"The radio craze ... will soon fade."
Thomas Edison, 1922
radio is an art form. The airwaves are the empty canvas, the producer is the
artist, and the sound is the paint."
Julius Lester on progressive radio in the late '60s/early '70s
"We're not a service industry. We're a
business. Radio isn't an art form, it's an entertainment medium."
KDFC PD Bill Lueth on radio today
"I found joy in almost every record."
Gary Owens on his days as a rock'n' roll deejay
"My heart ... will always beat just a little
faster when the word radio is spoken."
Veteran deejay Mike Sheppard
"The important thing was that I was still on
Dick Biondi, asked why he took a job at a lesser-known South Carolina station in the '70s
"More than any other man, he brought us rock
Billboard's Paul Ackerman, writing about Alan Freed
"I loved every minute of
it ... It was fantastic."
Los Angeles deejay legend Earl McDaniel on his radio career
"Underground radio meant something because it
said something ..."
Pioneer FM deejay Charles Laquidara
"I didn't have any fear. Fearlessness is a
Legendary deejay Joey Reynolds
"I dug it very much, just from the first go
Detroit legend "Frantic" Ernie Durham on this first time in radio
"I feel I have done a day's work after only
three hours on the air."
High-energy deejay The Real Don Steele
"The playlist is the vocabulary of a radio
Cousin Brucie from his book
"My Life in Rock 'N' Roll Radio"
"In my day, everything came from my belly
button and seat of the pants. Today, everything is done from research."
Early Top 40 radio executive George Wilson
"The audience must
accept you as a human being before it can accept you as a comedian, newscaster,
The late Durwood Kirby
"Let people you admire show you the
way, then use your own creativity to build on that base."
Don Berns on how to develop your own radio personna
"He was legend. There was no other disc jockey
in the United States like him."
Sam Riddle on B. Mitchell Reed
"Money, music and
PD Buzz Bennett describing his shotgun-like, contest-oriented format at KCBQ in the early '70s
"I grew up bold. Survival made me bolder."
Pioneer deejay Martha 'Jean the Queen' Steinberg
"Being on the air
is and probably always will be the highest point for me."
"The deejays were
hired based on their ability to be entertainers."
KFWB program director Chuck Blore
fascinated with radio."
Sandy Hoyt's daughter Alison Hannah on her father, who died in August, 2002
"John R. told me you don't work for the radio
station. You work for the people out there."
"All deejays are crazy."
Andy Travis to Venus Flytrap in a final season episode of WKRP in Cincinnati
"Ego is not a four-letter word."
The Real Don Steele, date unknown
"It doesn't end with telling the time and
Cousin Brucie, 1998
was exciting to feel the energy rise along with the ratings."
Tom Shannon on the early days of "The Big 8", CKLW
"Radio was where I belonged. I could feel it."
Jack Gale in his outstanding book, "Same Time, Same Station."
"Everything tight, no
dead air ... everything perfect, perfect, perfect."
Bill Drake on the "Drake" format
"The devil with stats."
Legendary programmer Tom Shovan
"The radio of my youth ... is now a quaint
memory replaced by computer hard drives."
Former TV talk show host Phil Donahue
"The greatest DJ is one who can live within
the formula and make it sound .... as if he producing and pulling the music all
Legendary deejay Dick Biondi
"It stays with you, and it makes life feel so
Wolfman Jack on Top 40 radio
"Top 40 remains unique ... in its ability to
be the most democratic, the most eclectic, the most lively of all formats - if
it only chooses to be ."
Ben Fong-Torres' closing words in his book 'The Hits Just Keep On Comin'."
"I wanted to grow my
hair long and be the disc jockey who played the Beatles."
Legendary deejay Terry Young
"We were radio without
contempt for our audience. To us, we were just playing music and talking with
Progressive radio pioneer Bonnie Simmons
"It was a simpler,
less sophisticated time, but what a great, fun time it was."
David Carson in his outstanding book "Rockin' Down The Dial: The Detroit Sound of Radio."
"The only kind of
revolution comparable to underground radio today is the Internet."
Raechel Donahue, from Michael Keith's excellent book, "Voices in the Purple Haze."
"I tell you, I'm never going to stop. I'm not
interested in rusting away."
Dick Biondi, still on the air at WMJK Chicago, playing rock 'n' roll after 45 years
"He made music come to life."
Rick Dees on NY-LA radio legend B. Mitchell Reed
know the problem with public service? We don't make any money off of it."
Herb Tarlek (played by Frank Bonner) in an early episode of WKRP in Cincinnati
"If you're good, you'll always work somewhere.
If not, you'll learn to do something else."
Former 'KB and WBUF deejay Fred Klestine
"Research rarely gives recognition to
originality. It recognizes what's familiar."
Former NBC Entertainment president
"I think the network concept is about
A prophetic programmer Ken Wolt in 1982
"The disc jockey
sort of lives in the airwaves for the people."
Line - uttered by Howard Hesseman playing fictional deejay Johnny Fever - on the TV show 'WKRP in Cincinnati'.
"Rock 'n' roll will never die."
Norman B., 1979
"I always tried to give
a positive message: stay in school; don't go near drugs."
The late Douglas "Jocko" Henderson
"He had this big
gravelly voice and when he talked, you thought he was speaking directly to you
on the radio."
Frank Lorenz on his father, George "Hound Dog" Lorenz
"I remember one contest
that was like a spelling bee. The winner got 15 dimes!"
Detroit DJ Clark Reid on 1950s radio contests (from David Carson's Rockin' Down The Dial)
"He just loved radio.
And when you listened to him, you could tell that he loved it."
Alan Freed's son, Lance
"If I can't be me, I don't want to be in radio."
WMCA "Good Guy" Jack Spector
"The magic word is imagination."
Radio pioneer Himan Brown
"The key is having a
music director with ears, heart, and brains...in that order."
NY radio personality Anita Bonita
"No matter how close we
got to a station or a disc jockey ... they could disappear into the ether
without so much as a wave goodbye or a farewell song."
Ben Fong-Torres in his book "The Hits Just Keep On Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio."
"There was absolutely
nothing to do but radio."
Lawrence Diggs on his days aboard ship at Radio Caroline
"We've turned an art into a science."
Veteran programmer/DJ Tom Shovan on radio in a 1983 interview
"There was a bond
between the personality on the radio and the listener."
Scrapbook contributor Tim Sykes on Top 40 radio
"Be willing to stave for a couple of
Well-known air personality Gene Taylor on starting in radio
"The guy who makes it ... is the guy
people love to hug. They have to love you."
Veteran deejay Terry Young
"Radio is full of surprises. Stay
Rick Sklar's last line in "Rockin' America"
WKBW's Joey Reynolds farewell note to management attached to a shoe nailed to his PD's door upon departing the station in the mid-1960s
"...I started to realize that, hey you can
talk over intros."
WIBG legend Joe Niagara
on Top 40 radio's early days
"The dimensions of the radio are truly to be
Commentator Charles Osgood
"The station was tight, aggressive ... the
deejays at times sounding as if they were broadcasting at gunpoint."
David Carson, in "Rockin' Down The Dial", on CKLW's early days in the Drake format
"I'm always billboarding. Coming up,
something's always coming up. The curtain's always rising."
Veteran DJ Bobby Ocean on the Top 40 approach
"You literally plugged into your own
Veteran L.A.. deejay Jim Ladd
"Attack the market, attack everybody else; be
on the offensive all the time."
Long-time WABC PD Rick Sklar
was the most finely-tuned station there was."
WABC PD Rick Sklar on his pride and joy, Musicradio 770
is a benevolent dictator. I've forgotten all the sordid details."
Perry Allan jokingly reflecting on his career
"May it rest in peace, love and
Richard Neer last line in his excellent book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio. The line refers to WNEW-FM, where Neer worked for 28 years
art (of radio programming) is in the process."
Bob Paiva in the Program Directors Handbook
"It's the ultimate variety format."
Consultant Guy Zapoleon on Top 40 radio
"There's nothing I'd rather do than hang
around a radio station."
Long-time WGN morning host Bob Collins, who died in February, 2000 in a plane crash
"Tom was such a
talented performer ... he could read an operations manual for the Toro 206
Weedwacker ... and make you cry."
A fan commenting on legendary deejay Tom Clay
"Anyone who says that money cannot buy happiness has had very little success with
Legendary broadcaster Bill Ballance
"Just stay on the wheel and you come back on
Legendary deejay Bobby Mitchell
me a radio station is a person, a living unit, a living organism."
Veteran DJ /promoter Scott Shannon
"The freshening of the air sound will be a
WOR-FM positioning statement, 1967
"But - looking back - it sure was a lot of
laughs, wasn't it, man?"
Last line in Allen Ferrell's book " The CHUM Story: From the Charts to Your Hearts". The quote is from Garry Ferrier.
"I was able to play and say whatever I
Richard Neer on late-'70s WNEW-FM
"The times, the people, the music, the station
all came together to create something bigger than the sum of its parts."
Cousin Brucie on WABC
used to be American heroes. No
more. Today, being a disk jockey is generally regarded as being slightly more
respectable than snatching purses for a living, or robbing graves."
Larry Lujack in his book "Superjock."
wanted to be in radio. That was my passion."
Veteran Baltimore deejay Buzz Bennett
a record was a Bill Gavin pick, everybody listened to it again."
Elma Greer on the influence of radio consultant Bill Gavin and his Gavin Report
(Ginsberg) managed to bring it all off with a humorous grace."
Writer Pete Johnson on Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsberg of WMEX and Cruisin' 61 fame
"When that hit the fan ... it was like an
Bill Ballance on KFWB's birth as a Top 40 station on Jan. 2, 1958
"I knew the music was going to be the music of
Porky Chedwick on how he felt about rock 'n' roll's future back in the early days
"Tomorrow Sean Casey (PD) will read to us from
the book of jobs."
Bob Savage on-the-air comment on WWDJ's last day as a rocker before becoming a religious station
"I want to say thanks to a lot of people, but
it's impossible, because of the format."
Charlie Tuna accepting the 1970 award for Top 40 deejay of the year
"For me, the inspiration behind the emergence
of underground radio was in the desire on the part of radio people and music
people to share their delight in what they knew and loved with the public."
Progressive pioneer Roland Jacopetti
"A keen ear for what sounded good, a true
sense of what radio was about."
CHUM-FM's Jeff Howatt on CHUM Production Manager Zeke Zdebiak
"It was a style you more or less developed.
The thing just kept on growing."
Joe Niagara on the early days of Top 40 rock 'n' roll deejaying in the mid-1950s
just liked black music, and that's what I played."
Zenas "Daddy" Sears on why he played what was then called "race" music in the 1950s.Zenas "Daddy" Sears on why he played what was then called "race" music in the 1950s
"I decided that I had to make good there (WLS)
because if I didn't cut it, they might never hire another woman."
The late Yvonne Daniels on her hiring as the first woman deejay on WLS. She went on to becone one of rock radio's best jocks
"It was like letting a wild lion out of a cage ... that's when I had the fun"
Russ Syracuse on deejaying the all-night show
"It is entirely possible
that the medium market program director of today will have to deal with some
form of computerization (in the future)."
Bob Paiva, accurately looking into the future in his 1983 book "The Program Directors Handbook
"He was the only adult to encourage me to go
after my dreams. I will never forget him."
Former NBC Network News reporter-editor Chuck Collins (as quoted on reelradio.com) on legendary deejay Art Roberts
"Rock music had become my religion. Radio my
church. And these DJs my priests, rabbis and gurus."
Steven Van Zandt in the introduction for Richard Neer's "FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio."
"Radio is to TV as a book is to a movie. With
the radio and the book the listener and reader uses his imagination."
Legendary baseball announcer Ernie Harwell
"It was a wondrous time of learning and
adventure without restriction, a time of total and complete freedom on the air."
LA radio legend Jim Ladd on his
early days in the medium in the late '60s
"Everything the personality says must, and I
emphasize must, relate to the music that's playing."
1969 memo to WPLO-FM staff from operations manager Ed Shane (WPLO -FM was an Atlanta progressive rock station)
"He treated each day as a fresh day to
Bob McAdorey on the late Al Boliska, former CHUM morning man, as quoted in "The CHUM Story" by Allen Farrell
"New voices spoke to the young in a language
that baffled those too old to listen."
Life Magazine on the emerging progressive radio phenomenon, December 1969
"It's like having an electric friend right
WWDJ's Steve Clark on Top 40 radio
"Listening to the radio
should be a pleasure not a routine."
Anonymous poster to the Southern Ontario/WNY Message Board
"These guys would leave
like they finished their shifts in a coal mine."
Norman Davis describing KYA San Francisco in 1959, where in those pre-cart days operators sometimes juggled 10-11 discs on three turntables for each break. (from Ben Fong-Torres "The Hits Just Keep on Comin'")
"Responsive to our listeners was what we
Pioneer FM deejay Larry Miller
"He was more than the voice of Canada, he was
its heart and soul."
McClelland & Stewart chairman Avie Bennett on the late Peter Gzowski
"It used to be more show than business. Now
it's more business than show."
Jerry Del Colliano, Publisher of Inside Radio
"You can't fight hearts and minds with money."
Commentator Bob Lefsetz
"One way to make your own breaks is to do
things fairly and properly."
CHUM owner and Top 40 pioneer Allan Waters
"99% of all radio stations are either owned by
one of five companies, or by an indie who also happens to be a psycho."
Legendary deejay Don Berns
"He got the news on the air fast and he got it
Former CFRB crime reporter Jocko Thomas on 680 News crime reporter Jim Morris
"It seemed to be one big party."
Mike Phillips reflecting on his KFRC days
"Half statistics and half helium."
'Mad Daddy' Pete Meyers on Top 40 lists
there was the music, then there was the medium, then all hell broke loose."
Jim Ladd in "Radio Waves"
"I fell in love with radio. And when you love
something, you always had a lot of fun, and I've always had fun."
Veteran deejay Charlie Tuna
fuzzy memories of Marc Avery's little girl, reminding her dad about the coffee
man in the hall, were fading fast."
David Carson in his book "Rockin' Down the Dial." Marv Avery was WJBK's morning man in the early '60s. Carson makes the Avery reference after talking about the often wild days of progressive radio in Detroit. It's one of my favourite quotes.
- Where everything stops for the news!"
From a 1963 CKEY aircheck (on a rock station, no less!)
"I bet I knew our entire cume by their first
Cincinnati underground radio pioneer Frank Wood on the early days of the format in 1967
"FM radio will overtake AM by 1975."
Harvard University study, 1961
(they were right!)
"The Internet is the new FM radio. This is
where the future is."
Early FM rock format announcer Dwight Douglas
"There's no money in the Internet."
Canadian broadcast executive, 1996
"When the corporations
took over, that was really the end of our kind of radio."
Progressive rock pioneer Dusty Street
"Make the best of it
while you can ... have fun and keep those experiences close to your heart, then
take all your winnings and run like a bitch".
Legendary Toronto DJ the late Terry Steele
"It's not 'a
that make radio stations great. It's many little things."
Legendary CHUM programmer Warren Cosford
"I loved radio for the music, concerts,
parties and to think you could get paid for it."
L.A. radio personality Laura Davis
"Every day FM radio ran out of hours, not
Spin magazine's Bob Guccione, Jr. on the early years of progressive radio
"There is a third dimension of radio - the
dimension of imagination - that was not being employed."
Seattle legend Pat O'Day on the Drake format
"You won't hear this song on any other Toronto
Tim Thomas, CHUM-FM, 1968 just prior to playing "The Anniversary of World War Three" by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. The "song" was three minutes of silence
could read a menu and make it sound wonderful."
CBC's Jacquie Perrin on CFRB legend Bob Hesketh, who died Feb. 24 of a heart attack
"The old people said it wouldn't last six
months. That's because they didn't understand it."
George "Hound Dog" Lorenz on rock 'n' roll
"There was much less interest in quality and
much more interest in quality of profit."
Long-time PD Tim Powell on the decline of progressive radio in the 1970s
"Number one, one, one on
George Carlin routine from the album FM & AM
(c) 1972 Little David Records
"You literally plugged into your own
Veteran L.A.. deejay Jim Ladd
"I would sooner dig ditches and sell hot
Ed McKenzie on Top 40 radio when he quit WXYZ after that Detroit station adopted the format in 1959 (hey, not everybody likes Top 40!)
"It was heaven to him."
Inge Freed on her husband Alan's feeling for being on the air on rock 'n' roll radio
"My existence went up
about 12 levels of intensity."
Wolfman Jack describing his first radio job
"Let's make tonight the
best memory of all."
Cousin Brucie beginning his final show on WABC in 1974
"I'm not talking too fast. You're listening
The legendary B. Mitchell Reed
"Success killed it. The more popular it
became, the less exclusive it seemed."
Progressive radio pioneer Ed Shane on the decline of that format
"Personalities who speak with the audience,
not down to it."
From WOR-FM New York positioning statement, 1967
"WNEW could never stray far from its
listeners, but neither could the melody linger on forever."
From The Airwaves of New York (c) 1998 McFarland Books
"We gave 'em a helluva radio station."
WQEW PD Stan Martin
"Love is now the stardust of yesterday,
The music of the years gone by."
Lyric from "Stardust"(Carmichael-Parish) the
last song played on popular standards WQEW
"He had all of this
preparation. He made us look bad, but we loved him dearly."
Bob Eubanks on Casey Kasem's KRLA days
"We had a goal ... we want to make people
laugh, or cry or do something."
Seattle radio legend Pat O'Day
"Back in those days it was fun ... you went to
work and you had a really good time."
Former CFOX deejay Charles P. Rodney Chandler
"Ultimately, it isn't knowledge of music that
makes you a radio superstar. It's your ability to be a friend."
Alan Sniffen, WABC Musicradio Page
"When I was young I'd listen to the radio,
waiting for my favourite song."
Lyric from "Yesterday Once More"
Music and Lyrics by Richard Carpenter
(c) 1973 A&M Records
"I used to listen to the radio, sounds of
yesterday are what I know."
Opening lyric from 'New York, Rock My Radio'
Lyrics: Al Stark; Music Gerry Diefenbach
(c) 1986 Pomonok Records
His Genius Distant Lands Converse And Men Sail Unafraid Unto The Deep."
Epitath on the memorial tablet of the grave of Canadian radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden (1866-1932)
"Remember how we
listened to the radio and I said that's the place to be."
Lyric from Harry Chapin's WOLD
Music & Lyrics by Harry Chapin
(C) 1973 Elektra/Asylum Records
All Rights Reserved
"God, disk jockeys, then parents."
KHJ Boss Jock Robert W. Morgan reporting the results of a pool at a teen fair in Hollywood in 1966, asking who is the biggest influence on your life.
"Back in the sixties, DJs weren't always treated as celebreties, the were `friends of the public'. At record hops the deejay was the liaison between the real celebraty and the fan. They were role models for kids"
"If we catered to people like you, we'd be out
Comment made to me, an oldies buff and fan of classic Top 40 radio, by the program director of a major North American oldies station. They dropped the format two years later and were - in fact - out of business.
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