The Hellyer Say
Paperback, 412 Pages
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THE HELLYER SAY is a collection of 18 autobiographical essays by Chicago radio and television pioneer and legend Art Hellyer. Art's career has spanned more than 55 years, and his stories, hilarious and poignant, make for entertaining reading, and provide an insider's view of radio and television history, not just in Chicago, but across America. ------------------------------------------------- “Oh, I remember with delight Art Hellyer’s broadcasts during all those flowering days of radio. There was always something joyous, heart-warming and graceful in his appearances. It makes my heart good to enthusiastically endorse this book.” — Studs Terkel, author of Working, Hope Dies Last, Chicago and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Good War”
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Mar 4, 2011The history of Chicago popular radio hasn't really been completely described unless you include Art Hellyer's book "The Hellyer Say." Art Hellyer's one-to-one interesting, intelligent writing style, combined with his dead-on wit, will have you laughing out loud and drawing stares. To list 'all' the radio stations where Art worked would exceed the length of a review. Suffice it to say that he worked on 'all' of them, literally at one time. He came to shine among luminaries in Chicago radio with the assistance of two wonderful people in his life, the first being his late wife, always described as "the lovely Elaine" and his brilliant radio engineer, the late Leonard Kratoska (Lenny Kaye), the faithful Dr. K-TT as nicknamed by Hellyer, who did more things with sound effects, dropped appropriately and timely that any recordings of broadcasts would be played repeatedly for sheer entertainment value. The book - at first blush - begins as a love story about Art and... More > Elaine's early years together, building a life while Hellyer looked convention in the face and worked literally 24/6.5 to stay in the radio business. The charm with which he describes their courtship and the regard in which he holds her is enough of a reason to fall for the book, lock, stock and barrel. And yet, there's plenty of radio biz history, sterling stories and insider gossip to make it a must-read if you love Chicago radio, or radio in general. Of appeal beyond Chicago, though, is that for those whippersnappers who think that radio shock jocks didn't show up until the 90s, Hellyer was likely the first in line to throw audiences for a loop. In fact, his spoofs, pranks, and failure to follow station protocol was the vexation of virtually every program director he worked for, and the love of every listener who tuned in, faithfully, to hear what Art and Dr. K-TT would do next. Irreverence, done properly, is brilliant radio, and Art Hellyer was the first master of disaster when it came to torturing the sanctity of "you can't do that on radio" but with a specifically gentlemanly and G-rated approach. Among the things that found him at odds with the brass upstairs: he decided to rag on sponsors of his show for problems with their products. Forever to the dismay of his bosses (and there were many), every time one of the top cats would send Hellyer a crisply typed, sternly worded memo along the lines of "you can't say that" or "you can't do that", Hellyer's classic response was to read the memo on-air, get the listeners stirred up sufficiently to call in and wreck the phone lines and occasionally throw the phone system into total havoc to the point of having the phone company call and tell Hellyer's bosses to stop whatever he was doing. Their systems couldn't handle Hellyer, or his pranks. But the audiences, faithful, sure, and forever growing in number, couldn't get enough. Wherever Art Hellyer was on-air, listeners followed. There's sufficient stories of great stars starting out. Whatever you do, buy this book, get this book, read this book, and give this book. It's a sheer delight to read. [This review was published first in "Keep Rockin" magazine in 2010).< Less
Mar 27, 2009"''IT'S A TALE LOVINGLY TOLD OF A LIFE WELL-LIVED""" September 25, 2008: OPINION EDITOR Tim West's Column in August 24, 2008 Naperville,Il.Sun Broadcaster Hellyer's Book a Thoroughly Entertaining Read Who other than former local radio star Art Hellyer could write a book that includes mentions of Liberace, both Mayor Daleys, Napervillian Steve Hyett, this newspaper, Irv Kupcinet and Leo Durocher? 'The Hellyer Say' by Naperville resident and longtime radio announcer at more stations than I can list is an amiable journey through the author's life, told in a series of essays arranged more or less by topic. In many ways, in addition to being the story of Hellyer's life, this is an informal and very anecdotal history of both Chicago radio and the Chicago suburbs. Hellyer grew up in various cities including Chicago, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale and Elmhurst and has lived in Naperville for a long time now. There are reams of wonderful stories in 'The Hellyer Say,' with one of my... More > favorites being the time Col. Robert R. McCormick was listening to his very own radio station, WGN, and angrily called his new announcer, Art Hellyer, in mid-broadcast. What had Hellyer done to raise McCormick's ire? Well, it seems the colonel didn't like Hellyer's name and ordered him to change it. So, when Hellyer did another show that afternoon, he said, 'Now first with the news headlines, I am your announcer, Ambassador Drake.' There was hearty laughter in the control room, as their announcer's name now consisted of two Chicago hotels. For once in his long career, Hellyer didn't get fired, but he never used Ambassador Drake again. Humor aside, the book also is the tender story of lifelong love affair between Hellyer and his wife, whom he called 'the lovely Elaine' and who died of cancer in 1998. 'The Hellyer Say' is a charming read - both informal and informative. It's a tale lovingly told of a life well-lived.< Less
Mar 19, 2009"The Hellyer Say" Purely and simply, it's a wonderful book. For any fan of radio - past and present - The Hellyer Say is an education, a delightful journey spanning many decades, and a reminder to so many of us why we love radio. I listen to talk radio seven days a week - online... because I'm surrounded by tall trees and mountains. This book makes me appreciate radio even more. Thank you, Mr. Hellyer!
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- Art Hellyer Productions (Standard Copyright License)
- First Edition
- Art Hellyer Productions
- April 25, 2010
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.51 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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