Saturday, May 25, 2013

My brief stint on KRTH 101

By short I mean two shifts. I was the emergency fill-in guy for one weekend in the spring of 2007. These were my first disc jockey shows in like fifteen years, and I haven't done one since. So I must have really impressed them. But I've had a lot of requests for this from radio freaks so on this holiday weekend I thought I'd post it.  I'm a little hesitant though.  You commenters have been particularly surly lately.  But what the hell?  I can take it.

Some things to keep in mind:

I ran my own control board (for the first time since 1983).  Imagine coming in off the street and piloting the Starship Enterprise.

All the elements were on computer and I had never worked with a computer before.  One wrong click and I'm playing a newscast from four months ago.

The music was all pre-programmed. We had to follow the song order precisely. I accidentally deleted five songs. I don't know if "Wedding Bell Blues" has ever played on that station again.

I also screwed up and played the same commercial three times in one spot break. I just kept hitting the wrong key.  And it was for some hard sell local car dealer too.  I probably lost 90% of my audience.

The bathroom was outside in the hall but you needed a key to get back in. No one ever gave me a key so I was on the air from 7-midnight and couldn't use the bathroom. By 10:00 I was not just hopping to the music.

Still, it was great fun being on a major heritage Los Angeles radio station, even for one weekend.

22 comments:

Jim said...

What fun! I hear you about how much the gig has changed over the years. I did some part-time small-market work in the early 90s, with carts, and CDs in these sleeves that kept us clumsy DJs from scratching them all to heck, and a reel-to-reel for recording calls. Then about six years ago I was eyeing a part-time gig in a much larger market. I got as far as talking to the PD at the station, and was blown away by how everything was on hard drives. There was even this slick little bit of software that showed waveforms of phone calls and all I had to do was drag across the part I wanted to air.

Paul B said...

Anyone notice the "Boss Angeles" you slipped in?

John Leader Alfenito said...

Takes major cojones to post that clip, Ken. I can't even imagine trying to go back on the air at this point.
Did Beaver Cleaver know you did this?

Jack Friday said...

Great stuff. I needed to hear that voice...it's been a long time since I last did during the KYA days for Beaver. By the way, I too am a 2 shift fill in wonder on KRTH.

GJ Goldwyn said...

I thought you did a great job, as always. You taught me most of what I know about radio. -Dr. Greg Chihuahua Martinez. 1090 XePRS

Wayne from Maine said...

Your to modest, Ken. It was a "Legends of L.A., weekend" on the station, that weekend.
I recorded it off the internet stream that night. Then, I sent it off to Matt, at bigappleairchecks.com. it may be up on the sight.
If anybody wants a copy, let me know, I'll throw it up on sendspace.com, and you can download it.

Sorry, Ken! "radio freak" right here, in the front row!!! LOL

Charlie O'Brien said...

Kudos. Excellent fill-in shift. Not easy to jump in after a 2 hr training session. One of my fave stations when visiting L.A. Though I got to work on The Big 8 Detroit and 1050CHUM Toronto, I always thought Kearth101 would be the cool call letters I'd want to say as well. Bravo Ken.

mike bell said...

You're hired. Be sure to pick up you're paperwork from Ruth in HR before you head out. By the way, can you work overnight on Memorial day?

Johnny Walker said...

Damn, I'd listen to this every week! Hilarious!

Johnny Walker said...

Make that every night.

Stu Shostak said...

Excellent, excellent, excellent! It's the 1970s all over again; the only thing missing was "I'm Beaver Cleaver"...and BTW, I will always have a much higher voice than yours.

Phil In Phoenix said...

I love the fact that, with all the incredible success you have had in your life...all the worldwide exposure...all the more-than-comfy sums of money...you still were excited and thrilled to take 2 fill-in shifts doing what you started out doing on a station that meant so much to you in your youth.

And you did good too!

That all is what makes life great!

VP81955 said...

For several years beginning in 1998, every Memorial Day, WABC in New York returned to its legendary Top 40 roots, playing vintage airchecks (plus the music) every hour from its legendary jocks such as Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, Harry Harrison and others. Does anyone know if it will it be doing that this year?

estiv said...

Listening to this confirms something I've long suspected: you're a born smart-ass, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. As Lloyd Price would say, you've got personality.

Anonymous said...

Man, you still suck. Good baseball announcer, but without your connections, I think the Top 40 career would have been even more brief.

Max Hammer

Mark P. said...

Awesome, Ken. Radio like I remembered it, including hitting the post.

@VP - Repeats of WABC Rewound will be broadcast on the web this year. Details over on the New York Radio Message Board.

Bobby rich said...

I especially enjoyed hearing you back-to-back with Charlie Van Dyke. "Misproving" theory that "all dj's sound alike"

Yah Shure said...

You are forever my hero if "Brown Eyed Girl" was among the five songs you "whoopsied" into oblivion.

I'm not sure if I'd want to sit in the chair again after a 21-year absence. The hard-drive-crash nightmare would likely join "the record's running out and the other turntable has no stylus" in heavy dream rotation.

Julie Ann Sipos said...

I always pictured it like Frasier and there would be a Roz doing the heavy lifting, even at that hour. Also, who has been surly with you lately? Sheesh.

Paul Duca said...

Vince (VP81955), where have you been? I haven't been able to find Carole & Company in ages. As for your question, not on WABC--but go to www.musicradio77.com and they are streaming classic WABC airchecks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Ken. Great job on K-Earth 101! -Scott

VP81955 said...
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