What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up

webcor tape recorderLooking back on my childhood it seemed inevitable I’d get into broadcasting as an adult. My parents tell me (I barely remember) I used to interview people on my father’s Webcor tape recorder–an unusual luxury in our tiny apartment in Brooklyn and nearly as tiny apartment in Queens.

That’s a picture of the exact model we had, including the blinking green eye which showed volume! Thank you Internet.

I became a disk jockey. That was not my first choice. I wanted to be a booth announcer.

Strange choice, right?

Back in the fifties all the booth work was done live. I’m not sure what about it appealed to me, but it did. They seemed official and grown-up.

Here’s an example of what I lusted after from one of the last network radio shows. I wanted to be the guy who comes in at eight seconds and says, “The CBS Radio Network presents The Stan Freberg Show.”

Unfortunately, my voice was much too thin and light for that kind of work. As I’ve grown older my voice has gotten deeper. When I entered radio it was high pitched.

It still seems like it would be fun. It’s just a job that doesn’t exist anymore.

4 thoughts on “What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up”

  1. That ‘green eye’ is an old vacuum tube device that used the voltage on an electrode to change the width of the green glow–a “Magic Eye’ tube. Many old radios used them as a tuning indicator.

    I bet the rest of the recorder is crammed with tubes as well.

    Had a very old Bell and Howell 10 inch reel-to-reel tape recorder that was all tubes…used it to record my High School band and chorus performances–at one point I wanted to be a “roadie” but outgrew that…

    Technology marches on…!

  2. I actually went to college majoring in broadcasting and media. I’d studied journalism in high school. Then we had those Synagog fires in West Hartford and the behavior of the reporters and media people really turned me off. I abandoned broadcasting and went into criminal justice. My goal was to protect people from hordes of reporters decending on their homes and neighborhoods after a tragedy.

  3. I had a Pent ron reel to reel I got from Montgomery Ward for $125.00. Took a weeks pay to order it. It wasn’t q very good recorder but it was better than the recorder my brother had that was a single track recorder. Mine was a dual track so I could turn it over and record on the other side. I recorded my 8th grade graduation rehearsal. I’ve recorded family members that are no longer with us. I recorded 50s music that was on TV and radio that doesn’t get any air play. It’s been a rewarding hobby. I’ve transferred many to CD for the family to have as a keepsake.

  4. I was a Media Studies major and worked at my college radio station. Now, I’m the voice of my office Automated Attendant. Not sure it’s the best segue in the world, but It’s something. (I’d still love to do some voice over work)

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