Peter Is Here–It’s Radio Days

IMG_0041Peter Mokover is in town. Sunday, he and Nancy came over. I invited a few others. Helaine prepared a feast.

It was radio days!

Peter has an unbelievable collection of great New York City radio moments on-tape. As a teen he was obsessed. He recorded WABC’s Dan Ingram show open and close EVERY day! He still has those recordings.

I remember a shelf in Peter’s apartment in Cherry Hill. Box-after-box-after-box of white 5″ audio tape. Nicely leadered. Peter had an archivist’s touch.

That wall is now a tiny piece of Peter’s hard drive. Properly cataloged in a tree like directory structure, Peter is no less obsessed than he was at sixteen.

He played a few airchecks today. These are recordings, often made in the studio, which only roll when the mic is on. No songs… except the opening and closing few seconds. You’re listening to the disk jockey.

We listened to the iconic news sounders WCBS used in the 70s and 80s. Then some jingles and more airchecks.

Peter and I were driven to get into radio. It was as if we had no free will. It sucked us in.

Radio’s not like that anymore. That’s a shame, because it used to be a fun way to earn a living.

Peter (never Pete, sometimes Petey–as his mom called him) was my boss in Philadelphia, though we first met in Cleveland. Peter showed me my first pocket calculator. He kept me company the night I got to fill-in on WNEW’s Milkman’s Matinee.

Once, in his office, he told me I should stop telling the jokes that weren’t funny. I’m sure I’ll get over that meeting at some point.

Tomorrow, armed with a trusty thumbdrive, I’ll clone that amazing collection. Life is good.