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As time passed, my life began to take another turn. Patty and I briefly traveled to Los Angeles, where we got married on October 10th,1970 in La Canada. We enjoyed a brief honeymoon in San Francisco, and then returned to Chicago. Upon returning, we realized that remaining in Chicago was not in the cards for us. Patty and I preferred the California atmosphere and lifestyle.

It became rumored among my colleagues at the distributorship that I had connections with Paul Christi of WCFL radio. This buzz proved to be a valuable asset. Herb Chapman, the ordering manager for all eight MCA labels, was at the brink of retirement. I was promoted to replace Herb in that position. I was now in charge of ordering for all eight labels under the MCA umbrella. I was responsible for pulling the ordering cards and overseeing the inventory.

There was a Bob Dylan or George Harrison tune (I forget which) that Olivia Newton John had performed called If Not For You. I got it played on WCFL radio. I showed up for work and found green cash in my desk drawer. I took my drawer full of money and turned it in. I walked into Tony Ignofo’s office, and he said, “Pally;” he used to call me Pally. “Pally, what can I do for you?” I told him, “You can take this back.” He said, “What are you talking about? I don’t see anything.” I replied, “I don’t think this is going to work for me.” I was concerned about Paul’s reputation, and accepting payola was illegal.

Having dinner at Paul’s house sparked a conversation about an album that was out entitled Jesus Christ Superstar. I mentioned to Paul there was a song that was an incredibly striking single that neither the MCA label nor the record promoter at the distributorship was pushing. I asked Paul to give it a listen. Paul called me the next day to tell me that I was right. He agreed that the tune was an incredibly strong single. As people in the industry knew back then, every album needed the help of one, two, or possibly three songs off the album as singles to be calling cards for that particular album and promote its longevity. Tom indicated that he would plug the single between 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m., and then see what happened after that.

MILWAUKEE SUMMERFEST 2007 ... PHOTO BY RICK KOHLMEYER

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