John Rook  1966


 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 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







His face was among the worlds best known. In his century of life, Bob Hope would brush against millions, including me.  

I was in Dallas recording jingles for WLS on my birthday. Having spent a long day in the studio, it was approaching midnight before I returned to my hotel hoping for a late room service snack and a few winks before catching an early morning flight returning to Chicago.  

Rushing through an almost empty lobby, I entered an elevator where one other passenger was glancing at a newspaper.  It was Bob Hope. �Look�s like we�re both cashin� in�, he said. Explaining my long day and how much I hoped room service would be open, �not the way I had hoped to spend my 30th birthday�, I said.  

Suggesting the bar on the top floor might have a sandwich, �it�s my treat� he said wishing me a happy birthday. �Well thank you Mr. Hope�, I replied as we departed the elevator walking into a bar with a lonely barkeep. It was only the special consideration given Bob Hope that got me a turkey sandwich and a tall glass of iced tea for each of us. He joked how �reckless� it was taking in liquid at bedtime. �You�ll get there someday too young man�, he said rolling his eyes.  

In not much more than 20 minutes we talked about us both being �Buckeyes� and about WLS where he noted George Gobel got his start.    

We both yawned in unison.  �Mr. Hope�, I said, �I really must thank you, but I have an early morning flight�. 

�Me too� he said as he reached out to shake my hand, �but next time call me Bob�. 

Thanks for the memory... Bob


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Nat King Cole

In mid-1964 I was excited when I learned my long time favorite, Nat King Cole, would appear with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera at the Civic Arena. His easy listening voice provided me with many memories for more than a dozen years and now his �Ramblin� Rose� and �Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer,� continued his long string of hits. I contacted the Civic Arena to see how KQV could �connect� with Nat King Cole when he arrived in Pittsburgh. I was told, �we think KDKA already has that sewed up.�    

�Damn�, I thought. How could I steal Nat Cole away from �KD.�

As luck had it, my old friend Al Bennett, president of Liberty records, called to say thanks for the airplay on �Shangri-La� by the label�s Vic Dana. I told him of my desire to contact Nat Cole with Bennett suggesting I reach Jack Leonard, who �has an inside track to Nat Cole�.     

�Leonard�s the singing star that preceded Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra with the big hit Marie�, said Bennett. Born in the era of Big Bands, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, I well remembered Marie but until then didn�t know the name of the lead vocalist.  Reaching Jack Leonard via phone, my opening comment inquired about Nat Cole�s availability, �or perhaps you could belt out �Marie� again Jack?� I kidded.

He chuckled saying he appreciated my remembering his hit from the past and within a few minutes Jack pledged he would see what he could do to make Nat King Cole available to KQV.  �Before he gets to Pittsburgh, you�ll be hearing from me� Leonard promised.

Nat King Cole�s early career in the 1940�s as a pianist in the King Cole trio was somewhat overshadowed by his singing career in the 1950s and 1960s, when he became one of the most popular and well-loved singers in the world.

His smooth velvet voice gained popularity as a singer with white America awarding him his own television show on NBC-TV. However, the program failed to find a sponsor and was off the air in less than a year with Cole's �color� seen as the primary cause for the lack of advertising interest. Black viewers didn�t count in the minds of Madison Avenue in televisions infancy.  

Cole was also criticized by his own race for being too friendly with white America, this while his white neighbors took action to prevent him from owning a home near them in California. He was among the first to break the TV color barrier and crack the door open for others to follow. 

Just a week before his scheduled Pittsburgh appearance, Jack telephoned to say Nat King Cole would indeed be a guest disc jockey on KQV

I made arrangements for him to make use of my office and nervously cleared my desk and made certain a more comfortable chair than the company issued wooden straight back was provided. Coffee and a small basket of fresh fruit was brought into my office and I made sure a clean ashtray was available, as my guest was frequently pictured with a cigarette in hand.  It was a time when the Marlboro man was the norm, with no thought given to the harmful effects of smoking.

Our KQV �guest disc jockey� promotion regularly enlisted the services of various recording artists, Jack Jones and Vic Dana had preceded Cole�s arrival.

Unaware he had entered my office while my back was turned, his soft but easily recognized voice inquired, �am I in the right place?� 

�You certainly are, sir.� I said, turning to shake hands and introduce myself.  As I explained I had been a fan since his early 50�s hit of �Mona Lisa� and �Walkin� my baby back home�, he seemed especially pleased at learning his �Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoupwas my introduction to French during my prom and high school days.

He explained �Darling�, was written during World War II, �it was very special, very good for me too.�         

Our conversation touched on his touring as he related he had long ago understood travel was a regular part of show business but he wasn�t especially fond of it. �I�ve got babies at home and I miss them�, he said.  

Our short conversation ended as I led him into the studio where he took a seat   between the turntables behind the console and the microphone.  He seemed comfortable with the set up and turned down any offer of someone offering assistance. �I think I can handle it� he said with a wink as he snapped on the microphone and began to entertain Pittsburghers as a KQV disc jockey.

�Damn,� I thought, �he�s pretty good.�

During the several hours Nat Cole spent in KQV he didn�t smoke. After he left, I noticed the ashtrays hadn�t been used. I wondered if he had quit smoking but thought no more about it until that day less than a year later as I was jolted when I heard he passed away at just 46 years of age. Cigarettes fed the cancer that ended his life.    

Over the years since then, during the holidays when �The Christmas Song� is a mainstay, rivaling Bing Crosby�s �White Christmas�, I remember and give thanks to the memory of Nat King Cole.   


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

All Content on this Web site � 2006 John H. Rook
All Rights Reserved