From: Dave Grudt
Charlie, Sending this too you just in case you might no have seen it. I am a close person friend of “Shotgun Tom”.
Long Beach, CA
by Claude Hall
July 12, 2010
Charlie Tuna was once one of America’s best 25 radio personalities…and may still be. He may have been in the top 10 when I interviewed him for Billboard magazine. For years, I met radio personalities who told me that they still carried a copy of that interview with Charlie Tuna in their hip pocket. Radio personalities would fly into Los Angeles just to listen to his show, but this was common as well with such as Dan Ingram in New York City. And when I interviewed Bill Stewart atop 9000 Sunset in that restaurant that once was, he had Paxton Mills with him…not to sit in on the interview, but so he could listen to Charlie Tuna earlier that morning. I mean, Charlie Tuna was something else! His stations, by the time of this drawing, included KHJ, Los Angeles; KHTZ, Los Angeles; KCBQ, San Diego. This is the man who was turned out at WMEX in Boston because he couldn’t think of anything to say off the top of his head that was funny about the St. Charles River. His line to me when I did the interview: “Guess I should have said that I’d just come from a walk on the river.” I lost the drawing when I moved from teaching at the State University of New York at Brockport. You know how it is when you move. Things are chaotic. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I received an email from someone trying to track me down for Cathy O’Brien. It turned out that Cathy, once departmental secretary for the Department of Communications at SUNY/Brockport, had a couple of framed drawings that belonged to me. Did I want them? I said yes and they arrived a day or so ago with a note. One of the drawings, you see here. It was drawn by Chuck Blore, circa 1979. So, this drawing was missing in action for more than 30 years! My thanks, Cathy (who, by the way, was without question one of the best departmental secretaries at any university in America).
NOTE TO DAVID: Not quite sure what Claude meant by “I was turned out by WMEX in Boston”….Truth be told I had to buy my way out of new 3 year contract I had just signed with them, because the then manager was one of all time weasels of radio, ask my friend Larry Lujack of WLS fame in Chicago.
The manager actually impersonated him when he told the switchboard operator that any call from Chicago for Larry (who was working at WMEX too, at the time) should be directed to him, where he turned down the offer, disguising his voice as Larry. Larry found out about it, and bought his way of his contract just before I did. He went to WCFL in Chicago, and I got the offer to join the #1 station in the country at the time, 93/KHJ in Los Angeles.
Best money I ever spent, buying my way out of WMEX in Boston.