Robert Lilley's Adventures at WKAZ-AM and FM
Charleston, West Virginia, 1959-ish
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Stationery I 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.

After 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.)

So, 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.

Thanks, guys and ladies.

Bob Lilley -- Santa Barbara, CA, July 3, 2001
About the time I arrived, the station was finishing up a studio rework. Click on the thumbnail to see it better.
Radio Days
...and 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!
You 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. 
Control Room
Old Announce Booth
I 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.
An 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...
WKAZ 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?
...and 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 one.
Staffers Again
Just 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?
Another one of Varney's publicity shots, just to prove they would let me get that close to an image orthicon camera.