Monday, April 04, 2005

A wave of nostalgia overcame me today as I read through the latest entries on the Pittsburg Morning Sun's discussion board.
The quality of local radio stations has been discussed for the past few months on the board, and lately a few posters reminisced about radio the way it used to be.
And radio in the 1960s in this area was WHB (World's Happiest Broadcasters) 71 on your dial out of Kansas City. The top disc jockey for years was Johnny Dolan (Rollin' with Dolan), who normally worked the afternoon shift, but seemed to fill in just about any time day or night. I remember in 1973, Dolan selected the first East Newton High School yearbook queen, though I can't actually remember who it was. It may have been Ginger Knight, if memory serves. (For those of you looking for hard news, don't worry, I'll get to it eventually.)
For about a four or five-year period in the mid to late 1960s, my older sister, Vicki, and I would write down the 40-Star Survey when they played the top 40 songs in Kansas City every Friday afternoon. I remember when "Twist and Shout" by the Beatles stunned eveyrone by entering the survey at number five and when the Beatles had the top five songs in K. C. at one point in early 1964. I wish I still had a copy of those surveys.
Another memorable WHB personality was Phil Jay with his "Uncle Phil's Filthy Files." Phil Jay got his radio start as a disc jockey at KQYX in Joplin.
I can also remember Jeff Roberts and Rock Robbins. Both Phil Jay and Jeff Roberts returned to the station when it tried to return to its roots and cash in on the oldies craze in the 1980s.
It was WHB in the daytime and when the signal faded, we would turn our radios to 89 WLS in Chicago and listen to Larry Lujack or WOAI in San Antonio.
Good memories.


Anonymous said...

WOW! I clearly remember the Johnny Dolan days and the "World's Happiest Broadcasters" aka WHB. Now tell me this, do you remember "chicken man?" Those were great times. I would try and record some of the music with my tape player, reel-to-reel. Transistor radios were $20.00 for a good one.

Randy said...

I definitely remember Chicken Man. "he's everywhere, he's everywhere." If I recall, his secret identity was Benton Harbor and his mother, Mildred Harbor, also fought crime as the Masked Mother. I remember one episode where he met the spiritual leader the High Fernando Lama. They certainly don't write them like that any more.

Unknown said...

As a northwest MO native, I grew up listening to WHB and was delighted that I could still tune the station after my family moved me south.

My own years spent in broadcasting probably owed much inspiration to the old days at WHB.

Last time I headed "home" and tuned in the station, it had gone to all talk radio. A sad day!

Anonymous said...

That great jingle from the late '60's still rings in my head... "W-*sound of something like a ruler smacking a hand*-H-B Dial Seventy Whuuuun!"

Anonymous said...

I remember Johnny Dolan, too. Was a great time listening to WHB,and it has so much influence over other rockers (KLIF, WABC).

I still have some bootleg copies of Chicken Man. Wish I could write that well.

Anonymous said...

Yours truly WHB, Kansas City, Missouri! A flashback to my long-ago youth.

Another commercial I remember was for Kansas City (International?) Raceway. Something like this:

SUNDAY! (Echo - Sunday) At Kansas City International Raceway! And then the commercial would explain the upcoming event, sometimes with car noises in the background. That was the era of 25 to 30 cent a gallon gasoline. That time seems forever ago now.

Anonymous said...

I now live in Texas , but I will always treasure my memories of growing up with Johnny Dolan , Phil Jay , J. WAlter Beethoven and yes of course Our fine-feathered hero , Chicken Man and Ms.Helfinger ! I've learned that Phil Jay has a mobile DJ business , but does anyone out there know the status of Johnny Dolan(aka...Johnny Dollar) and/or Jay Walter ?