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Transcript of interview with Bud Weil by Claytee White, December 9, 2003

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2003-12-09
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Bud Weil worked as a disc jockey in Mexico after serving in the military during World War II. In 1947, he moved to Las Vegas to work at KLAS but after two days he was job hunting. His search landed him at KENO, a radio station owned by Max and Laura Belle Kelch. His was an interview show that afforded him entree to stars performing in town. The list of his favorite interviews includes Sophie Tucker, Sammy Davis, Jack Benny, The Mills Brother, Rosemary Clooney, Leno Home, Joey Lewis and many others. In 1955, he became restless, left the career in broadcasting, and joined Max Kelch as a partner in a new venture for Las Vegas - Musak. This enterprise took him to the doors of every business in town and shortly, he knew everybody. He uses that knowledge in this interview to talk about all aspects of life as the town grew over the years. Today he is a senior statesman of our town, enjoying everything about Las Vegas except the traffic.

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Weil, Bud Interview, 2003 December 9. OH-01937. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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An Interview with Aubrey Bud Weil An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White Oral History Research Center The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas 2007 ©The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2007 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director and Editor: Claytee D. White Interviewers and Project Assistants: Suzanne Becker, Nancy Hardy, Joyce Moore, Andres Moses, Laura Plowman, Emily Powers, Dr. Dave Schwartz • • 11 ORAL HISTORY RESEARCH CENTER OF UNLV The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Use Agreement J ftty Bus/ Ui,; Name of interviewer: -ree J). IVft re Name of Narrator: We, the above named, give to the Oral History Research Center of UNLV the tape recorded interview(s) initiated on (- f -J?jk s an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational uses as shall be determined, and transfer to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude the right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the recordings and related materials for scholarly uses. There will be no compensation for any interviews. Signature of Narrator IVJQ. Date 3 /j? j? r/c/j AdZdress. oVf nsau.jr/aa.tt o r g/P (Ahboc^ Signature of truer viewer Date Library Special Collections 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-7010 (702) 895-2222 Recorded interviews and transcripts composing the Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project have been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Harold Boyer and the Libraries Advisory Board. Lied Library provided a wide variety of administrative services and the Special Collection Department, home of the Oral History Research Center, provided advice, archival expertise and interviewers. The Oral History Research Center enabled students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. Participants in this project thank the University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcripts received minimal editing. These measures include the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project. Additional transcripts may be found under that series title. Claytee D. White, Project Director Director, Oral History Research Center University of Nevada Las Vegas iv Preface Bud Weil worked as a disc jockey in Mexico after serving in the military during World War II. In 1947, he moved to Las Vegas to work at KLAS but after two days he was job hunting. His search landed him at KENO, a radio station owned by Max and Laura Belle Kelch. His was an interview show that afforded him entree to stars performing in town. The list of his favorite interviews includes Sophie Tucker, Sammy Davis, Jack Benny, The Mills Brother, Rosemary Clooney, Leno Home, Joey Lewis and many others. In 1955, he became restless, left the career in broadcasting, and joined Max Kelch as a partner in a new venture for Las Vegas - Musak. This enterprise took him to the doors of every business in town and shortly, he knew everybody. He uses that knowledge in this interview to talk about all aspects of life as the town grew over the years. Today he is a senior statesman of our town, enjoying everything about Las Vegas except the traffic. v Good morning. This is Claytee White. It is December the 9th, 2003. And I'm in the home of Mr. Bud Weil. How are you doing today? I am fine, Claytee. Thank you. Good. And could you give me your entire name, please? Yes. The first name is Aubrey. And then my middle name, which is also legal and the name I go by, is Bud. And the last name is Weil. Thank you. Now, could you please just tell me about your early life, where you grew up? Yes. I was born in Los Angeles, California. And I spent my formative years there until the war. And 1 enlisted in the Army in 1942 and stayed there until - oh, three years and nine months exactly. And then I had always wanted to be a radio announcer. It was kind of a passion of mine. Before you tell me about that, could you tell me just a bit — right now we are really interested in some of the veterans. And there are several projects around the country. Can you tell me a little bit about your World War II experience, where you were stationed? Yes, 1 can. I took the basic training at Fort MacArthur, which is down in the southern San Diego area. From there, I believe 1 went to Paso Robles, California. They transferred me up there in that area to a town called Tracy. Tracy was a prisoner-of-war camp for the Japanese generals. They'd bring them there once they had captured them. Then they would interrogate them. I, as a lonely private, had nothing to do with it. I was simply there. Then I got transferred to Florence, Arizona, which was an Italian prisoner-of-war camp. They would capture the Italians and bring them into war camp — jail actually — in Florence, Arizona. From there, I got transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington. That's in the Tacoma area. From Fort Lewis to Hawaii, and from Hawaii to a couple of islands, Iwo Jima and some of the South Pacific Islands. Then in September of '45 [1945], directly after the war, I was sent to Japan and spent many months in Japan. I'm sorry I didn't stay there. Now, why do you say that? 2 Well, because I like their culture. They have a magnificent culture. They are very clean people. They're very innovative. They're bright. Well, you know that. The television here, we don't even manufacture televisions in this country. Everything is done in Japan. But I liked it and 1 liked the girls. They were pretty. It was just a nice place, even though Tokyo was completely bombed out. And then after the war — you want me to take you after the war? Well, just a few seconds. So you were there during our occupation? Occupation. Absolutely. What was that like? How did we handle that? Well, it's really not how we handled it; it's how they handled it. We got there right after the 11 th Airborne, if 1 recall. They were the first ones. We got there a few weeks afterwards. And all of the Japanese were still in the subservient state, not only a subservient state, but a subservient state of mind. And you could walk into one of their fine department stores, and they'd all get down and bow. And you could take anything you wanted. We didn't. 1 didn't. You could go into markets, and they'd all bow because they hadn't seen Americans before and they were scared to death we were going to kill them. We were all walking around with rifles and guns and everything. The whole of Japan was like. That's really interesting. I talked with a person here yesterday who was an American POW in the Korean War. That group of men here in Las Vegas is interested in doing an oral history project. They're going to talk about their experiences in POW camps. Could you just give me some idea of what a POW camp is like, and if you were in my place, some of the questions that you would ask these men? Well, the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp and the Italian prisoner-of-war camp were actually hotels. They treated them with dignity. They treated them with respect, the Americans. They fed them better than they fed us. They fed them more often than they fed us because they wanted to curry favor with them. They wanted the answers to their questions. They wanted to interrogate the Japanese generals and the Italians as to what 3 was happening while the Italians were in the war. I've done hundreds and hundreds of interviews over my radio years. And if I were to interview a prisoner of war, which I've already done a number of times — Gene Coon, for example, years ago — I would ask him questions as to how he became a prisoner of war. I would also ask how he was treated; how he was fed; was he brutalized; were you interrogated, which, of course, the answer is affirmative; and if so, how did they try to get the answers from you; and what were your thoughts during the months and/or years that you were there? And I don't want to put words into your mouth, but did you always think of your family? Did you think of any other soldiers? Did you think of trying to escape? Was it possible for anybody to escape? I would just go on in that vein. Good. I really appreciate that. You're welcome. Getting back to after the war period, at that point you returned to Los Angeles? Yes, I did. I didn't like Los Angeles. It was all right, but I didn't care for it. After the war, it was just — I loved Hollywood Boulevard all of my life because I was born in the Hollywood area. After the war, Hollywood was decimated. I mean, they ruined it, the soldiers, the sailors. I mean, they just partied and, you know, it was just too much. It had a certain dignity in the early years, in the 20s and the 30s. But that was all gone. So I wanted to get away. So I went to a radio school to learn how to be an announcer. But prior to becoming an announcer in those days, you had to have an engineering license for radio. They required that. And that's so that if somebody left the radio station, you as a radio engineer could handle all of the equipment. And I took that. I passed that after about 500 times, I think. It seems that way. But in any event, I did pass that. I got a job down in Mexico. Where? Right on the border in Mexicali. I had many other jobs in other towns. They're inconsequential as opposed to this one. I worked there out in the desert on the border and learning to speak the language a wee bit. I got married down there. 4 I don't know if you know Ruthe Deskin. Do you know Ruthe from the Las Vegas Sun? She's the assistant manager. Anyway, one day I got a call early in the morning. And the man said, "My name is Dick Goebel." Well, 1 was completely underwhelmed, didn't know who is he was. So he said, "I own a radio station in Las Vegas, Nevada, called KLAS [which later became KLAS TV Channel 8]." I said, "Yes. And where is Las Vegas?" Well, 1946, '47, the only people that knew about it were those that went to the Flamingo. And he said, "I'd like to hire you." I said, well, okay. "How much are you making?" Well, 1 inflated my salary 1 think from $40 to $60 a week. I wasn't getting paid the 40 anyway. But he says, "I can't pay you that much." I said, "Well, then I can't go." "Please don't hang up." And to summarize and make the story a bit shorter, he acquiesced and he paid me what I was asking. How much did you ask? i 1 asked $60, and I think he paid me 60. He said, "When can you be here?" I said, "1 can leave right now." 1 didn't tell him I hadn't been paid for two weeks. So I got in my car and 1 drove up and I went to work for KLAS radio station. Before you start telling me about that, give me your parents' names and how many brothers and sisters you have. I don't have any. 1 have no relatives except my son. My father's name was Max and my mother's name was Ethel, and my brother's name was Mort. And that's it. They're all deceased. Now, you got married while you were at that previous radio station? Right. And your wife's name? Oh, I've been married since then. Okay. Good. I don't have a wife. I'm single at this time. So I moved here. Drove up here and went to work for KLAS. So now that's 1940 — '7. Where did you live? I lived in a little shack on Fremont. There was no place to live in town. I lived in a 5 little shack on East Fremont Street, a horrible neighborhood. When 1 say shack, that's exactly what it was. I think the whole place was not as large as this living room. So give me about the dimensions of this living room. I would say that it was about maximum 250-, 300-square-foot house. Describe it. Other than that, what kind — you had electricity, of course. Did you have — No. We had burning oil. That's right. We had burning oil. We had gas — no, we didn't. I take that back. We did have electricity, of course. But it was infrequent because as often as the breaks down here of the electric, think of what happened down there. But interestingly enough, there was a man in town named Marc Wilkinson. And he was the premier printer in town. He had a building on Ogden. 1 think it was about Sixth and Ogden, behind the El Cortez. He was renting a room upstairs, which was the same dimension, 250, 300 square feet. So my wife and 1 rented that room. It was the only place to rent. And all night long, you could hear the thumping of the presses. And it was impossible to sleep, absolutely impossible. Then we moved to 15th and Fremont where the apartments were. And they still are there, by the way. Then it goes on ad infinitum. Ad nauseam, too. Tell me about the job at the radio station. What was that like in 1947? Well, it only lasted two days. 1 got fired. Why? Well, the chief engineer, Ralph Dow, and I didn't get along. And 1 shoved a gun in his stomach. And he threw up in my hand. And then they fired me. Dick Goebel fired me. So do you want to tell me what you did, what happened? And why you were carrying a gun? Well, in Mexico we always carried guns, holster guns. So the first day 1 was there, he had a soda cowboy-type thing. And I said, yeah, I've got a little gun. "I'd like to see it." So I brought it the next day. "Oh, that's a peashooter." He said, "That's not a gun, and you're not a real man." I said, "Oh, it isn't?" And I shoved it in his stomach. And that's 6 what happened. So 1 got fired. But I have a reputation of having been fired from every job I have ever had, I think, hopefully. I seldom left of my own volition. So where did you go after that? That's why 1 mentioned Ruthe Deskin. She was working at KLAS. And she's still very active. She's in her mid 80s. I went to work for KENO, owned by Max Kelch. You know the name? Yes. Laura Belle [Kelch] is still alive. Yes. We're interviewing her at the present time. She lives at 330 Rancho Circle. I remember they built the house in 1955. Jelindo Tiberti built it for him. He bought the lot from Ryland Taylor in 1955, the judge. 1 remember the price of the lot was 65. The price of the house was $65,000. He had $130,000 in it, and it's worth a couple million now. It's on acreage with fruit trees and everything. So Max and Laura Belle owned the radio station. I got fired from there two or three times. Laura Belle fired me once. But they rehired me. Tell me about the kinds of programs that you had. Well, I had a disc jockey program. But they hired me primarily to do interviews with the stars in town. And in those days -- the recorder you're using now is nice. These were called brush machines. They weighed about 40 pounds, and they were wire instead of tape. And you'd have to carry this big, heavy thing wherever you went. I'd go to the Flamingo, and I'd have to carry it and set it all up. It's not like pushing a button. So I would do those. Then I played them. Then we had an award-winning newscast, which I was a member of. It was called Five Star Edition: Tom McGowan — I don't know if know him - Tom McGowan and Kenny O'Connell and Ed Onken, who is the - well, they're all deceased. My memory reads like an obituary column. First, tell me a little about the machine that recorded on a wire. What does it look like? Well, it looks like a reel-to-reel tape machine. When I say this big - of course, we're on tape - it is about two feet wide, about a foot deep, and it stood maybe a foot and a 7 half from the floor, and it was heavy. It was reel-to-reel, but it had only a piece of wire. And you recorded on the wire instead of tape. Could you erase? You could erase and you could play back. But sometimes it was dangerous. If you le coming to the end of the wire and you're rewinding, it snaps out. It could take your finger off if you weren't careful. Tell me some of the people that you interviewed and some of your favorite interviews. I had close relationships with a lot of them over the years. But 1 did a number of interviews with Sammy Davis and Lena Home and Sophie Tucker, Joey Lewis and Markman Lewis and Jack Benny and Jimmy Durante. Oh, my gosh, there's so many of them that I can hardly think of them. They go on and on and on. Everybody, Kaye Starr, Rosemary Clooney, The Mills Brothers, The Platters, The Ink Spots. Bill Kenney was a dear friend of mine from The Ink Spots, the tall guy. He was a wonderful man. Nat Cole. I begged Nat for years to quit smoking. He would never do it. Nat Cole was the blackest man 1 ever seen in any life. He was a wonderful human being. I begged him. I said, "Nat, you've got to quit." You know, it killed him. The cigarettes got his throat. Yes, definitely. And Mel Torme and I were friends. We grew up together. I don't know if you know this, but Myma Williams — you know who she is? That's Mel's sister. She's one of the county commissioners. That's Mel Torme's sister. They used to live next door to us in Los Angeles. Mel kept us awake all night playing drums. What are some of your favorite stories from your interviews? Oh, Spike Jones, I guess. You've heard of Spike Jones. Spike Jones and I were doing an interview. He says to me after the interview, "I have no way to get back to the Flamingo." I said, "Walk." He said, "Are you kidding?" He says, "Why don't you drive me?" I said, "I'm not a cab driver, Spike." He says, "Well, I came and did this for you." 1 said, "Comp me at the show tonight, I'll do it." He did. And I drove him back. It was all a 8 joke, but it was fun. But there was Harry Richmond. That's way before your time. That's even before my time. But Harry Richmond played here. And he said after the interview, he said. Bud, 1 want you to come see my show." He was one of these guys with the top hats, you know, the old 1920s. He says, "And I'm picking up the tab." 1 said fine. So a lady and I went there, and they hand me a bill. 1 said, "What's this?" Well, you've got to pay. No. Mr. Richmond is going to. Oh, no. 1 said, "Well, take it back to him." So they did. He said, "I'm not paying." I said, "Neither am 1." So I got hold of the right party, and I walked out. But in those days, you see, everything was comped, everything. We never paid for anything in those days. That's before the days of the corporation. Give me some more information about what those days were like. What it was like to go out for an evening on the Strip? There weie all these people that tell you that you had to get dressed up and wear suits. That really is not true. That's a hypocritical statement. They opened a place on the Strip called LaRue, which was the same as LaRue on the Sunset Strip. And because people had to dress up and they wouldn't do it, they went broke and closed up and went home. You could dress up, but you didn't have to. People, of course, didn't go in shorts. But they put on a pair slacks and a shirt and they would go. Nobody's going to wear these suits and everything in this hot weather. So that's more of a dream than anything else. But how did the women dress? They dressed nicely. But it wasn't gowns and jewelry. They dressed with gowns if they felt like it. And if they wanted to wear a pair of slacks, they'd wear a pair of slacks or a short skirt and a blouse, whatever it is. But when they tell you all this, this simply is not true. There might have been a couple of rooms that wanted it, but nobody required it. In those days, 1 spent a great deal of time at the Thunderbird Hotel because it was right across the street from the radio station. That used to be the bank. But before the bank, it was the radio station, KENO. The Thunderbird then, of course, become the Silverbird and the El Rancho there and so forth. So 1 spent a lot of time. That and the Desert Inn were the most popular hotels. You could go in all of these hotels, and the 9 dinner and show was five dollars. You shake your head, but five dollars was a lot of money it you re making 40, 50 bucks a week. Average salary, you know, was around $2200 a year. So five dollars was an exorbitant amount of money. As I say, I got comped. So I didn't much care. When I moved here, there were three hotels. Now, you will hear people tell you that Bugsy [Benjamin] Siegel built Las Vegas. He built the first hotel. Well, number one, he didn t build Las Vegas, and he didn't build the Flamingo Hotel. It was already half built. You knew that. It was built by Billy Wilkerson, the Hollywood reporter. That was the third hotel. The first one, El Rancho. Tommy Hull built that in 1942. And the second one was the Last Frontier. Then the third one was the Flamingo Hotel. The fourth one, in 1948 on Labor Day, was the Thunderbird Hotel. And, of course, the Desert Inn was built in 1950. Very few hotel failures. The Royal Nevada failed. That was next to the Stardust. A beautiful hotel. Couldn't make it. It failed. Why do you think it failed? Same reason every business in the world fails. Bad management. So the Moulin Rouge? I'll tell you a story about the Moulin Rouge because 1 think you'll like this. I worked for Merv Adelson. Do you know Merv Adelson? I've heard the name. Merv Adelson, he had three markets here called Market Town. 1 was doing a disc jockey show — he was also married to Barbara Walters. He was doing a disc jockey show — I was — out at the Market Town at Oakey and St. Louis — Oakey and Las Vegas Boulevard, which in those days was called Fifth Street. I was sitting there doing my show, and 1 got a call. My friend said, "The Moulin Rouge just closed. They went belly-up." 1 said, "Are you sure?" And I knew this guy that called me. So 1 got on the air and said the Moulin Rouge had closed. It just went belly-up. Somebody called me and threatened me. They said, "If you say that again, you won't get home tonight." It did not - so forth. So I got hold of a cab driver I knew. I called him. I said, "Look, 1 can't pay you for it, but 10 would you find out for me?" He says, "Yeah, I'll radio one of the other cabs." Sure enough, it had closed. I think it was '55 [1955]. That was the end of that. Again, 1 forget the lady who owned it. What was her name? Sarann Preddy [owned the Moulin Rouge in the 1990s.]. I'm sorry? Sarann Preddy. Yeah, Sarann Preddy All these stories coming out of there, I questioned — with knowledge I questioned it — due to the fact that they said that the white people, if you will, would frequent that place and they'd fill it up. That simply isn't true. I was there a couple times. 1 never found it to be. Now the blacks, of course, until 1960 couldn't come out on the Strip. 1 used to take Sammy Davis home to that little boarding house. 1 took Nat King Cole. 1 took Lena Home. I drove them home to that boarding house. Now, did Lena Home stay at that boarding house? Absolutely. Absolutely. What's his name didn't, though. He went with a beautiful black girl who killed herself [He is speaking of Dorothy Dandridge], Are you talking about Josephine Baker — No. That's way before our time. She played the Club Bingo, which is the Sahara. We just saw her on TV the other day. They just did her life story. Yeah, they did. But anyway, she could stay because it was after 1960. But I was in the dining room. And Beldon Katleman owned a hotel, the El Rancho. 1 was doing an interview with Sam [Sammy Davis Jr.], We were sitting at the table, and the waiter came up to me. And he says, "Can I talk to you?" I said, "Yeah." And he says, "You can't do the interview here." I said, "Why not?" He says, "He's not allowed in the dining room." I said, "Come on. There's nobody in the dining room. It's two in the afternoon. There's nobody here." And he said no. So Sam said, you know, I understand. I said, "Well, you're leaving. I'm leaving, too." So we left. But those things happened constantly. Finally, in 1960 it was changed. Maybe you'll do an interview with Aden Fox. Do you know Abe Fox? 11 No, I don't. Abe Fox is in the phone book. He owned the delicatessen right next to the Sahara. He was the first — he was a wonderful — he's about 87 — first man who would serve blacks in a restaurant. What was the name of his restaurant? Foxy's Delicatessen. Thank you. But I have a lot of stories like that. I could go on and on and on. What was the attitude of Sammy Davis, Nat King Cole, those that you would interview if you talked about race relations with them? I wouldn't do it because it was a very sensitive subject. It couldn't benefit anybody. You put that on the air, and you're going to have more racism. So even off the microphone, 1 never asked Sam or would say to Sam, "Gee, it's a shame you have to go back" — 1 just never discussed it. I know — who was it? Once where they drained the pool here? Remember? Yes. I've heard that story. It's true. The black girl went into the pool [He is still trying to think of Dorothy Dandridge's name.]. Was it Lena Horne, or was it the other — No, it wasn't Lena. It was the other one. Oh, well, anyway, because she was black, they had to drain the pool, and people wouldn't go in. 1 mean, this was the most racist city this side of the Mississippi. It was horrible. When we look at an isolated city, do you think it would be any different than if we looked at any other western city? Would Phoenix, Arizona, have been different? It was different. 1 went to school in Tucson, and I lived in Phoenix for a while in later years. But no, in the early 50s, Phoenix was not like that at all. They picked this city. Why? Because of the entertainment factor and the tourism. People would come here to see Lena Horne, but they didn't want to eat dinner with her in the same room. They'd come 12 here to see Sammy Davis, but they don't want Sammy Dav,s sitting out there by the pool with them. That's the way it worked here. Now, where you didn't have this entertainment and gambling, of course, that's a given. But that drew all the people in. It still does, as you know. But times have changed, thankfully, and the world has changed. But I would never discuss it, never. It was a sore point with everybody, and it could do nobody any good to discuss it. Getting back to your career being in radio, it seems that most people in radio and a lot of people writing for newspapers are very liberal people in a lot of eases. Could that voice have been used? Absolutely not. When I was on radio in this town or in any town, if I would say the woid damn on the radio, I would have been fired. You couldn't say damn. If you would have said hell,' you were immediately fired. And there was nothing sexual, no sexual connotation at all. We would never have even thought of going there. Things like that weren't permitted. Today the liberalism I hear — I won't repeat it because — and I've heard every word known to man, and I'm sure you have, too. But there's a guy on the station here, he uses not only sex but every other word he uses, and there's no end to it. And the FCC won't do a thing about it, Federal Communications Commission. They won't do a thing. The only thing 1 can do is turn off the station — That's right. — because I don't have to hear that. I'm not a prude, but I don't want to hear that. I don't like to hear it in the movies. Tell me about the KENO radio station, your work there, and how many years were you there. I worked at KENO from 1947 to 1955, at which time Max Kelch and 1 went right next door. (End side 1, tape 1.) Tell me about Musak. Well, I'll tell you about Muzak, but let me get back to the eight years there. You 13 know, I loved it for the first couple, three years. But like anything else in life, it becomes boiing. And there isn t any money in radio, or there wasn't then. I don't know today. I haven t any idea, but I m sure there isn't as opposed to what people make in television. But one day, Max [Kelch] sold out to a group of locals here. One of them was Merle Sage. And he would have sold to me. He wanted to sell to all the employees, but we had to come up with $5,000 each. He sold the station for $87,000. Now it's worth millions, of course. But $5,000, I couldn t even pronounce it. So they sold it. Merle Sage was the general manager. One day I looked around and I said 1 can't stand it here anymore. So 1 walked into Merle and said, 1 quit. He said, "Well, you can't quit." 1 said, "I just did." What are you going to do? I said 1 don t know. 1 feel confined. I just can't do this anymore. I'm too extroverted. I can t be in this room with all the records and the news. I'm tired of it. So I quit. I had a hundred bucks in the bank and a two-year-old son and a wife. When I got home, I said, "What the heck did I do? Why did I do that?" And then Max Kelch said, "How would you like to go to work me? I'm starting Muzak in Las Vegas." I'd have gone in a garbage truck by then. So I said sure. So Max and I worked together. I bought my chunk of it, and we became partners in it. We sold out in 1960. You know Murray Hertz? No. Okay. But anyway, we sold in 1960 to Rube [Reuben] Jolley, who was a mover and shaker in town, and to Morrie Zenoff, who had the Henderson newspaper in Henderson. Those are deceased people, too. Those are all the people I'm talking about. So we sold to them. Then they wanted to hire me on as a general manager. So I stayed for a while. But Muzak was an interesting business, a very, very difficult business because, in my considered opinion, it was so badly programmed. And Muzak, the parent company, got wind of that and they tried to change it, but it didn't do any good. It was just boring. It was dull and it was non-passionate. It was fatuous music and elevator music. And you can't put that in these casinos. And they did and at markets, although we did one heck of a job. We sold of a lot of it. And we sold it, the business, for a good deal of money. I traveled the streets with a friend of mine, Chuck [Charles] Ruthe. Chuck Ruthe started in real estate here. He became a multimillionaire. He said to me, "Come in real 1 4 estate. I said, I don't want to sell real estate. I don't want to work Saturdays and Sundays. Anyway, we walked the streets trying to sell. He would try to sell real estate. I would try and sell Muzak. We both got lucky. Has Muzak changed over the years? Oh, yes. Unless 1 am wrong, it's either owned by Cox or by Greenspun. And I don t know which. I know Greenspun sold cable to Cox. So he may have — Muzak is here. Oh, the programming, certainly. You can get any kind of program you want. You can get Hispanic. You can get Rap. You can get any program you want now. But in those days, you couldn't do that. You got what we had and that's it. I knew that it was good music lor banks. In those days, they had savings and loans. So 1 constantly traded on the branches. It was very successful. When 1 moved here, there were 16,000 people. There are more people than that in the Bellagio today. That's right. Yeah. So, you know, I get frequently asked, did you like it better then than now? And I know you are going to ask me that, right? So answer that question. I will answer that question. It's a very simple answer. I'll be 84 in April. Ifl would have been 84 in April and it was 1947,1 would have hated this town. There were no facilities. You had to shop at Sears or Woolworths. I'm not sure whether there was a Penney's. But no place to shop. Most people went to L.A. [Los Angeles] When I was 25, 26, 27, it was great. I loved it. But 1 wouldn't want to be 25, 26, 27 now. It's too tough a town. It's too cosmopolitan. The traffic is abhorrent, to me anyway. I just wouldn't want it. I wouldn't want to start all over in this town. I wouldn't live here. Have you driven in Los Angeles recently? Oh, yes. We were down there a couple months ago. But you see, the comparison — the analogy is not accurate, Claytee, and the reason being is you're dealing with millions of people. Here, if I want to go anyplace, I can be there in 20 minutes. There, ifl want to go anyplace, it takes me an hour and a half. There was no place to shop. 15 So I wouldn't want to be — and there were no medica