John Rook

John Rook

Infobox Person
name = John Rook

image_size = 220px
caption = JOHN ROOK 2007
birth_date =
birth_place =

John Rook is a renowned American radio programmer. Largely known for his tenure at 50,000 watt ABC owned WLS in Chicago where in 1969 he was named "Radio's Man of the Year" by "Variety" as well as "Program Director of the Year" at the Gavin Report convention. He was also the architect of the sound of ABC's KQV in Pittsburgh in the early to mid 1960s and the program director for Los Angeles' KFI in the 1970s and KABC in the mid 1980s.

Hit Parade Hall of Fame

Rook is the creator of the recently formed Hit Parade Hall of Fame, an association which highlights musical performers who have been responsible for big hit records over the years. Many are very influential but routinely ignored by entities such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A good example would be Pat Boone, who with over 60 chart records including many #1 hits during the emerging rock and roll era, is responsible for introducing mass audiences to songs popularized by R&B performers not played on mainstream stations at the time. Until the Hit Parade Hall of Fame's first inductees in 2007, Boone was not honored for his contributions by any organization. Likewise overlooked until being honored by the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, are Connie Francis and Chubby Checker. Also included are numerous artists who have had big national hit records which don't fall under the strict genre rules of other awards associations. The most obvious example would be the icons of Pop Standards era, artists like Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine, Jo Stafford, Joni James, Perry Como, Patti Page, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, who achieved their popularity in the period between big band music and rock and roll. A nominating committee of many industry luminaries including Joe Smith, Shelby Singleton, Russ Regan, Bill Drake, Wink Martindale, Red Robinson, Erica Farber, Kent Burkhart and Rollye James is restricted to selecting artists or groups that have attained at least two top ten records according to Billboard or Cashbox magazines in any genre. After nominations are unveiled, the general public can vote for their choice online at [] . In the initial year more than 63,000 fans voted. A museum dedicated to the winners and the music they represent is planned for the future but at yet no location has been announced.


In 1977, John Rook & Associates was named "Radio Consultant of the Year" at the Bobby Poe Convention. In 1985, Rook was voted by the readers of Radio & Records as "One of most Influential Programmers of the past 20 years". At the 1998 Radio & Records convention he was honored as one of "Radio's Legends." As a programming consultant Rook shaped the sound of several dozen American radio stations including WCFL, Chicago; WHYI-FM, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale; KTLK, Denver; KTKT, Tucson; KROY, Sacramento; WZGC (Z-93), Atlanta; KRBE, Houston; and WBAP, Dallas/Ft Worth.

Early years

John Harlan Rook was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, attended high school in Nebraska and acting classes at the Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, California, with Natalie Wood, Nick Adams and Sal Mineo in the 1950’s before appearing in the Wild Bill Hickok television series. While attending acting classes he worked at Liberty Records before beginning his career in radio.


Rook's close friendship with Liberty Recording star and 1987 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Cochran is noted in several publications. [“Don’t Forget Me – The Eddie Cochran Story” written by Julie Mundy and Darrel Higham (ISBN 0-8230-7931-7)] [“Three Steps To Heaven” written by Bobby Cochran (ISBN 0-634-03252-6)]

Rook maintains a website, [] , which is among the most read sites by radio professionals.


External links

* [ The Compleat John Rook: an in-depth interview, with John Rook (2008)]

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