» Portland Radio

"The KISN Good Guys" Namesake Dies: R. Peter Straus

(13 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by Craig_Adams
  • Latest reply from RadioBuggie


  1. Craig_Adams
    Radio historian

    WMCA New York was first to originate "The Good Guys" term for their disc jockeys and logo in July 1963. This idea was adopted by stations across America, including Star Stations, Inc., owners of KOIL, KISN & WIFE in November 1963. R. Peter Straus could be called the father of "The Good Guys."

    This from All Access:

    ------------------------------------Former WMCA Owner R. Peter Straus Dies------------------------------------

    R. PETER STRAUS, the longtime former owner of WMCA-A/NEW YORK and director of the VOICE OF AMERICA, died MONDAY at his home in MANHATTAN at 89.

    STRAUS joined WMCA in 1948 after its purchase by his father, NEW YORK State Senator NATHAN STRAUS, serving as PD before leaving in 1950 to work at the INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION. He rejoined his father in running STRAUS COMMUNICATIONS, INC., owner of WMCA, in 1958 and became President of the company in 1959 and CEO upon NATHAN STRAUS' passing in 1961, holding that position throughout WMCA's heyday as a major Top 40 outlet in the 1960s and an all-Talk station in the 70s and 80s.

    Under the operation of STRAUS and his wife ELLEN SULZBERGER STRAUS, the station became known for its "Good Guys" air staff (and iconic sweatshirts), STRAUS's editorials, and the "Call for Action" hotline that spread to stations nationwide.

    The station was sold in 1986, and STRAUS segued into owning several local weekly newspapers in the area surrounding the intersection of the states of NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, and PENNSYLVANIA, now headed by the STRAUS's daughter JEANNE.

    Posted on August 9, 2012 - 08:33 PM #
  2. terrydanner

    Although I hesitate to contradict Craig, I had always heard that Ruth Meyer was responsible for "The Good Guys." (But then I got that info via former goodguy Gary Stevens and the late Ruth Meyer!)

    Posted on August 10, 2012 - 02:29 PM #
  3. Andy_brown

    "Meyer did not create the term "The Good Guys" but she perfected it"

    I remember listening to 570 AM from 1963 to about 1967 when the FM explosion occurred in NYC. The first button on our radio. 77 WABC was the other Top 40 powerhouse. On the AM during the mid 60's we also listened to WINS, WHN, and my Dad liked WPAT (News, Country, A/C with big bands). .

    Posted on August 10, 2012 - 03:00 PM #
  4. Alfredo_T

    The "Good Guys" era ended rather early for WMCA, in 1970. I wonder what station was the last to use "Good Guys" as its branding? It would seem to me that by the late 1970s, "Good Guys" would have sounded quite out-of-date (due to CHR leaning more heavily female and due to the cultural changes of the late 1960s).

    Posted on August 10, 2012 - 04:21 PM #
  5. semoochie

    I don't think KISN ever abandoned it completely and as I recall, the last words the Stoner spoke were "Goodnight from the Kisn Good Guys.".

    Posted on August 10, 2012 - 06:15 PM #
  6. Craig_Adams
    Radio historian

    Terry: I've never been able to track down who it was that came up with the term "The Good Guys" or who created the logo. R. Peter Straus was as close as could be found. Posting "the father" rather than "the creator" was my way of being a little vague.

    Posted on August 10, 2012 - 09:16 PM #
  7. Alfredo_T

    Indeed,those were the last words spoken by a DJ on KISN (I have three different airchecks of this).

    Posted on August 11, 2012 - 12:37 AM #
  8. Craig_Adams
    Radio historian

    UPDATE!! "Tiger" Tom Murphy comes through with the Real Story. Looks like Terry Danner was right all along! A Great story follows:

    Hello Craig:

    It's been a while since I could contribute to pdx but I thought I would share some info on the WMCA Good Guy postings.

    I read this in an interview with Ruth a few years ago. While she was visiting LA, she was listening to KFWB. The 'WB jocks were called "The Swinging Gentlemen." In a station promo they were referred to as "The Swinging Gentlemen" but also in the promo it said they were "Good Guys."

    Ruth picked up on that and when she returned to New York, set about making something out of the term "Good Guys." The management of WMCA was not interested. It was Ruth who designed the Good Guy face and with her own money she had some shirts made up.

    At a hop the jock gave out the "Good Guy" shirts and they went over very big. After that the WMCA Good Guys became a reality and soon The KISN Swingin' 91 Deejays became Good Guys, too.

    Over the years I had several conversations with Ruth and she was terrific. I still have a letter she
    sent me back in 1968.

    "Tiger" Tom

    Posted on August 11, 2012 - 06:57 AM #
  9. msndrspdx

    So now we know who created the Goodguys Smileyface logo! And what she created still endures. You still see people in NYC running around with old WMCA Goodguys t-shirts and sweaters (even tho WMCA no longer plays Top 40 these days)...and of course, Goodguy Radio/KISN has proven that those shirts still posess and represent something magical and special!

    Best, M. 8)

    Posted on August 11, 2012 - 08:59 AM #
  10. Waynes World

    I have a Crusin 1963 album with WMCA in New York with B Mitchell Reed. I could hardly keep up with him he talked so fast.

    Posted on August 13, 2012 - 10:08 PM #