"From the Desert to the Sea, to All of Southern California." - Jerry Dunphy

Search This Blog

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Humble Harv, KHJ Boss Radio

Where is Humble Harv now? The last I knew he was at KZLA, but that information is over 10 years old. I found that information in Don Barret's book, Los Angeles Radio People Vol. 2. I remember when Humble Harv came to KHJ back in 1967. Here was a deep soulful voice speaking to me over the din of pop music and bubblegum. Here was a man who seemed to introduce each song as if it was the soundtrack of the apocalypse. The Rolling Stones were not just The Stones, they were the Stoooooooooooones with all the echo the L.A. canyons could provide. I remember that night in late 1968 or early 1969 when he introduced a song called "Games People Play" by Joe South. He told me all about Joe and the songs he had written that we all knew by heart. As that unique guitar intro jumped out of my radio I knew I was listening to one of the greatest records ever made, by a man who belongs in the Rock Hall of Fame. But that is another crusade.

Humble Harv was one of the first voices that made me listen to the jock and the music. The only other figure to capture my attention is those early years was Wolfman Jack from over the border in Mexico. As I write this post I have a Cleveland oldies station playing in the background. The playlist is a bit different than you hear on K-EARTH but the flavor is similar. The disk jockey is doing a journeyman's job but boy could I use Humble Harv right now.

I have this distinctive memory of sitting in my dark bedroom one night listening to the "Riders on the Storm" by The Doors and feeling a chill when Morrison sang about a "killer on the roam". I pictured the one armed man from the TV show The Fugitive roaming Mulholland Drive in the rain. Now I can't remember if Humble Harv introduced the song, but based on the mood I created I have to believe it was his voice that drove that killer right into my room. That is what a great disk jockey can do for the music. Thanks for the chills Harv.


Anonymous said...

Phone Rat remembers Humble Harve from KUTE 102 (101.9fm)in Glendale. Around the late 80s, KUTE 102 and the KTWV "The Wave" were my stations of choice. The Might Met KMET became the 94.7 the Wave. Started out to be what they call Eighty-vator music. The day they switched I said OOh Noo, what's this stuff? So I gave it a chance. Before long, I couldn't get enough. They were playing artist I've never heard of and got to liking a lot. They included Michael Tomlinson (kinda folksy John Denver like), Swing Out Sister(British jazz with a Burt Bacharach tinge..I must like them to stand 3 hours at the House of Blues to see them in concert)and Nicky Holland (British song writer, 2 CDs and wrote music for Tears for Fears,). I listen to the Wave once in awhile, mostly in the evening because I like to hear the announcer Keri Tombasian, but they've changed and don't play my old favorites. But getting back to Humble Harve.. KUTE was the only station that played the extended version of Lotta Love by Nicollete Larson. It was a limited edition( 2000 printed) that added a male vocal track,with more of a disco mix and a great flute solo. So since I couldn't find that 12 inch single anywhere, I called KUTE 102 and actually talked to Humble Harve off air. A real nice person. I requested that song and he said I'll play within the hour.and he did. I immediatley cranked up the TEAC 4300 reel to reel and was ready for Nicollete. I eventually found that 12 inch single down in Hollywood, but I kept the reel to reel recording. Lotta Love followed "Suddenly" a duet with Olivia Newton John and Cliff Richards, with Humble Harve giving an intro " KUTE 102 and Humble Harve and this is Nicollete Larson" Thanks Humble Harve for playing my request..

Guitar Rat said...

Thanks Phone Rat for digging out those Humble Harv Air Checks you recorded when he was on KUTE in Glendale back in the 80's. I downloaded them and the tapes sound pretty good. In town here we have a place called Play It Again Sam, where they sell vintage equipment. One day I hope to walk in there and walk out with a reel to reel. I haven't had once since the 60's. I still have some unplayed reels by James Brown, Poco, David Clayton Thomas, Peter and Gordon and a few others.

Ray Randolph said...

I don't mean to spam your blog but I found this post regarding Humble Harve. I've got a bunch KHJ surveys and some other Harve stuff on my blog if you're interested in taking a look.

Harve on KHJ Boss Radio

Mark in Riverside said...

I hear Humble Harv on-line, on the HD Diner link at 'Big R Radio dot com'. -- Thanks for the info and cool links, guys.

deepfreezevideo said...

So great to finally find some information on Humble Harv.

Unfortunately I had only heard of Harv in story and legend, having moved to LA after he had already left 93 KHJ but as fate would have it I wound up buying his customized 1974 Dodge Tradesman van with the souped up Mopar small block.

That trusty hot rodded "sin bin" helped me through the beginning of my career as a videographer and served me well.

Even more strange, I needed to recover my next vehicle from an impound lot while on a visit after it had been towed and found out that the lot owner now owned "Harv's van" some six years after I had sold it.
There it was, sitting by the mechanic's bay, its exterior trim only slightly changed, with a fresh hi-po engine and restored interior. But the telltale slice in the sheet metal in the left rear corner below the taillight was still there from where I had backed into a moving truck loading ramp.
It was most definitely Harv's van, and the owner said it still ran great.
So it's just possible that Humble Harv's love machine might still be on the Southern California roads somewhere today!

glenn said...

Speaking of Humble Harv, has anyone seen a copy of The History of Rock and Roll that Harv narrated back in 1971? signed... nodjforme

glenn said...

Speaking of Humble Harv, has anyone seen a copy of The History of Rock and Roll narrated by Humble Harv? signed.. nojforme

Anonymous said...

Grew up listening to Humble Harve on WIBG Phila., then moved to California and found him again in the early 70s on KKDJ which became KIIS AM and FM. Greatest voice ever. Still can hear him saying, "K-K-D-J Looos Angelesssss, the burrner." He was the greatest!

Anonymous said...

For those who didn't know, "Humble Harve" KHJ tenure ended after he murdered his wife, Mary Gladys Miller, with a .38 revolver.

He eventually pleaded guilty to second degree murder, but in the end served very little time.

Michael Hagerty said...

Actually, Anonymous, it was second degree manslaughter...and the time served (14 months) was the prescribed sentence for that crime. He's been out for 39 years, is 77 years old and hasn't been in any trouble since.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you heard that, but it's not what the L.A. Times reported. The sentence for second degree murder was five years to life then. (Unfortunately for Phil Spector, it's fifteen years to life now.)

The Los Angeles Times, Aug 20, 1971:

"Disc Jockey Miller Sentenced to 5 Years to Life for Murder"

"Disc jockey Harvey (Humble Harve) Miller--after an unusual appearance on the witness stand during which he affirmed his guilt--was sentenced Thursday to prison for a term of five years to life for killing his wife, Mary, 35."

RAPman said...

Guitar Rat wrote: "I have this distinctive memory of sitting in my dark bedroom one night listening to the "Riders on the Storm" by The Doors and feeling a chill when Morrison sang about a "killer on the roam". I pictured the one armed man from the TV show The Fugitive roaming Mulholland Drive in the rain."

The lyric from "Riders on the Storm" is actually:
There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin' like a toad

Maybe your memory is a little faulty because you were listening to The Doors in 1971 on a cheap radio, and 'road' sounded like 'roam'. Don't feel bad. Others have misheard song lyrics as shown at this link: http://www.amiright.com/misheard/song/ridersonthestorm.shtml