Man From Mars Productions
went to Allentown, PA to find Kenny
Reeth and Eddie King. The
pair had been friends since high school and were popular on the
nightclub circuit. The exact date they took over is unclear but
newspapers first listed the pair as WDRC's wakeup team on Friday,
January 8, 1960.
February, 2002 Reeth agreed to an interview which sheds a great
deal of light on the important transitional months prior to WDRC's
full-tilt switch to Top 40 programming (on August 18, 1960).
is ironic to note that Reeth & King's run was even shorter than
Bacon & Fay's.
By late April, 1960 they had been replaced by Ron
Landry who settled in for a six-year run on WDRC's morning show.
First, some factual stuff. Where were you from and where had your
radio travels brought you before (and after) WDRC?
I was born in the Bronx, where I lived until the age of 14, when
my family moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania. My future partner, Eddie
King (real name, Charles Potts) was in my 9th grade class and we
became close friends.
members of the school drama club, we appeared in several plays,
then auditioned for and became the youngest members of an acting
ensemble called the WSAN Drama Workshop Group, appearing in live
weekly radio plays every Monday night on the NBC affiliate, preceding
the Carnation Hour. No salary, but it was great fun, playing different
characters each week, with live organ music and live sound effects.
We stayed with the show until it's demise after three years.
high school, we formed a knockabout tumbling act called, The Martini
Brothers", in which we pretended to be two drunks, staggering around
and falling on our faces, while trying to do a serious tumbling
that time, before Rock and Roll groups took over in the small clubs,
entertainers could make a decent living in Pennsylvania and we actually
picked up some agents and paid bookings. Since a lot of traveling
was involved, I was soon skipping high school to do shows. The Martini
Brothers act ended when Eddie dropped me on my head and we became
a less dangerous Martin and Lewis/Abbott and Costello type comedy
team. We talked, sang, danced and did many impressions. Soon, we
quit school to work night clubs and supper clubs all over the country.
Korean War interupted our show-bizz careers but, in 1954, we re-formed
the act and continued where we left off, traveling the country,
doing shows. When we wanted a break, we returned to Allentown where
we made pretty good money writing and producing comedy commercials
on spec, for a friend of ours who programmed WHOL. As a result,
we were offered and accepted the morning show. The only thing was,
we really missed the night clubs and left WHOL, with a standing
offer to return to the morning show whenever we wanted to. Over
the next few years, we did this four or five times. A truly unique
situation indeed, rare in it's time and one which would be unheard
of in modern radio.
1959, Rock and Roll groups appeared in many of the night clubs and,
while we still had plenty of work, we saw the handwriting on the wall
and decided to see if we could land a good, steady radio job. We made
an audition tape and answered several ads in Broadcasting Magazine.
One turned out to be a blind ad for WDRC. John Jaeger and Dick Buckley
had recently sold WNEW in New York and were buying radio properties.