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Added October 20, 2006 . . .KILT-KNUZ wars:
Jim Wood & his boobies
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
The melody was the same as
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:
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:
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
Jim Wood continues to be both memorable and influential for Chuck Tiller. In his 2006 message, he stated:
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.
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The Evolution of the Music VideoStrawberry Fields Forever was one of the first visual productions I remember seeing that resembled a modern music video. The date was February 12, 1967.
The Ed Sullivan Show broadcast Strawberry Fields Forever along with Penny Lane, the flip side of a double single.
I think to qualify as a music video, the visuals have to show some movement or story (however surrealistic) and not just show a band appearing to play its instruments while lip syncing.
Of course, back then they were called film clips, not music videos. People tend to think that films based on songs began with MTV in 1981, but the Beatles had pioneered the productions long before that.
This Strawberry Fields Forever clip was made for TV, but many parts of the Beatles movies could rightfully be called music videos. In fact, I remember seeing some songs from Help! being played like music videos in the mid 80's.
A lot of musicians didn't like the rise of MTV. They felt that an art director would dictate what a song really meant instead of the people who wrote and played it. That is what the band Journey was getting at when they called their 1986 album "Raised on Radio."
June 14, 2010
Blowing in the breeze
Midnight, looks right
Standing more at ease"
Song lyric on The Vasthead: Tapioca Tundra
Below is my favorite Monkees song. It was written by Michael Nesmith (born at St Joseph's Hospital in Houston in 1942). He was the Monkee whose mother invented Liquid Paper.
One of the many music trends in the 60's was a nostalgia for the music of the 1920's. The best known example of that was "Winchester Cathedral," a song which made No. 1 at around the same time that the Monkees TV show appeared.This Monkees recording capitalized on that trend and makes Nesmith sound like he is singing into a megaphone. The song manages to be both nostalgic and psychedelic at the same time.
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On February 14, 2009, Robert B. McEntire wrote:
From Buddy McGregor
On August 10, 2009, Buddy McGregor wrote:
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:
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:
Buddy McGregor's web site:
On November 3, 2008, Buddy McGregor wrote:
On July 10, 2008, Paul Williams wrote:
The Paul Williams airchecks are some of the oldest items on this site...
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.
Revised October 31, 2012.KILT enters the second half of the 1960's
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..."
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.
Houston, Michael, March 19, 1969
Added April 3, 2009
KILT in the early 60's
This aircheck arrived unexpectedly in my regular mail. The clasp envelope included a cassette and the following letter:
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:
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.
Ron Foster, John Jackshaw, and University of Houston News
You can also hear Ron Foster on the short aircheck for August 4, 1968.
On April 10, 2008, Ron Foster sent this message:
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.
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"
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 . . .
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 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.
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.