From 50 years and 3,000 miles away, Larry King can laugh about how South Florida nearly ended his broadcasting career before it really began, but it didn't seem that funny at the time. He was working the overnight shift at a little Miami Beach radio station when the phone rang.
''I really want you,'' cooed the breathy female listener on the other end. ''And I'm only 11 blocks from the station.'' King promptly slapped a Harry Belafonte album on the turntable and raced out the door -- only, when he arrived at his wannabe paramour's house, to hear Belafonte on the radio: Down the way where the nights are . . . where the nights are . . . where the nights are. . . .
Reporting for work the next day, King was petrified, but the station manager never said a thing. Possibly, he didn't even know what had happened -- ''The truth is, management never listens; the suits make decisions, but they never listen,'' says King -- and possibly he knew but understood that in South Florida, hormones rule. ''Miami,'' muses King wistfully, ``is the sexually loosest place I've ever lived.'' Read my full story on King and his reminiscences about the seamy side of South Florida in Sunday's Miami Herald.