I’ve known radio announcers who weren’t fond of the music their stations played.
Country DJ’s who didn’t like country music. Adult contemporary jocks who were rockers at heart and suffered through every second of every Celine Dion song (I feel your pain!).
Why did they do it?
It was a job. Either they were desperate enough to take whatever on-air position came their way, or it was in a desired city or town. Or a step up to a bigger market.
I love the music I play on the Rock and Roll Riot. When I hear it on 97.7 the Beach, or Swisssh Radio, or Radio That Doesn’t Suck, I play air guitar to the riffs and solos of Chuck Berry, Dick Dale and Link Wray. I drum on the arms of my Lazyboy in rhythm with Ringo, Earl Palmer and D.J. Fontana.
And I am grateful for that opportunity.
Go back five years and there I was having beers at Wild Wing in Wasaga Beach with two of my co-workers at the time, operations manager Rick Ringer and Doug Trenter from our sales department. Rick said he wanted to put a rock and roll oldies show on our station and a light bulb switched on in my head. More of a stadium light actually, reminiscent of the final scene in “The Natural” where Roy Hobbs hits the ball into the light standard way above the bleachers and everything explodes like fireworks.
“I want to host it!”
And, a few months later, I did. The first show was rushed to air, four hours of Chuck, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Stray Cats….and….some punky stuff I found on myspace back when bands on that site had free downloads. My very first show actually had a song by a group called Orbo & the Longshots that contained the line, “a piece of shit.”
Luckily no one else caught that, and Orbo was quietly deleted from the playlist.
What was then called The Roots of Rock and Roll survived.
From Sunday nights to Tuesday nights. To Saturdays at 5. To cancellation. To internet radio (thanks to Rob at Swisssh, and Todd at RTDS) and back to 97.7 due to the great taste of program director Rod West.
In the words of Loverboy, I am loving every minute of it. Hmm…what tune should I close this week’s show with? The Swingin’ Neckbreaker’s version of Berry’s “I Wanna Be Your Driver?”
Johnny rocks Tyler County, West Virginia on…
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