05 Nov ENTERTAINMENT
“THE BEST WAY TO PREDICT THE FUTURE
IS TO CREATE IT.”
We find our own entertainment and there are many that think they can cater to our needs by looking at us as a group rather than individuals. Today’s entertainment industry has taken a life of it’s own. It is a shame that times have made these people think that they know what is best for us. In fact some of them get downright obnoxious about it.
I had the old radio from the milk barn beside my bed while I was growing up. At night I would tune the AM dial to pick up stations that were a long way away. On Saturday nights I would dial in the 680 WSM Grand Ole Opry show. The signal would strengthen and fade but it lulled me to sleep with real country music playing. I would find the station at Del Rio Texas and listen to Wolfman Jack and the crazy programming that that outlaw stations one previously owned by Doc John R. Brinkley the Goat Gland Doctor. One advertiser that I remember was from a preacher who had a program and he offered to send you ‘prayer cloths’ which were pieces of cloth that he prayed over for you. Of course you needed to send a donation for it. I believe that he would bless, for a price, anything you sent to him.
During the day I would be listening to KLEO and KEYN for Rock and Roll and most of the time I would be listening to the Radio Ranch KFDI.
We had a HI-FI stereo that the folks had bought at Maus Supply and dad would have Jimmy Rodgers on while he was working at his desk. I would have John Denver and Johnny Cash on when I had the control of it. All three of these still influence my music today.
A neighbor and school mate of mine was the son of the manager of KEYN radio. At age 14 he was working weekends as a DJ and in the news department. The AM side then was KBUL County radio and I thought it was so cool that he could work in the station while being so young.
After singing through high school and then at Kansas Newman College (now Newman University) I had the best music directors and instructors in the state. Across the highway was Dr. Cecil Riney with the Friends University Singing Quakers. Were always considered that we were the across the street competition. They were great and they had great PR people.
Years later I started writing and performing country and cowboy poetry and then added vocals to my act. It was fortunate for me that the Western Music Association came to Wichita for their Festival and convention. Out of this I ended up with a whole host of friends and was allowed to be included in a lot of talented peoples circle of music.
Along the way I became friends with Orin Friesen who did the all night show at KFDI AM. Orin was a very important part of the Bluegrass scene and every year he produced the Bluegrass awards show that was on radio all over the nation.
All during this time the radio industry as well as the entire music industry was being taken over by New York and Los Angeles mega entertainment industries.
Radio stations had personalities and fans of various DJ’s or ‘Air Personalities’ as they preferred to be called, stations fortunes were tied to the personality that each station and it’s stable of talent could muster.
Just as other industries have changed and if you did not follow the lead you were left behind. And then came the ‘educated’ company executives who never spent one minute on the air who brought their ideas of how to turn these little stations into money machines.
I lived at one time just miles from Old Mike Oatman who was part owner of the Great Empire Broadcasting Company. The two Mikes (Oatman and Lynch) build a group of stations that kept the personalities of each station running. I could go from KFDI AM to KTTS AM in the Springfield, MO market when I went to Table Rock Lake and it was like picking up home. I am sure it was the same in their other markets.
One day I was puttering in my workshop and the radio that was left on 24-7 to KFTI (by this time) and instead of classic country there was blairing of Rock and Roll coming out. I thought someone had changed my tuning. but it was still on 1070.
The coming home of the greed and out of touch attitude that found its way into the airwaves had happened.
Now I need to interject right here that my friend Jim Farrell from the Diamond W Wranglers, and who owns a recording studio in Towanda, has a program on the weekends on an online station called Truckers Radio. His first program hit it out of the park! The numbers for the first show show a world wide audience of 62 million. WOW! I will talk about this in the next edition.
Next week I will talk about the change of entertainment and how you can at last choose what you really want to hear.