Radio KCOG, 1971
Every work environment speaks its own language. Call it jargon or tech-talk or culture-speak, certain words carry meaning far beyond their alphabetic make-up. And so it was at “third floor of the ISU building, northeast corner of the Centerville square” KCOG in the early 1970s.
We who worked there spoke fluent radio: hog markets, announcer-read, spots, promos and logs. Red Faust was general manager and Eunice Mickey served as his ever-in-charge office manager. Gene Logsdon carried the early-morning programming. John Lewis and Larry Lester were key sales people. My high-school friend Dottie Warren McKelvey was the ultra-skilled “real” secretary. Mr. Griffin came in to read the noon news. Fritz Limbach, Carl and John (lost the surnames) and Steve Koestner, were regular on-air personalities. (It was Steve’s playing Jimi Hendrix’s robust recording of the national anthem that earned most-unhappy-listener-calls-in-one-afternoon honors. 😉 ) Bill Perkins took the lead on sports, along with young Doug McLeod, who would go on to make that a national career.
Doug’s funny and talented mom, Betty, was my first copywriting instructor, and I credit her with showing me how to make a thirty-second commercial flow. It’s a skill that serves me well some 40 years later. Moreover, I still believe her work on a musical spot for a Unionville, Missouri, mobile home enterprise which set a rhythmic sales message to Lovely Bunch of Coconuts may be one of my all-time favorites. Wish I could tell her so.
The two years I was there provided one of the greatest learning opportunities of my life. Broadcasting in the early ’70s was far different from today’s mega-channel scenario. And at KCOG, everyone eventually had the chance to wear more than one hat. I became quite adept of typing and checking daily logs, but I also provided voice talent and was trusted to cover Sunday afternoon air time when regulars were absent.
And it was at those times that I became quite fond of the machine shown above. Today’s digital RSS feeds may be far faster, but there was something so satisfying about walking into the closet where the teletype clacked and chattered, tearing off the long sheet of news from the Associated Press and sharing it with Southern Iowa/Northern Missouri listeners.
Rip and read. There’s another term we of that radio era will long remember.