Thursday, August 21, 2014

Elvis serves more than HITS!

Sgt. Elvis Germany 58-60!

Then I began another experiment.
I had about a half dozen friends at big stations around the country.  I got a box of records from an artist named Troy Shondell...and as an experiment to see if I could make this crummy record a hit just by asking my buddies to play it. I sent it to them...
they did play it...and you can check to see that Tory's THIS TIME was
one of the top ten records in 1960.

Getting fired...well almost.

I have to be careful how I write this so bear with me.
As PD it was my job to program the records WJJD would play and how often.  We generally based this on Cashbox Magazine which was everyone’s bible.  Nobody even read Billboard.  Now...all the libraries have Billboard and has a lot of information on record popularity our of sink with that Cashbox had.  It’s a shame but nothing can be done.
There is someone trying to keep the Cashbox dream alive and they contacted me a few years ago because they had read something I wrote about using Billboard for toilet paper.  You might Goggle:
Cashbox Magazine
                  and see what pops up. a whole bunch...take your choice⁄
One of the big record companies representatives kept giving me a hard time...I wasn’t caving in to his records as much as he I finally had enough and bared him from the station.
Turns out he was friendly with company execs who didn’t take kindly to my decision on the guy.
Orders were giving to fire me over this.  I was giving two weeks notice as we were an AFTRA (American Federation of Tv & radio union)
They brought in a nice guy named Mel Hall...and he assessed the situation quickly and ask me to be his sign ON guy.  This was a tough shift..getting down to Michigan Avenue at the river at about 3:30-3:45AM six days a week to sign the powerful station on at 4AM.  I would do a DJ shift until the funny sing off at 7AM and then the regular morning guy would follow me. 
I would be free from 7AM until 4am the next day.  Not bad except for the winter snow blizzards and winds that chill every bone in your body off the lake.  I took the job...never saw record management types.  I did this for some months until I just couldn’t take the weather anymore. 
I had the Hollywood blues and decided to pull up stakes and give LA one more try.

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