Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spoken Word Geek

Spoken Word Geek
Tuesday 05-11-2010 10:46am PT
How did I come to be on the radio? It's in my blood. I grew up listening to the radio. I had hit records back in the 80's because of radio. I am a real radio junky. Oh, and by the way, I love my job. The hours are brutal but the rewards are great and I feel like we have a special relationship. Being on the radio is a privilege. It's sacred. I can't believe I've been here for over 13 years. I'm truly a lucky guy.

But what about my background? It's in music, right? Well, sort of...

When I was a kid I had a cheap little tape recorder that I got for Christmas one year and I used to make fake radio shows with my cousin. I understand those tapes still exist somewhere.

I grew up a spoken word geek. What's a spoken word geek? Well, I used to get spoken word records out of the library and take them home and pour over them. They had mostly poetry- TS Elliot, Dylan Thomas, E.E. Cummings, Carl Sandburg, and such. You had to be there...

When I got a little older I discovered a guy on the radio who used to broadcast from New York on station WOR every night. His name was Jean Shepherd and he was a monologist. He's the guy who wrote A Christmas Story. Well, Jean Shepherd was a legendary radio personality and basically invented talk radio. He told autobiographical stories. That's it. He just told stories. I loved the guy. Used to listen every night in my room.

Then a friend turned me onto Lord Buckley- the father of hip talk. There are no words to describe Lord Buckley- you just have to experience it. People tell me my own radio style is somewhat influenced by Lord Buckley. I don't know. Check out Lord Buckley.

I had a cousin who owned a Ken Nordine Word Jazzalbum and it blew my socks off. Ken Nordine had a voice for the ages and some of his classic bits- like Flibbity-Jib, and Reaching Into In- are still as fresh as the day they were recorded.

And then there was Lenny Bruce. Lenny influenced my whole generation of comics and DJ's. Lenny's voices were incredible. He was cutting edge for his day. I remember seeing him on TV once and really being impressed. Religions Incorporated and Thank You Masked Man are hall of fame quality bits. Lenny was cut from a different cloth.

So, if you want to know my major radio influences, they are: Jean Shepherd, Lord Buckley, Ken Nordine, and Lenny Bruce.

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