As we all do over time, we drift away from hobbies, persuits, indulgances and interests, all in the game of fulfilling "life"...and sometimes life is not very fulfilling, unless we can do something we enjoy. Work, for many, is not fun, nor fulfilling, but it is a way and means to get what we want (if we're fortunate) or need (to support a family); many dads, I heard over the course of my growing up, only stayed in jobs not for the enjoyment, but for providing a living for their families. So sad, may of us (myself included) are in that boat (although I DO derive a sense of satisfaction in what I do....).
Thus, my drifting away from KAAY and Beaker Street in the 1980's. For a while, I didn't even know they sold out in 1985 until much later, since my job evolved and I was finally able to work a day shift, after many years on nights, which was where I listened ALL the time. Even in my late teens and early twenties, work, college and responsibilities to my family, then getting married, took me away from much of my radio hobby....
...then, years later, just a few years ago, I wondered what ever happened to KAAY and Beaker Street. I missed listening to the hot Top 40 music in the early evening, then the wierd album rock in the late evening, culminating in Beaker Theater. I got more and more exposure to the Internet, started searching and finally found A.J.'s blog: http://kaay1090.blogspot.com/
What a rush!!! I started devouring everything I read in A.J.'s blog, in addition to what I found on the web. Finally, I got the courage to e-mail A.J. and what a wonderful experience it was. I realized that he had many projects going on at the time we became aquainted, so I tried to keep things brief; at the same time; as I did more and more research, I sent him links and articles with anything having to do with KAAY. Some he posted, some he didn't and much of what he didn't has been posted here in Mighty1090KAAY.
As time went on, I tried diligently to find and supply him with material (as we all did!) as I found it. Then, he e-mailed me, saying he was in the hospital, following his vacation, which had followed his cancer treatements. I was able to call him on the phone a couple of times, the last time being three days before he passed away. His e-mails going unanswered, I wondered how he was faring, when by chance, his daughter-in-law Brandy notified Jerry Sims and I via e-mail that he'd passed away. What a shock....
It was through Jerry and ultimately a core group of ten people, that we were able to start this blog; several of us remain to maintain it as much as possible, around the aforementioned work and family schedules and I am very thankful for everything they do to help. Yes, I might look like the "front man", and as David B. Treadway said to me one time, "You're the guy behind the mic, you get all the glory or all the blame!" Well, for better or for worse, I and we are in it for the long haul- and we have A.J., and his passion for KAAY and starting his own blog, to thank for what we do today!
Remember what I said about work not being enjoyable or fulfilling? Well, not everyone was that less fortunate- the guys and girls of KAAY had a great job in what they did. From the developing relationships I have gained with The Greats of KAAY who are here with us on the blog, we can see, through their stories, memories and anecdotes, that they enjoyed their jobs to the fullest. Did I say "job"? They got paid for the fun they had while working...did I get that right, Oh Great Ones???? Nonetheless, in my personal conversations with them, I sense they had loads of fun at what they did- and still enjoy the memories of KAAY.
Why do I open with "A.J. and me"? Well, me being a lowly listener and him being who he was, he took time with me, tolerated my questions, put up with my voluminous e-mails of material (some he already had) and graciously took my phone calls at times I felt I may have been an intrusion. And now, here I am, helping with a blog, in the same manner as he, reaching a sense of fulfillment when drudgery seems to be the rule. A.J. has been on my mind lately and we haven't mentioned him much, except in passing, and in memorium at the beginning of this blog, with a little material thrown in here & there.
Here is a picture of A.J. when he was a teenager at KBBA, Benton, AR:
His commentary was, "I was in high school and working at KBBA, Benton AR, my first radio job when this picture was taken with a wonderful RCA BX-44 that could make even a teenager sound good." The RCA mics were (and still are) great mics. Here's A.J. in later years with an RCA 77D:
Nonetheless, I miss A.J., as many of us do. Jerry Sims, a.k.a. "Sonny Martin" and I have had several wonderful conversations about "Doc" or "Emperor Holiday". A.J. started something great and we all benefitted from his labor of love...we can only hope to continue the efforts here, bringing to light more and more history about KAAY and those Greats who worked...er, played...there.
What are YOUR favorite memories of A.J.?
Let's keep the memories flowing, folks! Please leave a comment or two, no story is too small, no memory is too insignifigant for us to post here. Everyone who listened to KAAY, visited its facilities, participated in the giveaways and programs, danced to the music or otherwise enjoyed the station, your comments are welcome!
A.J., thanks for getting us started!
Bud S. (email@example.com)