Some Radio Catastrophes We all Can Share!
Before computers took over most of the programming in radio, we had to rely on analog equipment and ourselves to produce a quality radio show. Way back when I was young in 1978, I got my first commercial radio job on a local FM station in Sussex County, NJ. All of the music was played on vinyl records located behind the turntables. Commercials, liners and jingles were played on tape cartridges located in a large carousel located next to one of the turntables.
I did the 11pm - 6am shift on the weekend. One evening, as I was playing the 12 inch single of Gloria Gaynor's I will Survive, the catastrophe struck. I always loved that song and wasn't paying attention\to the fact that I had a commercial break coming up. As the song was coming to an end, I started searching frantically for the commercials that I had to play. I spun the carousel wildly when suddenly the whole thing tipped over, dumping all of the cartridge tapes onto Gloria Gaynor on the turntable!! The record broke into a million pieces creating a large crash and scratching sound on the air! Needless to say Gloria Gaynor did not survive. Instead of trying to get something on the air, I began picking up the pieces in a total panic! There was dead air for about 3 minutes! Some phones lit up which I disconnected. I finally got something on the air so I continued cleaning up and placing the cartridge tapes back in the rack. It took at least an hour to regain my composure and my heart to stop racing. I was convinced that I was going to get fired. The only saving grace is that it happened at 2:00am. The Program Director was long gone and the owners were asleep...thank God! So began a 27 year career in radio! Fun times for all!!