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The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 57 years, is now available just by clicking on your favorite personality. The listings provide a colorful snapshot of where they came from, where and when they worked, and what they’re doing now. Enjoy!  

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(Roy Elwell, Tommy Edwards, Rick Dees, Don Elliot, Les Garland, Tommy Lasorda, Ken Levine, M/M Maclovio Perez) 


Quite the Year for Shotgun Tom Kelly

 

(March 30, 2015) First it was a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for K-EARTH afternooner, Shotgun Tom Kelly. Over the weekend, he participated in the B-100 40-year reunion (first fm station in San Diego to achieve #1 status). And on Friday, Shotgun was presented with the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award at the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters luncheon at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Sherman Oaks.

During the luncheon, Wink Martindale was inducted into the Diamond Circle and his presentation will be covered tomorrow at LARadio.

Hundreds of Shotgun's colleagues reminisced with him as a star-studded dais told stories. Jhani Kaye, Tom’s former boss at K-EARTH, put together an incredibly fascinating 13-minute video that traced his life from gawking youngster watching a San Diego dj in a glass radio booth to his recent successes.

On the dais: Seated L-R: Robert David Hall, Kerri Kasem, Honoree "Shotgun Tom" Kelly, and PPB Chairman of the Board, Jeanne DeVivier Brown., Standing L-R: Harold Greene, PPB President Chuck Street, Gary Bryan, Lou Waters, Neil Ross, Tim Conway, Jr. and Jhani Kaye (Some PPB photos courtesy of David Keeler and Don King)

Commander Chuck Street, the President of the PPB, followed Tom’s initial fascination in San Diego when he hung around radio stations to his time at KAFY-Bakersfield. It was Charlie Van Dyke who discovered Tom in Bakersfield and brought him “home” to begin his San Diego career, which included big Top 40 stations like KGB and KCBQ, but also winning two Emmys for hosting a children’s program, Words-A-Poppin’. Charlie sent a 70-second audio message that was well received.

       

1. Kerri Kasem, Shotgun, Wink and Sandy Martindale; 2. Tim Conway, Jr. and Shotgun; 3. Chris Ebbott, Mike Salas; 4. Christina Kelley

Harold Greene, former Los Angeles and San Diego news anchor for almost three decades, was the first on the dais to speak. His story goes back to 1967 when he first heard Tom’s voice at 17 and decided at that moment he would get into tv.

Harold revealed that Tom was so gung-ho to get into broadcasting that he lived in his car for a month while attempting a crash course on securing a First Class FCC license at the Bill Ogden School. “For a time, Tom worked at KACY in Oxnard” said Green. “It was a 50,000 watt station where the signal went out to the Pacific Ocean and over the horizon. He was #1 among Portuguese fishermen.”

       

1. Commander Chuck Street; 2. Shotgun, Bryan Simmons; 3. Bobbi and Frank Breese; 4. CBS market cluster chief Dan Kearney

Veteran CNN news anchor Lou Waters admitted that he wasn’t sure why he was on the dais. “I started out in radio and I loved it. In fact, I loved hearing radio stories in the ‘green room’ before the luncheon even though it was a white room with green table cloths. “I’m not sure why I’m here,” Lou said. “Maybe Brian Williams wasn’t available.”

Lou was influenced by a WDGY-Minneapolis dj named Dan. “He loved what he did and that inspired me. Shotgun is the same way.”

       

1. Harold Greene, Jhani Kaye, Chuck Southcott, Shotgun, Robert David Hall; 2. Bob Fox, Wally Clark; 3. Jim and Judy Duncan with Shotgun; 4. Scott St. James

Gary Bryan currently works with Shotgun at K-EARTH. Gary does the mornings and Shotgun does afternoons. “Fortunately we are separated by Jim Carson so we don’t have to see that much of each other.” Gary knows three truths:

1. Nobody knows what a chief engineer does but we all know we need one.

2. The cuter the girl sounds on the request line, the less attractive she’s going to be … when you finally pick her up … at middle school.

3. If you have an interesting hat and a memorable dj name, you can have a long and illustrious career with very little talent.”

Bryan divulged the secret to Shotgun’s success rests in three basic phrases:

In addition, Gary said Shotgun sometimes throws in those mouth noises that sound like a guy playing trumpet but doesn’t have a trumpet.

Bryan moved into a roast mode with a series of rhetorical questions:

“Shotgun is good for even seconds but any longer than that he’s lost."

“He’s so desperate for attention he faked a quadruple by-pass.”

“How does a man with so little talent and looks like a Hasidic Rabbi end up with a Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame?”

Gary ended with high praise for his colleague: “He had the unenviable task of replacing the great Real Don Steele and the process became one of the most recognizable names in LA Radio.”

       

1. Pat Duffy, Jhani Kaye; 2. Gary Bryan, Tim Conway, Jr., Kerri Kasem, Shotgun; 3. Christopher Lance; 4. Gary Bryan, Robert David Hall

Jhani Kaye produced a tribute of filmed highlights of Tom’s life. Hopefully the PPB will put the production on its website. “If you have Shotgun as a friend, there will be no lack of entertainment in your life,” said Jhani.

Robert David Hall, veteran of KOST and KNX/fm and better known as the coroner on CSI, looked up and down the dais and said, “I know the people on the dais better than I know Shotgun.”

Hall said he was glad that Jhani Kaye fired him, which allowed him to actively pursue acting despite a freeway accident that took both legs. During a period at KOST when he was hating everyone, including himself, Jhani had him hosting Love Songs where he had to read love letters while playing 'sappy songs.' “After a couple of nights I stopped reading the letters and made up stories with my own friends’ names. I thank Jhani for firing me.”

Hall turned his attention to the honoree. “I understand that Shotgun is more popular in San Diego than Shamu. Shotgun is legendary. He’s the real deal. He has enthusiasm you can’t manufacture. Makes it sound so easy and fun and that’s his magic.”

       

1. Richard Freifeld, Bob Maryon; 2. Larry Huffman, Linda Irwin (Shotgun's wife); 3. Freddy Snakeskin; 4. Karen and Bill Smith

Voice actor and LARadio veteran Neil Ross talked about his own broadcasting resume. “My radio career was a total bust. My ratings were so bad I actually left radio owing the Arbitron rating service several hundred thousand listeners. I’m still trying to pay them back … those blood suckers.”

Most radio djs lived a nomadic life in the 60s and 70s. “You could always tell the most successful dj at the station” said Ross. “He had the biggest U-Haul. He was also the dj with the most extensive wardrobe most of which had call letters on them.”

       

1. Ken Jeffries, Marta Monheim, Randy Kerdoon; 2. Ron Shapiro, Bryan Simmons; 3. The Insane Darrell Wayne; 4. Michael Stark, Phil Hulett

Ross went on to say that Shotgun was his legal first name. “His parents were firearm enthusiasts. His sister is ‘Revolva’ and his two brothers are Smith and Wesson.”

Neil ended with some serious thoughts about Shotgun. “With Tom what you see is what you get. He really is that nice. If he has a devious bone in his body, that’s news to me. He’s the last of a breed with high energy a good-time dj who loves this business his station his friends, his audience and most all his wonderful family. It’s such a pleasure to see a nice guy win.”

For over a decade, Tom co-hosted the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon with the late Casey Kasem. Casey’s daughter Kerri Kasem, a personality in her own right was part of the tribute. “Shotgun is very important to me and my family. He even spoke at my father’s memorial.”

From underneath the podium, Kerri brought up a Shotgun bobble head, referring to “little Shotgun” and some of the advice he had offered to Kerri. “While my father and others counted down the Top 40, ‘little Shotgun’ thought I could make a name for myself by counting up the Top 40. Didn’t work out so well.

Kerri thanked Shotgun for his years of service.

       

1. Gene Price, Robert David Hall, Carson Schreiber; 2. Shotgun with his wife Linda; 3. Joanna Morones, Randy West;
4. Shotgun standing next to original Highway Patrol car, a series that featured voice of Art Gilmore

KFI nighttimer Tim Conway, Jr. was the last member of the dais to speak. Tim and Tom worked together at one stage in their career. Tim recalled the night when Tom heard the popular “What Did Jesse Jackson Say?” bit and complimented him, encouraging him to make it a regular feature. Tim told him that it was a regular feature. Tom wondered how long it had been on. “Seven years,” responded Tim.

Conway recalled the time that Tom confided in him about the trouble he was having with his name that the PC-society didn’t like Shotgun. “Even the Washington Bullets changed their name.” Tim asked if he used another name early in his career before adopting Shotgun. Tom responded, “Uncle Tom.”

Despite the fact that Shotgun has been on K-EARTH since 1997, he still has a home in San Diego. This was not lost on Conway. “I love that Tom claims to love LA and the first thing he does on Friday night is get in his car and drives to San Diego."

As far as Tom’s receipt of a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Conway read a list of personalities who have yet to receive a Star: Clint Eastwood, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Robert Redford, George Lucas Angelina Jolie, Al Pacino Denzel Washington and even Robert DeNiro. “None of these have a Star on the Walk of Fame but Shotgun does.”

Conway concluded with, “He is more popular in San Diego than Shamu … thanks to Blackfish.

It was now Shotgun’s turn. He received the Art Gilmore award from Commander Chuck Street. At the podium, Tom bellowed: “It’s great to be alive.” He said there were a couple of people he wished were on the dais, Gary Owens and Casey Kasem. There was applause for both.

“I love everyone talking about me,” said Tom. “It just feels so good. It’s so wonderful. Let’s talk about you. Have you heard my show?”

Tom thanked everyone for being there and the PPB for the award. “Good night everybody” he bellowed.

And a long luncheon came to an end.

 

Hot Rod Dies. Rodney Clark "Hot Rod" Hundley, the former NBA basketball player who broadcast Jazz games in New Orleans for 35 years, died March 27, 2015. He was 80. He died at his home in Phoenix.

Hot Rod worked with Chick Hearn on Lakers broadcasts for four seasons. Basketball has always been Hundley’s salvation. It elevated him out of an appalling childhood and bestowed celebrity upon him at a young age. Hot Rod went into basketball with a devil-may-care attitude. But he also went at it with extraordinary talent. 

The Jazz honored their beloved broadcaster during a 2010 game, hanging a banner in the rafters next to the team's retired numbers and dedicating the press room to him. Hundley broadcast 3,051 Jazz games from 1974 to 2009. He joined the franchise before its first season in New Orleans in 1974-75 and moved with the team to Salt Lake City in 1979-80.

A timeline of his career, including blown-up quotes from some of his more famous calls, and photos from Hundley's decades calling games line the walls of the Hot Rod Hundley Media Center. The mural features a big and bold “You Gotta Love it, Baby!” – Hundley’s signature line. “Hot Rod was the voice of the Utah Jazz for 35 years and his voice was synonymous with Jazz radio,” Jazz owner Gail Miller said in a statement. “The expressions he used throughout the game broadcasts are legendary. He had the unique ability to make the game come to life so that you felt as though you could see what was happening on the floor when listening to him call the games.”

As a player, Hundley starred at West Virginia, averaging 24.5 points in three varsity seasons. He was drafted first overall by the Cincinnati Royals in 1957 and was immediately traded to the Minneapolis Lakers. He averaged 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in six seasons with the Lakers in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, playing in the 1960 and 1961 All-Star games.  “Rod was not only a great basketball player, but one of the best play-by-play announcers in the game. He will be missed by all those he touched through his legendary career as will his colorful story-telling,” said Jerry West. 

Book Tammy.  LARP Tammy Trujillo (“Mews” director for the nationally syndicated radio show Animal Radio and KPCC  anchor)  has a publishing deal for a book on Entertainment Internships with Focal Press.  “Since I did my internship with the Angels Baseball Team back in college, I have known how valuable they are to getting someone started in this industry. That’s why I have always promoted internships heavily in my Broadcasting Program at Mt. San Antonio College.”

Tammy cited Darlene Rodrigo as a great example. “She was one of my students at Mt. SAC.  She interned at KOST 103.5 and then landed a paid job as a news production assistant at KNX.  She is now an assistant producer at KOST on the morning show with Mark Wallengren!  Just another example of what a great start an internship can give a student!”

Trujillo added: “We are always looking for great places for our highly qualified interns, whether it's terrestrial or Internet radio, podcasting, broadcast television or cable. If anyone is willing to open the door to a young person getting ready to enter the field and get some fantastic help and energy in return, please contact me at ttrujillo@mtsac.edu.”

  Ed Ziel

KGIL
KLAC
KROQ
KFI
KRLA
 

 In our Spring series on ‘Who Helped Make You Who You Are Today,” Ed Ziel shares his mentoring group:

Personally, the most important people, of course, were my parents. They taught me to strive, to dream and to work for the things I wanted. At Indiana University, instructors provided the nuts and bolts of how to use radio and television to communicate the news of the day but also taught why it was important and necessary.

Professionally, the names of mentors are too numerous to list, but some clearly stand out: Jack Thayer, David Crane and Willis Duff of KLAC Two Way Radio fame of the 60s are most prominent. Dean Sander, Howard Culver, Fred Parsons and Al Wiman, and dozens of others provided guidance and encouragement.

At KRLA and KROQ, Leo McElroy was friend, confidant and teacher. J Paul Huddleston and Paul Oscar Anderson were important figures as well.

On the talent side, it was the likes of Joe Pyne, Bob Grant, Lohman and Barkley, Jack Angel, Jerry Bishop, B Mitchel Reed, Charlie Tuna, Charlie O’Donnell and Dick Whittington who provided the advice and guidance.

My 28 year LA radio career would not have been possible without these and so many other extraordinary and talented people.

 

Hear Ache. With Mark Thompson’s having an initial spectacular return to LA Radio, wondered where his former KLOS partner Brian Phelps was. He was doing a podcast with Jill Whelan. The last post for a podcast was January 15, 2014. Any Brian sightings?

LARadio Rewind: March 30, 1991. Former KFAC general manager George Fritzinger dies of a heart attack at 53. In January 1989, Fritzinger and NetworksAmerica president Dwight Case launched Asian language station KAZN at 1300 am, replacing KWKW, which moved to 1330 AM, the spot formerly held by classical KFAC/am. The classical format continued on 92.3 KFAC/fm. Case had managed stations in Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego before becoming president of RKO Radio in 1972. He also co-founded Transtar Radio Network and served as publisher of Radio&Records. Fritzinger became CEO of KAZN parent company National Media Ventures, which also owned Spanish-language stations in Fresno, Bakersfield and Sacramento. Fritzinger also served as chairman of US Cellular Co. and was chairman of the board of the Southern California Broadcasters Association from 1982 to 1983.” (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

 
 

Funnie.

A guy walks into a bar and brags that he can guess the name and age of any drink without looking.

A drunk dude says, “I bet I can stump you.”

The guy closes his eyes, takes a sip, and says, “This tastes like piss!”

The dunk dude says, “Yeah. Now tell me how old I am.” (Gabrielle Union, star of Chris Rock’s film, Top Five from the Esquire’s series, Funny joke from a Beautiful Woman)


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LARadio Archives

March 2015 Archive

Death threats, rape threats and vicious emails at KROQ; Doug McIntyre to do an hour at WABC-New York; Paul Mahler in ICU; KIIS gets new image; Big Boy ruling; New PD at KLOS; Bob Pond, veteran of KGBS, KPPC, and KPOL, involved in hit and run ... needs help; New KSPN morning show off and running; CBS/LA sales head to Cumulus Chicago; KFWB new home for LA Galaxy; New apd at ALT 98.7; Joy at iHeartMedia; Update on search for KNX program director; Bullfighting play-by-play on radio; Adam Carolla's hard road; Beatles with breakfast; Chris Roberts retires from Bruin broadcast booth; Latest on Big Boy's move to Real 92.3; Abdul "DJ A-OH" Hashem is new apd/on-air at Real 92.3; John Hart visits last man standing from original KFWB Color Radio; KABC's John Phillips on short list to host FOX News show; Boss Radio sneak preview; Shotgun Tom Kelly and Wink Martindale to be honored by Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters; NFL Sports Talk; KNX sports anchor gets engages; Harry Shearer on online listening; NFL hits snag in LA - Sports Talkers talking; 50 years ago today, LARadio publisher begins radio journey in Lompoc; Mike Lundy facing health challenges; The Long, Strange Purgatory of Casey Kasem; Ex-XTRA Sports the Biggest Loser; Salute to Joe McDonnell, a beloved sports broadcaster; Morning drive ratings show much diversity - The Sound's Mark Thompson cracks Top 5 in first month; Joe McDonnell and the Pineapple - essay by Tomm Looney; Judd McIlvaine, consumer advocate on TV and at KLSX and 1110/KRLA, dies; Former KKDJ pd dies; LARP was one of the founders of ABA; Salute to Joe McDonnell, a beloved sports broadcaster; This afternoon all VIP supporter/subscribers will receive the latest ratings and commentary; Will KFWB move up from the bottom?; Will KLAA get back to getting listed; First look at Mark Thompson's return to LA Radio; Changes at KABC get tested; Not So Ducky for Terry McGovern; Boyd R. Britton talks about his mentors; They came to say goodbye to Joe McDonnell

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