National Radio Day, Meet The Guy Who Put CJ On The Radio [PHOTOS]
My radio career kicked off one afternoon at Breaux's Carpet Mart (may have been World, I can't remember) in Morgan City. I met a guy named Bobby Richard who changed my life when he said, "I'm creating a monster".
The year was 1981, I was about to be 17 when I walked into Breaux's Carpet Mart to see Bobby Richard from KQKI do his show live. Back in those days, the announcers did everything live on location. The machines that played commercials had to be set up. You had to carry all those carts (tapes) with you. There were two turntables and a mixer. And a low wattage transmitter with an antenna that sent it all back to the studio where it could go out live to everyone listening on 95.3 FM, a relatively new station playing country music since 1976.
I was so nervous. Bobby Richard was the most popular Disc Jockey in the area. People in the Morgan City, Bayou Vista and Franklin areas loved Richard, still do. I went into the store and started talking to him. Told Mr. Richard how I wanted to be on the radio. I'm not sure if I had started Mass Communication at USL just yet. We talked a bit, not long. Before I left, the said, "why don't you go to the studio and learn what to do, then we can see about putting you on overnight". I was very excited, to say the least. As I walked out, he said, "I'm creating a monster". I turned around and said, "Sir?" He said it again. I told him I didn't understand. He said, "Once you have radio in your blood, you can't get it out." He sure was right about that!
I guess it was the next day or so, I went to the studio to sit in with one of the announcers. The studio was upstairs. It had square, different colored patches of carpeting on the walls. At the controls was a heavyset guy by the name of Scott Bond. He was so good on the air. I watched him, took mental notes, he was great. Had an awesome voice and a bouncy personality. He was from Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Bond let me play a record on the air. I'll never forget it. The song was 'Ramblin' Man' by Waylon Jennings. However, the first song I played after being hired was 'Moody Blue' by Elvis Presley. Shocker, right?
I worked on the air at KQKI for quite a while as a part-timer. Met some wonderful people at that little station. Got fired once too. I needed to make a recording on cassette tape but the cassette deck in the Production Room was broken. So I brought mine from home. After making the recording, I forgot to plug the station's broken unit back in and accidentally left it on the floor. Paul Cook, the General Manager, fired me. He was not a nice man sometimes. But he rehired me later on and was always a little nicer to me after that.
My favorite radio announcer growing up was Scott McAllister, 'Scotty Mac'. He was on WFMF out of Baton Rouge. I used to try to mimic him. He was perfection on the air. Eventually, I didn't try to sound like anyone. I became me.
I'm very thankful to you Bobby Richard. Yes, you did create a monster. I love radio, still, do. I always said, if it stopped being fun, I'd stop doing it. Radio has allowed my family and me to live a really nice life. I've done some things that used to be only in my dreams.
I'm so blessed to still be on the air after so many years. To all of you who continue to allow me to come out of your speakers, I thank you. It is an honor. To Bobby Richard, I'm forever indebted. And a shoutout to Skippy Hebert who let me DJ in his club before I was even old enough to get in, before the radio days.
My newest and probably last chapter of my career will start in the next few weeks when I get a new co-host on the KTDY Morning Show. She was in the station just yesterday and I know you will love her. Many of you already know of her. She and I are longtime friends. I said to her yesterday, "You're it. You're the last one". I told her that it will be a pleasure to spend the final chapter with her, then gave her a really big hug. You will meet her soon!
Bobby Richard always ended his shows with, "If the grosbeak flies (that's what he called his car) and the bayou don't rise", he be back the next day. I say to that Mr.Richard, "Always be as happy as you've made me".