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Airwaves: July 27, 2007

Engelman Ill

Ron Engelman, half of the former morning team of London and Engelman, is suffering from inoperable cancer. According to, Engelman had surgery for lung cancer three years ago, but it has returned and has now spread to both lungs and kidneys; he is now bedridden and letting the cancer take its course.

Engelman partnered with John London to form London and Engelman, who enjoyed a popular run in the late 1970s and 1980s on KRTH (101.1 FM), K-WEST 106 and Magic 106 (now KPWR, 106.1 FM) and San Francisco's KMEL. During their high point, they had a short run on NBC television, though I cannot recall if it went past pilot or special status.

Regardless, London and Engelman were my favorite morning show of the time. They would -- usually "gently" -- make fun of everyone, though at times their wit could be quite biting. Bits included satire of "leave it to Beaver" and "Fantasy Island," among many others. My favorite was a listener call-in contest called "I'm Better than You," in which listeners would compete by stating why they were better than the others currently on line.

The team later moved to Florida and then San Francisco, before splitting up.

Putnam Still Swinging

George Putnam celebrated his 93rd birthday this month, the same day he began his 74th year of broadcasting. Best known for his reporting and commentary on television channels 5 and 11, Putnam spent many years on KIEV (now KRLA, 870 AM). His Talkback program currently airs on the Cable Radio Network -- available on many cable and satellite systems throughout the United States -- as well as KCAA/Loma Linda (1050 AM) weekdays from noon to 2 PM.

Doo-Wop Heaven

So what does new LAUSD Board Member Richard Vladovic do for entertainment? Listens to Doo-Wop, of course. "I love Doo-Wop Gold" Dr. V told me recently, "every Wednesday night from 6 to 9 on Sirius Channel 5. The best Doo-Wop ever!"

The show he's talking about is hosted by TJ Lubinsky and includes live caller requests, in-depth artist profiles, exclusive interviews, rare concert performances and most importantly the original hit recordings from the biggest and best-loved music legends of the 1950s rock and pop era.

The first years of Rock and Roll: The Flamingos, The Five Satins, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Duprees ... songs and artists that aren't played on regular radio any more. If you miss it on Wednesday, the show is repeated Sunday nights at 6.

Pure Rock Revisited

Online radio station is planning a big on-air reunion of former staff and personalities from KNAC's (now Spanish KBUE, 105.5 FM)Pure Rock format days. The event happens tomorrow from 9 AM to 1 PM.

Confirmed guests include Thrasher, Mike Stark, "The Insane" Darryl Wayne and many more both in-studio and on the telephone.


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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