HIS LAST DAY

What the listeners heard was the record ending in the usual way followed by about a minute of dead air, the sounds of the phonograph needle bumping back and fourth at the end of the record groove and the volume max and audio max slowly increasing the audio of the background noise in the empty studio. Then voices were heard in the background "where the heck did he go", he must have really been pissed off." Moments later music and commercials were heard again but without the familiar voice of the disc jockey. Seems that he was upset and made the decision to leave the station in a dramatic fashion. He unscrewed the bulbs that illuminated the on the air signs in the hallway and inside the control room, started a record and opened the mic with the gain on the board all the way up and then left the building. Word has it that he made it to his car in time to hear the action.

JOCKS PICKING UP JOCKS

Disc jockeys that is. During a staff meeting one of our tall muscular jocks picked up the jock standing in front of him, who's build was just the opposite. That day chairs were scarce and most of us were standing. As the program director started his next sentence, up went our weekend guy like he was on an elevator, with the jock behind him doing the lifting. About the same time as the jock being lifted yelled "put me down" the program director politely asked the offending party if he would kindly lower the victim to the floor. The meeting went on, despite uproarious laughter for a brief period. Especially from me, who was standing across the small room directly opposite the performance and knew the players fairly well. Crazy radio people!

A face for radio  Everything from "look you silly looking S.O.B." to "your so ugly looking now I know why your in radio."  While working at a top 40 FM station in Orlando, the air staff was invited to answer the phones for our local PBS station during one of their fund raisers. During the local segment we were seen on camera picking up the phones, usually as a group shot showing the six of us. Sometimes the camera would come in for a closeup. When my camera closeup came, the person on the other end of the phone became quite abusive and let lose with a tirade of profanity regarding my appearance.  This guy went on forever, but only during the closeups. At the end of the segment, when the camera's were off, the director was curious as to why I looked so red.

What a storm  One of the stations in Miami where I was employed as a jock, was located on the top floor of a five story bank building in the Coral Gables area. On the roof we had an assortment of weather instruments including a rain gauge. There were no windows in the control room, or news room. One day, our afternoon drive guy was informing his listeners of the intense rain fall in the south Miami area. At the same time, the view from the sales office in the same building showed no clouds over Miami. Yet the rain gauge in the control room was clicking away. It was almost like one of our other jocks was up on the roof pouring a pitcher of water down the rain gauge. :-)

A special announcement  A great way to antagonize the program director back in the day's when you could do what you want on the radio was to promote a special announcement.  This special announcement would always be scheduled at the very same time the program director had to be in a meeting without access to a radio.  If the program director had a meeting scheduled for 2pm you might hear "tune in for a special announcement at 2:15."  The special announcement promo would usually start to air about the time the program director got into his car and was headed to the meeting.  Without fail the program director would drop by the control room after the meeting to find out what the special announcement was.

The holiday spirit  Some of the radio stations where I’ve worked offered a gift exchange for employees during the station holiday party. One employee would draw another employee’s name from a hat a couple of weeks before the event. The gift was supposed to be inexpensive and humorous. Knowing the creativity of some of those in the broadcasting biz this sometimes got out of hand. Some staff members, aware of the extreme embarrassment they or others had suffered in the past, really dreaded this event. So the management decided those who wanted could choose to opt out and not participate in the gift exchange. Well it seems one creative individual who shall remain anonymous got every one on the "no gift" list a gift. And some of those gifts could border on the aberrant and seamy side. Imagine their surprised look when the general manager lifted a gift with their name on it from beneath the Christmas tree. Come to think of it, the general manager had a rather astonished look on his face too...

A Little Something For The Overnight Guy

Doing 7pm to midnight at a lot of stations I could usually
cure an overnight guys tardiness by tracking an album at the stroke of midnight.
Moving my car out of sight of the radio station parking lot where I would monitor
the station signal to make sure the album was still tracking and
wait for the unsuspecting late overnight victim to finally show up.
Once he walked into the empty control room I was on my way. And without seeing my car
in the station parking lot and looking at the turntable where the last cut of the
album was tracking; was enough to motivate an on time appearance at least for a couple
of weeks.

Please don't be offended, horrified, mortified or in any way traumatized by our ONE TON TOMATO 

Our morning man was fond of re-titling the song by the Sandpipers "Guantanamera" into "one ton tomato" and did it so convincingly on the air I'd thought someday I'd pick up the phone and get a request for that one ton tomato song.  Seems the program director was not amused.  He tried to reason with our morning man that this song carried great meaning to the people of Cuba because of Jose Matri's  fight for independence from Spain in 1895. This was almost like a national anthem.  When this was explained to our morning man and that changing the title could offend a listener, our morning guy said  "or really" and produced one of the broadest grins I've ever seen.  

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