As Paul Leigh on X-ROK80
As Paul Leigh on X-ROK80

WLOB Lucky 13
WLOB Lucky 13

Paul Mayer with Neil Sedaka
Paul Mayer with Neil Sedaka

Paul Mayer with Wolfman Jack
Paul Mayer
with Wolfman Jack

The Paul Mayer Collection

Paul Mayer writes:

"I didn't save tons of tapes of airchecks and jingles. Now, looking back, I wish I had!

Through the seventies I had the good fortune of working at some amazing, legendary radio stations. X-ROCK-80 (XEROK, Juarez/El Paso) was a 150,000 watt flamethrower heard everywhere west of the Mississippi. As the "morning guy" (Paul Leigh), I'd get request calls (in El Paso) from Oregon, Canada, California, North Dakota, etc. at 8 am. To do that today, it takes a satellite network (or the Internet).

WLOB Portland, Maine was one of the highest-cumed radio stations anywhere in 1973 and 1974. Then, there was KRUX, Phoenix and WAVZ, New Haven.

In 1977, when FM was really coming to life in a big way, I was doing mornings at WIVY (Y-103) in Jacksonville, the station that fed The Big Ape AM its last meal! Afterwards I did a stint at WHBQ, Memphis, where I worked with some of the best radio folks ever. After RKO in Memphis, there was KULF Houston, and in the late 80's, a short return to radio at WWMX in Baltimore.

From 1970 to 1980, I was privileged to have met and interviewed dozens of celebrities. Only a few tapes of those moments are still around. I always felt the DJ part was rather easy — but an interview — now that was quite a challenge. Instead of bringing the entire format of the radio station to a screeching halt by stopping the music to talk with a celeb, I worked at making the celebrity an element of the format. This kept the integrity and consistency of the station's music format with a unique celebrity appearance.

Fortunately, through friends, I have acquired some tapes of those memories."

The Repository thanks Paul Mayer (and his friends) for sharing!


[Descriptions by Paul Mayer unless otherwise indicated]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44.1Kbps (20 Khz)
Paul Leigh Plus Composite, XEROK Juarez/El Paso, 1974 (6:17)

. . . I wonder what would happen if you really did that with an operator . . .

What can I say about such a phenomenal radio station? This is where I first worked with the legendary John Long (or, as some of my Mexican friends in a certain classy night spot in Juarez call him: Señor Juan Elargo.) John and I seemed to hit it off from day one. X-ROK 80 was a great-sounding radio station in 1974, and all the credit goes to John.

[From Uncle Ricky] In addition to Paul Leigh (Mayer), this composite includes John Long, Jay Walker, Charlie Fox, and Chris O'Conner. The exhibit, received on CD by REELRADIO, included the tape squeal which appears on the Long and Walker airchecks. I was unable to remove it withiout deleting the original content of this exhibit, so it remains here.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (16 Khz)
Paul Mayer & Neil Sedaka, WAVZ New Haven, 1975 (3:10)

. . . I'll let you be D.J. if I can be a singer . . .

Neil Sedaka and WAVZ Sticker
Neil Sedaka and WAVZ Sticker
What a thrill! I got to spend two and a half hours on air with songwriter and artist Neil Sedaka, known worldwide for classic hits like Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and his more contemporary Laughter in the Rain. Neil was an exceptionally good sport to come on the air with me in July 1975, right after Laughter in the Rain had become such a huge hit. He was also hot then because another song he had penned was number one: Love Will Keep Us Together (Captain and Tenille). Neil was on tour with The Carpenters that summer when he agreed to play DJ with "Paul the Morning Mayer."

Other WAVZ staff members you'll hear on this cut include Chuck Martin, later to become KHJ's last rockin' PD, and WAVZ PD Les Garland, just prior to having a hand in something called MTV. As you'll hear, to wrap up that morning's show, Neil agreed to let me sing. Please, someone find a bucket, so I can carry a tune! (Beware, your dog may react strangely to some of these sounds.)

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (16 Khz)
WAVZ New Haven CT. 1976 Composite (9:35)

. . . we have absolutely no problem with the technical sound of the station . . .

Description by Uncle Ricky for Contributor Paul Mayer

Of course, Program Director Chuck Martin couldn't have known that his carefully-prepared tracks for this composite of WAVZ would be subjected to misaligned dubbing and a bit too much compression, rendering some of his narration unintelligible. Here, I restored a lot of lost upper-mid range, added some expansion during the final processing, and it helped me understand what he was saying. Otherwise, the airchecks sound great, in the grand tradition of tightly-edited, bright Top 40 station presentations.

In addition to Martin, this energetic exhibit of Lucky 13 features high-energy performances from contributor Paul The Morning Mayer, Tom Morgan, John E. Walker, Mike West, Sunshine (a dude!) and Lis' (a lady).

When this was contributed in 2003, along with some other "high-energy" airchecks, Paul wanted to acknowledge Tad Griffin for passing these along.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (16 Khz)
Paul Mayer, Alice Cooper & Bernie Taupin, WHBQ Memphis, 10-31-1978 (9:04)

. . . Uncle Sky and Penny said the 'copter wouldn't come down here . . .

Sure, every top 40 radio station eventually got to be LIVE at a Halloween Haunted House. But, in 1978 in Memphis, WHBQ did everything in a BIG way. Our Haunted House (Scream in the Dark) included the scariest of them all: the real Alice Cooper.

The original game plan was for me to be working the Halloween show at Scream in the Dark where we were about to have a special guest. Alice and Bernie Taupin were to come from up above, via helicopter, land and come into the van (My NightMayer) and join me on the show. But the crowd was much too big, it was too windy, and the chopper pilot was afraid to land. Plan "B" went into effect: the two were whisked off to the Q studio, where they shared in the on-air duties. There was nothing like Halloween with Cooper, Taupin and Paul the Night Mayer on WHBQ.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (16 Khz)
Paul Mayer, Maurice Gibb, WWMX Baltimore, 1989 (11:36)

. . . Everywhere we went, it was just Bee Gees music everywhere . . .

[Description from notes by Paul Mayer]

This interview with Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees was recorded in 1989 at WWMX, Baltimore, where I did afternoons and the Saturday Night Oldies Show. These segments were spread throughout the first three hours of the Saturday night show.

WWMX in Baltimore referred to itself on air as WMIX until 1991, when the real WMIX got a court to issue a "cease and desist order". After that, they continued to use MIX 106.5.

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REELRADIO first welcomed The Paul Mayer Collection on October 29, 2000.
Reel Top 40 Radio Repository ©1996-2011 REELRADIO Inc.