Sunday, June 29, 2008

On The Air

Randy queueing up another great country hit at WFRB

Well, here is another oldie but goodie I dug up today. This picture was taken on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1974. Here we have a 21-year-old version of myself in the control room of radio station WFRB 560 AM and WFRB-FM 105.3 in Frostburg, Maryland. The station is located on top of Big Savage Mountain west of town, and due to its position on the dial, the station covers parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia.

This was at a time before Interstate 68 eased the trip up the mountain, and you had to take the steep US 40 up the mountain. Some nights coming home, the fog was so thick you would not be able to see more than 2 feet ahead of you, and one wrong path would take you down the side of the mountain. Wintertime was also a challenge, as the Maryland State Police would often close Route 40 in the area and you could not come up or down the mountain at all.

Dig those groovy glasses! And what about that rotary dial, six-button telephone? The main console is a Harris board if I recall correctly, complete with the old-style rotary pots (the round knobs on the main console, or potentiometers...basically glorified volume knobs to control and mix the various audio sources going out on the air). Then there's the copy book open on top of the console for commercials and announcements to be read live. Of course, there were several carts (stereo tape cartridges) stacked up that contained jingles, commercials, and other pre-recorded material. Music was actually played from vinyl on professional-grade turntables. MP3s? Shoot, we didn't even have MP1s!

Those were some great times!

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