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Man From Mars Productions

Reeth & King
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  The Hartford Times - January 9, 1960

Q: Did they ever have you on the road doing remotes?

A: We did one remote at WDRC, from the Northwest Orient Airlines booth at the Home Show. Not a show, just a few drop-ins hyping a tour of the Orient we were going to host, but never did. A photo in the newspaper, which I'll try to find and forward, pictured Eddie pulling me in a rickshaw.

audio:  April 7, 1960 We hosted a big stage show in Manchester, for the Cancer Society. Our good friend, Art Johnson, who did afternoons at WDRC also helped out with the MC chores. Art was a real nice guy, a true, mellow air-personality rather than a jock. He dreaded the oncoming new Top 40 format and planned to leave ASAP. I was not surprised to hear about him moving to WTIC. He cautioned us not to get too comfortable at WDRC because, as he put it, "Dick Buckley's knife had a long, sharp blade".

 
 

Q: After morning drive, a lot of CBS material was still on the air (Godfrey, Young Doctor Malone, Ma Perkins, etc.). Did you do much cross-promoting of the other local personalities?

A: We preceded Arthur Godfrey on the air. Eddie did a great Godfrey impression, so we often had him on, doing silly stuff before we signed off. Sometimes we'd fake a phone call and Eddie would imitate Godfrey sounding temperamental, mean and nasty, bawling us out for something. Then Godfrey would sign on, laughing and charming.

Q: What was the music presentation like? Formatically, how much emphasis on the Top 10 (or 20 or 30) was there? Was the station called "The Big D" yet?

A: While we were there, WDRC initiated the Swinging Sixty Survey and began to include some new music, but didn't ballyhoo the upcoming dumping of CBS and format change. I don't recall them printing any surveys at the time. I do recall everyone at the station being extremely excited about us playing, "Good Timing", by Jimmy Jones. At first, Eddie and I programmed our own music, but when we played, "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition", a World War II standard, Charlie Parker nearly drove his car off the Merritt Parkway and had Bertha take over.

Q: Tell me what you remember about Charlie Parker.

A: Charlie Parker was a good guy, who never critiqued our comedy and praised us a lot. Never any pressure, but lots of one-on-one, post show meetings in his office. He was always open to our goofy publicity stunts and promotions. Charlie worked tirelessly on my pronunciation of several words. To this day, I think of him whenever I utter the word, "sale". He never grew tired of saying, "Pronounce it as if it's spelled "S-A-Y-L-E" Ken." He even said it one morning when we crossed paths in the men's room. In the late 60's I ran into Charlie and Bertha in Chicago, at a Gavin convention and we had some laughs talking about the early days.

 
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