Catalina High School, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Remember this story in the Arizona Daily Star May, 1959 about Burt and Zoom Records? (Click to enlarge)
Over 40 years later, Bonnie Henry, wrote the story again in
The Arizona Daily Star.

Tucson, Arizona  Saturday, 20 January 2001

                      2 teens made a name in rock,            helped by one Pete Ronstadt
                       By Bonnie Henry
                       'Rock Around the Clock" was the top song in the land the
                       day they started high school in '55.
                       By graduation day four years later, teen-agers Ray
                       Lindstrom and Burt Schneider had their own rockin'
                       record company.
                       "Zoom" was its name, home to such stellar bands as the
                       Night Beats, featuring future Tucson Police Chief Pete
                       Ronstadt as lead singer.
                       Oh, to be 17 again.
                       "We were the first rock 'n' roll generation," says
                       Lindstrom, who started his career in, of all places, a
                       classical radio station.
                       "There was this old woman who lived in the Foothills who
                       kept calling to say we were mispronouncing the names."
                       His partner was Schneider.
                       Unfazed, the two teens also broadcast records at
                       Catalina High School during lunch hour.
                       "We'd say, 'Live from the janitor's closet, it's the
                       Burt and Ray show' and you could hear a groan over the
                       entire cafeteria," says Schneider.
                       In their senior year, they formed Zoom Records.
                       Then they found a recording studio in Phoenix. "I bet
                       the whole thing didn't cost $250," says Lindstrom.
                       Swell. Now all they needed was a band.
                       "We went to a high school dance and saw Jack Wallace and
                       the Hi-Tones," says Lindstrom. "Jack kinda sounded like
                       Three hours in the studio and the teens had their
                       record: "I Think of You" and "You Are The One."
                       Lindstrom and Schneider rushed the acetate copy to
                       Tucson radio.
                       "They played it as a KTKT exclusive for an entire week,"
                       says Lindstrom.
                       Sales were strong enough to pay for another record.
                       This time, they picked the Night Beats, five fellow
                       students at Catalina, who recorded "Lonesome Road Rock,"
                       along with their theme song, "Night Beat."
                       "Lonesome Road Rock" did well enough to hit the
                       Billboard charts, says Ronstadt.
                       "The thrill of my life was going down Speedway one night
                       and hearing it play on KOMA in Oklahoma City."
                       Zoom also recorded the song "Scandal" by King Rock and
                       the Knights.
                       After high school graduation, Schneider visited
                       Australia and met a singer Down Under who had brought
                       out the song "Doreen."
                       "We brought it to the States and Pete recorded it," says
                       Flip side: "Crying All Night," written in 15 minutes by
                       Ronstadt and a fellow band member suffering from a
                       broken romance.
                       "That was in August of 1959," says Lindstrom. "It was
                       the last thing we ever did."
                       Everyone went off to college, where Ronstadt veered
                       toward folk music.
                       Then in 1965, Lindstrom learned that a Pittsburgh DJ was
                       using "Scandal" as his theme song.
                       The song became requested enough for Lindstrom to press
                       1,000 copies.
                       Eventually, Zoom Records started showing up in bargain
                       basement bins in Europe.
                       "I'm in Berlin and I find three of my recordings on
                       their old American rock 'n' roll LPs," says Lindstrom.
                       "Then a few months ago, I'm in London and I find a
                       compilation of old American songs called 'Rockabilly
                       Hoodlums Go Maximum.' "
                       And yes, there's Pete Ronstadt and the Nightbeats doing
                       "Lonesome Road Rock."
                       Today, former police chief (and hoodlum) Ronstadt
                       occasionally appears on "Prairie Home Companion" with
                       his daughter, Melinda Ronstadt Gordon.
                       Lindstrom, who got rich making get-rich video tapes, now
                       owns "the world's largest watch store in Laughlin, Nev."

                       And Schneider is back in broadcasting, working part time
                       for KUAT radio, sometimes as its classical music host.
                       "I still have trouble with the French names," he
Read Burt's essay, Radio Days in our stories section.
Check out Burt's Blog about
Treehaven School.
Burt  lives in Tucson and is the afternoon host on KUAZ  (NPR) radio. He has 3 lovely daughters scattered throughout the United States.

    Watch out, Steve Austin, Burt Schneider is here.  While I'm not able to do most of what the bionic man could do, with a new chip in my head, I am able to hear on the phone for the first time in years and continue my job in radio, hosting the afternoon radio news programming on KUAZ-FM, NPR in Tucson.  On August 29, I had surgery inserting a computer chip (equivalent to a 286 processor) at the base of my skull.  It is connected by a cable to 16 electrodes threaded through skull to the cochlea in the inner ear.   The electrodes stimulate the auditory nerve.  All this is controlled by a hearing aid-sized processor worn on my right ear.  The processor samples the sound in my environment 83,000 times per second and transmits its digital representation via radio waves through a magnet which is attached to the back of my head.  It might not be the ultimate fashion statement, but this small wonder has allowed me to break my social isolation and start interacting with people again.

    When I first had the cochlear implant activated about two weeks after surgery, my brain had to learn to recognize the electrical impulses as sound.  Most voices sounded like the Chipmunks on helium.  I had to ask people around me what some of those strange noises were I was hearing. Turned out what I thought were banging trash can lids were dogs barking and what I thought were rusty hinges squeaking were birds.  Gradually my elastic brain began to make sense of what was going on.  Music still sounds like what you get when you don't quite tune in a distant shortwave station, but I am able to enjoy DVD's and TV with a direct connection into the device.  I am hoping that with the next chip upgrade, I will be able to have my left ear done as well.  I still have trouble hearing surroundings such as noisy restaurants and most movies with their sonic overloads.  But it's truly amazing what technology has wrought.