Tuesday, March 11, 2014

the rest of the BEST

Final picks.......top personalities in radio

 Bob Collins, Chicago...Tom Lykis, LA....Henry Morgan, NYC...Alan Prell, Baltimore...Art Bell...Richard Hayes and Susan Bray...Philly.

    For Bob Collins please see earlier post on Wally Phillips and Bob Collins WGN Chicago.

   Tom Lykis currently has a web streaming show...Google it.
   Tom was Program Director and PM drive guy at KFYI in Phoenix in 1985 and hired me out of Philadelphia for a midday slot.
   He went on to Los Angeles to make his mark.  Tom was witty and fun on and off the air.  Who else could do three hours bashing the Moms who drove around with “baby on board” signs on their back window. 
    Tom was one of the good people in our business.

    Henry Morgan NYC....known mainly from the TV shows “I’ve Got a Secret” and “What’s My Line” was really radio’s first trailblazing unbridled talker taking on his bosses by name on the air (ala Neil Rogers)...bitching about his sponsers etc...but with a wonderful tongue in cheek humor that made him famous. And like most of us in the radio business...he was fired a lot!
     Here’s an excellent obit on Morgan in the NY Times:


    Allan Prell...longtime morning talk guy with WBAL Baltimore fits into the Gary Dee, Tom Lykis and Neil Rogers mold.  Crazy on the air... defiant with bosses....great for audiences over the years.
    I worked fill-in for a week with Prell...at a small D.C. suburban station where music was still supreme and he hooked me forever by starting his three hour show one day with Abba’s “Dancing Queen”....and then playing it over and over and over for three hours!   I loved it.


      Art Bell.....national.

   Art killed my national all night show...took my stations away in droves but he hit upon a subject..UFO’s...that caught fire in an all- night radio atmosphere.
   I have regrets but no animosity with what happened...my show still lasted nearly ten years and I had some great affiliates that even Bell couldn’t pry away until late in the game.
  Art deserves a mention despite what happened. 


Richard Hayes and Susan Bray WWDB-FM (talk) Philadelphia

 Let's wrap this long list of top radio players up with a couple of friends from my old stomping grounds in Philly.

   As Opts Manager at WWDB I hired Hayes to do a soft talk (ala Collins and Phillips) all night show and it worked.  Richard drove in from Long Island every night, five nights a week and then drove back...hitting morning drive in New York City(ugh!) 
   He was excellent and just what you need to soothe the souls of his all night audience...and (important) he was live taking calls every night which helped our morning ratings.

    Susan Bray middays for all....not just the ladies.
    Susan was well informed on the issues...a  gal who could challenge the best politicians or listeners on any issue.  I remember Susan and I were selected to appear on the local tv talk show at the CBS station...and you don’t get those kind of invites unless you’re making an impact in the market.
    Susan and her husband are back in Aussieland now (see my earlier post on her) and she deserves “honorable mention” in this list.

 That’s it for my list of top radio personalities in the years I’ve been in the business.
 Just my opinions...you’ve got yours, I’m sure.


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