Wednesday, May 18, 2005

My First Post

Here we go! Today I, Kevin Meeks, enter the world of Blog. (it almost sounds like something from "Lord of the Rings" or "Star Wars")
Perhaps there is some significance in the timing.
In 1977 we got a glimpse of a possible future with "Star Wars" and now fans are flocking to the que for the sixth and final installment.
We have the ability to communicate, with our fellow human beings, like never before and that is reality, not science fiction. Blogging is one of the latest. So, enjoy, fellow Earthlings, we have arrived at The Future.

I am going to the midnight "Star Wars" show, tonight, with Josh, and we will report on it on Thursday morning's show.

Join us at Tinseltown, if you can grab a ticket, it is definitely the hottest ticket in town.

The end of this month (28th) marks my 9-year anniversary with WJBO. Somewhere in mid-June marks 30-years ON THE AIR in Baton Rouge. I started in 1975 at WLCS, the Big Win 9-10 (pronounced "nine-ten") as a part-time announcer and full-time transmitter watcher.

Back in those days radio stations employed people to sit at the transmitter location and keep an eye on the equipment. That was a requirement of the FCC, but right about the time I got the job WLCS was about to begin "remote" operation, whereby the disc jockey, at the dowtown studio, could monitor the transmitter, remotely.

My transmitter-watcher-job consisted of keeping watch over the 1,000 watt transmitter, located on Groom Road in Baker. (I haven't been up there in a while, but understand that it is a Wal Mart, now)

My main job was to take meter readings every three hours. I had to enter them into a log under my signature. (I wonder where all of those logs are, now?)
If some sort of a problem developed, it was my duty to either fix it, or locate someone who could as I was licensed by an agency of The Federal Government. (FCC)

BUT, one night a week (I think it was Sunday night/Monday morning) I was the disc jockey for the overnight show. The downtown studio would close-down every night at midnight and the overnight show, on WLCS, was done from the transmitter building in Baker. We had a small studio set-up complete with tape machines and turntables for the 45s.

I remember the first song I played. "Love Will Keep Us Together" by The Captain And Tennille, which ended up being one of the biggest songs of 1975.

At midnight I relieved a fellow transmitter watcher named Jeff Hedgeman. Being new to the radio, I had never seen the name Tennille before, so I asked Jeff how to pronounce it. He was a veteran, after all. He told me it was pronounced "ten-AY-uh." He was wrong, of course.

But, I spent my first nights, on the air, on Baton Rouge's top-rated radio station, WLCS, mispronouncing the name. Maybe that is why I need to look things up for myself today.

I miss that old building, a concrete blockhouse in the middle of a cow and horse pasture, surrounded by four red and white radio towers.

Eventually I moved to the downtown studio, on the 24th-floor of One American Place with a huge picture window looking west, over the Mississippi River. That was my favorite studio, no question about it.

Future postings will have more stories from my early days on Baton Rouge radio.