured a stunt too far.

Sometime in 1964, Buddy McGregor had left KTRH (where he had been the token male presence on the "Woman's World" talk show) to join KNUZ in its battle with KILT. As its nighttime response to Jim Wood, MacGregor broadcast an "interview" with the Beatles. The recording wasn't quite what it seemed, and that lead to a quick challenge from Jim Wood. Chuck Tiller explains it like this:

Buddy had one of those open-ended interviews where you stick your own voice in asking John, Paul, George and Ringo a set of prepared questions. Jim went nuts about it, recorded it off the air from KNUZ and put his voice in. He told his listening audience that it wasn't a real interview and explained how it was done and he could do the same. Dave Morris, GM for KNUZ/KQUE was enraged, but happy at the same time. Happy, because he could now get rid of his 7-Midnight obstacle. Uncle Dave demanded that KILT fire him.

Chuck Tiller reports that he learned these details from the late Thom Beck who had been News Editor at KILT and later a roommate of Jim Wood in California. Tiller combines that information with his own experience as a young Jim Wood listener:

At the time, I was 13. I hated KNUZ for what they did. My 13 year old mind sorted it out that way. Little did I know that would wind up working on both KNUZ and KILT in my then future.

Marvin Miller believes that KILT "would have stood up" for Jim Wood had it not been for the recent bomb joke. He was already on probation. After the KNUZ incident, Jim Wood was gone. Miller concludes his remembrance like this

Of all the people I worked with at KTHT, KRBE, and KILT, Jim Wood was the best and most entertaining of all. He was one of a kind and will always be missed by those who remember him.

Jim Wood continues to be both memorable and influential for Chuck Tiller. In his 2006 message, he stated:

Just a few weeks ago, while on KHJZ, I was doing a quick weather forecast and said, "it's a pair of 7s, that's good enough to open the poker game, it's 77 degrees at Smooth Jazz, 95.7 The Wave." As I listened to the Jim Wood aircheck, I fell out as I heard Jim mention basically the same thing. Somewhere inside of me is a part of Jim Wood, uptown, downtown and all around town, Jim Wood calls.

According to Rock Radio Heaven, Jim Wood died in 1990 at the age of 58 when he choked to death from a cough drop while being hospitalized. Wood, long a heavy smoker, was suffering from emphysema.

This is the first public exposure for this aircheck. A studio recording for job search purposes, it may be tamer than the Jim Wood you remember.

Thanks to Marv Miller for donating this material. Thanks also to Bob Edwards of ProSound Studio for converting the open reel tape to digital form.

Houston Retro Radio is hosted as part of VASTHEAD.COM.

You can also access these pages by going to

If you have original Houston radio tapes that you would like to see on this web site, please write to this web site.

Upon request, the tapes will be returned along with an mp3 disc of all the material.

Most newer CD and DVD players can play mp3 CD's, and each disc can contain several hours of material. The mp3 files can also be copied to your computer or portable device. If you prefer regular CD's, you can use the mp3 files to burn them on your computer.

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If you don't want your name to be used or an email to be quoted, please state that at the beginning of your message.

Unless otherwise indicated, all commentary and photography on this site are by Grady McAllister.

On February 14, 2009, Robert B. McEntire wrote:

Felt I had your bio by reading the entire site. Finding out you called THE MAN YOU LOVE TO HATE really tickled me. I have a good stories about the glory days of AM radio, maybe I can share them sometime. I know you're not doing it for the money, but thank you for your preservation efforts of an amazing time in Houston radio.

Robert B. McEntire

PS One of my newscasts in the Dunaway to Weird Beard Feb. 13, '67 did not get scoped and that's a great thing!

In that one aircheck are 6-people from KILT in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and 3-of us went in the charter year, Chuck, Bill and myself. Looking back; and listening back, all McLendon newsers sounded like the guy who narrated TV's Untouchables. I'm so glad I learned to write in that era. With McLendon, if you weren't creative you were gone.

From Buddy McGregor

On August 10, 2009, Buddy McGregor wrote:

Great work on the KILT-KNUZ wars! Thanks for being faithful to my emails. One thing that I could add, in response to my boast that I knocked off a talented Jim Wood...The Beatle incident that got him fired was a defining moment in the WAR. But, on May 8, 1965 I was the first American DJ to fly to England and interviewed the Beatles, LIVE, on the set of the movie "HELP".Back in Houston from that point on our Beatle work is what propelled KNUZ into first place ahead of KILT. Ironic, wasn't it? Arch Yancey did a masterful job editing the interview which was also pressed onto 45 records.(2000) of them. They sold out at Foley's in one day. I just noticed that collectors are selling them on Amazon for $7.50.I sent 15 of them to the Beatles, who autographed them for me and I still have them in my possession. Maybe they'll bring more than $7.50If some of your readers know where the guys are who began Top 40 radio in the fifties. I would like to feature their biographies on my Internet site.

People often wonder what happened to those guys they grew up with.

Buddy goes on to mention an award winning newscaster he knows who now works as "a 'greeter' at Walmart in suburban DC." Buddy concludes by quipping:

I'm unemployed and Walmart passed me over for a job. My address is Thanks.

In a subsequent message, Buddy assured me that he was only kidding in the part about needing a job himself. I already knew that he had operated a successful radio venture in the Austin area. Buddy explains:

I sold our stations to EMF broadcasting and ESPN for $8 million. Even after the stockholders were paid off and Uncle Sam took our taxes, we all came out well off.

I am working slowly on building my History web site and plan to write a book on my 50 years in the business which spans the beginnings of Top 40 and lots of background stories about the stars and radio people.

Air Check:
KNUZ, Houston, June 16, 1965,
Buddy McGregor

Buddy McGregor's web site:
The History of Rock and Roll Radio

On November 3, 2008, Buddy McGregor wrote:

Thank you for your e-mail.

In the 80's I met a guy in Los Angeles who told me he was a friend of Jim Wood, who was living out there in the valley. We got Jim on the phone and had a kind of reunion. He was out of radio and working in the security business.

Jim was a gentleman who admitted to me that the 60's period with the Beatles was something he'll never forget. His words were: "you beat me fair and square'"

Jim's mistake back then was taping a portion of my show on KNUZ in Houston and playing it back on KILT, Houston.

[Web master's note: In a later phone conversation on November 4, Buddy explained that back then the FCC strictly forbid all unauthorized rebroadcasting of materials off of another station. The rule applied to this 1964 Beatle recording even though it was a widely distributed canned interview. The local DJ's simply mixed their voices in with the prerecorded Beatle responses. For more about this incident, see my commentary with the Jim Wood aircheck in the center column of this page.]

My attitude, personally, was that I welcomed the free publicity, but the executives of both stations feared punishment from the FCC, so they agreed that letting Jim go was the right course, as far as the FCC was concerned.

After that Jim became a top jock on a Black LA radio station, where he was the only white deejay. He kept that job for years before getting out of the radio business.

In a second November 3 email, Buddy McGregor continues:

I had no idea someone was keeping those old memories alive.

My son, who was too young in 1965, told me he never knew how good a DJ I used to be until he listened to the KNUZ aircheck on your site.

With all the Top 40 excitement from KHJ in LA in that period ... and the Good Guys on WMCA in New York, Top 40 radio had no better exponents than the guys in Houston and Dallas.

The perennial Paul Berlin, the ubiquitous Joe Ford, the antics of Arch Yancey and the bold voice of Jim Wood. Yes, the executives in New York, LA and Chicago came into Houston to tape our radio stations, and take that Top 40 style back to their stations.

I'm preparing to release the full version of my 1965 interview with the Beatles on the set of the movie 'HELP" at Lord and Lady Astor's estate in London suburb Cliveden.

I couldn't say it on the air back then, but the mopheads had been smoking pot for two hours before the interview. You'll hear them giggling, getting the munchies and artfully tearing me apart, especially John.

You can preview it on your site when its finished, if you like.

Bill Weaver, a Houston pioneer at KILT in 1958 passed away this year. He hired me for KILT that year as we changed the call letters from KLEE to KILT and Don Keyes and I were the first to say the call letters on the air on midnight May 8, 1958.

After making KILT number 1, we all moved on to better jobs. In 1963, when I came back to Houston, Bill refused to hire me because I was too old. I was 31.

I eventfully wandered over to KNUZ where Dave Morris turned me loose to knock off the mighty KILT machine. We did kick their ass in just a few months and turned the ratings upside down to KNUZ favor.

Bill Weaver and I laughed over those days last year at his home in Cibolo, TX where he was dying with cancer.

One of the highlights of those old stories occurred on the night the Beatles plane landed at the private runways of the airport. Weaver was to meet them and give their people a $25,000 check before they got off the plane.

A KNUZ listener, who worked at the airport, tipped me off to where the Beatle plane was landing. I immediately told all my Beatlemaniacs to head for the airport.

They did , and thousands of them kept Weaver away from the plane with a big display of pandemonium. Weaver was quoted in the Chronicle: " Yeah, that Buddy McGregor did this, and it was chicken for him to do so."

The next day all the KNUZ jocks were clucking like chickens and calling ourselves "Houston's Chicken radio station ... puk-puk-pkwah ".

I was glad I reunited with Bill in his last days. His book was finally finished before his death. It is titled 'The triple double cross' and is a further version of the Kennedy assassination.

If you recall, KILT and 7 other Top 40 stations were owned by one of the inventors of Top 40, Gordon McLendon.

When Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Ruby was arrested, and his one phone call from prison was to Gordon McLendon. The story is intriguing.

Someone from the new KILT recently held a picnic with invitations to all personalities and announcers who had worked in Houston radio. I was not invited.

How quickly they forget. But thanks to you these historic moments may live on.

Grady: Wikipedia the name Bob Horn and read another interesting KILT story.


Buddy McGregor

On July 10, 2008, Paul Williams wrote:

I was on the air at KNUZ from 1960-64 from 7:00 PM to midnight most of the time (Jim Wood was on KILT against me). Buddy McGregor took my place in 1965. I went into sales and have been selling Houston radio for 43 years and am now Senior Account Executive of Univision Radio. We own 6 radio stations in Houston and 80 stations across the nation….Also 80 TV stations.

I have a lot of old air checks on cassette of KNUZ in the early 60’s. How can I get them to you? . . .

I saw Chuck Tillers’ name in your article. He is an old friend of mine. In fact most of the people in your writings I know very well and have worked with many of them (Arch Yancey, Paul Berlin and Joe Ford were all on KNUZ when I was)

By the way, I have been nominated for the Texas Radio Hall of Fame this year and would appreciate your vote. Just go to

I look forward to meeting you.

Paul “Wild Child” Williams

Paul Williams
Senior Account Executive, Univision Radio

The Paul Williams airchecks are some of the oldest items on this site...


KNUZ, Houston,
December 12, 1961, Paul Williams

KILE, Galveston,
July 5, 1961, Paul Williams

KILT 20/20 News Promos

Circa 1967. Jay Marks sent these recordings four years ago, but I just around to setting up a link. Only half of these promos were actually heard on KILT.

In a recent Facebook message, Jay explains:
The 1st, 3rd and 5th cuts are the real promos. Cuts 1 and 3 are voiced by KILT's PD at the time, Bill Young. The voice on cut 5 is John Bass, who worked with Bill at KDOK in Tyler and later did news at KLIF for a while. I'm sure all three were produced by Bill, one of the greatest production guys and PDs of all time. Cuts 2, 4 and 6 are word for word re-dos done by me, for no particular purpose, except to see how close I could come to the originals.

Mainly '60's

Revised October 31, 2012.

KILT enters the second half of the 1960's

KILT, (KOST-FM) Houston,
January 1, 1965, hourly newscast

Recorded at the exact midway point of the 60's, this was the very first KILT newscast of 1965. I recorded it myself.

According to Dan Lovett, the unidentified newscaster is Howard Dupree. You hear Dan Lovett on the KILT newscast below which I recorded later that month.

By the way, that is Richard Dobbyn on the intro recording for each of these newscasts.

The intro music is the first few notes of "I'll Remember April" by Marty Gold & His Orchestra from the album, "Soundpower." The album was recorded in New York on December 11, 1962. As a teenager, I collected recordings suitable for news intros, and I already had the album when KILT started using it.

A word about simulcasting...

This newscast may sound like it was recorded at the KILT studio, but it actually came off the airwaves of KOST, the name for KILT-FM at the time. KOST-FM simulcast with KILT starting at 6:00 PM. The FM side would sign off right after the midnight newscast.

As a listener, it was frustrating to have the simulcast only last six hours a night. The KOST set up became even more exasperating later in 1965 when the station ran independently from 6:00 AM until a 12:00 noon sign-off. It sounded like the same beautiful music tape running every day without any other program content.

If you have read my commentary on KXYZ, you know that I don't have anything against beautiful music formats. The problem with KOST was the way it was presented and the limited schedule. I would have preferred that it simply simulcast with KILT 24 hours a day.

I'm sure that one factor here was that the FCC was about to limit a station's freedom to simulcast. Personally, I think that the ban on full-time simulcasting helped kill AM radio as we knew it. You can no longer find an AM station in Houston with music in English that is aimed at a general audience. AM radio is now the domain of talk radio and niche markets.

"KILT Eleven O'clock Banner Line: A LONG STRUGGLE FOR LIFE ENDS FOR CHURCHILL, Dateline: London..."

KILT, Houston,
January 24, 1965, hourly newscast

Dan Lovett reports the "Sunday School Edition" of KILT news.

Jim Carola reports the voter defeat of the Harris County Hospital District. The item sounds like it was recorded over a regular phone line, a common practice at the time.

I never wrote down the dates for these early airchecks. I determined the date for this one by looking up the date of Churchill's death and by going back to January, 1965, on a Google calendar. I was also helped by the fact that Dan Lovett mentions the day of the week at the beginning of the recording.

Unfortunately, the recording ends abruptly after the Carola report. I only owned two or three reels of tape at that point, and I was probably economizing on my limited tape footage. Kids today don't know how lucky they are to be able to record directly to a computer and store thousands of hours of audio on a single hard drive.

A Roundup of Airchecks from the '60's

These airchecks came from other people. The undated items seem to be from the late 60's.

KILT, Houston, Michael, March 19, 1969

KILT, Houston, Jay Rogers#1

KILT, Houston, Jay Rogers #2

KILT, Houston, Bill Young & Todd Wallace

KNUZ, Houston, December 12, 1961, Paul Williams

KNUZ, Houston, June 14, 1965, Arch Yancy

KILT, Houston, December 22, 1966, Bill Young

KILT, Houston, July 8, 1967, Bill Young

KILT, Houston, July 11, 1966,Chuck Dunaway

KILT, Houston, February 13, 1967, Chuck Dunaway, and Russ Knight

KILT, Houston, July 8, 1967, Cousin Tom Sherwood

KILT, Houston, June 23, 1969, Todd Wallace

Added April 3, 2009

KILT in the early 60's

KILT, Houston, July 17, 1961,
Red Jones, Thom Beck

This aircheck arrived unexpectedly in my regular mail. The clasp envelope included a cassette and the following letter:

Grady... Happened to get to your web site. Very nice layout. Having worked in Houston radio some time ago, I looked for names I knew. Sadly, most of the guys I worked with then have "gone on" one way or another. I worked Texas radio 1948-1962. With KILT 1957-1962 as PD and afternoon drive. Fun Times. During the time our numbers went through the roof. Went to WOXI, Atlanta, in 62, and have been in Georgia since then. Could never fully retire. In "semi retirement" work as independent contractor doing mornings on 50,000 watt WKNG. Red Jones.

Georgia Radio Hall Of Fame

WKNG is AM 1060 in Tallapoosa, Georgia, near the Alabama state line. I have relatives within their coverage area.

In a later email, Mr. Jones stated that this aircheck was recorded on July 17, 1961, as a "single take" in the control room. He added the following comments:

You mentioned KXYZ. Coming out of the Army (Armed Forces Radio Berlin) in 1956, I came to Houston with KXYZ as they flipped to a top 40 format. Staff then included Chuck Dunaway and Larry Kane. We sounded good, but McLendon in 1957 bought the old KLEE 610 and the market really changed. I went to McLendon with KILT, Larry Kane to KNUZ , others scattered as KXYZ changed directions. Interesting times in the market...

Thom Beck was indeed a real talent. I had long lost contact with him but I ran across an LA site mentioning the "late" Thom Beck. As Claude Hall says "They come, they do,they leave." Sad but true.

This is just the kind of aircheck I like to receive. Although it is scoped, the recording includes several newscasts, promos, and commercials. Such details help create a real feeling for the time when the material was recorded.

—Grady McAllister

Ron Foster, John Jackshaw, and University of Houston News

KILT, Houston,
December 22, 1968, Ron Foster

KILT, Houston,
December 29, 1968, Ron Foster

You can also hear Ron Foster on the short aircheck for August 4, 1968.

On April 10, 2008, Ron Foster sent this message:

Hi Ya!

I appreciate your posting the airchecks from KILT from 1968. I don't actually remember the particular show with the guest DJ but it might be interesting to note that, that's how I got the gig at KILT! "The University of Houston Show." I was on for 8 weeks after which I got a call from Bill Young asking if I'd like to work there on weekends!

That was a huge break in that I'd been laughed out of the building at KNUZ where I'd applied a few weeks earlier. Eventually I wound up on the 10 PM to 2 AM shift.

I'm still playing many of the same songs included on the aircheck. Only then, they were "new." I have been with ABC Radio for over 20 years - same time - 2 PM - 7 PM Central and am the webmaster of our format web site. (SOON TO BE CHANGED TO CLASSIC HITS RADIO ONLINE).

If you type in "listen" in the search box on the web site, you can listen any day 2 to 7 - Monday through Friday. You can also check out the Ron Foster bio if it's of interest.

Again, thank you for posting the airchecks. If you would like more, please let me know and I'll see what I can come up with.

Sure, you can quote all or any of this.

Yo Bro, Ron

These airchecks also feature John T. Jaksha (John Jackshaw). Jackshaw appears as the guest DJ from the University of Houston. It was probably the first time he was ever on the air.

These airchecks were the only reel to reel recordings that I made at 1.875 inches per second. I used a Norwegian made Tandberg, a machine designed to work well at its slowest speed.

Since I had to drive Jackshaw to the station, I started the recording just before we headed to KILT. The long recording time was enough to capture the entire show without changing tapes.

Besides being new to the airwaves,

John Jackshaw was already legally blind and had to write everything out in big letters. He later became a full time broadcaster and worked in the Houston area at a station featuring Christian programming.

He is best known today for his comedy acts. Jackshaw's shows are aimed at audiences in the Christian community and at anyone seeking family friendly entertainment.

John Jackshaw's Facebook page.

In the recording for December 22, Jackshaw includes a Christmas greeting to James Lovell, an astronaut then aboard the Apollo 8 mission to the moon. Later, while orbiting the moon, the Apollo 8 crew would broadcast a famous Christmas greeting of its own.

"And even then, your journey will be just beginning"

KILT, Houston,
August 4, 1968, Ron Foster

OR click here to go directly to the Ron Foster newscast

This short item was preserved only by chance. I appear to have been testing my Tandberg tape recorder, a very temperamental machine.

Since I did not make note of the date, I have established it by comparing the material to information on the Internet. A news item on the recording indicates that it was made on the Sunday prior to the Miami convention which nominated Richard Nixon as president. The recording also mentions a York, Pennsylvania, riot from that weekend and a Jimi Hendrix concert scheduled for that night.

The commercials and promos are especially interesting on this recording.


Added October 6, 2007 . . .

KNUZ, Houston, July 7, 1966, Joe Ford.

KNUZ, Houston, June 16, 1965, Buddy McGregor

Thanks to Vicki Ayo for sending these KNUZ recordings. These two items help fill a significant gap in my collection.

My original collection has a great big lack of unscoped recordings of well known DJ's. If fact, I only kept only about ten seconds of KNUZ material -- a news intro from 1964.

I didn't remember anything about P.J. Proby, but the singer and his mom are prominent on the MacGregor aircheck.

The P.J. Proby web site

The same KNUZ recording was also my first exposure to that Garner State Park anthem since 1965. Some songs stay with you even if you never hear them again.

That second KNUZ aircheck shows Buddy McGregor pitted against KILT's Russ Knight in the battle of the nighttime top 40 jocks.

Somebody please send me some Russ Knight (Weird Beard) airchecks.

I almost kept a great Russ Knight aircheck of my own. Have you heard my recording of the KILT newscast from 12:00 A.M., January 1, 1965? I also recorded Russ Knight's New Year's Eve show immediately before the newscast.

That recording had some very exciting examples of the Weird Beard "pretending" to be drunk. Unfortunately (with the immense maturity which I possessed at that age), I decided that the recording was stupid and lacked the historical value of the newscast. And so I erased over it. And so it goes.

But wait . . . Take a look at the aircheck below.

KILT, Houston, June 14, 1965, Russ Knight

Actually, I do have this Russ Knight aircheck. Unfortunately, I can't claim that I recorded it myself. I traded one of my original tapes for this material several years ago, and I am only now getting around to listing it.

I generally avoid posting items which have come from another web site. Nonetheless, this recording captures the essential style of the Weird Beard and KILT in general.

I believe that I was listening at the time of this recording.

During that particular month, I was tuned to KILT much more than usual. I also remember hearing Russ Knight make that remark about WXYZ in Detroit. So, unless he made the WXYZ remark on more than one occasion, I had to have been listening on the night of June 14.

For more about Buddy McGregor and the KILT Vs KNUZ saga, please see the Jim Wood aircheck further down this column.