I remember the endless phone
calls. And listening, not mainly for the songs, as others
undoubtedly did, but for the voice in between: Gary King.
I was introduced to this
character when he was on all nights 2 am to 6 am. He messed up
my song request 3 days in a row, purposefully, and when I
called him on it, he just laughed.
I called him every day after
that. He put me on the radio, played songs I asked him to
play, and was simply nice to me. On the Belle of Louisville
teen cruises he would introduce the band, and was then stuck
on the boat for hours. I would talk to him as long as a
hot-shot Big Time Rock & Roll DJ could spare, sitting at the
tables on the top deck, playing hangman or discussing his
show. I learned much about the biz, comedy services,
When he switched to middays, I
listened all summer. I can still sing with every song played
from the top 40 in June, July, August, 1976. And when I hear
them, it's Summer again. "Afternoon Delight." Starland
It wasn't just Gary. And it
wasn't just me. My friends called them too, and I would hear
dedications from familiar voices as I listened to Coyote's
show in the evening. They would report on hearing my requests.
I remember listening to Coyote one night, and calling him to
beg him to play “Honey.”
Bobby Goldsboro. His show was rock and he had no desire
to play that sappy tune, but relented under my hearty
pleading. He could be gracious, beyond the howl.
At some point, no doubt due to
the number of teens calling, Ed Phillips started
answering the phones sometimes for Gary, among his other
responsibilities. I remember keeping Ed on the phone, probably
longer than he would have liked. "I'd Really Love to See You
Tonight." England Dan and John Ford Coley.
It seems as though it was so
different then. The town seemed smaller, the radio stations
spoke to us in a familiar, personal voice. WAKY. The music,
the contests, the insanity and those wonderful voices, making
us laugh, being good company. At any point in time you could
call and talk to the DJ on the radio. They welcomed the
contact, the connection, and that made them all so
After reviewing this site, I can a little more appreciate how
much they all seemed to love doing it. I welcome this
opportunity to let them know they were/are important.
And it has been the most
poignant stroll down memory lane.
Carol McNamara Hamilton