On Our Anniversary, We’re On The Radio

Today is Helaine and my 24th wedding anniversary. That was reason enough to head to Milford, and the WPLR studios to join Chaz and AJ on-the-air.

Actually, the story begins in September.

Helaine and I were driving to Long Island to catch a plane for Florida and my mom’s birthday. Chaz and AJ were on the radio talking about marriage and anniversaries. I picked up my phone and dialed their number.

A few seconds later I was on-the-air, schmoozing away. The conversation was good – in other words, they let me have my way, telling any story I wanted and dominating the conversation.

Hey, I admit it.

Finally, they asked how long I’d been married. I told them 24 years as of November 24th.

A millisecond later, Helaine’s voice bellowed from the seat next to me. “26th, a**hole.”

OK, that’s probably not a good mistake to make. I have no excuses. Guys mostly understand. Women mostly don’t.

It was with that conversation in mind that Chaz and AJ invited us on this morning. Jesse, the producer, arranged for us to be on from 8-9:00 AM.

Helaine was nervous. She’d never been on-the-air. The closer we came, the more she dreaded her decision. She did what she could to guarantee they’d like her. She baked!

Early this morning, in the rain and gloom, we headed out. I carried “Clicky,” my camera. Helaine carried two trays of baked goods.

Trust me – Helaine’s baked goods are irresistible. Her cakes and cookies could easily diffuse tensions in the Middle East. And two disk jockeys? Please, they were on their way to being putty in her hands!

We headed up to the studio a little before 8:00. Chaz and AJ use three studios. Chaz is in one, with Billy Winn. AJ is in another. Producer Jesse is in a third.

It took Helaine a few seconds, but she quickly warmed up to be on the radio. She was dynamite. We retold most of our ‘standard’ fare: How I resisted commitment. How we negotiated a wedding date. How all men are pond scum!

All the good stuff is about my shortcomings.

It’s tough to tell, but I think we were a success. And, I think the radio bug spread a little from me to Helaine.

In the past we’ve discussed what it might be like to do a husband/wife morning show on-the-air. This was our chance to see if it had any promise at all. It does.

That’s not to say we’ll ever really do it, but it’s fun to think about. It’s certainly something that could be done without hurting my ‘day job.’

When our hour ended, I asked if we could have an aircheck. That disk should be coming within the next few days and we’ll have a better chance to assess exactly how we did.

No matter what, it was a lot of fun. And, though it might not sound romantic in the abstract, being with Helaine… having a good time… made it a perfect part of our anniversary celebration.

Blogger’s note: Earlier today, some of the photos posted on the site might not have been visible. If you ever run into empty boxes or other things that don’t look Kosher, would you please let me know?

Busy Day On The Radio

Our station’s promotion department was wondering, would I be able to go to WPLR and be on the radio with Chaz and AJ… and, oh – can you be there by 7:00 AM?

I so wanted to say “no,” but decided it was better to be a team player. Seven in the morning is early for lots of people, but I normally don’t wake up until the crack of noon. This would be way before my normal waking time.

I got home and went to sleep ‘early’ last night – around 1:00 AM. By 3:30, my body said, “nice nap” and I was awake. A little time on the couch, on my side and I was back to sleep until the alarm went off at 6:00 AM.

If you normally wake up that time of day, I do not envy you.

I hit the road by 6:30 and stopped at Starbucks before getting on the parkway. Memo to Starbucks: You are not Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m sure you’re nice people, good to your parents, but your coffee is too strong. Above and beyond that, I don’t want to have to say “grande” to get a medium&#185.

WPLR is located in a nice mid-rise office building in a quiet area in Milford. They are owned by Cox and share space with Star 99.9 and WYBC (though much of WYBC’s programming is syndicated and doesn’t originate in Connecticut).

The studios are very nice and modern. AJ and Chaz sat on opposite sides of the console with Chaz ‘driving.’ Billy Winn, who had come downstairs to let me in, was at a corner of the desk.

I’ve known Chaz for years since I used to go on his show over the phone when he did nights there. We sat and schmoozed for about an hour. I thought it went pretty well. During a break Helaine called to tell me if I wanted to sound hip, I’d need to stop making references to people who were famous forty years ago.

Why is she always right?

As is always the case when I’m in a studio, I became enamored with the freedom to speak your mind on the radio – especially morning radio. It’s not that I said anything profound or controversial. It’s just that I could say anything with little forethought.

When my hour was up, I took off the headphones, said goodbye and began to make my way out of the building. It was then I decided to see if I could have a “Bob Hope moment.”

Back in the Johnny Carson Tonight Show era, every once in a while, right in the middle of an interview, the band would begin to play “Thanks for the Memories” and Bob Hope would stroll out to the set. It wasn’t planned. Johnny never knew. If Bob was in the neighborhood, he had carte blanche to walk right in.

I walked into the Star 99.9 studio.

The morning show with john Harper and Randye Kaye was in progress. There was no “Thanks for the Memories,” but without missing a beat John started talking to me (even before Randye realized I was in the studio) and we were off to the races. I probably stayed for 15-20 minutes.

I’ll admit it. I’m still a sucker for radio. Heck, I would have walked into WYBC if not for the fact that Tom Joyner’s show comes from Chicago.

&#185 – Forcing me to speak your language also goes to the rootin’ tootin’ folks at Denny’s. Sorry.