KCRJ-FM Cottonwood -Lou Burke
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This is about KCRJ FM and those that  worked there and a memorial to Lou Burke - Broadcast Engineer.

Lou Burke - KCRJ-FM
General Manager invites Wayne Fernyhough
to 'throw the switch'
to sign the station on!

kcrj-fm_letter_from_lou_burke_invite_wayne.jpg (83349 bytes)

From the Wayne Fernyhough Collection at SMECC.


January 28, 1981 

Wayne Fernyhough 
2010 N. 25 PL. 
Phoenix, Arizona 

Dear Mr. Fernyhough: 

I would like to take this opportunity to express to you my appreciation for your generosity in presenting KCRJ-FM 96, with the historic memorabilia from Arizona's pioneer radio station, KCRJ-AM 1340. 

If it is at all possible for you to be in Cottonwood on the 14th and 15th of February I would consider it a great privilege if you would accept my invitation to throw the switch putting the new KCRJ-FM 96 on the air. It seems only fitting that you should have this honor, as you had the sad job of pulling the plug on KCRJ AM 1340 at 12:00 noon, 

August 8, 1944, bringing a historic era in Arizona broadcasting to a close. 

I anxiously look forward to meeting you in person, talking shop and sharing with you the happy reincarnation of KCRJ in the Verde Valley and Northern Arizona. 

Once again, my sincerest thanks. 


Lou Burke 
General Manager 

kcrj-f17from-t-c.jpg (58962 bytes)

kcrj-f17-tom-coulson-sale-kcrj.jpg (169614 bytes)

 Sales documents: 

Tom Coulson tells us, "Self-explained business card, my shift on the air was 5-10am Monday thru Friday.  I sold air time to businesses in Cottonwood, Camp Verde ('The Flower Shop' was our first advertiser), and Sedona.  The total on the w-2 was for about 3 months of work, $500 per month salary plus 15 % commission."


Prior to his stint at KCRJ-FM - This photo 
shows Tom Coulson at KMCR Phx AZ.

Tom tell us, "This was my business card, my shift 
on the air was 5-10am Monday thru Friday."

wpe2.jpg (106082 bytes) kcrj_fm-coverage-map-tom-coulson-f17.jpg (264313 bytes)

Coverage map: 

Tom Couson tell us, "This was the pattern as broadcast at 3,000 ERP as I recall, from bays mounted on the roof the old school house in Jerome.  There was a cease-and-decist order before we went on the air 2-15-81 from an electronic calibration firm doing business in the same building, getting interference in their equipment when we had the transmitter on doing legal program tests.  A temporary agreement was made where they would only operate midnight-5am, when we were off the air.  Sometime after May 1981 the transmitter was moved higher up to a forest area of Mingus Mountain, which created a different coverage pattern.  Years later, the transmitter and tower were moved closer to, or at, Flagstaff, with a dual city-of-license identification for 95.9 FM."



On right  with hat  : Ton Coulson tells us: "Delaney: "Brandon Delaney was News and Public Affairs Director for KCRJ-FM beginning early 1981.  He was an artist and poet, and I don't know what his real name was.  I do not know how long he stayed at KCRJ-FM, but it was certainly past the summer of that year."




Wayne Fernyhough years later at SMEC 
(now known as SMECC)  next to the 
Amperite Ribbon Microphone from 
the 1930's that he gave Lou Burke
  at KCRJ FM, Lou then sold it to us for 
The  Museum's  collection on KCRJ.

kcrj-wanne_and_family_FM1.jpg (70495 bytes)

Ed, you were right.  The old Microsoft Works documents, after saved on external media, would open on my MAC with some kind of "plain text" opener.  Then it converted to Word 7.  Will that work for you?  If not I'll paste it below too.

Note the email Lou sent me and the date.  It is your stuff.  The guy he got it from ("Guy") I worked with around 1990 at the 1360 building.  Guy was working for 100.3, that Globe FM we were talking about yesterday.

This is from a chapter I called "1981."

After years of talk and much work on their part, Lou Burke and Chris Olivarez finally put their radio station on the air in Cottonwood AZ, about 125 miles North of Phoenix, KCRJ FM 95.9.  I was hired as morning man, 5 to 10 am, and advertising sales the rest of the day.  It was the only country format I ve ever done. 

The area was very rural at that time and scenic.  The people super friendly.  No neckties allowed, and rarely were paper contracts used.  Just handshakes.  I also kept producing my KMCR weekly jazz show on tape from my new home.

It seemed it would be a fresh start and something different for me.  I was not talked into it, I really wanted to make it work.  The most fun was helping research and produce a sign-on broadcast which laid the foundation for our call letters:  In 1944 in nearby Jerome, KCRJ AM 1340 signed off when the copper mining went belly up as the economy and the side of the mountain became a literal ghost town.  We found people who had worked there, announcers and even the engineer, interviewed them for the special and had them at the new FM studio to sign on our station on 2-15. 

A friend sent me this link ab out KCRJ....amazing some of the stuff that's floating around the internet.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Guy Giuliano" <foxsports1650@yahoo.com>
To: <flagwindow@aol.com>
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2005 2:06 PM
Subject: Lou Burke... radio history

> http://www.smecc.org/kcrj_jerome_az.htm
> Guy Giuliano
> Television/Radio Solutions
> Fox Sports Radio 1650
> Overdrive Media, LLC

The call letters stood for its original builder in 1927  Charles Robinson, Jerome.   After about 5 months there I could not make a living.  With more persistence perhaps I could have, and that was the reason I gave Lou and Chris.  But the truth was I was just plain lonely.  I didn t like the idea returning to the big city, but I missed everyone and was living alone.
Here are recordings by Hacksaw's Blues:  (from http://fullmoonhacksaw.com/Live_Bands.php )

"Way Back Home" live version 2009                                                            "Break Out" live version 2010
Dave Riley, vocal/guitar                                                                                   Kati Ingino, bass/vocal/composer

"Dry Your Eyes" 2011 vocal by Ronnie Whitehead                                   "Shaky Ground" 2011 vocal by Ronnie Whitehead
NEW VERSION                                                                                                 NEW VERSION

"Come Get to This" 2011 vocal by Ronnie Whitehead                             "Honey Hush" 2009 vocal by Ronnie Whitehead
"Time Will Tell" 2009 vocal/guitar by Dave Riley                                        "Got Me Runnin'" 2011  
Armando Serna, second guitar, Dennis Miller Harmonica                       Dennis Miller, vocal/harmonica  NEW VERSION          

"49 & 61" 2002 vocal, composition by Hacksaw Tom                               "Hootchie Cootchie Man" 2010
Guests: James Johnson, guitar, Lou Burke, piano                                   Dennis Miller, vocal/harmonica            

"Battery Blues" 1995 vocal, composition by Hacksaw Tom                     "Turned My Head Around" 1999 unreleased
                                                                                                                              Tribute to Mike Moses, vocal and composition


In the 1980s Hans Olson, Small Paul, Jimmy Peyton's Midnite Blues, Bill and Suzie Tarsha and the Rocket 88's, and Big Pete Pearson pretty much covered the Phoenix blues landscape, most of them at Warsaw Wally's at one point.  Another club down the road was the Purple Turtle, 1019 E. Indian School.

Hacksaw's Blues debuted by opening for Midnite Blues at the latter club (later to be the Rhythm Room toward decade's end).  David Andrews and Linda Brooks fronted the "Hacksaw Williams Blues Band" as vocalists.  Blue Lou Burke who liked Otis Spann and Ray Charles was on piano.  "Hacksaw" played at what seemed like 20 active blues clubs (including Wally's), with as many blues bands to compete with around town.  As the band changed, drummer Tom Coulson kept the name.

With Dave Andrews 1986                With Linda Brooks 1994                        Backing the late Mike Moses 2000
(Dean Murphy, right)                         (the late Henry Thompson, right)         (Lou Burke, right)

That way Hacksaw could be a sideman.  Such as drummer for Midnite Blues and Buddy Reed into the '90s.  Linda Brooks reunited with Hacksaw for a few of these years, winning second place in the 1994 Phoenix Blues Society (PBS) Showdown.  The new century had Hacksaw joining (the late) Mike Moses who won first place in the PBS Showdown to compete in Memphis in '01.  Hacksaw has played on CDs by Midnite Blues, Dean Murphy and Mike Moses.

                                        Midnite Blues 1996: Dean Murphy, Kati Ingino, Hacksaw, Jimmy Peyton

A most significant meeting happened in 2004 during a live broadcast of the original King Biscuit Time radio show (which Sonny Boy Williamson II helped start in 1941) still on KFFA, Helena Arkansas. http://kffa.com  Hacksaw was introduced to Chicago guitarist/vocalist Dave Riley.  http://daverileybluesman.com/fr_mainaboutdave.cfm  Born in Hattiesburg Mississippi, Dave has become Hacksaw's direct link to genuine living Delta blues.
As a result, Dave visited Phoenix playing the Rhythm Room backed by Hacksaw's Blues.  Owner/harmonica man Bob Corritore http://rhythmroom.com was taken enough to produce two albums with Dave Riley (Hacksaw playing on both "Traveling the Dirt Road" and "Lucky to be Living") to world-wide critical and award-nomination success.

It was with Dave Riley's help (he now lives in Arizona during the winter) that the Grinders Coffee Second Saturday series revitalized "Hacksaw's Blues"  in 2007.  


From: Tom Coulson <tomcoulson@radiophoenix.org>
Subject: Lou trib
Date: April 9, 2015 10:34:27 AM MST
To: Tom Coulson <tomcoulson@radiophoenix.org>

Lou Burke was best-known as KTAR Radio's Chief Engineer in Phoenix, but began his career as a professional blues pianist on the road all over Ohio (including with Lonnie Mack). Long after settling in Arizona he hooked up with Full Moon Hacksaw to resume gigging 1983 to 2005. When Lou died in Ohio last fall, his engineer and musician friends in Arizona requested a tribute jam, so here we go. Host musicians are Full Moon Jazz and Hacksaw's Blues, with guest soloists from AFM Local 586. It's free, but donations are accepted. Funds go toward refreshment and expenses for the event, and any extra will go to a musician's medical fund.

Bring your axe and jam, questions call.

Tom Coulson
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"Specializing in jazz and blues"

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Lou Burke, W7JI, Wins February QST Cover Plaque Award



The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for February is Lou Burke, W7JI, for his article “A Compact 40 Meter Receiver.” Congratulations Lou! The QST Cover Plaque award -- given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the March issue today.



Joan and Lou Burke



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