Friday, March 12, 2010

Life As A Disc Jockey

“To be quite truthful, he didn’t want to work, so he went to radio school in Memphis on the G. I. Bill,” his wife said.

“I’d do this for nothing,” is a common phrase among dj’s and before the business became automated, it was a great way to earn a living. Many a night I wondered just how far my voice was being heard, or how many people were listening to me within our primary coverage area. It was fun being popular; it was fun being on the air.

You had four hours to fit in forty (top-40) records, news on the hour from the network, your own local news, commercials, public service announcements, contests, ad-libs and then re-join the network every half-hour during your shift without error – and making it sound so natural nobody noticed it.

Then there was the day Russia attacked the US with nuclear rockets. Or so NORAD would have us believe. Our early warning system under Cheyenne Mountain, self-proclaimed infallible, sent out a message on the newswires to all radio and tv stations announcing we were under attack and to read the pre-sent script.

The verification code envelope was right above the machine and it matched. The dj on duty first listened to our network and heard nothing out of the ordinary; then he listened to the EBS station we monitored and no action there. We stayed on the air. Some doofus at NORAD made a mistake (or did they?). We never found out.


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