Wednesday, March 15, 2006

KPAM: The Long Circle Back

I just got off the air with the Tom Parker show on KPAM, and it was like old times. I had a few minutes to talk about the tram meeting last night and it was a blast. I love the radio business. You know, it really was sort of a full circle healing thing. Do you know how I first got inside the door of Pamplin Communications? A local comedian called me up and said they were looking for someone as a weekly guest for free on KPAM when it was a religious station. I jumped at it even though I’m from the secular wing of society. Anyway, I would drive out to the station on Division behind the Christian Supply store and appear on the Lew Davies show. Lew was a great old guy, although we were from separate worlds. He was very religious, and I would occasionally say something that would offend him, like this one Purgatory joke. Apparently his sect doesn’t believe in Purgatory.
I loved hearing Lew read copy – a great old masterful radio delivery, like watching an old jazz musician work. The guy was great – he went on the air right from the desk in his office. One time he asked me to get Jay Leno to call in and I said, “Okay” like a joke. I described the situation on one of my sheets to Los Angeles, and sure enough, the next week, Leno called in, catching Lew completely by surprise. I even dropped a joke on Leno myself and got away with it: “Our towns aren’t that far apart. We’ve got a minor league team called the Beavers, and you’ve got a minor league team called the Dodgers.” (Ba-boom.)
One week, the changes were announced: KPAM was going secular, and I even thought I might go along too, somehow, and finally get paid. Not that I didn’t love it, already. I would take my best 15 or 20 jokes of the week there, so I always had new material unlike so many guests. I came to play.
I was hoping Lew might take advantage of the new big-time format, and hire his favorite guest as a sidekick, but 15 minutes into the show that day, Lew announced he was going elsewhere. That hit me with a thud.
After around a year, my weekly guest set had ended.
However, I did mention all this in my first letter to Bob Pamplin, and that eventually led to 150 plus columns in the Portland Tribune. See how it works, freelancers? Of course, that later blew up, so being back on KPAM today was sentimental – it’s how that particular saga began. I especially enjoyed when they said they had called Dwight Jaynes to get my number. Folks, there is no way Dwight Jaynes still has my number, so they communicated with me over my blog. The Portland Freelancer blog leads back to the radio, at least for one day. I love this. That also means somebody’s paying attention. If any more radio people out there want to get in on this, let me know. It’s all happenstance and there’s no plan but the journey goes on.


At 7:35 PM, Blogger Ruben Bailey said...

Hey man,

It's funny you bring this up. I have been trying to put together a radio show for the past few months here in town. I have several years of radio experience, both local and national.

I would love to talk to you if you are interested in trying to put something together. I have some minimal connections that would at least get us in the door to speak with a few local PD's.

I think I have a good basic form/idea for the show and know you pretty well from following you recently via the blog, et. al. I believe that we might be a great fit.

Let me know..could be perfect!!
If you want, email me through my blog.


At 8:31 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Thanks for your interest. I've been doing a cable show with a guy named James Shibley. I always felt we had a comedic flow. if you get something going, and you need a couple of comedic foils, let me know. The paths are many; the hours are few. And best of luck to you. I really enjoy your comments.


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