We Could Have Danced All Day (Almost)
Before we talk about Ann-Margret let’s talk about how it all happened in Oklahoma City at WKY. Actually, the story begins in Fort Worth at KXOL. We had just started printing our top singles along with our pick each week and placing the printed list in record stores in Fort Worth. While attending classes at North Texas State college Pat Boone had a Television talent show in Fort Worth. Pat and I are the same age which has nothing to do with this story, but meant something to me at the time. When Pat covered Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame” it charted on the KXOL music survey. Pat called and asked if he could get several copies for his mom back in Nashville. I took them to him during one of his Saturday televised talent shows and since we were the same age we had a nice conversation. Pat suggested I manage a vocal group that was on his show, but that is another story. We also charted the flip side of Pat’s record which was not very good, but what the heck. It was called Tra la la la. Pat and I became friends and he dropped by KXOL a few times. I might have even interviewed him on the air, but I do not remember. From KXOL I went to a Gordon McLendon station in Milwaukee which was called WRIT. It was the old WEMP frequency which Gordon purchased enabling WEMP to get a higher on the dial position and more power in return.We began, almost immediately, doing hops at the Milwaukee High schools which was standard for McLendon stations in those days. We’d rent the school’s gym and throw these dances called Hops. I heard McLendon say “always broadcast to a 13 year old girl and the parents will be there too.” We’d have artists who were promoting their records come and lip sync their tunes for the kids. It worked for the singer and the station and guaranteed air play building up to the event. Pat Boone signed up for one of these hops and I was excited to see him again. He got to the station early and we had a chance to re-new an old acquaintance. During our conversation Pat expressed concern that he had to catch a plane out of Chicago at the early hour of 6:00 a.m. I volunteered to take him to Chicago at that early hour by leaving Milwaukee at 4:00 a.m. to get to the airport on time. My wife, Linda, wanted to go too so, we bundled up our son, John, and all piled in my 54 ford and headed to Chicago in the darkness of the very early morning. We got Pat to his plane and went back home to Milwaukee. Fast forward about 14 years to WKY in Oklahoma City. Pat is making a movie called State fair which was filmed mainly in Dallas, but for the racing scenes the movie company had come to Oklahoma City. Apparently we had the perfect race track for that sequence of the film. The problem for them was getting a crowd to show up and sit in the stands for the filming. Pat was booked for an interview on WKY-TV and Ann-Margret went upstairs to be interviewed on the Ronnie Kaye radio program. I stopped by a dressing room and said hello to Pat while he was putting on makeup for the TV interview then headed up stairs to say hello to Ann-Margret. Ronnie had finished his interview and was talking with Ann-Margret when I popped in. I said hello and in my daring during a song Ronnie was playing I danced with Ann-Margret. She was small and very sweet to put up with my brash behavior. The Jocks were told that if we convinced a crowd to show up for the race track filming the jocks could walk in front of the camera. We got the crowd, but were so far away from the camera that it is hard to identify any of us, but we walked back and forth during that scene in order to be on film. I think Howard Clark is the most identifiable....at least I can say I danced with Ann-Margaret.