Biographical Sketch

Born June 8, 1921, in Paris, Texas, Gordon McLendon served as an interpreter in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In 1947, he established KLIF radio in Dallas, Texas. At the same time, he began the Liberty Broadcasting System, an independent affiliation that encompassed over 400 radio stations during its five years of operation. McLendon was a pioneer in recreating sporting events, using the voice of the "Old Scotsman." During the 1950s he developed the top 40 format (rapid fire music, news and contests). McLendon also owned a string of drive-in theaters, produced several motion pictures, and developed advertising campaigns for over 150 movies. In 1964, he campaigned for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate against Ralph Yarborough. Over the course of his career, McLendon owned twenty-four radio stations. He died in 1986.


Scope and Content

The collection includes editorials, political files, political campaign materials, movie promotions, business correspondence, and radio station policy books. Additionally, there are recordings in various formats of interviews, editorials, soundtracks, movie promotions, easy listening music, documentaries, and advertisements. Of special interest are some of McLendon's editorials, including a series critical of Charles DeGaulle.

The second and largest part of the collection is comprised of various forms of sound recordings. The sound recordings include sixteen and twelve-inch discs of radio programs, jingles, soundtracks, music, and historical recordings.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Open for research.


Index Terms

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.

Subjects (Persons)

  • McLendon, Gordon.
  • Subjects (Places)

  • Texas--Biography.
  • Texas--Politics and government--1951-.
  • Subjects

  • Radio broadcasting--United States.
  • Executives--United States.
  • Motion picture producers and directors--United States.
  • Politics, Practical--Texas.
  • Radio advertising.
  • Radio and music.
  • Radio broadcasters--Texas.
  • Radio broadcasting of sports.
  • Radio broadcasting--Archival resources.
  • Radio broadcasting.
  • Radio journalism--Texas.
  • Radio journalists--Texas.
  • Radio producers and directors--Texas.
  • Radio programs.
  • Radio stations--Management.
  • Radio stations--Texas.

  • Related Material

    David Dary and John Barger oral history interview [sound recording], 1986


    Administrative Information

    Preferred Citation

    Gordon Barton McLendon Papers, 1917-1978, Southwest Collection/ Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

    Acquisition

    Collection accession #(s): S675.1

    Gifts, 1979

    Processed by

    Abel Ramirez, August 2000.


    General Files, 1945-1982 and undated

    Box 24

    Folder 1, Policy Book 001 Ashenhurst, January-June, 1966

    Folder 3, Policy Book 003, Ashenhurst, and correspondence July-December, 1966

    Folder 5, Policy Book 005, Ashenhurst, January-December, 1967

    Folder 8, Policy Book 008, Ashenhurst, January-December, 1968

    Folder 9, Policy Book 009, Billboards and Miscellaneous Station Ads, 1956-1967

    Folder 10, Policy Book 010, Broadcaster's Promotion Association, Best of, 1962-1963

    Folder 11, Policy Book 011, Columbia School of Broadcasting, undated

    Box 25

    Folder 1, Policy Book 012, Commercial Copy, A-G, undated

    Folder 2, Policy Book 013, Commercial Copy, H-Z, undated

    Folder 3, Policy Book 014, Contests and Promotions, A, 1961-1965

    Folder 4, Policy Book 015, Contests and Promotions, The Beatles, 1964-1966

    Folder 5, Policy Book 016, Contests and Promotions, B, 1961-1967

    Folder 6, Policy Book 017, Contests and Promotions, B-Cl, 1956-1963

    Folder 7, Policy Book 018, Contests and Promotions, Co-Cz, 1955-1967

    Folder 8, Policy Book 019, Contests and Promotions, D, 1956-1963

    Folder 9, Policy Book 020, Contests and Promotions, E, 1961 and undated

    Folder 10, Policy Book 021, Contests and Promotions, F, 1958-1965

    Folder 11, Policy Book 022, Contests and Promotions, G-H, 1955-1968

    Folder 12, Policy Book 023, Contests and Promotions, I-J, 1956-1963

    Folder 13, Policy Book 024, Contests and Promotions, K, 1955-1964

    Box 26

    Folder 1, Policy Book 025, Contests and Promotions, L, 1955-1964

    Folder 2, Policy Book 026, Contests and Promotions, Ma-Mo, 1956-1965

    Folder 3, Policy Book 027, Contests and Promotions, Mp-Mz, 1955-1965

    Folder 4, Policy Book 028, Contests and Promotions, N, 1956-1968

    Folder 5, Policy Book 029, Contests and Promotions, O-Q, 1957-1967

    Folder 6, Policy Book 030, Contests and Promotions, R, 1955-1966

    Folder 7, Policy Book 031, Contests and Promotions, Sa-Se, 1956-1967

    Folder 8, Policy Book 032, Contests and Promotions, Se-So, 1956-1966

    Folder 9, Policy Book 033, Contests and Promotions, Sp-St, 1956-1970

    Folder 10, Policy Book 034, Contests and Promotions, Su-Sz, 1956-1963

    Folder 11, Policy Book 035, Contests and Promotions, Ta-To, 1957-1967

    Folder 12, Policy Book 036, Contests and Promotions, Tr-Tz, 1957-1966

    Folder 13, Policy Book 037, Contests and Promotions, U-V, 1957-1963

    Folder 14, Policy Book 038, Contests and Promotions, W-Z, 1955-1967

    Folder 15, Policy Book 039, Contests and Promotions, General Check List, 1955-1963

    Box 27

    Folder 1, Policy Book 040, Contests and Promotions, Individual Holidays, 1958-1967

    Folder 2, Policy Book 041, Contests and Promotions, New Year's and Christmas, 1955-1968

    Folder 3, Policy Book 042, Contests and Promotions, Disc Jockey and Merchandising Promotions, 1957-1967

    Folder 4, Policy Book 043, Editorial and Newspaper Clippings, undated

    Folder 5, Policy Book 044, Editorial Copy, arranged chronologically, 1956-1963

    Folder 6, Policy Book 045, Editorial Copy, arranged chronologically, 1964-1968

    Folder 7, Policy Book 046, General Operating Policy, 1960-1967

    Folder 8, Policy Book 047, General Programming, 1953-1966

    Folder 9, Policy Book 048, Good Music Stations, includes music lists, 1959-1966

    Folder 10, Policy book 049, Great Moments in Sports, undated newswire stories

    Folder 11, Policy Book 050, Great Moments in Sports, undated newswire stories box

    Box 28

    Folder 1, Policy Book 051, Great Moments in Sports, undated newswire stories

    Folder 2, Policy Book 052, Greenwich Mean Time, Vol. 1, undated

    Folder 3, Policy Book 053, Greenwich Mean Time, Vol. 2, undated

    Folder 4, Policy Book 054, K-Ads (radio advertising), 1965-1967

    Folder 5, Policy Book 055, K-Ads (radio advertising), 1965-1967

    Folder 6, Policy Book 056, K-Ads (radio advertising), 1965-1966

    Folder 7, Policy Book 057, K-Ads, Los Angeles Area, 1965-1967

    Folder 8, Policy Book 058, K-Ads, Los Angeles Area, 1965-1967

    Folder 9, Policy Book 059, K-Ads, Los Angeles Area, 1965-1967

    Folder 10, Policy Book 060, Station KOST, 1967 and undated

    Folder 11, Policy Book 061, Listen Ladies newswire stories, April-August, 1968

    Box 29

    Folder 1, Policy Book 062, Listen Ladies, newswire stories, September- December, 1968

    Folder 2, Policy Book 063, Miscellaneous Promotions and Memos, undated

    Folder 3, Policy Book 064, Motion Picture Literature and Newspaper Clippings, 1954-1959 and undated

    Folder 4, Policy Book 065, Music Policy, 1955-1961

    Folder 5, Policy Book 066, News Editorials, 1954-1967

    Folder 6, Policy Book 067, Introductions, 1955-1968

    Folder 7, Policy Book 068, News Promos, Billboarding, TNT Stations, 1955-1964

    Folder 8, Policy Book 069, News Promos (Time, Temperature, Weather), 1956-1963

    Folder 9, Policy Book 070, Sports News Policy, 1955-1961

    Folder 10, Policy Book 071, Operation Matthew, 1961-1962

    Folder 11, Policy Book 072, Planning Lists, 1956-1959

    Box 30

    Folder 1, Policy Book 073, Station Policy Manual, undated

    Folder 2, Policy Book 074, Station Policy Manual, undated

    Folder 3, Policy Book 075, Station Policy Manual, undated

    Folder 4, Policy Book 076, Public Service/Disc Jockeys, 1955-1970

    Folder 5, Policy Book 077, Sales/Marketing, 1955-1967

    Folder 6, Policy Book 078, Station Breaks, Volume I, undated

    Folder 7, Policy Book 079, Station Breaks, Volume II, 1956-1962 and undated

    Folder 8, Policy Book 080, Station Breaks, Volume III, 1962-1967 and undated

    Folder 9, Policy Book 081, Sunday Revenue, 1963 and undated

    Folder 10, Policy Book 082, WNUS Editorials, Sales, Public Service, etc., 1966 and undated

    Folder 11, Policy Book 083, WNUS Front Page Stories, undated

    Box 31

    Folder 1, Policy Book 084, WNUS Front Page Stories, samples, 1965-1966

    Folder 2, Policy Book 085, WNUS Front Page Stories, samples, 1965-1966

    Folder 3, Policy Book 086, WNUS General Policy, 1965-1966 and undated

    Folder 4, Policy Book 087, WNUS Headlines, 1965-1966 and undated

    Folder 5, Policy Book 088, WNUS Miscellaneous Policy, 1965-1966 and undated

    Folder 6, Policy Book 089, WNUS Policy Book, 1964-1965 and undated

    Folder 7, Policy Book 090, WNUS Promotions, General, A to N, 1965-1966 and undated

    Folder 8, Policy Book 091, WNUS Promotions, General, N to W, 1965-1966 and undated

    Folder 9, Policy Book 092, WNUS Public Service, 1965-1966 and undated

    Folder 10, Policy Book 093, WWWW Detroit, 1966-1967 and undated

    Folder 11, Policy Book 094, WYSL and KABL, 1960-1966

    Folder 12, Policy Book 095, XTRA News, 1961-1962 and undated

    Folder 13, Policy Book 096, XTRA News, 1961-1963 and undated

    Folder 14, Policy Book 097, XTRA News Correspondence, 1961-1963

    Box 32

    Folder 1, Policy Book 098, XTRA News Correspondence, 1961-1966

    Folder 2, Policy Book 099, XTRA News, includes Tijuana Studio, 1961-1966

    Folder 3, Policy Book 100, Rosarito Beach/National Labor Law, 1961-1966

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