Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tony Taeger

Back in 1972 as a freshman at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, Jim Byrne and Christopher Grover and I each had a radio shift at the college radio station WCMO. We all lived at 301 Parsons Hall.

The radio station studio was located in the basement of one of the older classroom buildings on campus. Back then they had these circular pieces of black vinyl with grooves in them called records. The records had a hole in the center which allowed the record to fit on a turntable. The turntable rotated around and around at a set speed of either 33.3, 45, or 78 rpms (revolutions per minute). While the record was spinning on the turntable you had to move an arm like fixture on the side of the turntable over the record and set this arm over the record where the needle at the end of the arm would touch the record and thus either music, speaking, or whatever was recorded on the record could be heard. Believe it or not there were not only no MP3 players at that time, there weren't even any compact disks.

Jim, Christopher Grover, and I each had memorable shows such as The Lutheran Hour, Symphony Hall, In the Bookstall, and other very popular radio classics. In addition to playing the assigned records we all had to check the teletype machine and compose a five minute news broadcast "hot off the press".

We would all listen to the radio shows that each of us had on the air. Jim, Christopher Grover and I decided that it would be fun to use fake names during our news broadcasts as a sort of inside joke. Thus, in my case, instead of saying that I was Rick Shaw; I said my name was Tony Taeger.

Not only was that fun: IT WAS GRRRRRREAT!!!