The morning show featured interviews with government officials, celebrities and newsmakers. We didn’t make an effort to preserve them all but some survived.
As we sort through the tapes, we hope to add more interviews to this page. It is the subject matter of these interviews that make for interesting listening today. Some of the issues are still relevant in 2020.
Jay Leno was the host of The Tonight Show from 1992 to 2009. He started a primetime talk show in 2009 which was cancelled in 2010. Jay returned to hosting the Tonight Show from 2010 to 2014.
In the early nineties, Jay Leno came to Tulsa to perform for the Dillon International program for orphan children around the world. I interviewed him about his love of comedy, the Iraq War, Johnny Carson and a former girlfriend from Tulsa.
Erling in the Morning was formatted to accommodate celebrity interviews which fortunately we preserved and can now share.
With the opening days of baseball, I am reminded of an interview I did with Red Barber. Known as “The Ol’ Redhead” he had been a play-by-play baseball announcer for the Cincinnati Reds (1934-1938), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1939-1953), and the New York Yankees (1954-1966). He was 84 when he died October 22, 1992.
This interview was conducted in the late eighties. I asked Red who he thought was the overall best major league player. Listen for his response.
Here is an interview I did with Andy Williams in 1997. He was 70 years old at the time and was performing in his Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri.
Andy recorded 43 albums of which 15 went gold, and 3 went on to platinum status.
Andy and Henry Mancini came to Tulsa for a KRMG concert in the early 70’s. The very famous Dan Bell picked them up at the airport.
Andy was 84 when he died in Branson, September 25, 2012.
Stars of the stage would bring their show to many communities across the country, and Tulsa was one of those cities. Robert Goulet came to town, appearing in the musical “Camelot” as Sir Lancelot. He had been cast as Sir Lancelot in the 1960 Broadway production of Camelot starring opposite Richard Burton and Julie Andrews. He took Broadway by storm and achieved instant recognition with his resonant voice in his interpretation of “If Ever I Would Leave You”.
So, it was exciting to see him on stage in Tulsa and of course to interview him, if for only five minutes.
Robert was 73 when he died October 30, 2007.
Go to YouTube to listen to his wonderful singing voice!
The Tulsa Tribune
Under the theme of “You know you’re from Tulsa if…”, The Tulsa Tribune comes to mind. Many of us still miss our afternoon newspaper, known for its investigative reporting. Owned and operated by three generations of the Jones Family, The Tribune closed September 30, 1992. I was given the privilege of broadcasting the morning show on that day from the paper’s newsroom.
Listen to Jenkin Lloyd Jones Sr., and his thoughts on closing the paper on that day.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was written by Ralph Blaine along with his writing partner, Hugh Martin. Ralph was born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and attended Tulsa Central High School.
The song was written for the 1944 film musical “Meet me in St. Louis”. Popular songs “The Boy Next Door” and the “Trolley Song” also came from that musical.
After Judy Garland introduced the song in the movie, Frank Sinatra recorded it three times. It was also recorded by Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and others. More recently, the versions by Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, and John Legend, reached #1 on the US Adult Contemporary charts.
For years we would check in with Ralph at Christmastime. For this interview we found a recording of Ralph singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from his younger days.
This year when you hear the song, be proud in knowing that it came from someone who was born and raised in our community. Ralph was 81 when he died November 13, 1995.
We continue with interviews from the 80’s when celebrity performers would come to Tulsa, and very willingly appeared on radio shows to help sell tickets. Tim Conway came to Tulsa with the road show “Together Again” with comedy partner Harvey Korman.
Tim was an actor, comedian, writer, and director. He appeared in McHale’s Navy, he was a regular cast member on the TV comedy The Carol Burnett Show, appeared in several films and provided the voice of Barnacle Boy in the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.
He was at his best when he would leave a script to ad-lib, which caused others in the skit to break character and laugh at his humor. He was 85 when he died May 14, 2019.
Harmon Killebrew – Baseball Player for Minnesota Twins
One of the greatest home run hitters of all time, the Minnesota Twin’s Harmon Killebrew, stopped by the studio in the year 2000. He was my baseball hero for many years when I lived in Minnesota and North Dakota. Harmon was 74 when he died May 17, 2011.
Steve Allen on Erling in the Morning in 1994
Steve Allen visited the KRMG studios in Tulsa to promote one of his many books, “Funny People”. He was the first host of the “The Tonight Show”, in 1954, which was the first late-night television talk show. He was perhaps the most talented of all late night talk hosts for he was a musician, composer, actor, comedian and writer. Steve died on October 30, 2000. He was 78.
Maureen Reagan visited Tulsa to promote a memory walk and appeared on Erling in the Morning to talk about her father, former President Ronald Reagan, and his struggle with Alzheimer’s.
Suzanne Somers was confronted by a nearly naked intruder at her California estate on Friday February 5, 2021, while the “Three’s Company” star was home with her husband—and in the middle of a Facebook Live session with her fans.
The story brought to mind an interview I did with her in 1978 when she was 31 years old. She is now 74. Susanne was coming to Tulsa for a performance at what was known as the Ziegfeld Dinner Theater, which was located near the corner of 71st and Sheridan.
Susanne appeared in the TV role of Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company and as Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step.
She appeared in two Playboy cover-feature nude pictorials. Her first set of nude photos was taken in 1970 when she was 18 and a struggling model and actress. She discussed her reasons for posing in these twelve minutes of a thirty-minute interview.
Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner
Tammy, along with her husband Jim Bakker, co-founded The PTL Club. She was a singer, author, talk show hostess and TV personality. Jim Bakker was indicted, convicted and imprisoned on many counts of fraud and conspiracy in 1989. Tammy divorced Bakker in 1992 and married Roe Messner. She died of colon cancer in 2007.
Tammy diverged from mainstream evangelists when she voiced support for the LGBT community and reached out to HIV/AIDS patients at the height of the AIDS epidemic.
This interview in the early 90’s displays her upbeat, outgoing personality which put her on the national stage for so many years.
Frankie Avalon was an actor, singer and teen idol during the late fifties and early sixties. He had 31 Billboard singles including number one hits “Venus” and “Why”. In the eighties, he was a spokesman for Sonic Drive-In, and while appearing on Erling in the Morning he talked about playing the trumpet at an early age. You will also hear Ann Williams, show co-host. Interview from 1988
Fred Goldman is the father of Ron Goldman, who was murdered by O.J. Simpson, along with Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson’s former wife.
Fred sent out letters across the country seeking funds to cover the cost of bringing a civil suit against O.J. Simpson. Simpson was aquited in a criminal trial October 3, 1995
The murder took place June 12, 1994. In the civil suit, Simpson was found guilty of both deaths. We talked to Fred Goldman May 23, 1996.
Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary
Before coming for a performance at the Brady Theater in Tulsa in the 1980’s, Paul sat down for an interview with John. Notice the issues Paul talks about.
Bill was the audience manager for the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Carson died January 23, 2005 at the age of 79.
Jenk Jones, Jr
Editor of the Tulsa Tribune. We broadcast the morning show from the newsroom of the Tulsa Tribune on the last day of publishing – September 30, 1992
Cavett was a television personality, comedian and former talk show host. Among his many credits, he hosted the Dick Cavett show in competition with Johnny Carson, never winning that late night time slot. He appeared on television from the 60’s into the 2000’s. Carson and Cavett were both born and raised in Nebraska.
In this short piece from an interview we recorded, Dick talks about “blue humor”. Note the words that were considered offensive.
Russell Charles Means
Means was an Oglala Lakota activist for the rights of Native Americans, libertarian political activist, actor, writer, and musician. He became a prominent member of the American Indian rights movement. He died October 22, 2012.
This audio piece is from an interview on October 26, 1995 in which Mr Means discusses the use of Native American names for sports teams. His thoughts on racism are as relevant today as they were in 1995.
Senator Jim Inhofe
Inhofe recorded this interview on October 31, 2002 while flying to Western Oklahoma during his campaign against former Oklahoma Governor David Walters. Senator Inhofe won the election.
More interviews to come!
While this website is not affiliated with the broadcast legend KRMG, it is a tribute to the station and all who worked there during the 1970’s through the early 2000’s