Where is the KLOL vinyl collection?
Michael Roos, better known as KLOL DJ Mike the Tyke, knows where all of the Houston rock station’s vinyl ended up.
At one time, K101 Houston had a MASSIVE record collection since the rock station signed on in 1970 – when the turntable was dominant.
But what happened to all of the pieces of vinyl?
The former KLOL DJ, now an event DJ in Dallas, tells us about his time at the legendary rock station and how he ended up with the ultimate record collection thanks to the AOR station!
What was it like to be a DJ on one of the nation’s premiere rock stations?
I grew up as a kid listening to KLOL religiously. In fact, I would sometimes put my stereo speakers in my bedroom while I sat in my closet (DJ booth) playing records and talking on a mic to an empty room and pretending I was a radio DJ.
I always knew I wanted to be a DJ/Musician/Performer since I was probably 5 years old. So when I actually got hired at KLOL, it was a dream come true.
I’m pretty sure I was the youngest one (21) working on air at the time. Ted Edwards, our Program Director and Dayna Steele were the ones who (I believe) came up with my on-air name, Mike the Tyke.
I would be lying if I said my young ego didn’t let it go to my head at times. I knew where I was but didn’t realize how lucky I was back then.
You were there when Outlaw Radio was new and Stevens and Pruett were at the top of the game. Did you learn a lot from being around all the top talent?
So much. Scary Gary taught me a ton about having a persona on air (as well as some debauchery). Bart Taylor, Mark Masters & Victor Lisle (all Production/Imaging) really helped me learn how to create radio commercials and promos and ‘Theater of the Mind’, I eventually did their jobs years later.
Mark Stevens & Jim Pruett taught me about timing… the absolute best at it. And Brian (Boner) really taught me a lot when I started producing the “Best of S&P” shows. It’s honestly really hard to find someone there who I DIDN’T learn from because they were all top notch pros.
How did you inherit the vinyl collection?
Well, I was on air at KLOL in the early 90’s as “Mike the Tyke”. Pat Fant fired me (due to some stupid remark I made on air) and I left the country for a few years. When I came back as “JustMike”, I was lucky enough to be re-hired under Brian Purdy. Max Dugan was our program director.
While I was still working on-air, I was the full time Production Director as well. I was also a club DJ who played vinyl so I would sometimes grab records from the KLOL library and use them in production pieces.
When we were bought by a corporate company and moved to a high rise and out of the historic Montrose building, I asked Max if he would be installing a turntable in my new studio. He told me no and that the KLOL vinyl collection would probably go into storage.
|In the KLOL Music Sheet number 1, which covered March 15 to April 15, 1971, we see who the on air staff was at the time and the records they were playing. READ MORE|
I asked “Why not let me take it since I am also a vinyl DJ and will put it to use?” Max laughed and said no. I left the station for the day and I guess about an hour later he realized how much there really was to move and called me and said “If you can take it all, you can have what’s left.”
Knowing that the people still at the studio would probably start digging through them right away, I called a buddy who had a truck and told him to meet me at the studios immediately. I rushed back and grabbed the entire collection.
It probably took us an hour or two to get them all out of the building.
To this day they are still the worst part of a move.
There’s so much. I eventually alphabetized them all and have even digitized quite a few.
They still sit in my recording studio and there are some true gems in there. ZZ Top‘s first album signed by all of them. Stickers on a ton of the records where the DJs would write down the times and dates the songs were played. Crazy drawings the DJs would do on album covers.
Some great Jazz stuff from the earliest days. I even found David Lee Roth’s “Eat ’em & Smile” sung all in Spanish by DLR himself. I actually played “Yankee Rose” on Outlaw Radio one overnight shift.
I also was able to keep a lot of reel-to-reel recordings of in-studio performances (Skynyrd, Tom Petty, et al) and production pieces like the KLOL Fruitcake Recipe.
|Former KLOL DJ Greg Thomas sent us an air check from November of 1979. LISTEN HERE|
KLOL was always edgy whether that was the DJs or the on air production. As Production/Imaging director, what was some of the craziest stuff you came up with?
It really was limitless as long as we weren’t breaking FCC laws. KLOL was always pushing the edge. I always tried to use humor no matter what and through most of my years there, I was lucky enough to have bosses and co-workers with a similar sense of humor.
Some of the best times I had were just sitting with Max and writing out funny sweepers and promotional bits. I would then send off lines to our other two voice guys, John Wells and George Lowe (the voice of Spaceghost) and set up times to record with them.
John was pretty straight forward and stuck to the lines we gave him as he was the “deep serious voice”. His sessions never lasted more than 15 minutes. However, George LOVED to riff and joke around as he went along so I got a TON of material and ideas to work with. We would sometimes record for an hour, which was VERY generous of him.
I still have all of the recording sessions I did with George and whenever I need a good laugh I will sometimes bust those out and listen to them.
George and I remained friends over the years and I recently just surprised him by sending him all the sessions we did. But in the end, the creativity came from everywhere really.
Anything else you want to add?
There will never be another radio station like KLOL. It seriously made me who I am today in so many ways. I can’t even begin to explain how honored I was to be a part of such a wonderful place and team of people.
Tell us what you are doing today? Any lessons learned from the KLOL experience?
I followed Brian Purdy from Houston to Dallas just before KLOL flipped to latin music and I was On-Air/Production/Music Director in D/FW for a few years… but when the last station I was on flipped to sports, I stuck it out a couple more years and then left radio altogether.
It’s tough staying in a business that completely changed and would never be as good and as fun as KLOL was. But it also taught me that you have to do what you absolutely love to be happy. I don’t think I would be happy working in radio today like I was back at KLOL.
Today, I own one of the top-rated DJ/Entertainment businesses in Dallas doing corporate events, weddings, private parties and more (www.truedjsofdallas.com).
I also have a recording studio where I write and produce music as well as some voice-over work here and there. I’m in a good spot… and definitely not as reckless and egotistical as that Mike The Tyke kid. 🙂