Issue #214 - Robert W. Morgan returns from his salary holdout and Johnny Cash hits No. 1 with “A Boy Named Sue.”
I didn't know it at the time, but "Get Together" and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" were both from 1967 and had been rereleased in 1969.I wonder how many other DJs staged salary holdouts through 1969. Morgan and Steele had to be among the biggest names in the country to do so at that time.
Steve: More to the point, if others did, were any of them successful? Morgan and Steele certainly weren't and returned largely because KHJ had made its point that the audience was fine with Charlie Tuna and Humble Harve. Love 'em both, but they were very lucky KHJ didn't just cut them loose. Where would they have gone? KRLA?
The dual holdout (actually, is that a correct description, seeing how Steele returned weeks before Morgan did) reminds me of the then-daring dual holdout of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale in spring 1966. The Dodgers were coming off a world championship in 1965, largely thanks to Koufax and Drysdale. They held out as a team and threatened to leave baseball if they didn't get what they wanted, which was a then unheard-of three-year contract. Eventually, they caved but still got great money for 1966. Koufax retired after that season anyway.
Steve: I'd bet anything that Morgan and Steele got the idea from Koufax and Drysdale. Trouble was, the Dodgers were noticeably weaker without Sandy and Don. KHJ wasn't weaker without Robert W. and The Real Don. The hits just kept on comin'...and the audience kept on listening. Steele got the message faster than Robert W. and went back to work June 30. It took a month longer for Robert W. to realize that yes, he was replacable and that Charlie Tuna, the jock he loved to ridicule on-air, would be the replacement if he didn't get back in there. Word (from a very reliable source) is that Robert W. and The Real Don went back to work for exactly what they were making the day they left. Four years later, the lesson repeated itself, when Morgan and Steele followed Bill Drake out of 5515 Melrose. Charlie Van Dyke and Barry Kaye's numbers were as good as RWM and RDS'...even after they surfaced on K-100 to compete with KHJ. They were both great jocks...but the average listener saw them as part of an overall package that was KHJ.
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