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Re: Globe on John Garabedian
> During the John H regime, WMEX also did cool things like: Took live
> requests on rainy days for all songs about rain; Played the 'long
> versions' and album cuts; Played two in a row without interruption
> (Mixing/blending songs? Very FM!). Meanwhile, WRKO was just playing
> "The Hits." It was all short-version, pitched-up, repetitive music.
> There was no personality - except for Dale Dorman.
With all due respect, I worked at WRKO from April Fools Day, 1970
thru January 17th, 1973. And during that time, the records on WRKO were
not sped up. The turntables were standard Radio Station Turntables
(QRK?) felt-topped, machined metal platter with a recessed surface and
built-in center spindle for 45's, rubber idler-puck driven with standard
motors & shafts. 45's were played live or put on cart if they only had
one copy. LP cuts were all on cartridge.
Yes, they played the short versions - as supplied by the record
compnies. Except of course for that fateful Thursday afternoon when
Johnny Williams was doing the New Top 30 Countdown and "Are You Ready"
by PG&E debuted as a Hitbound. The Music Director had not put white
chalk marks in the grooves on the 6:00+ side to indicate DO NOT PLAY.
Of course, the tech just happened to play the LOOOONG side. This
occurred at least 90 minutes into the show and trying to make up 3:00
minutes in a tight format and a full spot load was almost next to
impossible - Williams (who prided himself on starting at 3:00.000 and
ending at 6:00.000 precisely was not a happy camper.)
On a humourous note, Ken Rapoza created an extended version of a Redbone
song by taping and splicing. No extra stuff or sound effects, just
longer. Dale Dorman played it to see if he could get away with it. The
cart was labelled "Longbone". WMEX caught wind of this (probably while
listening) and gave the CBS/Epic rep hell for holding out on an
exclusive. Of course the rep had no clue and called RKO to find out
what was going on. The PD (either Mel or Scotty) called Dale and the
other jocks on the carpet and the engineering manager gave us techs a
good dressing down for this "dastardly act." Of course, we were all
As for repetitive, they averaged 17 (or less if there was news) songs an
hour - of which 2 were oldies. The playlist was 30 + (1 to 3
hitbounds). To the best of my knowledge, there were no songs slated for
more frequent play than others. The jocks had to cross off each song
(when played) on a copy of the playlist. So a song would normally
rotate about every two hours. The only exception that comes to mind was
one or two songs that Dale Dorman was not allowed to play - a Scotty
Brink story for another time. So, if once every two hours is (was)
repetitive, then yes, they were.
As to personality, well each jock had his own personna, but most did
stick to the liners pretty faithfully (Dale being the impish exception.)
One jock used to actually hand-write (on 3x5 file cards) what he was
going to say the next time he cracked the mike. The file card got lost
in a pile of papers on his worktop and he actually couldn't utter a
sound when it was his turn to talk. Funny and sad at the same time.
Of course, when Jerry Morgan decided on a Saturday night (I was running
the board) to break format and go very FM'ish (the result of many "what
I would do if I were PD" evening conversations with two of his fellow
jocks at their Framingham apartments) - well the results were quite
catastrophic - and that's a story for another time.
Roger "I have SO MANY stories" Kirk
Perhaps I should write a book<g>