Adam (Bob Franklin)
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WITH Radio You Got Laughter
Thanks to Bruce Bonner who emailed me about Bob Forster working at WITH in Baltimore. It brought back a lot of really great memories of the mid-1950's. WITH had only 250 Watts, but a huge audience. It was one of the best sounding stations ever! Jack Gale's "Galehouse Morning Show" was the talk of the town. Sid Lawrence and I spent a lot of time in Baltimore with Jack, who was one of the funniest DJ's I've ever heard. He had a music publishing company called Jalo Music, and a record label with the same name (this was before payola was taken away from DJ's and given to management.) And remember, Dick Clark had a few publishing companies and record labels, all legal.
Thanks to Jack, I got a vacation job doing the all-night show in 1957. What a thrill that was! Jack had characters on his show, including Count Covington, and Pop (the faithful old stagehand at the Regalia Theater.) I remember that WITH ran spots for a delicatessen that were so funny that they put a tag on the end, telling listeners when the next spot was scheduled to run. I remember that the station had a Seeburg Jukebox that was adapted for air play. There were buttons on the board so you could cue up the records. I think there were a hundred 45's on the machine, which was in another room. (If some of my facts are wrong, cut me some slack – that was so long ago that the station gopher was D. J. Nuss!)
One year WITH was rated the number one low-power station in the country (by, I think, Billboard magazine.) Years later (1965), I was talking to Vern Flambo at WQUA in Moline, Illinois, about working there. I noticed a plaque on the wall of his office that listed WQUA as number two in that same Billboard rating (they were also on 1230AM.) We talked about WITH and Tinsley Broadcasting (Mrs. Tinsley owned WITH at the time.) I'm sure that was one of the reasons I got the WQUA job, and I thank God I did or I'd have probably ended up in Sand Flea, Nevada (Sharon Engle shot off her mouth there last year about the 2nd amendment.) And I wouldn't have met my wonderful wife Debra, so you see WITH did a lot for me.
Before I go, let me comment on the first big GOP debate. Talk about your humor and tragedy. I haven't seen that much pandering since Ronald Reagan was a Democrat. While Michelle Bachman was tap dancing around, trying to get to her talking points, she tripped over Mitt Romney who was going to his right. Bachman finally got there though, by answering other peoples' questions. Of course this made her look like she had leased her brain to science, which Rick Perry doesn't believe in! Rick has a grim reaper suit (with 2 pairs of pants) and he should have worn it because capital punishment (200 on his watch) got the biggest hand. With this in mind, look for a new slogan from the Perry camp: "Vote for me or else!" Later in the press, the Texas governor was "condemned" for "executing" people. I think there must be an oxy-Palin or something in there somewhere!
GOP Debate, Part Dewey (2)
Well, they did it again last night, this time on CNN. I didn't see the whole thing but the parts I did watch included: Rick Perry implying that it takes a whole lot more than five grand to bribe him, and Ron Paul taking a page from Mel Brooks' 2000 Year Old Man, "If you get sick, just lay there til you get better." I'm not going to watch any more of these debates. You can only listen to so much of that Archie Bunker logic before you turn into Alan Grayson. Wake up, Mitt. Corporations aren't people. They're stacks of paper that live in Delaware, and bank accounts that live in the Cayman Islands. No doubt about it – I've got to get ranter's insurance.
PS I didn't watch the third debate but I saw Rick Perry's performance on the news. As one writer said, "Yikes!" And as Foghorn Leghorn would say, "Ah say! There's a lot of Hugh Herbert in that boy!"