Saturday, May 30, 2020

'Hogan's Heroes' 1988 Reunion Interview | WZFM

In the summer of 1988, several members of the cast of Hogan's Heroes reunited for an hour-long interview at the WZFM studio in New York City. Cast participants included Werner Klemperer, Leon Askin, Larry Hovis, and Robert Clary. They shared memories of working on Hogan's Heroes and with the show's cast and crew, as well as discussed their current projects. Werner Klemperer conducted his portion of the interview in the WZFM studio, and host Paul Cavalconte surprised him by having the other three Hogan's Heroes cast members call in. Toward the end of the interview, Werner states that he wished Bob Crane and John Banner were there with them, as the interview didn't seem complete or right without them there. His castmates agreed. He also grew sentimental and a little emotional at the end. 

There is no question that this cast was indeed a family, which is exactly what we learned from countless Hogan's Heroes cast and crew as we researched Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography. This is a refreshing, first-hand account of how much this cast really enjoyed working on Hogan's Heroes and with each other. 

We are grateful to producer Stuart Hersh and radio host Paul Cavalconte for granting us permission to post this interview on our YouTube channel, so we can make this delightful interview available to Hogan's Heroes fans everywhere.

The recording is shared here in its entirety, including opening WZFM theme song and commercials. The actual Interview starts around the 7:00-minute mark.

The blooper reel they discuss is featured on the Hogan's Heroes Season Two DVD set as an "extra" and was made available for the DVD set by Bob Crane's widow, Patricia Olson (Sigrid Valdis). 

The TV Guide cover is used in the photo because they discuss this cover in the interview (and it also maintains Bob Crane's presence). 

© 2020 Stuart Hersh All rights reserved. Used with permission. 

Produced by: Stuart Hersh 
Hosted by: Paul Cavalconte 
Featuring Leon Askin, Robert Clary, Larry Hovis, and Werner Klemperer

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Checking In and Updating During COVID-19

As Linda and I prepare to record our next podcast episode, I realized it has been quite awhile since I last wrote a blog post. We are all doing well—as well as can be expected during a global crisis. We have been extremely busy, though, with work and caring for our families. We are taking everything just one day at a time, and staying positive is key.

But we are still here! As you no doubt are aware, Linda Groundwater, Dee Young, and I are just a little bit passionate about telling Bob Crane's life story. This is because we worked so very hard to learn it. And in order to learn it, we had to work just as hard, if not harder, to earn trust from people who knew him, worked with him, cared about him, and loved him. It was not an easy thing to do because so many were protective of Bob, and they were tired of seeing his name dragged through the mud and hated Auto Focus. They did not know us, and they did not know what our intentions were when we said we were writing Bob's biography. But once they did understand our mission, they trusted us completely. They opened up to us. In so many instances, we became very dear friends. They became just as passionate as we were, and they would say things to us like, "We are in this with you!" and "Write the book!" Sadly, many did not live long enough to see Bob's biography published. One beautiful person who passed away prior to the book's publication is Charlie Zito, Bob's best friend from high school, who I will always adore like family, and to whom the book is dedicated. 

We know Bob wasn't perfect, and we don't paint him as such. We are balanced in our telling of his life story in Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography (book) and Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane (podcast). But the good side of Bob Crane far outweighs the bad. One of my best friends said to me once, "Bob Crane wasn't perfect, but he was perfectly human." Human beings are complicated. Each human being deserves more than just sweeping surface statements with no perspective and outward ridicule. I am proud of the work that Linda, Dee, and I have done and continue to do on Bob Crane's behalf. I am honored that we are his official biographers. And we will always climb up on that soap box to defend him.

To do that, we will continue to produce our podcast, do interviews, and go to book signings (once the world opens back up again). So sit tight! We have a lot in the works!

Right now, the world is upside down and backwards, and it is a bit scary outside. Let's keep focused on the good and stay positive. That is exactly what Bob Crane would want us to do! 

Virtual hugs to all. Stay safe and healthy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hogan's Heroes: 'Lie to the Kid!'

Thanks to COVID-19, like most people around the world, I'm hunkered down at home, practicing social distancing, sanitizing everything every chance I get, and staying isolated. I know I'm doing this to protect others as well as protect myself, but the thought that I'm sitting at home and not really helping out in the world goes against my nature. I feel stuck, and that makes me antsy.

Then I remembered this scene from Season 6 of Hogan's Heroes, in which LeBeau wants to leave Stalag 13 and return to France to fight with the French Underground. He believes he will be doing more good in France than making meals and baked goods at Stalag 13, which he believes is frivolous to the war effort. One by one, his fellow prisoners try to convince him to stay, culminating with the scene above. In what I think is one of Kenneth Washington's funniest lines in his short time on the series, when LeBeau states that he's worried about what he will tell his children what he did during the war, Baker responds, "Lie to the kid!"

Like LeBeau, you might think your role of staying home during this crisis is unimportant. But it is very important—just as important as LeBeau's Crêpe Suzettes! Staying home, self-isolating, social distancing, and sanitizing helps all of our first responders and health care providers treat the very sick, and it contains the spread of the coronavirus.

I also know some of you may be feeling really anxious and scared. I'll be honest, I'm pretty freaked out right now, too. I'm worried and scared, mostly because of my parents, especially my Dad, who is immunocompromised as a transplant recipient and a cancer survivor. My parents have been shut in their house for two weeks now, and they are doing really well, and I think that is largely because we isolated them early in this crisis. It's difficult to feel so disconnected from society and from friends and family. I'm also uneasy worrying about the unknown.

But as I tell myself, try not to panic. Take it all one day at a time, and stay grounded in the here and now. Take deep breaths. Stay in touch with your family and friends remotely, and use this down time not to worry, but to focus on positive things. Maybe do something creative, like write some Hogan's Heroes fan fiction. You can read lots of it on If things really start to get to you, watch Hogan's Heroes (my go-to anxiety reliever) or listen to one of Bob Crane's radio broadcasts. We'll be putting more of them up shortly for you to enjoy, and our podcast, Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane, will resume production very soon, too.

Finally, to all of our doctors, nurses, scientists, researchers, and all those working tirelessly in the health care/medical field, as well as everyone working in banks, grocery stores, utilities, and all jobs that are keeping our infrastructure functioning worldwide, thank you! 

Stay calm and be safe everyone!

Friday, March 6, 2020

TV Confidential Interview — Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography

On February 21, 2020, Linda Groundwater and I were guests on the radio program TV Confidential. We talked for over two hours with host Ed Robertson, who has been an avid and strong supporter of Bob Crane, and is an official endorser of Bob's nomination for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Our interview was recorded and has been divided into three parts, all of which will be broadcast over several radio stations throughout the United States, Canada, and Brazil. Big thanks to Ed for this fantastic opportunity!

The following is taken from the TV Confidential website. 

Joining us this week will be Carol Ford and Linda Groundwater, two of the co-authors (along with Dee Young) of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography, a comprehensive, cradle-to-grave look at the life and career of the beloved Hogan’s Heroes star who was also one of the biggest stars in radio for more than a decade.

Hogan’s Heroes aside, it has become nearly impossible to talk about Bob Crane without also referencing either the brutal nature of his unsolved murder on June 29, 1978, or his addiction to sex and porn that became public knowledge after his death. Indeed, the tabloid-like coverage of those two stories has overshadowed the rest of Crane’s life and all that he accomplished. Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography attempts to set the record straight by providing readers with a full and complete history of Crane was—and, just as important, who he wasn’t. The book includes first-hand insight from more than two hundred people who knew Bob Crane personally and better than most: family members; his friends from Connecticut, including many who knew him as far back as grade school; his colleagues from TV, the theatre, the movies, and, above all, radio; and the addiction counselor whose help Crane sought in an effort to overcome his addiction, in the weeks before he was killed. Carol Ford and Linda Groundwater will join us in our first hour.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television

WBRT AM 1320 FM 97.1
Bardstown, KY
Friday 3/6
9am ET 6am PT
Listen Live at

Share-a-Vision Radio
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday 3/6
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Click on the Listen Live button at

or listen to us on the KSAV TuneIn channel
San Francisco, CA
Friday 3/6
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Saturday 3/7
11pm ET, 8pm PT
Sunday 3/8
11pm ET, 8pm PT
with replays Monday thru Friday 11am ET, 8am PT
Click on the Talk Slot button at
KDUN AM 1030

Eugene/Springfield/Reedsport, OR
Saturday 3/7
Noon ET, 9am PT
Streaming at

WTCA 1050 AM and 106.1 FM
South Bend/Plymouth, IN
Saturday 3/7
3pm ET, Noon PT
Streaming at
or listen to us on the WTCA TuneIn channel

KSCJ Talk Radio 1360 AM and 94.9 FM
Sioux City, IA
Saturday 3/7
4pm CT, 2pm PT
Sunday 3/8
6pm CT, 4pm PT
Streaming at
or listen to us on the KSCJ TuneIn channel

Indiana Talks
Huntington, IN
Saturday 3/7
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Sunday 3/8
10am ET, 7am PT
Click on the player at
or listen to us on the Indiana Talks TuneIn channel

WON 920 The Apple
Brooklyn, NY
Saturday 3/7
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Streaming at

WLAD AM 800 and FM 94.1
Danbury, CT
Sunday 3/8
5am ET, 2am PT
Also streaming at
or listen to us on the WLAD TuneIn channel

KSCO AM-1080 and FM-104.1
San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA
Sunday 3/8
9am ET, 6am PT
Also streaming at
or listen to us on the KSCO TuneIn channel

KOMY AM-1340
La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA
Sunday 3/8
9am ET, 6am PT
Hear us online on the KOMY TuneIn channel

CROC Radio
Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Sunday 3/8
1pm ET, 10am PT
Streaming at
or listen to us on the CROC Radio TuneIn channel

St. Cloud/Little Falls, MN
Sunday 3/8
6pm CT, 4pm PT
Streaming at
or listen to us on the KPLT TuneIn channel

KPLT 1490 AM and 96.3 FM
Paris, TX
Sunday 3/8
8pm CT, 6pm PT
Streaming at
or listen to us on the KPLT TuneIn channel

WDIG AM 1450
Dothan, AL
Sunday 3/8
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Streaming at
or listen to us on the WDIG TuneIn channel

KOTA AM 1380 and FM 110.7
Rapid City, SD
Sunday 3/8
9pm MT, 8pm PT
Also streaming at
Hear us online on the KOTA TuneIn channel

KHMB AM-1710
KHMV-LP 100.9 FM

Half Moon Bay, CA
Sunday 3/8
9pm PT (Mid ET Mon 3/8)
Click on the Listen Live button at
or listen to us on the KHMB/KHMV TuneIn channel
A member of the Truli Media Group
Ann Arbor, MI ~ Boston, MA ~ Chicago, IL ~ Melrose, FL ~ Los Angeles, CA

Various times throughout the week on
and the PWR channel on TuneIn

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Happy New Year! Our Vision for 2020

Happy New Year! It's been a long time since I've posted, and I have to apologize for my absence. Personally, I've had a lot going on at home with my Dad's health and my day job, but it doesn't mean I'm not still here. In fact, quite the opposite! My coauthors and I never left, nor will we.

Linda Groundwater and I are getting ready to record our next episode of our podcast, Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane (based on our work of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography). We are also outlining future episodes. 

While you wait, you can check out the latest episode here:

I also wanted to share a little bit here of why we researched Bob Crane, wrote his biography, and carry on despite the book having been published.

Ever since I was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia in the 1980s, I have loved Hogan's Heroes and its star. Way back then, I was so sad when I learned of his murder, and my little 14-year-old self was determined to make a difference. Long before the Internet, I would go to the library, spending hours upon hours in the microfilm/microfiche room, trying to learn more. I still have my notebooks from my childhood research, and when I look at how diligent I was then, it's no wonder to me that I'm still here, all these years later, caring so much about the truth of Bob Crane's life.

Bob Crane is continually misunderstood and unfairly judged by the public. In the decades since his death, he has become known for three things, and three things only: Hogan's Heroes, his murder, and the scandal that came to light during the murder investigation. Very little or nothing is mentioned about his tremendous career in radio, that he was a talented drummer, that he made countless charitable contributions to society and nonprofit organizations, was "kind to those he worked with and kind to those he knew" (q. Leo McElroy, KNX colleague), was devoted to and loved his family and friends, was driven to success in all that he did (radio, acting, music), adored his fans and always made time to go out of his way to sign autographs, and sought to better his life by battling his addiction in the weeks leading up to his murder, and sadly, just didn't live long enough to see it through.

Auto Focus is the "source" most people have based their knowledge on. But be warned. Auto Focus misses its mark. Director Paul Schrader went further by stating in an interview to the New York Times that the film was meant to be a distortion and not entirely true because the truth is boring and who cares about the truth. So the film is exaggerated at best and completely inaccurate at worst. 

It would be very easy to give up, and I've been told to give up often over the years for all sorts of reasons: 1) I'm not a flesh-and-blood member of his family, and therefore, have no right to say anything; 2) my book won't sell because nobody cares; 3) nobody wants to hear "nice," they only want the dirt; and 4) the hateful comments I've received over the years from people who think they know the truth and feel empowered through anonymity (aka, trolls). I've been called names. I've been told that I "know nothing" and should just give it up.

But despite these shallow and often hurtful attempts to derail the work my friends and coauthors Linda Groundwater and Dee Young and I have done, we will not give up. We may not put a podcast episode out every week, or write a blog post every day, or post on social media as much as we used to, but we will not give up.

We are Bob Crane's official biographers. We are proud of the work we've done and honored to represent Bob through the people who knew him better than most. We have talked with 200+ prominent individuals from Bob Crane's life — family; friends; colleagues in radio, television, theatre, and film; and the counselor who was helping Bob overcome his addiction at the end of his life. We've become very close to and grown to love many people from Bob's life. It has, for us, become personal, because these beautiful people are now a part of our lives. We count them as our dear friends, and we continue our work not just for Bob, but also for all of them.

We understand that people who don't know about us or our work or have read our book have no idea about the truth about Bob Crane. It is never brought to the surface in the mainline media, and it's like a broken record that is on play-repeat. But it's a record we're happy to break so we can share what we know. The truth about Bob Crane. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

A Glimpse into the Work of a Radio Genius

While we continue to work on our first feature episode of Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane, we thought we'd give you a glimpse into Bob Crane's radio work in a brief "interim" episode. When I've given presentations about Bob at various places, such as the Liberty Aviation Museum and the MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention, I typically play a few clips for audiences to hear a sampling of Bob's work. We've also made many of Bob's radio airchecks available through our YouTube and SoundCloud channels, as well as through this blog.

To broaden our reach, we'll be including them in episodes of our new podcast. This episode contains two clips, a Winston Cigarettes commercial, and a rare interview with the late Marilyn Monroe.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy! 

Listen to "03. A Glimpse into the Work of a Radio Genius" on Spreaker.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Recap of the 2019 MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention

On September 12-14, 2019, I once again participated at the annual MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland. This was my fifth year going to the convention, and as is always the case, I had a fantastic time! Meeting new people and reconnecting with familiar attendees and vendors, and of course, meeting and seeing celebrities from classic television, keep me coming back year after year. I've had the pleasure of meeting Dawn Wells, Howard Hesseman, Jan Smithers, Ed Begley, Jr., Paul Petersen, Loni Anderson, Loretta Swit, and Aileen Quinn, to name just a few. This is definitely a show not to miss if you love classic television and the Golden Age of Radio!

This year, in addition to selling and signing copies of Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography, I recorded a few attendees talking about Hogan's Heroes, Bob Crane, the book, and something they had learned about Bob Crane from reading the book. You can listen to these testimonials in an episode of our new podcast, Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane. You can also hear a clip of Bob Crane's "Man on the Street" interview segment, which originally broadcast over KNX-CBS Radio around 1957 and was rebroadcast over KNX in 1962.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this episode! I know how intimidating it can be to record something and hear your voice. It took me years to be able to record my voice and then listen to myself. You all did great!

And as an aside, you can subscribe to Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane wherever you get your podcast fix.

Subscribe On:
and more!

I'm also thrilled to have been interviewed twice during this year's convention: once for a podcast and again for television. My coauthors and I love being interviewed! So if you're looking to chat about Bob Crane, our work on his biography, Hogan's Heroes (including the recently announced Hogan's Heroes reboot by co-creator Albert S. Ruddy)—give us a yell. We'd love to talk with you!

I'm looking forward to returning to the 2020 MidAtlantic Nostalgia Convention, and perhaps I'll have a few new surprises. You never know what my crew and I will come up with next!