"Online since 1999"
radio and growing up in New Orleans in the 50's, 60's and 70's!
Bob, your site is like an oasis in the desert! Awesome site! For those of us who cut our rock 'n' roll teeth on 'NOE and 'TIX, your contribution to the www is HUGE! ! Thanks! Listen, one of my hobbies back then was collecting radio station surveys. I've got a number of TIX and WNOE surveys from the late '60s into the '70s. I've not seen any of the old surveys posted on your site. Didn't know if you had any or not, but, I'd be glad to donate them to someone like yourself, IF your're interested.
Again, great job. BTW, I live in the New York City area now. My station here is CBSfm. It's been a thrill over the last 15 years that I've been here to listen to guys like Cousin Brucie, Dan Ingram, and Ron Lundy. These were guys I used to pick up at night on my radio while listening from my bedroom over in Gretna. Cool, huh? I get back to NO about twice a year to see family. And in late April when I was there last, I'd noticed you'd gone from TKL over to TIXfm. Good move. Even before you went there, on my New Orleans trips, I preferred TIXfm over TKL. You're sounding better than ever! I just wish TIXfm had streaming audio! Hollar at me if you're interested in some old surveys!
Wow...nice email like yours makes my day! I was the one who would layout all those Top-40 surveys every week for the printer from 1969-1975. I even snapped the cover pics of the DJ's in the years that we featured a different pic every week. Thanks for the offer but I've seen all of them enough, and still have a few here. If you look, I do have two TIX surveys and one WNOE survey posted for viewing on my N.O. Radio Shrine startup page. And if you were able to hear those NYC radio greats from your bedroom in Gretna, that must have been one helluva longwire antenna. The furthest stations I think I ever picked up in my AM monitoring days were XERF (Wolfman Jack), WLS Chicago, KOMA Oklahoma City and WLAC Nashville (Ernie's Record Mart and Randy's Record Shop). Must have better skip into Gretna.
Yeah, leaving TKL was the best decision I ever made...the juices are flowing again after two really bad and depressing years dealing with out of town ignorant and unconcerned corporate idiots, robots, morons and A-Holts. Believe me, corporate out of towners have no real interest in any station's format or history. It's just a piece of property in any format, whose only purpose is to be maintained passively, plundered and bled dry for 2-3 years before selling it to another outfit that does the same thing all over again. All the while playing the same old tired out 200 songs that are played everywhere else. Mindless sheep following each other in circles.
I was blessed to have been there when radio was fun...when we didn't have to tell you that it was fun to listen!
Royal Castle & Krystal Hamburgers * Adams Double Dip Ice Cream * Hanson Sno Bliz * Richards Grill on Magazine * Southern Tavern * Mid City Bowling Alley * New Basin Canal * National, Beacon, Lakeview Theaters * Lyceum, Civic & St. Charles Theaters * Meal A Minit * Buck Forty Nine Steak House * Dairy Queens * Tulane Stadium * Maison Blanche * Under the clock at Holmes * Fitzgerald's Restaurant (West End) * Gluck's Restaurant * Blue Room * Parisian Room on Royal Street * Monkey Bar on Canal * Brass Rail * Pennny Arcades on Canal and Royal Streets * The President Paddlewheel Boat at the foot of Canal St. * Abe's General Merchandise (Pawn Shop on Canal) * Audubon Tea Room * Ding Ding the vendor at all types of events * Magazine streetcar * The Half Moon * Cadillac Club (Poland & St. Claude) * Hazel's Po-Boys on Carrollton * St. Charles Hotel * Norby's Restaurant on Laurel St. * Dorian's Record Shop on Magazine at Jefferson Ave. * Swamp Room on Canal * Musso's Piano Bar (Jeff Davis & Canal) * 5 Cent Phone Calls.
Ding Ding the vendor!!! Wish I had a picture of him to post. And I think I was introduced to Krystal hamburgers at the one on the Canal Street side of the Roosevelt Hotel on University Place, across from the Orpheum. They only cost 7 cents!
ANDREW IN NEW ORLEANS:
I remember watching Saturday Hop with John Pela. I also remember watching Eddies Three Way on channel 26. What ever happened to the Hazel Romano Dancers and Tony Bevenetto Dancers?
Eddie's Three Way Record Shop...a 70's TV advertising icon right up there with Al Scramuzza's Bayou Seafood Company and Seafood City! And I suppose those particular Hazel Romano Dancers and Tony Bevenetto Dancers from the early Saturday Hop days are now giving performances for their fellow residents at some old folks home!
I'm class of '78 myself. Love your website. Remember Mel Leavitt hosting Prep Quiz Bowl? Seems like Brother Martin was always one of the teams. How about saving the green Union coffee bags - save six get one free. Collecting Top Value stamps at Winn Dixie - we used to fight over who would get to lick & stick 'em in the books. How about the smell of coffee from the Luzianne plant on Gentilly by the Industrial Canal.
Mel Leavitt probably knew the Crusaders by name from all those visits to Prep Quiz Bowl...and the contestants from Cor Jesu before the merge with St. Aloysius to become Brother Martin. Remember before the Top Value stamps we all collected S&H Green Stamps? But they never quite stuck to the pages in the redemption books no matter how much we licked them. And that delicious smell from the Luzianne plant in Gentilly told us we were on the way to a few fun days "across da lake" in Waveland! Union coffee...were they the ones that had the black & white commercials at the neighborhoods "shows" (probably before your time) with the robed judge wearing the curly and flowing white wig, who pounded his gavel and said "Be coffee wise!" ??
Just thanks for the memories!
Thanks for sharing!
Bob, I grew up in and around New Orleans as the son of a Neighborhood Barroom owner who owned Pancho's Restaurant and Bar, which faced the corners of Nelson and Dante St., in the Carrollton section. It was a local "Joint" that catered to the neighbors. What I remember was getting the ol' 45's from the juke box man when it came time to change 'em out. Also, we all had our regular hang-out.....mine was the Rainbow Inn on Jefferson Hwy. Lots of great times were had there and also the chance of picking up a drag-race or two to try out your car before goin' up to Laplace Dragway on a Sunday.
I grew up in Carrollton too, and my dad frequently visited the neighborhood bars, especially Max's Tavern at Oak and Cambronne, and Buddy Fuch's Bar at Oak and Dante, where the roast beef po-boys were the neighborhood's greatest. He didn't venture out too far, so I don't recall him visiting Pancho's on the other side of Claiborne Ave. But to paraphrase W.C. Fields..."My daddy was the reason I started drinking...and I'm eternally grateful to him!" And I know if you hung out at the Rainbow Inn (it's still there!), you must know how to shoot pool. Hope you enjoyed Laplace Dragway with Big Daddy Don Garlits on "SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!" We used to blow out our vocal cords recording those radio commercials on WTIX.
My grandmother owned the bar and the building at Maple and Carrollton which is now Madigan's, and I grew up in the building behind it on Maple Street. Many times she hit up the TAC Amusement jukebox service man for used records for me...many of which I played over the next 30 years on the radio! Small world, isn't it?
ROSE FROM GENTILLY:
My friend Carol (see first Email page - Carol from Chilly Gentilly) has it all spelled out and yes we were never home but what a great time we had. When I worked for Zale's Jewelers on Gentilly and Elysian Fields, Benny Spellman used to come in all the time just a' singing. Can anyone tell me where he is located today, what a nice man he was. Sure hope he is still around.
Benny Spellman was a great guy. I loved watching him perform, with his lacey shirt, clapping his hands and saying in that deep voice: "You're lookin' GOOD!" No wonder you saw him there...Bennie lived in Gentilly, in that subdivision over the Gentilly Rd. bridge right behind that first shopping center on the left. We went to his house there more than once to contract him for the Mater Dolorosa CYO dances of the first half of the '60's.
Benny left in the '70's then came back to New Orleans around 1990 to live, after a few years working in another city. I was on Oldies 106.7 then, doing the Sunday Night Oldies Party broadcast at Good Time Charlie's at Williams and Sunset (now Joe Yenni Blvd.). On my birthday, August 2, 1992, Benny Spellman and Ernie K-Doe just happened to stop by to talk business with the owners. Of course, I knew Benny and Ernie from a long time ago. They found out it was my birthday, and they sang "Happy Birthday" to me at their table, with the same sound and harmony they had together on "Mother-In-Law" and other hits. To this day I curse that I didn't have a recorder to capture that short, magical performance.
Now K-Doe has left us, and I heard Benny had a stroke in the mid-90's and is now living with family members in the midwest. But we all have our special memories of both of them.
RICHARD DELACROIX (KNIGHT):
Hi Bob, I was just looking over your Your web site again and happened across the "Neighborhood Shows" It brought to mind 2 that I remember from the past and thought I'd pass them along to you if you're interested. One was the Tiger Theater on Franklin Ave at Abundance St. (right at the foot of the overpass) and a theater I used to go to when I was a kid MANY years ago. It was the Laurel Theater, and was on Laurel St. and Austerlitz St. I grew up on Austerlitz St and the Laurel and Napoleon Theaters were my "Shows." Last time I passed where the Laurel Theater was it was an old warehouse. Well, that's about it, but I still enjoy looking around your web site.......
Seems people told me there was one helluva good pizza place next to the Tiger on Franklin Avenue but that was too far from Carrollton Avenue for me to run! Too bad the "Nabes" (theater slang for neighborhood shows) are gone. I miss them!
And what was a kid from Austerlitz Street doing over by the "bad kids" on Franklin Avenue??
NORM WILLY (CASEY O'CONNOR):
Bob ...In doing an Internet search for info on Marshall Pearce, I ran across your Web site. It's great! Back in the 60s, I was the Norm Willy you have listed as being on WSMB. I had the opportunity to work with Marshall, Roy, Jeff, Jerry Valence, Bob Nelson and Keith Rush, who I understand is still working in New Orleans. I was sorry to hear that Roy and Jeff and Larry Regan died a couple of years ago. After leaving WSMB, I moved to Florida where I worked for a time with David Nebel (WTIX alumnus) at a station in Pensacola. I worked under the name Casey O'Connor and later had it legally changed. The last I heard, David (who ended up in the restaurant business managing Rosie O'Grady's in Pensacola), was running the Executive Club restaurant in that city. I did return to WSMB for a time in the 80s and worked briefly as Program Director and News Director after Marshall left and Rosalie Pergantis was running the station.
I was raised on West End Blvd. and have faint memories of the New Basin Canal with its high levees and streetcar tracks that ran in from Bucktown. I had not started school at St. Dominic (Harrison Avenue) yet but recall when they filled the canal and left this huge "neutral ground" - (Now there's a New Orleans term). The intention as I remember was to have the Causeway cross the lake and empty onto an expressway between Pontchatrain Blvd. and West End. After school, we used to play ball on that neutral ground watching grounders hop and jump over the rip rap (roots and cement) used as fill. But those were great days. And then they built a huge concrete Civil Defense bunker on the neutral ground out near Robert E. Lee.
I went to Jesuit and will always remember those Catholic League football games at City Park Stadium - especially the ones between Jesuit and De La Salle or Holy Cross. There were more than a few games with crowds up near 22,000. I was a freshman at Jesuit when Pat Screen was a senior quarterback and Rusty Staub was just starting out. And after graduation, I recall watching that famous Jesuit basketball team that was built by Kevin Trower and went on to win the state championship under Dick Francis, averaging more than 100 points per game. I remember listening to the championship game with Bruce Miller doing the play by play on WDSU.
I ended up at WSMB and was fortunate to work with a group of guys that were heroes of sorts when I was young. While in grammar school, WTIX was THE station. It was there that I first heard Marshall Pearce and David Nebel. When Hurricane Betsy struck in 1965 ... I became infatuated with Roy and Jeff ... and David was over there as was Marshall. When the power went out and all the towers went down, it was SMB that kept everybody up to date on generator power. It was that week of emergency broadcasting that pushed SMB to the top of the ratings and told me I wanted to be in radio ... and I got the opportunity as a result of a chance meeting with Keith Rush and a good word put in by Barbara Elliott. As you know, she was married to Bill Elliott (1825 Tulane) and it was their daughter who was the voice for the Rosenberg commercials. Barbara put in the good word because at the time I was dating Karen Hebert (New Orleans Ballet) and Karen's mom and dad were good friends with Barbara and Bill. SMALL WORLD.
Anyway ... this is running forever ... but I ended up at SMB and worked with John Vath, Marshall, Richard Fahey, Richie Delacroix, Keith Rush, Larry Regan, Jerry Valence ... and the list goes on. I later had the opportunity to handle play by play for University of New Orleans basketball and baseball which was broadcast over a 3-year period over WSMB, WWL (NIT games) and in my last year over WTIX. I think Kenny Trahan did it after I left. Take care!
Wow, Norm, what a life! You realize by the end of the '80's the powerhouse WSMB was gutted by ignorant out of town corporate radio as*holes and A-holts and brought down so far that it was sold at auction. And the beat goes on today. But "we was there" when radio was fun and owners were sincerely interested in the market. My year working at 'SMB is a treasured memory (1967). By the way, during my years at De La Salle (Class of '63) we did beat Jesuit in football...once. Thanks for a great letter from another old N.O. radio warhorse and best wishes to you and your family over there in the Orlando area!
BILL DUNCAN, Temple, GA:
Hi Bob...Steve Farrington sent me the link to your site, and may I say it's a lot of fun and memories, like the day I walked into the old WTIX studios and there you were on the air smoking a pipe! That was sometime in Aug. '75. I was working in New Iberia at KANE and was coming back from vacation at my home in Atlanta. I was friends with Mark Sommers and he invited me to visit the station whenever I could. I did, and there you were. I also met Bob Mitchell. I knew Lou Saint from a phone conversation we had in early '74. I was working at WULF in Alma, GA. way down in the swamps about 100 miles from the coast. The "Big WULF" was on a local freq., but we signed it off at midnight anyway. A friend and I that night at the station were fooling around with the air-raid monitor and caught 'TIX. We both decided to call the station, and we both yakked with him for quite a while. I believe he had left WTIX by the time I came by. In fact, I think he was at WOAI. I waved at you. I remember the window out to the reception room was on your left as you faced the board, I think was a Gates President or Executive. That vacation to Atlanta led to my landing a gig at WAPE. While at home, I went to WFOM in Marietta to apply for a job. The PD there, Paul Sebastion, was friends with John Long, PD at WAPE. He played my A/C down the phone to John and in Oct.'75, I was on the air at KANE and I got a call from John asking me how soon I could get there! I said "How about three hours ago?" I sent Mark a big pack of stuff on the station, formats, music lists, etc.
Bob, sorry this is such a long note, but we actually never spoke back then. I'll get outta here for now. Hope to hear from you soon. I am working at WSB FM here in Atlanta (B98.5) doing weekends and fill-ins. Stay well and happy. All the best.
BOB: Yes, Bill, I did seduce olfactories from 1969-2000 with my pipe...Captain Black (white pack) blend. And you know I wanted to cut it off before I possibly got some lung disease but, damn, I miss that pipe and the cotton candy smell of Captain Black. Some days at WTIX somebody would open the studio door and have to grope around because the pipe tobacco was so thick! Thanks for writing and I'll tell Lou Saint hi for you wheneverthehell I see him again. New York Marc Sommers too.
CARL ENNER, Alexandria, LA:
Bob....in the mid' 60's it became a nightly ritual in our house to watch Nash Roberts' weather on Channel 6....not for the weather--unless there was a hurricane coming....but rather for the animated "Jax" beer commericals with the dog....
Weather ain't the same without old Nash. Jax had another memorable commercial run after the "dog" years, featuring "Andrew Fabacher," a Andrew Jackson lookalike who rode around town on a horse (!) promoting Jax Beer in the late 60's and early 70's. They could have gotten my dad out of the bottle shop and on the horse for a lot less money!
J. MICHAEL TUCKER, Middleburg, VA:
Dear Mr. Walker, I recently had an attack of homesickness up here in Middleburg, Virginia and decided to research on what became of WTIX and the original history of the station. I was absolutely delighted to find your synopsis of what 'TIX was all about and the great contribution the station and staff gave to New Orleans and the world. It was also a relief that this great tradition continues and brings joy to people through the power and reach of the Internet. Please keep up the good work. Both you and the station were a big part of my life in the late 1970's at LSU. My fraternity brothers and I regularly tuned to the station as we cruised sorority row in my 1970 LeMans convertible. What great and cherished memories. In addition, I called the station and you recommended Jim Russell's Rare Records as the source for my own great oldies. Mr. Russell was quite a character. I hope and pray that he is doing well and continues to inspire young people and the young at heart. Once again, thank you for all the joy and happiness that you and the station have brought into this world. God Bless you all. I sure would like to hear those special oldies up here. These (corporate radio) a-holts up here do not have a clue about what good music is about.
Hey, glad to make another Tiger smile. Bet you even parked with one of those sorority gals by the LSU lake once or twice. Save that 1970 LeMans. It'll be worth money one day!
JIM CHANDLER SR., Member of the ESQUIRES
Fellow Inductee into the LA Music & Entertainment Hall Of Fame
with the Esquires, group inducted April 2000:
I absolutely love this site. If anyone could find a way to keep the music and memories alive, I knew you would. I have been so fortunate in my lifetime to be associated with these artists and performers. When the Sparks entered the Hall of Fame, JV and Don asked me to be the bass player on the trip. Two years later, the Esquires were inducted, and that was my day as well as all my band buddies, and Tijonne, and Skip and others. But, the lasting memories are the brothers and sisters we lost. Henri, Dave, Jackel, Joe West, Barry five (5) gone, from the Jokers Roland, my mentor and sponser Gerry Laborde, now Don from the Sparks.
On my web site, I list all that I can remember that I played backed up or sat in with. In conversation it always surfaces, that music united every color and gender and origin, a long time before courts and street wars. I would back Bobby Mitchell at Club Pimlico on S Broad, then one night he took all 6 of us white boys to Whitney Barconies Club 57 on N Claiborne to sit in with him. When we entered, a pin could have been heard to drop, but it was OK by Bobby, so it was a temporary stay of being asked to leave. Then we played, and Bobby sang and we were a part of the moment and no one was different.
Billy Bell and I were so drained when Roland and Frank Mollere were buried the same day, that we tried to get one more "Stay in Touch Party (Picnic) going, and a lot of the oldies came, but for reasons we can't control, will never be what it was at one time.
SOOO, we have you. You are a Diamond in My Necklace of Love and Care. Keep it going. It's like listening to Jack the Cat and Jackie the Kitten all over again, and Poppa Stoppa too.
The radio corporate power can try to shut it down, but can NEVER silence the greatest era in the history of music.
How fortunate you were to be a musician in the greatest era. The music and our friends will live on through us forever!
JIM CHANDLER SR., later that same night while surfing the site
and listening to our NEW ORLEANS JUKEBOX GOLD Internet Radio Shows:
Hey Again Bob, It's 4:00 AM, and you got me hooked. But it's OUR music again!!!!" Since 12:30 AM wow!!!!!
I have been reliving all the places in the Nostalga site, and the emails as well. It's very refreshing and inspiring. I must be old. I remember being at most of the places either playing music, eating, hanging out or making out.
What a trip...thanks. Did you remember Whitney Barcony's club 57 on Claiborne?? That was a first and and experience. Remind me to tell you what Little Richard said when he walked into Cosimo's Studio and heard Escarita doing Tutti Frutti...
Jim, I'm honored that you enjoyed the site. The Esquires have always been a local treasure themselves. Thanks for sharing...and I'm sure Little Richard uttered a memorable comment! Too bad I bet we can't post it! Escarita (or "Eskew Reeder") and Little Richard...definitely two birds of a feather!
Hi Bob, it's great to find your wonderful web site. Thanks for being out there. I'm trying to collect a list of all of those oldie line dance songs that you've been playing for New Orleanians for so long. I know that you could recite them with gracious ease, but living here in Houston the recall fades. Do you have, or would you send, a list of the songs you played on the radio every Sunday night at Good Time Charlie's? Can you fill in the other line dance songs we all like so much? I don't even need the artist names, just the titles. Thanks so much!
Hi Pat. Hope you had a chance to enjoy our offerings at Good Time Charlie's in person. Here are the line dances I used to do, as they sequenced directly off the cassette tape I used, and dedicated to our line dances King and Queen, Preston & Nina:
Harlem Shuffle - Bob & Earl (Harlem Shuffle)
Hully Gully Baby - Dovells (Hully Gully)
Cocaine - Eric Clapton (Freeze)
Gimme Some Lovin' - Spencer Davis Group (Fast Freeze)
Strokin' - Clarence Carter (Strokin')
Bop - Dan Seals (Tush Push)
Boogie Shoes - KC & The Sunshine Band (Bus Stop)
Pink Cadillac - Aretha Franklin (Pink Cadillac)
Others that popped up now and then:
Oak Tree - Morris Day & The Time (Oak Tree)
If You Don't Want Me To - Ronnie Milsap (Freeze)
Takin' Care Of Business - Bachman-Turner Overdrive (Fast Freeze)
The Letter - Box Tops (Faster Freeze)
Surfin' Bird - Trashmen (Fastest Freeze...nobody could keep up!)
Boot Scootin' Boogie - Brooks & Dunn (Boot Scoot)
Electric Slide - Marcia Griffiths ? (Electric Slide)
Achy Breaky Heart - Billy Ray Cyrus (Achy Breaky)
Friends In Low Places - Garth Brooks (Two Step)
Cotton Eyed Joe / Schottsie (Cotton Eyed Joe)
Jole Blon (Cajun Two Step)
The Macarena - Whatstheirnames (Macarena)
I am particularly fond of my experiences at "the Beach." My family won a new 1958 Ford Fairlane at the Beach in the summer of 1958. I remember the experience very well, even today. I also worked at the Beach in the summers of '65 and '66. It was a grand experience that continues to provide good memories!
Congrats to you all on winning the Fairlane. I KNOW it wasn't attached to the string pulls!!