Remembering Paul Harvey

Art Vuolo

Guest Commentary by Art Vuolo, “Radio’s Best Friend”
For over 6 decades, Art Vuolo has been Radio’s greatest champion. There isn’t a notable personality he hasn’t met and his camera has created the most comprehensive history of broadcasting in existence. In many cases, Art’s work is the only recording ever made of radio talent in action on the air. You can order many videos from his vast collection at Today, he remembers Paul Harvey, one of the great communicators of our era.

It’s hard to believe, but February 28, 2021 marks 12 years since the passing of radio’s most venerable news voice, Paul Harvey. Born Paul Harvey Aurandt in Tulsa, where his first on-air job was at the legendary KVOO-AM (1170). He died in Phoenix, AZ at age 90 on February 28, 2009. At its zenith, Paul Harvey News & Commentary was carried on over 600 stations nationwide and on Armed Forces Radio. Scott has already written about what a great salesman, Paul Harvey was. Few could deliver a product pitch better.

A rare video of, what turned out to be, his last address to the radio industry is viewable on YouTube. That speech was given at the 2003 Radio & Records Talk Radio Seminar at the Marina de Rey Marriott, the same place that the 10th anniversary Talk Show Boot Camp will convene one week from today.

An Interesting sidebar: My late mother, Amy Vuolo, actually made Paul Harvey’s famous “For What It’s Worth” department (his end-kicker story.) In 1974, she lectured for Weight Watchers which had bumper stickers that said “My Spare Tire is in the Trunk.” A member of her class put the sticker on her car, and someone broke into the trunk and stole the spare tire! True story.

And did you know: On September 9, 2004, less than two years after his memorable LA appearance, ABC News mistakenly sent down the line a prerecorded obit that Paul Harvey had died! That was over five years prior to his actual passing. The story was quickly squelched before being broadcast anywhere.

From the Feed:

Happy 16th blog birthday, to my good friend and radio consultant extraordinaire, Fred Jacobs. Here’s my very first blog post from Nov 11, 2004. Amazing how timeless these things can be.

Walt Disney World tightens up their masking policy. Guests must now keep them on at park restaurants, except when they are eating. Zorro Approves!

This New York jazz band is swingin memorable cartoon soundtrack music from the golden age of major studio animation.


Today in History:

A Bell System Ad from the flu epidemic of 1910

1885: Capitalized on only $100,000, AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) was incorporated to provide long distance service for American Bell.
1949: Frank Sinatra recorded ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and ‘Bali Ha’i,’ from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical ‘South Pacific,’ which opened on Broadway 38 days later. The songs were released in the spring as the A- and B-sides of a single with both sides charting, peaking at #6 and #18, respectively.
1953: Scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick, working in a Cambridge University laboratory, discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, the molecule that contains the human genes.
1963: John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote ‘From Me To You‘ on a bus while touring with singer Helen Shapiro.
1963: At RCA Victor’s Music Center of the World studios in Hollywood, Sam Cooke recorded ‘Another Saturday Night.’
1964: Peter & Gordon released ‘A World Without Love.’ It was one of only three times that Lennon-McCartney songs reached #1 in the U.S. by an artist other than the Beatles. The others were ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ by Elton John in 1974-75, and ‘Medley’ by Stars on 45 in 1981.
1966: The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, once the performing home of the Beatles during their early years, closed because of financial difficulties. Police were called in after more than 100 music fans barricaded themselves inside the club to protest its closure.
1970: After relatives of the late Ferdinand von Zeppelin threatened a lawsuit if the family name was used by the band in Denmark, Led Zeppelin performed in Copenhagen as the Nobs.
1970: At Nashville’s Woodland Recording Studios, Linda Ronstadt recorded ‘Long Long Time.’
1971: Johnny Cash was the surprised guest of honor on NBC-TV’s ‘This Is Your Life.’
1974: Singer (Montego Bay) Bobby Bloom died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 28.

SWAT – Rhythm Heritage – Reaches No.1

1976: The theme from the ABC-TV police series ‘S.W.A.T.‘ became the first television theme song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
1977: At the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Ray Charles was attacked onstage by an audience member who tried to strangle him with a rope. Witnesses claimed the man yelled out, ‘Ray Charles will see and the Lord will come tonight.’ Charles fought off the aggressor until security personnel intervened.
1977: Actor (The Jack Benny Program, Gone with the Wind, Cabin in the Sky, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World) Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson died of heart disease at age 71.
1983: Drawing more than 105-million viewers, the final original episode of ‘M*A*S*H‘ became the most-watched television program in history. That total was later surpassed by six Super Bowl telecasts, including Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, which was seen by a record 114.4-million television viewers.
1984: Doo-wop singer (You Belong To Me, My Own True Love, Have You Heard) Joey Vann (Joseph Canzano), lead vocalist of the Duprees, died at age 40.
1985: Singer (Easy Livin) David Byron, former lead vocalist of Uriah Heep, died after a heart attack at the age of 38.
1986: George Michael announced that Wham! would officially split during the summer.
1989: A memo written by Bryant Gumbel criticizing his ‘Today’ show co-workers was made public.
1991: The Record Plant recording studio in Hollywood closed. Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ album was among the major works recorded there.
1993: In Australia, the original Seekers performed together for the first time in 25 years.
1993: Actor Tony Curtis married the fifth of his six wives, Lisa Deutsch. They divorced in 1994.
1993: Dancer/actress (Colleen, 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Dames, Sweetheart of the Campus, Gold Diggers of 1933) Ruby Keeler died of cancer at 83.
1994: The Brady Law went into effect, imposing a waiting-period on people in the U.S. wishing to purchase a handgun.
1995: After a 16-month delay and billions of dollars in budget overruns, Denver International Airport opened.
1996: It was announced in London that Princess Diana had agreed to divorce Prince Charles.
1996: Singer/drummer Phil Collins left the band Genesis.
1999: Venus and Serena Williams became the first sisters to win World Tennis Association Tour events on the same day.
2005: In Burbank, California, filming began on ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.’
2005: Drummer/singer (Love Potion Number Nine, Needles And Pins) Chris Curtis of the Searchers died at the age of 63.
2007: The Doors were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Guitarist Robby Krieger and keyboardist Ray Manzarek were on hand. Drummer John Densmore did not attend the event.
2007: Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. died following a heart attack at 89.
2008: At Buckingham Palace in London, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal by Prince Charles.
2008: Singer/keyboardist (Over And Over, Because, Can’t You See That She’s Mine, Bits And Pieces, Glad All Over) Mike Smith, lead vocalist of the Dave Clark Five, died of pneumonia at age 64.
2011: Actress (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Fate Is the Hunter, The Outlaw) Jane Russell died of a respiratory-related illness at 89.
2016: Actor (Dallas, The Blue Knight, Sarge, Cool Hand Luke, Naked Gun movies, The Dirty Dozen, Airport) George Kennedy died at age 91.

Today’s Birthdays:

Joe South

1907: Milton Caniff, American cartoonist ‘Rembrandt of the Comic Strip’ (Terry & Pirates), born in Hillsboro, Ohio (d. 1988)
1923: Charles Durning, American actor (Fury, Sting, Tootsie), born in Highland Falls, New York (d. 2012)
1931: Gavin MacLeod, American actor (Murray-Mary Tyler Moore, Love Boat), born in Mt Kisco, New York
1940: Mario Andretti, Italian American race-car driver (1969 Indianapolis 500, 1978 Formula One World Champion), born in Montona, Italy
1940: Joe South, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (“Walk A Mile In My Shoes”), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2012)
1943: Donnie Iris [Dominic Ierace], American rock musician (The Cruisers), born in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
1943: Barbara Acklin [Allen], R&B singer (Love Makes a Woman), born in Chicago, Illinois
1946: Don Ciccone, (Four Seasons) (d. 2016)
1952: Jerry Hludzik (The Bouys) (d. 2020)
1957: Cindy Wilson, American rock vocalist (B-52’s-Love Shack), born in Athens, Georgia
1948: Bernadette Peters [Lazzara], actress (Jerk), born in Queens, New York
1955: Gilbert Gottfried, comedian (Beverly Hills Cop)

Much More Music:

Parallels.. Remakes and Reworks that worked..

“Nowhere to Run” – Martha & the Vandellas / Isley Brothers: Written and produced by Motown’s main production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, this Funk Brothers backed track was an ideal follow up to “Dancing in the Street” in 1965. One year later The Isley Brothers took a shot at it on their “This Old Heart of Mine” LP, a product of their brief association with the Tamla (Motown) label. The title track became their first big hit. (Video – Vandellas) (Video – Isleys)

“Get Ready” – Temptations / Rare Earth:  Smokey Robinson, wrote this one which gave chart exposure to both  The Temptations in 1966, and  Rare Earth in 1970. It was the last song Robinson wrote and produced for the Temptations. Even though it reached #29 on the Hot 100,  Berry Gordy felt that wasn’t good enough and gave Norman Whitfield, the reigns as the Temps new writer / producer. “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” was the result. Rare Earth hit with remakes of the Temps “(I Know) I’m Losing You” and “Get Ready“. Each was more successful than original. (Video – Temptations) (Video – Rare Earth)

“Karate / Everybody’s Everything” – The Emperors / Santana: The Emperors hailed from Harrisburg, PA, breaking through the noise when producer Phil Gabler noticed the group and recorded their first single, “Karate”, in 1966. When Santana released their third self titled LP, they created a note-for-note copy of “Karate”, adding their signature latin percussion, horns and new lyrics, with the title “Everybody’s Everything”. Although many assume that Carlos Santana provided most of the guitar artistry, a 17-year-old Neal Schon gets credit for the explosive licks on this track. (Video – Emperors) (Video – Santana)

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting:The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” ~Albert Einstein

One for the Road: Before “She’s About a Mover” became the Sir Douglas Quintent‘s first significant chart hit, they had a run on Keener with the title of the album it came from. Checkout Mendocino. If you listened to WKNR in today in 1969, it will sound very familiar!

Thanks for listening!

Scott Westerman
Host and Producer – Rock and Roll Revisited
Author: Motor City Music – Keener 13 and the Soundtrack of Detroit