April 15, 2005 [Friday]

Many fond memories of San Antonio radio linger. The Alamo City presented my first taste of real radio remote broadcasting. Houston radio definitely is in the swing of things in remote programming. Nearly every radio station worth a hoot has its own large remote trailer. Most are more favorably equipped than a lot of radio stations' primary studios. Remote broadcasts make for excellent face-to-face contact with your listeners. If carried out properly, this makes for excellent public relations both for the radio station and each DJ's program.
MIKE MCHENRY (San Saba, TX) mikemchenry@cherokeecreek.com Jim, My father-in-law is Ken Grant. His daughter Lynn and I have been married 36 years. We currently live on a small ranch west of Lampasas and just east of Mason/Llano. We own and operate a small commercial vineyard.
Ken is 80 and still lives in Houston. He was with KNUZ and KQUE from 1948 until 1997. His recollections of Houston radio during those years are incredible, especially during the 50's and 60's. He was an on-air personality during much of that time, along with Paul Berlin, Webb Hunt and Biff Collins (so I think).
Did you know Ken while at KNUZ? In 1978 he was spending most of his time at KQUE. Also do you know how to contact Barry Kay? Thank you. We are very interested in your book.
Mike and Lynn (Grant) McHenry 1353 County Rd 432 San Saba, Texas 76877
Remember KEN GRANT very well. KEN was a low-keyed dignified fella. When I DJ'd noon-3 pm at KNUZ-1230 here in Houston, GRANT had moved away from the mic and into sales. KEN had a nice office on the first floor. If memory serves correct, KEN was Sales Manager for sister station KQUE FM. WEBB HUNT was all nights on KQUE FM. WEBB always wore sunglasses and black seemed to be his favorite attire. Even drove a black Corvette with black interior. PAUL BERLIN was KQUE FM's Program Director and mid-day DJ. DAVID MORRIS was the owner/General Manager of KNUZ and KQUE FM. MORRIS was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame October 2004 at the banquet in San Antonio. DAVE passed away recently.
Every year on April 15th, my sister gains one more year in her quest to catch up with her older brother. Percentage wise, she is closing in on my 61 with her 57. Happy Birthday sister SHIRLEY.
BOB CROWLEY (Ft. Worth, TX) bobcrowley@mail.ev1.net Hey Jim, Bob Crowley here. I get a kick out of reading your rememberings about San Antonio.
I got my start at the age of 15, at the old KBAT. Bill Hoadley (Paul Kelly) took me under his wing, and we started an explorer scout troop. I remember walking up to KTSA, and meeting Stan Kelly, when he and Sonny Melendrez were the only staff. I used to bug Nick St. John and Allen Grimm at KEXL about getting into the business, and a few years later worked with them.
Over the years I was at KONO/KITY, KITE/KEXL, KTSA/KTFM, KISS/KMAC, WOAI, KSAQ (the second one) KRNN and I'm sure there's one or two more I've forgotten. Keep up the history, and I'll see you in Radio Daily News. (Larry Shannon is the best!)
Bob Crowley (overnight newsman for WBAP)
PAUL KELLY was a good friend and boy do I have some interesting stories about KELLY. When I was at KBAT in 1971, there were two DJs by the first name of PAUL. PAUL MORGAN had a nice mellow voice with a smooth style and was the mid-day DJ. KELLY was a dare devil of sorts.
Remember one time that no one in the engineering department would climb the towers to dab on some paint because of snakes, ants and scorpians. KELLY told RIC MARCELLAN, who was KBAT's General Manager, how much dinero it would take for him to deliver the deed. KELLY finished the projects (several towers in the array) with countless scratches, stings and singes as souvenirs. PAUL appeared battle-worn, but had a big grin from ear to ear. Last I heard, PAUL KELLEY is at a radio station in California. Like to hear from both PAULs.
BOB CROWLEY (Ft. Worth, TX) bobcrowley@mail.ev1.net Hey Jim, thanks for the quick reply. Last time I saw Paul Kelly was in 1975, he dropped some road atlas's at KTFM, with his insurance agency information on them. I got curious about Nick St. John, so I did a search on his real name, Aubrey Cook, and it came up on Danny Kaye Drive in northwest San Antonio. I last saw him in the parking lot of 106.7 in San Antonio, in the mid-80's. He was the program director at the time, but was gone within a few weeks. He's one of my favorite Dee-Jays of all time. I listened to him on KONO when I was a boy, then on KEXL in the early '70s. Then I replaced him at KTFM in 1975, and then worked with him and Allen at KEXL in 1976.
I was 14 when I got my 3RD phone I was working at First Repertory Theater in San Antonio, and everyone was hired to be in an Army training film. I met DON WEST at the shoot. He was Newsman at KBAT, and introduced me to BILL HOADLEY (PAUL KELLY). PAUL let me come out and make practice tapes, Then created an Explorer scout troop.
BILL RHODE offered me a job, senior year in high school, but then said AFFIRMATIVE ACTION meant all future hires had to be MINORITIES. So, I went off to University of Houston, Got on the air at KUHF, landed a part time job at KLOL. They had just moved into the studios on Lovett. It was a Golden Age. 10,000 albums and no format.
Like a fool, I thought I needed smaller market experience, So I went full time at WJBO-FM in Baton Rouge. I was 18. I was immature, quit before I got fired. I interviewed at the Majic Time Machine Disco, But TED STECKER hired me at KITY instead. I was part time and was about to go full-time when the purge came.
JOHNNY SHANNON was moved from KONO to the KITY shift I was supposed to get. So I went to KTFM, took the night shift that opened up when KEN DOWE fired NICK ST JOHN. I left for KRMH Austin. That lasted til they got sold, I came back to KEXL. That lasted til they got sold, landed back at KONO/KITY. Then got the evening gig at KMAC, then got fired, Moved to TV. I had three good years at KENS TV, left in disgust over low wages.
Doubled my salary at KGAK in Gallup New Mexico. Back to S.A. to KSAQ, then KRNN, then WOAI, Then 6 good years at KPEZ in Austin. 6 more good years at KVET/KASE. On to TXN in S.A., Then sales for KENS radio. Up to Dallas for KRLD. They blew me out last August. The next day I had a job at KMSR, and part time work at WBAP. WBAP made me full time in December. Here I am working the overnight News shift. Talking to 38 states and preparing News for Morning Drive.
I went to high school with Bubba Redding's step-sons, by the way. Stay in touch, and if you want some old stories I'll send 'em on.
Bob Crowley
Wow! Thought my zig-zags topped 'em all, but BOB's certainly in the running. Know very well the outreach of that clear channel 50,000 watt 820 frequency. Back when WFAA-Dallas and WBAP-Ft. Worth each owned 50% of both the 570 kc and 820 kc frequencies in the Sizzlin' Sixties, I was 8-midnight on 820, Monday through Friday nights.
Never knew just where the next phone call was going to originate. A woman phoned every night from Mayfield, KY. A guy from Chicago often requested tunes. Others came in from Alaska to Alabama to Missouri and the Caribbean isles. Listeners from nearly every state in the Union rang the 820 line. These were long distance calls because WFAA had no 800 number.
In those days, the radio audience was much more responsive. DJs had more freedom to play what fans wanted. Those were the days, my friend. PAUL KELLY, BUBBA REDING and JOHNNY SHANNON were very good compadres. BUBBA met his maker a couple of years ago. Sure like to locate NICK ST JOHN and PAUL KELLY.
BOB CROWLEY bobcrowley@mail.ev1.net Jim, my first memories of San Antonio media concern Bill Shomette, had a Saturday morning show on KENS-TV, he would tell stories, sing and play guitar, was the station announcer too. He also had a show on KENS AM radio. I decided that's what I wanted to do when I grew up, wanted to be Bill Shomette.
Later learned 680 AM had started out as KABC, the Alamo Broadcasting Company. Those call-letters were carved into the transmitter building on Highway 16, the Bandera Road, long after the calls had been sold to ABC.
Years later, driving up San Pedro, past the synagog, there was this funky old house. It was Halloween, a coffin stuck onto the front of the third floor. It was KBAT. They were riding the 'Batman' craze at the time, even though the call letters had been adopted when they got the Astros radio rights. I met Don King, KBAT newsman. He told me I should meet Paul Kelly, evening dee jay, Paul would let me come up and practice so I could someday be a Radio Announcer. I jumped at the chance. Paul suggested the station start an Explorer Scout troop. I was the first member, and it's president.
The best part about being inside a radio station was the stories. Some of the old timers told about acetate disks, how they would have large trash cans full of shavings made during the recordings. They burned easily. Hondo Crouch used to call Paul, tell hilarious stories.
It seemed like the announcers were there forever. Bill Rohde, Paul Morgan, Joe Simpson all made the transition from easy listening to country in 1972. I almost got my first radio job there. Bill Rohde told me he would hire me to shuck records and make coffee. He offered a dollar an hour and "All the records you can eat!" But then a few weeks later he told me about a new law, called Affirmative Action. It meant the staff would have to have a porportionate number of minorites, and while they wouldn't have to fire anyone, every new hire for a while would have to be a minority or a woman. I wasn't either.
Many more years later, I finally met Bill Shomette, encouraged me to follow my dream, to be announcer for KENS TV. He was the program director, and would like to hire me, it was his last day. He was retiring. Not long after that I got the job of announcer for KENS TV, wasn't a full time job, everything was recorded. I also got my own show. dressed up as the Grim Reaper, hosted the Saturday night horror movie at KENS TV for 3 years as 3rd string weatherman, typed Dan Cooke's scores into the C.G., even swept the studio floor after the 10pm news.
Many years later, after consolidation left me without work, I signed up to be a salesman for KENS AM, a new KENS Radio, the old KUKA frequency, 1160.
Bob Crowley 
BLAKE LINDSAY (Dallas, Texas) blazin_blake@iqmail.net Great to hear back from you Jim! You hit the nail right on the head. I read you, in Larry Shannon's RDN, on Tuesdays and Fridays. I certainly do enjoy RDN lots also. Larry does a super job, of consolidating all of the very best.
I began my career, at KHFI, in Austin. I worked fairly full time, but never received salary, or benefits. Plenty of hours, and enjoyed the experience. Dave Jarott, was our morning man, when I got to K-98. He was a hoot to work with. His humor, about working with a blind guy, was truly funny, and I believe even helped me to sell the humorous side of being totally blind. We still communicate.
I haven't worked with any blind people, but I got to blaze a trail for Steven Kerr, who is the APD and afternoon host with KKMJ, Magic 95.5 in Austin. He had trouble getting anyone to hire him initially, and I got some good press, which opened up a well deserved door for Steven. He has done quite well, especially the past ten years.
My career span, was 1979, through 2001. I worked most recently, with KHKS, KISS-FM in Dallas Ft Worth, as the utility man. I had two steady shifts, and worked some fill in, including two weeks each year as relief for the Kidd Kradick morning show. Before KHKS, I worked with KLUV for a year, on the over night shift full time, with a good weekend shift.
My first station here in Dallas, was KODZ, a station trying hard to beat KLUV. I had the pleasure, of working with the real Wolfman Jack for a year. We became good friends, munching good meals, and going fishing together. I never got to meet his son and wife, he talked of often. I wish I had of.
From 1984, through 1988, I was full time, with KTFM and KTSA. Waterman Broadcasting, was probably the most laid back, a fun environment to work. I can do a better job sometime, tying up the rest of the loose ends.
I am forty years old, and hope to return, for one more round of radio, if I can get a Blake break. I have been doing occasional production, with commercials, and PowerPoint presentations, to keep my pipes warmed up. I also do some free lance writing, primarily about people who have benefited from adaptive technology as I have. Thank you very much for getting back with me Jim. I appreciate that a lot. Have a Blazin Good Day!
Sincerely, Blake Lindsay
Since BLAKE now resides in my hometown, Dallas, mentioned a few of the radio stations in Big D where my voice was heard: WFAA-820, WFAA-570, WFAA FM, KBOX-1480, KTLC FM and KLIF-1190. WFAA-570 is now called KLIF...WFAA-820 is now WBAP...WFAA FM became KZEW FM, and then? No telling where the call letters KLIF, KBOX and KTLC ended up. Have to check on that. Was Program and Music Director, plus deejay at KHFI FM from 1966-67. LINDSAY and I missed deejaying at KHFI FM at the same time by a couple of decades. Asked BLAKE if he ever knew JOHN JAKSHA. JOHN is sight impaired also. JAKSHA and I were deejays at KMCV FM here in Houston.
BLAKE LINDSAY (Dallas, TX) blazin_blake@iqmail.net Wow Jim!  You have absolutely done some good Dallas radio. I still reside in North Dallas, and love it here. I have to admit, I still consider San Antonio home, having lived there from age nineteen, to twenty-seven. I would grab my sweet wife, and move back to SA in a heart beat, if the job offer was feasible.
I have been more employed, than not, here in Dallas. More opportunities for a blind person to excel, in the bigger cities for pretty obvious reasons.A buddy of mine, told me you had great pipes for radio Jim.
I wish I knew John JAKSHA. In Texas, the only totally blind people I know, are Steven Kerr, and Michael Tamez, who has done more music oriented things, than radio, but has worked some smaller markets. Tons of music talent though. Keep up your good work Jim. You are still plenty young, to return to the airwaves also. Talk to you soon. Have a Blazin Good Day!
Sincerely, Blake Lindsay
News about San Antonio radio and air personalities, such as BRUCE HATHAWAY and JERRY KING, has been showing up on the doorstep from ED GUERRERO. ED mentioned that he had written my long-time friend, JERRY KING, at KKYX. Wondered what KING had to say.
EDWARD GUERRERO (San Antonio, TX) edward-guerrero@sbcglobal.net Jim, Never heard from Jerry, but called Cox communications and was told that Bruce had left his AM gig at KKYX and had gone to work with Metro Traffic. I suppose they meant the Texas DOT facility which is big here in SAT. Bruce wears a lot hats... for one he is the comm chairman for the yearly San Antonio Rodeo.
Early this week i e-mailed you an obit from Express-News website mysa.com. The article is about the passing away of the 93 year old co-founder of the Pleasanton Tx radio station KBOP, the one where Willie Nelson launched his career as a DJ in the 50's. Did u get the e-mail?
Regards, Ed
JERRY, JOHNNY and I were in the same class at Elkin's in Dallas in 1964. JERRY was a nite DJ for a period when I was Program Director at KBUC FM-AM (1968-70).
EDWARD GUERRERO (San Antonio, TX) edward-guerrero@sbcglobal.net Jim, Registering can really open the flood gates for junk mail, thanks to Incredimail it helps me to control this. What is Johnny's KTSA e-mail address? Question: Earlier i mentioned old SAT radio station KABC 680 circa 1950's which later became KBAT 680. KABC is now heard in LA. That LA station history does not mention the SAT connection. Can the same call letters be used at different market locations? I have seen several KISS call letters being used in other city's????
KBAT was originally KABC. When the ownership changed, those magical KABC call letters were ditched in favor of KBAT. The instant those KABC call letters became available, they were quickly snatched up by the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles.
Jim Rose
Houston, Texas
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