Wednesday, June 27, 2018

KAAY Memories From Keith Parish

"Thank you Bud, for all the work you and the others do on the blog. I had listened to KAAY growing up, it’s hard to really pinpoint my earliest memory; earliest I can recall would probably put it around '72 or '73 which would've put me at 5 to 6 years old. I arrived at that from songs I distinctly remember hearing played on KAAY, Elton John's "Honky Cat", Stealers Wheel "Stuck in the Middle" among many, many others.  I know I went through several transistor radios and no telling how many batteries. I would listen when I went to bed and was supposed to turn it off but I seldom remember ever doing that, most times I would fall asleep or the batteries would go dead. 

I’m  quite sure some of my listening was Beaker Street I just don’t have any distinct recollection of. KAAY was the ONLY station I knew of that played the whole "Rockford Files" theme single, one of my all-time favorite shows, and "one more for the road...." Boz Scaggs "Lido Shuffle" would wake me up so I could listen. Sometime along the way I got an upgrade, my grandpa got me a portable 8-track player with a detachable speaker and an AM tuner.  I got a portable cassette recorder when I was probably 7 years old, most if not all were recorded off air with a mic, from that radio, I was very careful to try and produce quality recordings (not sure if I achieved that).

As I got older I began to pay more attention to the DJ’s and other air staff. I can remember my mom introducing me to Ray and Ram, she didn't care much for rock'n roll, but she liked his morning show, to which I was immediately drawn to. At some point like many others I moved on to FM, found KLAZ, KKYK and KLPQ- Q94, and reintroduced to Ray and Ram when they would do the morning show simulcast, probably around 1980. I would sometimes almost be late for school wanting to listen just a little bit longer to see what Ray would do next!

I was in my early teens but still a kid not thinking how things would change, if I’d known about the changeover of KAAY in 1985(I was in 10th grade)  I would probably have recorded all of the last day, as I recall my dad showed me an article in the state paper about it after the fact. I had originally wanted to get into radio and ended up not pursuing it as that my life and work took me in a different direction.  Looking back even behind the scenes or technician would've been ok too.

I have always loved music and the radio, still do. I think because unlike TV I could be doing other things and focus my attention on other things but yet it was still there. I miss the way it used to be, we are fortunate we have two stations in nearby Clinton, AR (3 if you count the FM translator) that are locally owned, KGFL AM 1110 5kw daytime only, and KHPQ 92.1 FM, they are for the most part satellite fed, with some local programming. But the owners and families are deeply involved in the community. 

There’s probably more, sometimes reading on the blog will trigger memories for me and I’ve gotten where I try and either write them down then or do a note on my phone or iPad.



(Great memories, Keith!  By the way, Keith has found some tapes he's repairing, we should have some audio for the blog in the coming months!  Thank you, Keith!  Bud S.,

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