1957 WABC RADIO, New York City
Recently I came across an old RCA tape featuring the songs of the legendary Jim Reeves and it brought back many memories.
I was working at WABC radio in NY City in 1957 and it was a very shaky time for that industry. The stations were losing audiences by the droves (as TV was just cresting on the horizon) and WABC was making a last ditch stand with their promotion, “Live and Lively Radio”.
The idea was to present interesting personalities performing live on the radio. The “Jim Reeves Show” and the “Merv Griffin Show” were two that recorded from New York. We also had “Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club” that aired from Chicago.
My job was to write promotional material aimed at selling time on the live shows. Our studios were on West 86th St. and I can remember it all so clearly. I even recall how we were all impressed with the fact that Jim Reeves piloted his own plane. He would fly up from the South to perform his weekly live radio show in New York. (Tragically he died in that same plane when it crashed in 1961.)
But here’s the strange thing. I have made an extensive search of the internet to see if I could pick up any other interesting tidbits about this time when I worked at WABC but I can’t find one reference to “Live and Lively Radio”…and the bio’s of these stars do not mention it either.
At one time I had a 78 rpm record with the label “Live and Lively”. It was given out as a promotion gift and had pictures of all the performers on the cover. I wish I still had it. At least it would be proof that those days really happened.
I was there, I remember it, but it’s like it never existed. How odd is that?