Issue #343 - Charlie Van Dyke makes his first appearance on the cover of the survey while KHJ expands the Top LP list to thirty titles.
Donnie Elbert doesn't miss a week. As soon as one Motown cover drops off, another takes his place. And then he'll never return.So Robert W. Morgan is back and Charlie Tuna is gone. One led to the other, I assume, but I trust someone (Michael?) can tell us how this came to be. Was there an attempt to keep Tuna but in a different slot? And was KHJ just too determined to bring Morgan back?
Steve:The story as it's been related to me:Morgan wanted out of Chicago and KHJ wanted Morgan back. KHJ wanted to keep Charlie Tuna and offered him 9-Noon at his morning drive salary. But Tuna knew the shift that mattered was morning drive, so he turned the deal down and went to KCBQ, San Diego to burn off his non-compete clause. He returned to L.A. on Labor Day weekend as the morning man at KROQ(AM).Pete McNeal, only recently given the 9-Noon shift, probably was breathing a sigh of relief if he even knew about the negotiations(he makes a remark in an aircheck from Morgan's first week back about "a couple of weeks of total insanity").But...KHJ/Drake/RKO made the decision to get Charlie Van Dyke out of the PD gig at KGB, San Diego (which, within weeks, would fire Drake as its consultant and hire Ron Jacobs to program an album rock/Top 40 hybrid format)and bring him to KHJ for 9-Noon.Exit Pete McNeal.This was the beginning of serious revolving door syndrome at KHJ. Van Dyke was gone by summer, lured by the morning drive gig at WLS, Chicago.Walt "Baby" Love, who replaced Pete McNeal from 9-Midnight in fall '71, was gone within six months.Jerry Butler may have made it through 1972 (or not...I'm waiting for those copies of the "Thirty" to refresh my memory).And, of course, Morgan's return was short-lived, too...he was out the door (along with The Real Don Steele) in July of 1973.Of course, Morgan was replaced by...Charlie Van Dyke...and from December 1973 to 1975, all three of them battled each other in Top 40 morning drive: Van Dyke at KHJ, Tuna at KKDJ and Morgan at K-100. The winner? Charlie Van Dyke, who was the last man standing after Morgan bailed for weekends at KMPC and KKDJ became Adult Contemporary KIIS-FM(with Tuna still in mornings)within a month of each other in the fall of '75.And when Van Dyke left for KLIF, Dallas in May, 1977...his replacement was Charlie Tuna. Until Tuna's departure in the fall of 1978, KHJ had only three official morning men: Morgan, Tuna and Van Dyke.I've always wondered how things would have turned out if KHJ had simply stuck by Tuna as their morning guy (or alternately, if Morgan had never bailed out for Chicago in the first place).
"Tapestry" by Carole King still on the charts after 42 weeks. Back up to 11, probably after getting a bounce from Carole's follow up album, "Carole King Music".tapestry is an amazing album. I never owned it. My older sister did however, and I listened to it alot.And thanks for the background fill in there Michael. I previously had listened to Walt "Baby" Love while he was jocking at CKLW.
Bruce: Walt "Baby" Love wasn't done with RKO after KHJ. He transferred to WXLO (99X) New York and was there from at least 1972 to 1975. It was his second tour. He'd been there in 1970 when it was WOR-FM. Walt's been back in L.A. for more than 20 years now...but off the air...as Urban editor at Radio and Records.
A final thought on the jock shuffle and how it affected Pete McNeal. RKO and KHJ knew in advance what they were doing...it took a few days to get the Thirtys printed and out to the record stores back then.But RWM was on the cover of the Boss 30 dated the day after his first show back on KHJ...as was Van Dyke here...there was some lead time...meaning the decision about CVD was made a week or more before Pete McNeal knew he was no longer a KHJ employee.
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