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Friday, December 15, 2017

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I started my radio career at a little radio station about 40 miles from my hometown of Lafayette, Indiana. The station owner didnt like hiring guys from Lafayette because once he trained them, they always left for better jobs. The only reason he hired me was because he and Bob Vizza were friends, and Bob asked him to take a chance on me. I learned all the basics at that little station, but the owner always made me feel like I'd never amount to anything. He told me I might as well settle in and enjoy the gig, because nobody else would ever hire me. I put up with it for a long time because I didnt know any better.

In 1982, Don Payne was working at WXUS in Lafayette. On Sunday nights he hosted Amateur Hour where anyone off the street could come in and play disc jockey for an hour. I figured it was the only way I was ever going to get on the air in my hometown, and I wanted to be able to say I'd done it, even if it was just once. I sent my postcard to the station and a few weeks later, Don called and invited me to come in on Sunday night. I spent the rest of the week carefully choosing my music and planning my breaks. When Sunday night rolled around, I was as ready as I was ever going to be.

Don was impressed that I'd put so much thought into it. After I did my first break, Don looked at me and said "Dude, are you sure you've never done this before?" I came clean and told him my story. I was afraid he might be angry with me, but he just laughed and said "Man, the shit we do for radio, huh?"

Don told me that I was certainly good enough to work in Lafayette. He told me that he wanted to give a tape of my show to his boss, Stuart McRae, and that I should come to work at WXUS. Things didnt quite work out, but I kept trying anyway.

A few months later, Don left WXUS and went to WAZY to do the afternoon show. I called Don and asked him to put in a good word for me with the Program Director, Scott Dugan. Shortly after that, Scott invited me to come on board in December 1982. I've always felt like that was when my career in radio really began.

Don and I remained friends for the rest of his life. With the exception of Bob Vizza, nobody ever gave me as much encouragement as Don Payne. His passing leaves a void that can never be filled. Goodbye, my friend. I'll miss you and I'll never forget you.

Heres Don on WZPL Indianapolis:

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Shotgun Tom Kelly is in my opinion, the Greatest Top 40 Jock of All Time. Shotgun was and is the perfect marriage of sound, momentum, energy, and message. Check out this legendary clip from 1974.

Here is a link to Shotguns official website: http://www.shotguntomkelly.com/web/

Almost as much fun to watch as he is to listen to, heres a clip from Shotgun hosting The 70s at 7 on K-Earth 101.

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Dennis Risk, 55, of Lafayette, also known as the radio personality Fred Stuart, died on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010, at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. Born in Kokomo, Indiana on July 25, 1955, he was the son of the late Paul and Patricia Risk.

He was employed at WSHP-WBPE-WAZY Radio for the past 24 years, most recently as station manager for WSHP. He was an active member of Lafayette Business Group.

Fred and I worked together when he came to WAZY in the spring of 1986, and again when I returned to WAZY in 1999. He was an easy-going guy who got along with everyone. He was one of my all-time favorite production voices.

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Legendary San Francisco station celebrated its 20th anniversary as a hit music station in 1986 and brought back many of the jocks who'd worked there over the years. You'll hear folks like Dr. Don Rose, Bobby Ocean, and rhymin' Bill Lee. They share some great stories about the history of KFRC, including the KFRC jock who would do his show during the day and return to jail at night. Lots of great music clips too.

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This commercial ran on legendary Detroit Top 40 station WKNR "Keener 13" in 1967.

This particular Batmobile, one of the original 5 created by George Barris, was the drag strip version. It was billed as "the first ever appearance of the million dollar Batmobile".

Great classic drag strip commercial.

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Nigel was the night guy on WNOU a few years ago. He pulled off one of the all time great phone pranks. His antics off the air were nearly as outrageous. As my friend Mysti likes to say, "Nigel was the bane of my existence".

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