Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vinyl Knights - Chapter Four - The College Years


Ritchie and Don Podolor's offices and recording studios were on the Studio City side of the Hollywood Hills.  These days however, the land was sold by their mother to the actress Jennie Lee Harris of "Three's Company" and "Dallas" fame, where she promptly bulldozed the buildings down and put up a shopping center.

What was very interesting -- our local radio station in the desert, KUTY's range could be picked up in North Hollywood very clear.  And with my frequent appearances on the radio station I became somewhat of an icon there -- to some others -- disbelief.              
Don Podolor's first time meeting was with me at the halls of Antelope Valley College, and he brought with him some exciting acts that he represented.

We became fast friends, and we wheeled and dealed like no others before or since.  My first group to please the crowds was Eric Burton and the Animals, followed by Iron Butterfly.

Don wanted to "showcase" Rick Nelson.  He was had just put out his first recording in almost five years.  His new record was called Garden Party and we did not even know anyone who was playing this record at all.  After a long discussion with my council members they gave me the go ago I needed to sign Rick Nelson for this show.  Sue O'Connor gave me the okay, and she signed the contract.

It was Country and Western and possibly across over at best.  I was given 100 singles in a box from Decca Records, and was asked to see what in the world I could do with it. 

Rick Nelson was scheduled to appear at AV College in about two months, and the local radio stations were not to please about the new "Ricky Nelson".  Andy Barber was the first DJ in the area to add Garden Party to the radio station's play list.

We had two local area C&W radio stations, and they reluctantly agreed to at least play the single a couple of times at least.  One of my part time jobs was working for Dr. Selmer Westby in the English department, where I would prepare the tests, and grade them on occasion.

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