Sugar Time

I caught a PBS “funding” appeal featuring 50’s Hits and felt right at home.  I’ve shared that one of the greatest high points of my broadcasting career was the Big Band program we started in 1986 on KORK in Vegas.  KORK had been the hottest thing in the state of Nevada in the early 70’s, but it languished in the lower rankings of Arbitron for a number of years.  I was PD and Operations when we heard of a new 3,000 tune library of ‘original Gold’ from the Big Band Era.  We subscribed and purchased three books with history of the era.  Our on-air personalities could refer to the books for better knowledge and programming comments.  Las Vegas is the retired performer/musician home and our format catapulted KORK from a 2.0 to a whopping 8.7 in one rating period.  Our phones were ringing off the wall with comments from the performers who had participated in those big hits.  Just to drop a few names, we had visits from The McGuire Sisters, The Decastro Sisters, Don Cherry, The Platters, Anita O’Day, Keeley Smith, The Mills Brothers, Frankie Laine, Sonny Turner, The Four Freshmen and from the later generation, Robert Goulet.  I wish I had kept all those interviews, but we were limited as to recording  spur of the moment capability.   Today, broadcasts are recorded, but back then it wasn’t a practice to do so.  As I watched the PBS program, I was reminded that ‘back in those days’, music had melody, something today’s ‘Hits’ lack.  Sonny James described his success as giving folks “Heart Singin'”.  If what we have today comes from the heart of entertainers, somebody needs a good ‘house cleaning’.  That’s what I find in my box of chocolates, donchaknow.  Amen?

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