As any musician knows, the difference between a good song and a great song is the drummer. Usually in the background, often times pounding away in relative obscurity, it’s the drummer who provides the backbone to the song, as well as its vitality and spark. Frank Terry was the Ringo Starr, Hal Blaine, and Gene Krupa of Boss Radio 93/KHJ. Originally a drummer himself, Frank Terry, more than any other Bossjock (even Morgan & Steele) set the template for the Boss Radio format and was its most consistent performer. He was the guy who broke in the other Bossjocks. He was the guy who worked every shift, often going months at a time without a day off. The beat had to go on and he was the drummer.
There was no more versatile performer in radio. The two biggest rock stations in America in the mid 60’s could not have sounded more different. KHJ Los Angeles was ultra streamlined, WABC New York was all bells and whistles (chimes actually) – organized chaos. Only one disc jockey ever worked both formats. Frank Terry at KHJ and later at WABC’s sister station and clone in San Francisco, KSFX. You just gave him the charts and he could play.
Later Frank moved into country radio at KNEW and KSAN in the Bay Area. He could bang on washboards as well as snares.
Wherever he went, two things were certain. He made every station he ever worked for sound the very best they ever did, and he dented every console, cart machine, and music stand in the studio with his drum sticks.
Radio has lost a giant. Terrence Franklin Crilly. Better known as Frank Terry. For those of us who knew and loved him, he will always remain in our heart… beating and beating and beating.
Friday, June 22, 2007
By Ken Levine at 8:13 PM