Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Where Are They Now?" Phil North!!!

I have to tell you folks...when I got a message from Jonnie King about where Phil North was (his website), I followed the lead and found him!  David B. Treadway confirmed this was, indeed, THE Phil North and I was able to get a phone number and speak with THE MAN!  HOLY SMOKUMS!  I was a kid again, and Phil took about a half hour out of his busy schedule (he was on the way out of the office) to speak with me.  This led to some of the audio you've heard here on the blog (and much more is to come!).  Phil has graciously sent along some fun memories for us to enjoy:

"Hi Phil North here,

First off it’s a pleasure to talk to all of you via this blog.  My old friend Dave Treadway approached me and help me re-discover my early radio roots.  It was like finding an old picture of yourself and saying, “Who’s That….WOW it’s me!”  I honestly didn’t know the old tapes in my attic would even play and one aircheck came from a 39 year old cassette.  So the old technology still works I’m glad to say.  It was a trip hear the old airchecks. You have to understand I joined KAAY in my junior year of high school at 16.  The airchecks are of me at 17 and 18 so I was very green and tried everything and copied everybody.  I was also in charge of what we now call “IMAGING” but I didn’t know that then.  I loved putting promos together and mixing with our 2 mono ampex machines and old RCA ribbon mic.  I thought I was in heaven. I remember being on the air and realizing I was the only one in the building at the helm of a 50,000 watt radio station broadcasting across half of America with no tape delay.  I guess the Pat Walsh trusted us not to go off our rocker and hijack the airwaves. 

My fondest memories would be working with true pros like Mike McCormick who taught me a great deal about reading and acting in commercials (voice acting is a term for it today but back then it was part of the job)…Mike would run me thru scripts and direct me or I would record him and go for countless hours in the studio producing the stuff…(for no extra money I might add-we just loved doing it).  Some of the examples I’ve sent- The FOULK Monster sessions- were all adlib between David and me.  We were pretty much un-supervised kids having fun and creating cools stuff.  It was much the same way Bill Young ran KILT when I was there…he let the creative “kids” be creative and let us loose. 

I was also able to get “Steve Lundy” at KILT in Houston to do voice tracks for me for ID’s which are on some of the airchecks….Steve was a kind soul and a great performer and didn’t mind me copying his style for a while….but one time he said…”Phil…pretty soon you're going to have to find your own style and be yourself”.  I always remembered that and eventually realized I was a better voice actor than DJ.  It led to my current career in Voice work. Sadly Steve and Gary Gears (who also did some ID’s for KAAY) are no longer with us today but were powerful influences to a kid just out of high school. 

It’s been almost 40 years since those heady days at KAAY but you guys out there have made it feel like yesterday.  There will never be a time like that in radio again, but for those of us who lived it we will never forget it.  I’m very happy that my archives are now in good hands and can be shared with all thru the web.

For those who are interested please visit my new website at http://www.eccsvox.com/.  I’ve gone under the name “Eric Chase” since ’73 (long story) and invite you to say hi.

All the best, Phil North/E Chase"
Eric, YOU have helped us all relive some great memories through your contributions!  Your audio has been a rare and precious find and a great gift.  Rest assured that it has been, and will continue to be, greatly appreciated by all of us here!
Please visit often, leave us some comments from time to time...we'd love to hear when you and David B. collaborated for more fun stuff!
Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)

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