Up and Adam (and Cool)
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The Bluegrass State – She Ain't What She Used to Be!
This last election has left a bad taste in my mouth. Like the first time I syphoned gas! Thanks to the low-information Tea Party (or Low Tea) voters, the state where Lincoln was born, and where Happy Chandler threw out so many pitches is now stuck with Rand They-call-me-a-cockeyed-oculist Paul. Then again here in Ohio we have to put up with John Oh-crap-I-just-got-instant-tan-all-over-my-hands Boehner.
Back in 1962 things in mint julep land were a lot more upbeat. At WINN, "Up and Adam" took over the morning show from Jerry Thomas. I hadn't worked wake-up hours for a long time, and was looking forward to the challenge. Gene Snyder had been fired and went over to WAKY to do the all night show. I'm not sure but I think that was about the time he started the Joni Talent Agency. The chicken rock format at WINN was okay, but things were getting a little stressful. Most of us knew that the station was for sale. But I don't think Bob Lyons knew. Bob had come over from WKLO as program director when Snyder left. He was a nice guy, and a good P.D. who would always go to bat for the jocks when management gave you a ration of (I don't have anything better to do so I think I'll nitpick) crap. What's the matter with calling Sheriff Cowger "Sheriff Cowgirl" and playing Betty Hutton singing, "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun"? My friend Dale Reeves says he would listen to me when all his friends were listening to WAKY or WKLO. (He also liked Hali Loki and Durwood Kirby, and thought Pinky Lee's pants were stylish.)
One of the things that was fun about working mornings at WINN was Dean Michaels. Dean had a great voice and could always make me laugh, even when I was teed off because he was late for the 5:30 news (that meant I had to do it.) "This is Adam and I have news for you. Apples give me gas." Dean would show up at 5:40. I would look into the news booth which had a door to the hall, the door would open a crack, and from my viewpoint Dean's arm would appear, pulling on his necktie. The next thing I'd see was his ship-rudder nose. It would always break me up.
Another newsman who worked at WINN at that time was Bill Buckner. Bill was a really good newsman, who went on to WSB in Atlanta. A few years later when I was living in Atlanta, I went to see Bill and he was nice enough to take me on a tour of WSB. What a place that was! The front was a replica of Tara from Gone with the Wind. When you went past the big pillars and in through the front doors you saw the big stairway. There were also a few rooms on the main floor that had some props from the movie. It was all very impressive. I remember they had a big picture of Butterfly McQueen in the men's room.
My memories of doing the morning show at WINN are a little sketchy. At the same time Gene Snyder talked me into getting out my Daddy Cool suit to do some shows for the Joni Agency and Jim Brand at WAKY hired me to do some record hops, like the FOP Hop in Middletown. I remember one big show at the Exposition Center with Roy Orbison, Roger Miller, The Tokens, and Cosmo and the Counts (Cosmo had a chimp that liked to crawl up girls.) There is a WAKY website at www.79waky.com.
I found these pictures of that show with me and Jack Sanders and Gene Snyder horsing around onstage. The other guy in the picture is Greg Mason and way back on the stage are the Tokens.
I also did some fill-in work for Gene Snyder on his all-night show at WAKY quite a few times. I can't remember what I called myself. It could have been Daddy Cool. One night Jack Sanders sneaked into the studio on all fours and crawled up behind my chair while I was on the air. The chair sat up on a riser so when "Jumpin' Jack" grabbed my sides trying to scare me, I swung the chair around, hitting him the face with my elbow and gave him a bloody nose! I remember another thing about doing the night show was the hourly news beep. It was wired into the clock and would sound on the air at the top of the hour. That's when you were to start the news sounder and do the news headlines. Well, I had recorded the beep on a cart, and Snyder showed me where the switch was to turn off the real beep. That way I didn't have to time out the records to hit the top of the hour and I was always a few seconds late or early. To this day, listeners who were setting their clocks by that tone are a little off. Speaking of people who are a little off, putting Michelle Bachmann on the Intelligence Committee is an "oxypalin" (if she can make up words so can I!)
In our next installment, Glenn Harmon sells WINN to Garvis Kincaid and has his pants pressed, and Joe Holcomb and Adam go to Des Moines in the gathering dusk (Bob and Ray were my heroes.)
- Adam Jones
PS On this date in 1979 Robert Hall changed his name to Joseph A. Bank.