Famed Top 40 jock Lee “Baby” Simms takes own life

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JIM ROSE REMEMBERS RADIO
Issue #1378
by Jim Rose
JIM ROSE LOGO

ALL THE NEWS THAT IS NEWS

LEE BABY SPINS LAST TUNE In 1961, Gilmore LaMar Simms quits high school at 16. With his debut on WTMA-1250 in his hometown Charleston, SC he begins a 40-year radio career. On the radio, listeners know LaMar as Lee Baby Simms. During his long radio career Lee Baby is behind the mic on 35 radio stations in 22 markets. In the 1960s and 1970s, San Antonio, TX listeners hear Sims on KONO-860 and KTSA-550.

Lee Baby Simms (Photo: Radio Ink)

Lee Baby Simms (Photo: Radio Ink)

He retires to the hills above San Francisco, CA. On January 28, 2015, Lee Baby Simms passes away at 72.

Video: Lee Baby Simms- Last day on KORL 650, Honolulu

IF YOU THINK THIS ISSUE OF JRRR IS WORTH READING…Please forward this entire issue to five of your friends and associates! To subscribe to Jim Rose Remembers Radio send your full Name, City, State and Country of residence plus email address to Rosekkkj@earthlink.net.

COPS NAB GUNMAN IN TV NEWSROOM On Thursday, ‎January ‎29, ‎2015 a gunman hijacks NOS news broadcast in the Netherlands. The deranged triggerman hopes to send a message to the entire country. NOS live television captures the attack on the country’s biggest national news broadcast. He takes the security guard hostage and yells that he wants air time. If they do not give it to him, he says that bombs will explode in different places. As he holds his pistol, Dutch police rush him and slam the gunman to the floor.

THE BIG EYE ANCHOR EXITS TV KEYE TV CBS CH 42 Austin, TX (originally KHFI TV during my time there in 1966) traffic Anchor Erica Brennes decides on an exodus not only from KEYE TV after three years television completely. Brennes decides to leap into startup company RideScout, which is an app that monitors traffic conditions. Erica brags: Here, I’m not just talking about wrecks, wrecks, wrecks all the time. I get to focus on solutions. She adds: KEYE always felt like home, but life changes.

WESTWOOD ONE RELOCATES RAMP reports that Westwood One will move out of its longtime location in Dallas, TX into another location in Big D. Westwood One’s lease on Montfort Drive expires in mid-2015, plus sub-tenant Radio Disney leaves the building. So, Westwood One will build new broadcast facilities at its TM Studios on Academy Lane in the Metroplex. Back-office functions, like traffic and affiliate service/affidavit management will relocate to an existing Cumulus facility in nearby Arlington, TX.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Second only to the Grand Ole Opry, what is the longest-running radio program in existence? The answer appears below.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS

•HAPPY BIRTHDAY! John Steel Sunday, February 1, 2015. •WLOH-1320 News/Talk Lancaster, OH plus its two translators flip to Country at 12:00 noon on Friday, January 30, 2015. •MARK THOMPSON’s new Mark In The Morning show debuts on Monday, February 2, 2015 on KSWD FM Bonneville Classic Rock (100.3 The Sound) Los Angeles, CA. •KXNT-840 Las Vegas, NV moves financial talk star Dave Ramsey from evening delay broadcast to 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.

ENTERTAINMENT AND NEWS MILESTONES

•1950 WHAT’S MY LINE’s 1st broadcast on CBS TV on February 2nd.

Video: February 2, 1950 — “What’s My Line?”

•1962 RICHIE MCDONALD lead singer of Lonestar born on February 6th in Lubbock, TX. •1973 MIDNIGHT SPECIAL Rock music show debuts on NBC TV on February 2nd. •1981 GEORGE STRAIT records his first hit single Unwound on February 2nd at Music City Music Hall in Nashville, TN. •1997 NFL PRO BOWL: AFC beats NFC 26-23 on February 2nd in overtime. •2010 BRAD PAISLEY’s single Online goes Gold on February 4th.

EMAILS YES WE HAVE EMAIL

DAVE MICHAELS [WSAI-1360/KONO-860/KBUC FM] (Dayton-Huber Heights, OH) Subject: Have known him for 21 years. Phone call last night from Ludlow Dave – he told me a week ago; Chubby was in the Hospital. YOU met him at Lunch in Harrison Ohio with John Sommers one time – anyway; last night Ludlow was told “Chubby” has 3 months to live – “Cancer”… You know he is also blind! Life goes bye too fast – live it while you have your legs! DM

WHERE DO YOU READ JRRR? Tell us how far away from Houston, TX that you read JRRR. Got a news tip or a question? Send your full Name, City, State and Country of residence to Rosekkkj@earthlink.net.

LIZ PATRANELLA [Liz Houston – KTSA-550, KBAT-680] (Austin, TX) Subject: Lee Baby Sims. Hello, Everyone, Sad news this morning. I just received word from Woody Roberts that his dear friend Lee Baby Sims has passed away at the age of 72. Lee was on the air at KONO in San Antonio in the 1960s and is well remembered by all who heard him. For more on his life and career, go to: www.reelradio.com/ls/index.html Liz

TONY WILLIAMS [WKY-930/KRLD-1080] (Dallas-Richardson, TX) Subject: Lee Baby dies. Word has come from Claude Hall, former editor of Vox Jox at Billboard Magazine, that Lee Baby Simms has taken his life. He also worked in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Honolulu as well as many other markets. His last name is spelled Simms. I last talked to him in 2006 when he called me in the hospital. I know he worked at KRLA three separate stints when it was album rock, MOR as ‘Ol Doc Frail, and Top 40 as Lee “Baby”.

CHUCK DUNAWAY (Houston-Katy, TX) I worked with Lee Baby Sims at WKYC in Cleveland…poppin off like flies these day, but not me.

DON SUNDEEN [DJ/Hi Records promotion/TV ad prod] (Dallas, TX) Subject: Lee ‘Baby’ Sims. One of the great rock jocks has left the studio, Lee “Baby” Sims. This aircheck is what Top 40 radio sounded like before Drake when it was still fun; it made me tired just listening to him with all that energy in afternoon drive. This is before he started doing the “Lee Baby’ schtick, and I found it interesting how many live reads there were on some of the spots and PSA’s. Interesting to hear his distinctive cadence and accent again, and he never stumbled over a word. God bless his soul, hope he loves Rock and Roll heaven, that’s where all the good jockeys go. Lee “Baby” Sims, KTSA, San Antonio, TX

Video: More classic Lee Baby — KRLA, Los Angeles, 1971.

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JOANIE GREEN-GALLO [Longtime Houston, TX DJ/traffic reporter] (Tulsa, OK) Hi Jim, Wow…great trivia question ~ I didn’t know that about KVOO. I suspect that is because of Phillips Petroleum. The Philbrook Museum is at the end of my street https://philbrook.org/ I literally can walk there. It used to be the home of Waite Phillips of Phillips Petroleum. Sort of like Miss Ima’s home is the lovely Bayou Bend. https://philbrook.org/about/the-philbrook-story This mentions the downtown tower. After looking at that, here’s a bit more about the Philbrook ~ https://philbrook.org/explore/philbrook-gardens / https://real-estate.knoji.com/philbrook-beautiful-landmark-mansion-and-art-museum/ The place is truly beautiful. When new exhibits open we have to drive very carefully down the street to the house… folks are parking on both sides of our street and walking to the museum after the Philbrook’s parking facilities fill up ~ the valet parking staffers are really hoofing it. They have a new exhibit opening next week ~ I suspect it’ll be busy. Well, have a good night ~ Joanie

TRIVIA ANSWER: In 1941, freelance broadcaster Roy Plomley dreams up Desert Island Discs and sends a proposition letter to the BBC. On January 27, 1942 BBC Radio launches the new Desert Island Discs program. Second only to the Grand Ole Opry it is the longest-running radio program in existence.

CHUCK DUNAWAY [ex WABC-770, WKY-930, KILT-610, KLIF-1190] (Houston-Katy, TX) Subject: for print if you want my friend. Jim and Suzie: I just spent four weeks in Rehab Hospital. It is the only place they could administer the power dosages of Anti-biotics and Steroids in an attempt to kill what is an unknown infection in my left lung. The rehab hospital is a scary place. With all the extra-powerful dosages of Steroids/Anti biotics and other medications administered in the rehab hospital you can barely hold onto reality. I couldn’t send email out, but received your JRRR and it gave me a glimpse of what was outside. Kendall and I do appreciate you. Thank you. Chuck

DANIEL BOONE (November 2, 1734 – September 26, 1820) All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse and a good wife.

Jim Rose and Suzie
Houston, Texas – Laus Deo

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