Hey John R

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Hey John R the eBOOK

(RHYTHMIC THEME SONG BEGINS) Hey John R what cha gonna do, c'mon JOHN R. man,... Play me some rhythm and blues.. 

(Voice over record)                  AAAALLL Right ,,..it's John R way down South In Dixie" The Booming Baritone would chant,.. "John R saying and playing the blues", (record starts) right chere it's ERNIES Record Parade with the number one Blues special,... Here tis the B.B., you've been waiting for" ... (ROCK ME Baby would begin and John R would puff his Chesterfield and pick up the Phone.)  Hey Jolley c'mon up when You get off the air man,.. gotta run." He'd drop the receiver into the cradle and and pick up the next 45 RPM record. (sound effect) WHEW WHEW the sound from the cue speaker would roar as he cued up the next record on the show.



John R was the quintessential extraordinary suave swingin Blues disc jockey heard nightly on WLAC the  fifty thousand watt insurance company owned radio station housed on the fifth floor of the Life and Casualty Insurance company building.

 John R was already a legend in his own time. He was a white Southern descendent of the Hueganons of Virginia. His physique was that of most fifty year old white men from Nashville Tennessee of the day. Having been in poor health recently, he'd recovered and begun to unwind his special radio persona patter like none other.

John R would boom into the microphone but never ever pop a "P" or slit a "T" (meaning spit into the mike as most black announcers of the day were accustomed to doing) yet his wide variety of listeners would swear he was a black man. His southern accent placed his muse mostly into the black market, of music that is. Today we know Atlantic Records and Motown of what became the black market of music. Black owners, artists and promoters are mostly who comprised the black radio market.

John R would deal strictly with those entrepreneurs who'd step forward and represent the current “gut bucket” and “country blues” hits and bombs of the day. Most of the companies that were heard on the air never really reached the status of Atlantic or Motown Records and were very lucky if they even had a regional hit. A hit song that started on WLAC Radio the 50 thousand watt voice of blues in the South may sell ten thousand records as a result of two weeks of Nashville airplay offered up by John R.


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John R sold the sizzle because most of the stuff that got aired was a marketing ploy but if John R said it was so it must be true.


"Next", he'd spout "Next up on the parade,.. as we gotta move right now is James Brown and the number two blues package from ERNIE'S Record Mart 179 Third Avenue Nashville, Tennessee, ... friends when you order your number two blues special it includes the latest Roscoe Shelton, BB King, and many others.


Please Please Please would begin to unwind and John R would pick up his stack of 45 rpm records selected for this show. He'd check the list of blues specials sent to him by Ernie's Record store, setting several 45's aside for play later in the hour.

When I'd bounce in the door with two cups of coffee, John R would always show surprise. I'd bring a cup of coffee for John and one for me. Usually showing up around 1:10am which gave me just enough time to sign off radio station WMAK another Nashville radio station just across the street and around the corner on the fifth floor of the Exchange building go across the street to the NOEL Hotel Coffee shop get the coffee and ride the elevator to the fifth floor and pop into the WLAC studio. John would spot me and usually say, "Hey man you're going to cause me to go afloatin out of here if you don't stop drowning me in coffee at this hour" then he'd heave a huge guttural laugh "HAW HAW HAW" but he never refused to open it and pour in the four packages of cream I 'd brought with it.


John R's Program Ten was heard from 1 A.M. till 3 A.M. and was one of the more popular late night radio shows to be found on the airwaves at that time of night, covering both the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and the South American countries at night. John would get calls from Venezuela and the Caribbean and although I didn't call him I listened to him while on U. S. Navy flights to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba overnight. The signal we received was considered a sky wave so it drifted in and out but if you were listening for Fats Domino or Shirley and Lee John R would not let you down.


John R was one of the early R & B Giants on the radio airwaves of America and sold records by mail order from Ernies Record Parade 179 3rd Avenue, Nashville Tennessee.

John would always offer the listener the option of ordering by sending to Ernie's Record Store's address or he would say "..when you order send to Ernie's or to me JOHN R at WLAC in Nashville." and he'd get as much mail order envelopes delivered to W.L.A.C. Radio station as the store would get.

John R was one of those people in your life that you think of as your best friend. Many people probably thought of John R as their best friend but he went out of his way to help me when I arrived in Nashville broke hungry and no where to go, but that is still another story and you'll have to read it in the ebook.


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