THE FIRST RADIO GIG
My Radio Daze began in the summer of 1969. There was a new radio station called KNUS in Dallas that played what they then called "Heavy Music." I drove a 67 Corvette, and always turned up the "wonderbar" mono radio and cranked out the music of Jimi Hendrix, the Dead, The Doors, Moby Grape, the Airplane, and all of the other rock pioneers.
I shared an apartment with Mike Erickson, a friend from Thomas Jefferson high School who worked at KNUS FM. I had asked him to put a word in for me for a DJ job with Paxton Moore, a DJ at top rated KLIF AM in Dallas, who also acted as the Program Director at KNUS. Thanks, but no thanks.
I finally got a call from Pax on the day before Mother's Day, 1969. It seemed that the whole staff at KNUS had the flu, and no one could work the midnight to six shift. He asked if I was sick, so I said no, and had an on the air audition from midnight until 1am that night. If I could keep my cool for one hour on the air, I would be a major market radio DJ. How cool would that be?
Audition passed. No one told me that I should have gone for my radio start by paying my radio dues at some am station in Dillon, Montana or Abbeville, Louisiana. Nobody cared if I had a degree in broadcasting, or had worked at any other radio station. It was, "just be here at midnight, and you've got a job. Nothing comes without a price, and the price I had to pay was to work on the air as "Mother." Yep, that was my air name. But, with a deep bass voice like mine, and a free form format, I was able to pull it off for a couple of years until I was able to work under my own name.
My first shift was minight to six. I then progressed to 10am to 2pm and then 2pm until 6pm. My mother thought this was a part time job. You know, only working 4 hours a day, so she asked me what my real job was.
The few people I remember who worked there at that time were Paxton Mills, the program director, Mike "Murphy" Erickson, Burl "Price" Woolridge, Jack "Strider" Robinson, Mark Kristoffer, and Stuart Manning. There were others who worked weekends.