Story behind the Elvis Hour






The Story Behind the Elvis Hour

  It was the first weekly Radio Show on Elvis ever broadcast on

Radio 1986-1992.



Article from Bill Moran,

Radio Broadcasting Magazine Aug. 1987


When they write the big history book about radio syndication in America, one of the stellar names as pioneer and entrepreneur will be that of Darwin Lamm, a former rock record star turned Alaskan gold hunter turned movie star agent turned radio syndicator.

Interviewed by phone Lamm tried to downplay his current success and elaborate on the glories of his coming ventures which include involvement with a new national rep firm called Syndi-Rep, that will specialize in advertising for Radio Syndication.


However, in a recent survey conducted by Radio Broadcasting Magazine, we have come to realize that the most successful hour on radio is a weekly series called, THE ELVIS HOUR.  Our survey was based on listener and advertiser response.  In an effort to get some insight into the success of the show, we interviewed the producer of the program at The Creative Radio Network, Darwin Lamm



R.B.:  We understand the weekly series THE ELVIS HOUR is a total of 52 weeks and many

Stations have just completed the run of the full year with great success.  To what do you attribute this?


D.L.:  Aside from the fact that Elvis had the greatest impact on music and radio than any other artist to date, I feel the primary reasons are the program itself, timing and the increasing demand.  Two years ago we produced the 50th Birthday Special of which 430 markets broadcast the program.   It was the response from those stations and listeners that told us it was time to dedicate one hour a week to this mystique artist.  The program itself is a weekly variety program filled with great hits, memories and fun filled trivia for the listeners.  On each one-hour edition, there are intimate personal portraits as conveyed by some of Elvis’ closest friends, fans and fellow entertainers; “live” concert recordings; and never-before-released interviews with Elvis Presley himself.  It’s quite a weekly musical event.  It moves at a very quick pace and most stations broadcast the show twice a week.


R.B.:  Do some PD’s feel they’ve been “Elvis’d” to death or that there is a burnout factor?


D.L.:  Yes...some PD’s have mentioned that, but we certainly have proven them wrong with the incredible response they’ve received.  When stations get calls and letters raving about the show from new listeners...I mean, they love it!  Unfortunately, some PD’s are just too young to realize the enormous impact Elvis had on our business.  There have been plenty of surveys that show stations that have Elvis records in their rotation have a large number of new listeners and less tune outs.


R.B.:   In our survey, one of the questions we asked the stations were, “What kind of advertiser response do you get?”  It was very positive in relation to other syndicated programs.


D.L.:  Well, as you know, many stations use syndicated programs as a “fill”...and therefore don’t really get out and sell the sponsors.  But with THE ELVIS HOUR almost immediately on broadcasting the show, local advertisers will actually call up the station and ask how to advertise on the program.  Tell me how often THAT happens!  An Elvis fan is an Elvis fan...whether he or she is the president of a corporation or the owner of a local furniture store.  And many of these advertisers have never advertised on radio before.


R.B.:  You only produce 52 weeks...and I was amazed at how many stations planned to start over with show #1 after their original run.


D.L.:  That’s true.  I hope this is a reflection on the program, but I’m sure it’s primarily the fact stations are picking up new listeners because of the show...and, of course new advertisers as well.  If the stations are making money off it, why not continue?


R.B.:  OK...based on our survey, it is a winner.  But, tell me the truth...what are the negatives.  There must be some complaints.


D.L.:  Here’s a good one...a station told me that the biggest complaint he had was that listeners told him that the show interfered with “60 Minutes” and rather than miss THE ELVIS HOUR live, they would video tape “60 Minutes”!


R.B.:  After talking with a few stations...KTFX in Tulsa; CKBY in Ottawa, WTZE in Tazewell; WBAT in Marion...they and many others have re-signed.  The magic and fan loyalty is still there and THE ELVIS HOUR is definitely a strong weekly hour of programming!


Interview August 1987


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