Adventures at WKAZ-AM and FM
by Robert W. Lilley -- Visit www.bemorehealthy.com
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graduated from South Charleston High School in the Spring of 1959, but
not before some wonderful times at Charleston, WV radio stations WGKV-AM,
WHMS-AM and finally WKAZ AM/FM. The move from WHMS was not out of dissatisfaction,
as I remember it now. Rather I saw interesting people, equipment and a
TV opportunity down the street at WKAZ, since the Charleston studios of
Huntington's WSAZ-TV were co-located with WKAZ. I actually did a tiny bit
of TV floor-manager duty, and learned a bit about video production and
camera work, but it was mostly radio.
graduation, it was off to the University of Illinois, where I parlayed
all this experience into a position with the campus closed-circuit station
WPGU, and later attempted to start a similar operation at Ohio University
in Athens, but ran into campus committee opposition. More learning...but
that's a whole other story. (The Ohio University dormitory radio system
was later created by others, and it became quite successful.)
except for a lot of memories of those first jobs, and those good friends,
that was the end of the radio career. It was on to electrical engineering
and other pursuits. But, I remember a number of people who took a chance
on a "green" kid and in the process enriched his growing-up process significantly.
guys and ladies.
-- Santa Barbara,
CA, July 3, 2001
the time I arrived, the station was finishing up a studio rework. Click
on the thumbnail to see it better.
young RWL moved right in! Always liked those 77DX mikes -- great sound.
I presumed to think I needed some publicity shots. A WSAZ-TV photographer
(Emil Varney) took the shots you'll see here. Wow, can't believe I was
ever that young!
just have to love those old 16" turntables! This was a state-of-the art
Gates console, with RCA turntables. Had a couple of small Ampex reel-to-reel
tape units off to the left, and a couple Ampex 300-series REEL to REEL
(!) units in the room also.
include this shot to emphasize the benefits of renovation! This was the
old announce booth. Dial phone, ashtray, cough switch, and in the background,
a disk recorder. Yep, it's real, and we used it for cutting spots or voice
tracks. Bob Turley would put crazy voices and sound effects on disk for
his morning show.
announcer schedule for the week July 5, 1959. Note Jim Tuverson (Jim Taylor
on the air). Ran into him by phone in Los Angeles (Hollywood), probably
in the 1980s, where he was running satellite operations for a communications
outfit. Notice the "kid" got the early weekend hours and the late weekday
shift... builds character...
staffers - Page 1. Click on the photo to enlarge. "Katie's Kitchen" was
a favorite program, produced at our Charleston studio. Food under hot lights.Everything
live. I don't think videotape was a factor at all back then. Maybe kinescopes?
Page 2. These people really made the job fun, and they taught me a lot
about radio, about people and about what was important. Professionals every
some miscellaneous scrapbook material. Note the center label for the locally-recorded
disks, and its WSAZ logo. I wonder if they had one of those recorders at
WSAZ in Huntington also, or if they "transferred" it to us?
one of Varney's publicity shots, just to prove they would let me get that
close to an image orthicon camera.