Radio Waves: 5/1/20

Rick Dees becomes an Outlaw

Rick Dees was the guest on “Magic” Matt Alan’s Outlaw Radio last weekend, telling stories of their past lives working together and apart, the COVID-19 lockdown, jokes and humor (of course), Dees’ famous hit Disco Duck, politics, magic and more. 

Best line of the morning … outside of the fun stories and banter, of course … came from Dees himself when he cautioned, and I am paraphrasing: If you have something positive to say, write it down. If you have something bad to say, say it in person. Words to live by.

The two worked together at KIIS-FM (102.7) ; Dees in the morning had been there since the early days of the station’s meteoric rise to dominance that began in 1981; Alan came aboard in 1989 and worked afternoon drive twice, two years starting in 1989 and another stint two years later … the break in tenure described at the time as “philosophical differences” with management .Alan most recently has been doing morning drive on SiriusXM’s ‘70s on 7 in addition to hosting Outlaw Radio from his backyard smoking lounge. Hear the program at www.outlawradiolive.com. 

Passings

Sad news of multiple passings recently.

Ian Whitcomb passed away on April 19 of natural causes. He was 78. Whitcomb had a hit record in 1965 called “You Turn Me On,” and was heard playing music on the old KIEV (now KRLA, 870 AM), KROQ (106.7 FM), KCRW (89.9 FM) and KPCC (89.3 FM). You can hear a sample of his KROQ show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpOgRMjdedc.

Most recently, Jerry Bishop was the announcer for television’s Judge Judy, but I remember him on the radio at such stations as KLAC (570 AM), KFI (640 AM), KKDJ (now KIIS-FM), KIIS-AM/FM (I actually remember listening to the AM side of the simulcast of 1150 AM), and KGIL (now KSUR, 1260 AM). He died April 21st at the age of 84 after several weeks in the hospital due to heart complications and kidney failure.

Longtime producer, host and fundraiser at KCRW, Matt Holzman passed away April 12  after a battle with cancer at the age of 56. He had received a kidney transplant in 2006 which he documented on the air. I am told that Holzman left his mark in so many ways at the station that he will never be forgotten.

Bob Howard is most remembered at KFWB (980 AM) where he worked the all-night shift from 1981-2009. He was heard prior on the late-great KGFJ (now KYPA, 1230 AM) and KDAY (now KBLA, 1580 AM). Little information is known about his death; he was said to be 76 years old and one of the nicest guys ever to work in radio.

MailBag

Apparently you think that Old Time Radio and the CBS Radio Mystery Theater is a good idea to air during these COVID-19 lockdown days, if only to temporarily take your mind off of what is going on around you.

“I enjoy your column each week and have a suggested supplement to today’s idea of the week from reader Jimmy Noonan: I am obviously older than both of you and grew up listening in bed to The Shadow Knows and Green Hornet. They were great and should be added to your list. Thanks” — John Whitaker

“I think his suggestion is spot on. I have a client who has Old Radio programs on hold (over the phone) to listen to. I sometimes want to call just to be put on hold! Having the CBS Radio Mystery Theater or the CBS/KNX Drama Hour on radio during these crazy times would bring people back to happier times. I know I would listen… My favorite programs were with Lucille Ball-mysteries.”  — Karin Buchak

“I wholeheartedly concur with Jimmy Noonan’s suggestion to bring back the Drama Hour! We were faithful listeners, and my now grown up kids have the “Old Time Radio” app and still listen, as do my wife and I. Bring it back!” — Dan Ryan

“Excellent idea!  The Lone Ranger rides again!  Hi O Silver, away!” — Randi Miller

“This is an 88 year old bred and born Montebello boy now living in Chino Hills … I just finished reading your article in the Orange County Register ; oh, I pray this is what we have been waiting for and that the populous is ready to go back to the old day’s of radio. I subscribe to SiriusXM for one reason and one reason only and that is for the old radio shows. I collect old table model radios just like the ones I grew up listening to.

“Yes, I am an old radio show nut!” — Charlie Field

“I just read your column (as I do every week in the L.A. Daily News Sundays) that Jimmy Noonan of Anaheim has suggested resurrecting the Drama Hour with an array of classic radio shows.  I just wanted to let you know that we already have Hollywood 360 on KRLA  every Saturday and Sunday at midnight for 4 hours on Saturday and 2 hours on Sunday.  You name the program, they air it.  From Bob Hope, to Henry Aldrich that they aired last night.  “What’s good about Hollywood 360 is sign up and they will send you the entire show to your computer and you can listen to it any time you choose for a week.  It comes to my computer automatically and it is FREE!! Just enter HOLLYWOOD 360 RADIO.COM into the browser and it’s there.  I see they also air on WGN in Chicago”  — Carmelina Montante

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