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Jack Fox: Hello. Test. One, two... Yeah, we're going. All right. All right. Well, let's see. It's Monday morning, December 10, 2012, and I'm sitting here with Jerry David Melloy, a name that people who have listened to WHAS radio over the years will certainly recognize. How are you doing this morning, Jerry?

Jerry David Melloy: I'm doing fine. Glad to be here in front of a microphone again.

JF: You're back again in front of a microphone. You've been away from microphones for how long?

JDM: Quite a while, quite a while.

JF: Happens to the best of us, you know.

JDM: Yes it does.

JF: Obviously. Well let's talk about you for a minute. First of all, some background and how you became involved in radio. You're originally from Evansville, Indiana?

JDM: Evansville, Indiana. Grew up there, went all through school there and through high school there.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Actually went to the same high school my parents went to, Central High School... The Golden Bears.


JDM: Yes, yes. And my father graduated from Central High School.

JF: Is that right? You went to Delaware grade school also, so did my parents.

JDM: Well, I went to elementary school... I went to West Heights, which was way out in the west end, of course.

JF: Yep.

JDM: Through the sixth grade. And then seventh and eighth grade at Delaware. And both of those were good experiences for me.

JF: Now did you get interested in radio in high school? Or what prompted all of this?

JDM: No, I did not. I was interested in music and theater, basically.

JF: Musician, I didn't know that.

JDM: The one thing I do remember is that while I was in elementary school I played violin, and I was part of the all-city Orchestra.

JF: Oh, really?

JDM: Violin. One of those hard to work into the conversation. Yes. And then I decided I wanted to... Well, if you just play violin you're not going to be in a 2:00dance band or you can't march in the marching band, so I switched to bass, stand up bass, the old stand up bass, and learned to play that. So that was my experience in music, but it was very good because you learn both registers when you're playing a violin and then over here you're playing a bass.

JF: Oh, yeah.

JDM: It's two different things to learn, really. I was surrounded with great people. That's been the great blessing of my life, is the people that I've been around, even to the extent that one of my friends in... We met at Indiana State University... No, we met in high school, and he became the chair of the orchestra. He played oboe and he was the top oboist for the orchestra at the 3:00Kennedy Center.

JF: Wow.

JDM: You could be from Evansville, Indiana and be around some pretty neat people. But anyway, I went through that. I also enjoyed being in plays, and that really started from the time I was in church there in Evansville as a youngster. They would do skits and all these kinds of things to keep us... These boys from going wild.

JF: Off the streets.

JDM: So I started there and then I went through high school doing plays, and then at... I went to Indiana State University and I knew I couldn't do both music and plays and pay for them, at the time I was going through school. So I continued to do plays, and that's when I began radio. I had to get a job. I had 4:00a scholarship to the university but I had to eat and sleep somewhere, so somebody just said, "Why don't you go to a radio station? They like people from Indiana State. They work cheap."

JF: This was a commercial radio, it wasn't a-

JDM: No, it was a commercial radio station. Now, it's interesting, there was a radio... I really didn't really take classes for radio and TV. I majored in Speech. Who knew? I was going to be a high school teacher... Who knew that they would put teaching speech in a high school? But I majored in Speech and minored in English. I did get this job, and again, you're just around such great people 5:00at a young age, so it really worked for me. But I liked it and I just... As they say, "Fell in love." Well, I guess I did and because it was something I could do, I could do it and I could do it pretty well.

JF: And you enjoyed the atmosphere.

JDM: I loved the atmosphere. It was an AM/FM and TV station, but most of my work was always radio. I did fine there and I stayed there after I'd graduated for a year or so, and I got a call from a radio station in Dayton, Ohio and they wanted me to come over for an interview. I did and I was offered a good job there. So I went to that station.

JF: What station was that in Dayton?

JDM: That was called WAVI. I guess the AVI was for aviation because of the-

JF: Oh, sure. Dayton, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). The Wright Brothers.


JDM: The Wright Brothers there. It was interesting, to say the least.

JF: Continuing education, was it?

JDM: Yes, it was, because it was in Dayton, Ohio, and in those days only had four AM radio stations.

JF: Really?

JDM: And this one was to 150 watt daytime. That's when-

JF: It was fairly common back then, wasn't it?

JDM: Yes, very common. You could only sign on when the sun came out.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And you had to sign off when the sun went down. But it was just some great people there, a fellow who had been a downbeat magazine bass player of the year.

JF: A fellow bass player.

JDM: Yes, and he was a great radio personality, really good. But I got to meet a lot of people. In those days... Jack, you're too young to remember this, but there were, I guess you'd call it a nightclub, where people would go to dine but 7:00there was entertainment there. And Dayton was on a circuit where some really great people would come through. Remember Liberace?

JF: Sure. Yeah.

JDM: And this fellow that I worked with, Bernie, he had a partner and they were the ones who booked shows in Dayton. So he would say to me, "Well, I know you wouldn't go see Liberace so I'm going to give you tickets, so you'll find out how good he is." So I went and he was, he was an incredible entertainer. I got to meet a woman named Nancy Wilson, who was a great, great singer.

So that was good experience for me. You go down the list of people that I was able to meet because of that experience. But I happened to see in a broadcasting magazine an opportunity for somebody to go to WHAS Radio and TV in Louisville.


JF: Yeah, those were the days when Broadcast Magazine had all these wonderful ads at the back of it. Every announcer always checked to see... They had a column to see who was going where and who was moving where, but they also had ads back there, didn't they?

JDM: Right. That's exactly right.

JF: Usually blind ads, but this said Louisville... Did it say Louisville, Kentucky? It wasn't a blind ad, it said Louisville?JDM: No, it did say WHAS, Louisville, Kentucky.

JF: So tell us about that.

JDM: Well, I didn't... And I'm being honest with you. I didn't think I really had a chance at something like that. It wasn't that I didn't think I could do a good job, it was just that that's a pretty good leap, from a 150 whatever to a 50,000 watt clear channel radio station.

JF: Yeah, all across the country. Yeah.

JDM: Yeah. But I did. I sent my audio tape.


JF: What did you have on your audio tape, do you remember? Was it an air check? Or did you put something together?

JDM: Air check. Yeah.

JF: Oh, air check.

JDM: Air check.

JF: So they taped you while you were on and sent it down.

JDM: Right. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Then they wanted a TV thing. I had never done TV, so I talked the people at the public television station into allowing me to do a commercial which I had memorized.

JF: Because you read it on the radio all the time.

JDM: I read it on the radio all the time. So that worked out well. Then when I came for the interview, they asked me to go in the TV area and asked me to interview one of the people in the studio, that worked in TV. I just walked over and I interviewed this person. As you know, having been in this business, sometimes you get uptight a little bit when you're doing an audition or you're thinking of the people above you, these people above you. But I really thought, 10:00"Well, I'm not going to get this anyway. I'm just going to have fun."

JF: Hang loose.

JDM: Hang loose, that's right. And you understand that. But it went well. So that's how I got... I ended up getting two, WHAS radio and TV.

JF: So you took the job, you came down here.

JDM: Took the job, I came down here. I was... That's when Victor Sholis, Vic Sholis, was the person over radio and TV.

JF: Okay. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And the two people that I talked with to be hired, was George Walsh, who was in charge of radio. Now, he had been well known in sports before that, as a sportscaster.

JF: Oh.

JDM: But he was the person for radio and a fellow by the name of... Let's see, that would have been...

JF: Yeah, what year was that, by the way? That was-


JDM: That was 1966.

JF: Okay. Okay.

JDM: Well, anyway. Another person who was running TV at the time... Sam Gifford. I knew it would come to me. Sam Gifford.

JF: Oh, sure. A well known name around here.

JDM: Yes. He was very well liked, Sam was. Sam had been in sales before he became head of TV.

JF: Was he one of the people who interviewed you?

JDM: Yes.

JF: Okay. Okay.

JDM: Mm-hmm (affirmative). He and George Walsh.

JF: Now, this was... At this time, where were the offices, or the studios, located?

JDM: The offices and studios were in the Courier Journal building.

JF: At Sixth and Broadway.

JDM: Sixth and Broadway, on the top two floors.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative). All owned by the Binghams still.

JDM: All owned by the Bingham family.

JF: Or was influenced by them, yeah.

JDM: Right. I'll always remember when I came over one day to... Early, after I'd 12:00gotten there and I got over to where I was going to park across the street from the Courier Journal building, I didn't have any cash on me but I had my checkbook. So I went into Liberty Bank that's right there and asked them if they could cash this check. Well, it was a check from the bank in Dayton, Ohio. They were very nice people and they said, "Well where do you work?" And I said, "I work right over there, WHAS." "Well is there somebody over there we could call?" And I said, "Yes, I guess you could call Vic Sholis." So she called and then she came back and she said, "Mr. Sholis said to give you anything you wanted." I thought I'd really hit it big now. But they cashed the check.


JF: That's great.

JDM: But there are little things that stick with you, I guess.

JF: Now, when you were hired, you were hired to do radio and television? Or what were you doing then?

JDM: In those days, I was hired as a staff announcer.

JF: Still doing a lot of network radio, were they still doing network radio?

JDM: Yes. There was CBS radio and CBS on television at that time. And my position was to fill a position that someone had left, which was to fill in for people who were sick or on vacation, in any area, AM, FM, and TV.

JF: That was pretty common back then, too, wasn't it? To have somebody like that.

JDM: Yes.

JF: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: Yes. So I would do audio for TV. Now all of that is done in advance, I know.

JF: So what did you do? You sat in a booth or something?

JDM: I sat in a booth and when it would come time for the end of a network show, you would read a commercial or you would read a-

JF: So you did that a lot?

JDM: Yes. I did all the... Up until about 10:30, around then-


JF: 10:30 AM or PM?

JDM: PM. And then I would record the ones that would come on after the late news, during whatever was on after.

JF: Was television on all night at that time?

JDM: No.

JF: No, they would sign off.

JDM: They would sign off. Usually, I think, they had a movie.

JF: Yeah. After the news.

JDM: Yeah. And I would record that, so I didn't have to stay all through that.

JF: Was the news at 10:00 or 11:00?

JDM: I think you may be right, after talking about that. I think it may have been 10:00.

JF: I bet it was, then.

JDM: Yeah, it was. But it was good. Being around the people who are... Different departments, the news people, the sales people, and all of the engineers. 15:00Engineers, when I worked in Dayton, Ohio, the only engineer was the engineer that looked after the transmitter.

JF: Which was not in... Was it in the building, there? Or was it someplace else?

JDM: It was there.

JF: Oh, it was there. Okay.

JDM: It was there. So when I was Dayton, Ohio, I did mid-day until the morning drive person got a job in Detroit. So then I started doing the morning drive. Well-being the morning drive person with a daytimer meant you went and unlocked the door and turned on the equipment. So quite different from the way it is now.

JF: Yeah. Here you had engineers who did all that sort of thing.

JDM: Yes. We had a fellow who came in and did sports for us as a part-time deal. Periodically he would have something else he needed to do, and it would usually 16:00be around 4:00, 4:30 in the afternoon. So he would pay me a few bucks out of his pocket to do that for him when he couldn't be there. So it's just another... Well, you needed the money but you also had another opportunity there to be involved.

But as a staff announcer that's what I did. I filled in.

JF: They fill in on radio also?

JDM: Yes.

JF: Or what were your radio duties, then? Because you were doing both, then, at that time.

JDM: Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative). And the FM. The FM, when I got there, was a classical music station. I like to tell this story because it tells you the number of people who used to be employed in an operation like this, compared to what it is today. To do the FM... Now, my music background, I did enjoy classical music, but I didn't know it well. I didn't know the pronunciation of every Bach whatever.


JF: Opus number.

JDM: Yeah. Opus number. And the pronunciation of the artists. So in order to do that, I would sit in a small room and there would be an engineer to record it, because you have to have an engineer, and the person who ran the FM station would pronounce the words to me, and then I'd mark it down and then I knew how to pronounce them.

JF: That was part of your daily duty.

JDM: That was part of the daily duty. When the fellow... There was a guy who did that, but if he was gone then I did it.

JF: You remember who that was?

JDM: No, that one I don't remember.

JF: Was Bill Britton there then? Was Bill doing that?

JDM: Bill Britton was there. That could have been Bill Britton, yes.

JF: He did some things like that. At one point, anyway.

JDM: Yes. I think he did do that. But anyway, that was great for me.

JF: And when were you on the radio? Were you filling in again or did you have a regular slot? Or what did you do?

JDM: I was filling in here until... Van Vance was doing a slot during the middle 18:00of the day, the radio. I do remember going to George Walsh one day and asking if I would ever get a program of my own.

JF: Sure.

JDM: And he said, "Well, you will. You will. We want you to do that when we can." So I didn't know whether that meant forever or what.

JF: Whether it was a put-off or what.

JDM: Yeah. But then Van Vance, who did the program, really was a sports guy. He played basketball.

JF: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: I think he was Western, wasn't he?

JF: I believe so.

JDM: Yeah, Western Kentucky. He was really a sports enthusiast, so they offered 19:00him a position in sports, a radio position in sports, which opened that time where I really began doing my own show.

JF: That was from mid-day, you say? Like noon to 3:00 or something?

JDM: 10:00 to-

JF: Records or what did you do?

JDM: Yeah. We were still playing records then, and there was a whole music library, if you recall, that had lots of records. Those would be done by somebody else. You just introduce them and play them, and the engineers-

JF: Somebody else, they played them.

JDM: The engineer played it and that was-

JF: Did you have to go... Did you prepare what you were going to play, or did somebody else give you a list of things you were going to play?

JDM: They gave me a list, yes.

JF: So an engineer then played it and you just sat in the room and talked between records?

JDM: Right. And when we moved into the new building, then the room I sat in was 20:00a very big room for one person to be sitting there. Then you'd point to the engineer when to start the record. Well, I'd never done that before. My first two stations, you did that yourself.

JF: Hands on, you started the records and cued them and everything.

JDM: And I was real big on timing.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: Very big on timing. That was part of my music background, I guess. Everything had to be right on time. So it took a little adjustment for me to be saying something and point to him and him-

JF: Have him play it when you want it.

JDM: When I wanted it started. Before the singing, but you know you can start it now, and then I'll stop-

JF: You'll talk over it, and he had to trust you on that too.

JDM: That's right, that's right. But there were some of them that really came along good.

JF: Do you remember who some of the names, who the engineers were? Do you remember anyone?

JDM: Oh, gosh. Baysinger?

JF: Larry Baysinger?

JDM: Larry Baysinger. I remember Larry. I can't remember-

JF: Was there a Norm-something? I remember...


JDM: There was a Norm-something.

JF: And I remember Harold DeArmond, was Harold... Did Harold do some of those? He was the chief, probably.

JDM: Yes, yes. The chief sat at a big chair, he looked at everybody. But that was a time when that was part of it.

JF: Yeah. Who were some of the other people on the air at that time, on radio?

JDM: Well, Jim Walton.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Oh, sure. He was an institution, wasn't he?

JDM: He was. Jim Walton was, I guess, the first voice on WHAS Crusade for Children. He was the voice, he was the one who ran that. As far as announcing was concerned, he was the person on stage. And he was the one that had the live radio program, before I got there, where they had the musicians.

JF: Oh. A live orchestra, band.

JDM: Yes. Band and vocalists.

JF: Yeah. Staff singers, everything.


JDM: Yes. Now, by the time I arrived, they weren't doing those live things anymore. So he was doing what the rest of us were doing, and that is playing records, sitting in... Of course, at WHAS, the big thing was news and weather and sports.

JF: Who were the news guys, then? Was that the Paul Clark era?

JDM: That was the Paul Clark era. Paul Clark, when I got there, was the chief announcer.

JF: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: He was the only man I ever met, and I miss him to this day, he could pronounce every word.

JF: And very precisely.

JDM: Very precisely, yes. He is... What he did, when I got there, he read the news in what we call the morning drive period, when people are getting ready to go to work, or in their cars going to work, or trucks going to work. He read... 23:00That's where you want your top talent, right there. He did not write it. The news people wrote that and he read it. That probably was true in network radio at that time.

JF: I'm sure it was, yeah.

JDM: Yes. But he was fantastic. Ray Shelton was there. Ray had done an afternoon show, I think he was doing the afternoon show at that time. And of course Milton Metz was on in the evening.

JF: Oh, yeah.

JDM: And Milton-

JF: Was Milton playing music? Then he wasn't doing the talk radio.

JDM: No. He did the talk radio.

JF: Oh, okay. That's what he did.

JDM: Juniper.

JF: Oh, yeah. Juniper five-something. Yeah.

JDM: Five, yes. I should have that. And Ray would fill in for him when Milton was on vacation or couldn't be there. Ray Shelton was... He was offered a job in 24:00New York with one of the networks and he didn't want to leave Louisville.

JF: How about that? He was the first television guy... He was the first guy on television, at WHAS television.

JDM: Right. He was one of those that could have been working in New York or Chicago or anywhere.

JF: He had the look and the sound, everything.

JDM: Everything. And still does, pretty much.

JF: Yeah, that's right. Yeah.

JDM: He's still with us.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: So Ray... Some of the interesting things, after I got on the air with my own thing, George Walsh, who hired me... They wanted me to do other things, so they said, "Well, the Derby's coming up. There's going to be a Derby parade and we want you to be the announcer describing what's going on as the parade goes 25:00by, for radio and TV."

JF: Oh, wow.

JDM: That was great.

JF: Sure.

JDM: In Dayton, Ohio, in Kettering, where I lived, which is part of the metro Dayton, they had a bicycle race every year that was really big. We tried doing that on radio so I knew this was going to be a challenge.

JF: A parade moves a little slower than a bicycle race, though.

JDM: Yes. It was fun and even got a mention in the review in the newspaper, when they would... Then they asked me to do the announcer opening of the Crusade. I just said, "I can't do that. You've got the best announcer that I've ever heard." And Ray Shelton had always done it. I said, "Ray Shelton should do that." So Ray Shelton did it. Well what I found out later, Milton had been doing 26:00the parade. So I decided I'm not going to do the parade anymore, that's not right. You know Milton, Milton's fantastic. So I didn't do the parade anymore, I decided not to do that.

JF: How about that? That's interesting.

JDM: So what from there.

JF: One more thing. Who was doing sports at that time? Was that Cawood Ledford?

JDM: Cawood Ledford.

JF: Cawood? Yeah.

JDM: Well, I do need to tell you this. When... Of course, back in the '60s, being on the radio was a pretty big deal.

JF: Yep. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: Still is.

JF: Those few stations.

JDM: That's right. And Dayton, Ohio, when it was announced that I was leaving WAVI in radio, there was a nice big article about me. Of course, it was another week or two before I left. I could not imagine how many people came up to me and 27:00said, "We listen to that radio station. We listen to Cawood Ledford call all the UK games."

JF: In Dayton, Ohio they listen to WHAS?

JDM: In Dayton, Ohio. Where they listen to... Those are mostly at night anyway, but you could get WHAS there. It just was amazing to me to know that they were going to know somebody at WHAS. Cawood Ledford.

JF: Can you tell me a story or two about, in your early days, or maybe really early, that you'd gone to the cafeteria or something-

JDM: Yes, I did.

JF: And that was Cawood. Tell me about that.

JDM: Well, the people... I was really young compared to the people who had been there for so long.

JF: This was a very established radio station and television.

JDM: Yes. So a lot of people really didn't know what this young kid knows about 28:00radio or TV or anything else. It wasn't one of those things where people came up to you and just started talking to you or anything, so I thought, "Well, that will take time." But I went up to... There was a cafeteria in the Courier Journal building, I went up there and I thought-

JF: This is an employees' cafeteria?

JDM: Yes. It's the employees' cafeteria and I could get lunch. I went up and I picked out what I wanted, buffet. I'm holding my tray and I hear somebody say, "Jerry David." And I look over and I see Cawood Ledford and his lady friend, who he'd later married.

JF: Frances.

JDM: Frances.

JF: Frances Johnson.

JDM: Yep. He said, "Come on over here." So he's-

JF: How about that?

JDM: He started talking, asking me about myself. Cawood... So many people in our lives, if we pay attention, there are special qualities in all of us, no matter what you do. Cawood was special. Cawood was a person who could talk about another person who's not doing something well, but not ever say anything really bad.


JF: How about that?

JDM: He could do that. He was amazing. He was a joy to work with. One of the things I remember about him was they had... It must have been a relatively new person in the sports department down there. They had a lot of sports writers and this one fellow wrote a column saying how Cawood Ledford was, when he broadcast his games, "He's so far UK that he doesn't know what he's doing." [crosstalk]

JF: "He's a real homer." [crosstalk]

JDM: Right. "He's a homer." "He's a homer." So Cawood, he had a program on about 30:0012:15 each day that was about 10, 15 minutes after the news. And Cawood would type out what he was doing, these things. He was the best. He took this person apart in such a nice way. He explained the game to him, and how this works and how that works, and at the very end he said, "And, oh, by the way, those stories you read in the newspapers the next day after a game, if you look at the very bottom in small print, if they're out of town they'll say, 'Information for this review was received off of WHAS radio.'"


I wish I'd saved that. I wish I'd saved that because that's one time Barry Bingham, Junior called me and said, "I have to have a copy of that, will you make sure I get a copy of that? Put that on a cassette and send it down the block."

JF: Oh, that's great.

JDM: So those were good days. But the Courier Journal would... I remember if we emceed somewhere... And I'm sure Wayne Perkey told you about this, if not he should have. If it was a WHAS announcer or personality who was opening a show for someone in town, doing a big show that we sponsored, well we would have somebody that went out and said, "Hello. How is everybody?" Well, you've done it, Jack. Many times. There was one big show that was in town and Wayne Perkey went out and they said, "A radio staff announcer." They didn't even mention 32:00WHAS, let alone Wayne Perkey. It was interesting days.

JF: No way.

JDM: But it was good. People at the Courier Journal were good, they were fun to get to know.

JF: Now, did you have much interaction between the radio and television people and the newspaper people? Or... Probably not too much.

JDM: Not too much. Until I started... After Hugh Barr arrived, he had his own theory, and a very good one, about music. People who hear this... Back in the days of rock and roll, there were radio stations... There were a couple of men who were premiere... Storz was one of them.

JF: Yeah, Todd Storz. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: They jumped on this Top 40 format, and the reason it was called Top 40 is because you only played the top 40 records, over and over.


JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And they're lots of fun and everything and upbeat, and all this. In every market there was a Top 40 station. There was one when I started in Terre Haute, Indiana. But I worked at the station that played what they called adult music, because that's when Sinatra was still recording, Peggy Lee. You name it. All of them. Tony Bennett, who's still around.

JF: Yeah, I was going to ask you. Who were some of the records you played? You played all those people.

JDM: All of those people. I made one big mistake, well I made a lot of big mistakes, but this one they caught me on. There was a version of Love For Sale, which was a nice ballad in a jazz dream. You can play that record if it's not a 34:00vocal, but it was a vocal the one I played. So I got a little heat over that. But you had great music, those days, that you... And there is now, again. But those were the basic two big stations in any market.

JF: Let me ask you something, before we get... We talked about when you came you were at the studios in the Courier Journal building, but when you came the other new building, at Sixth and Chestnut, was probably under construction, when you came, wasn't it?

JDM: Yes, it was.

JF: So you were part of that move, then, when they moved to that. What was that like?

JDM: Well, it did not go smoothly.

JF: Really?

JDM: No, it didn't go smoothly because... Now, what I was told, and what I understood, is that they were trying to use GE because GE was here in Louisville.


JF: For their equipment.

JDM: For all the equipment. And GE was not known for doing that kind of work.

JF: Especially if you're in Louisville, it was Appliance Park.

JDM: Right. So it did not go smoothly, but we had good engineers and they went in and they'd fix it here and fix it there. So it went pretty well from then on. And it was great to be in the new facility, of course.

JF: Much more room.

JDM: It was a beautiful place, yes.

JF: The latest equipment.

JDM: The latest equipment, and great talent. Well, maybe. Maybe. Not that great.

JF: Because you were there.

JDM: Better than average. No, it was good. So it eased it's way out, as all things do.

JF: As you moved over, did you have the same formats on radio, or was there a transition coming then when you moved into the new building? I know there was a change, probably in that middle- to late-'60s, early '70s, from what had been 36:00doing before to you'd talk about the Hugh Barr era. Talk about that, what went on during that time.

JDM: Well, first of all, it was the people he hired. I, on the other hand...

JF: Oh, that's right. You were already there.

JDM: I was already there. Excuse me. So I didn't know if I would still be there.

JF: Did you... Do you know, did they hire Hugh to come in and make changes like that happened? Or was he just coming in to be another George Walsh? I don't mean that in a bad way, but was he coming in just to be the radio manager? Or what do you know?

JDM: I think he was brought in to bring us up to date.

JF: Okay.

JDM: Up to date. What you needed to do, because... When I came here, WAVE television now is still here in Louisville, but WAVE also had an AM radio station.

JF: WAVE, yeah.

JDM: WAVE. They were owned by a family, the Norton family, and they were beating-


JF: They were predominant then.

JDM: They were predominant in radio and TV.

JF: Were they doing more music and more middle-of-the-road, more... Had they modernized their radio a little bit?

JDM: Yeah. They were doing middle-of-the-road type music, but they had some real good personalities.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: Really good personalities over there. I remember Joe Fletcher was one, and before that there was an Irishman who worked there who was very, very popular. His name, I don't remember.

JF: It wasn't Pat Murphy, was it? Was it Pat Murphy?

JDM: Yes it was. Pat Murphy. Good for you.

JF: I worked with his brother in Kansas City, Mike Murphy, at one time.

JDM: Small world. It is a small world.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: But he was very, very well known. We were just coming in to that, so we really had to work hard. Hugh, I believe, was the one who could do it, because you don't want to, overnight, change everything. You have to do this in a way so that you're taking your... You don't want to lose the listeners you have, you 38:00want to build on the listeners.

JF: So you were already there. He didn't bring you in, then. He didn't hire you.

JDM: That's right.

JF: So you were concerned about that.

JDM: I was a little concerned.

JF: So what happened during that time? As some of the changes started happening?JDM: He was a pretty tall guy and I thought, "Well, maybe he only wants tall people," so I'd be out the door. Yes, he hired Wayne Perkey and then he went from there. I remember he would put me on a morning drive and he'd put Wayne on a morning drive, and there may have been one other person, I don't remember. Well, I had done the morning drive at my first station, I did the morning drive at my second station, now here's my third station. I didn't want morning drive, and Wayne did. Even if I had wanted it, Wayne was the person for it. I think I knew that and certainly-

JF: Why do you say that?

JDM: Well, because he's upbeat, he's got that energy that just envelops a 39:00morning drive time when you're getting started.

JF: Well, he did it for over 30 years, so something was right.

JDM: Yes, yes. He was right. He was the right one. One time they did a thing in the newspaper about how many different people on television had been in the market, how many different... You have your main people.

JF: Anchor people and things.

JDM: And Wayne lasted through all of them, and many more.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: So he was the right one. I did my mid-days. Then he hired Jeff Douglas.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And Jeff-

JF: So he's heading more towards more personality type stuff, is what he's doing.


JDM: Right. Yes. And younger.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: Younger personalities, which I don't mean that in a negative way to people who were there, it's just a different time in life.

JF: Yeah. And do you remember what... This may say something about the Bingham family, but what happened to all the people who were replaced? The Jim Waltons and the Bill Brittons and Ray Sheltons, and people like that. They were treated very kindly.

JDM: Yes, they were. They retired, and if they weren't... It's my understanding that if they weren't ready for the benefits, they got paid until they reached the age of getting Social Security and whatever benefits they had. They were taken care of very well. But then... Jeff Douglas was a great talent. He did that afternoon drive and he was... Jeff could have been a standup comedian, he 41:00was that good.

JF: Yep.

JDM: And his wife, who was with him when they moved here, she got a job in radio in news at one of the other radio stations.

JF: She was with WKLO, I believe.

JDM: Yes, she was.

JF: We need to talk about Jeff, because that's part of the HAS history.

JDM: Yes, it is.

JF: Jeff was the afternoon guy and that ended tragically. You were involved in that.

JDM: It did. My wife was a real estate agent, in fact she became a real estate broker. First they wanted to find an apartment to live, and she helped them find apartments. Well, real estate agents don't usually do that.

JF: Sure. They're selling houses.

JDM: She would do anything for anybody, if they ask. And that was good. But then they decided they'd like to build a new home. So she took them all over and they 42:00found an area in the Jeffersontown area, which was growing then by leaps and bounds, and a whole division was being... They found a relatively young builder who was very, very, very good and built them a house. So she was involved in all of this.

JF: They were friends.

JDM: Yes. So they got to know each other very well. I do remember that Jeff wanted to have goldfish. He liked goldfish, so he had them build in the wall-

JF: An aquarium in the wall.

JDM: An aquarium in the wall. It lasted for quite a while and then I think they had to redo it. But anyway. So we were pretty close and Jeff, when he would come 43:00in to do the afternoon show, I would be... By then I was doing all of the music myself for other people.

JF: In the music library.

JDM: In the music library, and I would listen to the music that came in and decide whether or not that's something that we think is good for them to play.

JF: You were the music director at that time.

JDM: Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JF: In addition to being on the air.

JDM: So every time he'd come in, he'd come in the door and then he'd come straight to the music library where I had a desk, and he'd come in to say, "Hello," and look at me strange. But he always came in. Always came in, didn't say a whole lot, we'd chat a few moments, and then he'd go in and...

JF: Go on the air.

JDM: Go on the air. So this went on for quite a while, and then one day Jeff didn't come in.

JF: To say, "Hi," to you.

JDM: To say, "Hi." So I looked around... I started looking for him and I 44:00couldn't find him. So there was a fellow that was there, and I think you remember his name, he-

JF: Robin Logsdon.

JDM: Robin Logsdon. Robin Logsdon was one of those creative people that did a little bit of everything for everybody.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And a great man and great guy. Well, he had become friends with Jeff, so I went to him and said, "I can't find Jeff, and there's no answer at his house." So he got ahold of another fellow. I mention this because it's important to the story: Jeff was Jewish. He was Jewish, and a Jewish family. We had a Jewish fellow who was doing work in a production company at that time that WHAS TV had, and the fellow who ran that was Jewish, so Robin went to him and then the two of 45:00them drove out to Jeff's house and found out what had happened. He had committed suicide by hanging himself.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: Well, we were all devastated. Absolutely devastated. The first thing I'll say about that is that... His wife wanted to call my wife to help her out. So we went in, she didn't want to go into his room, so we went in to pack all of the things. He had big stacks full of brand new shirts, they had never taken them out of the wrap. His parents were very wealthy, his father was on the board of a very big, exclusive store in New York City.


So we went in and we packed everything. Then we had to get a mover, and we helped with that, and all the things that needed to be done during this. Oh, his wife wanted to just sell the car, his car, and keep hers. So you'd appreciate this, Jack. The preacher, the main preacher at the church where we belonged, Beargrass Christian Church, he had a hobby of buying cars that were used and fixing them up. It was a hobby.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: A preacher's hobby. So he bought the car. In other words, we were more than 47:00just working friends, we were really friends. That doesn't mean we went out as the four of us a lot to go to different places. We didn't do that, but we were just close.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: So it was hard to deal with, very hard to deal with.

JF: Well the fact that that atmosphere existed there at the station, it was a family... You talk about the Perkeys and the Melloys and the Metz's, and we were part of that, Lou and I, that was a tough time on everybody.

JDM: Yes, it was. We did so many things... Another thing Hugh Barr did well and that is put us together. We would do promotions, you'll recall.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: We would do them together then. And then once a month we'd have, just us, we would have dinner and we'd rotate houses where we'd have dinner. So it was that kind of atmosphere.

JF: And Hugh put that umbrella together, really.


JDM: Yes.

JF: He started carving out a radio station. Even to the news department and sports departments, didn't he? He put those together.

JDM: That's right.

JF: At one time they were all part of television and everything.

JDM: They were all part of... That's exactly right. And then we started having our own news people.

JF: Do you remember who? Was that Glen Bastin who was the news director, or was there somebody ahead of that?

JDM: I think it was Glen Bastin.

JF: Yeah. Did he hire Glen for that, do you know? Or was Glen already there? Do you know?

JDM: No, he must've hired him or been a part of hiring him.

JF: Yeah, yeah.

JDM: Because Glen was there, and Glen did a great job. He brought in really great people.

JF: So the station was starting to establish itself as a separate identity.

JDM: Yes.

JF: I remember they used to talk about WHAS being this Sleeping Giant.

JDM: Yes.

JF: They had the 50,000 watts and not doing what they could be doing with it. And then Hugh turned it into what they called the Cuddly Giant. I don't know who 49:00came up with that phrase or who did that.

JDM: The Cuddly Giant, yes. Well, that's one thing we didn't care for too much. But, hey. What he did was right, whatever he did was right.

JF: He started building the radio station [crosstalk].

JDM: Yes. It was difficult because, and I can see where it would be difficult for the family, the Binghams, because their deal was they were newspaper.

JF: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And a great one. Always ranked about number three in the nation, as far as newspapers are concerned. Right at the top. So this was... When you start fooling with the news, you got to be real careful. But again, it just worked out very well for us and we had people in that newsroom who didn't stay, they went on to other opportunities all over the country, and they made an impact. And the same with some announcers later, when I was program director.


The greatest thing that one of our people did with... Before we leave Jeff Douglas, Milton Metz said, "We're going to have," because if you go to a funeral for the Jewish tradition, it's very quick and it's not long at all, and that's their beliefs and I respect that very much. But we needed something. So he had us all come to their house, and you remember that, Jack's father was a minister so Milton, being always cautious, looking ahead, we did have champagne. We were 51:00going to make this a relief and a celebration of his life, of Jeff's life. So he got one bottle of champagne which had no alcohol in it, especially for Jack.

JF: He was that kind of guy, I tell you.

JDM: I know, that was Milton. Milton thought of everything. I mentioned to Milton, not long ago, when we were together, how much I really felt blessed to work with this quality, because Walter Cronkite came to Louisville and he was going to be a speaker somewhere, and you could go and hear this, but someone was to introduce him. I told Milton, "That's when I knew you were... It hit me what a person you are." And he said, "Well, I don't know." Well I didn't follow it up 52:00but there are news anchors at WHAS TV and there are managers at WHAS TV, and radio, and Milton Metz was the one who did it because he was the one who should've done it and just did a brilliant job.

He also did all the interviews of the people who would come in for the Derby. He knew everything about them, everything about them. But anyway, we went through that period with Jeff and it was hard on us, it was very hard on us. I think we'll all remember, I got my phone call one day.

JF: Yeah. Yeah.

JDM: So it took us a while to get over that. It hit us all. So we went on from there, I had become program director and then... Hugh was in the process of 53:00leaving, which none of us really knew. I found some things out about that. After Vic Sholis was retired out of there, that's when Ed Shepherd came in. And Ed was good, very good.

JF: Manager of radio and television.

JDM: Radio and television.

JF: Yeah, the whole property. Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: He told me, later, since we've been meeting, he said, "Oh, I met Hugh Barr and I saw what was being done over there," and he said, "I think I'll let him do his thing," pretty much. But during that time, also, is when... Remember FM was 54:00classical music. Well, we had a public radio station in town doing classical music.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: Not making any money on the classical music. So then there was an opportunity. There was a new network doing news all day. So we picked up the news and then we hired more news people.

JF: Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot about that.

JDM: So we had news on that station for however long it was on the air, and at night.

JF: WNNS, is that what it was?

JDM: NNS is exactly what it was. Now what happened to the all news station? Well, it's a sad story that none of us knew until Barry Bingham, Junior called and said, "I just heard on WNNS network that they're going out of business," 55:00because he was listening to it. Now it's that [inaudible].

So sure enough, they did. Now comes the time to make a decision, and I don't know how he did it, but Hugh Barr got everybody on board to make it into a country music radio station on FM.

JF: A big change.

JDM: A big change. A big, big change. But he got it done and it became WAMZ. Just as he... This was happening... Well, first it started with tapes.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: Big tapes that you'd subscribe to and automate it. The way the FM was with the classical music, really.


JF: Well, let's see. That was probably the middle '70s? When was that?

JDM: Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JF: Yeah.

JDM: But we knew that we were going to have to ease into, and just about that time, during that period of time is when Hugh left and I was brand new as a program director.

JF: You were a program director now, yeah.

JDM: And not only he left, but his assistant left. What do you call it? Secretaries in those days. And I thought, "Well, this is interesting." We started out to get a program director for WAMZ. Well, there was an interesting guy who had been on WAKY here, the Top 40 station on AM, for a period of time. Well he had left as Top 40s began to fade out and FMs took over most of those music stations. He was down in Houston, Texas at an FM station down there doing 57:00country music, because that was his thing, country music.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: He called me and he says, "Somebody told me you guys are thinking about..." and I said, "Yeah, I am. We are." So what I did, I said, "Well here's the deal. Why don't you write for me, just send me a letter, doesn't have to be typed or anything, just send me a long letter that says what you would do if you were program director of a FM country music station." And he did. And it was great. I mean, it was great. I thought, "I can't find anybody." I hadn't gotten anybody else that could really give me an idea of what they thought.

JF: Well it was just starting at that time, too.

JDM: Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JF: I mean, country music was just starting.

JDM: Oh, I know.

JF: Yeah, it just started.

JDM: They were just coming alive. So I hired him and my friend Glen Bastin, who 58:00was news director there on the radio... We were friends, we were good friends. He said, "This is going to be the biggest mistake you ever make."

JF: Is that right?

JDM: Yeah, he said-

JF: So you hired Coyote Calhoun.

JDM: Coyote Calhoun.

JF: Oh, my goodness.

JDM: Coyote Calhoun.

JF: What a big step.

JDM: And he came in there and he did it.

JF: He did. He's still doing it today.

JDM: Yes. He won every award there is to win. And he took-

JF: Top ratings.

JDM: Top ratings. Glen and Wayne and I were together just a few years ago, and he mentioned to Wayne, he said, "Yeah, I told our buddy here that he's making a huge mistake hiring Coyote Calhoun." And then what's he do? He becomes number one, brings that station to number one in the market.


JF: Well HAS radio had gotten to the number one status over WAVE, and then AMZ came along and it was a constant battle. It was nice, it was within the building of the same company, but it was always a ratings battle to see who was going to be number one.

JDM: Right.

JF: It was a tough battle.

JDM: Another thing that I learned-

JF: I didn't realize you had hired Coyote, that's amazing.

JDM: I did hire Coyote. And the ratings wars... The WAVE radio that was on then did very well and WHAS didn't do well, and I'll always remember one time, occasionally you would go on a call with a sales person.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: I went to this agency with one of the salesmen and this guy that ran the agency said, "Well, WHAS," he said, "You know?" And our rates were pretty high because we were a clear channel, 50,000 watt, and this fellow said, "You know? I don't need the Queen of Mary's boat to get across the river." So that hit us.


JF: Yeah.

JDM: But that's the kind of thing we were up against. As WAVE's people slowed down... And another thing that I learned from just doing reading about markets, I'd read everything, I read everything about radio markets that I could get my hands on, is that WAVE had very low rates for their ads even though they were up there.

JF: Wow. They were dominant, yeah.

JDM: And it hurt the market because if the big gun isn't charging more...

JF: Sure, yeah.

JDM: So that was another way they got things done. So anyway, it worked out for us, with what was being done then and we did fine. Before Hugh left, Ed had left.


JF: Ed Shepherd.

JDM: Yes. There were some strange things going on then.

JF: Before you... Let me talk. Well you mentioned sales. Sales was also a very dominant force of WHAS [crosstalk].

JDM: Yes it was.

JF: And a very strong sales department that worked well with the programming department, which was a little unusual in radio at that time.

JDM: Pretty well.

JF: Do you remember who... Well, pretty well.

JDM: Pretty well.

JF: But guys like Jim Topmiller.

JDM: Oh, Jim Topmiller.

JF: Bob [Scheer 01:01:28], and Jerry Solomon, and Pete-

JDM: Kurt Smith.

JF: Kurt Smith, yeah all of those guys. They were very, very high professional people, really, and did a great job.

JDM: They really were, they really were, until I became program director.

JF: [crosstalk]

JDM: Oh, man.

JF: I interrupted you there. You said... You had talked about Hugh had left-

JDM: We were going about... Yeah. Hugh left and-

JF: And Shadburne left.

JDM: And my... Calling all the people that I remember and could get ahold of, there was a fellow up in sales, in TV, who's still around. His name is Bob Taylor. And Bob Taylor and I go to the same church, so we've known each other a 62:00long time. So he started telling me about what was going on upstairs, because he was in a position to be the sales manager for TV. But Shadburne had left and Fred Osler was brought in as the person over everything.

JF: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: Fred Osler had no broadcasting experience at all.

JF: He was a newspaper guy, wasn't he? With the Bingham family.

JDM: Yeah. You were there when Fred was there.

JF: I believe so, yes.

JDM: Yes. Fred was just different, he wanted to make buddies with all of us. He 63:00wanted to make buddies with all of us. But there was what was supposed to be... They did a big study and they sent these questions... Now they do it on computers, but in those days they sent this confidential study that you were to fill out, it had all the names of the people there in any kind of management position, and you would fill out what you thought about this person, good or bad and all that.

JF: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: Well, it wasn't confidential. Not at all. The fellow that I know that's here, he told me, he was upstairs then and he overheard what was going on and he went through the whole... He heard the whole thing. So I'm sure that's why Hugh 64:00left, because the people who don't understand radio the way we understand radio. When you've got that television influence and the newspaper influence, then they don't see it the way we see it and see the growth sometimes.

So Hugh left, he went to a station that was owned by Gene Autry. Gene Autry owned a lot of radio stations back in those days.

JF: Singing cowboy.

JDM: Yes. Gene wasn't around then, but they still were in the name of Gene Autry. He went up in the Detroit area and he wasn't there long before he was hired by Cox Broadcasting... Or, no. By a broadcaster in Syracuse, Newman was 65:00the family that owned that. They owned a lot of newspapers then. He went there, so that meant that here I was with Fred Osler and great people on the air. We still had great people on the air.

They didn't even post the requirements, "Here's what you do as program director," so you're really not sure how far you go with this. But the one thing I did know was that I would be held accountable for the people we hired. So we really lucked out on that.

JF: What was your lineup? You had Perkey in the morning. Who was doing mid-days then?

JDM: I was still doing mid-days.

JF: Oh, so you were doing 9:00 to noon?


JDM: No, I was doing convoluted hours, I think. I don't think we'd gone down to 9:00 to noon yet, because we had... Oh, yeah. Because we had Burbank come in.

JF: Okay.

JDM: That's right. We had Gary in the afternoon, and then I don't remember who went between me and Gary.

JF: Let's see. When I left, who was the fellow's name? I can't think of his name right now but I...

JDM: But we had somebody there. But maybe I was still doing the 10:00 to 3:00. Anyway, I had to replace... When Gary Burbank was hired by Hugh, and I guess I can tell this story, that Gary made a mistake, made some mistakes on his log. We 67:00have a log that you have to put-

JF: The Federal Communications Commission.

JDM: The Federal Communications Commission.

JF: For billing purposes and statements and all that stuff.

JDM: Exactly. If people are buying commercials on your station, the log... It was up to the announcer or the personality to mark the exact time that it ran. An issue, really.

JF: Yeah, sure.

JDM: So it was very important that we kept that log-

JF: It's a statement, it's legal. It's legal.

JDM: Absolutely. Well, the radio stations... I guess TV, I don't know. But what radio stations, WHAS, we were recording all the time. I didn't even know that.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: I mean, I guess I learned somewhere along the way. And it made sense.

JF: Yeah. Just recorded it 24 hours.

JDM: But that way you could go back and check them.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And they did that periodically. They would get people from U of L to come in and just sit in a room and go through that with the log to make sure that everything was done right. Well, Gary had missed some commercials that did not 68:00get played.

JF: But he'd written it down that it had.

JDM: But he wrote it down that they had been. Well that's a big... That's really big, when you're working for a very, very quality company that the Binghams ran. And that's when... I went through Jim Topmiller being manager. I'll back up a little bit. Jim Topmiller was manager for a while, and then Fred Osler decided to bring in somebody who was over Jim to run radio. I don't know what her title was but I got along with her okay... Fine. But it kept things in place.


JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: I remember Jim Topmiller taking me to lunch one day, I thought, "Well, this is great." Apparently I had complained to Glen about... Glen Bastin, our news director and my friend, saying that we had all these programs on with the churches; the churches all paid for that. Well they were all on and all... As they are now.

JF: Sunday mornings.

JDM: Sunday mornings and then Sunday... They started playing Sunday afternoons and evenings. And we had to write to the Super Bowl. Now, granted, today everything's on TV. But back then not everybody watched TV.

JF: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And especially if you had people out in the car, that's what WHAS was. If it was big, it was on WHAS.


JF: Yeah.

JDM: So I mentioned that I couldn't talk Jim out of that, and apparently my friend Glen went up and told Bob Morris, who was then the manager over everything. He must've talked to Jim Topmiller about it, and Jim Topmiller came out of the upstairs office, came across over to where I was and says, "C'mon, we're having lunch." Then walking on the way to lunch he says, "You know? You're pretty high paid. You're paid higher than any other program director in this market, and we need to get along here." And I said, "I agree, I agree." So I learned a lesson. That's a lesson you learn, if you do disagree with it don't spread it around. You just don't talk about it.

And I didn't... Jim Topmiller was amazing to me. One time under Osler... Oh, 71:00under Campbell, this was. I think it was. We all went to the agency that handled the national advertising for WHAS radio, and interestingly enough it was called Clear Channel because they represented-

JF: Oh, clear channel stations.

JDM: Clear channel stations. And we went to New York. Well, Jim Topmiller could go in there and he'd talk with those highfalutin' guys, and he had them just like this. But I could go with him to the biggest farmer in Kentucky, and he had them just like this.

JF: Jim was the sales manager. That was his-

JDM: He was the sales manager and he just had that right personality. And I was so sorry when he passed away. I remember going to the hospital, and nobody's supposed to be in there except family, but his wife was there and she saw me and 72:00she waved me on in, and I got to speak to him before he passed on. So there were good people.

But we went through that, and then we... With Gary-

JF: Gary left because of that, didn't he? He had just-

JDM: He did.

JF: Because he had come from a rock and roll background at WAKY at one time.

JDM: Yes. Right.

JF: And for the station to hire him was a big move at the time.

JDM: It was a great move.

JF: Yes.

JDM: Very, very great...

JF: Very creative guy.

JDM: It was just part of the thing of most people wouldn't even have... But he wanted to come back to-

JF: Because HAS was not exactly state, it wasn't that. It was more adult oriented and he'd been rock and roll.

JDM: Yes. Right.

JF: And here he brought these characters in and did everything. He was wonderful.

JDM: Well, he was. He really was.

JF: A good guy, too.

JDM: And he worked so hard at it.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: But you understood why he could miss something. And what he wanted was a producer.


JF: Because he's on the air. He's having to do all of his bits and play records, and still-

JDM: Somebody else to take the log and make sure that everything was done.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: Which now, on the radio, everybody has one. So he went to this Bill, who was the station manager, in fear and said, "I need a producer." "Oh, we can't have that. We can't afford it." He said, "Take it out of my paycheck."

JF: Gary said that?

JDM: Yeah. He said, "Take it out of my pay." And Bill said, "No, I can't do that. I'd have to do it with everybody, then everybody would want to do it." So then he called a meeting with Gary later, not more than a few days later, and he said, "Gary, you can't do that. You just can't do that. You have to keep the 74:00log. You have to keep the log. Now, you're still with us. We want you to stay, but if you ever do that again I'll fire you." And Gary stood up and said, "Well, I wouldn't want to put that pressure on you. I guess I'd better find another place," and walked out.

JF: Oh my goodness.

JDM: And I was there. That's exactly what happened. I was sitting in that room. It was horrible, it was the only time I can remember when I was in any kind of business where... When Gary came in, he brought, I don't think it was an attorney, it was just a fellow that could help him with what he was doing, and there was an agreement on how he was leaving and everything, and I signed it. I said, "That's fine." When he walked out, I cried.


JF: Oh, you did? Yeah.

JDM: I had to shut my door to my little office, and then the tears came out.

JF: Yeah, he was a wonderful talent. And what a-

JDM: What a great person. My wife and I got to know them very well.

JF: Now he was from... His wife from here.

JDM: His wife was from here, and he wanted to be here and she wanted to be here. And he had a son, I know, I don't know if he had other kids, from a previous marriage.

JF: One son, I think.

JDM: Yeah, one son, and he was in Tennessee where Gary was from. He'd be closer to his son. So that was a tough time.

JF: Because he went a couple of other places. He wound up in Cincinnati at WLW and had a probably 25, 30-year career there, and did great.

JDM: Yes, he did. Yes, he did.

JF: He just retired, just recently.

JDM: Very recently. And I didn't hear this, but a friend of mine told me that they were listening to Terry Meiners about two or three weeks ago on a Tuesday 76:00afternoon. I remember that because I saw him on a Tuesday evening. He said, "I heard your name on the radio," and I said, "No, you didn't." He said, "Yeah. That guy, Gary Burbank, that used to be here?" "Yeah." Well he said, "Well, Terry Meiners had him on the phone." And apparently he's been inducted into the Hall of Fame for Broadcasters.

I said, "Oh, that's great." And they said something about you, I don't know what it was. But Gary knew I was on his side, he really knew that.

JF: A great guy.

JDM: Yeah. He was and he did well.

JF: And still is, does great stuff. Well, I'll tell you what. We probably ought to start wrapping up here. We've covered how you got here and what you've done. Anything else you want to talk about here? You had some great experiences and you went on to... You left HAS and went to WAVE radio for a while, didn't you?

JDM: Well, I did. I was having some really, really... Health problems. And I was 77:00out for quite a period of time, I was not there. So by then we'd gone through... Oh, while I was still there there was whoever had been station manager. Oh, this woman left.

JF: Donna Zapata? Was that Donna Zapata?

JDM: Donna Zapata, yes.

JF: Yeah, Donna Zapata.

JDM: Donna Zapata. I used to pick her up every once in a while, we lived close to each other, and for some reason, maybe her car was in the shop or something, and I would take her and pick her up and her two children, a son and a daughter, and take them to their schools first and then we'd go downtown. That daughter, that's another tragic story. She was murdered in, I believe it was in Phoenix where she was living. She was in a group.

JF: A musical group. I remember that.


JDM: A musical group, yes. And she was the singer. They were doing great, they were just busting out.

JF: And I think we got a little sidetracked, but Donna... You had mentioned she was in charge. That was a first, too, in this market.

JDM: Yes.

JF: To have a woman who was doing that, was a [crosstalk].

JDM: Oh, yes. Yes. That was very... I had a guru in my life, from Dayton, Ohio, that I worked with. So I'd call him often and say, "What do I do about this?" So I called him about his and he said, "Well," the funniest thing. He said... The Old Man, that's what we called the guy who owned the station and ran it, in Dayton. He said, "The Old Man..." And this guy had stayed there and became manager of it. He said, "The Old Man sent me to a two-week course up at Harvard about management." And I said, "Really?" And I said, "Yeah." And he said, "You 79:00know what I learned? Women can do what we men can do."

JF: Wow.

JDM: Just to gouge me. Just to gouge me. And it turned out that we did get along well.

JF: Donna was a good lady.

JDM: Yeah. So we went from there.

JF: Well you had quite a-

JDM: Then I went through this period of illness and I decided... I went back, and by then my office was over by where you come in the front door of the Courier Journal building, or the HAS building.

JF: Sixth and Chestnut.

JDM: There was a little office there on the right side.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And they put me over there, and I thought, "I can't do this. I just can't do this." So I decided that I would leave.

JF: What year was that? Do you remember what year it was?

JDM: I don't remember. I should.

JF: Probably in the '80s sometime.

JDM: Well... And by then, another-


JF: Or was that in the '90s sometime? Was that in the '90s?

JDM: '80s. It was in the '80s. A salesperson had been named manager, one that was there then. And he's the one that was making more money than... Or, I was making more money than him when he was hired, according to this Bill Campbell, who preceded him. I thought that was pretty good, and then I thought, "Well, maybe that's not so good." But he and I didn't get along real well. I could tell that. It had to be a problem for him because here I am, the program director, and I'm out and he's trying to be a manager, so they hired somebody else to come in. So I just got to say it's time to give it up. So that's when I left.

And then I was going to school to be a real estate. And my wife was real estate, we were a great team. Ed Henson called me, and they owned... Which then became WAVG, they had bought it.


JF: Oh yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative). Because radio and television had separated over [crosstalk]

JDM: Yes, exactly.

JF: Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: But they were still in the same building. So I went over there and it was just what I needed, Jack. It was just what I needed. Great people over there. One that everybody still knows, John Asher.

JF: Oh, yeah.

JDM: John is one of those fellows that... He could do a little bit of everything.

JF: He was a man that-

JDM: Everything he did, he did well.

JF: Sports probably, with you, I think. And news at HAS, now he's at Churchill Downs.

JDM: You're right. After he went to... And I recommended him, I told... That's when the new news director was there, and I told him, "You won't get a better guy." So then John Asher called me and said, "Well, WDRB," the TV station, 82:00wanted him to come. Because when they first went on the air, they weren't doing any new or sports or anything, but they were beginning to get into that and they wanted to cover sports. John was a heavy guy, he was a big guy.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: I said, "John, here's what I suggest," because he was already doing things out of Churchill Downs. I said, "If you want to continue doing play-by-play, do the horse races and everything, the news director will let you do that. He will work around you so that you can do that." And I knew him well. So he stayed with WHAS until he got that job.

JF: Yeah, he did. Yeah.

JDM: Got the job there. As they say, happily ever after.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: Some of the other people I had to hire quickly. One fellow is on the 83:00CBS-owned station in St. Louis. That had, for years, had this St. Louis...


JDM: KMOX, clear channel.

JF: Yeah.

JDM: 50,000 watt. And he's still doing the morning drive there.

JF: That's Doug McKelvin.

JDM: Doug McKelvin.

JF: Doug McKelvin. Yeah, that's right.

JDM: Another one was... A guy I hired to be a fill-in guy, and then when AMZ was going along, we wanted to add to WAMZ, so I got him on WAMZ and that was... You know him.

JF: Bill Cody.

JDM: Bill Cody.

JF: Who's now doing WSM in Nashville.


JF: He's the big voice in Nashville [crosstalk]

JDM: Nashville, yes. Still doing WSM in Nashville. And you see these things happen to people that came through, that change, and you can't help but feel 84:00good about it.

JF: Sure.

JDM: I know we have to wrap this up, and I know this, that my Melloy name is spelled strangely. It's not M-A and it's not M-U and it's not M-0. It's something else. So I told my Dad we must be special, and he said, "No, somebody misspelled it along the way over here."

Well now there's a little reunion that takes place with our Melloy's, the way we spell it, once a year. They started asking people to let them know what they've done or what they do, or this kind of thing. So they ask me to do that, and I went over, and you know what hit me, is that common sense has a big role in what 85:00you do with your life. I was raised in a house where when church was open, we were there.

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: And I got to be involved in the church. If I wanted to play the violin, I could play the violin. Of course, then, you didn't have to pay to be in the orchestra in school. Now you do. And you didn't have to pay for your instrument, it was there. And the same in high school. But we were just people that had common sense, just common sense that, "Well, this is the right thing to do."

JF: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

JDM: It doesn't mean you're not going to make mistakes, and I made a lot of them. But common sense... Sometimes we want to get ahead of common sense. Do you know what I mean?

JF: Yep.

JDM: I want to do something bigger and better, or special. And you do. You do want to make sure that what you're doing is going to work going forward. So, 86:00when they asked me to do this, that's what I told them. Of course, my brother, my older brother was sitting there with his wife, and he had done a presentation before because of a hobby he has... He's done a wonderful job, been written up in papers and everything for what he does.

They make wood... They do wooden toys for handicap people. And now they give them to all the different organizations in Indianapolis that have children like that, and they had done so many of these that they had to find a warehouse to put them in as they built them. Well, what a thing to do! Common sense. And he did very well, he went from Indiana Bell, in the early days, ended up with AT&T, 87:00and he retired from there with A-plus. He did very well. His son, his oldest son, is now a vice president of AT&T.

JF: Well, how about that?

JDM: Now, there are no magic genes... We didn't have any money, at all. When I grew up, we didn't have any money, nobody left me money, there wasn't anything there, but we did have common sense and we really believed, when we went to church, it really meant something. And that's how I look at things now. I got away from my life during a period of time, and I finally got back to the way my life should be.

JF: The common sense.

JDM: People like you that sure help me.


JF: Well, we've had some great times. And HAS was a big part of that, putting things together and people together.

JDM: Yep.

JF: Well, Jerry, it's great to see you, man. Great to visit with you. And I'm sure there are many, many more stories we could tell, but we got a bunch of them here.

JDM: Well, I can't wait to hear them all.

JF: Thanks for taking the time.

JDM: Well, thank you for even inviting me. I got a little nervous about this.

JF: You did fine.

JDM: Well we ran into each other's Starbucks Friday.

JF: Yep.

JDM: I said, "What do I do?"

JF: Well, you got your notes. You did well.

JDM: I got my notes, yes.

JF: All right. Well, thank you. We'll wrap it up here. Thanks very much, Jer.