On the way home tonight I remembered that I haven't even touched this web site in years.   Funny what one classic rock song on the radio can cause (Angie, Rolling Stones).

I would really like to hear some stories about your experience at WVUM.   To maybe get some thoughts flowing, here are some random things I remember from my days, 1978-1985.  I'll try to expand on them when have time.   I'm sure I'll spell names wrong.  In absolutely no order:

First DJ I trained under was Bruce Griffin, the GM at the time.   He turned me on to Emerson Lake and Palmer.

A news person, Sue J. doing a story about the "Church of Satin"

Another DJ, "It's 3:36, make that 3:37, no, 3:38.  Sorry, that's the wrong clock"

A broadcasting professor doing a live legal ID during a debate.  I passed him a note saying "Please say, 'WVUM Coral Gables".   Somehow between the call sign and the city, he spent a couple minutes complaining about the FCCs strict rules about legal IDs.   

Seth Mann (Tobis?) doing traffic reports from his "Good Buddy Sam"   Actually, he got them from the AM EBS receiver tuned to WGBS (good buddy sam, get it?).

Going to the IBS convention, in NYC, with Seth.   Eating at the famous Mama Leone's.  We paid the bill for us and some guys from a really poor college station after we found out we had an awesome budget for a college station.   

Just a related story...

New York Times Archives Mamma Leone Shuts Doors in Manhattan

Published: January 11, 1994

Tourists heading for Mamma Leone's restaurant in Manhattan's Theater District will have to get their meatballs elsewhere for a while.

The restaurant is seeking a new location after closing its doors at 261 West 44th Street yesterday.

The rent and other costs of doing business there got too high, said Bill Menzel, a spokesman for Restaurant Associates, which owns Mamma Leone's and 120 other restaurants.

Mr. Menzel refused to comment on what other locations are being considered. "It's nice to be in the Theater District, but not critical," he said.

Mamma Leone's was founded in 1906 by Mamma Louisa Leone. About 30 years ago, the Leone family sold the restaurant to Restaurant Associates.


Art Kelly, another engineer, was quite proud of his "Art Kelly Disco EQ curve"  Basically his car EQ shaped like a U.

Having to suspend a DJ, Brad, for accidentally saying Shit instead of Styx.  (it was a one day suspension on his usual day off)

Running the studios off of the power from a working exit sign during a power failure.

Setting up the campus police repeater in the WVUM transmitter room to keep them on the air, on our generator connection, during hurricane David.   The next GM, Glen Hutton, mentioning this to my boss at a company years later.

Giving Love 94 a hotline for a live concert they were doing on the Patio.  They were impressed with how fast we got it in for them.   A few minutes with an excellent engineering team.

Having one of the first electronic time delays.  Comrex Time Tunnel.   Before that it was live or a lot of tape in a loop between two reel to reel recorders.   This thing was packed with ICs.   When we installed it, we ran the output into the input and said 'testing'   After a hour it sounded like a big crowd of people.  

Having the second set of MCI computer controlled reel to reel decks.   They had "Return to Zero".   Press one button and the tape would go right back to were you started.  

Carnie Gras.   Our Woodstock on the IM field.  Camping out on the field with all the comforts of the studio.

    The only radio station that owned a follow spot.  Actually the carbon arc light and transformer from a movie projector, but it worked.

    Sitting on a very overloaded transformer behind the sound booth and burning my ass.

    After a night of no sleep, carrying about 10 minutes of a live show on the air from the stage.   The shows weren't set up by the radio station, but we carried all of them.   This one however may have been a bad choice.   It was a mime act.

Doing Orange Bowl games with gear and 4 people stowed in my Dotson 610 Station Wagon.  We got to the OB before the TV crews arrived.  It took us that long to set up all the gear.  We had a line of scrimage mic.  How many radio stations bother with that?   We did it to help paint the picture in the listener's minds.

Many live concerts on the Patio carried on WVUM.   

One Sunday morning, about 4 AM, Michelle, the News director, Glen Hutton, the PD and I, all woke up at the same time and called the station.   The tower had been hit by lightning and we somehow knew we were off the air after about 6 months of being on constantly.   And no, none of us lived close enough to campus to hear the lightning strike.   We just knew we were off the air.  Still scary to think about.  Scared the hell out of the overnight DJ when we all started calling.

Installing a skimmer to hear what the overnight DJs were saying.  

Installing a hidden doorbell for the DJs to get in at night.

Training new DJs and watching other people training them.   There was one real common thing that we saw over and over...

    New DJ does his first break in his first show ever.  Reads a live PSA and stumbles over every word.  Finally finishes, starts the next record, throws off the headset, yells "I really fucked that up!", THEN turns off the mic.  I saw (and heard) it happen a few times.   

Many times the sports and or news people cracking each other up.  Seeing Doug Greene and Dave Rondone pointing at each other to take over as both are laughing so hard the can't talk. Something about an explosion and "Boom, boom, boom" and they lost it.

Getting to go to Board of Trustee meetings because of my position as GM.

Getting woken up by Henry King Stanford the morning after hurricane David to thank me for keeping the station on the air during the storm.   I had passed out on International Lounge sofa during the storm.

The yearly staff party at our Faculty Advisor's house in South Miami.   Nuf said.


Let me know if you remember any of these stories.   Expand on them.   Let me hear some of the stories from your era.   I'm sure the statue of limitations has expired by now.



Entire Contents Copyright Ray J. Vaughan 2004