My Radio Inspiration

bobby ocean kgbAs a kid I wanted to be a disk jockey. There was something about having anonymity and fame simultaneously that appealed to teenage Geoff. My chance came in 1969. I stayed in radio 11 years.

There were many inspirations: Dan Ingram and Brucie on WABC, Murray the K on WINS, Joey Reynolds, Danny Nevereth and Bud Ballou on WKBW, Shadoe Stevens, J.J. Jeffrey and Dale Dorman on WRKO.

I’m not sure any of them had the same impact as this single aircheck from KGB in San Diego. It was a station I’d never heard live.

This was the late sixties and the “Drake format” was taking hold. All of a sudden disk jockeys were given structure and rules. What should have held them back actually made them more “boss.” KGB was the perfect example.

The aircheck was assembled in the hopes of winning the annual Gavin Awards Station of the Year. I’m not sure who actually won, but this presentation is so indelibly etched in my psyche I can still recite it word-for word.

If you make it to the end, you’ll hear a ridiculous amount of 1968 dollars being given away!

TV Influenced Me Too Much!

It is possible to be brainwashed. It doesn’t take an evil force or captivity as a prisoner of war. It’s possible to be brainwashed by Million Dollar Movie. Sadly, I am living proof.

I remember the first time I went to a movie theater to see the classic Gone With the Wind. As the projector began to roll, “Tara’s Theme,” the iconic title music for GWTW started to play.

It was so familiar, though I’d never seen the movie.

“Holy crap,” I muttered to myself, “that’s the theme from Million Dollar Movie!”

How sad. One of the world’s most beloved movies was on the big screen and all I could think of was how they were ripping off the nightly movie on Channel 9.

Damn you WOR-TV – look how you’ve ruined me!

I watched Million Dollar Movie much too often in the 50s and 60s. Whereas kids today own a DVD and play it a hundred times, back then we depended on Million Dollar Movie, which would play the same flick day-after-day-after-day for an entire week.

I can still deliver lines from “Yankee Doodle Dandy&#185” right along with Cagney, though I probably haven’t seen the film is 40 years (until just now – bless you youtube)!

There’s a downside to all this. There are times I’ll have an experience or hear a phrase or see a name and all of a sudden I’m pulled back to Million Dollar Movie. I can’t help myself. It’s embarrassing.

It happened last week. I was in Dunkin’ Donuts getting some coffee. The woman who helped me wore a two line name tag: Aurora, manager.

A movie flashed before me. Then the syrupy harmony of a 1940’s sister act. It was Patty, Maxine and Laverne in tight harmony.

You’re a sweet heart in a million

Ha ha ha ha Aurora

With your manner so Brazilian

Ha ha ha ha Aurora

When you smile and call me honey

Ha ha ha ha Aurora

Is it me or just my money?

Ha ha ha ha Aurora

Yeah, right there at Dunkin’ Donuts I broke into an Andrews Sister song from 1941’s “Hold That Ghost,” an acting tour de force for Abbott and Costello! If I’ve seen that movie once, I’ve seen it a hundred times.

It is possible to be brainwashed. It doesn’t take a KGB agent or captivity as a prisoner-of-war. It’s possible to be brainwashed by Million Dollar Movie. Sadly, I am living proof.

How can I ever buy coffee again?

&#185 – Not a lot of dialog in that clip, but you’ve got to see Cagney dance down a flight of stairs.