July 4th Picnic Audio
The above Willie Nelson July 4th Picnic commercial was recorded on June 21, 1973 in the KEXL studios located on HemisFair Plaza. I wrote the spot and then asked Gordie Ham to produce it and Ron Houston and Sunny Planto to voice it. Gordie's work was superb! He was then leaving KEXL to produce commercials for The Pitluk Group. Ron was doing the KEXL morning show and Sunny overnights. She also sang jazz with Six Part Invention at The Garter on the River Walk, owned by Justin Arecchi. Her brother Bob Schulman (lawyer) played bass in the band.
The commercial ran on San Antonio FM stations KEXL Progressive Rock, KTFM Superstar Format; AM stations KTSA Top-40, KONO Top-40 and KKYX Country. In Austin it ran on FM stations KRMH Progressive Rock, KOKE Progressive Country and on AM stations KNOW Top-40 and KVET Country. It also ran on Bill Mack's overnight truckers show on clear channel WBAP Fort Worth. Today, the only survivor is KKYX, still country at 680 AM.
Woody Roberts Note: Hemisfair Plaza is a name I suggested because it contained no trees and no gardens. At a city meeting the names HemisFair Gardens and HemisFair Park were the ones suggested, but I said "Until there are trees and flowers we should call it HemisFair Plaza and claim it as the largest plaza in the Americas." City Council went for my idea and it was called HemisFair Plaza for decades until it was later renamed HemisFair Park.
Editors Note: A number of souces credit Woody Roberts as the reason for the success of Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic.
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