Sunday, July 24, 2011

Homecoming

Originally Posted to OGR 10/18/2009

This is Homecoming week at my Alma Mater. Among the invitations that I
have received there are two that call to my musical past.

The first is an invitation to participate in the Alumni Band at
halftime at the homecoming football game. I sure do remember those long
hours on the practice field working out the formations and the marches
to perfection. But the payoffs were those crisp, sunlit Saturday
afternoons in the football stadium playing my heart out to 60,000
screaming football fans; hitting my mark on the field at the same
instant as hitting that “F above high C”! Nothing can equal the
collective pride of knowing that all 200 of us on the field aced the routine.

The second invitation was my annual invitation from WUSC-FM our college
radio station to come back on the air as an Alumni DJ for a two hour
shift. This is where my broadcasting career started. I was just a
freshman when the allure of broadcasting called out to me and captured
my heart. Back in the day, the student station was a “Carrier Current”
AM station that could be heard on campus and a few blocks around. But
at that time the campus was my universe and we covered it. I remember
during my Sophomore Year, the station added Rock and Roll to the older
“Middle of the Road” format it had been running for decades. We added a
“patio party” show in the afternoons by dropping a wire from our
studios down to the patio of the student union below our studio
windows. We had a daily “sock hop”! That year, I also inaugurated the
“Dawn Patrol” running from 7-9 AM on weekdays. It was my first
regularly scheduled show. I learned skills doing those shows that stay
with me today.

It was the MUSIC!

What a thrill it was to be playing the music on the radio that I had
been listening to in High School; Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly, Elvis,
Bobby Darrin, Little Richard, The Diamonds, The Crests, The Platters,
The Kingston Trio, Perry Como, The Coasters, Connie Francis – you get
the drift! Turn up the volume! Oh MY!

Copyright 2009 Rick Wrigley

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