Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dentist Sketch - The Carol Burnett Show

Harvey Korman, R.I.P.

Friday, May 30, 2008


One of South America's few remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes has been spotted and photographed on the border between Brazil and Peru.

The Brazilian government says it took the images to prove the tribe exists and help protect its land.

The pictures, taken from an aeroplane, show red-painted tribe members brandishing bows and arrows. (See Pictures) (BBC STORY)

"The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs Of All Time"

Rolling Stone Magazine picks ."The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs Of All Time"
Whether you agree with the list, think they left off obvious ones or have no opinion, this is a pretty good starting point for all lovers of guitar rock. (HERE)

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Pictured here : JOE KELLY and THOM O'HARE

My old friend, Joe Kelly, e-mailed me in response to my latest diatribe on Radio's unsung heroes and their lack of acknowledgment by the industry that they helped to build.
For those who know Joe only as the "voice talent extraordinaire" that he is, I thought his e-mail might help introduce some of you to some more of Joe's history as a pioneer. Joe is never one to mince words or hide his true feeling.

Joe wrote:
Lee, this is an excellent observation. I agree with you 100%. I knew Thom O'Hare well because I was "national PD" for Metromedia back in '67 and I also knew Tom Donahue. I went to Tom's home in Marin Co. one night and he sat in a huge wicker chair and passed a bong around!
We all sat at his feet and listened to him talk about the world, about music, etc. Later, Bill Graham stopped over and also a guy named Ron Poltee who managed Quicksilver. I was 27 and had never smoked pot before! By the time I went back to my hotel at 4 or 5 am, I was changed forever. Later, Tom introduced me to people like Jann Wenner and Herbie Herbert (Journey) - also Wavy Gravy! I loved the whole scene so much that I resigned from Metromedia and went back to being a jock - the deal was, I'd work for Drake on one condition - that he hired me in San Francisco. And that's where I spent the next 10 years. I came back to Milwaukee for Christmas one year, was introduced to Bill Lynett(owner of WQFM-Milwaukee)by Steve Ewing and that's why I came back to Milwaukee - to put QFM on the air. Otherwise, I'd have never left San Francisco but I wanted to introduce Milwaukee to Rock on FM.

I guess it doesn't really matter anymore. It seems, everything today is totally disposable. I've managed to maintain a career in Radio or related businesses since 1962 but, today, nobody in Radio knows who I am anymore. It used to be easier for me when they did because my good work was my currency. But now, I can only be successful when I do something that works AT THIS MOMENT in time. History seems meaningless to those in the business now. Part of that is consolidation, which dulled everyone's senses and sucked the romance out of the biz. Like everything else, it's now all about corporations. But there are still some people who are doing great things - Randy Michaels at Tribune is one that pops into my mind. And there are some passionate & creative PDs still around. Maybe it'll all come back on the net - creative radio.

Anyway, one of the things I had to promise my girl - before she would give herself to me as a life partner - was to leave the "Joe Kelly" identify & mind-set back at the office. That took some time to accomplish. But these days, I have somehow managed to leave the Radio thing at work and, when I lock the door and get into the car, I'm Marty. It works for me. But through that process, I learned that all of us are eternal because energy is forever. Our works - our contributions - or ideas - they just melted into this huge pot. Whatever we created is there forever.
Just like the 1940 broadcasts on Radio - the shows that still play in outer space - somewhere - millions of miles away - somebody may be listening!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Where the Hell is Bill Drake and Tom Donahue?

In recent days, a number of Great Radio people have passed on. I find it (amazing/sad/perplexing) that the passing of those who have contributed so much to our beloved radio business are largely ignored by our own radio trade press. (All Access and Radio Daily News are exceptions to this. Maybe it's just the "Dead Tree" guys) If they haven't been active in the last 5-10 years in the industry, it's as if they never existed, no matter how important their contribution may have been in the past. We seem to only pay tribute to those who are still here and active and able to sell tables at some function honoring them. This really struck home with me for the first time about 7 years ago when Thom O'Hare died at the age of 58. Thom was, among other accomplishments, Program Director of KMET, Los Angeles and KSAN, San Francisco back in the formative stages of Progressive Rock Radio (it's pre- rock radio name). Thom mattered. Thom contributed. Thom was an essential player in the Album Radio format movement. When he died, it barely registered in our industry's "journals of record". Thom deserved better, as did Bill Vermillion and Dick Meeder and all the unsung heroes of our radio industry.
The "Museum of Broadcast Communication-Radio Hall of Fame", the "N.A.B. Broadcasting Hall of Fame" and the "Broadcasters Hall of Fame" are another sore spot for me. Where the Hell is Bill Drake and Tom Donahue?
Please, all my friends in radio, become students of our shared radio history. We must honor those who came before us. They deserve nothing less.
You don't know where you're going, if you don't know where you've been.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008



Needed a little levity. Thanks G.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Those Who Remember Bill Vermillion

For other Remembrances of Bill Vermillion: Message Board (HERE)

CFL Bulletin Board (HERE)

Central Florida Radio "Bill Vermillion" Tribute (HERE)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bill Vermillion Passes

Bill Vermillion died yesterday. To those who don't know the name, Bill was the MD at WLOF in Orlando, Florida in the 1960's. He was responsible for breaking more bands than anyone I know. He ran BeeJay Recording Studios after he left WLOF. We worked together when I programmed WORJ in Orlando. He was our consulting Sound Engineer. He helped us build state-of-the-art studios and engineered all of our Southern Progressive Radio Network Concerts at BeeJay Studios.. WLOF opened the door for the success of AOR, WORJ. WLOF was the most musically advanced Top 40 station in America under Bill's watchful eye and great ears. They dominated Orlando radio during the '60s. Bill was a great guy. A true friend. I'm tired of saying these words lately. Bill will be missed.

Friday, May 23, 2008


The passing of Dick Meeder made me think of all the G.Ms that I have worked for during my years programming radio.

Pierre Bejano-WTAI-1968

Ted Eiland-WKKO-1970

Jack Curran-WORJ-1972

Irv Uram-WGVL-1977

Jim Johnson-WQXM (98ROCK) 1978

Steve Marx-WAAF-1978

Ralph Barnes-WQFM-1981

Mike Solon-WLLZ-1986

Some were great at what they did. Some were “dear” friends. Some left me alone to do my job. Others meddled constantly. Some were generous and out going. Some were cheap. Some were leaders. Some were afraid of leaders.

I was hired by Dick Meeder to be P.D. of 96Rock in Atlanta in 1984.

He flew into Milwaukee. We had lunch and talked. We hit it off immediately. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

When I was hired by Ralph Barnes at WQFM in Milwaukee in 1981, I had just spent the past 3 years in the Record Biz. I was National Album Manager at RCA and then VP Promotion at a start-up label named Third Coast Records in Chicago. I missed my first love, RADIO, horribly. When the PD job at WQFM came open, I jumped at it. The pay was abysmal, but there were promises of a big raise after a year or so. I remember going in to Ralph’s office after about 18 months and begging for that raise. We had beaten our direct competitor, WLPX, 2 or 3 books in a row. It was time, and I desperately needed the money. I was making $35,000 a year and needed $50,000. Ralph told me, “The only way you’ll make $50,000 is to quit and go somewhere else”. He wasn’t kidding. This made me really sad. I loved Milwaukee and my staff at WQFM. I didn’t want to leave. I had built a life there and had many friends, but I was starving. I had children to raise. About a month later that lunch with Dick Meeder occurred. Like I said, we really hit it off. He offered me $50,000 a year to go to Atlanta. I accepted it on the spot.

The only problem was Ralph was out of town at GM meetings in Florida with the owner of WQFM. He wouldn’t be back for a week. I couldn’t wait until he got back to tell him.

That would be unfair to give him less than 2 weeks notice. I called him on the phone and resigned. Ralph freaked. He said, “Why didn’t you give me a chance to match the offer?”

I said, “But you told me I had to quit to get that kind of money”. “Will you stay if I can match the offer?” he asked. I didn’t want to leave so I said,”Yes”.

He called me back 20 minutes later. “OK, Ahole, you got the $50,000”.

I took a deep breath and called Dick Meeder to UNTAKE the 96ROCK job. It was the hardest phone call that I’ve ever made in my Radio career. I really liked him. I wanted to go there, but not uprooting my family was the right thing to do. And I hadn’t finished the job yet at WQFM. I had promised that I would drive our competitor out of the Rock format and that hadn’t happened yet.

Dick got on the phone and instead of being angry at the news, he really understood and said “Lee, I’d do the same thing if I was you. Family stability should always come first. We’ll work together some other time. Good luck and don’t worry about it. I understand.” (He had already press released the news of my hiring and it was already in the Atlanta newspaper). Sadly, we never did get to work together, but I’ve never forgotten what a great guy Dick Meeder was. He was sincere and caring in the way that he dealt with me that day. He is the Best GM that I’ve ever not worked for. He will be missed!!!

Footnote: As it turned out, it was the right decision. We did put WLPX away. They left the format a year later. We were alone, on top with an 8.5 share. Eventually, I left to work for Dave Martin at Doubleday in Detroit where I met Doug Podell. Doug and Dave are still two of my Best Friends in the world. And my family situation turned out better for it as well. I still wonder, though, what it would have been like to work for Dick Meeder.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dick Meeder

Dick Meeder was GM of 96 Rock Atlanta. This interview was done in April 2007 at the Atlanta Rock Reunion. Dick Meeder was one of the GOOD ones.

DICK passed away on MONDAY, MAY 19th, 2008 due to complications during a surgical heart procedure. His body will be cremated for burial at ARLINGTON CEMETARY in SANDY SPRINGS, GA. Dick was GM of 96 ROCK from 1974 to 1985.


From John Gorman's Blog:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are like a radio station with the best morning drive personality – and nothing for the rest of the day. Think of the slogans that have dominated radio for years. Let me offer a blast from the past: “Howard Stern all morning, the best rock all day.”

Isn’t that an alternative to “....mediocrity the rest of the day?” (MORE)


If you're looking for some java with a little less hellfire than Dave Mustaine's Legends Cup coffee, CoffeeFool has a few lighter rock roasts to start your day. We're angling for some samples, but in the meantime, here's the descriptions and some wild guesses about what to expect when you crack these bags open.

The Styx Special Brew actually seems pretty dark, sorta like "Kilroy Was Here"; it's an Italian-roast that promises a "unique energy that'll keep your buds sufficiently confused, but coming back ... no ... begging for more." Expect proggy notes and a lingering aftertaste well after you thought the song should have been over. (MORE)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Led Zeppelin classic "Whole Lotta Love" throbs from the 1,200-watt sound system as the slick silver and white roller coaster nears the top of its serpentine track.

Lead singer Robert Plant shrieks, "Woman. You need. Loooooooove..." And as he does, riders scream as the car falls from a height of 155 feet, reaching speeds of 65 mph.

Welcome to Hard Rock Park, America's newest theme park and the first one built in the nation in a decade. Here the theme is not movies or fairy tales or water shows. It's that American invention, rock 'n' roll.

The $400 million park in the heart of South Carolina's $16 billion tourism industry had a soft opening in April that it called a "sound check." The grand opening is slated for June 2-3, with concerts by the Eagles and The Moody Blues.

As has Led Zeppelin, both groups have lent their names to key attractions at the 55-acre park built around a lake dominated by 70-foot replica of a Les Paul guitar.

The Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane" roller coaster spins through what appears to be an abandoned saw mill as the hit song plays. "Nights in White Satin, The Trip" winds through the dark amid psychedelic lights and images set to the 1960s Moody Blue's hit. (READ MORE) (Park website)

I wish that I was as smart as David Martin

I wish that I was as smart as David Martin. David's Blog is always thought provoking, educational, timely and entertaining. If you are a Broadcast Professional and you haven't been reading David's mostly daily writings, do yourself a favor and start now. (David's Blog)

Monday, May 05, 2008


Nine Inch Nails are giving away their new album, The Slip, as a free download at

Trent Reznor is presenting the album as a token of his appreciation for his fans: “Thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years. This one’s on me.”

The download is available now.


This is a Christmas interview with The Look in 1982 on "The Beat". This is the original band with then WLLZ MD and "The Beat" Host Doug Podell.


Robert Palmer, Dusty Springfield, Lou Rawls, Barry White, Tom Fogerty, John Entwistle. All DEAD.

Don McLean, Tony Orlando, Eddie Fisher, Duane Eddy. Peter Green, Michelle Phillips, All ALIVE.

Who's Alive and Dead is a website that lets you know who is still with us and who has departed. Musicians, Actors, Politicians, Astronauts, etc. (Click for SITE)

Thursday, May 01, 2008



All sizes, colors. Have listeners carry your logo proudly.

Save a tree. Use a tote.
Example: Natural Canvas tote
15"x16". 9x10" imprint.
Poly handles. 144pc minimum.

$3.25 each

includes all costs except freight

Thanks to Dan Kelley at CLASSIC ROCK FM