Autograped Bill Gordon photo

Daddy Cool broadcasting from block of ice at WCAW

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Daddy Cool Show, WCAW

Before I get to Daddy Cool, a couple of notes . . . A few weeks ago son Steve and I went to the opening of the new Broadcasting heritage Museum in downtown Cleveland to see Bill Gordon! He's 83 but is still very sharp and funny. I haven't seen him since I was in my teens and I told him, "I still want to be you when I grow up!" Carl Reese was there and we got to talk about old times when he worked at WERE with greats like Bill Randall, Phil McClain, and Tommy Edwards. (Those were the days, when there were only 15% of today's radio stations but about 200 times more to listen to.) Dale Reeves and I found that even the radio section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn't do it justice. So I'm doing what I can to preserve the memory of those days by teaching my 2 1/2-year-old grandson to say, "Spaceman Jocko Henderson."

Meanwhile, back at the Broadcasting Heritage Museum, what to my slightly crossed eyes did appear but the original Adam and Bob control board from WAKR in Akron - complete with blood and sweat stains. And scratched in small letters was, "Help! Our talent is being held captive by Art Wander." For more about that museum you can reach Jim Davison at

And now about the name, "ADAM JONES." To all those Adam Joneses who have been all over the news, I WAS HIM FIRST! Sure, the name given me was Robert Ocepek. But I took the name Adam in 1962 when I went to WINN in Louisville, and added Jones in '63 at KIOA in Des Moines. So there!

Now about Daddy Cool. When WCAW decided not to carry the Charleston Marlins games, they were looking for something to put on in the evening. Paul Howard and I talked about it. I don't remember whose idea it was, but character shows were big in large cities (and also large in big cities) then, and we wanted something strong to follow Ed Rabel and his "Rabel Rousers." (Yes, it's the same Ed Rabel who became famous as a newsman on CBS TV and later on NBC TV. Before going into news he was a very funny DJ with large amounts of talent. (I really liked Ed and wish I hadn't lost touch with him.) Since I had a fake leopard skin tuxedo left over from a stint MC-ing for the Show of Stars, we decided that if I wore that and grew a goatee (almost nobody had one in those days), that should do it. Also I think it was my idea to talk in rhymes ("friend or foe you must go".) I stole the rhyming thing from Pete Myers at WHK in Cleveland who was "Mad Daddy" at night. He later went to New York with the same act.

The Daddy Cool Show was broadcast every night from Shoney's Restaurant in Kanawha City. Years before they had built a free-standing radio studio out on their parking lot. Somebody at the station had the "bright idea" that Daddy Cool should start his broadcast on top of a tower of ice (my feet are still thawing out.) So they erected a great big pole next to Shoney's studio and piled large blocks of ice around it. The whole thing was about 15 or 20 feet high. There was a wooden platform on top connected to a big iron collar that went around the pole. The "bright idea" person thought that as the ice melted the platform would slide down the pole to the ground. I can't remember how much ice I was standing on top of but it was "a ton" or should I say lots of tons!

After the first night I realized that, to keep my feet warm I would need to wear "lots of socks" (hey - that almost rhymes! Maybe Daddy Cool is still lurking around somewhere in my cerebellum!) I know that some people say that cold air goes down. These are the same people that say that global warming is caused by cow farts. Well, they're full of it. I had to wear so many pairs of sanitary socks (Bob Allen's favorite) that my shoes felt big enough to make Ronald McDonald lose his balance. I had cold feet about this stunt in more ways than one. How did they know that the ice would cooperate and melt just the right way so I wouldn't plunge to my untimely demise?! The first three nights went okay, considering my goose pimples had goose pimples! But on the fourth day about noon, in the blazing summer sun, the ice pile collapses outward, and Daddy Cool's platform crashes to the ground. It makes the paper, so everybody involved is happy, including my bartender.

- Adam Jones

PS - Update. . .
On a sad note, I learned in early 2009 that Bill Gordon died in December 2008. He will be missed by all who knew him.

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