Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Good Friday...our 101 Reload is from the only and only Suitcase Simpson~
"Here's a long story you can use when you need one, George. My second shortest radio gig was at Top 40 WTAL in Tallahassee, FL. In early 1971, when I was only 20, I was hired to do mornings there by new PD Ross (The Boss Hoss) Brooks (who later programmed country WNOX and was a fixture for years in Nashville doing PM Drive at WLAC). I drove up to the building on Phillips Drive and remember stopping in the driveway to stare at an American flag painted over the entire front side of the building. Remember, this was at the height of the Vietnam War. Most rock stations were playing anti-war songs, not waving flags. Turns out that the local owner was a bona fide member of the John Birch Society. I looked at the playlist and noticed no songs by Aretha, The Four Tops, Temptations, etc. I asked Ross why and he said the owner didn't want us to play records by black artists. My first morning on the air, the owner called at 6:15 and ordered me to change my on-air name - Brother Lee Love. He felt it had "racial overtones." The owner also had a system of fines for everything from stumbling on the air to saying something he didn't like. I was hit with a hefty fine for starting the pre-recorded Paul Harvey Show late, another big one when a tape machine broke on my air shift through no fault of my own, and a couple of dozen minor fines. After two days, I owed the station more than I had earned so I quit. Ross said that if I would hang around town a few days, we could ride back to Tennessee together. He wanted to quit but knew it would be difficult to get his check unless he waited until payday. About a week later, Brother Ross was fired for trying to sneak a Dionne Warwicke record into the rotation. Brother Ross & I remained good friends until his death. I had to appeal to the Florida Board of Labor before I received a check many months later." (Suitcase Simpson)