Jesse Helms died today. He was the very conservative former senator from North Carolina.
Back in 1972 I was working as a disk jockey at WBT, the 50,000 watt AM station in Charlotte, NC. This was a wonderful, old line station. Under one roof we had an AM, FM, TV and separate video and audio production companies. There were few stations like it then–certainly none like that now.
One day an open call came from Jeffersonics, the audio production house. A political spot was being cut and they needed a voice. Everyone was encouraged to read.
I don’t have now and certainly didn’t have then “pipes,” but I went nonetheless and read. As I remember, the spot paid $800, or a month’s pay for me. That was quite the incentive.
I didn’t get the job. It went to Jack Petry, our midday man with a voice so deep he once told me he couldn’t be heard over a vacuum cleaner!
The three words Jack read: “Nixon needs Helms.” In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t get it.