Like everyone, I've listened to radio for years. My earliest memory of radio was riding along in the back seat of Mom's 1965 Plymouth Belvedere, on our way to swimming lessons at Long Beach in Smithtown, New York. It was usually either WNBC or WABC (both AM stations) out of New York City, and it would play through the single speaker located in the dash. FM? Never heard of it.
Now, when I was a kid, I remember listening to the radio and thinking how cool it was that these radio stations were able to get all of these musicians in to play their hits in their studio. At that age, I had no concept of records (even 8-tracks hadn't been developed yet), so I figured the only way the radio station could play the music was if they had the musicians in the studio.
Okay, okay. Yeah. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I get it.
Fast forward some 45 years. By this time, I'd been in television studios and on movie sets. I remember, even at a much later age, seeing what went into making what we watch appear so seamless. Radio, on the other hand, remained a small mystery to me. Of course, by this time, I understood that bands weren't tramping in and out of radio stations. But, beyond that, I'd no real idea on what went into producing a radio show.
That changed yesterday.
A good friend of mine, Madison, is the "morning guy" on KPRI 102.1 FM in San Diego. About a week and a half ago, he invited me to come in while I was on vacation. I jumped at the chance, simply because I thought it would be a cool thing to do. Well, aside from having to get up at 4:15am on a Tuesday while I was on vacation, I was right.
|Madison and me in the KPRI studio...|
I was given a chair, a set of headphones, and shown how to work the "COUGH" button next to my mic (I'm happy to report that I didn't need it).
I wasn't to be a "guest", per se. In fact, when Madison extended the invitation, I was wondering how I might be a scintillating morning drive-time radio guest. I didn't have to worry about that, though. I was more of a color guy; just chiming in here and there on occasion. There were a couple times when Madison engaged me with actual questions, and we did some back and forth but, for the most part, the show followed what was actually a pretty regimented format in terms of time management.
What was amazing to me was how effortlessly these people put on a show. It's a lot more than spinning records and then going to a commercial break. You see, there are no records. Hell, there weren't even CD's. Everything was in the form of a digital file. Once you put all those digital files together, and time out the traffic breaks and in-studio witty repartee, you can time out a four hour show down to the minute. I thought that was pretty cool.
It was also kinda' cool to be part of the contests. One, "The Impossible Question", was actually won by my very good friend Marklyn Retzer, who was listening in. Marklyn won two tickets to the 2011 Holiday Bowl. I swear, I had nothing to do with that. The other contest allowed me to announce the winner for the KPRI Stocking Stuffer. I have no idea how they determine the winner; I just read the name. I even had the chance to do a quick spot for the San Diego Music Foundation during the "Give Back" segment.
So, I gotta' say thanks to not only Madison, but to Pamela and Christian, as well. They couldn't have made me feel more welcome, and helped make it a great experience for me.
All in all, it was a GREAT time, and I would jump at the chance to do it again...
|On the air at KPRI in San Diego...|