John Rook - 1956


 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


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Burt Lancaster  

From "Passing Thru"


Within a few days of graduation from High School in Nebraska I was on a Trailways bus heading west to California, arriving there with less than ten dollars in my pocket.  Hungry and homeless, I accepted a job at Sears in Santa Monica working on the loading dock. After just two days painful back and leg spasms sidelined me and Sears suggested I take some time off while they searched for an opening in another department of the store. That opening would be several weeks later, so I spent a few nights sleeping on a bench in the palisades overlooking the beach and washing up each morning at a Texaco station. I landed a job at a pet store on Pico Boulevard where each evening I was to feed and clean animal cages.  

The owner, a portly Hispanic gentleman, would pay me five dollars a day and as partial payment would allow me to spent the night on a cot in the back room of the pet shop.

On my second month in California, I decided to take a run on the beach to exercise my legs and in doing so, watched in amazement when a portion of the palisades broke off and come crashing down on the nearby coast highway slamming into a home on the beach side of the road. I ran as fast as I could to where the residents were attempting to escape the cascading rocks and dirt. 

Forgetting all about my back injury, I grabbed a shovel from the garage and  immediately pitched in to help the occupant remove some of the debris that lodged against the home.  Within a few minutes the realization hit, I was one of the worlds biggest movie stars...Burt Lancaster who introduced me to his wife Norma, a blonde  lady who distributed some welcome relief with a pitcher of cold lemonade and a tray with ice filled glasses.  

Shortly, road maintenance help arrived replacing us, suggesting we move further back from the area. Toweling sweat from his face, my new friend motioned to an outdoor patio on the beach side of the house, were we sat down to watch the activity and the continuation of large chunks of dirt still cascading down from the palisades.  

His inquiry as to my whereabouts allowed me to explain I had been raised in the ranch country of Nebraska and while I was employed at the nearby Sears store, I was interested in an acting career.  My experience with horses and my drama classes in high school intrigued him as he suggested I continue studying drama at Santa Monica City College.  

He mentioned several of their students used SMCC as a stepping stone to acceptance at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse. "Chase your dreams while you're young" he said, explaining he was a "late bloomer". He explained the many avenues to explore in the motion picture field.

Soon the sun chased us inside where I was invited to wash up and have a sandwich along with another cold drink.  As I sat there across the table from one of the worlds most recognized actors, I couldn�t help but be glued to anything he said but tried not to show it making him uncomfortable.

In the two or three hours we were together, he never did introduce himself. It was obvious who he was as he left his kitchen chair to return with a pencil, tearing a scrape of paper from a telephone padap and a scrape of paper that he paused to write on.  

Saying, �use me as an introduction to this guy, he might be able to give you some guidance with your career, it can�t hurt�.  As the telephone rang and he answered it, I reached out to shake his hand and thanked him for his help.  

As he shook his head yes, I turned saying goodbye to Mrs. Lancaster, thanking her for the lunch and hospitality and departed.    

I never saw or talked to Burt Lancaster again. I had little to offer in appreciation of his friendly gesture. He opened my mind to a career in the entertainment industry.  I do visit Santa Monica�s Palisades, each time looking down and remembering that day in the fall of 1955 when a freak of nature served to introduce me to Burt Lancaster.


Considered very shocking by 1953 standards was the on the beach scene with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in "From Here To Eternity." The block buster movie also starred Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift and Ernest Borgnine.    


 Burt Lancaster won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1961 for "Elmer Gantry," and in 1980 he was nominated for his performance in "Atlantic City."  He died in 1994.


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