September 1, 2013

Studio secrets shared

Music has magic to soothe the savage breast. I wasn’t the first to say that, but for me and many others, it’s as right as rain. 

Having listened to and performed music in various venues before moving to Plattsburgh in 1961, it became part and parcel of my body and soul. And being on the radio until 1997, I got to share live and recorded music with many of you and your friends. 

When I worked at both Plattsburgh radio stations, some bands came right to the studios to do their thing. In those days, a few listeners still believed all music was live. I suppose that harks back to the time when you could flick on your Philco radio and listen to the Glen Miller Band live from the Glen Island Casino. For many years, I had to make announcements to let my audience know that “Portions of this program have been prerecorded.” Can you believe it?

Some of the musicians whom I was privileged to introduce are still alive, but most have put away their fiddles, mandolins, guitars and juice harps. I cherish those days when there was a musical group in every neighborhood bar and club. 

It was my great pleasure to stand or sit before a microphone and invite radio listeners to hear live rock ‘n’ roll bands at a wonderful place called Rollerland in Plattsburgh. I’m certain we broke all fire codes when we jam-packed the place for the likes of Tommy Roe, Brian Highland and Linda Scott, along with all the local and regional groups. I’ve managed to remain in touch with many of them over the past 50 years or so.

I was delighted when various unknown artists or their representatives would come to the radio station and ask my opinion of their music. I was fortunate to have been the first DJ on the planet to spin records by some who went on to fame and fortune. Tom and Harry Chapin are perfect examples. I cherish letters from several others who remembered my modest contribution and thanked me for helping. Many fine musicians came to us via the U.S. Air Force and the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. 

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