AGAIN, I REMIND YOU THAT WHAT YOU'RE READING has never been published before. It is information about my life and career that I chose to share with you on this Special WebSite. It is not a "blog" because, personally, I much prefer this format. Many who have listened to me through the years have been friends or acquaintances. Others may have heard me, or my shows "The Breakfast Serial" & "The Legends Of The Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame" Series, and knew nothing about me, except what they heard. Perhaps, this will "fill in the blanks" for the latter group.
And, even to those who know me well, much of what follows in these stories and information will be new. Never before heard, talked about, discussed, or, divulged. This will set the record straight...not that it's ever been bent. They're just honest revelations, and also done to honor my wonderful parents William Eugene (Bill) Edwards, and, Mary Ruth (Marie)Thomas-Edwards. And my Edwards-Thomas relatives.
I thank you all for your kindness, encourgement, comments, and, for listening & understanding. I've always considered Radio - at least the way I do it, the way my contemporaries did it, and, especially the way my old friend/mentor, Don Pietromonaco did it - to be an "art form" all to itself.
My sincere thanks to you all. Because if it weren't for you...there would be no need for me. You never do it alone.
SPECIAL NOTE: THIS WEBSITE IS DONE IN CHRONOLOGIAL ORDER...FOR YOUR SAKE, AS WELL AS MINE. As Glinda "The Good Witch" always said: "It's always best to begin at the beginning !"
KLID'S JONNIE COUGAR...AND HOW HE GOT THAT WAY !
AS THE OCTOBER 19, 1967, feature story in the Poplar Bluff-published "Three Rivers Times News" stated: "On Sunday, September 10, 1967, a new sound pounced on the 1340 airwaves of Radio KLID. It was the bright, exciting sound of KLID's newest air personality...Jonnie Cougar."
But, who was he ? And, where did that name come from anyway ? To be continued... (Hint: Look Below)
AT THE TIME I ENTERED the Broadcasting Industry, if you wanted to work on-the-air at a radio station you were required to be licensed by the Federal Communications Commision. In order to obtain your license, you either went to the Regional FCC Office to take the Exam, or, to a locally designated Field Office.
The way it worked was: To be an on-the-air Radio Announcer you needed a "3rd Class" License, and to take the Transmitter Meter Readings at the station you were working at, you also needed what was termed an "Element 9" Endorsement.
No radio station would hire you as an on-the-air personality if you weren't licensed, and for most, especially smaller & medium market stations, you needed the Element 9 Endorsement - which was a separate exam - to take Meter Readings as they didn't have an in-studio engineer 24/7/365 to read the meters.
Further, in Missouri the Regional FCC Office was in Kansas City, and there was a Field Office in St. Louis. BUT, the Local Office only gave the required Test 3 or 4 times a year, and if you failed it there you would have to wait several months to take it again, OR, drive to the Kansas City Office where you could take it almost anytime.
I took the Exams for both my Radio License 3rd Class & Element 9 Endorsement at the St. Louis Office on May 11th, 1966, passed, and received my license May 17th, 1966. Pictured below is my long-archived personal copy of the 266 Page, Official Study Guide that the questions for the tests were based on.
The "Cougar's" on-the-air ! This was Sunday, September 24, 1967.
Some avid listeners checking-out the Cougar's September 24th broadcast !
Jonnie with old friend Gayle McCormick from the Klassmen...and, later, A Group Called Smith. December 16th, 1967.
Jonnie gets a lift from Barry Ebeling & The Invader's after their smash-hit appearance at his big show at the Psychedelic Comic Book, December 2, 1967. (Barry Ebeling is on the right.)
Hey, here he is again ! Doing a remote at the Valley Plaza Shopping Center, April 6, 1968
Jonnie Interviewing USAF Capt. May Liebeck, RN, an Air Force Flight Nurse explaining how the Vietnam War casualties were air-lifted and evacuated. May 23, 1968 (She was a wonderful lady, a real professional. I truly loved meeting her and doing the Interview, as many local men & women were in the Military and serving in Vietnam at that time and their relatives & friends needed to be aware of how well those like Capt. Liebeck treated those brave warriors fighting for our Country.)
KLID'S Music Director working on his birthday: August 13, 1968. (Looks a lot like me . Whoa ! It is !!)
The Cougar and his brand new 1968 Cougar XR-7, April 20, 1968. Note the KLID LIcense Plate on the front of the car in the pic on the left.
SPECIAL NOTE: At the very top of this page...IT'S JANUARY 27, 1968 ! There's Jonnie with members of the Barry Ebeling Revue at Poplar Bluff's super-cool teen club The Psychedelic Comic Book.
[ ALL PHOTOS/IMAGES ON THIS PAGE ARE FROM MY PERSONAL COLLECTION. ]
NEXT: KAAY, LITTLE ROCK