There are some events and people you never forget…Clay Cole was one of them! He was always one of the few people in the industry who was more into the music than into the business…and a guy who always made you feel good about yourself

I met Clay when he had a show on WPIX-TV in New York, and I was producing Joey Powers “(Meet Me At) Midnight Mary” (Raleigh/ Wayne). Joey and I were working on his album on the weekend of November 22, 1963…

“In between the tracking and overdubbing sessions, Joey and I go down to WPIX TV, where Joey tapes the Clay Cole Dance show. Clay is old friend of Joeys’, who once worked with him as an NBC page. In between takes, the mood is dark and apprehensive, while we watch all the footage of the Kennedy assassination as it comes into the newsroom unedited.

As the surreal events unfold, I have images forever etched in my memory, including the entire 8mm Abraham Zapruder home movie clip of the Presidential Procession, in which the President is getting shot! The entire staff keeps watching the tape over and over again, getting more and more depressed. I don’t know how Clay managed to hold everything together…but he did.

Finally, we decided to call it a night, and arrange for Joey to come in the next day to finish up his segment with Clay.

It’s hard not to think about this history changing event, and stay positive the next day. As soon as Joey is finished lip synching “Midnight Mary”, and doing an interview with Clay, we all go into the control room. Everyone is crowded around a monitor and watch the assassination of alleged JFK killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, by Texas night club owner, Jack Ruby!

As we shook our heads wondering what was going to happen next, we all agreed on one thing…we all knew we’d never forget the last 48 hours”

I could never thank Clay enough when 46 years later he helped me recall those two days for my book, “I Did It For A Song”


Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne from “I Did It For A Song”