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Picture Of
Lee Poole, KTKT, 1966

Picture Of
Lee Poole, WYSL, 1971

Picture Of
Lee Poole, KRLD, 1973

Picture Of
Lee Poole, KBLU, 1984

The Ernest Lee Poole Collection

Ernest "Lee" Poole was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1946. His family moved to Yuma and he became interested in radio in 1960. At the age of 14, he met a DJ from KBLU radio who helped him get a job "cleaning up" at KBLU Radio and TV. Before he graduated High School in 1964, Lee was working as a master control operator at the TV station. After graduation, he attended Bill Ogden's Operational Engineering School in Burbank, CA. where he studied to earn his First Class Radiotelephone license.

Following service in the National Guard, Lee moved to Tucson in 1966 where Dan Gates hired him at KTKT/Color Channel 99. One night Lee was recording a Public Service Announcement for the local U.S. Army recruiter, and he did it in a Wolfman Jack voice, calling himself Johnny Rabbit. KTKT liked it, and asked him to be Johnny Rabbit full-time from midnight to 6.

It wasn't long before Lee got an offer from Don Barrett to come to Dallas and audtion for KLIF. They told him he couldn't be Johnny Rabbit there (they already had a "Rabbitt") so he was hired as "Rufus Coyote" and stayed there for about 14 months. Unfortunately, his act scared owner Gordon McLendon's girlfriend, and when they told him he could stay only if he worked overnights as Lee Poole, he returned to Tucson and KTKT in 1967. He did return to KLIF in late 1968 for about 9 months, and was offered an opportunity to move to WYSL and WPHD-FM, the McLendon stations in Buffalo, New York. He stayed almost four years, returning to Dallas and 50,000 watt KRLD for about 6 months in 1973. "I could play anything I wanted, and I wailed all night", says Lee. "I loved working at that station."

Back in Buffalo, he also spent a year at WPHD-FM as Program Director before moving to the PD position at WGRQ-FM. He was asked to leave in 1975 after a "Dear Diary" promotion and the station was flagged in the Arbitron report. The numbers were great, but they couldn't use them. So Lee went back to Yuma, to the radio and TV station where he started as a janitor, and eventually became Chief Engineer. He spent some time in Alaska in 1982 installing a cable system, returned to KBLU in Yuma, and in 1994 went to Channel 11 as a board operator and chief engineer.

In 1996, Lee left broadcasting and got his commercial driver's license. He had always wanted to be a truck driver and really enjoyed driving around the country. In 2000, his mother became ill. He permanently parked his truck in Yuma and worked in the surveillance department for a local Indian tribe.

After years of "good Mexican food and cerveza", Lee says he gained a lot of weight. In February of 2010, he suffered a small stroke. Fortunately, he says he has fully recovered, has quit smoking, and is now retired.

The Repository thanks Ernest Lee Poole for sharing!

[Descriptions by Uncle Ricky]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (8 Khz)
Dan Gates, KTKT Tucson AZ, January 1967 (09:17)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (04:20)

. . . Bob Holiday has Frank Kalil trapped inside the KTKT Chickmobile . . .

Dan Gates certainly sounds like an important guy at KTKT in Tucson, and he did hire Lee Poole, so he must have been pretty cool.

On this early afternoon, KTKT is promoting their Chick Mobile and the non-violent abduction of afternoon drive personality Frank Kalil.

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Picture of Lee Poole in KTKT Chick Mobile
Lee Poole in KTKT Chick Mobile

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (8 Khz)
Lee Poole, KTKT Tucson AZ, January 1967 (18:08)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (09:55)

. . . Happiness Exchange Time! . . .

Lee Poole is filling in for Frank Kalil while KTKT offers listeners a chance to win the Chick Mobile.

Lee Poole was to become Johnny Rabbit or Rufus Coyote for the next decade, but on this day, he was still Lee Poole, complete with Gwinsound jingles!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (8 Khz)
Johnny Rabbit, KTKT Tucson AZ, February 10, 1970 (RESTORED) (01:00:55)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (15:41)

. . . My name is Susie Creamcheese . . .

This was the second tour for Lee Poole at KTKT. Before he left for Dallas and KLIF, he was Johnny Rabbit. In Dallas, for the first time, he was named Rufus Coyote. And now, the Rabbit was back on Channel 99, but in a better time slot.

It's obvious that "Johnny Rabbit" had lots of fun with kids on the phone. Music was restored for some welcome surprises, suggesting that Lee had a choice in what he played — a rare privilege for a jock on a top-rated Top 40 station in 1970. Also, some elements from the original edited recording were re-arranged for this exhibit.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (8 Khz)
Jack Armstrong, WKBW Buffalo NY, March 1971 Pt. 1 (56:29)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (26:02)

. . . Bad Breath is better than no breath at all . . .

Jack Armstrong did his best work on 50,000 watt WKBW in Buffalo, New York, and this exhibit from March of 1971 presents this incredible talent at his peak. Newsman Joe Downey is also included in this hour, along with classic jingles and production elements.

This aircheck of Jack Armstrong on WKBW was recorded by contributor Lee Poole and contributed exclusively to REELRADIO. Part 2 is presented below.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (8 Khz)
Jack Armstrong, WKBW Buffalo NY, March 1971 Pt. 2 (01:09:24)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (27:51)

. . . all that meat and no potatoes! . . .

Part Two of this Jack Armstrong program on WKBW from March of 1971 is a composite of the remaining recording from the Friday night program above, and the Saturday afternoon program that followed.

This aircheck of Jack Armstrong on WKBW was recorded by contributor Lee Poole and contributed exclusively to REELRADIO. Two songs were restored between the Friday and Saturday recordings, and at the end of the Saturday recording.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (8 Khz)
George Hound Dog Lorenz, WBLK-FM Depew-Buffalo NY, 1973 (46:51)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (17:12)

. . . My dear friend, Dick Clark . . .

Buffalo radio legend Dan Neavereth introduces the legendary George Hound Dog Lorenz, (d. May 29, 1972), who is featured in this excerpt from a Tribute broadcast by WBLK-FM/Depew-Buffalo, NY. The sponsor is selling Barry White records, so it must have been broadcast in 1973, or later. The program content, however, originated from 1960's Hound Dog broadcasts on WBLK-FM, or so it would seem.

Sammy Davis, Jr., Little Richard, The 4 Seasons and The Real Geraldine all offer endorsements. Most of us remember Lorenz as a DJ that played lots of blues & R&B, but in this composite of several programs, we hear him playing a much greater variety of music, most of which you have never heard before and will not hear again! However, in the last segment of this exhibit, Lorenz takes us into The Blues Closet, down that long, long lonely corridor. It's just one magic echoed step into the Blue Room.

The use of "tape echo" on this exhibit is overwhelming at points. I wonder if this was an attempt to re-create genuine "reverb", or if it was authentic to the original broadcasts.

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More to Come from The Ernest Lee Poole Collection!
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