Jerry Reed Dies


A singer songwriter who reached the top of the

Hit Parade on both the Pop and Country charts,

 Jerry Reed was also multi talented actor of both TV

and motion pictures.


Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee were among those

benefiting from his talent as a song writer and as a

recording star his �Amos Moses,� �When You�re Hot,

You�re Hot,� �Lord, Mr. Ford,� �East Bound An Down�

and �She Got The Goldmine, I Got The Shaft�

were among his more than 50 hits.


Jerry Reed Hubbard died in Nashville on September 1

of complications from emphysema. Survived by his

wife and two daughters, he was 71 years of age.



Pioneer Rock Giant Dies

Bo Diddley


Bo�s beat and rhythmic guitar genius was unmistakably

his, copied but never duplicated by many including

the Rolling Stones.  Pioneering the rock beat in the

1950�s his first recording�s, �Bo Diddley� and �I�m A Man�

topped the R&B charts with a pop hit �Say Man�

 introducing rap before it had a name.


Having suffered a stroke and a heart attack in 2007,

one year later on Monday, June 2, rock legend Bo Diddley

died of heart failure in Archer, Florida. He was 79.


A 2008 nominee of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame,

read his bio, vote for and remember Bo Diddley's 

innovative sound here.


Singing Star Jo Stafford dies

Jo Stafford


With nearly 100 visits to the best selling charts, she

 was the top female singer of the 1940�s and 50�s.

Soloing with million sellers "Candy," "Make Love To Me"

 "You Belong To Me," "Jambalaya", "Keep It A Secret"

 "Shrimp Boats," and "It's Almost Tomorrow,"

  Jo Staffords unique impeccable lead voice is

also heard on recordings with  the Pied Pipers,

Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine

and Gordon MacRae.


A favorite of American troops during World War II,

 she was given the name "GI Jo" before joining her

husband composer and orchestra leader  Paul Weston

 to create "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris,"

winning a Grammy for Best Comedy Album of 1960.


A 2007 nominee of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame,

Jo Stafford, in ill health and hospitalized several

 times in recent months for congestive heart failure

 died at 90 years of age on Sunday, July 13, 2023 at

her home in Century City, California.


= = = = =



Isaac Hayes dies


Topping the Hit Parade in the early 70�s his �Theme

from Shaft� earned him an Academy Award with two

Grammy Awards to follow.  As a singer/songwriter,

musician, producer, arranger and composer of hit

recordings he was the creative source for many hits

and an accomplished actor in several movies, including

 "It Could Happen to You" with Nicolas Cage,

 "Ninth Street" with Martin Sheen and  "Reindeer Games"

starring Ben Affleck.


On August 10, 2023 at 65 years of age Isaac Lee Hayes Jr.

died at his home near Memphis, Tennessee.



Lou Teicher dies

Ferrante & Teicher


During the 1960�s when top forty radio gave exposure

to a big variety of music, he was one half of the piano

 duo that sold an estimated 88 million records

worldwide with chart topping singles �The Theme

 From The Apartment,� �Exodus,� �Tonight�

 and �Midnight Cowboy.�


Arthur Ferrante and Lou Teicher met while studying

 at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and after

graduating joined the faculty of that famed institution.

Their twin piano concerts were usually sold out

months in advance as they often performed with

 a 60 piece orchestra.


Lou Teicher, 83 years of age and a longtime resident

of  Sarasota, Florida died of heart failure August 3rd

at his summer home in Highlands, N.C



Pervis Jackson


In the 1970's he was the standout bass singer of one

 of the most successful vocal groups in recorded music.

 The Spinners, with more than two dozen chart toppers

including, �I�ll Be Around,� �Could It Be I�m Falling

In Love,� �Then Came You, � �Rubberband Man�

and �Working My Way Back to You.�


August 19, cancer has claimed the life of

 Pervis Jackson in Detroit.

  He was 70.


Jerry Wexler dies



One of the most celebrated names in the history of

recorded music, his involvement created immediate

acceptance and success for artists he produced.


He gave a new name to what had been called �race

records� when he coined the term �rhythm and blues�

while at Billboard magazine before joining Atlantic

Records to become the genius that helped create 

both the king and queen of soul music, Aretha

Franklin and Ray Charles along with dozens of

other major recording stars.


Jerry Wexler has died at the age of 91 early on

 the morning of August 15th of congestive heart

failure at his home in Siesta Key, Florida.

= = = = =



Big Ron O�Brien dies


Big Ron O'Brien


I first recognized his talent when he was a teenage dj in

Iowa, moving him in the early 70�s to KTLK in Denver

 and to WCFL-Chicago where his youthful excitement

and high energy delivered top ratings as he followed

Larry Lujack on SuperCFL


�Big Ron� was top rated in Philadelphia at WFIL, WRKO

in Boston and WPGC in Washington before he was invited

to join me in the late 70�s at KFI-Los Angeles, where due

to the 50,000 clear channel signal he was heard over a

vast area of the nation each night. On the air he followed

another superstar jock Jack Armstrong, who died

just a few days ago. Ron dominated afternoon drive at

KIIS in Los Angeles and would again deliver top ratings

 in recent years at Philadelphia�s WOGL featuring

the �oldies� he had first introduced  in his early

years as a disc jockey.


Often hearing from him one thing was certain, he never

grew tired of the music he loved and lived to be on the air.

In recent weeks he had signed a new contract with CBS

and just purchased a condo, "now you have a place to

 stay when you come this way," he said.


Sadly on Sunday, April 27th we received  word our friend

Richard M. Walls a.k.a. Big Ron O�Brien has died due to

complications of pneumonia in Philadelphia, much too

young at 56 years of age.


My sincerest condolences to his mom Phyllis and

all those who were fortunate enough to have known

Big Ron.  


 Big Ron�s Memorial Service in Pennsylvania was

broadcast live on the internet on Friday May 2,

he will be interred into the family plot at

Waveland  Cemetery in Iowa.


He will be missed.




Paul  Davis

Just one day after his 60th birthday, a heart attack has

claimed the life of Paul Davis in Meridian, Mississippi

on April 22nd.  With more than a dozen rides on the

Hit Parade, his �I Go Crazy� and �65 Love Affair� were

 top ten nationally.  �Crazy� stayed on the best seller

charts for a record 40 consecutive weeks in 1978.  


Al Wilson


Condolences to the family and fans of soul singer

Al Wilson, age 68, who died of kidney failure at Kaiser

Permanente in Fontana, California on April 21. He is

survived by his wife, Patricia, several siblings, two

daughters and 13 grandchildren. His �Show and Tell�

charted for 22 weeks and topped the Hit Parade in 1973.



Remembering Keeve Berman

Keeve Berman

As a teenager, his radio career started at WEDO in

McKeesport, Pennsylvania, moving up to anchor the

news in the 60�s during my time as program director of

KQV before he was named news director at WOR-fm in

New York City and later returned to Pittsburgh as

news director at WTAE.


All of us who knew �Keever� will remember that

smile  and sense of humor that always radiated on

the air and off.


At 71 years of age, Keeve Berman passed away

May 18th in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

 Keeve is survived by four of five children. 

Condolences to Aaron, Ryan, Dina and Stephanie.



Eddy Arnold Dies


Eddy Arnold


He stood tall as one of music�s biggest stars selling more

than 85 million records, with 145 country hits and two

dozen visits to the pop Hit Parade over a career that

began with a radio show on WMPS in Memphis in 1934.


The �Tennessee Plowboy,� Eddie Arnold, blended country

with pop, a pioneer of what was the �Nashville Sound.�  

With songs that stayed on the best selling charts for

longer than a year at a time, he was known for #1 hits,

�It�s a Sin,� �Anytime,� �Bouquet Of Roses,� �Just a Little

Lovin,� �I Really Don�t Want to Know,� �The Cattle Call,�

�What�s He Doing In My World� and �Make the World

Go Away.�


Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and

a 2007 nominee at the Hit Parade Hall of Fame,

Eddy Arnold died Thursday, May 8th, just a week

before his 90th birthday in Nashville.



Jerry Wallace Gone


Jerry Wallace


A native of Missouri and raised in Arizona, he arrived in

Hollywood to join Gene Autry�s Challenge Records where

�How the Time Flies� gave him his first big hit. In 1959

�Primrose Lane� topped the best selling charts, just one

of  his 45 pop and country successes.


A Hit Parade Hall of Fame nominee, Jerry Wallace

 died May 5th of congestive heart failure at his home

 in Victorville, California, leaving behind four children

and two grandchildren.  He was 79.



Charles W. �Bill� Weaver


He was considered �the right hand man� of radio�s

celebrated innovator Gordon McLendon who dispatched

him to Milwaukee, San Antonio, Shreveport and Dallas,

 as the general manager of McLendon�s radio property�s

and to Houston where he created one of the nations giant

radio successes, KILT before joining Cap Cities

Broadcasting in the mid 60�s.


Inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2003,     

Bill Weaver passed away Sunday, February 17 at

86 years of age.



Johnny Grant dies



Most would remember him as the honorary mayor

 of Hollywood, always on hand to welcome and

introduce those who were given a star on the

 Hollywood Walk of Fame.


A few of us recall his days as one of southern

California�s top disc jockeys on KGIL and KMPC.

 He was one of the great personalities on  both radio

and television. All of us who knew him  will agree he

was always a gentleman. 


Johnny Grant died of natural causes on January 9th

in his 14th floor suite at the Roosevelt Hotel

overlooking the city he loved, Hollywood.

He was 84.

= = = = =

G'Bye Stu


He was very talented, as a sportscaster and an actor,

 one of the real nice guys I�ve known.  Always referring

 to me as �big John,� I mocked his celebrity status by

referring to him as  �Who ?� instead of Stu.


 During my time as program director at KABC radio,

 Stu Nahan hosted a daily sports talk feature on the

top rated Ken & Bob morning show. His humor and wit,

both on and off the air gave me and all he worked with,

great enjoyment.


He appeared in the motion pictures, �Rocky,�

 �Fast Times at Ridgemont High� and TV�s �Brian�s Song�

and was a regular with nightly sports reports on

Los Angeles television.    


His battle with lymphoma ended on December 26th.

Stu Nahan was 81.


My sincerest condolences to Sandy and family. 


= = = =



Dan Fogelberg dies


 Born in Illinois, working as a session musician in

Nashville and a folk singer in Los Angeles, his

memorable voice and lyrics gave us chart toppers

�Same Old Lang Syne,� �Longer,� �Hard to Say� and

�Leader of the Band� in the early 80�s.


With his wife Jean at his side, Dan Fogelberg has

died at his home in Maine, of prostate cancer.

He was just 56 years of age.


It doesn't seem that long ago when our long

time friend Irving Azoff promoted Dan Fogelberg,

encouraging us to introduce Dan via radio.

Dan lives on through the music he left behind.

You can remember him here & here

 = = = =



Hank Thompson


The �King of Western Swing� and his Brazos Valley Boys

sold more than 60 million records over seven decades.


�The Wild Side Of Life� topped the Hit Parade and

stayed on the charts for an uninterrupted thirty weeks

straight in 1952. With more than eighty hits to his

credit, Billboard magazine named his band the #1

country music band fourteen years straight and they

were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Hank Thompson died at 82 years of age on

November 6, 2022 in his native Texas.

= = = = =


Country Music Legend passes


Porter Wagoner

His life long career in country music began with

radio and before joining the Grand Ole Opry in

Nashville, he was a regular on Red Foley�s

 �Ozark Jubilee� in Missouri.


�A Satisfied Mind,� topped the Hit Parade in 1955.

As a solo artist and joined by Dolly Pardon he landed

more than eighty times on the country music Hit

Parade gathering a Grammy award and membership

 in the Country Music Hall of Fame.


On October 28, 2007, suffering from lung cancer,

 Porter Wagoner died in Nashville at 80 years of age.


= = = = =


Teresa Brewer

Though small in stature, she was a giant singing star

starting with chart topper �Music, Music, Music� in

1950.  Her #1 hit �Til I waltz Again With You� stayed

 on the Hit Parade for twenty four weeks in 1952.

�Ricochet� and �Jilted� also counted to give her a

nomination into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.


With her four daughters at her bedside,

Teresa Brewer died at her home in New Rochelle,

 New York on October 17, 2007. 

She was 76 years of age.

= = = = =

 Hy Lit passes



�Legendary� is a term often used, but few deserve

 it more than Hy Lit.


Beginning more than fifty years ago, his keen ear for

the hits opened the door to stardom for many. Music

excitement was key to his success. � If this ain�t a hit,

 I quit� he would say as listeners rushed to a nearby

record store to purchase a new release.   


 A top rated pioneer disc jockey in Philadelphia at

the beginning of rock n� roll, he introduced Elvis,

the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and emceed

their concerts along with dozens of others.


Sam Lit said his father fell on November 4 and was

admitted to Lankenau Hospital to have a knee drained.

What followed, the son said, was �bizarre

complications� when over the next ten days Hy was

transferred to Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital and then to

Paoli Memorial where he died on November 17th.


Hy Lit was 73 years of age.

= = = = = = =


Lee Hazlewood passes

Beginning as a DJ in Coolidge, Arizona, he first met

Duane Eddy, with whom he began to record. In 1956

he hit the top ten with Sanford Clarks �The Fool,�

and the following year he gave up DJing to focus

on a career in music.


Most famous for his work with Nancy Sinatra,

He wrote and produced many of her biggest hits,

including �These Boots Were Made For Walking,�

�Sugartown� and the unforgettable

 �Some Velvet Morning.�


 LEE HAZLEWOOD  died peacefully at his home

at Henderson, Nevada following a three year battle

with cancer.


Just a few days ago Lee celebrated his 78th birthday

surrounded by family and friends. He passed away

 on August 4th, 2007, and is survived by his son Mark,

his daughters Debbie and Samantha, and his

devoted wife Jeane.


(Radio's Art Bell regularly featured the

Hazlewood/Sinatra classic "Some Velvet Morning,"

hear it here)



His unique saxophone style played a major role in 

establishing the �Nashville Sound.� Besides a ride

 on the Hit Parade with his �Yakety Sax,� Boots

Randolph was featured on hits of numerous

recording stars including those of Elvis, Roy

Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Brenda Lee.


On his 80th birthday, June 3rd, 2007 after suffering a brain

 hemorrhage, Homer Louis "Boots" Randolph III

died in Nashville.


= = = = =


= = = = =


Henson Cargill


He landed on the country music Hit Parade sixteen

times, but it was his #1 country and pop hit �Skip A

Rope� that stayed on the charts a total of nineteen

weeks and gave him world wide attention in 1968.


He lived his life as a deputy sheriff, a cattle rancher and

operated a country music showplace in Oklahoma

called Henson�s. 


Henson Cargill died 3/24/07 in Oklahoma after

complications from surgery, he was 66 years of age.


Remembering "Skip A Rope" here



Never to be forgotten


Bobby "Boris" Pickett


�He did the Mash, He did the Monster Mash

He did the Mash, It was a graveyard smash        

                                                                                       He did the Mash, It came on in a flash�

                                                                                                                             It was annual programming by radio for more than forty years.

                                                                                                                                            With an unknown Leon Russell playing piano and

backed by a group called The Crypt-Kickers,

"The Monster Mash" was first turned down by all

of the major record companies until a small

independent label, Garpax� picked it up, rode

it to the top of the Hit Parade and created

one of the all time one hit wonders.


Bobby �Boris� Picket has died at a Veterans

Hospital in Los Angeles of leukemia,

he was 69 years of age.    

= = = = =

Frankie Laine gone...



Many of us can�t remember a time without Frankie Laine. 

He had a class and style that was all his own. 

Selling more than one hundred million recordings during a career that spanned more than 70 year�s, his voice was that of an original, the first of the blue eyed soul singers. 

After 93 years, Frankie Laine died February 6 of heart failure in southern California. 

A tribute to him is at the Hit Parade Hall of Fame


= = = = =


Perry Allen dies at 75


Perry Allen

Our long time friend Perry Allen was a comedic genius who brought humor and laughter to radio audiences during a career that started at KNEB in Scottsbluff, Nebraska in 1945 and over the years included stints at KVI in Seattle, KTLN & KHOW in Denver, WKBW in Buffalo, KRLA, KHJ & KFI in Los Angeles and in San Diego at KDEO, KCBQ, KFMB, KSDO and KVSD.

Top 40 radio was in its infancy in the late 1950's  as Perry Allen was waking up Buffalo on that cities top rated WKBW. Almost 50 years have past, as we pay special tribute to Perry here. 

His passing this week at 75 years of age saddens those who enjoyed his  talent and appreciated his friendship. Perry Allen was a very clever, funny man.


  = = = = =


Gone, but not forgotten

Denny Doherty

First to go was Mama Cass Elliott, then Papa John Phillips and now Papa Denny Doherty has died, one-quarter of the 1960�s folk-rock group, The Mamas and the Papas. 

The Grammy Award winners topped the Hit Parade in the mid 60�s with �California Dreamin�, �Monday, Monday�, �I Saw her Again�, �Dedicated To The One I Love� and     �Creeque Alley�. 

Denny died at his home in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on January 19 after surviving surgery last month and being placed on dialysis.  

Denny Doherty was 66 years of age and survived by three children, John, Emberly and Jessica.



= = = = =


James Brown dies

His fancy footwork on stage inspired many including Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger.  Even "the King," Elvis, expressed his appreciation of James Brown.

 The multi Grammy Award winning �Godfather of Soul�, a giant Rhythm & Blues artist, also influenced disco, rap and funk artists. 

�The Hardest Working Man In Show Business� James Brown landed on the best selling charts more than 100 times since starting in 1956. 

Brown's last performance was Nov. 14 in London, where he was inducted into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. Despite a lingering illness he continued a busy schedule handing out Christmas gifts to needy children on Friday in his native Augusta, Georgia as he was preparing for hitting the road the day after Christmas for performances in Connecticut, New Jersey and a special New Year's Eve gig in New York's Times Square.

Hospitalized on Saturday afternoon with pneumonia, James Brown died of heart failure early on Christmas morning at a Atlanta, Georgia hospital, he was 73 years of age.

 = = = = =

Sorry to report the passing of Lou Simon at 82 years of age, who for many years headed up Phillips Records with many chart toppers, including Paul and Paula's �Hey Paula,� the   4 Seasons �Let's Hang On,�, �Working My Way Back to You,� �C'Mon Marianne,� Dusty Springfield's                                        �Wishin' And Hopin,�
"You Don't Have To Say You Love Me,� "Sunny" by Bobby Hebb, "Dominique" by the Singing Nun" and Paul Mauriat's Love Is  Blue,�                                    the giant instrumental of the 60's.

 = = = = =

Georgia Gibbs dies

Her early life was spent in a Massachusetts orphanage where she was given the lead in the annual variety show. Performing professionally at the age of 13, she was recording at just 16 years. 

A regular on radio�s original Hit Parade broadcast�s, she was also a featured vocalist with the Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw orchestra�s. 

�If I knew you were coming, I�d have baked a cake� landed on the charts in 1950, with �Kiss of Fire� topping the Hit Parade in 1952.

A career with over forty chart songs, including �Tweedle Dee� and "Dance with me Henry" that topped the charts 1955, she entertained for 60 years.  

At 87 years of age, Georgia Gibbs died on December 9 in New York, of complications from leukemia. She is survived   by a grandson and a brother.


= = = = =


Walter Ward

For almost fifty years he was lead singer of The Olympics, whose �Western Movies�, �Big Boy Pete� and �Shimmy Like Kate� were big hits in the late 50�s. He last performed with the group as recently as November.    

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Walter Ward has died in Northridge, California. He was 66 years of age.

= = = = =

A Legendary 60 Year Radio Voice Has Died


Joe Finan


He lived his life to the fullest, hard yet soft, weak but strong and one of the more unforgettable persons I�ve ever known. Joe Finan was an original, a radio voice for sixty years. 

A leader, not a follower, he was a man among men, wasting few words, saying exactly what he meant. Intellectually he was a giant with vast knowledge of history, current events and the need to devour the printed word on a daily basis. 

In the early 50�s, Joe, a pioneer TV weatherman and a radio personality on Cleveland�s KYW before the term �disc jockey� was known, honed his talent as a great communicator. In the early 60�s Jackie Wilson, Della Reese and others told me how instrumental Joe Finan had been to their careers. 

He was among the first to create a talk format at KTLK in Denver. Steadfast in his appraisal of issues, Joe was known for his colorful explanation of the day�s events. 

Barely out of my teens when we met, I, was just a �pup� according to Joe as he shoved me into radio �boot camp� and prepared me for life in the real world. On the air and off, he was the master communicator providing me with a wealth of knowledge that prepared me for my radio career.    

While Joe�s sharp bite would intimidate some, his compassion was never ending as he spearheaded campaigns to help the needy and provide comfort to those less fortunate. 

At 79 years of age, Joe Finan�s death has quieted his voice, but he lives on in those of us he mentored. 

Well done my friend, well done!



= = = = =

R&B Pioneer Dies

Ruth  Brown

Fifty years ago she was the hottest selling artist on Atlantic Records. In fact the label became known as �the house that Ruth built�. Her �Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean� topped the R&B charts in 1953. Other hits, �Teardrops from My Eyes�, �Lucky Lips� and �This Little Girl�s Gone Rockin�� established her as an R&B pioneer.  

Working a variety of jobs in the 60�s and 70�s to support her family, Ruth Brown became a driving force behind the formation of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, a Philadelphia based organization dedicated to providing support to aging singers and musicians whom had failed to be adequately compensated for their contributions to music. 

Reviving her career, she received a Tony for the Broadway review, �Black and Blue� in 1989, a year later a Grammy for the album �Blues on Broadway� and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. 

Ruth Brown has died in a Las Vegas hospital, she was 78.


Ahmet Ertegun dies

He was the founder and soul of Atlantic Records, largely responsible for either discovering or advancing the careers of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker, Big Joe Turner, the Clovers, the Drifters, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Sonny & Cher among dozens of other major recording stars.

In 1987, Ahmet Ertegun founded the Rock n� Roll Hall of Fame and in 2000 the congress of the United States honored him as a �Living Legend.�

While attending a birthday party for former president Bill Clinton in late October, Ahmen Ertegun, 83 years of age, slipped and fell, suffering a head injury that placed him       in a coma.

Ahmet Ertegun died on December 14.

 He was buried in his native Turkey. A memorial service will be conducted in New York after the New Year�s.

= = = = =


Nashville Weeps


Buddy Killen

Starting as a bass player on the Grand Ole Opry and on stage with Hank Williams Sr., Jim Reeves, Ray Price and Eddy Arnold, he would become head of the largest country music publishing company in the world. 

Music publisher, songwriter, record producer Buddy Killen created country music stars for half a century. Among the dozens were Roger Miller, Joe Tex, Bill Anderson, Dolly Parton, T.G. Sheppard and Dottie West. 

At 73 years of age, cancer claims the life of Buddy Killen.


= = = = =


Freddy Fender

Gone, but not forgotten


Known as the king of Tex/Mex, his �Before The Next Teardrop Falls�, Wasted Days and Wasted Nights�, �Secret Love� and �You�ll Lose A Good Thing�, established him as a pop and country star in the mid 70�s. The son of migrant farm workers, Baldemar Huerta grew up in the barrio and changed his name to Freddy Fender after serving a hitch in the U.S. Marines.

He won a Grammy of Best Latin Pop Album in 2002 for "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta." He also shared in two Grammys: with the Texas Tornados, which won in 1990 for best Mexican-American performance for "Soy de San Luis," and with Los Super Seven in the same category in 1998 for "Los Super Seven."

In February 1999, Fender was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Freddy Fender has died of lung cancer at his home in Corpus Christi, he was 69.


= = = = =

Tillman Franks

At the infancy of their careers he influenced a young Elvis Presley and shared the stage of the legendary KWKH Louisiana Hayride with Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, Faron Young and many others before he managed the careers of country superstars Johnny Horton, David Houston and Webb Pierce. 

Country music star maker Tillman Franks has died in his native Shreveport at the age of 86.


= = = = =

Tom Noonan dies


It is with deep sadness we report the passing of our long time friend Tom Noonan. 

In fifty years Tom made major contributions to both music publications and in the recording industry.

Our condolences to his daughters Kristie and  Kerry, his son-in-law Steve, Tommy's many friends and all who benefited from having known a great guy. 

Cancer has claimed his life at 78 years of age. 

Visitation will be Friday from 4-8pm at Callanan Mortuary located at Western and Fountain, funeral mass will be at 10am Saturday at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church on N. Vermont in Los Angeles.     

= = = = =


Bernie Dittman passes


He and his WABB-am/fm in Mobile, Alabama are legendary in radio history. A man of great dedication to radio, Bernie Dittman was one of the few remaining independent owner/operators. His keen ear for on-air talent and picking the hits during Top 40�s heyday contributed to the careers of disc jockey�s and recording artists alike. 

Bernie Dittman was 79 and is survived by his wife Judy and three daughters.

= = = = =



LA�s �Huggy Boy� dies


He and Hunter Hancock were collectively responsible for introducing R&B music to Los Angeles in the 1950�s. �Huggy Boy� is credited with breaking the #1 hit �Earth Angel� along with dozens of other �cross over� recordings of that era.  Originating from Dolphins record store on east Vernon Avenue, his �Harlem Hit Parade� featured interviews of artist mostly ignored by �white� radio.   

At a time when Doo-Wop music was seldom heard elsewhere, they built the bridge that gathered chicano, black and white teens via their daily radio programs. In recent years, �Ol HH� preceded him and now the legendary�Huggy Boy� is gone too.  

Dick Hugg was 78 years of age.

= = = = =


A disc jockey that became a country music star, Johnny Duncan has died in a Fort Worth hospital at the age of 67.  He had a string of hits in the 70�s including chart topper, �She can put her shoes under my bed anytime�

= = = = =

Gene Simmons has died in Tupelo, Mississippi. His "Haunted House" was a chart topper in 1964.

= = = = =

W. Dean LeGras dies in plane crash

Dean LeGras

Our long time friend had been on a fly fishing outing in British Columbia. An accomplished pilot himself, this time he was a passenger in a private plane that was taking him from a prime fishing spot to his own plane just 90 miles away at Prince George when the plane hit a mountain shortly after takeoff.  

Always a gentlemen, Dean moved several years ago from being sales manager of KNX-Los Angeles to a highly respected broadcast broker with The Exline Company of San Rafael, California.  

 Dean was the loving husband of Stephanie and father of Christopher. Our condolences to them and all who knew this wonderful man.  

Dean was 69 years of age. 

There will be a celebration of Dean's life on Sunday August 27 from 2-5pm.

The Bay Area Big Band will perform a concert in his memory at Our Saints Lutheran Church,1035 Carol Lane, Lafayette, California.

All are welcome to come and celebrate the life of Dean LeGras who was a featured vocalist of the band.  We will miss him but appreciate the many years he was our friend.


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Billy Preston dies

By the age of ten he was playing keyboards with gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. He toured with dozens of stars including Little Richard and the Rolling Stones. He was called the �fifth Beatle� for his backing on their best selling �Let It Be� album. On the Hit Parade with more than a dozen hits, �Will It Go Round In Circles� and �Nothing From Nothing� landed at the top at #1. 

Billy Preston has died in an Arizona hospital at a much to early 59 years of age.

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Last Survivor of Comets dies

Bill Haley & the Comets

He was there at the very beginning, even before the music played had yet to be called �rock n� roll.�  First known as the �Saddlemen� it was after they became known as �Bill Haley & the Comets� music history was made in the mid 50�s as the band landed on the Hit Parade with 20 hits, highlighted by  �Rock Around The Clock�, �Burn That Candle� and �See You Later Alligator�. John Grand was the arranger, key board player and a partner in the band.

The last surviving member of the band that shook the world, John Grand, passed away in his sleep on June 2 at 76 years of age.

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Mercury's Irving Green passes





In the mid-40�s he was co-founder of Mercury Records, who made Patti Page, Frankie Laine, Vic Damone, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, the Platters and many others into household names. The career of a young Quincy Jones changed from being a trumpet player to becoming head of A&R after being hired by Irving Green, who has died at 90 years of age in Palm Springs, California.

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Stanley Spero has died at 86. In forty-five years he rose from the ranks of sales to become head of Gene Autry's Golden West Broadcasters .

As VP /General Manager of KMPC, Stan manage the companies flagship station during a time when it was the crown jewel of Autry's radio empire. He played a major role in the formation of the California Angels.

He received a �Lifetime Achievement Award� from the Southern California Broadcasters Association.

Stan Spero leaves behind his wife Harriette, daughters Laurie, Lisa and Leslie and seven grandchildren.


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Steven B. Williams Murdered


Steven B. Williams


All who knew him are sadden and shocked to learn of the murder of the 1970�s Honolulu radio personality, Steven B. Williams, who was also half of the �Steven B. and the Hawk� heard on KBPI-Denver in the 1980�s.  A career that also included San Francisco and Colorado Springs, his voice was heard by many as the announcer of the nationally syndicated Rollye James show. 

Dead of a gunshot, his body was discovered floating in the Pacific off the coast of Catalina Island by a passing boater. He had recently moved to Los Angeles to care for his ailing father, who preceded him in death. Steven has a surviving sister, Jan. The Los Angeles County Sheriff expressed hope in naming his killer soon. 

The industry source for keeping track of most of radio�s personalities, �Where are they� offers these final words from Steven B. Williams, �If my newspapers have started piling up call 911; it just may mean that I�ve died and gone to Heaven.� 

Living 59 years in this world, his many friends are praying they will join him there. �He was a very special person�, said Rollye James.  


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Desmond Dekker

Desmond Dacris may have had only one top ten hit to his credit but as Desmond Dekker it was enough to keep him actively touring until just days before he died on May 24 at his home in Surrey, England. One of my all time favorite hits, his 1969 world wide chart topper �Israelites� kept the Jamaican born reggae star a favorite with audiences up until a heart attack claimed his life at 64 years of age.    


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Howard Bedno dies



L-R  Ed McCaskey, Chairman of the board, Chicago Bears, legendary restaurateur Eli Schulman, Howard Bedno 


Though small in stature, he was a giant among men, including during one of the most exciting eras for both the music industry and radio. Howard Bedno was the highly respected promoter every record company would have liked to have represent them in  Chicago. His aggressive style could be quite intimidating for his competitors, but those who  employed him appreciated his  talent of persuasion. 

  Dozens of recording artists became stars in Chicago and nationally due to Howard's keen ear for new talent. A Chicago native, Howard knew more about the windy city than anyone I would ever know.

Starting in the mid 50�s, Howard Bedno the record man, was on a first name basis with every radio personality, programmer and manager of Chicago radio. He was a friend of the famous, those who only thought they were and the unknown. He was indeed a promoter�s promoter. One of a kind, Howard was an original. 

We began a friendship that started with my arrival at WLS in the 60�s and lasted all these years since. Howard was responsible for my return to Chicago as WCFL's consultant in the 70's.  

His wife of forty years, Catherine said she had some concern in recent days but Howard refused to leave home and be hospitalized.  In a few days he would have been 88 years of age, except for the heart attack that claimed his life Monday morning.

I join the many who cherish having known Howard Bedno and offer condolences to Cathy, daughters Cheryl & Rebecca and his four month old grandson Matthew.

Services are pending and will be announced here. 

I loved him.



More on Howard from Dave Martin here

Chicago Sun-Times here

Bedno, Howard Beloved husband of Catherine (nee Jergovich), devoted father of Major Sheryl (Greg Crawford) Bedno, Rebecca (David Mortazavi) Bedno, proud grandfather of Matthew. Services Friday, 10 a.m., at Memorial Park Cemetery, 9900 Gross Point Road, Skokie. Memorials in his memory to American Heart Assn., 208 S. LaSalle, Chicago, IL, 60604-9807, or the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois 215 W. Illinois. Suite 1C, Chicago, IL, 60610, would be appreciated.

Grave Site services at 10:00am FRIDAY, May 19 at Memorial Park Cemetery, 9000 Gross Point Road, Skokie, Illinois


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Toby Arnold dies 


He always was ready to deliver even on a moments notice. In the 60�s, 70�s and 80�s when jingles highlighted programming on all formats, every programmer in America was on a first name basis with Toby Arnold. As sales manager of the nations top station ID company, Pams of Dallas, or when he headed up his own Toby Arnold & Associates, he was a valued friend to radio. 

An honored inductee of the Texas Broadcasters Hall of Fame, at 76 years of age, Toby Arnold died May 8 in Dallas.

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Phil Walden


He began as manager for soul stars Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge and Clarence Carter. 

From his beloved Georgia, Phil Walden created Capricorn records giving birth to the widely popular mid-'70s phenomenon known as Southern rock starring the Allman Brothers Band who became legendary not only for blending blues, rock, R&B, country and jazz, but also leaders of the free spirited hippie movement that swept the nation.

Allman Brothers Band 

Phil Walden�s up and down career is the cloth legends are made of. He will always be remembered as a major contributor to the recording industry. 

At age 66, Phil has ended his long battle with cancer in Atlanta, Georgia.



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Gene Pitney


Besides being a chart topping singer, Gene Francis Alan

Pitney was  also a successful song writer whose �Rubber

 Ball� was a  hit for Bobby Vee, �Hello Mary Lou� a hit for

Ricky  Nelson and �He�s a Rebel� a #1 hit for

         The Crystals.


On his very first recording he played piano, guitar,

 drums  and sang, "I Wanna Love My Life Away".

His recordings in Italian and Spanish earned him top

 honors at the San Remo Song Festival in Italy, while "Only

 Love Can Break a Heart�, �The Man Who Shot Liberty

 Valance", "Town without Pity", "Half Heaven, Half

 Heartache", "It Hurts to Be In Love", "I'm Gonna be

 Strong", "24 Hours from Tulsa"  and "Mecca" got him

 inducted  into  the Rock n� Roll Hall of  Fame in 2002. 

 Gene had 16  top 40 hits in the US and was on England's     

Hit  Parade 40 times.


Following a night on stage in Cardiff, Wales where he

 once again received a standing ovation, Pitney returned

to his hotel room where he was found dead.  A native of

  Rockville,  Connecticut, Gene Pitney was 65.



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Country Radio Legend Dies 

Those of us who competed against his KUZZ-Bakersfield and KNIX-Phoenix will always remember Buck Owens as a great radio competitor. His country music stations were top rated for decades. 

Oh yes, he had another career�. 

As a country music recording star he topped the charts with more than 20 #1 country hits. �Act Naturally� was also a hit for the Beatles and Buck�s �country bumpkin� act was the star of TV�s top rated �Hee Haw� for more than a dozen years.   

Buck Owens died at his home in the California town he more than anyone else put on the map�Bakersfield.  Buck was 76.


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Dr. Madeline Cosman

Our good friend Dr. Madeleine Cosman has passed away, she will be known by radio talk show hosts and fans alike as one of our nation�s most patriotic hero�s.  Our nation has lost one of the great advocates of the America we love.

Her credits, zeal for life and love of country were unmatched.  

Our condolences to her daughter Marin, her son Bard and four grandchildren.

We will miss her very much. 

Read New York Times report

on Madeleine Cosman here 

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Don Keyes at KLIF

Don Keyes was there at the birth of top 40 radio joining KLIF as a disc jockey before being named programming czar of Gordon McLendon�s chain of radio stations.  In a recent telephone conversation he told me he learned the importance of brevity from Bill Stewart and show business from McLendon. �Gordon allowed me to adjust the music during the times the kids didn�t control the dial in mid-day� he said. �That along with our news coverage and Gordon's showmanship was the formula for success at KLIF and elsewhere.� 

Don has passed away in Dallas after a long bout with emphysema.

Recent photo of  pals Ken Dowe, Chuck Blore & Don Keyes

Visit Don's website here

Hear Don on KLIF pre Top 40 here

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Walter A. Schwartz passes

His leadership had much to do with ABC radio being the nations most successful, respected radio group in the 1960�s. He managed WABC radio, was named President of ABC radio and then became President of ABC television.  Rick Sklar said, �Wally�s the best manager I ever worked for�.  He once told me, �I just hire the best people available and clear the way for them to do their damn job�.  In my years at ABC, Wally often asked questions about programming. "I'm a salesman, I leave the programming to you experts". Listening to Rick and I complain about having to carry extended network programming, Wally was instrumental in splitting the ABC network into four separate programming networks, opening the way for full time music on WLS and WABC. Wally Schwartz was a class act, a motivational expert and a good friend. 

His passing in Florida on December 14 leaves his lifetime partner and wife Ginny, three children, several grand children and great grand children.



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Lan Roberts gone...

Lanny Lipford, known as Lan Roberts gained legendary status while at KJR-Seattle in the 60�s and 70�s. His unique brand of humor brought sunshine even on the most overcast days in the Pacific Northwest. His mentor, Pat O�Day called Lan �the Johnny Carson of Seattle�.  A Texan, Lan started his career at WACO in the late 50's.

He will be remembered for the laughter he gave to so many.  While living in retirement Lan at age 69 has died in Bonham, Texas.

Read his final "Wrapping it up"

Pat O'Day remembers Lan

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Ramona Bell

Sad to report the passing in Laughlin, Nevada on January 5th of Ramona,

 wife and partner of radio superstar Art Bell .  She was 47 years of age.  

Our sincerest condolences.


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At 66, Ray Anderson dies 

After having completed a stint in the US Navy, I remember that day forty years ago when he first called on me at KQV to promote records for Pittsburgh�s Fenway distributing. He would advance to head national promotion for Columbia and RCA and be named president of Epic records.

 A likeable fella, Ray Anderson suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep on December 15 leaving his wife Liz, son Raymond Jr. and many friends in the music and radio industry.

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James Davenport Passes   

Going from radio station owner to record promotion executive was a natural progression for Jim Davenport. His WFOM came into prominence in Georgia as a �hit maker� in the 70�s as it became a respected source for radio programmers across the nation searching for hits to program ahead of their competition.  Jim�s �ear� for hearing the hits moved him from broadcaster to independent record promotion as he established �Ol Bear Productions� that provided consultation for the "Who's Who" of the music business. Record executives and artists alike sought his guidance.           

     Jim is survived by his wife, Carole, sons, Jim and Scott Davenport. He was 75 years of age.

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Link Wray passes 

Frederick Lincoln Wray Jr., part Shawnee Indian, was born in 1929 in Dunn, North Carolina. After learning to play  guitar as a youngster, he joined the armed forces, serving in the Korean War in the early 1950's. 

By punching a hole in the speaker of his amplifier he invented what guitar players know today as fuzz-tone. He was one of the first guitarists to experiment with feedback, and became known for his "power chord."  His big hit instrumental  �Rumble� was the forerunner of heavy metal and punk music with Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen counted among his fans.

Wray's 1958 hit "Rumble" became a haunting anthem to a new generation  after being featured in the movie  "Pulp Fiction". His music also reached a new audience after having been heard in "Independence Day" and "Desperado".

 (click here for �Rumble�)

The Who�s Pete Townshend credited Link Wray for inspiring him, "He is the King; if it hadn't been for Rumble, I would have never picked up a guitar." 

Neil Young added, �If I could go back in time and see one concert it would be Link Wray and His Wraymen.� 

After marrying a Dutch woman, Link Wray moved to Copenhagen in the mid 70�s where he has died at 76 years of age.  He is survived by four sons, five daughters and his wife Elizabeth.

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Bwana Johnny gone at 56


His name was Rick Johnson but listeners will remember him as Bwana Johnny. During  AM radio�s heyday his on air antics were heard on WWDJ-Hackensack; WSAI and  WUBE-Cincinnati; KGB-San Diego; KYA-San Francisco and KJR-Seattle.

He passed away October 28 at a Seattle area extended care facility of congestive heart failure and diabetes.   

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Julian Breen

My friend Rick Sklar called Julian Breen his �right hand�. Starting out as production director, Julian helped Rick create the most listened to radio station of all time with over 8 million listeners a week.

Between Christmas and New Years of 1967, Rick telephoned me asking if I knew of a good production director for WABC. I suggested two names, but before they could apply for the job Rick advised he had already hired a �young fella from New Jersey�. Julian had been working in production and doing newscasts at WCTC in New Brunswick and it wasn�t long before he was named assistant program director of WABC.

The lessons he learned from Rick, helped Julian guide the Greater Media group of stations, where he was widely credited for creating the �Magic format�for that company.

In my conversations with Julian, we marveled at the skill Rick Sklar demonstrated in guarding his turf as program director. We both learned a great deal from Rick Sklar.

        After a short bout with cancer, Julian Breen has died much too soon at age 63.  Our condolences to Marguerite, Kate and Rebecca.


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At the start of rock n� roll his name on a record gave it special consideration from the nations disc jockey�s.

Known as a "songwriter's songwriter" with songs recorded by the Who's Who of pop music, Baker Knight provided hits for over 40 recording artists beginning in 1958 when my good friend Sharon Sheeley introduced him to teen age idol Ricky Nelson who recorded Baker's, "Lonesome Town" and �Never Be Anyone Else But You�.  One of my all time favorites was �The Wonder of You� a big hit for both Ray Peterson and Elvis.   

He wrote songs for superstars Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Perry Como, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr. and  Dean Martin with his �All the Girls Get Prettier At Closing Time� earning Mickey Gilley a �Song of the Year� award from the Academy of Country Music.   

At age 72, Baker Knight has died in his native Birmingham, Alabama, never to be forgotten for what he gave to both radio and the music industry.

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Michael Spears, dies at 59

For more than four decades he left his mark on radio as a disc jockey, a programmer and an owner.  With the on-air name of Hal Martin, I remember him in the 60�s on KLIF in Dallas. He would be named �Programmer of the Year� and inducted into the 2004 Texas Radio Hall of Fame before loosing his long fight with cancer at a much too early age.

His most recent venture was a media company headquartered in Dallas syndicating, consulting and producing national radio and television programs.

Michael Spears will be missed, but not forgotten by an industry grateful for his many contributions. He is survived by his sister, Nancy.


 Ray Ruff - not forgotten 

His legacy will live on through the superstar recording artists he produced or promoted during a career that started when Clovis, New Mexico�s Norman Petty took him under his wing and introduced Ray to the music industry. Petty, who also introduced Buddy Holly to the world, mentored Ray Ruff who achieved countless gold and platinum records for the artists he produced and promoted.

The Texas native contributed greatly to the careers of Pat Boone, Glen Campbell, Don & Phil Everly, Merle Haggard, Reba McEntire, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, George Strait, Marty Robbins, Ray Price, Hank Williams Jr. and hundreds of other music makers.  

Jimmy Bowen, himself an icon in the music industry who produced Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Garth Brooks and dozens of giant hit artists, said, �Ray Ruff is a promotional genius and the best there ever was." 

Having met Ray when we were both just beginning our careers, I join all who morn his passing and express my appreciation for the gift of music he leaves behind.

If you have spent any length of time in radio business you probably have been fortunate enough to have met or know this icon of the recording industry. If not, you still can learn about Ray Ruff here.