Gary Edens, who was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame on October 13, 2000, had a short career as a disc jockey, from 1957 through 1964. He writes:
" It was not a bad time to be on the air in Top 40 radio, with Elvis, Motown, the Beach Boys, and the Beatles. My first jobs were doing afternoon shows while still in high school at WSTP and WSAT in my hometown of Salisbury, NC. During college days at UNC Chapel Hill I worked weekends at WSSB, Durham, and later did afternoon drive at WKIX, Raleigh. After graduation in 1964, I jocked at co-owned WPDQ, Jacksonville, FL.
Following six months active duty in the National Guard in 1965, I joined the sales staff at the legendary PAMS Productions of Dallas. While at PAMS I sold syndicated and custom station jingles throughout the US. In 1967 I spent six weeks in Australia developing PAMS clients in that country. It was an historic time to be part of Bill Meeks' PAMS during its heyday with best sellers like the Jet Set, the Go Go Series and Fun Vibrations.
In 1968 I rejoined WKIX in Raleigh in sales and worked there until 1970. WKIX was then owned by Southern Broadcasting Company, and I was asked by the company to go West to their new acquisition, KOY, Phoenix. I did and that move became my last move in radio. After thirty years, Phoenix is still home.
While I came off the air in 1964 as a DJ - maybe I took Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry words to heart, "a man's got to know his limitations" - throughout my career in management and ownership, I have always had a keen appreciation for superb radio personalities and imaginative production.
Over the years I was privileged to be associated with some of the best on-air talent in the business. People like Scott Shannon, Jeff and Jer, Bill Heywood, Alan Chilcoat, Pat McMahon, Charlie Van Dyke, Tim and Willy, Jack Murphy, Terrence McKeever, Jo Jo "Cookin'" Kincaid, Anita Rush, John Lander, Mason Dixon, Cleveland Wheeler, John Harding, and Dick Lamb, to name just a few.
As I go through my many boxes of tapes, I will archive some of my favorites here. "
The Repository thanks Gary Edens for sharing!
[Descriptions by Gary Edens]
TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (20Khz)
The Eastman Anthem, TM Productions, 1974 (5:30)
. . . I finally learned how to pronounce Norfolk . . .
In the 70s when I managed Southern Broadcasting Company's Phoenix stations KOY and KRFM, I also handled national sales. Our rep was Eastman Radio and I'd make several trips a year to their major offices to conduct sales meetings and was always looking for creative ways to energize the reps at these early morning pep rallies.
In 1974 I had an unusual idea for an Eastman sales meeting. Why not produce a jingle for Eastman? A jingle that was all about Eastman. I had heard a promo song from TM Productions called "At TM We Listen to You" and thought it could be rewritten and become a production singing the virtues of Eastman Radio. I called my old friend at TM, Jerry Atchley, and he said "Sure, come on down to Dallas and we'll re-sing it for your rep firm." I negotiated what I thought was a reasonable price for the jingle, $500. Little did Jerry and TM honcho Jim Long realize how difficult this project would become. You see, I wanted every call letter from the Eastman station list to be sung in those stations' actual musical logos. It was several hundred stations and that many different musical signatures.
I went to Dallas and was assigned to the late Bob Piper, a lawyer-turned-musician. He was a gentle and patient producer. It must have taken over six hours of TM studio time to complete this jingle. You don't sing this long a jingle in one take. It was done in many pieces and then mixed together.
In addition to the then Eastman station list being featured in the jingle, there was some intended inside humor in the production. Some aimed at spoofing Eastman President "Tiger Bill" Burton who was fond of taking doughnuts to time buyers on sales calls and telling everybody to "Be Fabulous."
The jingle became known as the Eastman Anthem because of the church choir-like acapella style used at the ending.
Eastman Radio in its independent life was known as a scrappy sales firm representing many of the nation's leading Top 40 stations. Today, as part of Clear Channel Communications, Eastman is consistently one of the top three billing national rep firms in the USA. And still, the only rep firm I know of with its own jingle.
TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (20Khz)
WKIX Raleigh N.C. Reunion on WTRG-FM, May 1, 1993 (52:48) (includes all four parts, below)
. . . Does anybody remember these guys? . . .
There have been several Raleigh Radio Reunions bringing together former WKIX air staffers. However, the reunion that drew the biggest number of WKIX alumni was staged by oldies station WTRG in Raleigh and broadcast live on that station on May 1, 1993. It was produced by Mike Smith and Mike Mitchell.
Charlie Brown and Gary Edens talk about the popular Piggy Park Drive-In remote broadcasts. A 1971 Steve Roddy aircheck. Former WKIX sales rep Clay Sledge chats with Gary Edens about promos and commercials on KIX in the 60s. A 1963 Gary Edens aircheck. A Charlie Brown WKIX interview with the late singer Sam Cooke.
Charlie Brown and Jack Kane learn from Tommy Walker how he became the original KIX Man of Music in 1959 at the age 17. Russ Spooner and the "Fat Cat" remember the many KIX-sponsored concerts in Raleigh, especially beach music concerts by the Tams. Bob Kelly plays a 1962 Tommy Walker aircheck. Charlie Brown interviews Bobby Tomlinson of the Embers, a popular band started at North Carolina State University in 1958.
Raleigh Radio Reunion, Part 4 (10:33)
Bob Kelly admits to having heated music debates with Charlie Brown and Tommy Walker over the issue of beach music vs. national hits. Brown and Walker always won the debates and the station played lots of beach music as well as nationally charted hits. CB interviews John Tesh and Steve Roddy. Both men were part of WKIX's traveling basketball team, the KIX Kagers. Bob Jones introduces a brief aircheck from Tom Scott's "Underground", the first KIX program to play "progressive music."
TOP STREAM 32.1Kbps (20Khz)
A Tribute to WKIX Raleigh NC, 2001 (14:48)
. . . In the '60's, there once was a radio station . . .
[Description by Gary Edens]
However, in 2001 Walter Knox (aka Jack Kane) took my voice-only piece and added KIX jingles, sounders and various snippets of airchecks to make it a much more interesting look back at the legendary WKIX of of the sixties.
This newly produced version of the WKIX Tribute was part of the Third WKIX Reunion, this time broadcast on WPTF AM (680) in Raleigh, N.C., September 20-23, 2001. It opened the show at 3:05 PM on Friday September 21, and was played again on Saturday September 22 at 12:05 PM.
Lots of KIX Alums showed up, including: Rick Dees, Ken Lowe (Steve Roddy), Charlie Brown, Jack Kane (Walter Knox), Pat Patterson, Russ Spooner, Bob Jones, Charlie C, Rich Reim, Joe Goodpasture, Clay Sledge, Bob Kelly, and Ray Caulder. A big dinner event was held on Saturday night September 22.