EDITOR’S NOTE: I have been grappling with the news of Mark Stevens’ death all afternoon. It comes as a shock and hasn’t been easy for anyone associated with the Stevens and Pruett Show. Mark was an indelible part of one of the most successful and innovative radio morning pairings in the history of American broadcasting. He taught me and so smany of my castmates so much, on and off the microphone.
My heart goes out to Jim Pruett who isn’t taking the news very well. And understandably so–Jim lost a brother. I feel like I’ve lost a father.
Here’s my latest homage to Mark Stevens.
A heartfelt thanks for all the wonderful condolences. The love you’ve shown has been vast and far reaching. Mark was an icon and his amazing legacy deserves every accolade; every sentiment. It means a great deal to me and the entire Stevens and Pruett family.
The alternate title for this post could be “When Morning Radio Was Funny”, because at least here in Houston, it isn’t. And really, that’s the reason behind this particular posting. Last week, I heard something on our local airwaves that actually made me throw up a little in my mouth.
The hosts of a particular morning show were wondering if the new Oreo cake-like cookie was suitable for dunking in milk. They were asking for calls on the subject.
Yep. That was the topic du jour. I did the only thing I could do, other than swallow my sputum, was to turn off my radio and keep it off in protest. I shook my head, saddened by the state of radio in general and the pathetic way in which it’s passed off as entertainment in my city.
Then I started thinking about Stevens and Pruett, a local radio comedy duo that was…well, they were something else entirely.
OK THEN, WHO WERE THEY AND WHERE WERE THEY ?
For those outside the AM/FM sphere of Houston, the Stevens and Pruett Show was, in my own opinion, one of the best morning radio shows…EVER. And I say that not because I was a part of that show (unofficially from 1992-through 1994 and officially from 1995 through 2000) but because it was. No hyperbole here.
The show was a Houston mainstay for hipsters who could appreciate the often raunchy nature of the show. Bawdy, gross and even vile at times, but hilarious too.
It eventually became the hub of radio station KLOL, one of the first underground FM AOR (Album Oriented Rock) stations in the country. This was back in the day when jocks spoke softly and always sounded stoned–probably because they were–and the only commercials they played were for headshops, free clinics, record stores and upcoming concerts.
KLOL was born in 1970 when Pat Fant (then one of the jocks at KLOL who later became its General Manager and is now known as something of a creative radio wunderkind in Houston) played, “I’m Free” by The Who. That record on that turntable on that station ushered in a new era for radio in Houston. Hence, “The KLOL Legend” was born.
In the early days, 101 was known as “Mother’s Family” and later “K-101” with its trademark ecology fern, which oddly enough looked like a pot leaf.
The station utilized what would be termed a “free form format”. Basically, that meant playing the type of music they wanted, when they wanted, regardless of how deep the cut(s) were on the album. KLOL played a good dose of rock, but in the early years, but its playlist was also interspersed with a little jazz, blues and R&B. And in a day and time when play lists have in power rotation the worst songs possible such as stuff from Beyonce, John Mayer and that strange lady Gaga fellow and the same damn songs come at you every ten freakin’ minutes. I liked Mayer’s new song “Heartbeak Warfare”…until I heard it exactly eight times between 1p and 5p on a particular station in which I have no choice BUT to listen to during the course of my day. Program Directors will tell you that research indicates that people only listen for 20 minutes or less an hour and that’s how a station can justify playing the same hit song a few times an hour. This is something of a fairly recent phenomenon..say over the last 16-17 years or so. As a result, radio and TV people both have learned to despise research AND the consultants who hang on its every skewed, arbitrary word. In TV, I once knew an anchor who was told by a consultant to cut her hair in a Carol Brady shag, a style which was barely in vogue when it was in vogue some 34 years earlier. He thought it would work because viewers aged 45 and older could relate to it as a warm, fuzzy throw back and she went along with it. I’m not sure who was the bigger idiot.
BUT SHE DIGRESSES
In the beginning, KLOL was a new generation of radio station designed exclusively for a new generation of Houstonians and they loved it. In fact, they helped make KLOL was one of the top rated AOR stations in the country in the late 80’s up until about 1992. Its hip, innovative format and cutting edge promotions set the pace for many other AOR stations across the country and Mark Stevens and Jim Pruett played a significant role in that success.
When they arrived at KLOL’s doorstep after a successful stint at The Eagle (KEGL in Dallas) in 1986, they weren’t strangers to Houston. The two paired up years earlier as one of the original Hudson and Harrigan duos at KILT-AM when it was a Top 40 station. They had a dispute with management and went to cross town competitor, KULF-AM, where they dropped the Hudson and Harrigan moniker and started using their own names. There, Stevens and Pruett had yet another dispute with management at KULF, then elected to pull up stakes and head north up I-45 to The Eagle in Dallas where they…..you guessed it… had a dispute with management and that in part, ultimately lead to their return to Houston. At KLOL, they still had plenty of disputes with management, but management had little choice but to take it because The S&P Show was soon cranking out ratings and generating voluminous advertising revenues.
The show was adult oriented with strong sexual overtones . Humor was the main focus. Rarely was the comedy ever particularly high brow, but it wasn’t always at a common, every man’s level either. I often thought it was smart humor, albeit sexual in nature.
In fact, Mark and Jim helped pioneer the broadcast concept, often called ”blue humor” or “shock jock” radio, that many morning hosts have tried to imitate. S&P did it long before Stern ever did. Before Opie and Anthony, Bob and Tom…Mancow, too. Everyone else and I do mean every other show who tries or has tried this format, is in my opinion, a poor facsimile. In fact, Stern never even tried to broach the Houston market because of Stevens and Pruett and their particular brand of comedy.
THERE ARE OTHERS?
There are shows currently on the air now who try, but fail miserably in the process. They aren’t funny, they create nothing special, yet somehow these people are still on the air and a show like S&P ‘s isn’t? I’m not really sure what that means or represents, other than it’s proof that radio is more screwed up than ever.
And yes, I’m well aware that when it comes to The Stevens and Pruett Show, I’m very prejudiced.
You’re about to hear a Thanksgiving version of the legendary “Uncle Waldo”, a daily bit ritual on the show. Essentially, the scripts were just jokes sent in by listeners and retooled by characters that Mark and Jim made famous such as Queen Aretha, Big Bruno, Nymphia Scooter Pie and Uncle Waldo. Boner, their very funny sidekick and one of the nation’s premier reactive comics/second banana, manned the controls and played sound effects while frequently offering hilarious quips and asides with impeccable timing.
Frank Casimiro (Jesus With A Camera because well, with his long hair and beard, he looked like Jesus with a camera) was the show’s videographer. This is from his personal collection. He has a Facebook page with more videos from the show . When did JWAC tape this? Well, based on Mark’s hair and Jim’s weight (two prime indicators of which Stevens and Pruett era was which), I’d say this was shot probably around 1990 or ’91 before the studio was reconfigured. As the video indicated, there was always a bevy of women on the set willing (for some reason) to drop their tops for the guys in order to win prizes like concert tickets. Some just did it because..well I really don’t know why they did it. I’m by no means a raging feminist, but I never understood what compelled a woman to show her boobs to strangers.
Needless to say, strippers were frequent guests and lesbians were a frequent topic.
THE LK/S&P YEARS
My connection with Stevens and Pruett though, goes back even earlier. When I was going through my Journalism degree program, my concentration in the field was broadcasting. We had to take radio and TV courses and when I was in the very beginning of my radio portion, the class (about 50 coeds or so) was listening to examples of radio formats from stations all across the country. Talk, Top 40, AOR jocks, Country, HOT A/C shows and then that example we discussed earlier–Shock Talk ( a term I’ve grown to hate). For that, our professor played a clip of Stevens and Pruett on the KEGL in Dallas.
Someone, I don’t remember, though it was probably Mark, made mention of a euphemism for a woman’s vagina and it was hilarious. I was the only student in that class to laugh. I’d never heard of Stevens and Pruett before that day, but I remember thinking, “I like those guys. I know my sense of humor would mesh with theirs. Someday, I’m going to work with them.”
As mentioned earlier, I joined the show as an official cast member in April 1995, though I’d been a contributing member of the since 1992. I was working at KTRH, KLOL’s AM News/Talk sister station as a Features Reporter. That’s where Stevens had heard my work (which I suppose was a little different) and liked it. He asked me one day to help them out on occasion, because he knew I could do different accents and was strange, I suppose. Locke Siebenhausen, their “do anything I’m told” stunt boy and erstwhile producer would call me in the middle of my gig at KTRH and he’d tell in that inimitable lisp of his, “Hey Laurie, CORRECT, like uh, the Radio Gods need you for a phone bit, yeah right. CORRECT!”
And that was all he’d give me. The rest I just made up as I went along. As the only woman on the show, I knew it was vitally important that I always took a swing at everything Mark, Jim and Boner threw at me. Sometimes I hit it out of the park. Sometimes, I got beaned.
Live and learn.
LOCKE AND LOAD
Locke: otherwise known as Psychological Case Study #28742
We always poked fun at Locke, but in reality he was a harmless, sweet little man who was in many ways, completely fearless. This devoted, loyal adult man-child was made famous for being really, really real. Locke wasn’t an act. What you heard and saw when you met him, was truly who he was. He was one of radio’s very first stunt boys, those overly eager to the point of annoying, “daring to be great young kids still with milk moustaches”, who would go out with a wireless mic and say anything, do anything, try anything, eat anything for their shot at ascending the radio’s Golden Ladder. Locke was never like that. Locke was fearless for reasons I can’t explain here. He simply wanted to please his masters. He’d go out (usually with his handler, Tom “Tubby Peckerwood” Lawler, whose nickname I made up) with a microphone and he would, in this Alan Funt-like manner, record people caught in the act of being themselves. And almost always with hilarious results.
We once put an adult diaper on Locke and filled it in the back with a chocolatey, peanut butter mixture. He’d walk up to people at a bus stop and through his ear piece Mark and Jim would tell him what to do or say. On this day, Mark told him to act a little goofy–kind of a stretch for Locke (?)– then, reach into his diaper and start licking the very gross looking peanut butter stuff from his fingers, acting like was the tastiest stuff he’d ever eaten. The reaction from the bus stop crowd was abject revulsion.
I dressed him in a flesh-colored G-string once and we told him to go to one of those big “do-it-yourself” home stores to purchase a new toilet. In his earpiece, we told him to tell the salesman he needed to try it out first. The salesman said, “OK”, not knowing what that meant. Then Locke proceeded to remove his pants and actually sit on the toilet, making all the appropriate sounds one makes when one sits on a commode trying to pass something as lofty and painful as…well, health insurance reform.
He was summarily kicked out of the store and told never to return.
THE DYNAMIC DUO
Mark and Jim were partners, but Mark was something as the elder statesman of the two. He almost always played straight man to Jimmy’s funny bafoonery. Jimmy was a genius…self taught in life and hilarious, but Mark was funny, too and I don’t think he every really got the credit for his contributions to his own show. He had an eye for talent who could contribute to the attitude. He appreciated those who had a keen sense of the rapid fire humor needed to enhance the show. He was generous that way.
Don’t get me wrong, he could be a complete pain in the ass jerk too, but then again, with his radio pedigree and expertise, he’d earned that right. I had my moments with this man. When I wasn’t hating Stevens for being a total tool, I respected him a great deal.
He wasn’t always the easiest man to work with. He was a stickler for everything being natural and unrehearsed. While the spontaneity was there, anyone who’s ever worked on that show on a full-time basis, and by that I mean contributed to it on air for the entire four-hour duration, will tell you that you walked out of that studio at 10 am absolutely exhausted. Sometimes it took an hour or more to decompress, but it was a good feeling. Really, there’s nothing more fulfilling than knowing you’d just participated in a good show, rife with the funny.
THOSE CRAZY HOLIDAY BALLS
Every Christmas, Mark and Jim hosted the Holiday Ball, which was black tie for men and completely clothing optional for women. In the early years, it was held in various clubs, but got so popular and so huge, that it was moved it to the Hyatt Regency downtown where it became an annual event each December. It was debauchery at its finest and pretty much an uncensored stage version of the show with a very real, very drunken audience.
The guys always made big entrances, usually preceded by something filmed which was shown on huge overhead screens. Then, they’d come into the grand ball room on motorcycles or (if memory serves) by liter bearers with a scantily clad female dwarf throwing rose petals in the path before them. Nudity played a key role at the holiday ball and for the show. During my tenure on the show, it was nothing to see a naked woman in the studio.
You know, radio is a funny thing. When you really need one, it’s often difficult to track down an engineer, these are the men (mostly) whose knowledge of amps, circuits and soldering keeps a station on the air, but on those naked and topless days, you couldn’t get one engineer in particular from leering through the plate-glass window that separated the news and traffic studio from the main broadcast booth. He’d magically appeared out of nowhere. We’d bust him by saying hello to him on the air. Angry, he’d scamper off–his clinking musical tool belt playing that hit, “Engineer’s Delight”. You can hear these cats walking for miles. Just not always when you need them.
Anyway, the show was fun, but that would soon come to a crashing end. The fun would be gone and radio as we knew it, would be as well.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
When President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, he deregulated (and killed) radio. The Act allowed corporate owners to come in and gobble up stations and place them in one big cluster in one big anonymous, sterile looking hi-rise. Prior to that, one person or entity could only own one AM and one FM per market. The Telecom Act shot that out of the water and when corporations came in, they homogenized the sound, made massive budget cuts and fired people who’d spent their lives making scads of money for their owner/masters. Suddenly, they were irrelevant and fired for their years of service and creating large profit margins. That’s when radio started dying. Don’t get me wrong—the radio industry has always been problem riddled. It’s on the lowest rung on the entertainment ladder, but at the same time, a far more creative venue in many ways than TV, yet TV gets all the glamour. You have to think on your feet for both gigs, but in radio, all you have is your wit and your words to create the visual mosaic that your listeners have to hear. I’ve known a lot of TV people who couldn’t bridge that gap. Images were everything and told most of the story. You don’t have that luxury in radio.
Old school types never liked change and the longer they stated, the younger their bosses, Program Directors and co-workers became. “Jaded rage” are two adjectives that can describe anyone who’s spent any significant time behind the mike. But after Telecom passed, it became an even colder, more calculating industry that seemed to attract evil.
Mark Stevens was a victim of this massive Clintonian blunder. In one of the dumbest, most bonehead moves ever, he was fired a few months before a very large radio conglomerate bought KLOL I don’t know if getting rid of Stevens and his impressive salary was part of the deal or if the old owners did it to make it look like were operating in the black…I’m not sure, but firing Stevens was the first salvo fired in an effort to kill KLOL, whether that was the intention or not, it was ultimately, the reality.
Mark’s leaving proved something…or should have, anyway. I’ve heard many people say that so and so was the show. I’ve heard former cast members say they thought they made the show, in truth, it was Mark and Jim’s show and people came and went and the show moved along just fine without them, but when Mark left, so did the magic. It limped along in various lackluster incarnations after that, but these shows never attained anything near the success of the original show. Nothing could grow in the massive shadow cast by the one, the only Stevens and Pruett Show.
R.I.P. ROCK 101 KLOL
Sadly, in 2004, KLOL died as it began.
At ten one morning with no fanfare, “I’m Free” by The Who was played and when the song ended, so did KLOL as we knew it. After a commercial break, it started playing Spanish language music. Something called “reggaeton”.
WHO AND WHAT AND WHY
I know I’m biased.
I thought the show was brilliant, but it wasn’t for everyone. Comedy and what one deems to be humorous are completely subjective. Some of our core listeners grew tired to the nasty monotony and went elsewhere for their morning radio fix.
Some will argue that there are radio shows currently in Houston that are funny and wildly entertaining. I’d argue that point–to each his own–but I assure you, one would be hard-pressed to find the broadcast magic that these two men created with the motliest of crews as back-up.
The witty and urbane Lanny Griffith was the Traffic Master who handled “Traffic and Bondage” (his brilliantly special overview of the city’s traffic scene was always prefaced with the sound of a whip cracking very loudly) in the mornings with S&P and also in the afternoons with Moby, who knew every punchline to every joke ever written or uttered.
There was Martha Martinez, the News Muchacha who was as elegant as she was eloquent. The late Kevin Dorsey, was a former bread truck driver who loved the show. From what I’ve heard, he’d stop by watch on occasion and the guys got to know him. Well my friends, odd as that sounds, that’s exactly how some radio careers are born. It’s all about who you know and of course, cosmic timing.
One of the other ingredients of the show was the dry, very,very funny sports guru, Craig Roberts.
Before Craig, there was Barry Warner, who I think was called “The Sports Mouth”.
The late newsman and resident shit stirrer, Chuck Shramek played a part. He proved that the line between brilliance and lunacy is razor-thin. He was a funny man; wonderfully strange and completely warped. I miss him very much.
Doug Harris, was/is a promotions visionary. As the KLOL Promotions Director in the early years, he made a name for himself by being a brilliantly creative idea man. He devised and concocted the best, most creative station promotions ever. Other promo guys across the country could only scratch their heads and do more acid. No one could conceive ’em like Doug Harris. He was as vital a part of the KLOL fabric as anyone else.
KLOL’s General Manager-the intensely creative Pat Fant who many times has changed the face, the shape and the sound of radio, along with station owner, Jay Jones ( of the powerful Houston Jones’) put all these people together in a big, talented morning radio salad and tossed and shook and stirred and this melange of talent and style kept Houstonians fed, happy and musically and comedically sated for years, though the S&P show rarely played music; save for live bands and a song to cover the recording of listener comments after a n Uncle Waldo.
And there was a host of support staff behind the scenes as well. We had Producers, Jake Ray and Tom Lawler, interns like Jizzy Berkinstock and plenty of hangers-on desperate for their 15 minutes of fame. Mark and Jim would give them 20 if they brought any real content to the show and expressed a willingness to do their bidding. You’d get 30 minutes if you were a woman willing to raise the Uncle Waldo imaginary curtain with a raised shirt, revealing very real (and many not so real) ta-ta’s.
All of this happened at a time when being in radio was fun; when you were free to explore; to push…nay, shove the envelope and boldly go where no one else dared.
And why wouldn’t they? Because they couldn’t. Few had or have the comedy chops for one thing, and maybe they didn’t “dare do be different” because they were scared of the FCC and fines, which S&P racked up like bonus points in the lightning round of TV’s Password. Some may say,
“So, if S&P were so damn funny, where are they now? They’re NOT on the air and these shows that you deem so unfunny still are on the air. What’s up with that? Care to explain?”
Well, the answer is simple.
Radio today just plain sucks and those making the decisions intentionally play it safe by hiring the boring, the banal, the bland and the inexpensive. Mark and Jim helped pioneer the very morning show constructs these shows try to employ. These other shows may be still on their air, but I don’t think any of them are worth a damn. Sorry, I don’t. In my opinion, there is not one funny, listenable male-oriented show in Houston right now. I don’t care which day part. As far as true radio talent goes, this place is Saharan. An arid plain devoid of anything entertaining. If anyone is listening to their shows it’s because they’ve been forced to choose from the lesser of about 13 evils. And not every car is wired for WiFi.
Otherwise, close the sarcophagus.
These hosts are working casualties in my opinion; the working wounded. They phone it in every morning because well, banal repetition and pre-recorded bits which are bought from some service each week is better than unemployment. Maybe, but where’s the dignity in that? A mortgage has forced them to compromise–assuming they have any real talent under all that humdrumness. They’re part of a sad collective created by the radio powers-that-be: yawn-inducing creators of milquetoast radio. Play it safe by not playing at all.
Again, this is my opinion only.
I know male oriented shows where sex as a standard topic is king, won’t always float every audience member’s boat; the subject matter can grow old after a while, but I implore you–please tell me how compelling is listening to a discussion about cake-like Oreos and their dunkablility when driving to work???
My God, it’s so sad. Radio has lost its soul….or sold it, but I strongly encourage you to save yours.
Get an iPod.
Long live S&P, if only in our minds.
Gawd bless ya, La-la! Great bit.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and memories.
It’s almost like going back in time.
Too bad all good things come to an end.
I listened so very closely that no matter who interupted who I knew who was saying what.
And I never missed a beat from 6am to10am and sometimes they would even hit the air a little before 6am. I can’t tell you how many bonus words and phrases I won.
You have to listen pretty damn close to catch them.
You and Chuck worked so well together. I miss him dearly.
I haven’t seen you since well since his funeral.
I miss every single one of you. Even Jim’s goofy characters he played 😉
Laurie, i left houston right before the hammer fell. other than missing family in Houston, the ONLY thing i miss is the KLOL morning show with the radio gods, S&P, the boner and the rest of the KLOL family. i listened to 101 my entire life in houston other than a tour in the Marine Corps and up until i moved to Oklahoma city nothing before or since has come close.
bless you , and mark and jim and the whole gang. it was a once in a life experience.
Great read Laurie K – Houston’s most literate News Director. pf
S&P are nowhere near the other shock jocks you listed. Sure they got huge ratings for LOL, but if you didn’t live in Texas, you would have no idea who these guys are. Unless you are some kind of radio nerd. And yes, I acknowledge that there are plenty. Industry guys know S&P, but if you ask anyone who Howard K. Stern, Opie and Anthony, Imus or Cowman is and they’ll know at least one of them. These guys were all nationally syndicated at some point, some in almost every major market.
“There are shows currently on the air now who try, but fail miserably in the process. They aren’t funny, they create nothing special, yet somehow these people are still on the air and S&P isn’t?” If a show is bringing in sponsors and money, they’re going to stay on the air. Until they get fired. Why do you think that after CBS canned Opie and Anthony in 2002, they paid them ($30 million-ish??) to stay off the air? Because they were worried that Stern would take a ratings hit if they went up against him. Both shows are extremely funny, or at least they used to be when they weren’t getting every bit shot down by management. Stern stopped being funny in the early/mid 90s. It’s a shame too, he was absolutely amazing, but his show has gone in the dumper since becoming the most grossly overpaid person in the media. For $500 million, I’d expect at least half decent radio. Not just plug after plug (not including his own hair plugs). As for Opie and Anthony, they’re still funny, but they need to end their contract and just do an internet only show. They have the fan base that will follow. It’s just a shame that every bit they attempt to do gets shot down by management. I don’t remember anything happening like that when they were on WNEW.
“I’m not really sure what that means or represents, other than it’s proof that radio is more screwed up than ever.”
– Agreed. Terrestrial radio stinks, and satellite is going the same route. I’ll be looking for my uncensored comedy radio shows online. If it’s a publicly traded company and involved in radio, it stinks. End of story. The early days of XM were just amazing. Since the merger with Sirius, the suits have ruined everything that was good on satellite radio. Satellite radio is supposed to be uncensored. It’s beyond censored. It’s sickening.
TL:DR – S&P aren’t shock jocks by todays standards. Frrrunkis.
You’re entitled to your opinion and as I made it abundantly clear, my homage to Stevens and Pruett was based on my opinion. For their time, they were very funny and very well known in the industry and yes, one of the very first “shock jocks” (a term I truly despite, by the way) on American radio. They were often immitated and alot of the jocks we both mentioned have careers today becuase of the inroads Mark and Jim paved. I don’t care what anyone says–THAT is indisputable.
They left the airwaves ten years ago and started their careers as a duo almost 40 years ago. I really don’t care how or what they’d be considered today. But whatever that might be, it would be a hell of a lot better and funnier than what’s offered elsewhere. Internet Streaming of shows from all over the country allows everyone anywhere to listen to any show on the planet, including all the current so called Giants of Today’s Radio Industry. I’ve heard them all and I’m sorry, but in my opinion, I STILL don’t think any of their schtick is as funny as what Stevens and Pruett offered on a daily basis.
I also admitted that listeners got tired of their schtick, but it was that schtick that kept Stern OUT of the Houston market for decades.
Their ratings in the latter years reflected the growing disinterest and I think that’s sad.
And what else is sad? These days, radio can’t be choosy…it can’t afford to be. Options (downloads, satellite radio, et. al) are killing terrestrial radio as much as blind and idiotic money mongers which call themselves “corporate radio owners”. So is lousy, homogenized programming and spineless drones hired on as Music and Program Directors who do nothing more than play obsequious Step-N-Fetch-It types for their corporate overseers.
Terrestrial radio is horrible. I wish the FCC would just pull the goddamn plug. You think that’s static you hear when you pass under a bridge? No, it’s just radio’s death rattle.
I wish I had Kervokian’s number.
Great memories, Laurie. I was at KTRH when S&P came to KLOL and it was an exciting time, even for us on the other side of the building. And I second your accolades for the supporting cast, particularly Brian–that brain was in overdrive.
As a unwilling purveyor of Houston’s radio scene due to a long commute I kind of pick and choose amongst what is left of Houston’s radio scene. I feel Rodd Ryan has the best morning show and he doesn’t dial it in from 9-10 am like a lot of other stations. Doug Harris does movie/dvd reviews on Tuesdays on Dean and Rog’s show. Tubby was on the classic country station until last year and was let go for some reason. Lanny has been on KRIV 26 for a long time in the morning. It is amazing how many former KTRH people have ended up on TV. Wayne Dolcefino, Robert Arnold, Stephen Dean and others. I never understood the logic of firing half of the morning duo and listening to the show limp along after that (and I did listen!). I love your blog, keep up the good work!
I listened to Stevens and Pruett here in Dallas, in the early 80s, when I was in high school. My Houston friends told me they’d gotten really raunchy in the early 90s… and I guess now, they’ve been clipped.
Well, a paycheck is a paycheck. It shouldn’t have to cost your soul, but usually it takes a big bite.
Thanks for such a great post. I wish you would have posted that great picture of you all together in this.
Hey LK….I thoroughly enjoyed this piece of creative genius!! You have once again outdone yourself. Brought back such great memories.
JWAC and I were very recently discussing the origination of his nickname…trying to remember who it came from….and we think it was given to him by Brian.
We always said that if you and Eddie “The Boner” Sanchez ever created offspring, that kid would be the most quick witted comeback / one-liner havin’ mofo in the world!
Brian and I have been told that many times.
Speaking of, it was, in fact my funny Baby Daddy Boner who gave Frank the name “Jesus With A Camera”.
Houston radio started to die in the mid 90s.. Today it is the crappiest format in the nation. With Hip Hop BS and Mexican accordion blah blah…
Personally, I prefer, 103.5 KBob in Austin.. Reminds me of the old KRQT radio but I miss KLOL and 97Rock.. Even ZRock too.. but the Planet was one of the last good stations in Houston.
I cannot stand local radio. Talk or Music. It all sucks.
I miss S&P and the Buzz original morning show when they first started in the 90s.
I miss good music and Houston does not have any.
ykms [“yer killin’ me, Smalls”].
i was there when k-101 was born and when it died. when they went to the ‘reggaeton’ thing after that commercial, i had no idea that was happening. at first i thought it was a parody. when i found out the truth, i couldn’t believe it. i called my wife and i think she teared up. when we were dating in the 70’s we would just lie there in the dark [with only the glow of the occassional ‘cigarette’ to light the way] and listen to Crash do his thing on my Pioneer 949 quadrophonic system.
[btw, laurie…did i ever tell you that i met Crash at a big long latrine at a JJ Cale concert at some club in Montrose? we didn’t shake hands, tho.]
New, awesome radio station in Dallas, which you can listen to online:
Our PBS/NPR station is 100% talk now, so this spin-off station fills in for the music spectrum they used to present. Good stuff.
I only listen to NPR, and a few XM Radio stations. The regular stuff in Dallas is business-talk, fundy sermons/political rants, Mexican/Tejano, “b*tch” and “ho” hip-hop, or modern country… and none of those appeal to me, or anyone I know. I guess we’re just as segregated on the airwaves as in everything else.
Great blog, Laurie! I was not only a co-worker of Mark & Jimmy’s (KLOL and KILT), but I was/am a huge fan. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories!
Loved the article. It brings back many memories. I listened to 101 from the early days, as my cousin was a DJ there. I listened to S&P when they were at KILT and KULF. I had left Houston when they killed the station. There was nothing like driving back into Houston on Friday afternoon just in time to hear Dave play the “Friday Song”.
If you think OTA Radio morning shows are bad, just listen to the satellite radio’s version of a morning show. You have 3 idiots who think a discussion about a cat urinating in your mouth while you are sleeping, is real entertainment.
Thanks for the memories…
Couldn’t agree with you more about the condition of the homogenized “one size fits all” radio formats that exist is almost all markets across the country today. I was a small market jock for years, hoping to make it to the big markets. Moved to Houston in 1990 and was in awe of KLOL. My career went in a different direction, but had enjoyed the stations at the time.
Now, when I cross this country driving, it’s the smaller market stations that shine. With a combination of music that is not narrow repetition for the mindless masses, it makes me long to be a minimum wage paid jock again just for the fun of it.
Laurie you rock for taking us down this fantastic trip down memory lane. I too was lucky enough to be in the studio audience and S&P were the absolute last great radio show in Houston. Ever! Bar none. All of you were awesome to meet in person and just as nice as could be. I loved them so much my dad even made several copies of their show and sent them to me while I was in the Navy. Best package from home! Please keep the memories coming when you can recall some others and maybe we could find a way for somebody to put together another Best of S&P CD/DVD? Again thanks for the great article and keep them coming. Oh and by the way why is it whenever there is a discussion about shock radio there is always some Stern ass pirate that has to throw that homos name around! He couldn’t hold S&P’s colostomy bag!
This is a great trip down the proverbial memory lane. I lost my enthusiasm for S & P after high school, but I always “The Boner” was hilarious.
Thanks for this tasty slice of radio history!!! I cut my teeth on LaBella & Rhody at the Zoo:
http://thezoofile.com/index.html I see now that LaBella did a stint atK LOL, so the circle is now
complete;all things lead back to there. So many good times!
Fantastic entry as usual.
Nice one Laurie.
Thanks for posting this as it was a trip back in time for me. I moved to Houston in 1983 and was there until 1999. I listened KLOL relogiously and Loved Stevens & Pruett – Moby and the whole thing. Thankfully I was not there for the demise of the show so my memories end with it going strong. I ran into Jim many times around town and he was a very kind gentleman. I think you view of the whole situation is probably very accurate. They were way ahead of the rest in their innovative format and campy humor.. Loved watching the in studio clip.
Great piece Laurie! The day never seemed the same without your morning does of S&P!
Laurie, That was wonderful! I missed the recent reunion kuz I’m under the radar. I’m in the Woodlands and would love to be interfaced. Harriet and I are married and have bred. They’re beautiful and smart.
Stephen is 7 and Therese is 6. Drop a line soon, I miss you.
Great post Laurie. I started listening to S&P when I moved to Houston in the 90’s. I remember when the show would turn more “adult-oriented” around 9 am and have the announcement that anyone under 18 needed to listen to something else. That was back when they would setup women with other women to go out on dates. I remember listening to you, elaine closure, locke, tubby, tito, chuck schramek. I thought it was funny that nobody mentioned what the morse code spelled out until after Chuck’s death. I had moved away when Stevens was fired. When I moved back, and tuned in for the first time it just wasn’t the same. Thanks for bringing back some good memories.
Hi Laurie. I really like your blog.
Good talk radio is hard to find. But here is easliy the best station in the world. You can listen live or get the podcasts.
The Bill Handel Show and The John and Ken Show are the best. There is no way radio can be better! John and Ken are on their respective vacations this week. No funny business there. John is a real family man. Some people wonder about Ken. But they are both brilliant.
It’s mostly about California and Los Angeles, but, boy, is it good. And frequently hilarious. They aren’t trying to go national. They have plenty to talk about with all the creepy politics in California. I’m sure you can imagine.
Here is John excoriating Asa Hutchinson, then Under Secretary for Border & Transportation Security at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Hope you like it!
Wow. That brought back memories. I often wonder why I listen to the morning that I do. And sometimes I think, maybe I’m waiting on them to return. S&P that is. The, hands down, greatest morning show ever. I think I still have my wrap that rascal keychain. At least the cover lol. Where can I get S&P audio? Those are collectable classics! At least to me. I’d like to fill my IPOD with them.
Grooovy! S&P will always be my favorite. I met Locke, Shannon “Boner”, and Jim Pruett. I never thought they’d be removed after 30 years. They are greatly missed but never forgotten. Hey Laurie, how can I get my hands on some audio of these guys? Let me know. Thanks for creating this. It’s awesome. It would be better if you could get S&P to weigh in some comments also sometimes. Thanks again.
Hi Laurie, I don’t know if you will remember, but we met some 5 years ago. Have you heard that Mark Stevens has died recently? I found your blog while trying to find out and I am not having any luck.
Wow! You have a way with words Laurie! Great read and Mark was a great guy. I remember having Stevens & Pruett and you on my now defunct internet radio station a few years back. The guys still had the magic and you were amazing.
Hey Laurie, Tubby called me about the news. Oddly enough, i was talking to a fan of the show about Mark just last week. Tubby and I, like everyone else, had good memories and bad memories while there. As tough as Mark was, he was that guiding force. He made me a better writer by not allowing me to get comfortable with the comedy especially when it came to the Locke Intro’s. And yes, I agree the beginning of the end was the force out of Mark. It seems like the last bastion of radio walked out the door when Mark left out the door and radio hasn’t been the same. I only listen to NPR now as I can’t stand the tripe they talk about on the other stations (gossip, gossip and more gossip). People walk in and out of your life all the time, some are just whispers while other linger in your memory for eternity. I’ve perused some news sites and read some of the comments and Marky Baby lives on. A lot of people still long for the show like a comfortable pair of beat up tennis shoes. I’m listening to NBC Nightly News as I type this and they ar reporting that early retirement plays havoc on the mind. I feel that Mark had more time on this earth but they forced him out. He should have had the chance to decide when it was time to officially sign off rather than being forced out. Well girl, give me a shout back and take care.
Back in the day I was a bartender at Treasures. As I was not totally depraved one of my ancillary duties/fringe benefits was to get the girls to the 101 studios for the show and back to the club in time for work. I remember Mark’s wonderful ability in delivering crude yet funny lines and observations in the midst of a room full of naked women in a way that always came off as sophisticated and never demeaning. He was a great professional and truly represents the end of an era. My thoughts to his family during this time.
You are very correct about the current state of radio, Laurie. Other than NPR I haven’t listened to terrestrial radio in years. As with many other facets of life, morning radio has sunk to the level of its perceived audience. I listen to KUHF from 6 to 7 AM and then it’s Sirius for the rest of the commute.
What a great heartfelt tribute to Mark and the show. S&P did more for the comedy scene in Houston than anyone I know. You and the entire S&P team are treasured memories for myself and many others. No radio show will ever capture the magic of Mark and Jimmy’s partnership. It truly was like lightning in a bottle. My thoughts and prayers go out to Marks family and all of you in his radio family.
My apologies; I meant to leave this comment here:
I really can’t believe I’m in tears over reading this news. Such a sad day for Houston radio, free speech, individual rights, and those of us who came of age laughing til we cried listening to the Radio Gods. Houston radio has and will never know two such caring, involved, community celebrities. Mark Stevens, God speed. To Locke, Eddie “the Boner” Sanchez, Laurie Kendrick, Dayna Steele, Col. St. James, and all the 101 KLOL staff and Houston Radio personalities who worked with and/or became family to Mr. Mark Stevens, especially Jim Pruett brother in spirit and in heart, my heart and prayers go out to you. It is indeed a dark day for many.
NOVEMBER 12, 2004. That is the day that KLOL went off the air. I was headed to work on my last day. I quit, Had enough. I was listening to KLOL just as I had as a kid in the late 60’s and early 70’s (Remember Crash in your Dash). The WHO was played and then that damn Tejano crap came on. I knew it was the time to leave Houston and that was the sign I needed. I miss the old Houston, I miss my friends and family. I don’t even have a radio in my new truck…..The music of today is crap, The radio stations are crap, …………….Long live S&P. This was a good post and brought a lot of memories. I once got to be a guest in the studio, That was the high light of my week…….long live KLOL
Steven’s and Pruett will always leave an imprint on my memory. The laughter and hilarity they brought to Houston from the studio to the generosity of the charities supported by the Holiday Balls that I attended will always be a part of my past. All good things do come to an end. Radio and Rock and Roll maybe dead or dying thanks to the Clinton administration and greedy ass corporate owners but I say long live the Rock Gawds of 101 KLOL!!!!! It is only right and correct as Locke would say. I am deeply saddened by the loss of a great man who has brought much humor to a cold, cruel world. Roger. Out………
I remeber when i use to listen to 101 klol non stop. I am 42 now and s&p were the greatest. We use to sneak are lil portable radios to school and catch the morning show . Or someone would tell us the uncle waldo script. You know sometimes you wish history would repeat itself. Its true houston radio sucks ! long live s&p and 101 KLOL
Well said, Laurie. I too admired Mark a great deal. For some reason, he thought I was occasionally funny enough to buy jokes from me. I’ll always appreciate that he did that because I was up against some nasty loans from law school at the time. I’m also very grateful to have been privy to what I much later realized were the last days of freewheeling, independent radio. I left the show before the blood began to spill, but I have many fond memories of the mornings I spent in the studio. My thanks to the entire Stevens & Pruett crew for allowing to be there underfoot. I haven’t laughed out loud as much since.
An excellent narrative, Laurie. I was, however, disappointed that Brian Shannon, aka Eddie “The Boner” Sanchez only warranted a passing sentence from you. He was a major part of the show, much more than Locke was and he partnered with Jim when Mark was fired. Brian added a lot of humor and talent to the S&P show and deserved more recognition than you gave him.
And for that matter, Lanny Griffith warranted more ink…as did Martha Martinez, Shram and Kevin. Jim and Craig Roberts, too.
You’re entitled to your opinion, Nick and I respect you for it. We all had our personal on air favorites, but that wasn’t why I wrote this blog post. I had my motives for writing what I wrote, as I wrote it.
I spoke with Brian tonight in fact, and we discussed this post in particular. My goal was to write something about Mark, for Mark in the waning months I knew he’d still be with us. I never wanted to be accused of one of those showboaters who only professed an abiding love and respect for Mark at the time of his death. I wanted my sentiments to be well known and documented while this talented man was still alive. The post was about Mark primarily and then secondly, it was about Mark and Jim and their relationship as cohosts and their history together as well as their impact on KLOL and Houston radio in general. The “Show” and the supporting cast were secondary.
Like you, I fully recognize Brian’s brilliant input as Boner and he is and always will be one of the premier reactive comics who has ever worked in radio and when and if the time comes for me to write a narrative that focuses on him and his many talents, I will.
But please understand something: everyone contributed to that show. It was inclusive of a great many people and personalities that meshed. A radio show of that size and of that talent level is indeed a carefully hewn collective and everyone feeds off each others’ strengths and weaknesses. In every show, there’s chemistry and symbiosis that must be in play. It’s interconnectivity and it’s vital. Therefore, no one member of ANY show is an island and therefore untouchable…EXCEPT for the man whose name was one half of the show’s letterhead. In this case, that was Mark Stevens. Everyone else was expendable. Someone’s departure might have changed the dynamic some, but could it disentegrate a show?????
But when Stevens was fired, the magic exited with him. This is inarguable, Nick. Without him, the show or what was left of it, dwindled to a very sad, unlistenable status and NO ONE could save it.
I repeat, NO ONE could save it.
So, please, let’s not split hairs, Nick….especially in the “who contributed and who didn’t” category. This isn’t the time or place for that kind of idiosyncratic conveyance, OK? We’ve lost a dear friend in Mark Stevens, he was a great talent whose influence in my life and the lives of so many others, is indescribable.
Awesome writing LK. You pegged it to a T.
Houston Radio is dead. It died with KLOL and the Rocket 107.5, Z 107. Yeah I’m a tad biased on that (hee hee).
Houston radio hasn’t had any life since and I play my ipod aside from W&J or Talk. I miss the old times too.
As one of the show’s desperate hangers-on, I can testify to his generosity. He gave me at least 23 minutes on the fame clock.
I used to sit at my desk at work and write a few jokes and fax them to the show and within an hour I would hear Mark do one on the air.
It was a real thrill! After a couple of weeks of doing that, I called the show and thanked him for using my stuff. He was very complimentary and asked if I would like to be a payed writer for the show. Well…. YES!! He would go over the material I turned in and would use it in different ways than I intended. He gave me writing and comedy pointers. He showed me how to take the original germ of an idea and bend it, flip it, turn it inside out and come up with a new, different and very original bit. I even took the negative comments as a challenge to do better.
I had a blast hanging out in the studio, meeting famous guests (especially Sam Kinnison) and feeling like a tiny part of a very important show.
Thank you Mark, for seeing a talent and helping me express it.
You will be missed.
In the whole rememberance of Mark, there is no word from Brian Shannon. What gives?
I grew up on 1o1 KLOL, and when I had heard of Mark’s passing, my heart sank. Until I read your tribute to S&P, I had forgotten how everything went downhill sooo fast, and how pissed off I was.
I remember The Who being the first song to kick off what would become one of the greatest radio stations in history, and regret that I didn’t hear it at the end. In this P.C. world, there will never be another Stevens & Pruett Show…EVER!! AND, YOU, MR. CHIP C. (see comment above), YOU HAVEN’T THE SLIGHTEST FU*CKING IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!
There are plenty of people outside of Houston, and Texas for that matter, who WISHED, they had the ability to listen to the S&P Show, but couldn’t at that time. But I digress, Laurie, I had heard that Mark had been ill, but I never heard what he died of. Can you enlighten me?
God bless you all for all of the good times, and memories that you have ALL bestowed upon us over the years. I was at the KLOL reunion hear in Houston, and had hoped to see the “Radio Gods” back together one last time, but sadly, it was not to be.
God bless you all, (except Chip C., FU*K YOU!).
Wow. Just ran across this blog by accident when I google’d Jim Pruett.
What a piece of true journalism. Congratulations.
Mark Stevens and Jim Pruett go way back in my life. As a teen…I listened to “Markie Baby” on KFJZ in Fort Worth. Pruett and I went to high school together in Brownwood and Pruett claims that I got him started in radio in Brownwood when a job was offered to me, but I had to relocate with my family to the Dallas area….so Pruett got the job on KBWD. And after Vietnam…Pruett got me a job as “all night” guy on KNUZ (still top 40 am in those days).
I am now in my 60’s living in Colorado. But I still have my KLOL banner hanging in my garage. Jimmy…I love you and Mark….I know that you have the control of the “golden mike” up there and that you are helping to “crank up the sun” every morning.
You documented so many mornings of my life! What a great day it was to start with a laugh and a smile and S & P. The first day I heard music in the morning and not my favorite morning crew I thought Boner was messing arround, then no S&P. I was SICK. Where was my runaway radio that I had enjoyed since highschool? I still have my photo scuba diving with a long sleeve KLOL t-shirt hanging in my office. Always a true and loyal fan to the show, God bless Mark. Thanks for your great documentation of what this show really was Laurie.
Was just remembering the “old days” when I saw the article about Mark Stevens death. It makes me very sad. My friends and I would listen to their show on our boombox until we were old enough to drive and then we listened to them every morning on our way to school. Always did love to hear Locke out and about and the great Uncle Waldo scits. R.I.P. Mark.
i just wanted to say i was raised on the old 97 rock and 101 klol! I remember when i was a kid thats all i loved to listen to was moby in the morning with his get your lazy asses out of bed, and stevens, pruitt & the boner in the morning show! god i miss those shows! i am grown now but still have memories and stuff like t-shirts and posters and koozies, etc. and the stories that i could tell that most people would not even beleive, that went along with the klol run away radio and 97 rock radio heads!
I once appeared as a guest on the S&P show, It was hilarious. On November 12, 2004 I retired from my company early, was fed up with the BS. As I was leaving and listening to the radio, The Who came on KLOL and then after the song they announced the new Tejano format, KLOL was gone forever. A buddy said it was a sign that i made the right decision. I moved to Dallas, and yes todays Radio sucks, Long Live S&P.
Great work, Laurie…man, I miss S&P and real radio!
Enjoyed your blog.
I grew up in Houston listening to KILT then KLOL.
First Stevens and Pruett get canned, then KLOL and then KTRU.
It’s a real wasteland out there now.
Very well done…thank you. I do miss the entire air staff of KLOL. You’re right, Houston has lost it’s radio “soul”…and that’s too bad.
Laurie, I was a big S & P fan but they kind of ran out of newness as does most exciting things in life. I grew tired of them the last few years , they were like a shooting star very bright then fades… nothing wrong with that.
40 yrs old and I’m thinking back to the great S&P days and i find your website! Almost brought a tear to my eye just seeing the KLOL stickers. I have been a Stern fan for quite sometime but every time i hear him say he was the lone pioneer and developed this format, I always want to call in and asked if he recalls S&P. Also, watching the video clip of the Uncle Waldo clip brought me back to my morning drive to high school. Thanks for this website!
Great story. I miss KLOL! But that’s because I’m getting old!
I miss those days at KLOL, great memories! Cindy “The Banana Girl”
I was graduating from radio broadcasting school and glued to the Mark Eee Baby show in DFW at the time. Mark molded my brain forever.
Thank the Radio Gawds I moved to Houston to follow the act and then moved to China, where I started an afternoon drive Rock show that I used all my brainwashing to good use on the Chinese young people.
The Chinese youngsters all listened, from junior high all the way up scale as I mimmicked the great ones with my own radio-god team in Shanghai. Though my skits were “Helga the Motorscooter Mamma”, instead of Waldo, and “Ask The Two Guys” had the babes on it, like the GAWDS, it produced the same results in China as it did in Houston.
Upon returning to the US one day, I was trying to find Mark’s phone number to ask for an interview with him for the air to find he had died.
I feel as if my maker has left me alone.
“While the spontaneity was there, anyone who’s ever worked on that show on a full-time basis, and by that I mean contributed to it on air for the entire four-hour duration, will tell you that you walked out of that studio at 10 am absolutely exhausted.”
I second that! Of course for me it may have been getting off work at 6am and driving from the Airport to the studio could have contributed to that exhaustion.
I guess I was one of those hangers on, but I recall fondly the time I spent as a unofficial “intern” as well as that week in Montreal, the casino and the just for laughs festival, Locke greeting me in the mornings with a pocket full of doughnuts or kolaches, “Yeah right, HEY Achmed (I don’t think he ever used my real name) do you want a doughnut?”
I still cringe every time I hear people refer to Walton and Johnson as “Radio Gawds”
aka, Achmed, aka Vinny, aka Maurice, aka random caller.
Laurie, I appreciate you, your work and this article. I loved S & P. My wife Carmen and I moved to the Houston area 25 years ago. I would bend everyones ear I could about the morning show. Entertainment at its best ! Thank you !! Steve
Thank you for the stroll down memory lane, Laurie. We were living in the Houston area beginning in the mid-90s, and I listened to S&P for years.
I have to agree with most of what you say about S&P. I’ve listened (or rather tried listening) to other morning personalities since S&P, but never enjoyed them as much as S&P.
Out of the blue this evening, I got to wondering about what ever happened to S&P and rest of the crew. Was saddened to hear of Mark’s passing.
Hope you’re doing well though, Laurie. I remember, when I first started listening to S&P, that you really “held your own” with them, and added to the show. Are you still in radio; or did you move to a different industry altogether?
Thank you; and all the best!
I do not know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering problems with your blog. It looks like some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.
After hearing of Jim Pruett’s passing I ran across your post. Thanks for the memories. I used to listen all the time. I had the pleasure of seeing the magic happen in person a couple of times when I went with my dear friend Jerry Lightfoot to promote his shows. They were always so kind and supportive of him. Thans again.
Jim Pruett was a big kid with a big heart.
Was googling KLOL looking for a certain logo and came across your blog – having grown up with Tubby as “Dad,” I always heard stories about S&P, and everyone else on the show. So thank you for writing such a wonderful tribute to a time in Dads life that he was most proud to be a part of.
I recently went back to Houston to clean out his storage units, and the radio dial wasn’t the same.
Hopefully the aircheck tapes and Holiday Ball videos are still playable that I found.
Hello Tom. The last time I saw you was a million years ago at a place that truly feels like it’s a million miles away.
You couldn’t have been more than nine,or ten, maybe and you were with you dad during the show. Mark and Jim somehow cajoled your semi-leary dad into letting you go on the air. I don’t remember the subject matter, but it if what little memory Inhave left serves, it was G rated and you handled it like a pro.
I knew your father for quite some time. We even shared the same birthday, April 22, though I am a few years older. In addition to that, I was the one who actuallly named him Tubby Puckerwood. That was during a show in the mid 90’s but we’d known each other for years before we actually started working together on the show. I knew home from his days at Brigadier Limo.
I only found Out that you lost your dad a few months ago. I’m sorry seems so feel le but I hated hearing it. It’s been a a decade that’s been rife with mind boggling, kick in the ass with reality regard to confronting one’s own mortality. THere are only six…JUST SIX full time Dtevens and Pruett Show cast members alive as Imtype this. And what’s odd is that Locke, Brian (Boner) and I are the two youngest still kicking. . So very, very strange.
There was a time when I looked around the original studio at the amazing cast of characters at work, comedy rounds being fired faster than anything at Fallujah, thinking we’d all live forever. This, I thoight could never end. But it did. And in some ways , it never does. Fortunately in Broadcasting, you’re voice or image can live on forever, .but the material gets old.
So, we move on and accept what we must, change what we can and cry and laugh when we have to. I know what it’s like to lose someone extremely close. It’s damn tough, but as I’m sure…I hope….you know that time is your best friend.
Be well, young Tom and above all be happy. Life doesn’t allow that to be plausible 24/7, you’d never know joy if you didn’t know the opposite, but continue to try your hardest anyway.
Tubby was the one that went out and found a banana for me so I could make all the guys in wheel chairs stand. I became known as the Banana Girl ever since. He was a funny guy. Had a lot of fun and respect for him. So sorry for your loss.
Work sucks but. Stevens and Pruett made the drive to work enjoyable and. made the drive funny . There will never be another team like those two . God Bless Stevens and Pruett along with the rest of the Team
Great article, I am attempting to find out what happened to the show. I was in Houston when they gained the syndicated programming throughout the southeast. I just find it odd that they would be fired without reason. I fear they were blamed for something that they just did not do. Evil did make its way into the station in my opinion. I spent time around a couple of the other djs, they weren’t good people which I believe could be responsible. It might be coincidence but this group of people made a point of their charity event held at Lake Sommerville in the early ninties. This group of destroyers, that is what they are included at least two dis who would have done anything to get another of their friends involved with the station. I listened to the show only a few times and do not begin to say or think that I know anything about the show. Great article.
The show by virtue of its very nature…adult oriented and album rock….could be something of a portal for unsavory people. I think a lot of people used the show..and even the entire station to a lesser extent….. for completely selfish and hedonistic purposes.
I was summarily dismissed after Stevens who was fired, simply for being too old. I was just dead dead weight to them by that time. One very unsavvy, inexperienced manager actually said that Mark was too old in a magazine article at the time. He only lived ten years longer. That show was his life. He had a lot, but without the show he didn’t have much. That might not make sense, it it does in Mark’s case.
When they fired a Mark, the show went with him. It simply couldn’t survive without him
I pretty much lost contact with Jim after Mark’s death and I was fired. We tried to reclaim “the magic” with few show members by trying various incarnations of it, but every attempt failed. The magic was dead.
Was there an evil force at the station? I can’t call it evil per se, but there were more than a few people both on air and off I couldn’t/wouldn’t trust. Narcissistic backstab bets, users, sycophantic blow-hards, crude and classless. Lots of talentless hacks whode one true calling was ass-kissing.
My memories of that show before, during and after my time on the air is kind of an emotional mixed bag. I had fun, yet I didn’t. I made memories, but many I want to forget…the same applies to most of the people I met. At my age, I can barely remember their names: and for some reason I take comfort in the extra separation the lack of memory offers me. I revel each year that distances me further from my time there. In fact, 2020 will mark 20 years since I was fired. I have no regrets.
It’s odd to think of the show today, which in our current political climate and the #MeToo movement, the need to walk on egg shells in terms of being PC, and so on, wouldn’t last five minutes on the air without major repercussions. I can’t say I was misersble there but due to many circumstances, some of my own making, it became a difficult, unhappy period.
During my years there, the morning show consisted of 11 full time members. As of mid March 2019, only six are still alive and I’m including former show members from previous eras. A I don’t know what that it means…time , aging. Karma. I’m not sure, but with few exceptions, most died relatively young.
I appreciate the reply so much and apologize for not finding it sooner.
I enjoyed the posts on your blog very much.
Digging thru Tubby’s archive of pictures, tapes, and photos…I finally stumbled across a Locke & Tubby escapade that involved you.
Watching these old tapes, listening to airchecks, and seeing the pictures (the good, and the bad) helps explain a good deal that Dad & I never discussed.
Hope everything is OK out in the Hill Country.
Tom, it was a different time. And I’d like to think that had your dad lived, he and I would be in the here and now, correcting a lot of wrongs and striving to be good, decent people in a world where few exist. Because to be brutally honest, there was a time we weren’t heading in that direction. The whole show seemed hell bound at one time. As for your dad and I, the things that were leading us astray were different, but the path was similar. Your father and I were never close. I’ve reached a few conclusions as to why that might have been the case, but it’s not important now.
Broadcasting is a very cutthroat biz, chocked full of misplaced arrogance and narcissism. Friendships, if you can even call them that, have the tensile strength of balsa wood. So many people walked through those doors at KLOL, and thank God , most largely forgettable.
I’m not sure what your dad withheld from you or if you ever actually talked about things, did these conversations help you understand his role or the role KLOL played in snd of itself? I can assure of this…..for me, lol the many decades later,
I cringe when thinking back at the wholly contemptible things we did on and off the air. I can’t put enough space between me and my years at that station. But everyday, as the gap widens, so does my smile.
I’m sure you miss your dad.. I’m afraid I know little about what took his like or when it happened but I hope in the time Tim had together, he was able to be both your father and your dad which will help you when faced with that all important paternal duality, if you’ve not been not confronted by fatherhood already.
I hope your life is good, Tom. I hope it’s rich.
Everything is OK in Hill Country and I thank you for asking,
The tapes helped, because aside from some random snippets over the years, he rarely talked about his time with KLOL (which is ironic, as he had more photos & tapes of KLOL events than of family). After he was let go, he went on to KIKK-FM, and then helped launch Country Legends 97.1..which was about as far away from the bawdy S&P as you could get. And with me being a bit older, I could now join Dad at the studio and at remotes – which was how every Saturday with him was spent by a prize wheel and a Marti. At 97.1, every once in awhile he would have Jim on to talk about the gun shop – the last time I saw Mr. Pruitt was at Country Legends on one of those occasions. He did try to make up for his time on S&P later in his career – lots of time spent doing charity work, as well as taking a young boy under his wing and giving him a “Pappy Tom” he never would have known otherwise.
Dad passed away in June of 2016 from pancreatic cancer in Pennsylvania – after he was let go from Legends in 2007, he tried a variety of jobs and businesses before moving back home to Central PA to take care of his ailing brother (who passed in 2013), and help with his elderly mother. He found work at the local classic rock station in his hometown before he too succumbed to cancer at age 55. His mom is still living at age 90 with dementia – I now reside a few hours away in Pittsburgh and help take care of her.
I would like to think the best of Dad, but he was human like all of us. Mom filed for divorce shortly before he was let go from KLOL (I believe his involvement with the station was part of it), and he later married a woman he met off the KIKK request lines (which is never a good idea – it ended in a bitter divorce a decade later after she drove a wedge between him and I for years). But hey, that’s what the weekly therapy sessions are for.
But back to the tapes, and the significance. They do help fill in the gaps in the role he played at the station, as well as what role the station played in shaping him during those tumultuous years. Unfortunately Dad was gone for a few years by the time I met my wife, so the only record of his are these tapes…to which she just kept saying “your poor mother” over and over again while watching.
But I can’t judge too harshly – it was, as has been mentioned, a very different time and place. And in a strange twist of fate, I went into broadcasting and have been in radio for 15 years now. No longer full time on air – one of Dad’s best bits of advise was to go into engineering – I work for an radio software company full time and remotely voicetrack from my home studio for a couple stations here on the East Coast. I did however use “Tubby” for few years when I worked in rock radio – I got permission from Dad to use his name, so thank you for bestowing it on not one but two dee jays.
And you are certainly correct about friendships in radio being as strong as balsa wood – I can count on one hand the number of actual friends I have met in the biz who aren’t users. Such is the sad nature of it, and you learn to keep most people at arms reach.
The one gem I found among the tapes was this Jose Feliciano interview – Mark & Jim kept it pretty PG (well…in relation to the rest of the show) and I was amazed at what a music fan Jim was. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utfLXZ3GMiw
My life is very rich – I am married to a wonderful woman, still have many of my family members left alive, and my career is stable.
Thank you again for your blog posts on S&P (and in general – I am sorry you lost your mother. May her memory forever be for a blessing).
Tom, I’m so glad to hear your father tried his best to get ”dispensation” from KLOL. And while we seem to beginning with references to Catholicism. I don’t think going into a smidge of confession within boundaries would be a problem.
For me, my entire time at KLOL was Dickensian: “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”. As time goes by, the things I said and did at KLOL, the people,I once knew, the memories I have, I keep very compartmentalized in a mental place I rarely visit. I’ve been gone since mid 2001 and on rare occasions when I go out in heavily touristed Boerne, I’ll meet Houston visitors who somehow still remember me, but it’s a subject I try to change quickly. Like your father, I’ve also tried to undo what I did, etc.. As it turns out I did quite well for myself with investments and the stock market in the years after KLOL and I was mercifully able to completely get out of them business 11 years ago age 52. I now live and breathe to help others. I was far more physically involved in charity work until
being being diagnosed with MS a in 2017. I can still write checks through and do at the end of each year or as mizvahs during the year when things go well for me. Gratitude is a great comforter and resolver (if such a work exists) for a life not lived quite as well as it should have been.
As for your father and me? We never got along. Ever. I’m not completely sure why. It was never exemplified in fights of any kind, just in very palpable tension when we were in the same room. And how gevonvioudlyntegardedvme. For example, if we went on trips, and he almost always handled travel,plans, he’d put the entire show in first class and I’d be stuck in coach. I could cite other examples if I could remember them. I just remember being excluded from a lot of things, namely, The best of Steven and Pruett shows. There’s very little proof I was even the show. So yes, there were other things. .
Your father and I have no idea what each of us did after the show, but I know During working hours, your dad got involved in the very seedy side of KLOL, I did a lot blow. Perhaps that was the cause of contention. He might have said his involvement was strictly for booking the show, but he hung out with dancers and extremely fragile and emotionally damaged women, all with massive daddy issues. I knew a few drug dealers, but I was never friends with them snd certainly didn’t invite them to the show as a guest and never saw them in the building unless he/she was was delivering to other members of the show or staff.
And maybe had I ‘shown’ better, it would have been different. I wasn’t pretty, certainly not built like a dancer. And while I was smart and funny, there were definitely things I wouldn’t do on the show. My too never came off desoitevenfkrsscprodding. Your father I remember was very smart. Had a very technical brain. I was quick and funny and could take a swing at a any joke Mark, Jim or Brian threw at me. We were different in that regard. Was that a problem? I’ve no idea.
At that stage of Mark & Jim’s career, they’d become very lazy. They could yell and scream when something didn’t go right or a bit failed Irma guest sucked, but they largely allowed others to ensure the how happened. Under your father’s watch, the show has become very blue. Too blue. Just four long hours of tits and ass snd sexual banter. . I found it too tawdry to even participate in.
I don’t remember if the audience felt this way, but I sure remember the monotony. I kind of remember your dad being there one minute, then gone the next. I don’t remember why. I was named producer after him though, and strictly instructed to give the show more of a real talk show bend. The T&A factor never left, at least not topic wise, but as guests, it most definitely was catapulted away. Was that why your dad was let go? I honestly don’t remember.
As for why we didn’t get along? Perhaps he felt some sort of threat, perhaps there was some performance jealousy,I KNOW there was a definitive lack of respect for sure which was odd considering we were both born on April 22, If you believe astrological crap. But we had no use for each other. I think the last time we were spoke to each other was when Mark & Jim were gone and d Tom & I did a live “Bestbof..” show and I kept a diary of our time together. Jim read it on the air when they returned and that was the first time I referred to to your pop as “Tubby Perckerwood””. Where thst name came from, I’ll never know. But it stuck.
I’m sorry we didn’t get along. It was something I never understood. He just didn’t like me and then I eventually responded in kind. But I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that he sought a form of absolution after his years at KLOL. I don’t know if Mark did, but I know that through the bawdy nature of the show—even at its height, Jimmy never lost his relationship with God.
Tom, I’m so glad to hear you’re happy and well adjusted and you have your dad’s gifted brain. Use it for good. Remember, all the good you do, comes back to you three times as strong and often, when you need it the most. . The same is true of the converse, but let’s not focus on that.
Be well, Young Tom. Write soon. Until then, live wisely. Make mistakes, they’re stellar teachers, just don’t let them become regrets.
Tom, One more thing— I’m not trashing your father’s life, on or off the show. Hell, I didn’t know your dad on the show much less what his life was like off of it. I’m simply conveying what I remember, which to be honest, fades more and more each day. But you seem to be trying to parcel together aspects of his life, especially from that period in his life in which he was so involved in producing the show.
I don’t know if my honesty (as I remember the situation) is helping or hurting, but despite our relationship….or the lack thereof……I can say with forthright confidence that your your dad was very smart. And fearless. And I do remember when he spoke of you, his face glowed with pride. He was definitely proud of his precocious son. And you were. You were also cute as a button.
Yes, your dad was flawed and errantly human, as we all were, as we all are. I don”t mean to disparage his life at KLOL. I was hardly an angel. KLOL seemed to be able to find the weakest spots in one’s psyche and exploit them in the worse way. It’s happened to a lot of people.
I only keep in contact with two former cast mates and that’s on a very infrequent basis. On the rare occasion signs we talk, we don’t discuss the reasons why we’re not closer. It’s understood. Most former S&P staffers keep an emotional distance with each other. And speaking of, out of the legitimate staffers (and I’m talking those on the payroll and not the hangers on), there are only five of us left. Scary. Dementia took Mark. Chronic CF killed Jake, Heart attacks killed Jimmy & Kevin. Cancer we took your dad & Shramek. Perhaps I’m forgetting a few other full timer deaths, but regardless, the loss has been sad, tragic and unsettling. I get the odds, the bigger the staff, the bigger the number of of deaths. Look at the Kennedy’s…….Still….
I wish things could’ve been different between your dad and me, but recalling anything different, would be lying. I regret that whatever the problem(s) we had couldn’t be settled, but maybe things are as they are and end as they do for reasons beyond our comprehension and the lesson learned & God willing, there is one, will be revealed at the right time and place.
I hope your father is at peace…in total rest ,out of pain, watching over you and doing it all in size 32 waist jeans.
Thank you for your honesty – being Jewish I never went to confession, but Dad in death need not to be made out to be more than what he was in life. And in life he could be a putz – the jovial Tubby was not the guy at home most times unfortunately – between KLOL and the limo biz, he was burnt out at home. I don’t think he had the capacity to be working at the station as he did and be a great husband/father at that point in his life, watching the antics all these years later. His last girlfriend/fiancée and I both said that his coworkers got the much better version of him, even later in life.
Take heart in that he became a better person to work with after leaving KLOL – I think his getting let go humbled him a bit and from then on out I never heard any of his coworkers have a bad thing to say about him. As to why he wasn’t kind to you and did petty stunts, he might have been intimidated or overcompensating for his lack of formal education, radio experience, and his dyslexia. I’m sorry he did that – it was not right of him.
Why he was fired? Economics mixed with wanting a change in the show if I’m being honest…merger mania was going on due to deregulation as you said and cleaning up the books meant getting rid of people who were not needed (or made too much money). Dad being a hoarder of sorts, I have his final Evergreen Media paystub – he made about $25k/yr…and I am sure the powers that be figured you could do as good a job (or better), so off went Tubby.
One of the few things he told me a few years before he passed was that he and another member of the show would smoke two joints in his car before every show…that stopped after he left. Later on in life he picked the habit back up and became a much better person to deal with – or age just mellowed him out naturally.
And as time has gone on, it has taken so many of the people that were a part of his solar system – both personally and professionally. I’m not sure if my digitizing all the old tapes is to archive what actually went on as it happened, or just to keep my memory fresh of a version of him not drained of life from age & cancer.
My fathers life mirrored that of his father in some ways – Dad tried to make up for the things he had done much as the man I called Pap was much better to me than he was to my dad. I am trying to break that cycle. He, like all of us, was complex and had many sides – thank you once again for filling in the gaps on a portion of who he was…and being honest about it.
I hope he is at peace as well – his life came to a rather abrupt end with many unanswered questions.
Glad that you are doing well financially and retired – one of the lessons I learned from watching Dad go thru money like the Irishman he was is to make sure to set something aside.
Thank you again
Tom, you unwittingly answered a ton of questions for me tonight. I was never overtly burdened by why I couldn’t seem to penetrate your father)s core. And In an handle people not liking me—but knowing the reason helps.
Your father, it seems, was extremely conflicted. There was S&P Tom which was in direct conflict with dad/husband Tom. That duality must haven toighnto live with, so, he took it out on my. As the only woman on the show, I was an easy mark. I mean it was the mid 90’s. Plus, he couldn’t be a dick to Mark or Jim, so tag- -I was it. Maybe it was my college degree…maybe it was that I was a far more experienced producer having been one in TV & radio for seven years prior to coming to KLOL. Maybe ITV was because I was funny and had timing. Who knows,,,,and I suppose, who cares at this juncture. Tom is gone and so am I in so many ways. You’ve answered why Tom treated as he did in in classically passive/aggressive textbook ways. I never lost sleep over shy Tom Lawler didn’t like me, but feel better that at least now think I have a better understanding why. Seems like such a waste of time. It didn’t have to be like that. So let’s make up for lost time. Commune with me tomes of your wisdom….any length will do….and you and I can make the amends your father and I couldn’t
Lauriekendrick at i cloud dot com
You’re smart, level headed and above all, you seem kind. Tell your wife it’s strictly for therapeutic purposes.
Thanks again, Tom. You made a difference in an old lady’s life tonight.
Great blog. You have a gift for words Laurie.
Does anyone know if there are archives out there of the S&P shows? I’ve found a few on runawayradiorewind.com but there aren’t many. I don’t think I’d turn the radio on again if I could access those. Such rare talent. I truly miss those guys and yes, I “understand the show”. LOL
Thank you for your kind words.
Believe it or not, I’m being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame next month. I’ve retired from all aspects of broadcasting 11 years ago. I’ll see Boner, Martha, Lanny & former KLOL General Mgr., Pat Fant at the ceremony. It’ll be the Friday & Saturday, November 4th & 5th. I’ll ask about videos. Please check back then.
Wow, congrats Laurie! You certainly deserve it!
Appreciate you asking the gang about the videos. Heck I’d be tickled just to have access to recorded audios. Surely the station kept those shows archived in some format? Hopefully they didn’t get trashed.
Enjoy the ceremony! And thanks again to you & the crew for entertaining us all those years!
Well, keep in mind, there is no station, Whatever station that currently exists on the the old dial position 101.1 on the FM band is has been about three incarnations since the specific station I worked for, the one you listened to, was decimated 20 years ago.
I have no idea if there’s some huge, official titanium vault where all the songs, bits, commercials, Dayna being Dayna, the battling Outlaw radio persona between Grego & Dave, Linda Silk starting her overnight shift with a mammoth burp, where you can still know something ‘s funnier than you thought with Mark’s inimitable laugh, Moby”s ability to give the punchline to every joke within 20 seconds of the joke’s start. I wish there was such a place…an indestructible place where everyone”s memories of KLOL lived and never faded with time or the age of the person remembering such golden audio memories of their things. Where Chuck was still waxing odd conspiracy theories that are still being bandied about today: Kevin eating anything he could get his hands on. and there’s Jake, too,,,,finally free the lifelong rigors of Cystic Fibrosis . And Jimmy. Jimmy’s there smiling in the corner finishing a groaner of an Uncle Waldo, his heart pumping like a 21 year old Olympic athlete.
Then again, maybe millions of vaults & their contents just like the one I described above are always with each & everyone of us….In our memory banks.
But if that’s just too damn schmaltzy, I’ll ask who might know where and if anything still exists at next month’s induction ceremony.
Thanks. Talk soon.
Sounds good. Thanks so much!