John Rook bio

   Read  from "Passing Thru"

           "Before I Begin"

          "The Presidents"

         "Burt Lancaster"

         "In Like Flynn"

    "Andy, David & June"


  Eddie  Cochran

     Here's "More Eddie Photo's"

My friend Eddie Cochran, an early inductee into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, was an extraordinarily talented guitarist, singer and songwriter who influenced later artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and many others.

Read Graham Pugh's  "The Truth About Eddie Cochran"




            KTLN/KTLK here   


"A Slice of Pie & Howard's"     Pie Traynor, Howard K. Smith,   Howard Cosell   


   "Mick & The Rolling Stones"


  "Thanks for theMemory "                Bob Hope, Nat King Cole                  


               "WLS Bound"  and the WABC strike of 1967.

         "The Big 89 - WLS"



Cecil Heftel bought it, Buzz Bennett gave birth to it,  John Rook consulted it and hired Bill Tanner to create Miami's legendary Y-100  



             "I love LA - 64 KFI"  


        "KABC  - Talk Radio's First

"For More Than A Decade"  it was top rated in Tucson. One of my most successful station's in a favorite city


A stage for many of the nations most celebrated radio star�s, it became "Super CFL" in the early 70�s in one of radio�s great battles when Super Jock Larry Lujack, Big Ron O�Brien, Paul Kirby, Kris Erik Stevens and a few others joined me at Super CFL


My little slice of Paradise




 John's Poetry Page




A Tribute to Bill Gavin here

My wise friend Bill said, "Sharing           life's experiences with the generations  that follow is probably the most important thing we can do."

I think of him often when writing on these pages.


Web Radio

Click on to enjoy

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Radio's Rich "Brother" Robbin  creates oldies radio like it should be. Streaming on the web here

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Rewind with Jimmy Jay as he interviews and features recent photos of the Superstars of early rock here

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If you have an RV you've gotta hear RV Dream Radio  


  Southern California beach conditions

Click For The Correct Time

"One of the great programmers, honest, passionate and powerful.   John has never pulled any punches." -

 Chuck Blore


"John Rook was absolutely instrumental in my career. I think of him as my radio "Dad". He was more than a great programmer, he was a great teacher, and remains a great friend"  -  Tim Kelly
The Premiere Radio Networks 



It pleases me the rest of the country thinks as highly of you as I do� �  Bill Drake


One of  "Most Influential Programmers of the Past 20 Years"  -  Radio & Records


Honored as one of

"Radio's Legends"

Radio & Record Convention - (1998)


Radio Programmer of the Year

Gavin Convention - (1969)


Radio's Man of the Year

Variety Magazine - (1969) 


Radio Consultant of the Year

Poe Convention (1977)


�John Rook�s talent caused me to get him hired out of the market. A classy guy with an abundance of ability, he�s a jewel�. Ken Palmer - KIMN, Denver  (1965)


Broadcasters have named John Rook Program Director of the Year, he�s considered the architect of WLS�s slick image. � Variety (1969)


�If we could find a dozen more John Rook�s, we would hire them�

Hal Neal Jr., President ABC radio.


�What a true professional John Rook is�

 Walter A. Schwartz, VP WABC


Yes, that�s John Rook you are hearing on WABC.  Besides being a great director, he�s also a pretty darn good air talent.� 

Bill Gavin (1967)


�And then there�s John Rook at WCFL.  After a five year stint at ABC�s KQV-Pittsburgh, Mr. Rook was brought to WLS in early 1967 as Program Director.  By mid 1968 WLS�s audience had risen to 4.2 million listeners each week and was #1 across the board. Mr. Rook was approached by Lew Witz of WCFL with an offer to counsel WCFL, and hopefully to bring the station in contention with WLS. Six weeks later Super � CFL knocked WLS out of the top position in the ratings war�.      Broadcasting (1972)


John Rook  pulled off a miracle in Chicago with WCFL and he did it in just 22 days.

Meaning, he was only in Chicago personally for 22 days.  This is actually better than WCFL has ever done in it�s many years of trying to beat WLS.  -  Billboard (1972)

 �Very few programmers have your natural ability of knowing what the audience wants before they do.�  

Jack Thayer, WNBC � New York


�Please accept this token of ABC�s appreciation for a job well done.�

Leonard Goldenson,

President ABC, Inc.

The magic of John Rook & Associates is being heard on more and more stations. John has added  Paul Kirby from WRKO to help him with his latest additions, KRBE-Houston, WIFI-Philadelphia, WZGC-Cleveland,  KDON-Salinas/Montery, KTLK-Denver, KAFY-Bakersfield, Z-93-Atlanta, KTKT-Tucson, KENO-Las Vegas, KRUX-Phoenix, KROY-Sacramento and WGNG in Providence. -  Gavin Report - 1974 

Superjock Larry LuJack described John Rook as �the greatest program director of our time or any other time.�  ABC executive Bob Henabery is quoted as saying that �Rook understood the importance of doing everything right. He was a masterful Top 40 programmer.�

            Rook's Radiography


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Click on any below to visit them

        Where Are They ?         

    440: Satisfaction gives a complete rundown on those who made contributions to radio over the years.

Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation�s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. 

Spotlight on....

A salute to those who deserve recognition


     If a major disaster hits        Are you ready?

Click here to find out


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San Francisco Radio History


St.Louis Radio










Jeff Roteman's Radioville

Award winning website

Pittsburgh/Chicago radio




Brian Maloney's "Radio Equalizer"

Jerry Del Colliano, founder of  "Inside Radio" continues to speak out at "Inside Music Media" here

Read Lee Abrams here

 with George Noory

Jerry Doyle

Rollye James

Michael Savage

Bill Press

Museum of Broadcast Communications

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        Some friends....           

Now in the Radio Hall of Fame, my good friend Larry Lujack gave fuel to my own radio career.   

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Radio for Chuck Blore began at KTKT in Tucson, a decade or so before I became the stations consultant. Gordon McLendon hired Blore to program KTSA in San Antonio and then KELP in El Paso.  His arrival at KFWB-Los Angeles created the highest rated major market radio station ever.  Forming The Chuck Blore Company brought over 500 major awards for commercial excellence.  Chuck is one of a kind � the most creative source in the history of radio.  No one motivates better than Chuck Blore.  Visit him here

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Bobby Cochran, following in the footsteps of his uncle, Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame star Eddie Cochran, writes of those early days when my friend Eddie and I roamed southern California as teenagers. "Three Steps to Heaven" is available at 

Visit Bobby Cochran and taste his music here.

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Wink Martindale is a master entertainer of radio and TV game shows.

"Winking at Life" is Wink's life story available at or at his website here.

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It's where Rock n' Roll began, a combination of white and black gospel, old and new country, doo-wop, blues,  western cowboy and pop music at Shelby Singleton's Sun Records.   

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Bill Young made his mark as one of America's top programmers in radio who now creates great video commercials. Visit him here

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A trademark voice of radio and  commercials, Kris Erik Stevens delivers. Always energetic, always positive and always a friend. Visit him here

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The Pew Research Center

    Share The Truth   

Truth or Fiction  

Urban Legends

Hoax Busters

Contact Links
e-mail FCC Commissioners
e-mail U.S. House Members
e-mail U.S. Senate Members

File FCC Indecency Complaint here


Archives of

 July - August 2005

September 2005

October - November 2005

December 2005 - January 2006

Jan - Feb - March, April, May 2006

June, July, August, Sept 2006

Oct, Nov, Dec 2006

Jan, Feb, March 2007

August, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 2007

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr 2008





Locations of visitors to this page





The Beatles at kqv

As a fan of �The Crickets�, a new group by the name of �The Beatles� didn�t impress me�I thought it was a direct steal of Buddy Holly�s band. My friend Bob Skaff, of Liberty Records had told me of his efforts to sign �this new English group�, but was turned down by his boss Al Bennett.  �They are gonna be big Johnny�, said Skaff who predicted, �It will only be a matter of time before they come to the attention of American radio�.  Bob would introduce me to Beatle manager Brian Epstein, who became very important in giving me an inside track to �the boys� in future times.  However, I must admit I didn�t expect the Beatles to last more than a year or two�but then I came from the Elvis era.    


Several months would pass before Capitol records would kick off the English invasion by introducing �I Want Hold Your Hand�, it would be the first of more than two dozen Beatle hits in a period of one year�1964. Capitol wasn�t the only record company riding the wave as other labels climbed aboard with virtually everything the Beatles had recorded earlier in their career.


With their first Capitol release at #1 on the American Hit Parade, the mop tops arrived in the United States in February to make their TV debut on the top rated Sunday night Ed Sullivan show. 73 million viewed this show where they appeared twice during the hour, first to perform �All My Loving�, �Till There Was You�, and �She Loves You�; the second half saw the Beatles bring the house down with �I Saw Her Standing There� and their Hit Parade topper, �I Want To Hold Your Hand�.  My "pipeline" for Beatle music gave me each release several days before any other radio station in the states. As KQV truly aired the world premiere of many Beatle releases, a few days later another ABC owned facility would air them as "world premieres" also. In those days before satellite�s and Federal Express, the  �exclusives� from England were copied and transported to the Pittsburgh airport where for a few bucks, airline pilots would fly them in the cabin to New York where WABC�s program director, Rick Sklar would rush them to �Cousin Brucie�to give his         listeners a treat.  


Cousin Brucie

As he joyfully proclaimed them to be WABC World Premiere�s,  Chuck Brinkman, who had presented them to his audience at least a day before,  begged me to allow more time to lapse before supplying them to WABC, whose signal covered the entire eastern USA including Pittsburgh. However, within hours of KQV airing any new Beatle recording, Rick Sklar was on the phone to insist it be shared with WABC.  KQV was such a �hot� radio station, that the always present record people traveling into town would telephone Rick to alert him.  


After a few weeks, Rick discovered an even speedier way to have Beatle recordings transported to New York.  Using �downtime� on the ABC radio network, they were sent directly to the WABC studio�s and rushed to the air.  Rick found humor in knowing that hundreds of affiliates, including ABC owned WLS in Chicago didn�t realize they too could have had �world premiere�s� had they just paid attention what was being moved during the periods of network �downtime�.  Our little secret didn�t escape the attention of ABC�s radio president Hal Neal, who insisted we share the Beatle music with WLS also.  At that point, within an hour or two of airing a Beatle exclusive on KQV, it was also being heard by Pittsburghers via the huge signals of both WABC and WLS . 


In early 1965 Bess Coleman, Brian Epstein�s secretary called to inform me the Beatles would include Pittsburgh in a late summer appearance. The local promoter would be Tim Torme, who negotiated an understanding with me whereby KQV would �present� several other shows leading up to the Beatles arrival. The first would be a controversial group who thus far had no success as recording artists�The Rolling Stones. Only three hundred people showed up for that show, leading Torme to remind me how disappointed he was. Playing the �Epstein card�, I was informed only the promoter could say who would present the Beatles.


Finally the day arrived, with a touch of fall in the air, it was September 14 and the Beatles would be appearing in Baltimore the night before. Epstein delivered by allowing me to send two of our KQVips to Maryland where hopefully they would be allowed to accompany the Beatles on their flight to Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, competitor Clark Race had already taken steps to secure that advantage, requiring me to once again rely on my "Epstein card" by asking his secretary, Bess Coleman to intervene. She did, and Clark Race was taken off the flight carrying the Beatles to Pittsburgh. Years later he would tell me how devastating that was to him. Meanwhile our KQVips, Chuck Brinkman and Dex Allen had already taken an earlier flight to return to Pittsburgh where they would meet the Beatles on their arrival. Poor Clark Race was unable to catch a flight out of Baltimore early enough to b eat the Beatle flight to Pittsburgh. Upon their arrival 4,000 screaming fans were waiting at the airport, thousands lined the streets on their way to the Pittsburgh Civic Arena where they were interviewed by KQV�s Chuck Brinkman. The 12,603 were greeted by a giant banner proclaiming

kqv  Welcomes the Beatles


KQVip Dex Allen Interviews Paul McCartney in Pittsburgh here

Lenghty coverage of the Beatles in Pittsburgh with comments by KQV's  Bill Clark

and questions from Dex Allen and Steve Rizen here

Variety covered the battle between KQV and KDKA over      

the Beatles September 14, 2023 arrival and concert                     

in Pittsburgh here 



The Beatles at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena

Beatles in the Bahamas

A few months later in February of 1965, Chuck Brinkman and I were invited to join the Beatles in the Bahamas where they were filming �Help�. I have many memories of that "vacation" but one clearly stands out in my mind.  "The Boys" with their well known mischievous streak decided to have some "fun" by wrecking the MG sports car they had been provided. Together they lifted the rear of the card up on two cement cinder blocks, one below each side of the back bumper, and then took delight in starting the motor, laying a brick on the gas peddle and pushing it off the cement blocks for the unattended car to gather speed crashing into a solid cement wall. This was done over and over until the MG no longer could "make the trip" to the wall.  With each crash "the boys" leaped for joy squealing in delight cheering on the death of the MG.    

While in the Bahamas I had a brief conversation with George and John who upon learning of my association with Eddie Cochran, were excited. George told John, �the man is the brother of Eddie Cochran� while I tried to explain I wasn�t Eddie�s brother�just a good friend. �Christ man, he�s my idol� said John, who reached out to shake my hand.


In the early 70�s I was invited to Neil Diamond�s opening at Doug Weston�s  Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd. The place was packed and I was surprised to find I had been seated next to John Lennon.  His eyes were heavy having already felt the effects of at least a Brandy Alexander but he remembered me from our conversation in the Bahama�s a few years earlier. �Eddie Cochran was God in England� he said.  �Do you know what ever happened to his Gretsch?� he asked.  I wasn�t sure I understood what he was asking �Cochran�s guitar man�what ever happened to it?�  I explained it was still in a cabinet in Eddie�s bedroom at Buena Park, California, where it had been since Cochran�s tragic death in 1960. �I'd like to buy it� he said.  I replied I�d ask Eddie�s mom if it was for sale. As he continued quenching his thirst, Lennon scribbled down a phone number for me to contact him. He slurred, �my woman and I have split�

Later I would learn he was referring to Yoko Ono, but they apparently reconciled as I learned from a newspaper gossip column.   


Alice Cochran, Eddie�s mom was shocked I would even ask about the availability of Eddie�s guitar. �That guitar

is staying right here in his room Johnny, it�s not for sale�. I didn�t bother to relay the �no� to John Lennon.


Thus my contact with the Beatles ended then. It wasn�t more than a few memories�but perhaps more

than most would experience.


All Content on this Web site � 2008 John H. Rook
All Rights Reserved
The opinions & commentary posted on this website are those of John Rook, unless otherwise noted