GOLDEN GIFT Our thanks to Harold Ballard for this all-too-rare recording of a North Carolina radio legend!
G2 5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (10KHz)
PLAY Long John Silver WAYS Charlotte N.C. December 14, 1966 (47:32)

Play Scoped This Exhibit 'SCOPED (17:52)

. . . Let's get it now, whoa! . . .

[Description by Uncle Ricky]

Long John Silver
Long John Silver. Picture courtesy Ron Brandon.
Long John Silver (aka John Sterling Silver III) was the number one nighttime jock in Charlotte Nawth Kalina on BIG WAYS for at least five years. This restored studio recording captures Long John for about 45 minutes in December of 1966, along with steady sidekicks Tonto and Super Wonder Dog Blue (who sounds remarkably like Lee Sherwood's dog Sherbet at WQAM/Miami.) Yes, Virginia - there is a Santa Claus, in this case, the BIG WAYS Santa, portrayed by PD and morning glory Jack Gale.

There's lots of R&B (the way Top 40 should always be!), PAMS jingles, and several contests underway. There's even proof that PAMS ColorWay was sold in music stores. Unfortunately, the newscast wasn't saved, but the original presentation elements were pieced together. The reverb is cranked WAY up and Sixty-Wonderful echoed all over the Carolinas at 610 Khz. WAYS boosted the treble before it hit the transmitter, and that's reflected here as well. Of course, after it passed through narrow-band AM radios, most of that high-end tweak was lost.

Contributor Harold Ballard says this aircheck came from Long John himself. Several years ago, Harold's friend Dave Nicholson visited Long John at the restaurant he owned in Greenville, S.C., and asked if he had any airchecks from his BIG WAYS days. Long John took him back to his office where he had a box full of reel-to-reel tapes. Those who grew up in Piedmont Carolina in the latter half of the 60's, like me, will undoubtedly love this one. And remember — hardly anybody lives in Murphy canyon!

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