Monday, March 20, 2006

"Great radio stations begin and end with talent" Paul Gallis

A highlight of my Chicago trip last week was lunch in Greektown @ Greek Islands with Paul Gallis and Dick Rakovan. Paul is writing a tell-all book about the wild world (the characters, the players, the real stories) of Chicago media. Paul sets the stage in the 50s and names names up through the 70s. It was big fun listening to Paul share stories about the winners (John Rook, Lee Davis, Lucky Cordell, Bobby Collins, Chris Lane, Fred Winston, Bob Pittman, George Wilson, Clark Weber), the wannabes and the clueless who "didn't know what job they were out of". Paul has a unique pov...a skilled musician who first worked in radio (as a record turner) before getting into music promotion and later producing records. We talked about one of the greatest radio conventions of all time - Claude Hall's last Billboard International Programming Forum in New Orleans in 1976. It was at that exceptional conference that Paul was named Promotion Executive of the Year. During my salad days as a music director and programmer Paul was kind enough to give it to me straight up, he held no punches. His unvarnished candor, his rare sense of humor, his genuine caring for others and his encyclopedic grasp of the entertainment business make him a force of nature. Rackets, as usual, shared stories and his own brand of original collected wisdom. The best part of the conversation was not about the past but rather the present and the future. Radio is indeed blessed to have Dick Rakovan and Paul Gallis around; two great story tellers and teachers that bring their A game every time they show up.

In today's post an invitation to the 2006 Broadcast Pioneer Awards in Vegas. I wouldn't miss it. This year honoring...

Dwight Case (twice a former boss and longtime mentor of mine), John G. Conomikes (the legendary Hearst CEO), Gary Fries (present RAB CEO stepping down this year - a major loss btw), Tichenor Family (overdue), K. James Yager and the Chairman's Award goes to Richard A. Foreman. Each and all class acts.

Most of the time I agree with Jeff Jarvis but not today...Jeff fails to appreciate the contributions of the great Bill Beutel and on this we will have to disagree. To be fair...Jeff's take and comments here