REVIEWS for "From Rock To Jock" by Johnny Holliday with Stephen Moore
" He's been one of the most familiar voices in radio for decades, as a disk jockey, sportscaster, and the "voice-over" for commercials. I know him best as the "voice of God" announcing TV shows, including my own. And Johnny Holliday has loved almost every minute of it. This exuberant account of his years in broadcasting will make you smile and then laugh out loud. What a life!" -- Cokie Roberts | ABC News, National Public Radio
"Versatile broadcaster Johnny Holliday has written a delightful autobiographical memoir called "From Rock to Jock." Holliday is the longtime voice of Maryland football and basketball, but he started out in life as a disc jockey on stations from San Francisco to New York. This is a man who hosted the Beatles' last concert in the United States before the band broke up. This is a man who once traveled with the Monkees as the announcer on a nationwide tour. Over five decades, Holliday has done radio and television at a wide variety of stations, including a long stint at WMAL in Washington, covered a number of Olympic competitions for ABC Radio, where he also handled daily sportscasts for many years, and has even starred in countless Dinner Theater productions around the area. For the holidays, a little Holliday makes a sweet read." -- Leonard Shapiro, The Washingotn Post 12/14
"HOPE: That Johnny Holliday's autobiography, "From Rock to Jock," will find its way onto every night table in the area. Mr. H. is a huge talent in his first field of radio. He's just as terrific at musical theater. And at hitting open 18-foot jump shots (I know -- he used to hit them while I was guarding him). Now comes a book that doesn't dodge warts or paint over past controversies. A hearty hooray to the voice of the Maryland Terrapins." -- Bob Levey, The Washingotn Post 12/31
"...a book that is both entertaining and educational and a must read for any student of the broadcast industry ---- Len Clark, 2001 Indiana Sportscaster of the Year, National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. 10/08/02
"From Rock to Jock is the reflection of an extraordinary life and career. Johnny Holliday is one of the most talented performers in the media whose life story reveals many riveting stories about his life long dealings with the great and near great. For those who enjoy sports, music, and life in general, it's a must read" -- Shelby Whitfield, Author, Broadcast Executive & Consultant
" If it wasn't Johnny Holliday telling this tale, you might not
believe it. The "Voice of the Terrapins" for 24 years incredible story is chronicled in his recently published autobiography... It's a rollicking rock n' roll tale that takes cutting-edge disc jockey
Holliday to Cleveland as rock n' roll takes over the airwaves to the New York radio market for the arrival of the Beatles and to San Francisco during the summer of love.
Along the way, Holliday's love for sports leads him to long-standing relationships with the likes of Sal Bando and Rick Barry, and ultimately lands him in the Baltimore-Washington DC market where he has entertained a generation of listeners and sports fans...
Holliday doesn't pull punches either about his upbringing in Miami in a less-than-ideal home, or even about some of his famous cohorts in the media. If you grew up with Holliday on your radio, it's a must-read. If you're a Terps fan, there's plenty of behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes to bring back some of your favorite moments and personalities. The book is also a good read if you're a local "mediaphile" or fan of the theater. Or if you just like a good story." -- Mike Ashley, Terrapin Times.
"Johnny Holliday's unforgettable voice resonates
in new book. He's done a radio interview with Janis Joplin and an announcing gig for Cardinal James Hickey. He's been named national radio disc jockey of the year and emceed sock hops at CYO dances
with pioneer rock groups. He survived a plane crash and years of play-by-play announcing for struggling Maryland football and basketball teams, but within the past year got to broadcast a national
championship victory for the Maryland Terrapins' basketball team and an Orange Bowl appearance for the football squad.
Hey, somebody should write a book about the life - make that, the lives - of Johnny Holliday, one of the most memorable broadcasting voices ever heard by radio listeners of the Washington metropolitan area, not to mention Cleveland, New York and San Francisco. Wait, someone has, and that book, "Johnny Holliday, from Rock to Jock" written by Johnny Holliday with Stephen Moore, has arrived just in time for the Christmas season...
Perhaps above all else, Holliday is a masterful storyteller, which has taken him to the top of the radio and sports broadcasting fields. That comes through in each chapter of the book. Washington readers will be delighted with chapters about notable area radio personalities of the past several decades..."continued --- -Mark Zimmermann, Catholic Standard 12/12/02
“You think Johnny Holliday is a great sportscaster? You should've seen him on the court, as a blazing point guard on various radio station basketball teams. And you should've heard Johnny as a rapid-fire DJ, spinning stacks of hot wax at topflight Top 40 stations, from San Francisco to New York City. Stephen Moore slows him down just enough to tell you Johnny's amazing story." Ben Fong-Torres, Author, "The Hits Just Keep On Coming.”
"I heartily recommend "From Rock to Jock," the autobiography of Johnny Holliday, voice of the Maryland Terrapins ($22.95, Sports Publishing). It's full of great stories about Johnny's days as a disc jockey (not to mention the time he pitched three innings of one-hit ball in a celebrity baseball game at Yankee Stadium). Local writer/musician Stephen Moore collaborated with him on the book, and the result is a very entertaining read." -- Dan Daly, The Washington Times, 12/22
"From Rock to Jock" is a great chronicle of how one man can achieve the pinnacle of two very different types of broadcasting while keeping his focus on things more important than any job-- God, family, and personal decency." ---- Mark Davis, WBAP 820 AM 9 AM-12 NOON CT, Nationally syndicated on ABC radio Sundays 12-3 PM CT, 10/15/02
"I'm on my second reading of Johnny Holliday's book "From Rock to Jock." Not only is it a nostalgic trip to the top of the tundex in rock radio's "Golden Years" ... but a testimony on life in radio, sports and as a devoted family man by one of this industry's true nice guys. You'll enjoy the book and come away wondering how Holliday has done it and how many other's he's touched and helped along the way. "One-derful" reading from page one. A "blast from the past" that really is a blast " ----Joe Benson - KPRL Radio, Paso Robles, CA
" A great read...over 200 pages of Johnny's personal recollections of his amazing career - from Top 40 Disc Jockey at WHK in 1959, to a nationally-known Sportscaster today. It's all here, with pictures, as told to Stephen Moore."----Richard Irwin, REELRADIO 10/18/02
" Few people in radio have accomplished so much in so many areas as Johnny Holliday. The book traces the multi-talented career of one of the "good guys" of the business, and does it with the humor that is one of Johnny's most endearing qualities. Anyone interested in how the Top 40 playlist changed radio in the 1950's can get the inside story. But whether it's calling a basketball or football game or singing up a storm on the musical stage, he is the consummate pro, and his story makes for enjoyable reading." --- Ed Meyer, Former Senior Reporter and Anchor for WMAL, and Professor of Broadcast Journalism at Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, MD. 10/19/02
"The book just doesn't just give you Johnny's take on things. Almost every person mentioned in the book has written commentary, some up to a page or more in lemgth, on Johnny and the subject at hand. It's a wonderful run through our time... It is a real experience to have him guide you through the past half century... Paul Zurkowski, Our Parish Times 10/21/02
" Just in time for the start of college basketball practice (and) worth a read: As the play-by-play broadcaster of Maryland's football and basketball games for 23 years,
Holliday has been around for many of the lean years as well as the recently successful ones in both sports.
Yet his book covers much more ground, starting with his early years as a disc jockey in Cleveland, New York and San Francisco before he came to Washington in the late '60s and became one of the market's premier radio personalities.
Even now, at 64, Holliday continues to report sports for ABC Radio and Comcast SportsNet and act in dinner theater productions as well as covering the Terps. His schedule and his energy are enough to shame people half his age...
Holliday was born in Miami as John Holliday Bobbitt, and he uses this fact to get off a pretty good one-liner about infamous marital adversaries John and Lorena Bobbitt: "The only similarity between John Bobbitt and Johnny Holliday Bobbitt is that my 1960s New York radio career was also unexpectedly cut short."---- Dick Heller - The Washington Times 10/13//02
"As I read the book, I felt like Johnny was sitting next to me with a huge photo album, going through it picture-by-picture, identifying the people in the photos and telling me the stories behind them...I found "From Rock to Jock" to be very entertaining. The worst thing I can say about it is that I wish he had added 50-100 pages of additional details to some of the stories he shared. In show business, they say always leave your audience wanting more. ." ---- Jim Johnson - The Courtmaster, TERPTOWN.COM 9/13//02
"It is one of the finest biographies ever written... Johnny is now a legendary figure on the east coast primarily doing sports and after reading the book I'd say he is definitely that and a whole lot more!" ----Glen Johnson, Chicago 10/9//02
"Maybe I'm conditioned by what Leo Durocher proclaimed -- that "nice guys finish last" -- instead of believing, instead, that "nice guys last." But after reading "From Rock To Jock," I think it's almost inhuman -- in 21st Century terms -- that someone can survive and succeed in broadcasting by being a nice guy. But Johnny Holliday seems to have managed it. If everyone got as much enjoyment from what they do as Johnny apparently gets, then instead of dreading having to go to work on Monday morning, they'd resent going home for the weekend on Friday night."---- Peter Altschuler, (Murray the K's Son), Wordsworth and Company 10/9//02
You know the name. You know the voice. If you live anywhere near Washington D.C. metropolitan area, you have undoubtedly heard his voice, in one form or another, on the radio. He's Johnny Holliday. Few names resonate with such recognition as Holliday's legendary moniker. In the past 20 years, he has been most notable as the voice of the University of Maryland Terrapins basketball and football teams, and also well known for his voice-over work in radio and television ads. Prior to that, Holliday made many stops around the country as a disc jockey and sports broadcaster. His journeys enabled to be witness to some of the great moments and know some of the great people in music and sports history. "From Rock To Jock" gives the backstory on Johnny Holliday and allows the reader to feel like they are a fly on the wall at all the stops along the way in his remarkable career.
"From Rock to Jock" is a mixture of Holliday's own memories and the memories of those who worked with or knew him. It makes the various stops on Johnny's journey in life more fascinating this way, to see it from multiple perspectives. A moving foreword and afterword by no less broadcast luminaries as Tony Kornheiser and Dick Vitale, respectively, reflect just how well respected Johnny Holliday is. Having met in him in person, I can vouch that he is just as nice and genuine a person as he seems on the radio and in this book.
Some of the more memorable stops in Holliday's journey include his early days at WHK in Cleveland, his high moments in San Francisco, and his eventual settling in his permanent home in Maryland. San Francisco is especially memorable because the reader gets a look at Johnny's legendary charity basketball team, the Oneders (which, at one time counted NBA Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry as a member), and the impact it had on the community. Plus, it reminisces about Johnny emcee-ing the last concert on the last tour ever done by the Beatles. Without a doubt, "From Rock to Jock" is an entertaining read for anyone interested in learning about some of the great moments of the early and later days of radio and sports, and about the man whose career defined and is defined by those events. --- Amazon Review by Patrick Randall, Rockville, MD
"Johnny Holliday : From Rock to Jock" tells the story of a man whose voice we know from his sports work at ABC Radio Networks, his coverage of the Olympics and, locally, his play-by-play of University of Maryland Terrapins football and basketball. (Fear the Turtle!) Holliday was a rock and top-40 jock before he was a sports voice, earning national recognition at Cleveland's WHK. He also worked in Miami, New York, Washington, San Francisco and Rochester. He has done public address and voice work for pro sports teams like the Browns, Warriors, Raiders, Redskins and Orioles. I've personally seen him perform in yet another role, that of stage actor. Radio, acting, sports. A man after my own damn heart.
Holliday's pleasure at what he does is apparent on the opening page: "Who wouldn't get excited to hop a plane, travel to Anaheim, and get paid to cover Maryland playing the NCAA tournament against the number-one seed in the West, and the second-ranked team in the nation, the Stanford Cardinals? ... How about pocketing a paycheck to help introduce the Beatles to a hysterical Candlestick Park, or chat with Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane and other rock stars?" Written with Stephen Moore, this is an anecdotal, name-dropping, first-person look at one broadcaster's life, produced by Sports Publishing LLC. If you love radio, sports or both, you'll find it hard to stop flipping through it. Hard-cover, $22.95, at (877) 424-2665 or www.SportsPublishingLLC.com --- Paul J. McLane, RADIO WORLD
Every once in a while, I'll hear an old song, I remembered from years ago. It may not bring back a favorite memory, but more often it
invokes a pleasant feeling of warmth - a feeling that ties the good times of the past to the present moment. A feeling that all is well with the world. I had that same feeling recently while reading
the book, Johnny Holliday: From Rock to Jock by Johnny Holliday with Stephen Moore. Johnny Holliday has been a constant, on the radio, in the Washington, DC area for the last 34 years. My
entire adult life and then some. He has been the voice of University of Maryland (my alma mater) football and basketball since 1979. In addition, I remember seeing him perform in the show "42nd
Street"at a local dinner theater and I also remember watching his Radio Oneders charity basketball team play the local high school faculty in a game. I remember thinking at times, when hearing him on
the radio, "What a talented guy he is."
Until reading his book however, I had no idea just how talented Mr. Holliday is. What an amazing career! Mr. Holliday started in radio broadcasting in 1956. He has been a number one Top 40 disc jockey. He has acted in plays, he has done TV shows, radio shows, sports shows, broadcast basketball, football, boxing, the Olympics, put on charity softball and basketball games, acted on stage in many shows, he sings and he still finds time for his family. Johnny Holliday is always the professional. He epitomizes success and doing what you love. Most important to me however, is that this book gave me the familiar warm feeling that ties the good times of the past with the present moment – a feeling that all is well.
One part of the book, in particular, talked about local radio personalities Harden and Weaver whom Mr. Holliday worked with for a period of time. Harden and Weaver had the top radio show in Washington, DC for many years. I can remember as a boy, I would be getting ready for school while my Dad ate breakfast before going to work. Dad always had Harden and Weaver on the radio while he ate. The same ritual every morning, Dad eating and Harden and Weaver on the radio was soothing to me; letting me know that all was right. Mr. Holliday’s book brought those feelings flooding back.
As I said before, Mr. Holliday epitomizes success. Three things struck me the most from reading his book. These included: hustle, the journey, and the universe connection.
First of all, Mr. Holliday always hustles. It seems like he is every where and has been every where. Success requires action and this is one guy who is always in action. Mr. Holliday even states in his book, “Action is my middle name.” I still don’t understand how he does all that he does. As Rich Fettke said in his book, Extreme Success, "Success is when opportunity meets strategy." Mr. Holliday's book is full of examples supporting this concept.
A personality test indicates that to Mr. Holliday, the journey is more important than the destination. He states '…enjoyment in 'the doing has always guided my career moves."How often do we get so caught up in reaching our goals that we forget to enjoy ourselves along the way? We get so caught up in the problems in our way and forget what is important to us. As Mr. Holliday has done, enjoy the journey, be happy with the present as you pursue your success. Find something that you enjoy and do it with passion.
Mr. Holliday’s book brought back to me almost 50 years of memories about my life. Early memories of radio in the late '50's and the early '60's, memories of my life in the Washington, D. C. area. Memories of numerous personalities in sports and entertainment. Imagine my surprise however, while reading the last chapter about Mr. Holliday’s theater experiences and seeing the name of my sister-in-law’s mother, Jean Ann Kain, with whom Mr. Holliday acted with in one of his shows. Once again, I am struck by the connection of the universe that runs through us all. A spiritual connection that brings us all together. An energy that connects each of us throughout the universe. We are closer together than we can ever imagine. Become aware of your connection. It is most important.
Mr. Holliday epitomizes success. Integrity, values, humbleness, and graciousness have led him through a fabulous life. He is a shining example for us all. As he says "… if you know that you want something bad enough, then you can go out and get the job done." Lee Stang
Lee Stang, personal success coach and motivational speaker, is founder and owner of LS2 Success Coaching. Lee’s coaching enables individuals to know how to win and how to be winners, producing the winning effort necessary to achieve peak performance in life or sports. He speaks on a wide variety of success topics and mental success techniques. Visit him on his website at www.LS2successcoaching.com While there sign up for his free monthly newsletter, The Winner's ExTRA and receive a free ebook. E-mail coach@LS2successcoaching.com
Johnny Holliday never met a person he didn't like. And in a career that has spanned four decades and covered cities coast to
coast, Johnny has met lots of people. In fact he mentions over 1000 of his closest friends in his new book Johnny Holliday: From Rock to Jock, helped along by co-author Stephen Moore. Johnny starts
out on a broadcasting career that begins on WBBN, a tea kettle AM in Perry, GA, moves up to modestly successful WRVM AM in Rochester, NY, and then breaks through on flame-throwers WHK (Cleveland),
WINS (New York) and KYA (San Francisco).
But as radio starts to change and Top 40 fades, Holliday successfully makes the switch from smooth patter and hot platters to peach baskets and pigskins. Johnny transfers his high-energy delivery from rock ‘n’ roll to play by play, and finds an even bigger audience. Johnny ends up here in Washington as the morning man on WWDC, but he also has West Coast pro football and pro basketball air checks in hand. Holliday's association with the University of Maryland football and basketball broadcasts as the play-by-play announcer means he finally puts down roots for good, only to spend more time traveling to away games in 23 years than a congressman on a junket. (How many Frequent Flyer Miles, Johnny?)
If there is one thing lacking in his book, it's the other side of broadcasting and sports, the weird things that happen, the competition and infighting for jobs and promotions, the every day things that make life such a roller coaster ride.
If you’re interested in any of the above in radio, rock, or sports, then Rock to Jock is worth your time. You’ll wonder when Johnny found time to sleep. While Johnny did make hundreds of friends along the way, there is one person he met that he didn't like. You'll have to buy the book to find out who.
The book is available at local bookstores and at www.jholliday.com, where you can get information about purchasing an autographed first edition copy. Radio Daily News called this book "Fascinating and historically significant."
--- Walt Starling, (Book review reprinted with permission from the Newsletter of the Radio History Society, which operates the Radio-Television Museum in Bowie, MD, www.radiohistory.org