Wednesday, January 09, 2013
R.I.P. Bill Mouzis
He was the production director for 93/KHJ Boss Radio back in the ‘60s. Today we have audio editing programs on our computers and can do multi-tracks, sound effects, equalizing, reverb, any number of tricks with just a click of a mouse. Back then it was a couple of old reel-to-reel tape recorders and a razor blade. Yet, Bill’s promos sounded better and more complex with antiquated facilities than any of today’s whiz-bang high tech digital productions.
One of the hallmarks of KHJ was their creative contests. And even more creative promos. A three-man team collaborated on them. Creative genius Ron Jacobs conceived and wrote the spots, Robert W. Morgan voiced them, and Bill Mouzis assembled them. He laid in music, effects, added drama and distinction to them. They were better than any Madison Avenue commercial.
And in 1968 he was given an added assignment. In addition to the :30 seconds promos he made (that took all day), he was asked to produce a radio special that would be 48 hours in length. Incredibly, under adverse working conditions, and an absurd deadline, Bill Mouzis put together the KHJ “History of Rock n’ Roll.” Imagine someone said to George Lucas, “Here’s a movie camera that was used in 1930, $500, and no sets. We want you to make STAR WARS in two weeks.” That was Bill’s challenge with the History of Rock n’ Roll. He organized thousands of hours of interviews, laid the narration over the music, and created special elements like music montages and time sweeps. I still don’t know how he did it.
He was also a wonderful, kind man. On several occasions he sat in a booth at Nicodell’s restaurant and patiently advised and encouraged a certain wide-eyed callow college geek.
Bill passed away this week. He was a decorated World War II veteran, a loving husband and father, concerned citizen (his Op-Ed pieces ran regularly in the LA Times), and dear friend for well over 40 years. He touched the lives over everyone he met. I will miss him greatly. Bill was 90, and yes, that’s a good long run, but I feel cheated that he didn’t reach the big 93.