Gary Edens at 15, WSTP 1957

Gary Edens at 15, WSTP 1957

Gary Edens, WKIX, 1964
Gary Edens, WKIX, 1964

Edens was a PAMS rep from 1965-1968
Edens was a PAMS rep from 1965-1968

Edens became KOY GM in 1970. This picture is from 1981.
Edens became KOY GM in 1970. This picture is from 1981.

Gary Edens Today
Gary Edens, today

The Gary Edens Collection

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]

G2/5.0 compatible 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.

Frank Boyle and Gary Edens
Eastman Radio Chairman Frank Boyle with Gary Edens at a 1979 Phoenix retreat for the firm. The ice carving, SBC, stood for Southern Broadcasting Company. Eastman was the exclusive national rep firm for Southern.
After this five and a half minute jingle was completed, the next morning I was at 30 Rockefeller Plaza at the New York Eastman headquarters premiering this production for their sales staff and rep brass, Carl Butrum, Jerry Schubert, Bill Burton and Frank Boyle. I think they all liked it. They gave me a standing ovation. They should have given the ovation to TM, for surely Jim Long and Jerry Atchley lost money on this $500 deal.

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.

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G2/5.0 compatible 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? . . .

Rick Dees joined WKIX in 1971. He now reaches over 30 million people on 350 radio stations.
Rick Dees
John Tesh, internationally acclaimed music, composer and TV host worked at WKIX as a newsman while a student at North Carolina University.
John Tesh
Ken Lowe of The E.W. Scripps company was a KIX DJ known as Steve Roddy in the early '70's.
Ken Lowe
Top 40 radio in the Carolinas was defined in the 60s and 70s by Raleigh's WKIX, the Giant of the South. Dozens of people launched distinguished broadcast careers at Big KIX. People like Hollywood's Rick Dees, musician/TV host John Tesh, and media mogul Ken Lowe, now President & C.E.O. of The E. W. Scripps Company.

Hugh Holder
The first WKIX GM, Hugh Holder, "the silver-haired fox with a voice like God", (inset) 1950's when Holder was a CBS staff announcer and (color), taken by KIX alumnus Rich Reim in Greensboro N.C., just a few days before Holder passed away.
The visionary who launched WKIX in 1959 was an ex-Marine and former CBS announcer Hugh Holder, who owned and managed the station until it was sold to Southern Broadcasting Company in the late 60s.

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.

The First WKIX Logo used in the late 50's and early 60's
Featured on this reunion broadcast are the following WKIX alumni, in alphabetical order: Charlie Brown, Rick Dees, Gary Edens, Bob Jones, Jack Kane, Bob Kelly, Steve Roddy, Tom Scott, Clay Sledge, Russ Spooner, John Tesh, and Tommy Walker.

WKIX 1993 Alumni
Raleigh Radio Reunion WKIX Alumni, May 1, 1993. (Top row left to right) Jack Kane, Ron McKay, Mike Mitchell, Tommy Walker, Charlie Brown and Bob Kelly. (Bottom row left to right) Tom Scott, Mark Starr, Gary Edens, Steve Roddy and Rich Reim.
A special thanks to Bob Jones, Walter Knox, Rich Reim, Mike Smith and Ed Weiss for supplying most of the photos and logos used in this exhibit. Also the WKIX alumni owe our gratitude to the then WTRG owner, a courageous Tom Joyner, for turning his whole radio station over to the KIX Men of Music for nine hours on a Saturday in the middle of a spring ratings sweep.

PLAY Raleigh Radio Reunion, Part 1 (22:08)

WKIX Clock
A collector's item. This KIX clock hung in the control room throughout the Top 40 life of the station.
The first segment of the broadcast is opened by WKIX alum Rick Dees. Jack Kane introduces a prepared piece by Gary Edens, "Memories of WKIX". Kane plays the earliest existing aircheck of Charlie Brown from WSSB, Durham in 1961. Charlie Brown and former KIX morning personality Russ Spooner spin tales about Tommy Walker and then play a Walker early 60s WKIX aircheck.

PLAY Raleigh Radio Reunion, Part 2 (7:00)

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.

WKIX Number One
A trade ad from the early 60s. The ratings services of the time, Hooper and Pulse, showed WKIX to be an overwhelming number one in the Raleigh market.
PLAY Raleigh Radio Reunion, Part 3 (13:08)

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.

PLAY 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."

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G2/5.0 compatible 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]

KIXscape by Gary Edens
"KIXscape", a 2001 oil painting by Gary Edens, based on a 1965 photo of the WKIX studios (inset) by DJ Bob Jones.
Back in 1993 I wrote and recorded this tribute for the WTRG/KIX Reunion Broadcast.

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.

Rick Dees, Gary Edens and Steve Roddy (Ken Lowe)
Rick Dees, Gary Edens and Steve Roddy (Ken Lowe), September 2001.
The 2001 Raleigh Radio Legends Reunion Weekend was a big hit! WKIX fans met their favorite disc jockeys and newscasters during a special Beach Music Blast on September 21 at Red's Beach Music. Proceeds from the event helped endow a scholarship in broadcast journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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.

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The Gary Edens Collection has been part of REELRADIO since January 14, 2001.

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