An aspiring actor before he landed a job in Ohio as a broadcaster, Myers used his thespian skills in a stunning run of unscripted jive patter and sound-effects. He worked with eight turntables, layering echo, outer space tones, rocket launches, bubbling cauldrons and spooky chords between his blood-curdling laughter and rants ('' Jet speed, saucer blasts, smoke and fire, Mad Daddy flies up higher and higher '') as lead-ins to the kind of gutbucket-funky R&B selections rarely heard outside a handful of black-operated Southern stations like Memphis' WDIA.
Mad Daddy was both myth and reality. Kids lined up outside the studio at midnight waiting for him to emerge, which he always did after donning a black cloak and smearing on freakish greasepaint. Myers also hosted a TV horror show where he appeared only in an upside-down close-up. He achieved such popularity that he had his own shoeline, Batty Bucks - suede, with a bat-shaped leather flap. At one point, pissed off over something or the other, he reportedly locked himself in the booth and played the same easy-listening record for two weeks. After he was yanked off the air for 90 days due to an FCC violation, Myers, desperate to stay in the public eye, parachuted into Lake Erie as 300 fans watched, none aware that it was his first jump. He had wanted to fill the lake with Jell-O, but '' couldn't corner the market.''
'' Yeah my show's nutty but you know it's never dull/Just as long the light burns in my skull,'' he'd cackle, but as with all crazy 1950s rock phenomena, the carnival ground to a painful halt. After a disastrous move to New York in the early '60s, bereft of context in the flower-power era, in 1968 Myers himself blew the light out - with a shotgun.
(Courtesy: Johnny Whiteside, LA Weekly)
Radio Broadcasts 1958 - 64 by Norton Records:
- WHK Jingle (WHK 6/26/59)
- Show Opening (WHK 3/25/59)
- Gillette Razor (WHK 3/25/59)
- Weather (WINS 10/19/64)
- Mad Daddy Photo (WINS Summer '64)
- Wavy Gravy Flow (WJW 4/1/58)
- Man-Eating Plant (WINS Summer '64)
- Record Rendezvous (WHK 6/25/59)
- A Little Mello Jello And Some Winky Blinky Juice (WINS 10/26/63)
- Zoomeratin' Alphabet (WHK 6/26/59)
- Alfred E. Neuman Production (WINS 10/26/63)
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