A Word From Hotfoot - alias, Kevin Knapp
By Kevin Knapp
17th July 2003
My sincere thanks to Kevin Knapp for the time given to gather, write and supply the material on this page.
When my youthful radio career took me to Radio 2LM Lismore NSW in the mid 1950s, there to meet and greet me when the bus rolled in was Cactus. Really the late Strat Ward.
As Hotfoot thats me, and Cactus Strat, we were given the task of covering the termination years of 2LM Radio Ranch broadcasts.
The originators, Phil Charley, Dick McLaren, Geoff Ryan and Tom Crozier were on greener pastures.
Spurs magazine had been sold to the Dustys (Slim & Joy), the concerts had all but ceased together with the other track on activity and only the Saturday morning broadcasts remained.
I always felt we had overseen the the terminator days of Radio Ranch. Not so, I have since learned that task went to Alan Carmichael (aka Kanga) and Brian Baker (Ali) following the respective departures of Cactus and Hotfoot from Lismore.
Radio Ranch gave me my first experience of doing a full on exclusively Country Music radio program.
Little did I realise then that Country Music would proceed to become fulltime at 2TM Tamworth NSW over a decade later.
Hotfoot and Cactus (who was a little more reserved), followed the tradition of the day by adopting phony western American-kinda accents. Wouldn't work on today's air.
The music content was live performances and records.
Live when local or visiting artists rolled up to the spacious first floor 2LM studio, then overlooking Wilsons creek near the junction of Woodlark and Molesworth streets, city centre.
Never used a live audience for the Saturday morning Ranch in Hotfoot's time but it was a spacious complete with grand piano.
Earlier days a studio audience was essential - jammed packed to the rafters!
The professional acts of the day, when in or near Lismore, always determined to make an appearance.
No rehearsals, no sound checks, straight to air!
Hotfoot was always garbed in a black top hat and beard ala Uncle Zeke's. That didn't have much bearing on the Ranch broadcasts but when it came to promotional, public or concert appearances, very essential.
Cactus was a much more conservative dresser - the straight man.
The recorded music content was a mix of overseas and Australian current or new releases.
One of our regular listeners, and critics, in the 50s was the young aspiring Oz Country Music enthusiasts from Theresa Creek near Casino NSW right in the thick of the transmission area.
That was Eric Watson, now Selection Records owner and Australian Country Music historian /authority.
Eric was not to keen on the pseudo accents of the Ranch's hosts but loved the promotion and needle time devoted to the Aussies. Always a feature of the Ranch.
By my memory Eric never appeared on the Cactus/Hotfoot days of 2LM's Radio Ranch. Probably wasn't invited.
Where are they now?

PHIL CHARLEY - MOOSE MURPHY
2LM Radio Ranch was begun by Phil & Dick McLaren prior to the first Spurs magazine being published in May 1952.
Lives in the Sydney region where he's still an active and highly respected musician.
Also trains people at 2RPH - Radio for the print handicapped.

DICK McLAREN - TRIGGER
Retired. Lives near Rotorua New Zealand. Commutes occasionally to Australia for wreck and recreation.
The Ranch cofounders decided the 9.30 Saturday morning, one hour broadcast needed a club with membership associated with it to stimulate listening interest.
As the idea caught on Dick & Phil felt the Ranch should have its own magazine,
UPDATE; Sadly Dick passed away 1st May 2004.   More >>>
so Spurs was born.
Dick died 1st May 2004, in his nursing home in Rotorua NZ aged 74.
GEOFF RYAN - UNCLE ZEKE
Died 1999 Wyong Hospital on the NSW central coast.
Zeke's real Radio Ranch name:
Zeke Cholmondley O'Zandervich Jnr.

TOM CROZIER - BUCK HAWKINS
After a professional lifetime in commercial radio, now retired officially, Tom is back helping to punch out the signal of Sydney's 2RPH which broadcasts exclusively for the print handicapped.
Also working on his memoir - publication date yet to be announced.

STRAT WARD - CACTUS
Died Orange NSW 2001 after a lifetime in the provintial commercial radio industry, both on-air and executive management.

KEVIN KNAPP - HOTFOOT
Retired Tamworth NSW (twice), firstly from paid work in 1991, then from volunteering in 2003. Was MC of the annual Golden Guitar Country Music Record Awards from the inaugural year of 1973 through 15 of the mainly radio presentation years. Worked on the monthly publication Country Capital News for ten years.
Presented with the Country Music Capital awards in 1989; 2003 made an honorary life member of the Australian Country Music Foundation.
Cactus (Left) & Hotfoot mid 50s
- Kevin Knapp, June 2003.
Spurs covers & miscellany of content 1954 & '56. courtacy Meryl Davis, Australian Country Music Foundation.
Pat Carmody Vol 3 #8
Pat Carmody graced the cover Sept 1954
Schneider Sisters Vol 5 #1
Schneider Sisters Feb 1956
Dale Evans Vol 5 #5
Dale Evans (Mrs Roy Rogers) July 1956
Walk a Country Mile, the interpretive centre of Australian Country Music, presently at the Tamworth Entertainment Centre, Has an extensive coverage of media through the years.
Included is the first issue of Spurs Magazine published May 1952.
For present day opening hours (on limited schedule), phone Australia (02) 6755 4300.
From January 2004, the display is being relocated to the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre and will be open every day.
Up Date from Kevin Knapp
30th January 2004
The Walk A Country Mile interpretive centre of Australian Country Music in Tamworth has a feature display of
Spurs Magazine. Included in the collection is the very first issue in 1952.
The center is open everyday at 9.00am and is located in the Tourism Tamworth visitors information division, the guitar shaped building in Country Music Capital on the junction of Peel Street and the New England Highway.

Back to Radio Ranch index || Story by: Tom Crozier || Story by: Phil Charley || RIP Dick McLaren ||
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