At HOT 92, WRQC, Cleveland, 1989
WRQC Cleveland, 1989, Top Row, (l-r) Fred Wesley, Jim "The Bear" Butler, Channel 5's Don Webster; Bottom Row (l-r) Bob Kravitz (Sports), Tom Kent

Karen and Tom Kent
Karen and Tom

Jackie, Karen, Tom, Katie and Steve Kent
Tom Kent and family: Jackie (15), Karen, Tom, Katie (11) and Steve (17)

TK Hall Of Fame Coast To Coast, 2004
TK Hall Of Fame
Coast To Coast, 2004

TK 2005!

The Tom Kent Collection
It all started on a two watt pirate radio station in his bedroom in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the ripe young age of 13. Young Tom Kent would put long songs on and get on his bicycle and ride around the neighborhood, knocking on doors asking his neighbors to listen. Soon after, he would have his own weekend radio show on local station WAIR. All through North Forsyth High School, young Tom would work overnights and go to school all day! That's how much he craved that precious airtime, and he was an excellent if somewhat "zombified" student. Upon graduation, Tom took his radio career on the road.

At the ripe young age of 18, he hosted the night show at WHBQ in Memphis. He was hired by Memphis Mafioso George Klein who was also Elvis Presley's best friend. "GK", as he was affectionately known, was the person who helped create the "Truckin' Tom Cookin Kent" persona. Thus, "Truckin' Tom" was born. He was one of the most outrageous radio personalities in the history of top 40 radio. As legend has it, one night in 1974 while on the air in Memphis, George Klein would be at Graceland visiting his friend "The King" — and listening to Kent. Elvis was so impressed he would ask George to set up a meeting. Elvis wanted to meet this crazy person he had been listening to on the radio, but not at Graceland. A complete stranger would never be invited to Graceland for the first meeting. So Elvis would rent out the "Memphian" movie theater in downtown Memphis and show old movies all night long. The meeting was set. Just prior to that day, a huge radio station in Cleveland, Ohio would come calling and court the young Kent to WIXY 1260. Kent promptly dissed the King and took the job in Cleveland — thus never meeting Rock and Roll's greatest idol.

Over the next several years, Tom Kent would enjoy success on the air at legendary stations like WIXY, KLIF/ DALLAS, WIBG/PHILADELPHIA, WMJX/MIAMI, WGCL/CLEVELAND, WLS/CHICAGO, and WAVA/WASHINGTON. Nominated for many awards including Billboard Major Market Air Personality of the Year, Tom would become legendary in the ranks of radio greats.

Today Tom lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Karen and hosted the fastest growing syndicated radio show in America called "Hall of Fame Coast to Coast" in addition to "Into the 70s" — all were heard seven nights a week on over 150 radio stations across the USA. His broadcasts originated live, every night from his basement in his home. Some say he's come full circle — back to his very early teen years when he would also broadcast from his home. Only this time, his neighborhood was the world! Visit Tom at!

The Repository thanks Tom Kent for sharing!

[Descriptions by Uncle Ricky and Tom Kent]

Coyote Calhoun, WAKY Louisville, 1973 (10:46)

. . . I want my time sheet, you owe me for five days . . .

It wasn't unheard of for jocks to leave stations with little notice. Some left so quickly they didn't collect their last check. We surmise that is what happened in this case. The first two minutes of this tape, preceding the aircheck of Coyote Calhoun on WAKY in Louisville, includes a no-holds-barred message for former co-workers at his previous job.

Calhoun was a great smokin' nighttime jock.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM IS 32.0 Kbps (16Khz)
G98 WGCL Cleveland Composite, 1974 (03:14)

[Description by Uncle Ricky, January 27, 2002]

. . . This man could be the G-Man . . .

This very short and very excited composite of high-energy monster WGCL Cleveland, circa 1974, includes Bob North, Chris Bailey, Truckin' Lenny, Skip O'Brien and Jay Bell (with news). It also includes a Shotgun Tom Kelly (but it's not the Shotgun Tom Kelly of KCBQ).

We certainly have more to learn about this one. It's a good thing we have that COMMENT feature, because when it's showtime, we go with what we got!

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM IS 32.0 Kbps (16Khz)
Truckin' Tom Cookin' Kent, WHBQ Memphis, 1974 (3:18)

. . . Gladys Sugar with The Pips on top . . .

[Description by Tom Kent]

The ever Truckin' Tom Cookin' Kent at the ripe young age of 19 doing nights for RKO's WHBQ in Memphis under the tutelage of George Kline.

Total immaturity - a required asset of any late night jock in that era.

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G2 5.0 compatible WEB-TV COMPATIBLE - UPGRADE!! TOP STREAM IS 32.0 Kbps (16Khz)
Brother Jon Rivers, WHBQ Memphis, 1974 (8:16)

. . . the government looks upon a citizen as someone who has what it takes . . .

[Description by Tom Kent]

This is one of my all-time favorite jocks. Brother Jon Rivers (Powerline, currently OM and mornings at KLTY, Dallas.) Jon did mornings at WHBQ when I worked there. He was smooth as silk. This tape is from 1974 and features Syd Leak who was one of the all-time great Top 40 newsmen.

You'll hear some of Brother Jon's incredible production at the end of this tape, which features some cutting-edge promos and spots of that time.

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Barry Kaye & Tom Kent, KLIF Dallas, 1976 (11:33)

. . . I'm on top of everything . . .

Barry Kaye and Truckin' Tom Cookin' Kent are heard pumpin' the PM on Top 40 legend KLIF, Dallas. With help from Steve Caisse in COMMENTS, we believe this to have been recorded on Friday, November 12, 1976.

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G2 5.0 compatible Aphex enhanced TOP STREAM 20.7Kbps
Rick Dees and Jelly Donuts, WHBQ Memphis 1976 (07:36)

. . . I want me a jelly donut . . .

A portion of the Terrence McKeever report regarding Jerry Lee Lewis and "what really happened at Graceland" was featured previously in a Fall 1976 WHBQ composite.

But the best part is featured here. Rick Dees does Elvis, and his attempt to record a new song at "Waistland".

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G2 5.0 compatible
WIBG Philadelphia, Composite, April 1977 (5:21)

. . . Wibbage is gearing up to kick ass and take names . . .

Crazy Bob McClain, Big Bill Gardner, Chuck Knapp, JJ Kennedy, and Truckin' Tom Cookin' Kent are featured in this "last gasp" composite of Philadelphia's WIBG, just 5 months before the station became history.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44.1Kbps (20Khz)
TK Tom Kent, WGCL Cleveland, 1979 (9:07)

. . . Oh by the way, I'll be givin' away those snake lips in just a few minutes . . .

[Description by Tom Kent]

WGCL/Cleveland was where I worked prior to WLS, and without a doubt, the most successful stint I had ever done on the radio.

I came to WGCL in the fall of 1978 and the station had a 3 share in afternoon drive. My competition was Don Imus at WHK and Kid Leo at WMMS.

I left for Chicago in February of 1980 with a 16 share - and Number One!

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM IS 32.1 Kbps (16Khz)
JAM "Hot KIIS" WAVA Jingles, 1984 (02:04)

. . . Washington's Best Music . . .

WAVA PD Tom Kent flew to Dallas and worked with Jon Wolfert to produce and customize this JAM jingle package.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM IS 20.7 Kbps (10Khz)
Tom Kent, WAVA Washington D.C. January 27, 1985 (04:17)

. . . Oh no, I think you hit it too hard . . .

TK on WAVA - less energy than the "Truckin' Tom" days, but lots of phone bits and a tight, polished presentation.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM IS 20.7 Kbps (10Khz)
Final Hour of WAVA, Washington, D.C., 1992 (59:25)

. . . the future has come to this . . .

WAVA switched to a Top 40 format on October 28, 1983, and after "8 years, 107 days and 6 hours", owner Emmis sold the station to a religious broadcaster. This final hour, which is is stuffed full of airchecks, promos and jingles from 1983-1992 was produced by David Edgar (later, PD at B-94, Pittsburgh) and was aired on February 12, 1992.

It includes dozens of popular WAVA personalities, original morning man JJ McKay, Charlie & Harrigan, and Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara (who later syndicated The Don & Mike Show). Bobby Ocean is also heard as the station's promo voice during 1991.

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G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM IS 20.7 Kbps (10Khz)
Tom Kent, WQAL (Q-104) Cleveland, 12/12/1998 (05:42)

. . . back in the days when people were plastered in polyester and singin' "Got to Be Real" - now, tell me - what's wrong with that picture? . . .

Tom Kent had not been on the radio for several years when he did the "Saturday Night Fever" show on WQAL (Q-104) in Cleveland on December 12, 1998.

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G2 5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM IS 64 Kbps (15Khz STEREO)
Tom Kent, Through The Years (10:14)

. . . Truckin' Tom Cookin' Kent! . . .

Truckin' Tom Cookin' Kent is heard on WHBQ, WIXY, KFJZ, KLIF, WIBG, 96X Miami, WGCL, WLS, WLS, and WAVA in this Official Truckin' Tom Composite - "Through The Years".

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G2 5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM IS 64 Kbps (15Khz STEREO)
Hall of Fame Coast To Coast with Tom Kent, 2003 (01:04:46)
. . .
knowing Elton John the way I do, he was really singing, 'Hold me closer, Tony Danza'
. . .

G2 5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM IS 64 Kbps (15Khz STEREO)
Hall of Fame Coast To Coast with Tom Kent, 2004 (07:27)
. . .
OK, your initiation is complete. You can put the lampshade back on your head, now
. . .

G2 5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM IS 64 Kbps (15Khz STEREO)
Tom Kent Christmas Demo, 2004 (09:16)
. . .
Let us take your Christmas Programming Up A Notch
. . .

[Description by contributor Tom Kent, November 2003]

Picture of Tom Kent
Truckin' Tom Cookin' Kent - in the basement!
Hall of Fame Coast to Coast with Tom Kent originates from my basement studio in suburban Cleveland. Most markets play the show Saturday night, but for stations that run the show at other times, I encourage callers to leave their phone numbers. I call those people back. I return every single phone call. I tell the listeners that their calls and requests will be on the following week, and I tell them exactly what hour it will play in their market. I tell them to tell their friends all over the country to listen as well. There is no script and I interact with the listeners and the music. It sounds totally live because I am doing it live.

This has been a labor of love for me over the past year. It started as a five hour oldies show that has become the fastest growing syndicated radio show in America.

In June 2004, the show expands to six 5-hour shows per week, via satellite. I bill it as "The Party In The Basement". The theme of the show is personality and fun and believe me when I say I'm having a blast doing it. The response has been nothing short of amazing! We did a live broadcast from the original Krispy Kreme in Winston-Salem N.C. and over 3,000 people showed up! A couple drove all the way down from Canada to be a part of the broadcast. The ratings have been doubling or tripling the numbers in most all of our markets.

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Additional Exhibits from The Tom Kent Collection
Tom Kent, WIBG Philadelphia, 1977
Tom Kent, First Night on WLS Chicago, 1980
Tom Kent, WLS Chicago, June 1980
Tom Kent Into The Seventies Memorial Day Weekend, 2005
Tom Kent Radio Shows Demos, 2005
Tom Kent and Stephen Stills, TKO Radio Network May 5 2006

More to Come from the Tom Kent Collection!
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