Between 1978 and 1985, I worked for five radio stations in four Gulf Coast cities as a news director in the waning days of radio news departments. My fellow radio warriors and I covered everything from school board and city commission meetings to murders, hurricanes, and Presidential candidates (not to mention other disasters). With cassette recorders in hand, we recorded interviews and sent them back to the station over whatever telephones we could commandeer (pre-cell phones, of course) using “alligator clips” to transfer the signal. We would unscrew the mouthpiece of the phone and connect a wire from the recorder with clips to metal pieces in the handset and let it roll.
Rising before dawn even contemplated beginning a new day, we also delivered morning newscasts. We got up early to call police and fire departments, Coast Guard and ambulance dispatchers in search of new stories to broadcast. God bless a delightful dispatcher named Bea who worked for an ambulance company in Mobile. She would fill all us young news men and women in on anything that happened since 6:00 p.m. the previous day and we could then call the right agency (police, fire, etc.) for comments. She did this out of the goodness of her heart and she knew all of our voices and showed no favoritism between competing stations. She loved us all and WKRG, WMOB, WABB and WKSJ were never four-letter words to her.
Now, as a songwriter and performer, I am fortunate to find myself on the other end of the microphone occasionally. Believe me, it’s a lot more fun and the hours are much better! But I value my years in the broadcast trenches. The experience I got interviewing others has helped me prepare better to answer questions and anticipate what’s expected by those kind enough to ask me to join them on the air. In the coming weeks, I’ll be on several radio stations to talk about my new CD, The Americana Boogie. You can listen to most of them online and most will include live performances of my new songs. The dates and links are listed below and I hope you’ll tune in.
Thank you for following my music and special thanks to all of these very nice hosts and stations for asking me to join them. To paraphrase broadcaster Charles Osgood, I’ll see you on the radio and the Internet.
Upcoming radio/internet shows, links, details:
Nov. 26, 8:00 a.m. (CST) WSM AM 650, Nashville Listen online at www.wsmonline.com Les joins Bill Cody and Charlie Mattos for Coffee, Country and Cody.
Nov. 27 4:30 p.m. (CST) WAMB AM 1200, FM 99.3, Nashville Les joins Dave Eastman on the air (no internet link)
Dec. 3 4:00 p.m. (CST) WRFN FM 107.1, Nashville Radio Free Nashville presents the Haggard and Haggard Radio Hour. Les will guest-host with Steve Haggard. Listen online at www.radiofreenashville.org
Dec. 7 10:00 a.m. (CST) KiX 96 FM, Centerville, TN The Grinders Switch Radio Hour, a live concert-style performance, will feature Les singing with a top-notch house band, the Grinders Switch Ensemble, in Minnie Pearl’s hometown. Listen online at http://grindersswitchhour.com/
Dec. 16 10:00 p.m. (EST), 9:00 p.m. (CST) WBWC FM 88.3 FM, Cleveland, OH Les joins Island Time Radio’s Dennis King via telephone. Listen online at www.wbwc.com
Dec. 19, 2013 Noon (EST), 11:00 a.m. (CST) WDVX FM 89.9 FM, Knoxville, TN
The Blue Plate Special is a live concert presented and broadcast daily from the Knoxville Visitors Center on WDVX. Attend in person (FREE!) or listen online at www.wdvx.com
Copyright 2013 by Les Kerr