DJ Notebook

The “T” word

With Rick Minerd 01-12-2020

     Therapy is something I never imagined I would need, or if I have I wasn’t aware of it. If someone were to ever imply that I might benefit from it I would have dismissed the suggestion without hesitation. Me, in some form of therapy? Not a chance. I know a lot of people that have sought help from others and many more that probably should to work out whatever issues are troubling them, but not me. 

     For the record I will admit that I have anger issues, indeed I have several, but the concept of working through them with aid from someone that might understand them but who really doesn’t know anything else about who I am is an absurd thought. My business and especially my personal thoughts are just that and rarely do I seek advice from strangers on how I should feel or how best to react to anything. After all, even if they are well educated in this field and trained to deal with a variety of other people’s problems they are still strangers.

     I happen to covet my anger issues,  I feed on them and I speak and act accordingly when I feel the need to. I can cite several but for purposes of where this is headed I will spare the reader some time and address just a few. People that intentionally harm weaker people than themselves make me angry and I never want to lose that. I also never want to stop despising anyone that would neglect or otherwise abuse animals in any way. Those people should be subjected to similar fates, worse if possible. I hope I never stop feeling that way.

     Some clever therapist might try to change how I feel about such things so I dare not trust any of them. I also wouldn’t want any to try to help me understand why other lowlifes like thieves, con men and many politicians do what they do to benefit their own lives at the expense of people that can ill afford to lose what  they have worked hard for, deserve,  and need. I hate those bastards also and I hope I never stop being angry at what they get away with.

     The other anger issues I might have aren’t anything I can’t work through on my own by simply disengaging myself from them. I avoid people I don’t like and who don’t like me. I have also removed myself from topical debates that I determine to be meaningless, or no longer interesting to me. Someone else’s political leanings mean nothing to me anymore.  It is not my job to change them, nor is it likely they could possibly change how I feel about anything I believe in.

     I am a very passionate man when it comes to what I believe or want from life, and passion, like conviction is something not easy to bend or break when it’s real.  I also don’t care about another’s favorite sports teams, not their religious beliefs,  ethnicity, finances, nor their social graces, or lack of any. 

     If I think someone is batshit crazy I assume they are fine with it and I leave them to be who they have chosen to be. But I caution them that is best for us both to pester someone else instead of me and when they are willing to do that there isn’t a problem. If on the other hand I am in anyway challenged by anyone who was previously advised to leave me alone I want to have anger at the ready to explain something more clearly to them than I must have. 

     Somewhere along the way I have  learned  the art of personal therapy.  By being my own therapist I am saving a lot of money and a lot of someone else’s time simply by being who I am and using some other skills I’ve picked over the years to wade through all sorts of personal issues without professional help. 

    I’m in therapy here. Writing this blog and paying attention to a couple of radio programs that have kept me distracted for several years from people and things that make me angry.  The  personal efforts that have resulted in the sum and substance of it all helps to avoid allowing my anger issues to get the best of me or get myself in trouble!

Give me an inch and I’ll take a mile

  With Rick Minerd 01-11-2020

       It’s what happens anytime  I am expected to be content with just one and then left unsupervised. One measly inch, come on, who settles for that? I sincerely doubt that I am alone here. Those who can relate might agree that fruitful existence is about taking chances or not.  The truth is everyone can lay claim to a life that can be defined by a series of adventures and misadventures, and we’ve all tripped over a few mistakes along the way but also found happiness when we succeed.

      The way it felt the first time a customer showed up thirsty to our lemonade stand, followed by another and then another until at the end of the day we were holding more money than we ever held at one time. Money earned from having enough determination and arrogance to believe we could accomplish something we’ve never tried before.

      For me the best things happened when I experimented with something different when having more wasn’t on the table. Sometimes more was better but usually only in the short run and the sum of it might have put me in danger of changing into someone I probably wouldn’t have been happy with.  Being what or who I was expected to be by someone else wasn’t the formula I used to get what I really wanted or needed. 

    Borrow less, owe less, even if you might be challenged in ways others typically aren’t.

     More times than I should probably admit it seemed what ever I was doing was barely under control,  like an old car with bald tires going south on a slippery slope. But luckily most of those hills weren’t as steep as they looked from the top, and they all eventually leveled off leaving me feeling pretty good about myself that I didn’t skid into disaster on the way down.

    Sometimes it isn’t about going higher to accomplish something or to determine who we are. The view from the bottom is the same distance it is from the the top. I know because I was up there a few times. But I also knew the time would come when I would have to come back down and find simpler ways to make the most of where I finish my journey.

      Among those lofty perches I previously occupied were in a few highly rated radio stations and a couple of police agencies . Places where supervision was tight and expectations were high, and where forgiveness rarely came without a few strings to untangle. So, this is where I have chosen to make what will probably be my last lemonade stand. Where an inch of freedom has become a mile of mixing words in a blog and hundreds of song titles scattered between two internet radio stations!

      If ever I have left evidence  or fingerprints of me anywhere, it is right here!

Open wide and say “ahhh”  Understanding a few tricks of the trade

With Rick Minerd 01-09-200

      Photos of radio and television personalities often depict a common theme;  the “star” in the captured moment seems to be  caught without warning in what appears to be an expression of shocked  euphoria that someone wants to take their picture. Eyes popping,  their mouth wide open as if sitting in a dentist chair prepared for the inevitable. The same look you and I might have  if we just opened our front door to see a cameraman standing behind a crew from Publishers Clearing House holding a giant check with our name on it. 

    In a moment like that our probable embarrassed expression would be real.  But theirs is staged, over and over, and over, with the same enthusiastic and meticulous planning of every amateur “self photographer” shooting entire layouts of “selfies”  to choose from for posting on their favorite social media sites.  After all, what would be the use of having your picture taken or taking your own if all anyone is going to see is what you look like when there isn’t a camera aimed at you?

    Let’s face it,  photos of people who aren’t doing something goofy, or when they are not all dolled up are just other faces in a crowd, some prettier than the rest, or not as. The whole idea of striking an intentional pose even when you are your own photographer is to incite others into believing they are seeing someone who is pretty amazing and fun to look at all the time. 

    That whole eye popping-mouth-wide-open performance seen on the faces of radio and television personalities when having their  picture taken  is the final scene of a well rehearsed act.  It is another self orchestrated opportunity to extend (away from the microphones and studio cameras) the persona they want to project,  the image they are selling to those who are expected to adore them.  

    C’mon, photos are supposed to be fun, I get that.  And with the advances in dental science and technology that now makes it possible for teeth so white they look as if they are lit from the inside with bright fluorescents it’s more money’s worth to open wide and show them off.  As for me, there are no photos anywhere of me with popping eyes and a forced smile that requires my mouth to be open as wide as I can get it.

     No, seriously,  I have never done that, and at least for now you have my word I probably never will. Besides, my teeth are nearly as old as I am and to have a set worthy of exposing them every time I am in the finding end of a camera lens I would probably need to have them expensively customized or replaced with shiny new ones, man-made.

     But I did say I probably never will, didn’t I?

     Being someone generally cautious enough to avoid saying never,  if there is even the slightest chance I might, an image of me acting like that for a camera shot could be possible if the camera holder is a dog.  If that ever happens, the look on my face of shock and surprise will be real. Dogs do have a way of making me smile even if I wasn’t planning to.

The south end  and the birth of Top-40 radio in Columbus, Ohio

With Rick Minerd  01-08-2020

      Top-40 Radio as we knew it from the middle 1950s until it stopped being a part of our regular listening habit actually has its roots here in the old south end of Columbus!

      It began one evening in August, 1956 in the second floor studios of WCOL while that station was still playing a regular format of adult oriented music; the likes of Glenn Miller,  Frank Sinatra, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Lawrence Welk and other music giants in the “pop Music” of the times.

    That is until a man named Hoyt Locke, a local record store owner happened to be at the station one night to record a series of commercials for his store on E. Main Street. As the story was told to me in a live on-air interview in 1984 with Hoyt’s brother Edgar, the regular scheduled DJ that was supposed to start his program was either fired or he quit leaving no one to do the show.

     Hoyt, even with no previous broadcasting experience was asked to sit behind the microphone and talk about the records he was featuring in his commercials. He began playing a style of music WCOL listeners weren’t familiar with, including the likes of artists such as Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Fats Domino and the other early stars of what became known as Rock & Roll!

      The night was such a huge success the station hired him as their new night-time disc jockey. From that point on WCOL listeners quickly learned who Chuck Berry,  Elvis Presley and a slew of other new up and coming stars in the pop music field were. A new radio format never heard here before that mixed R & B, adult standards, Rock & Roll and ultimately all the stars appearing on  television’s American Bandstand.

     This new hip, flamboyant  DJ adopted the on-air name of Doctor Bop. He dressed in a doctor’s white coat with a steth-o-scope around his neck, white pants and white bucks (shoes). With the new radio sound the old WCOL became known as “The New WCOL” and over the years became and stayed the #1 radio station in Columbus!

    Then there is the south end connection to all of this. Hoyt Locke grew up down here where he and his brother attended Reeb Avenue School. When the boys were very small in the late teens and early 1920s they shined shoes and sold newspapers along Parsons Avenue! When they were young adults they pooled their money and opened “Bop’s Record Shop” downtown.

      After years of struggling to make a go of it Edgar took a job with the post office to help support it while Hoyt was using some of their meager profits to purchase commercial air-time on WCOL. As Edgar explained, they were about to call it quits in the music selling business when Hoyt landed the radio job. In short time Doctor Bop became the most popular and celebrated  personality in Columbus.

      He was 46 years old in August, 1956 but to his listeners he was a peer. Doc stayed with the station until 1959 when he was hired across town at a new up and coming pop-music station, WMNI. That job lasted about a year before he packed his bags and moved to Milwaukee Wisconsin to program and star on radio station WAWA. It was while working there he died of a sudden heart attack in 1976, then brought home for his final rest and is buried in the south end at Greenlawn Cemetary.

20th Century Radio in the 21st Century

With Rick Minerd  01-04-2020

   Heartlites Radio was created in 2011, rising from the ashes of one of the earliest internet radio stations on the world wide web, then known as “Stardust”.  Located in the south end of Columbus, Ohio, steps from the historic German Village community we are the only known locally produced, owned and operated oldies specific music provider broadcasting worldover.

    “Heartlites” shares the same studio with our sister station “Best Oldies Radio” , each offering different but similar formats, both classic or vintage in nature.

     While “Heartlites” continues to focus on “Pop Gold” or “Top-40” as we knew it in the 1950s through the 1970s, “Best Oldies Radio” pays homage to the country and western music of those decades!

      A lot of thought and no small measure of passion goes into producing  and presenting the best radio we know how to. The  “we” is me!  The passion began way back in 1971 when I was 19 years old.  Tired of sweeping floors overnights in a discount store  I got the brash notion that if I believed strongly enough that I could make a living as a radio DJ I would find a way.

      That first “way” was enrolling into Career Academy School of Broadcasting to study radio and television broadcasting. After believing I had learned all the school was able to teach I landed a radio job at WTVN AM & FM here in Columbus.

      In the years that followed I would skip across town to WNCI, then to WRFD, WMNI and eventually ten years with WCOL where at the age of 34 I put the dreams of becoming a rich and famous broadcaster to rest. I left the uncertain world of radio for new challenges in law enforcement. First as a Franklin County deputy sheriff and then a city cop, retiring in 2005 as the Village Marshal and Chief of Police in Obetz, Ohio.

     From then on I flirted with the possibility of returning to radio broadcasting but instead I focused on another dormant passion, writing!  if anyone is curious how that worked out you can check my published accomplishments  on Amazon, Trafford Publishing, Xlibris and Lulu Publishing. 

      And then came internet broadcasting, or as I like to call it, 20th Century Radio in the 21st Century. My earliest dreams have come full circle! This project has been evolving for more than a decade and will continue to evolve until all of my passions relating to it are gone. That won’t happen until I am satisfied that everything I have learned about following dreams is within earshot of the world wide web for all to hear!   

     Put another way I still strive to put my best into everything I do.