I just heard that Neil McIntyre passed away September 11. I can’t find his obit anywhere.

Radio Programmer Neil McIntyre During The 1970's

Radio Programmer Neil McIntyre During The 1970′s

From Christy – I hope you can help me. I just heard that Neil McIntyre passed away September 11. I can’t find his obit anywhere. Do you know more about his life?  I was an old friend from the 1960′s at 1010 WINS NY: a teenager trying to break into rock. We would practice with my girl group at WINS. Murray the K’s friend was our manager. We kept rehearsing so that we could meet Phil Spector but we never perfected ourselves to that degree… circa 1964.

Mr. Pop History – Radio programmer Neil McIntyre was indeed at 1010 WINS in 1964 during their last gasp at top-40 and WINS sounded great that year with DJ’s such as Ed Hider, Jack Lacy, Johnny Holiday and Murray the K. The problem was, WINS had WMCA and WABC breathing down their backs and there just wasn’t room for 3 top-40 stations. McIntyre had come from WHK Cleveland and brought WHK DJ Johnny Holiday with him to New York. WINS decided to go full-blast top-40 (again) and hired him during the fall of 1963. WINS scooped the world after all the Beatles came to New York in February, 1964, when John, Paul George and Ringo gave WINS all kinds of promos: “This is Paul McCartney and You’re Listening to 1010 WINS.”  (Ringo and John Lennon did the same for WMCA).

1964 was such a great year to be in top-40 radio with the British invasion of the Beatles, Stones, Kinks and so many others. Murray the K’s exclusive Beatle interviews were tops. WINS and WMCA tried to scoop each other with “firsts” in New York and it made for exciting radio. It was music competition at its best. The WINS sound in 1964 was exciting and highly produced. If a record was in the WINS top-10, it was in the “WINS Winners Circle.” You gotta love it.

Group W transferred McIntyre to KDKA  Pittsburgh in 1965 after the WINS all-news change. Later, Neil McIntyre programmed WPIX-FM (New York) during the early and mid-1970’s and was it my favorite choice for top-40. Like WINS, the station was loaded with personality DJ”s like Dennis Quinn, Les Marshak, Alex Hayes, Ted David and Jerry Carrol.

He was 68 and passed away from cancer. I’m told McIntyre was one of the nicest in the business. I’ve sent you his obit and thanks for a great e-mail.

Who was Larry Kings worst guest ever? Has he ever mentioned it?

Demond Wilson

Demond Wilson

From Diana G – Hello Mr. Pop. What a fantastic site. I’m finding the search engine now works great. Did you do some tweaking?

Also, Larry King, who never seems to have a bad guest. My question: who was his worst ever? Has he ever mentioned it?

Mr. Pop History – My apologies. Up until recently, the search on this site stunk. It was bad. One of the problems is the size of Mrpophistory. It’s probably the largest accessible (privately-owned and produced) content website in the world – now at 13,000 pages.  What I mean by accessible is that, you can get anywhere on this site without a fee or as much as a password.

Now, part 2 of your question… Larry King once said his absolute low-point came back in the 1970’s, with his overnight national radio show. The guest was actor Demond Wilson, who many remember as the son in “Sanford and Son.” According to Larry King – during that live interview – Wilson answered questions with either a yes or no. He refused to elaborate when King wanted to know. At one point,  Wilson blurted out – “When Am I Going To Get Paid?” And lastly, he refused to take telephone calls. It must have been a nightmare for King.

Do You Know The Best Radio Tribute Special To Elvis Presley? Pop Culture Radio Music History?

Mr. Pop History -
When Elvis Presley passed away – back on August 16, 1977 – seemed like every rock-n-roll oldies station did some sort of tribute. But the best came from radio syndication – and I’m sure – you can still get a hold of this:

The Elvis Presley Story. A Final Tribute.”

It was released to radio stations back in September of 1977 and was described as,  “A new 13 hour special documentary for radio.”

Ron Jacobs produced and Wink Martindale hosted. Originally produced by Watermark – the same folks who gave us Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40.”

Mr Pop Culture Report – November 9… (Exclusive) Midday Personality Radio Is Still Alive And Well And Thrives At WCBS-FM. The Personality Is Bob Shannon – Who Never Seems To Have A Bad Day On The Air.

Mr. Pop – Bob, a pleasure talking to one of the best NYC radio personalities. For those who don’t know WCBS-FM, what’s the station playing?

Bob Shannon – The station use to be “oldies” and began back in the early 1970’s playing mostly 1950’s hits. With the years, the station adjusted – and today, we play the hits of 1980’s, the ‘70’s, some 60’s and very little, if any of the 1950’s.

Mr. Pop – And that was inevitable. As the population gets older, stations such as WCBS-FM and, as another example, K-Earth in Los Angeles, have adjusted the hit music they play as they move forward in time.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. It’s all about reaching the age groups advertisers love – 25-54. A few years ago, so-called “oldies” stations went away and along came “classic hits” which added more of the 1980’s.

Mr. Pop – Bob, what about mixing the 1980’s with the other two decades, mostly 1970’s? It seems to me, it’s not as easy.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. It is more difficult. The key is picking the right songs; the common denominator songs.

Mr. Pop – Not to sound cliché, but you began in radio back when top-40 AM stations had their music audience grip. Back when DJ’s talked more. A time when there were hardly music sweeps. It was play the song, perhaps a jingle… then DJ talk into a commercial – DJ talk, perhaps another jingle and into a record and the DJ talked over that intro. Then repeated. There were no so-called commercial sets either. You had to be on top of your game. Now, here it is – and you’ve survived in this crazy business.

Bob Shannon – I guess I’ve adapted to each change and each era. Today, I’m a mix of all of it. Having done a variety of approaches, I would say it’s not, “today vs. before.” I think it’s, “today incorporating the best of before.”

Mr. Pop – Well said. And technology now lets us listen to stations such as WCBS-FM almost anywhere.

Bob Shannon – That’s correct. A great example of that is an e-mail I received from somebody listening on a lake in Europe.

Mr. Pop – There’s talk now that radio, as we know it, is on its way out. I don’t believe it. Do you?

Bob Shannon – There’s always going to be a place for it. Especially if it offers what it does best – immediacy and a local feel.

Mr. Pop – Bob, it’s apparent to me that you have a lot of fans. I know you no longer do a website – so how do you keep in touch – or let listeners know what’s on your mind?

Bob Shannon – They can go to the WCBS-FM website www.wcbsfm.radio.com and find my blog. It’s a great way to stay connected. And, I have a terrific audience.

Mr. Pop – Has the new method of ratings – the PPM audio method, affected how you do your show? What do you think of the technology?

Bob Shannon – Well, it’s like anything new. Some believe it to be more accurate then the older diary method because it’s in real time. Others say no, because it measures what you’re hearing – and it’s not necessarily from your radio. Again, as I said before, you just have to adapt and keep an open mind.

Mr. Pop – And so far from what the ratings tell us, your show and the station are doing just fine under the new technology. One final question: Do you plan a sequel to your groundbreaking “Behind the Hits” book of the 1980’s?

Bob Shannon – Probably not. My book partner and I decided that so much artist and story information is available on the Internet – that it just wouldn’t make sense.

Mr. Pop – The book is fascinating and it’s hard to believe it was before all of this. Thanks Bob for your time today!

The New Mr. Pop Culture Is Here at mrpopculture.com. The World’s Most Comprehensive News, Pop and Trends Week-By-Week Destination. Pop Culture History At Its Best!

Ask Mr. Pop History – From David M. Mr. Pop – where do you see radio and television, as we know them now – in say 10 years?

Mr. Pop – I see the most popular radio and television programs going to the app mode. Just click an app and you’ll get your favorite program. The challenge tomorrow will be to get the message out. It’s easier with fewer outlets – such as what we have now. The Internet has no limits – so – it’s going to be a challenge to launch new programs – and, to get the word out.

I see AM radio going away. Each year, it’s becoming more insignificant. In 10 years – It’ll be a complete has-been.

TV stations – they’ll still be here, but I believe they’ll be secondary to what’s on the Net. New shows will be distributed the same way – and advertising sold through current station relationships and networks – just that delivery/distribution will be on the Net. Mr Pop Culture Icon Smaller

From Ellen D – Hello Mr. Pop History. I just heard Donny Osmond is going to become a DJ. Do you know which station?

Mr. Pop History – He’ll be heard on a number of stations – in midday and he’ll compete
with Ryan Seacrest’s midday syndicated offering. It should start on January 18 and so far, over 60 stations have committed. Donny will serve music with light news and entertainment. The affiliate list will be announced soon – but you can bet – he’ll be on in places such as NY and Los Angeles.

Radio is clearly moving toward developing national personalities/national DJ’s – station by station. Not just mornings, but middays and particularly evenings where a number of stations run Billy Bush, Delilah or John Tesh. The downside, it gets rid of a lot of DJ jobs and local personalities. So much of the country is voice tracked on middays anyway. Donny Osmond has name recognition and in that strategy – it’s a good move.

Bill Drake – An Architech of Top-40 Radio Dies

He was one of the most influential radio programmers in pop culture history. So much has been written about Bill Drake – and you can find it on the web.

Drake’s “Boss Radio” format – kept the personality in radio, but tightened it. In Drake’s format – when you heard a radio station jingle, you always knew there was another song to follow. This was unlike station’s such as WLS (Chicago), where a jingle was inserted between talk, commercials and music. Drake’s format perfected the art of talking up a record – to hit the vocal over an intro. Although this was being done occasionally – with Bill Drake – it was expected. His stations were usually #1, but believe or not – some cities did not embrace the Drake formatics – cities such as Chicago and New York – which were used to high personality stations such as WMCA and WCFL.

Some stations, such as WFIL Philadelphia – were smart enough to borrow from Drake’s formatics, while adding their own flavor.

Here’s an excerpt from Ken Levine’s blog… RIP Bill Drake.

For any kid who grew up in the 60s, radio was a huge part of their life. It’s not like today. Back then if you were a teenager, radio was your constant companion. You had a favorite station, knew all the disc jockeys, could sing their jingles. It was a shared experience.

And one station revolutionized top 40. KHJ Los Angeles became “Boss Radio” in April of 1965. Its streamlined approach and exciting presentation captured the imagination of an entire generation. Within several years there were “Boss Radio” clones in every market in the country.

Bill Drake, along with Ron Jacobs (both pictured right), created that format.

Bill Drake became not only the most influential man in broadcasting but the music industry as well. Getting a record on KHJ could make a career. There by the grace of Bill Drake go the Doors, Byrds, Mamas & Papas, Sonny & Cher, and a hundred other 60s rock icons who might otherwise be making Blizzards at Dairy Queen today.

He was also a literal giant. Probably 6’8” with a deep commanding voice. If God did station liners that’s who He’d sound like. And Bill was rarely seen (also like God). In those heydays when he was the czar of the industry he’d camp out high in the hills in his Bel Air mansion and communicate via hotlines. It was the Zeus management style.

He later created automated music formats that ruled the nation’s FM dial for most of the 70s.

After Merger, Sirius XM Shares Falling Sharply

After winning a long and tough battle for regulatory approval for its formation, has been more recently faced with another fight: to keep its sinking stock from collapse.

Shares have fallen 29 percent this month, closing yesterday at 94 cents, as weak revenue and earnings forecasts coupled with the company’s hefty debt load have rattled investors. The stock hit a 52-week low of 68 cents in trading on Tuesday.

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