Broadcast people – don’t they beat all!

By Anita Garner

Broadcasters are some of the most talented people I know.  They’re doing their radio and television stuff, then a whole bunch more.  Standup comedy, voicing characters in cartoons, writing plays and movies, acting in them, producing and directing, singing and writing songs and playing instruments, painting pictures, writing newspaper columns and stories and books and on and on.

I’m in awe of the variety of talent among my colleagues, and after years of attending their performances and reading their writing you’d think I’d be used to it, but once in a while there’s another sweet surprise.

I met Allan Hotlen in San Francisco in the 80’s when he was Program Director at KSFO (studios in the beautiful Fairmont Hotel. Sigh.)  We talked about doing something together.  I was living on the slope-y part of Green Street between North Beach and Russian Hill, floating all over town, soaking up a life I loved, in talks with KOIT radio (studios on beautiful Maiden Lane. Sigh) about doing a show for them.

Before either KSFO or KOIT could happen, Gene Autry’s Golden West Broadcasting sold KSFO and it would be “going in another direction.” KBIG Los Angeles (sister station of KOIT) made me an offer I thought I’d better not refuse.  Allan moved away.  I went to L.A.

Years later, I was producing and hosting Something Special, a syndicated show, and choosing songs for a Christmas special when I came across  Christmas Isn’t Christmas Without You, a song I loved that wasn’t played often enough. The composer listed was Allan Hotlen.  With two l’s. Could this be radio Allan I’d met in The City By The Bay?

It was.  He was then across town, programming a Los Angeles radio station.   Yes, he said, he did write that song  with Peter DeAngelis.  I asked if he’d record an introduction for the Christmas special and he did.

This year, listening to Christmas music, I played his song and started to click over to Facebook to say hello, then decided to say hello this way, right here.  So, hello dear Allan.  Thank you for years of good radio and for this beautiful song.

Click the picture to play the song.

“Christmas Isn’t Christmas Without You”
Written by Allan Hotlen
Sung by Wayne Newton



13 thoughts on “Broadcast people – don’t they beat all!”

  1. What a beautiful song ! You can count on it being on my show this Friday 12/20. You sure know some VERY talented people Anita, I am tickled to be able to read your words and feel the kindness that you express in everything you post. Merry Christmas, from our home to yours.

  2. I crossed paths with Allen Hotlen at some point in the 70s. I don’t remember why but my sense of the meeting is overwhelmingly positive so I’m sure I liked him.

    I’ve always said on the entertainment ladder we radio people are just a step above mimes and one below clowns but you’re right, they are some of the most wonderfully talented and versatile creators on Earth. That includes you my speaking, singing, writing friend.

  3. Dave, it’s exciting for me and uplifting to know that you, my friend, write plays that win awards and you’ve acted and directed – and still have a show up and running in Europe. Who does that AND talks on the radio every morning from Dallas, Texas? One of my multi-talented broadcast buddies.

  4. Bruce I’m glad you’ve met Alan now and are enjoying his song. And happy you have your own show you get to program.! Thanks for visiting here.

  5. Bruce, Dave and, of course, dear Anita . . .

    Just a sincere thank you for your very kind words. Of all the songs (and jingles) I’ve been lucky enough to have recorded, “Christmas Isn’t Christmas Without You” is my favorite. I’m so grateful that Anita “discovered” it and that you guys like it, too. I wish we’d all had a chance to work together in radio. What a station we’d have created!

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Allan – yes – I like to think we’d have made a good team! Glad to have met you in the magic city we both loved.

  7. Allan, oh how I wish I had found my way into radio back in the day. I am eternally grateful for the encouragement Anita and Dave have given me, even though my talent is really just love of music, and sharing that music with who ever cares to listen.

  8. Anita
    I’m happy that Don posted your story on Allan Hotlin. Al and I were in college (Temple U) a while back and he took my shift at WRCV(now KYW) when I left. I’m glad to see that he is still doing well.
    Bernie Alan

  9. Hi Bernie – so good to hear from you. I think of you often. Lovely to learn of your connections/history with Allan. I guess none of us should be surprised when we hear of another link in our chain. We were fortunate to choose careers that seem to value these relationships. I’m happy every time I hear of another link – like yours with Allan.

  10. AH, class guy. He trusted my announcing skills to work at his radio station in Los Angeles. Thank you Alan for your kindness and belief in me. I’ve never forgotten it! An inspirational chapter in my life book.
    Rick B.
    Communications Instructor/Student Advisor
    Luna Community College
    Las Vegas, NM

  11. Bernie . . .

    Couldn’t help but notice that you STILL don’t spell your last name correctly. (Still Silly After All These Years.) Seriously, I was so happy to see your name here. I remember you well. What a terrific voice you had (and undoubtedly still have). More importantly, you’re a really good guy. Stay well!

  12. Richard . . .

    Wow! An overused word. But it’s appropriate here. Thank you for your kind words.
    Glad to know you’re going well. And . . . please know that there was no “trust” involved in having you on the air. It was your talent that got you there. Stay well, Richard.

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