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Bob Allen retires
A few things have happened since my last entry. Bob Allen (my radio partner for 17 years) retired from WAKR after 31 years. We had a great time together at WQUA, WPTF, and for the 14 years here in Akron. I remember many times when we would get off the air and we would be exhausted from laughing and having a good show. I would say, "Bob, these are the good old days." And they were!
On Bob's last day, Ray Horner, the morning guy, turned his show into a four-hour tributary to Bob, starting with his first job in Kewanee, Illinois, right up to the pinochle of his career on the Adam and Bob Show (I just had an attack of Leo Gorcey.) Horner sat behind the board (no, it wasn't in the corner) as one person after another, both on the phone and in person, went on and on about what a great talent and swell person he is. I arrived near the end of the nine o'clock news, and Bob spotted me out in the hall. You could see his lips form the words, "Oh my God." He knew I was the only one who knew the truth! We spent the last hour of the show reminiscing about the people we had worked with and things we had done. Ray Horner was nice enough to bring up the fact that our ratings were remarkable, even by 1980's standards. In 1981 or '82 we were in the top 25 highest rated morning shows in the country, according to Radio and Records magazine. Dale Reeves called and was very funny as always. He was also very complimentary. Ray was about to dial 911 when I told him I was just blushing and not having some sort of event. I don't blush much. People who had worked with us said things like - There will never be another Adam and Bob Show, how great we were, and other nice stuff. It really made us feel great (Bob said things like, "Well, ain't that swell!")
At this point you might be wondering why, if Adam and Bob were so great on the air, did they take them off? Let me put it to you this way. At the time our show was broken up, WAKR was run by U. S. Radio. The owner of that company, whose name will go down in the annals of broadcasting as completely unfootnoteable, has been called a whole lot of things by a whole lot of people. "Bright" is not one of them! He went out of business a few years later. U. S. Radio would have been a perfect name if un-scrupulous was two words! I'll have more to say about the ignominious end of radio's "Silver Days" later.
Last month I heard from Greg Jackson. His father Homer was a friend of mine when Bob and I (and later, Dale) worked in Moline, Illinois. Homer was a swell guy, a real Cubs fan (win or lose), and the best donut maker in the history of the world, BC and AD. Forget about loose-meat sandwiches, the best thing about living in the Quad-Cities was Melo-Cream Donuts! Does anyone remember "Adam Jones Dilly Bread?" Homer did that for me. He even had bags printed with that on them. The bread was really good - yum! Not quite as good as the Jack Barlow Donut, but very few things are. They were covered in peanuts and if you ate them frozen they tasted like ice cream! Greg has a blog about Moline: http://molinememories.blogspot.com. It was nice to hear from him. (It must be spring; my taste buds are blooming.)
. . . I'm sorry I got all sidetracked. Now back to Louisville and the Speed Building where (when I could get in) I worked at WINN. I liked that station and I liked Louisville a lot. I worked at WINN from February through August of 1962. As was always the case with Gene Snyder, he let me do whatever I wanted on the air. The owner was Glen Harmon, a nice enough guy as I remember. The first time I met him he told me he had played minor league baseball (with the Tulsa Oilers, I think.) Some of the other guys I worked with then included Joe Fletcher, Jerry Thomas, Bob Lyons, and Dean Michaels who did news.
The way I remember it, Snyder had been hired to change WINN into a rocker, then Harmon had second thoughts so while Gene and Glen argued about it, "Adam in the Evening" had a great time. I really loved doing that show. The station had a nice collection of 1950's jazz (I was told that a former jock had made off with half their library and opened another station across the river.) Having just one name was cool, and having a beard was even cooler in those days. I started to dress the part, and took to wearing mandarin shirts (which gave me that "You-ain't-from-around-here-are-you" look.) For a few months I had great fun and even tried to do a few voices. I never realized how bad they were until a few years later when I met Dale Reeves and Larry Kenney.
Time out here so I can go vote.
I always vote. I do my homework and try hard to learn all I can about the issues. Even when my vote will be nullified by some big old bag of stupid from the Salada Crap Movement who gets his news from G. Gorden Liddy! Who, incidentally, starred in the 1970 White House production of Edison the (dim) Bulb.
- Adam Jones
Greg Jackson posed with his wife Christina and son Martin, with Homer Jackson standing - for a Melo Cream calendar.