The music of the 60s and 70s was groundbreaking and it set the stage for the decades of amazing music that followed it. Milwaukee radio legend and Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Barry spoke with countless musicians and celebrities over the years and collected remarkable recordings of his encounters with these talented people, which he's now sharing with the public in this podcast. He spoke with Sonny and Cher, James Brown, Dolly Parton, and and many others, and they shared their amazing stories about their lives and careers. All the episodes will be available as they’re released at WisconsinBroadcastingMuseum.org. This podcast was made possible by a generous contribution from Terry Baun.
On the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941 we’ll get an interesting story from a popular film star. This actor received an Oscar for his role in the film “Charly” in 1968. Cliff Robertson’s career spanned six decades. One of his memorable roles was his portrayal of John F, Kennedy in “PT 109.” He was in the Spider-Man trilogy, played astronaut Buzz Aldrin in “Return to Earth,” and was Henry Ford in “Ford, the Man and the Machine.” Cliff, an accomplished pilot, was the founding chairman of the EAA Young Eagles program in Oshkosh. It was the most successful aviation youth program in history.
“There’s No Getting Over Me” was the biggest hit for one of the most popular and influential country performers of the 70s and 80s. Ronnie Milsap appealed to both country and pop music fans. He received six Grammy awards and had 35 no. 1 country hits. Ronnie is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. All of this happened while he was almost completely sightless. He talks about working with one of the biggest recording artists of all time. Ronnie obtained some recent success when he charted an album in 2019 that included a song with Dolly Parton, “Smokey Mountain Rain.”
Today is the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy. In this podcast you will hear excerpts of WOKY radio the way it sounded on this day, 60 years ago. And I’ll set the excerpts up for you, so you’ll know exactly what you’re hearing. At the time I was DJing the all-night show, midnight to 6 a.m., and was taking a nap during the day. I was awakened by my mother’s screams from the living room. She had been watching a soap opera when they cut in with the bulletin that the president had been shot. I got dressed and immediately headed to the WOKY studios on 76th and Grange. The staff there that afternoon, included news director Bill James, newsman Bob Carpenter and DJ Bob White. You will hear their voices. I went from being a disc jockey to a newsman in minutes. My reporting on the late-night show continued until after the funeral. For days, our rock and roll radio station, WOKY, played religious and classical music. At the end of this podcast you’ll hear my interesting conversation with Margarette Oswald, mother of the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
On today’s podcast a really fun songwriter, guitarist, and singer. You have probably seen Jerry Reed in the “Smokey and the Bandits” movies. We played his hit records. “Amos Moses,” “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,“ “East Bound and Down” and “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft),” which was used in the movie “The Bounty Hunter” with Jennifer Aniston. He was a southern boy from Atlanta and he’ll tell you the rest of the story. Elvis recorded two songs Jerry wrote, “Guitar Man” and “U.S. Male.” He was asked to play guitar on both sessions. He also does the picking on Presley’s hit “Big Boss Man.” Reed has been called one of the most inspirational guitar stylists in the history of country music. I talked with Jerry for a couple minutes at the WOKY pops festival.
Maybe you won’t recognize the name Mary Travers, but if after you hear the songs she recorded with her trio I’m sure it will your ears will get perky. Peter, Paul, and Mary had six top 10 hits on the Billboard charts from 1962 to 1970. The three hitmakers shared a manager with Bob Dylan and recorded his song “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” They broke up shortly after their biggest hit “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” written by Bob Denver. Peter, Paul, and Mary reunited for some tours in 1978 and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
It was always fun to go to Las Vegas. I had a chance to see shows and interview some of the most popular recording artists including Glen Campbell. After Glen’s show, he invited us backstage where he told us why it’s tough to sing in Vegas and talked about his biggest hit at that time, which was released 55 years ago today. We didn’t want to keep him too long because he was in the middle of a hot and heavy card game with his band.
When Bob spoke, we all listened
Omg!! THE man from my teenaged years. He was, and still is, truly the man who spoke to the world, and we all listened with rapt attention. These memories are priceless. Thank you so much for sharing them again.
Still the BEST!
Thanks to Milwaukee Radio treasure BOB BARRY for sharing these fantastic moments of radio history. Whether you enjoy them for the guests, or the snapshots of Milwaukee radio at its best, you WILL enjoy them! Bob Barry really DID “call the world” — and the world always answered!!! 😊🎙🎧🎼‼️
Long over due
What a great flashback and so happy to listen. Can’t wait for the next one.