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The Jay Marks Collection

Jay Marks (JMCIGARS@aol.com) of Chicago grew up in Monroe, Louisiana where he started in radio in 1967, at the age of 15.

There are some very impressive stations on Jay's resume: WJDX, Jackson, MS; KTSA, San Antonio, TX.; KULF, Houston, TX.; Y-100, Miami, FL., and WMAQ, Chicago.

Jay has been doing full-time voice-over (for clients that include Lipton, Miller High Life, Sears, Kellogg's, 7-11 Stores and Chevrolet) since 1978.

Mr. Marks has offered some airchecks from his collection that qualify as genuine, undisputed, 100% Classics.

Jay started contributing to REELRADIO in 1996 — he is a CHARTER CONTRIBUTOR.

The Repository was astounded and continues to be very, very grateful to Jay for sharing these incredibly rare and wonderful recordings. Thank you, Jay!

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[Descriptions by Jay Marks and Uncle Ricky]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16Khz)
Rick Shaw, WCKR Miami, 1960 (15:08)

. . . Wacker broken beeper time . . .

Here is Miami legend Rick Shaw, before he was at WQAM. This is a studio recording of some of the 9 and 10 PM hours of Rick's show on WCKR (Wacker) from May 23, 1960. WCKR, a NBC affiliate at 610 Khz, became WIOD not long after this aircheck.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Roger Barkley, KIMN Denver, 1960 (RESTORED) (35:37)

...Homes with fallout shelters - built to government specifications!

Roger Barkley, 1958
Roger Barkley at KALL, Salt Lake City, 1958 (courtesy Bob Whitney)
Roger Barkley, best remembered for his partnership in Los Angeles with Al Lohman, was Program Director of KIMN in Denver, a Top 40 pioneer.

This rare peek at the past from September, 1960, complete with a spot for "atomic age homes" that include fallout shelters, demonstrates that Barkley was no stranger to the rigid formatics of early Top 40. With filter, reverb and time effects, it's a long way from the mature, low-key comedy of his later years at KFI.

Lohman and Barkley stopped working together in 1986. Most recently, Roger Barkley was teamed with Ken Minyard at KABC in Los Angeles. Barkley was taken by cancer on December 21, 1997, at the age of 61.

[Original aircheck by California Aircheck. Music restoration by Jay Marks]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Jay McKay, WFUN Fundamental News, July 1961 (5:19)

. . . We heard them screaming, but there was nothing we could do . . .

Newsman Jay McKay is manning the MacKenzies in this bombastic backup to our original Britt Huey Fundamental newscast, one of the Repository's original exhibits from February, 1996. This one, unfortunately, is missing the beginning teaser headlines, but is intact from the official opening all the way through to the grandiose "Count Down!" closer.

WFUN Program Director Frank Ward is featured commenting on a station promotion: DJ Bruce Bartley is to enter a "radiation shelter" at a local shopping center, and live for a week under "emergency survival conditions", so that "WFUN and civil defense can prove it's fun to stay alive."

Note the use of the filter effect for "quotes" - a gimmick we haven't heard previously. WFUN Fundamental News, circa 1961, still ranks as our favorite classic Top 40 news presentation.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY Russ Knight, KLIF Dallas, August 29, 1961 (17:29)

. . . with more listeners than the next two stations combined . . .

Recorded on August 29, 1961, this one features one of the most celebrated of the legendary KLIF personalities, Russ "Weird Beard" Knight. Knight is a bit more sedate here than in some of his later performances, but this interesting sample of classic KLIF (and simulcasting KROW-FM) includes Futursonic jingles, and one instance where the tape in one of those miracle McKenzies binds and drags.

[Aircheck courtesy of Ed Brouder and Man from Mars Productions.]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY Pat Hughes, KBOX, Dallas, February 11, 1961 (RESTORED) (25:03)

...The Most Exciting Station in the Nation!

In observance of the first issue of our 12th year, (2007-02-11) REELRADIO presents a RESTORED version of this aircheck, originally presented June 16, 1996. Music restoration was by the original contributor Jay Marks.

WON-DER-FUL, K-BOX IN DALLAS!" As I remember, the memorable "Wonderful" logo was created by PAMS for KBOX, a legitimate pioneer in the Top 40 format. A year or so prior to this aircheck, KBOX was the home of Superstar Dan Ingram. Ingram can be heard as a "station voice" on a few key production pieces on this one.

Jay says: As I understand it, in 1961, KBOX had no carts! (I don't think carts were in common use until sometimes in 1962.) They had 5   4 turntables and 2  4 McKenzie units (one for short jingles and promos, one for the news formatics) in the control room. A shift there must have gone by really fast! (original 6/16/1996 text corrected 11/28/2005)

This aircheck has every hook and gimmick that defined the original Top 40 Sound: Reverb and filter effects, time-tones, back-to-back jingles and a heavily produced newscast (the full version of which is included.) From every point in the universe - KBOX award-winning Action Central News... reported by Tony Deharo.

For some, this will be one of the most amazing things you'll hear in the Repository. For others, it's a reminder of everything that was "WON-DER-FUL" about Classic Top 40 Radio.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Jackson King, KFWB Newscast, March 12, 1962 (4:11)

..Good Afternoon - This is Jackson King and I have news for you...

Believe it! KFWB in Los Angeles with a genuine Top 40 News presentation in 1962. Few people remember that "Channel 98" used many of the authentic Top 40 tricks that defined the format in the early 60's.

Preceding "Jovial Joe Yokum" at noon, King's delivery for this 11:55 AM newscast is perfect. King was a true master of the style. You'll note the clever writing; Events are described in a present-tense, narrative fashion, as if they are happening NOW. The woman did not "die when her car crashed into.." she "dies when her car crashes into..."

The heightened sense of drama and immediacy created by the production elements, delivery and writing are enough to convince me that the world is about to end at any moment! Obviously, it didn't - but this 'check is an outrageous example of the Top 40 Art of "form before content".

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Joe Yocam, KFWB Los Angeles, March 12, 1962 (10:31)

. . . It's a Happy Show with a real good Joe called Yocam . . .

Joe Yocam (d. 1974) started at KFWB in 1942, and was one of the original "Seven Swingin' Gentleman" on Chuck Blore's brilliant Color Radio Channel 98 in pre-Boss Angeles. Yocam was on every weekday from Noon to 3, and is credited with naming the KFWB music list the Fabulous Forty. Except for several months in 1965 when he was terminated by KFWB (and re-hired after an action by AFTRA), Yocam worked at KFWB until March, 1968, when the station abandoned their music format and changed format to "All News."

Note the many production elements, the creative Public Service Announcement, the "Purely Personal" feature, and the classic jingles. Also featured, more of newsman Jackson King with Bannerline Los Angeles on the half-hour.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Stinky Shafer, KXOK, St. Louis, 1962 (16:41)

. . . All the records given away or played on KXOK are furnished through the courtesy of record distributors and manufacturers. Certain records are played in consideration of cooperation by recording artists, companies and distributors . . .

Talk about truth in advertising! Stinky Shafer and KXOK had no secrets - it would seem that every adolescent in town required "Stinky" to acknowledge their budding hormones, or needed advice from Stinky's "Kay Confidential."

Jay says: "In 1962, KXOK was locked in a three-way battle with WIL and KWK, probably the reason for the many on-air contests. Stinky Shafer was the very popular night jock."

Another example of pre-Drake Top 40, this Blast from the Past is rich with early authentic PAMS jingles and classic production elements.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Davey O'Donnell, KXOK, St. Louis, 1962 (26:21)

. . . Forty-seven dollars and eighty-eight cents divided by nine . . .

Imagine - a radio contest that requires the winner to do math! Davey O'Donnell, a long-time St. Louis personality, is featured here as morning guy for "KX-okey dokey" radio.

Uncle Ricky has a real passion for those great old Top 40 newscasts, and this aircheck begins with KXOK "Director of News" David D. Rogers, and "KXOK Essential News", most of the elements of which we've heard previously as WFUN Fundamental News. There is one very stylish portion of this newscast that gave me goosebumps, though. Listen carefully about 50 seconds in, as Rogers does the weather, just before the top of the hour. There's a subtle "cathedral chimes" background seguing into a xylophone news underscore. VERY nice!

It's just one more example of the marvelous magic of Top 40 production.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Ed Ripley, WTIX New Orleans, June 5 1962 (20:13)

. . . Last Saturday, three daring WTIX disc jockeys set out to break the existing roller-coaster riding record of 72 consecutive rides. The ordeal began at 2:45 Saturday afternoon, and was terminated at 7:15 by an attending physician. . . .

Jay Marks writes: "I wish (this) aircheck was better quality, but whoever made it apparently had the tuner slightly off and consequently, it's a bit distorted. Nevertheless, it's still an interesting sample of what this Todd Storz station was doing at the time. It's similar to KXOK of 1962, if not a bit grittier, but New Orleans radio has always been a bit wilder than St. Louis radio.

I've had this one since about 1967. My first station (KUZN in West Monroe, Louisiana) had a Revere combination radio/tape recorder - Curt Lundgren wrote he had a similar machine. Probably, someone from KUZN was in (or near) New Orleans and decided to see what WNOE's competition was doing. KUZN's main competition was WNOE's sister station, KNOE in Monroe. At this time, WTIX's daytime power was 5000 watts."

This aircheck is chock-full of all the wonderful Storz Top 40 enhancements, beginning with a classic, noisy newscast. It also includes a time tone we've not heard elsewhere - a short beep followed by a tremelo decay.

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RESTORED G2, 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps, 8Khz
Bruce Morrow, WABC, New York, October 1963 (RESTORED) (23:48)

. . . anyone who lives north of 125th street is an eskimo . . .

Picture of Bruce Morrow Movin' and Groovin, havin' a ball - with Cousin Bruce.

The "Big M Theme" leads this half-hour of what was possibly the most listened-to station and personality in North America in 1963. This recording might have been made in the studio, prior to the final processing chain. It's the only time I've heard WABC without the ever-present reverb — but a visitor (see Comments) says that WABC didn't start using reverb until 1964.

I find it impossible to describe the sheer joy of what Cousin Brucie and WABC meant to me — maybe you can add a comment (below.) Otherwise, get ready for goosebumps — it's chime time, cousins!

This classic WABC aircheck was the FIRST WABC aircheck streamed on the Internet, on June 16, 1996. And, 12 years and 6 days after the original 'scoped version appeared at REELRADIO, we are proud to introduce contributor Jay Marks' masterfully-restored version!

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20.7Kbs (10Khz)
PLAY Mort Downey, KDEO San Diego, February 27, 1964 (14:53)

. . . Welcome into the Mad Lad Swing-A-Thing for a tough type of Thursday . . .

Morton Downey, Jr.
Here's Mad Lad Mort Downey (Morton 'Doc' Downey, Jr.) on KDEO, San Diego, circa 1964. When you joined the Mad Lad Marauders, you also received a commission as a colonel! Mort is heard with his "live studio audience" and newsman Stan Brown (later known for sports in L.A.)

Downey worked at WPOP, KRIZ, KAFY, KDEO and in 1967 he joined WNOE. Sometime after that, he left radio, but he returned as a controversial talk show host at KFBK in Sacramento in 1982 or 1983. When Downey was terminated for politically incorrect statements in 1984, a nearly unknown Rush Limbaugh took his place. Downey went on to WMAQ in Chicago, and later, television.

Downey was a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society after successful treatment (1996) for lung cancer at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. He passed away on March 12, 2001.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY Johnny Dark, KLIF, Dallas, 9/1/64 (5:26)

. . . KLIF, Dallas, the Star of the Nation's Great Stations . . .
KLIF LOGO and GORDON McLENDON
A 1977 KLIF logo (left) and "The Old Scotchman", Gordon McLendon, (right) from a 1960 advertisement promoting KLIF, KILT, KTSA, KEEL, WAKY, WYSL and KABL (all McLendon stations at the time.)
[Courtesy Radio & Records.]

Smooth, pleasant sounding Johnny Dark (aka Johnny Borders) was the PD of KLIF for a number of years and, as many Texas PD's of the time, did the 9-Noon midday shift. Some might remember hearing him as the voice of the syndicated Christian rock program "Powerline" in the early 1970s.

KLIF was, of course, owned and operated by flamboyant Top 40 radio pioneer Gordon McLendon, among whose philosophies was to make his radio stations places where something was always happening, where listeners would hear what was going on — everything from wild and lavish promotions, celebrity interviews, such as the beginning of the Ringo Starr sound bite heard here, and news; everything from politics, armed robberies, fires and auto accidents, all presented in exciting and often over-the-top style.

KLIF was not just a "juke box", it was truly an example of full service Top 40 radio.

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G2 5.0 compatible Aphex processed TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10Khz)
PLAY Russ Knight (Weird Beard) KILT Houston, June 1965 (43:14)

. . . Houston's Fifth Beatle . . .

Russ "Weird Beard" Knight is featured in this scoped hour of Gordon McLendon's KILT, on what Jay Marks believes was "probably June 14, 1965." Jay made this recording on a Wollensak reel recorder at 3-3/4 ips at the age of 13 while visiting relatives in Houston. Jay says, "Pretty good quality too and some really fun stuff on there," and Uncle Ricky agrees!

Thunderstorms lead the Jim Corolla news at the top of the hour, and are prominently featured, shrouding the otherwise remarkably good fidelity with sizzling and splashes of static. You'll hear 3 complete newscasts, featuring the wonderful KILT bells & whistles of the period. Knight devotes a lot of time to nearly inaudible phone calls and some genuinely funny bits, including Awful Cigarette Company and a bogus Hurricane Report presented by Tony's Gluesack Parlor. Flashback specials: Roy Orbison for Coca-Cola and a spot for Wildroot (Grooming without grease!). Also, a promo for Murray the K Beatles Reports from Paris. Apparently, Murray was syndicating Beatles reports and was heard on stations other than WINS during this time.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 20Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY Jay Cook, WHBQ Memphis, 2-10-66 (18:31)

. . . Jay Cook, your little bitty buddy . . .

The late Jay Cook is featured in this sample of RKO General Boss Radio - Memphis-style, early 1966. Sizzling with PAMS Series 30 and simmering in thick reverberation, this WHBQ brand of "Boss" bore virtually no resemblance to its Los Angeles counterpart.

Cook, who claimed Memphis as his hometown, followed the Boss moniker, the jingle signature and even the frequency to Philadelphia, where he spent ten years as Program Director of Famous 56 WFIL.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Bob McCord, KILT Houston, July 6, 1966 (01:00:42)

. . . The real Bob McCord is a wealthy playboy who yachts on the Mediterannean - I'm the underpaid typical teenage security risk who makes the noise nighttimes on KILT! . . .

Bob McCord, who called himself "the fattest loudmouth Canadian red-headed radio personality in all of Houston" was at Gordon McLendon's powerhouse, KILT, during the summer of 1966. He was actually hired by KILT's sister station, KLIF in Dallas early in 1966 and swapped places with KILT's night jock Russ Knight the Weird Beard for about a month as a promotional gimmick. (Russ Knight had been the night man on KLIF several years earlier).

The last I heard of McCord, he had returned to Canada and was on CHED-Edmondton. By the way, the voice on the "Bedtime Story" appears to be none other than the Wizard of Oz himself, Frank Morgan.

[A 'scoped version of this exhibit was published on September 29, 1996. The complete unscoped version was published on May 24, 2009.]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY Charlie Van Dyke, KLIF 11/20/66 (4:06)

. . . or any bread, for that matter . . .

This is a fine example of Charlie Van Dyke in his formative years in radio! From what I understand, Van Dyke was only about 18 years old at the time of this clip. He was already doing Noon-3PM and displaying a jovial dry wit as well as a true knack for smoothly turning a phrase.

Also, think drive-by shootings are a rather recent urban phenomenon? Listen about 2 minutes into the clip for the report of "teenagers in a green Mustang armed with shotguns and firing at persons...".

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
Buzz Bennett, WTIX New Orleans, June 1968 (8:27)

. . . maintaining my margin for the most music . . .

Jay Marks writes: "By the time of this aircheck, WTIX had upped its daytime power to 10,000 watts.

I think this aircheck of the legendary Buzz Bennett was taken right off the program line, possibly from a skimmer type setup. Interesting to hear the fake-Drake elements mixed in with the reverb, and some great music from the Summer of '68."

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (8Khz)
PLAY Jay Cook, WFIL Philadelphia, 10-28-68 (14:57)

. . . inviting you to listen for King George Michael tonight at nine . . .

Jay Cook
Jay Cook, WFIL, 1972
Jay Cook spent nearly 14 years at WFIL, ten of those as Program Director. Cook moved to Philadelphia from RKO General's WHBQ in 1966.

Cook lost his life to cancer on April 2, 1999. He put legendary Top 40 KIIS-FM and Rick Dees on the air in Los Angeles. Before retiring in 1994, Cook was President of Gannett Radio.

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FRESH G2 - REMASTERED ORIGINAL DEBUT (RA 2.0) SEPTEMBER 29, 1996
REMASTERED (G2/5.0 COMPATIBLE) JANUARY 30, 2007
TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10 Khz)


Johnny Williams, KHJ, 1970 (10:10)

..And now, Ladies and Gentlemen - Johnny Williams!...

I got an E-Mail from John Williams (hijohn@aloha.com) saying that you would be interested if I had any of him on KHJ.

The one here from 1970 wasn't of the best audio quality, but I played with it until I got it sounding reasonably ok.

(Note from Ricky): Please visit our friend John at 440:Satisfaction. (The picture at the left is from 1974.) Thank you Jay, and thank you Johnny!


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FRESH G2 - REMASTERED ORIGINAL DEBUT (RA 3.0) FEBRUARY 16, 1997
REMASTERED (G2/5.0 COMPATIBLE) AUGUST 5, 2001
TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)


Jeff Christie, KQV, Pittsburgh, 1974 (10:45)

..the Marconi Award for Excellence in Broadcasting...

Jeff Christie, KQV
(Photo courtesy
Jeff Roteman)
Listen up, you people! All across the fruited plain, Mary Snerdly and all the other rich kids were enjoying the Award-Winning Jeff Christie Rock and Roll Radio Show on KQV, Pittsburgh, in 1974.

You may not recognize the voice immediately (it's pitched lower these days), but you will recognize a few of the trademark phrases that Christie still uses today.

This is an excellent aircheck of late-model KQV, and the fun and frolic therein is a classic example of Excellence in Broadcasting, presented by the man we know today as . . . Rush Limbaugh.

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TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps (10 Khz)
Jay Marks, Y-100 Miami, 1975 (06:51)

..Y-100's what I'm writing down...

Description by Jay Marks

Y-100 (WHYI-FM Fort Lauderdale-Miami) was owned by Heftel Broadcasting. Cecil Heftel also owned KGMB AM & TV and KGMQ-FM in Honolulu, 13Q (WKTQ) in Pittsburgh as well as other stations. Heftel had originally hired Buzz Bennett in 1973 as a consultant to rock 13Q, after having bought the station (WJAS) from NBC. Shortly after rocking 13Q, Heftel bought WMJR in Fort Lauderdale, a sleepy MOR FM station, and decided to rock it as well, amidst 4 other rockers (WQAM and WFUN on AM and Bartell's WMYQ and RKO's WAXY on FM). By 1975, WAXY had switched to automated oldies.

Y100 debuted around October 1973, also under the consultancy of Buzz Bennett. A few months later, Bennett left and John Rook was hired as the consultant. During this time, Bill Tanner was hired as the PD and morning man at Y100. I arrived at Y100 in June 1974. Shortly thereafter, John Rook left and Tanner became the National PD for the mainland rock stations (Y100 and 13Q). In January 1975, Tanner was called upon to go up to Pittsburgh to do the morning show and shore up the ratings against continuing competition from ABC-owned KQV, and escalating competition from FM rocker WPEZ, turning local programming chores in Miami over to Robert W. Walker.

During most of 1975 Tanner did the morning show at 13Q and would fly down to Florida every few weeks to escape the cold weather and help to keep everything on track at Y100. Whenever he would come back to Florida for the weekend, Tanner would do the Saturday morning show on Y100, as promoted in the clip.

Eric Rhoads, now publisher of RADIO INK magazine, worked there. Among other luminaries at Y100 during that period were Tom Birch (Birch Report), Banana Joe Montione (later of WFIL, KHJ and CHUM), Don "Cox on the Radio" Cox (later of 13Q, KHJ and WEFM in Chicago and, I believe, still on the air in South Florida), Lee Masters (later of WNBC and currently president of E! Network), and E. Alvin Davis, currently a prominent consultant.

Also, one weekend in the spring of 1975 we brought in Jackson Armstrong, who was doing nights at 13Q, to do a couple of weekend shifts.

All in all, Y100 was the most exciting experience of my radio career, and we DID kick butt!

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Additional Exhibits in The Jay Marks Collection...

Larry Monroe, KLIF Dallas TX. February 2, 1956
(Debut: May 5, 2007)
Hank Hammer, KNUZ Houston TX. December 20, 1964 Part One
(Debut December 21, 2008)
Hank Hammer, KNUZ Houston TX. December 20, 1964 Part Two
(Debut December 15, 2013)
Rob McCloud, KILT Houston TX. December 20, 1964 Part One
(Debut July 22, 2007)
Rob McCloud, KILT Houston TX. December 20, 1964 Part Two
(Debut January 6, 2008)
Lee Randall, KILT Houston TX. December 21, 1966
(Debut December 19, 2010)
Tom Dooley, WSAI Cincinnati OH. 1967
(Debut: August 5, 2001)
Bob Pittman, WRBC Jackson MS. 1972
(Debut: August 5, 2001)
Casey Kasem, KRLA Los Angeles 10-26-63
(Debut: September 15, 2002)
Larry O'Brien WGRT Chicago 1967
(Debut: September 15, 2002)
Bob Presley KILT Houston June 13 1965
(Debut: November 7, 2004)
KILT Houston Bloopers And Party Tape, 1963
(Debut: February 13, 2005)
Ed Dean, WIST Charlotte, NC June 11, 1965
(Debut: December 3, 2006)
Steve Lundy, KILT Houston, TX July 7, 1966
(Debut: June 3, 2012)
Lee Simms, WJBK Detroit, MI July 1969
(Debut: December 3, 2006)
Bill Heywood, KOY Phoenix, November 28-29, 1977
(Debut: January 15, 2012)
Robert W. Morgan, WIND Chicago, August 17, 1971
(Debut: November 23, 2014)

There will be more from the Jay Marks Collection,
Online at REELRADIO since June 16, 1996!
©1996-2014 Jay Marks and REELRADIO Inc.