Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Audition Tape from 1977

Here's a very unusual audition tape I made back in 1977. I made this while I was working as the Chief Engineer for WZUU-FM/AM in Milwaukee. I didn't really have my heart in that job. For one thing, I really missed working at my previous job, the legendary Buzzard, WMMS in Cleveland. I had been the assistant engineer there, working for a guy named Jim Somich, also known as The Pooh, and his boss, Tom Bracanovich.  I was also unhappy to be in a strange new city. But most of all, I had this burning desire to get back on the air somewhere and try to work my way up to Program Director of a real radio station.  

Unlike most radio audition tapes, this one contains a lot of music.  That's why it runs 21 minutes long!  But the concept worked.  I managed to get a job with this at the album rock station in town, 93QFM.  

Unfortunately, the job only lasted six months. I ended up out of work, and out of money. I moved back to Cleveland, cleaned up my act, and went back to radio engineering. I took the job as Chief Engineer at WZZP-FM and made up my mind to be one of the best radio engineers on the planet.  

After that, I went to M-105 in Cleveland for a while, then took a job back at WZUU in Milwaukee, working again for Malrite Broadcasting. This time, I rebuilt the FM studios and helped build an AM tower system and studios for 13Z, their oldies AM station. 

Later, Malrite sent me to New York City where I ended up in charge of the project to build Z-100.  

It's funny how you can take even the worst things life throws at you, learn from them, and go on to much better things.

If you take the time to listen to this, pay attention to the segues between songs.  I picked most of these up from a couple of my friends at WZUU, Jeff Peterson and Charlie McCarthy.  A lot of professional radio programmers will tell you that playing songs just because one sounds good blending into the next one is a really bad idea.  But I'm not so sure about that.  As long as the songs involved fit the format and help create a good overall mix, blend, and flow, I think it can help hold an audience longer.  Besides, it's really creative and a lot of fun!

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