Daddy Cool at WCAW

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The Devil Himself takes the Train

What's in a name? If God were called Uncle Fred, would the world be different? Who knows. On the other hand if Joe Lieberman were called Slimy Joe would the country be better off? Probably. Why is it that in 1959 it was a federal offense to give $50 to a D.J. to play a record on the air that would cause a bunch of 14-year-old girls to spend a dollar, and in 2009 an insurance company can give a million dollars to a U. S senator to block legislation that would affect the whole country and the feds could care less??!! Stop the presses: The supreme court has just legalized bribery (but only with politicians.) I give up!

At any rate I had to change my name. If you're going to play jazz music, "If it's not the blues" Daddy Cool will not do, and Bob Franklin - well, I never liked that name much. I decided to use only one name, to stand out. The first Adam had only one (if he had a last name he didn't blab it.) Anyway, Adam seemed to work. "Adam In the Evening" was born!

I left Charleston, WV, one night after Daddy Cool signed off on WCAW. I didn't have time to change my clothes so I put a trench coat on over the leopard coat, put on a hat and some shades and got on a train bound for Louisville, KY. I left from St. Albans station. The people in town found out I was leaving and rushed to the station to see me off, waving their torches and yelling. On the train, I was surprised to see the Michelin Man coming down the aisle, then I realized it was a guy renting pillows. I rented one. Even though it was late at night, the car was crowded (the pillow guy didn't help the situation.) There was only one seat left. What luck! It was next to a cute girl! I nodded and she scrunched way over next to the window. I noticed a strange look in her eyes. Allen Seus had the same look on Laugh-In. (I was going to put a thing in here about "a cute girl with an acute condition," but thought better of it; too cute.)

Now back to our story. I adjusted my pillow to take a nap, but the ticking kept me awake (it smelled funny.) After awhile I finally went to sleep. The next morning the Pillow Man came down the aisle selling coffee from a great big kettle shaped-pot which hit me in the head. I awoke with a start (and a lump. It's a good thing the coffee was cold.) I bought some and asked the scrunched-up cutie if she would like a cup. She said yes, and unscrunched a little. She thanked me and said it sure looked cold out. We had a long conversation. I don't remember much about it. (It had something to do with Grandma's house and a basket of goodies I think.) But I do remember she said, "When you got on last night with that beard and white streak in your black hair, well, with those dark glasses on you looked like the devil himself!" Today that girl is probably telling her grandkids that story!

We got to Louisville about noon I think. I know it was Sunday. Gene Snyder had gotten me a furnished apartment at the Hampton Hall (it was between 2nd and 3rd on York St. and an easy walk to WINN, which was at Guthrie and 4th in the Speed Building.) At 6:00 that night I was to go in to the station and learn the board. So at about 5:30 I walked down 3rd St. to Guthrie, turned left - what a shock! At the end of the street I saw HUGE red letters, W I N N ! Wow, I thought! But as I walked to the end of the short street I could see that those letters were on the other side of 4th Street - on a WINN DIXIE store. Cold and disappointed, I started looking around for the entrance to the Speed Building. When I found it, I rang the doorbell (station employees weren't given keys, so if you worked at night you had to ring and wait for "Comic Book Guy" to come and open up.) This was not fun in the winter. You always had to ring two or three times, and it seemed like it took forever for him to get there. I guess he was down behind the furnace, reading the Dumpy Night Watchman's Monthly or the Slack-ass Janitor's Journal. I'm sure he lived at home with his mother and that he gave her a six pack of Ft. Howard toilet paper on Mother's Day.

Anyway, I finally got in and went to the station, up on the fourth floor. Snyder was right. It was a dump, but not near as bad as WCEF in Parkersburg. I went in and found my way to the studio. The first guy I met was a sports announcer. I think his name was Harmon Marks. He was in a bad mood, I guess because he had to work on Sunday Night. He was to show me how to run the board, but all he said was, "Everything's marked. If you have any problems I'll be in the other room," and he left. It's a good thing there weren't many spots on the log. I muddled through it for about three hours and went home. Later I found that Harmon Marks was an OK guy and a good play-by-play man (U of L basketball.)

While I'm on the subject of WINN in Louisville, I want to note the passing of Joe Fletcher. I worked with Joe at WINN and later at WOWI. Joe had a long career in Louisville on both radio and TV. He was a real pro (I can't help thinking how much broadcasting has changed since I worked with the likes of Joe Fletcher. It's too bad.)

- Adam Jones


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