Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Day At KAAY #10, May 18, 1971

We're at Part 10 of this 13-part archive of Pat Walsh's audio tapes of a "day of the life" of KAAY !

In this segment, 4:00 to 5:00 PM, Mitch Michaels airs the news, as well as sports later in the hour and Mike McCormick (Barry Wood) is again the deejay.

I thought an interesting phrase being used this day is, " Ten-Nine-Oh!".  I remember hearing A.J. Lindsey, I believe on Tony Warner's program saying that a deejay would say something.  Pat Walsh would come thundering down the hall, burst into the control room and yell, "What did you say?"  The deejay, fearing for his job, would shakily repeat the phrase.  Pat yelled out, "I like that!  Keep saying that!" and would run back out....WHEW!

You may have noticed that occasionally, there is wobble in the recordings, especially this one.  These hours were recorded directly from studio tape and reel-to-reel machines today are getting old and tired.  Our good friend Russell Wells was able to play these and other tapes and transfer them over to digital format for all of us to enjoy.  He mentioned to me that, on the last rewind, the machine finally gave out, so he barely got all the tape transferred before failure!

Hey, speaking of ads here and there, does anyone remember ESSO gas?

(or stream/download here from the archive page)

Thanks again to Russell Wells' collection and to Dave S.!

Bud S. (


  1. My recollection brings up an incident during a rewind back in '92 when I did a spot dub of each jock. At 3600 feet, this tape stock was thinner than tissue paper ... and even with the utmost in TLC, it both stretched and unraveled. I fixed the tape, but at the expense of a couple of minutes' worth of audio (present on two hours each side of the KAAY and neighboring KARK recording).

    The occasional dropouts and distortion? The fact is the tape was a "Concertape" - the low-end Radio Shack brand. I've read a few horror stories about Concertape reels' tendency to shed and gum up a deck, but I think sheer luck otherwise carried the day.

    (It's the height of irony that a cheap tape stock intended for speech recording carried the brand name CONCERT Tape!)

    Reel tape recorded at 1-7/8 ips (inches per second for the radio-impaired and various young punks out there) typically had a compromised sound quality. Sort of like the difference in recording VHS tape at the 6-hour speed (SLP) vs. the standard 2-hour SP mode. We have 12 glorious hours of archive here, alas at the expense of hearing just how truly awesome that RCA BT50 transmitter sounded. At least one can hear a smidgen of that quality, if not the full deal.

    As for that old deck I used, I truly believe the gods of radio past were keeping her alive just long enough to get through this big project. :-/

    I'm just old enough to remember ESSO gasoline, and how confused this young'un was seeing ENCO branded gas in Alabama, while it was ESSO across the line in Tennessee. Same logo, same "E" style, but different name.

    Most of you know what became of Esso in the U.S.: it became Exxon in (I believe) late 1972. Exxon still markets as Esso in Canada and elsewhere.


  2. ESSO had to be ENCO in Alabama (and other places) because any derivation of the Standard name was parceled out territorially in 1911 to the various Standard components in the Supreme Court-ordered breakup of the original Standard Oil Co. (ESSO = S.O.) Standard of Kentucky had the rights in Alabama, so Standard of N.J. had to use another name in that state. Eventually most of the Standard companies established new brands they could use nationally (Exxon, Amoco, Mobil, Chevron) to resolve the matter.