In the Glory Days, a KAAY remote broadcast took some doing. We rolled our portable studio--the Funmobile--to the client location, hitched it up to a specially-ordered telephone line and cued up the 45 RPM records on QRK turntables (we called 'em Rumble Kings) positioned to either side of what is, to this day, the smallest audio console I have ever seen: a Sparta four-pot with a single VU meter. It was identical to the one below (ignore the microphone; we had a duplicate of our studio mic in the Funmobile).
In a time before widespread use of Marti remote pickup transmitters, a specialized phone line had to be ordered a week or two in advance of the remote. It was known as a 15K equalized loop, the "15K" referring to the highest audio frequency that it would carry: 15,000 cycles per second, now referred to as Herz. The human ear (especially the female human ear) can detect frequencies a bit higher than 15K, but such a limit was plenty good for music and voice. (Ah, we always went for Maximum Sound Quality, didn't we?) One end of the loop would be installed at the client location, the other end would come to the 1425 West 7th Street studios and terminate at the studio patch panel in the control room equipment racks.
Music Director Jonnie King, a mighty man his ownself, kept a duplicate set of the 45's that we were playing in a sturdy wooden box in the Funmobile, divided by category and stored out of direct sunlight to prevent warping. Music and DJ content would come from the remote, with commercials inserted by a board operator back at the station. When the spot break ended, the board-op would hit a jingle and we'd take it again.
And did we draw some crowds or what? The Razorback football pep rally remotes with Sonny Martin and George Jennings on game days would pack 'em in downtown for a block or so. I remember one Jackpot self-serve gas station remote where the traffic got so bad that the police had to show up to break the jam and try to restore some semblance of a flow. Once when I ran out of prizes, I noticed that Sonny had left his hairbrush in the Funmobile, so I forged his initials on the back of it and gave it away on the air. Six women immediately showed up to try to win it! (I have never before confessed this. Sonny, this is what happened to your brush back when we were all famous.)
Remotes then were a bunch of work, but that Funmobile helped KAAY to always be bigger than life.
David B. Treadway
Doc Holiday VII
The Last PD