This is where we swap war stories. Every month we will post a new radio story as told by the radio personalities who lived them.
(Stations listed are not necessarily the personality's current place of employment.
These stories were collected over several years.)
This Month’s True Radio Story...
Glenner Anderson, KXLR FM, Fairbanks, AK
Over 30 years I have had the privilege of working with some radio legends here in Alaska. The great Bill Walley was one of them. He was not only our GM and host of KFAR AM's "Problem Corner" a local talk show (still on the air after 40 years), but he was also the Mayor of Fairbanks. He told us of a classic AM radio stunt in the late 60's at our local state fair here in Fairbanks.
KFAR 660AM broadcast live on location where they had a helicopter which was to drop $1200 in cash down to the listeners who had gathered in the area at the fairgrounds. As Lee Russell broadcast the event live, the door of the chopper opened and they started shaking out the cash from a bag. Well, the vortex of the chopper blade scooped the money up instead of dropping it down, and the cash that was not immediately shredded in the blades caught a thermal and drifted out over the hills near the fair grounds. Not a single dollar bill landed at the Fair. Lee Russell was speechless for the first time in his long radio career.
Then there's the time we brought up strippers to dance naked on the Mayors counter during his talk show while we were on the air on KWOLF fm next door... but that's a whole other story...
Last Month’s True Radio Story ....
Roberta Gale, evenings, Jersey 101.5, New Jersey
When I was working in Cleveland on the WMMS Buzzard Morning Zoo with Jeff and Flash in 1988 we decided to do a wacky stunt for Groundhog's Day. I was going to dress up in a groundhog suit and then come up out of a manhole in the street and announce whether or not I could see my shadow.
Well, first of all, finding a groundhog suit was a story in itself. I had to call every costumer and theatrical supply company in the tristate area before I finally came up with a beaver suit. Well, okay, it's the same as a groundhog except for the tail - so we snapped it up. The morning of February 2nd I got in the suit and went downtown with a microphone wired on me to broadcast back to the station. Well the first problem was the manhole itself. It was so small I could hardly squeeze in, what with my tail and all. Then I started to get claustrophobic. It was dark and scary down there with very little air. And after I pulled the manhole cover back over me it was so heavy I wasn't able to lift it up! I kept telling myself to concentrate - this is just one of those things that you have to do that you can get through if you just make up your mind - it'll all be over soon enough.
So the guys come out of their record and I hear them say, "Okay, now lets go to Roberta who's going to emerge from beneath the ground to tell us if she sees her shadow..." Drum roll.
I started sweating. I couldn't move the manhole cover! I felt like I was going to pass out. All I could do was utter a few weak, "Helps." I was so embarrassed thinking how this must sound over the air. Fortunately the guys cut away and I managed to choke out that somebody from the station better come save me. When our promotion guy finally got there, he pulled off the manhole cover and tried to get me out. I thought I was finally home free until I realized I was stuck in the hole! The darn beaver suit was all bunched up around my butt and I was totally wedged into the hole. Now every Groundhog's Day is a humiliating reminder of the awful stunt that was, unfortunately, my idea in the first place.