Monday, October 26, 2015

Been There, Did It All...Rest In Peace Stan Major (1935 -2015)



A message from Stan's son, Chris Major:

It comes with great sadness and immense respect that I must announce the heartbreaking news that my father, Stan Major, the greatest man I've ever known, passed away at the age of 80 on September 25th, 2015.

Stan lived, without a doubt in my mind, one of the most incredible, storied, and satisfying lives anyone could ever hope for. The places he traveled, people he met, and memories he made were enough to last ten lifetimes.

Born Stanley Thomas Major on September 9th, 1935 in Paris, Illinois, Stan spent the better part of the last century journeying around the world, experiencing things of which many of us could only dream.

His life, in my opinion, has always been something to be celebrated. To my friends and I, my father's legend would grow with every story and recollection. It was for this reason that I insisted he begin writing everything down a few years ago. What started as a simple collection of documents on his computer quickly turned into the idea to publish a blog.

I believe it is monumental that Stan's voice and thoughts have been experienced across the entire chronological spectrum of media's technological evolution...from early 1950s local radio to being globally broadcast via NBC News during Vietnam, to national broadcast and satellite radio, all the way through writing a successful blog and having all of the aforementioned media archived digitally online. His work started on a Ham radio station in rural Illinois, and ended up being permanently archived for the entire world on YouTube, Soundcloud, and Google - to borrow a line from our favorite show, Mad Men... "He's an astronaut".

It pains me greatly to write these words, knowing how many of you have followed him over the years and admired not just his recent writings but his entire body of work. It has taken me the entire month to find the strength needed to make this announcement, and for that I apologize.

I will continue to update this blog and repost his best stories from time to time. It has long been a dream of mine to collect his stories, edit them, and turn them into a book for him. I was not able to accomplish this during his life, but still hope to out of respect...something I can pass on to my kids some day...if anyone out there knows someone who can help make this a reality some day, please reach out to me.

I thank you all for continuing to keep Stan's memories alive, and invite you all to revisit this blog, dive into the archives, and relive his stories with me. I assure you...there is some amazing stuff written in these pages. Please feel free to leave comments or reach out to me personally at followmajor@gmail.com for any reason.

And one last time, his classic line...

"This is Stan Major, NBC News, Saigon, signing off..."

Thank you.


Here is one of Stan's greatest moments, interviewing President Richard Nixon:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Little ole me...LIVE ON NBC!



                                                                                                                      repost
.....1969......Saigon   

  “Major...you have an important assignment.” 

      “You’ll be on live television tomorrow morning with John Chancellor but you’ll have to go out to the Saigon broadcasting building to get hooked up for it.” This from the NBC News Saigon bureau chief.
      “Oh boy.” 
      Was my reply...partly in shock about the live NBC-TV thing and partly concerned about that facility with it’s antiquated radio equipment.
      That place did not have a good reputation for being able to do anything that worked.  If you’ve seen “Live From Baghdad” about CNN having to use a similar facility you’ll know what I’m talking about.
        Seems President Nixon was making an official policy announcement in the evening New York time, and Chancellor would be anchoring and ask me in from Saigon for comments....audio only.    
       So I would have to get out there and hope we could make the connection to New York...then sit quietly and listen to Nixon’s remarks and then respond to John’s questions off the top of my head.
      Heady stuff for a little known radio correspondent but I was not flaked out about the thing. 
      They picked the sharpest cameraman as he was very well versed in audio stuff to accompany me in case the circuit had problems...(or the local Vietnam engineers did). 
     We arrived an hour before the speech on “Vietnamization” was set to start. 
 The call was placed with no problem and we sat around waiting for the Prez.
 The address was not long...Nixon sounded like he was turning the whole damn war over to the Vietnamese...but that was public relations.  I think he also took the opportunity to announce more reductions in US troop levels to appease the student protesters back home.
      Chancellor was cool, as usual, and ask me what I thought. I was subdued but ok.  Then he asked me to guess at the reaction in Vietnam to the President's comments and I was ok with that. 
      He closed our portion of the coverage (there were studio guests also) saying:
      “Thanks Stan...that was NBC News correspondent Stan Major reporting from Saigon.” 
      The only video they used (I saw the report later)  were a few slides of me and some troops with this at the bottom of the screen   
     “Stan Major NBC News reporting from Saigon”.
      My parents were thrilled...I was relieved that it went so well and I returned to the bureau to get my radio reports ready for the two daily circuits.
 So...if it’s in the NBC News archives and you can get access to that...the date is:   
       November 3, 1969
 President Nixon’s Vietnamization announcement.
     John Chancellor anchor...with
 NBC News correspondent Stan Major live in Saigon.
              -----------------------


Bob Hope & Neil Armstrong
Chu Chi 1969
The Bob Hope interview.......(repost)
Bob talked with me for NBC’s Monitor and then invited me to accompany him thru the hospital at Chu Chi. A
lot of this tv footage was seen on his Christmas 1969 program back home.



stanmajor@aol.com

Friday, September 18, 2015

New York New York...nope...tried but........





My Barry Farber fill-in.....
...didn’t last long! (repost)

    After leaving WWDB-FM Philly I took a week in New York City to fill in on WMAC for Barry Farber in afternoon drive.
    This was not long after the infamous “subway vigilante” incident on a New York subway train.
    As could be expected New Yorkers wanted to talk about that so we did....at least for a couple of days.
    Then...I was told by management at WMCA that my fill in days had ended. Seems they disagreed with my then popular position that shooter Bernhard Goetz had taken acceptable action under the conditions so far described.
    It was interesting to actually get on the air at WMCA.  The owner manager was...the same guy who years earlier had ask me to fly in from Chicago to meet with him and when I did...he wouldn’t see me!  Another weird management type.  
    Same thing happened in St. Louis at the big KMOX.  There..I did meet with the big boss man who seemed impressed with me...enough that he pointed out places nearby where I should check apartments.    
    A few days later he wouldn’t take my calls.
    Such is our radio business.
    I’ve been in hiring positions several times and have NEVER acted so impolite or discourteous as not to talk to a person I’ve showed interest in.  I still can’t believe either incidents.
    Luckily for me...life goes on and better things did happen.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

One great commercial!

a couple of good clicks for you.....
 

Have you seen this ad?  Click and get the tissues

    click below:

http://www.values.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/124-finish-line

                ___________________



stanmajor@aol.com

Sunday, September 13, 2015

the NSA the CIA what the hell is going on here?


(Repost)

This falls under the category of “what the hell’s going on here!”

Headline 1:
   NSA surveillance program gets three more months.
and then
Headline 2
   Idaho Judge Asks Supreme Court to End NSA's Phone Surveillance.
   then the congress seems as confused as those headlines.
Only in D.C. yep!

(repost spying)
some guys from my past deserve mention here.

      First is a man I’ve written about...Grayston Lynch...former CIA dude who helped lead the ill fated (as they say) Bay Of Pigs invasion.
      When Gray was on my show in 75-76  in the studios of  WDAE in Tampa...he revealed for my listeners...that the “agency” and/or others like it had the capability of spying on anyone simple by using the telephone.
      He said...the spies could call your number...not say anything...and when you hung up...your telephone would be like a microphone and they could monitor everything that was said in your room(s).
      So to combat this...Gray recommended that if you answer the phone and there’s no one there...hang up the phone and IF you feel some spy might want to “bug” you,  “simply go to the wall and unplug the cord...wait a few seconds and plug it back in.”  That, Lynch contended, would defeat the attempt to bug your home using your own phone.
      Of course with all the spying government does now...they just use your computer as a conduit for all the info about you there is!  You can’t do much about THAT!
   ------------------------------

      My long time guest and dear friend Bill (Doc) Leavell used to piss off the CIA cause he had a phone number that if you dialed it...and listened to the info that responded to your phone number and line...it would tell you whether your phone line had been tapped by ANYONE.
      We gave the number out on the air across America and my listeners called it...and they had to change the system!  The Govt spy guys were not happy with us!

 GOOD FOR US!

my email: (For NSA, CIA, NRO, FBI, IRS, and any other I may have missed!)

stanmajor@aol.com
  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Nick Clooney's invite opens my eyes to the south



Now...George’s Dad...Nick Clooney.                                               repost

     In the summer of 1956  Nick returned home from AFN Europe and called me at my parents home in Effingham, Illinois.
       He suggested I drive down to Lexington, Kentucky to a ranch and hang with him and get up at 4AM to clean fancy race horse stables. Boy that sounded like fun (not) but it would be an interesting trip. 
      I had my first real taste of the deep south...the whites only signs at the water fountains and stuff like that.  I was somewhat startled at this which is strange as I lived in a town that allowed NO blacks...and they couldn’t sit down in any Effingham eatery. And this was southern Illinois not Mississippi.
      I had been born and lived for sometime in Paris, Illinois where blacks were treated as humans...at least...although they had to live in the southeast section of the city. Black basketball players for Paris High School were great...and I remember lanky Bob Owens leading the Tigers to the state basketball championship two years in a row...whipping the socks off the big bad Chicago teams!
      But the Paris Tigers were not welcome to play in Effingham.
No teams with a black payer could play in Effingham...and you know what...if you read my earlier blurb about the two interstate highways crossing just northwest of the city...then you could guess how that whole thing would radically change.  And it did.

     Anyway I cleaned the stables and bid Nick farewell but I got a phone number for him as he said his next stop was Beverly Hills...not necessarily at his sister’s Roxbury address but at an apartment they had on the south side (poor?) of Beverly Hills. 
 (NOTE:  For the story on Nick Clooney trying the acting bit use the "search" box on the top right of each post and put in "Nick and Stan back together again" and you'll get it.  It's VERY interesting.)
-----------------------



my email:
stanmajor@aol.com

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Here's the whole list!


109 NATIONS.............93,000 Views(Google numbers)

stan                                         neil                  



The Stan Major list... 
               
Best 15 radio personalities in history.

1. Gary Dee... Cleveland
   
2. Wally Phillips... Chicago
    
3. Neil Rogers... Miami
      
4. Long John Neble... NYC
       
5. Bill Ballance... LA
        
6. Joe Pyne... LA
         
7. Rush...national
          
8. Howard...national
           
9. Dr. Ruth...national
            
10. Bob Collins... Chicago
             
11. Tom Lykis... LA
              
12. Henry Morgan... NYC
               
13. Allan Prell... Baltimore
                
14. Art Bell...national
                 
15 Richard Hayes & Susan Bray... Philly(tie)


Comments:

stanmajor@aol.com