Has it Really Been 44 Years? My God it Has!
Another radio milestone was passed by yours truly Saturday as I moved past the 44 year mark of being behind the microphone. I am so blessed that I have survived all the changes that have been thrown at me, especially of late. I can’t take credit for it all as there have been plenty of “go-to” people to help along the way.
July 21, 1974 is a day I will never forget as this wide eyed radio wannabe sat behind the microphone for the first time. The radio station was KIEE in Harrisonville, Missouri in the Kansas City Metro area. My heart rate was through the roof when I uttered my first words to the world through that microphone. I have never forgotten that either. That’s why I appreciate those who are a little intimidated by doing so when they join us on the air now.
Getting the job was interesting too. KIEE was a brand new station and I wanted that job. I pestered the owner, Arnie Wilson, numerous times about working for him. I showed up at his house several times during the building of the station just to get updates and let him know I was still interested.
The day finally came to announce who would be on the staff. I held my breath because there were several “experienced” announcers who had applied as well. Then Mr. Wilson called me and said he was going to give me a chance. All the daily radio practicing in my basement was about to become the real thing.
In the 44 years that have followed, I have done just about everything a guy in radio could do. I always get asked what’s the one thing you have enjoyed doing in radio? It is a simple answer for me. It's the sports play-by-play. I don’t do it anymore, but I loved every minute of it and I do miss it (although I do it in my head every time I am at a game). People don’t have any idea how much work goes into a game broadcast to make it sound good.
I am truly blessed to be doing what I wanted to do as a kid. I consider myself a survivor in this crazy business and I have the listeners like you and Mr. Arnie Wilson (God rest his soul) to thank for that. How long will this ride last? I will say this. I am at the point where I can see the end of the ride. And what a ride it has been!