Matthew

Phil Spector Dead at 81

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The distinctive aspect of Top 40 radio in the mid-'60s that I remember was the instrumentals.  The news started precisely on the hour and half-hour, so leading into the news breaks were instrumentals which the DJ would fade as the moment for the news approached.

The songs of Al Hirt, The Ventures and The Tijuana Brass were played in their entirety throughout the hour, but there were many others that were not.  Another played in its entirety was the original recording of Allen Toussaint's Whipped Cream by The Stokes (who I think were Art and Aaron Neville).

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2 minutes ago, GA Russell said:

The distinctive aspect of Top 40 radio in the mid-'60s that I remember was the instrumentals.  The news started precisely on the hour and half-hour, so leading into the news breaks were instrumentals which the DJ would fade as the moment for the news approached.

 

You gotta have something to easily pad into the network feed ... reminds me of when I was at the country station, they ran Paul Harvey live off the satellite. And you didn't have an instrumental to fade out if necessary. I was weekend overnights but handled mid-days when that DJ was off and had to sweat that transition a few times. I think a couple of times I had it down perfect - last tune, Paul Harvey intro cart, pod up Paul Harvey. Yeah! And then another time or two I had that Paul Harvey bed playing for 20 seconds before his feed came over. Ugh.

Paul Harvey followed me to Mello 105 but we didn't do any live feed, always taped it and ran it later.

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4 hours ago, JSngry said:

 

Top 40 DJ-ing, getting that seamless flow with NO dead air, there was anbart to that. 

OK I gotta keep talking about my radio days ... my psychological makeup requires being ready to go ahead of time ... I'd pull the CDs and the commercial breaks/bumpers for at least two hours at the start of a shift.  Still made mistakes, in all honesty but in terms of my psychology - I sweated those failures and for years after my last radio gig had nightmares about dead air. Sometimes I would be on the air, and my carts and CDs would be just out of reach - couldn't get something, anything into the players. Or, I would dream that nothing worked on the board - hit the button, cart deck won't fire, CD player won't fire. I would wake up and discover I was pounding on my clock radio. That was my "board".

Flip side to my worrying mind was the jock who worked the shift in front of mine.  He would wait until a song was in the last 20 seconds to even look at the playlist let alone get the next CD into the other deck. And he kept that seamless flow and never made a mistake. One day the Program Director was hearing too many mistakes and came into the booth and watched at the end of the day. He's sitting there and watching this guy and was losing his shit.  "Uh, Marilyn, the song is running out." "Yeah, I know."  But he always made his transitions. Finally the PD barged out of the room, declaring "I can't watch this shit anymore."  But he still issued a memo that all jocks must pull music and spots ahead of time. And that's when Christopher (Marilyn) Parker started making mistakes and having dead air. Finally the PD came in and said, "Marilyn, just do it your way. Sorry I hassled you, man."

:g

 

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24 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

OK I gotta keep talking about my radio days ... my psychological makeup requires being ready to go ahead of time ... I'd pull the CDs and the commercial breaks/bumpers for at least two hours at the start of a shift.  Still made mistakes, in all honesty but in terms of my psychology - I sweated those failures and for years after my last radio gig had nightmares about dead air. Sometimes I would be on the air, and my carts and CDs would be just out of reach - couldn't get something, anything into the players. Or, I would dream that nothing worked on the board - hit the button, cart deck won't fire, CD player won't fire. I would wake up and discover I was pounding on my clock radio. That was my "board".

Flip side to my worrying mind was the jock who worked the shift in front of mine.  He would wait until a song was in the last 20 seconds to even look at the playlist let alone get the next CD into the other deck. And he kept that seamless flow and never made a mistake. One day the Program Director was hearing too many mistakes and came into the booth and watched at the end of the day. He's sitting there and watching this guy and was losing his shit.  "Uh, Marilyn, the song is running out." "Yeah, I know."  But he always made his transitions. Finally the PD barged out of the room, declaring "I can't watch this shit anymore."  But he still issued a memo that all jocks must pull music and spots ahead of time. And that's when Christopher (Marilyn) Parker started making mistakes and having dead air. Finally the PD came in and said, "Marilyn, just do it your way. Sorry I hassled you, man."

:g

 

GREAT story!

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With the recent events, I've been listening to News radio 1080 KRLD AM. You talk about seamless...and not records, but speech snippets, live announcers, commercials, network feeds, all sorts of inputs. It goes on literally forever and it is literally seamless.

I had long noticed the skimpy news content, but this was my first time really noticing that somewhere in there, there is a mad scientist genie at work.

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

With the recent events, I've been listening to News radio 1080 KRLD AM. You talk about seamless...and not records, but speech snippets, live announcers, commercials, network feeds, all sorts of inputs. It goes on literally forever and it is literally seamless.

I had long noticed the skimpy news content, but this was my first time really noticing that somewhere in there, there is a mad scientist genie at work.

There have been huge technological changes on radio, which had started not too long before I was shit-canned by mello 105 under new ownership. Everything was getting digitized back then, and with touch screens to run stop sets or an autoplay feature where you just stack up one element after another and it just goes and goes.

No more CDs, no more spots or bumpers recorded onto carts and no pushing the button on the board to trigger the next element, or setting the trigger on one cart to auto-fire the next spot at the end of the first one.

The switchover at mello 105 led directly to the firing of a very long-time board op who couldn't handle technology. 

One more quick story, related:

Mello 105 was the radio partner of the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks, East Coast Hockey League (don't ask me why). One year they reached the playoffs and the game was getting televised locally. Meaning that the voice of the Tiger Sharks, Kyle somebody, had to record his radio pre-game ahead of time because he'd be busy doing the TV pre-game. I was board-op for the broadcast and it was all set to go on the new fangled computer in the studio. It's playing, I don't have to do anything, but I somehow hit the wrong part of the touch screen and .... no more pre-game.  I'm kinda surprised I didn't have nightmares about this too.  We're ten minutes into a 20 minute segment. If it were on reel, I could have started it up again, but now I can only restart a digital file from the beginning - not gonna work. And I am NOT the one to jump on the air and talk extemporaneously about the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks either! So I did the only thing I could think to do ... I rolled our Tiger Shark music bed - Theme from Jaws. Over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Fortunately I think everyone was watching the TV broadcast. The phone didn't ring once, until after we were simulcasting the tv audio, when the boss called and said 'what the hell happened?" :g

 

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22 minutes ago, Captain Howdy said:

I can't listen to AM "news" radio for more than the length of one segment, i.e. ~15 minutes? -- and that's assuming they're talking about a fairly objective issue and not screaming about Demonrats eating babies. I cannot understand how a business model that delivers more commercials than content survives. For news I listen to my local public radio station, which is far from seamless. It's not uncommon for KPBS to go silent for so long that I turn off the radio before the problem has been fixed.

Oh, TALK radio. Hate it with a passion. KRLD is news, weather, traffic, stock market, etc. No raving lunatics of any ideology.

It's basically old school Top 40 radio minus the music, and it's as tight as the proverbial gnat's ass. In times of uncertainties like our current weather/ power fuckedness, it's soothing in a way. Predictable texture, varying detail, the only time it can get kinda wild is during a tornado, and that's ok. 

Otherwise, it's the kind of drone that you can use when you need a distraction and good information at the same time.

Also keep in mind that Dallas is the alleged birthplace of actual Top 40 radio, Gordon McLendon, KLIF, the mighty 1190. And then, the vomitous but powerhouse KVIL-FM, the station that you would here somewhere, whether you wanted to or not. So this tow has a REALLY well-entrenched knowledge base of how that shit works, how it's built. I've just never realized until now how KRLD is doing it with a non-music format.

Believe me, these motherfuckers are TIGHT!!!!

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Oh, we have more than a few of those...yuck. But KRLD is not one of them.

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1 hour ago, Captain Howdy said:

I didn't know such a thing still existed. I assumed all AM stations had been taken over by the right wing. Here in San Diego KOGO calls itself "news radio" but hosts Rush, Hannity, and other lesser known conservatives. They've also hosted Coast to Coast AM for years, which I realize now seeded the ground for QAnon through decades of outlandish conspiracy theories. 

KYW in Philly is pure news/weather/sports/traffic, no talk show anything.  And they do a great job, and tight as described by Jim.

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RIP Ronnie. There was a real voice there.

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RIP Ronnie.  Glad you escaped the talented monster and went on to an interesting life.

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