Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 10th, 1976

Saw first part of REBECCA at school today. HOLMESPUN didn't come out for some reason. My Yearbook partner and I got admonished for selling Yearbook names.

Listened to some more comedy on WBXU. Fun stuff! Also heard live LADY MADONNA from McCartney! Wow!

NOTES: Sounds from the above as though we were making and selling customer lists, much like today's spammers. Since logically we had no reason to be doing anything like that I'm not at all sure what we were actually doing...but apparently we were admonished for it.

"WBXU." HAHAHAHA! In actuality, it was WVXU-FM and it would end up being an important part of my life for much of the next three decades. From the sound of it, I had here just discovered the station, probably from channel-surfing listening for more McCartney music. In those days, sometimes I'd forego television and just listen to my AM/FM radio all evening. 

I first discovered the station when I found Dr Jim King playing comedy records and old time radio sitcoms. Had you asked me ten minutes ago, I would have sworn it was a few years later, though. 

The low power public radio station, WVXU,  had been on the air as a jazz station since 1970, based out of Cincinnati's Xavier University. Not being into Jazz, had I run across it way down on the dial, I would have quickly moved on. I must have finally hit it in the middle of a comedy bit. Already being a fan of DOCTOR DEMENTO, I craved knowledge of more comedy.

Dr. King's Friday night show offered my first exposure to many OTR programs, all of them knowledgeably annotated by him. I even started listening to the Saturday afternoon WHEN SWING WAS KING broadcasts of Russ Dixon. 

In late 1980, I made my radio debut on WVXU's LIVELINE TRIVIA program, at first by phone and then as a guest and occasional co-host or guest host of the series. Dr. King took charge of the station and put it on the map, first tying it in to NPR, then adding a daily block of OTR programming in the mornings. THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE, THE LIFE OF RILEY, FIBBER McGEE AND MOLLY, THE JACK BENNY SHOW, THE SHADOW, NIGHT BEAT and a dozen others had long runs on the station (sadly often of the same limited number of syndicated episodes but, hey...). By long runs, in some of those cases, I mean thirty years!!

In the nineties, there was a brief revival of LIVELINE TRIVIA and my wife and I were asked to be guests for old times sake. It went out live from their seeming state-of-the-art studios, a far cry from the hard-to-find hole in the wall where the station was when I first went on the air there!

Dr King finally left in the new century and WVXU's local programming was quickly swallowed up by syndicated and NPR broadcasts. There was literally nothing left there for its longtime fans. BUT...some of the other folks long associated with the special magic of WVXU took some of the station's OTR licenses and even their old phone numbers, over to an even lower-powered local station, WMKV, based out of a Cincinnati retirement village. So even now if one turns on WMKV in the mornings, the classic 'VXU lineup of OTR is still in place...all these years later! Nostalgia for the nostalgia. I listened to George and Gracie earlier this week in the car.

The above photo, by the way, was taken as I was writing this. As I said, for a station whose call letters I couldn't even get right,"WBXU" ended up being in my life a loooong time. 

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