26 June 2007

I see Debbie's and raise her one

Kate/Susan's post today quickly calls to mind a nice "Oops!" of my own a number of years ago.

At least her co-worker's, ummmmm, "famous" comment was contained to those present at their party.

Mine was on the radio.

It was some time in the Fall of 1989, and I was working middays for a small AM station in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The format was a mixture of adult contemporary and oldies. The station (KOTN -- "Cotton", get it?) in much earlier and better days was a blazin' little top-40 owned by the late Buddy Deane, former Baltimore TV dance party emcee ("Corny Collins" in Hairspray was based on Deane's show). In its prime, KOTN was one of the best small-market hit music stations in the country.

Yeah, a station like that in a place like Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Imagine that.

Well, those days were distant images in the rear-view mirror by the time I graced "the Cotton Controls." I was playing half-baked Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and other nice paleo-Delilah oatmeal .... and mixing in as many '60s and '70s oldies as I could get away with. Many of them the original, cue-burnt promo 45 singles that the original KOTN Good Guys played back when they were celebrities to Jefferson County's teens. Hell, I used the same Gates "Yard" console .... and, heavens-to-mergatroid, the same friggin' Russco "Cuemaster" turntables. The jingles were circa-1978. It was as if nothing in that place had changed since Buddy sold the station earlier in the decade.

Well anyway, I made my unfortunate faux pas when I hit the switch for the left Cuemaster 'table, starting a decrepit 7-inch specimen of The Capitols' 1966 hit song "Cool Jerk." And over the gobs of cueburn and the song's intro ramp I said the following:

"10:57 from KOTN, as we jerk ourselves up to ABC news at 11 with THE CAPITOLS....."

I closed the mic. It took about five seconds before I realized just what I said. Ohhhhhhh, shit.

The Grofe-like "Hee haw" music cue from A Christmas Story filled my head.

My (relatively short) broadcast career was flashing before my eyes. Did anybody call? Hell, no. Did the station manager catch it? Nope, he was out of town. The music director? She was holed up in production.

The truth is, I got away with it. But it was also a cold reminder of the reality of KOTN Radio in 1989: nobody listened to that station after morning drive. I was certainly no celebrity! During the rare giveaways, I'd open the phones for the third caller, and numbers 1, 2 and 3 would be the same person!!

"Here, David, just have every (BLEEP)damned TCBY waffle-cone coupon we have. And take a stack of these free Big Mac vouchers, while you're at it. I'm grateful for my audience of one."

Ahhhhhhh, memories, light the AM dial of my mind.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Pine Bluff, Struttin' Our Stuff" Gleck


Kate/Susan said...

That was a good one! hehehehe And on the radio no less!!!

nettiemac said...

I am trying very hard not to guffaw out loud at work........ do you know how hard that is?