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Whatever Happened to The Cool Jocks?




Driving down the main drag with the radio blaring and listening to the top music of the day was quite a memory! What characterized those great days of the 60s was the cool disc jockeys that jammed the airways during that era. Whatever happened to them? Todays' radio DJs cannot come close to the jocks of yesteryear. The radio personalities today have to use explicit language to get listeners instead funny but innocent pranks that those of yesterday used. The 60s jocks' gift for gab was instrumental in keeping us tuned in. Not only the hit music but their talk kept us coming back.

In my home town of Circleville, Ohio, most of us tuned into 1230 WCOL. It was a very small radio station that broadcasted from Columbus with only 500 watts of power. You lost the station at night so we picked up drifted station which broadcasted with larger watts, like WLS, Chicago, WABC, New York and my favorite WHK of Cleveland, Ohio. At Cleveland, there was a DJ from Florida named Johnny Holliday. His opening monologue went something like "welcome and this is Johnny Holliday, your refugee from the Sunshine State." His craftsmanship as a DJ resulted in him being selected for the "Cruisin" series of music featuring outstanding DJs across this great nation of ours. These tapes and CDS not only featured music but commercials, airway checks, and monologue from the DJs. Johnny Holliday was on "Cruisin 64," which I say without hesitation is the best of all the "Cruisin" Series including Robert Morgan of "Cruisin' 65" Where is Johnny today? He works for ABC sports and announces Maryland Terpin basketball games. Still today he has that great voice that so many DJs now fail to deliver.

I also remember the countdown each and everyday at 3:00 from WCOL. Of course,the countdown usually didn't change but once a week but you listened anyway just to groove on the music and the commentary. It was common back then, if you remember, for a song to be interrupted for fast breaking news, like a bank robbery or something. It was so sensationalize.

Recalling back to the New Year's eves of the 60s, I recall WCOL FM station doing the countdown of the top 100 songs of the year and all my buddies would gather in the basement of my friend's house to celebrate New Year's while his folks had a party upstairs. We would make our bets on what song would be the number one song for the year. The number one song was played right before midnight.

The craziness of the jocks never ceased and they would upset Ma Bell with their telephone promotions that would tie up the phones. The phone systems were not as intricate back then as they are now. They would give away money, concert tickets and yes automobiles. What zaniness and fun was the 60s.

My old WCOL radio station now is a country station. Nothing wrong with country music, in fact I love country music but I still recall the crusin', parking, and just relaxing while listening to the fun radio of the 60s. Do you have a memory? If so please leave a comment.



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