Adam Jones and Bob Allen during WAKR days

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The Radio Enigma with Everything from A to B

Bob: Time to look in the mailbag.
Adam: Good. Here's one from Elizabeth New Jersey.
Bob: But they can't hear us there!
Adam: No, that's this person's name.
Bob: Elizabeth New Jersey is her name?
Adam: Yep!
Bob: Uh oh. No good can come from this.
Adam: She writes, Dear Adam and Bob, I'm in a terrible state.
Bob: See!
Adam: I'm up to here in FBI agents!
Bob: Dare I ask - Up to where?
Adam: Well, she sent a picture. Look.
Bob: Boy, that's a lot of FBI guys. You know our mailbag has gone to pot.
Adam: Well almost. There's a half a bottle of Ripple in here. Whose is that, I wonder?
Bob: Joyce put it in there to hide it from the boss. Wait, did you say it's half a bottle?
Adam: Yeah.
Bob: Well, I guess the boss found it!

It's pieces of business like this that made a good living for Adam and Bob from 1975 to 1991. Bob has a great set of pipes and a sincere delivery, and that makes the listener feel that what he's hearing is true and factual. So when he said that at the age of nine he won a meatball bouncing contest on the Major Bowes Show, it was bound to get a grin.

On the Adam Jones All Night Fistfight (on WQUA in Moline), we had Captain Bruce, Jack in the Back, PK the Cartoonist, Spike the Guard, Jack Pulford, Smitty the Cottage Cheese King, Bill Maury the artist, and lots more. These were real people.

On the Adam and Bob Show, we had Miss Keys the Adam and Bob Secretary (only about half of our listeners got that one), Henry the K, Mr. Jimmy, Harry the Hermit, Howard Hairpiece and a large cast of characters that were brought to life by Dale Reeves (in later years he was known as the Voiceman, which is like calling Pablo Picasso the Paint Guy.) As an example of how dead-on his voices are, I like to tell this story from 1977. Bob and I had just started at WPTF in Raleigh, NC. Jimmy Carter had just moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Well, about 7:20 a.m. Dale as Mr. Jimmy called to wish us well in our new show and we chatted for awhile about how we were both just getting settled. Mr. Jimmy said he wished someone had told him that the trash man was coming this morning, and that he hadn't hauled his cans out last night. There were a few more zingers then we hung up and went on with the program. About 10 minutes later, JJ the studio engineer (known to our listeners as Killer Hertz) came in to tell us that a person had called in to say that if the president of the United States had nothing better to do than to call Adam and Bob maybe he shouldn't be president! Now this was no redneck goober who couldn't find his ass with both hands and Glen Beck. According to JJ, this person was well spoken, very serious, and claimed to be a public school teacher!

Life was not easy for Adam and Bob at WPTF. At that point the station was about 20 years behind most of radio. About three days a week, Bob and I had to go to Wally the Manager's office to explain why "Waiter there's a hare in my hasenpfeffer" was funny or some such thing. Wally just didn't get it. (I was told that a few years after we left he got it, in more ways than one.) He ended up as mayor of a town so small that the river only ran two days a week (Wally would get that one.)

One of the fun things we had to do was host "Ask Your Neighbor" from time to time. This was the type of program that was a mainstay on some 100-watt coffee pot in Mules Ass, NC, in the 1940's. But there we were, with 50 thousand Watts of some woman asking the neighbors if anyone has a recipe for homemade Spam. When we were scheduled to sit in on the program, all the secretaries who could get away would sneak into "Killer's" control room to watch. We would have Dale record some phone calls in a stick buddy voice, asking things like, "Do any of the neighbors know how to get caviar stains out of bib overalls?" Bob and I would slip in some zingers in very serious voices. Of course, when the girls in the other room would start to laugh, Bob would swing his chair around so he wouldn't have to look at me. He would try so hard to keep from laughing that the back of his neck would turn red. Then I'd have to fight breaking up.

Our friend Don Fowler (Super Salesman) was a big fan, and years later told me, "There are ten morning teams in the area now, all trying to be Adam and Bob!" In 1988, my son Steve and I went back to Raleigh to visit Don. We went to see WPTF's new building. Charlie Stegal, our former P. D., told me, "The biggest mistake we ever made at this station was to let Adam and Bob get away." He said it in front of Steve, and that made me very proud. (Of course, he also said that he was sure Ray J. Johnson was going to replace Carson as host of the Tonight Show!)

Adam and Bob came to WAKR in Akron in August of 1978. Bob bought a house in Cuyahoga Falls. That made the property values go down, then I bought a house across the street. More about Adam and Bob later.

- Adam Jones

Adam Jones and Bob Allen during WQUA days

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