This page last updated Monday, August 19, 2013

 

WAKY-WKLO 2005 Reunion


Bill Bailey at the WAKY-WKLO Reunion

On Wednesday night, July 13, 2005, dozens of former WAKY and WKLO employees gathered -- along with family and friends -- to remember the time spent at Louisville's two great Top 40 stations of the '60s and '70s. Besides renewing old friendships, we honored one of the Derby City's greatest DJs, Bill Bailey. Even though it was a mid-week event with short notice (just over a month), 80 people turned out at the Corner Cafe in Louisville. This page will feature photos and sound clips from the reunion.

Besides the Duke of Louisville, WAKY and WKLO DJs and Program Directors in attendance included: Bill Crisp, Bob Cline, Bo Brady, Dude Walker, Gary Griffin, Gary Guthrie, Joe Elliott, Joe London, John Ashton, Johnny Randolph, Karl Shannon, Leonard Yates, Mac Hunter, Mason Lee Dixon, Mike Griffin, Rip Rinehart, Robin Walker, Ron Lake, Scott Goettel, Steve Cook, Tim Tyler, Tom Dooley, Tom Hardin and Tom Prestigiacomo.


WAKY Staff Members
Standing L-R: Mason Lee Dixon, Leonard Yates, Byron Crawford, Rich Gimmel, Mike Griffin, Ben Pflederer,
Tom Maxedon, Karl Shannon, Steven Lee Cook, Scott Goettel, Bill Graham, Tom Dooley and Don Meyers
Sitting L-R: Bill Bailey, Dude Walker, Johnny Randolph, WAKY DJ wannabe John Quincy, Bill Crisp and Tim Tyler

WAKY and WKLO newspeople present were: Bob Watson, Bill Graham, Byron Crawford, Tom Maxedon, Tom Perry, Rich Gimmel, and Angie Gimmel.

Representing the WAKY and WKLO engineering staff were Ben Pflederer and Pete Boyce.

In addition, former WAKY GM Don Meyers and former WKLO GM Bernie Thompson were on hand.


WKLO Staff Members
Standing L-R: Pete Boyce, Angie Gimmel, Bo Brady, Joe London, Bob Cline, Rip Rinehart, Scott Thompson,
Bill Graham, Gary Griffin and Mason Lee Dixon
Sitting L-R: Tom Maxedon, Bill Bailey, Ron Lake, Johnny Randolph. Bill Crisp, Barry Steiger and Mac Hunter

Other friends and fans attending included WHAS' Terry Meiners, WVLK's Jack Pattie, former WVLK newsman Noel Thomas, Gary Rawlings, Scott Thompson, Robin Oldham, Travis Hardwick, Max Highbaugh, Gil Herbig, Jr., Jennifer Wilson, and Weird Beard's niece, Debie Kerns. Plus, Bill Bailey's "last ex-wife" Peggy was on hand along with Bill's three daughters and grandchildren.

Our thanks to Coyote Calhoun for making arrangements for the venue and Bill Bailey's trophy, and to Clear Channel Louisville, for use of a PA system. Thanks go out also to those who pitched in to pay for the Duke's award...and a special thank you to Mike Griffin for behind-the-scenes assistance.

Above is a YouTube playlist containing video of the 2005 WAKY-WKLO reunion, split up into three parts. Our thanks to Max Highbaugh for the video, and to Mike Griffin for the digital transfer.

Bill Bailey Award Presentation

Here you can download or stream just the audio from the presentation of Bill Bailey's award. You'll hear John Quincy, Johnny Randolph, Bill Bailey, Mason Lee Dixon, Don Meyers, Dude Walker, Tim Tyler, Tom Dooley, Bill Crisp, two of Bill's granddaughters, Bill's daughter Jennifer, and Gary Rawlings. Some of this audio wasn't included in the video.

MP3 Audio
37:29
(13,179 KB)

Read The Feast of Bill Bailey by Mason Lee Dixon.
PDF Format - Adobe Reader Required
 

"I just finished listening to the Bill Bailey Tribute! Wow! It brought tears to my eyes. I had the privilege of working with Bill when he was at WICK and I was the Production Director for Tragic 100, a Great Fails Broadcasting station, formerly "The New KJ 100." It was new for about 5 years.

"I had listened to Bill since I was a kid in school so working with him was like working with Elvis or something. The best about it was discovering that, in person, he was one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. Bill was the kind of man who was always nicest to those who might be considered by some to be beneath his stature. The janitor, the secretaries, the other jocks and yes, the lowly production guy. To them he was always magnanimous and polite. But god help the management. If Bill thought they were wrong or that they had treated someone badly, he would rip them to shreds.

"I remember one time when I came in to work and Bill called me into the studio. He handed me a $20.00 bill and asked me to run down to the drug store and get him a pack of razors so he could shave before he met with a client later that morning. I went down to the store and got him a pack of the disposable razors. They cost about a buck. I was on a mission for 'The Duke Of Louisville!' I dutifully returned to the station and handed Bill the razors, the receipt and the change. He picked up the change, handed it back and told me to keep it. I protested telling him the razors only cost about a buck and that the $18 and change was too much for a simple errand. He looked at me smiled and said 'Dave, it's a drop in the bucket compared to what I'm going to make on this deal! So keep the change.'

"When I think of how lucky I have been to have worked with some of the greats it humbles me. I was hired by Johnny Randolph for his Danville station, but didn't take the job after simultaneously getting hired at WJYL in Louisville. Then working with Bill Bailey at WCII, with Rusty Rogers at WLRS and for the past 18 years with Coyote at WAMZ. 'Life's been good to me so far...'

"About five or six years ago, one of the sales people booked a session for a local chiropractor. When the talent showed up, it was Bill Bailey. I wondered how he would do. I tell ya, his voice was strong, and without missing a beat, he did both spots from notes, not scripts, and without a stop watch hit them both on the first take dead-on :60.

"Sometime after that Bill appeared with Rocky and Troy on their short-lived show on WWKY. I had the honor of going on the air and doing 'Bill' with him. He didn't say a word, just listened to me doing my lame Bill Bailey and laughed. From my childhood to now, Bill Bailey has given me so many memories, laughs, joy and encouragement. Whenever I want to smile, I just blurt out 'let's go to work Reed!'

"Thanks for the website and all you do to keep the memory of what radio could be alive."

Dave Lee
Facility Production Director
Clear Channel Louisville

JQ Guests on WHAS

While in Louisville for the reunion, 79WAKY.com/1080WKLO.com Webmaster John Quincy had the honor of being a guest on Joe Elliott's and Terry Meiners' WHAS shows. Here you can download those segments. Also appearing on Joe's show were David Inman and Johnny Randolph.


Joe Elliott


John Quincy and Terry Meiners

Download Joe Elliott Hour - Part 1
14:51 - 5225 KB

Download Joe Elliott Hour - Part 2
7:02 - 2473 KB

Download Joe Elliott Hour - Part 3
11:26 - 4022 KB

Download Joe Elliott Hour - Part 4
10:19 - 3630 KB

Download Terry Meiners Segment
10:02 - 3528 KB

Post Reunion Letters

"John: The reunion far exceeded expectations and goes down as the greatest night of my life. You are to be commended for making it all happen. As you know Bailey is not well and this gave us all a chance to show him how we feel which means so much more than giving accolades around a casket." Johnny Randolph

"Hey John, thanks again for a wonderful night. I actually had tears in my eyes at times. What wonderful memories. I don't know if you really know just what a part of the WAKY staff that you have become. They all agree with me that without you, that night would have never happened. You are the greatest. Thanks for everything." Dude Walker

"It was a real treat to meet you and I hope you had a great time at the Cafe. I am really grateful for what you are doing for all of us guys, as you could see, we are getting close to checking off of this mudball and it is good to know that we accomplished something of lasting value in the hearts of a few people. I especially enjoyed Byron Crawford and Dude Walker." Mason Lee Dixon

"John.... Just wanted to say GREAT JOB on pulling off what it took 25 years of us just talking about... that of course the big WKLO-WAKY reunion. It was obvious your efforts made a big impact on Bill Bailey. He so definitely deserves all the praise that was bestowed on him -- and MORE... and I'm very glad you facilitated that activity. It was also really great to mingle with all that Louisville talent once again. There weren't too many markets that had the caliber of a WAKY and WKLO in the same city. Many had a powerhouse, and then maybe an also-ran, but Louisville was blessed to have two equal powerhouse competitors. That of course made each of us all the better. I know I am proud to have been a small part of it, and am very glad you got us all together. It was a real treat to spend some time again with Johnny Randolph and Mason Dixon. Mason and I were direct competitors for two years, and were shared good memories. I'm surprised so many actually remembered us from the '60s and early '70s... that WAS a long time ago. Again, John, a big THANKS for all your efforts and all the time you spent on pulling this off. It was a BIG success." Joe London

"John, gold stars for all of you who made the WAKY/WKLO Reunion really a special night. After doubting that I would be able to make it, I arrived about one-hour late, in plenty of time to hear some legendary air personalities pay tribute to Bill Bailey for his work and to YOU for your splendid arrangements and encouragement that brought all of us vagrants together again for laughter, slaps on the back, laughter, food and drink, stories, laughter, reminiscences, laughter and laughter. In appreciation..." Byron Crawford, WAKY 20-20 News

"It was a fabulous night and Bill Bailey gave me a gigantic hug. What a guy!" Bob Watson

"I can't thank you enough for putting together the reunion. It was a great moment in my life. It was also great meeting you and your wife." Bob Cline


Gary Burbank and Bob Todd in Florida on July 13, 2005

"Burbank and I were playing golf down here in Florida during the WAKY reunion. The weather was hot, but we were thinking about all of you. And after seeing the pics of the get together I think we look exactly the same as we did in 1969, but the rest of you don't. You all look older than Ronald Reagan. We'll make the next reunion for sure. Sorry we missed the fun. Looks like a wonderful time for all. Thanks again for all you're doing." Bob Todd

"Thank you AGAIN for bringing us together. IT WAS SUPER!" Tim Tyler

"Johnny, I just got back to the Windy City. Things were moving so fast last night; I forgot to give you my contribution toward the Duke's trophy. Jack Pattie and I visited the Duke this afternoon at his nursing home. He was SOOOO-HAPPY and was still basking in the glow of Wednesday night's fete for him. You are an extraordinary man for what you did for Bill. Wonderful meeting you and I look forward to witnessing more of your fine work." Noel Thomas

"Thanks to you I finally got to meet some of the guys I listened to and as kid -- the same guys that made me know I wanted to be in radio. This was the best radio gathering I've ever experienced. All of this would not have happened without you and your love and passion. Thanks for finding us all." Ron Lake

"What I thought was cool was how many people who attended were saying to you: 'It's nice to finally meet you,' when they shook your hand. The power of the Internet! I can only second Johnny Randolph's sentiments regarding the ability of your sites to gather so many interconnected people back in one place. None of that would have happened without your dedication. Partisanship would have limited the number of attendees. You brought back ALL eras of the stations. Because of my brief tenure as a 'talent' at WAKY, I still see the place as you do: as a listener. The formatics subconsciously implanted as I listened and watched Dude Walker, Burbank, Chris Lundy, the Weird Beard, Mason Lee et al...and the chance to grow working with Gary Guthrie both there and at FM 100, shaped me into what I do on the radio today. Thank you, John, for finding a way to bring so many different people back together." Tom Prestigiacomo

"John...On behalf of all of us who shared part of our lives at WAKY and WKLO, thank you thank you thank you. We owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude. Last week's event was spectacular. Seeing those guys for the first time in more than three decades was an absolute thrill for me. And your efforts to preserve the audio and pictorial archives of that piece of Top 40 Music and radio history will be appreciated for decades to come. The reunion was an absolute hoot! And...thanks for not tipping off the bail-bondsmen and child support attorneys. They could have really spoiled the party." Rich Gimmel

"The reunion was fantastic! I'm not really a player as I was only there for the last couple of years of WAKY, but it means a lot to me to have worked at such a legendary station with those universally respected call letters. I could tell that the reunion really meant a lot to the older guys who made WAKY what it was, and it was great to renew old friendships, and make some new ones." Joe Elliott