Wednesday, January 2, 2008

KNUS FM- Mike Selden and Paxton Mills

Paxton Mills was the evening DJ at KLIF when he also took the title of Program Director of KNUS after Jimmy Rabbit left.He didn't have much program to direct because the format was freeform radio. He made sure that everyone had a third class FCC license, adhered to the McLendon phlosophy and policies, and followed the FCC rules. He did make the personnel decisions though.

Pax had gone to Thomas Jefferson, the same high school I went to, but was a year or two behind me and Mike Erickson, another KNUS DJ. Mike went on to work as P.D. of an Oklahoma Station, and is now at the NBC TV affilliate in Wichita, Kansas working in computer technology. Pax was engaged to Leslie, a pretty and very wealthy oil field drilling supply heiress Dallas Debutante. They eventually married and divorced.

Pax loved the name "Paxton." He thought that he had the exclusive Dallas franchise on the name and was distressed to learn that someone who was named "Paxton" Moore was an instructor at El Centro College in Dallas. He believed he stole the name from him. If he were still around today, I would tell him to Google "Paxton."

The only other funny quirk that Pax had was the pronunciation of Des Moines. It always came out "Dez Moynes." He really got kidded about the continual mispronunciation. He never got it right.

I had tried to get hired on at KNUS for some time, and fortunately for me, Pax hired me for weekends and then the regular all night shift. I had gotten a taste of radio by screening calls for Robert Knowlton's late night talk show on KLIF. At least I had a prior paying job in radio before going on the air.

Pax eventually lost his job at KLIF, and it took a while for him to find another, but he went on to success in Denver.

Mike Selden was a new hire at KLIF. He had been working at KFJZ AM, the popular top 40 station in Fort Worth. He told me that he had realized his dream by getting his job at the "The Big Klifford", which he affectionately called KLIF both on and off the radio. He was appointed program director at KNUS in addition to his KLIF responsibilities. Mike worked a two hour shift from noon to two at KNUS just for fun. I followed his shift.
Mike was one of the most down to earth people that I ever met in my radio career. He was a brilliant ad libber both in person and off the air. He was the life of the party in the daily coffee room sessions on the 2nd floor of the McLendon Building where DJs informally met to bounce snappy one liners off of each other. You were bound to be left in stitches as the DJs all tried to top each other's jokes.

For a while, I went with the girl who was a granddaughter of the man who invented the potato chip, and whose grandfather's last name is found on one certain consumer item (not potato chips by the way) found to this day in just about every American kitchen. Mike called her "The Potato Chip Queen." She, Mike, his wife and I ran around together a lot.
I was saddened to learn that both Paxton Mills and Mike Selden have passed away.


~Çχ Atlantic♡ said...

RIP Paxton.


ronny said...

Mike did a wonderful show on KNUS. I still have an open-reel tape of his phasing of a song or maybe two that I've never heard anyone come close to duplicating and he was doing it live - turntable mixing in the early 70s. At least one or maybe both were very long songs, maybe Hey Joe was one of them, and it always amazed me how they were ever so slightly out of sync for that perfect variable phasing/echo effect during the entire song. All of his mixes were always great. There was nothing ever like KNUS in those early days of FM radio for the listener.

CowtownLady said...

Thankyou for your wonderful blog, I just wanted to say I always loved Mike Selden, those days of listening to his program are very special memories now. But I don't think he was on KFJZ.I remember being worried when he wasn't on KXOL at his regular time, and being so happy to find him again on KLIF.

deuce said...

knus-fm (pre top 40) was the best radio station i had and since have ever listened to. i used to stay up as late as i could stand just to listen to "underground" radio. it was great to find a station that (for the most part) didn't play commercials or do too much talking. i was very dissapointed when the station went top 40. i guess all good things must come to an end eventually.

Mike Erickson said...

I knew Mike Seldon very well and Paxton was my best friend. I miss them both. My name is Mike Erickson, the one mentioned in the blog. Actually I was the first person on the air at KNUS. We turned it on on April 15, 1968 at precisely 9:08:07 (98.7 fm, get it?). Seldon used to "mess with words like "album" saying "ablum" instead. He was a lot of fun. I went to Paxton's funeral in Colorado. It was very sad. He and I played in a band together, playing many of Thomas Jefferson's school dances, plus lots of others. He was one of my closest friends, along with Leslie Varel, his ex. She was his "ex" but they never stopped loving each other. I still connect with Leslie who lives in Dallas. My days at KLIF and KNUS were the very best of times.

jgh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
skyhuggs said...

I just thought of Mike today for some reason and googled his name and found this blog. I am so sad to hear he has passed. I always listened to him in the 70s. My husband and I had a small plane and flew from Dallas to the Bahamas in the mid 70s and one of the islands we went to Mike and some listeners who had won trips to the island were there. We partied with them for a couple of days and had the very best time. I will never forget him. RIP Mike

jgh said...

Skyhuggs and all...

Both Mike Selden and Paxton Mills were the best of people. They are still missed. I'm sure Mike had everyone rolling on the floor with his humor when you spent time with him on that Bahamanian Island.