With National Radio Day this week, we have been chatting about the essence of the biz. I refer to what I do as storytelling, and it is. But few are born natural storytellers. And for those who are granted the gift of gab, there are always those who help propel you to another level.
Again, when I was a young broadcaster in Columbus in the early and mid-eighties, at WRMZ doing the morning show, I ran across some very important people in my career. Everything happens fast when your young, and as I look back there was a lot to absorb. I had a Program Director named Rob Ryan. He worked with me daily and prodded me to story tell more confidently, prepare it more aggressively, and to hold conversations with the listeners on the phone. He taught me to listen to their story first, respect it, and then meld it with mine. He told me then, no listener will turn the radio when one of their own is talking on it. I've never fogotten that. Phone skills for radio - gold! Priceless counseling.
And my great friend of 36 years in this biz, Vic Scott (aka Smokey Rivers now). An incredible talent, taught me that while story telling, its OK to have a definite take on a subject during a conversation. But to make sure to be quick to listen and slow to speak - is a good thing. He also showed me how to make a strong point, but not to alienate those who may differ at that moment. That learning how to disagree is vital to telling a story sometimes. Great lesson. Great pro, great friend.
I am learning along the way the art of storytelling goes hand in hand with listening to others stories first to be the most effective. Tomorrow, I will share a few more quick stories and thank others. I love learning from them, and telling their story.
Tuesday was National Radio Day. I have been doing this for 38 years, and this seems like a good time to pull the curtain back on this a bit. Many people ask me what I call my job. I don't like DJ, or Disc Jockey. That is a very different and great skill set, that I don't have. That is very different than what I do.
There are other names, but Morning Personality, or Morning Show Host is better. But what I really am is a Storyteller. I hopefully tell one every time I open the mic. Some are not as compelling as others. Some things must be simply said. But in the content we do on Scott And Sarah In The Morning to hopefully entertain, we tell stories. Putting a person (you) in a place (here), at a time (now). Once I learned that as a young broadcaster back when the Earth was cooling, after a few years of not knowing that, things fell into place.
I learned this from a legendary Morning Personality named Dick Zipf (Ziff). When I was 23 doing mornings at WRMZ in Columbus, he was on our AM station WMNI. He taught me to story tell. And he also introduced me something I am equally and forever thankful for. That there are different and more colorful ways to say the ordinary. Using different and inventive phrases and words, while making them a part of your everyday speech. And finding the angle that no one else will in everything you say on air. Those things have served me well. And I am eternally thankful to him.
Dick Zipf - Great Guy Great Pro
Years later one of my bosses, Nick Anthony, here at WQMX reminded me through our continued friendship, that storytelling is compelling, as he is a great story teller. And he also is a great example of using words to start a story or conversation and not to end one. Constant and definite facts that are spoken at someone, is not inviting. Questions requested and answered with someone is, as the story can go on with an equal exchange of views. The only way to learn anything is to listen, and the most compelling conversations spawn from asking questions, and listening to the answer. Nick always reminds me of this in our talks. I am grateful again.
Nick Anthony - Great Guy - Great Storyteller
The Beautiful Windy laughs with me for always asking questions in our personal life. But each one asked and answered helps me tell a new story somewhere up the road.
More tomorrow as I want to mention some other great people from this wonderful business - Radio.
For the first time in a long time, I was lucky enough to go to the Cleveland Natural History Museum. I was there for a formal dinner with Windy, and it was sensational.
Cool place, and the food was great. Plus, how often do you get to eat dinner with a Tyrannosaurus Rex?
Our Table Was Right There!
And we got to see Balto! The REAL Balto, (although stuffed) but the one of the most famous dogs ever, that did REAL heroic deeds, called, and calls Cleveland home. (Pic Above)
As we walked around I was reminded how cool that entire place is. In fact, that entire area has been so revitalized it really needs to be seen.
That whole University Circle area is wonderful, and it's not far from Little Italy - Yum!
This Fall head on up there. Lots to do. Fun!
47 Meters Down:Uncaged
Seems every summer there is room for a good "a shark might eat me" movie, and here we go again. I'm fine with this. Seems we never get tired of watching to see if, and how bad someone is acutally going to get dogged down by a hungry shark.
Mindless summer action fun that's not a cartoon, or talking animals. I'm in!
This is a hard R rated flick that stars a bunch of kids in early adolescence. This looks really funny at times, and even though this stars kids, this is more than likely not nearly appropriate for young kids. This coming of age movie should be a pretty big hit.
I can't wait to see this, as it looks really funny and relateable.
Angry Birds 2
It's hard not to get caught up in what's going on with the Tribe right now. Erasing a 12 game defecit in the Major Leagues is pretty much unheard of, but they have done it. What a season it has been so far!! The past day or so has not been the best, but the Tribe is getting ready to make a strong stretch run.
The Tribe sure puts on a GREAT show!
I know the Browns are the flavor of the month, but they don't play for about a month, and being more than fair, have not won anything yet. I understand fans are excited for the Browns, and should be. But the Tribe is a three straight time divisional winner, and on verge of a fourth. We will have our time to be all Brownie, but right now it's time to cheer on the Indians.
The All- Star Game was an amazing success!
There seems to a a magic around the Tribe right now, and it's starting to look like they may be one of the real elite teams. Go to a game. It's not as expensive as you may think, and you'll be part of something special - and you can get tickets! Go see the Tribe when they get back from New York!
Just in case you have never gone to this place, here's some information so you may. Maria's Field of Hope in Avon is a fantastic place to see, visit, take pictures, and simply reflect.
This is a really beautiful place! -
Windy introduced me to the idea of going last year, as I had never heard of it. It's in an area that I know well, and one she doesn't. We made the trek together on a beautiful and special day and took pics, and just took it all in. When you learn about it, and how it came to be, you are even more impressed.
A Good Day -
Make it a part of a trip there and incorporate with another venture. There is plenty of shopping nearby including Crocker Park, food too, and antiquing. You can't spend hours there, but one would be a very nice visit.
I've been around this radio stuff for a few decades, worked many places around the country and have been a part of a lot of good radio promotions invented by good people. But I have to say, that the WQMX Send Me Backstage T-shirts are about the best I've ever seen.
We have been doing this a long time, and it seems to get better and better. It's great to see all the colors of all the years at all the concerts we do. And it's great too to see them all over social media. It's about the easiest way to possibly get back and meet some of your favorite country stars.
Just Like This!!!
You can wear it anytime. In fact, taking pics of yourself in your shirt and posting them here would be really fun.
Long live the WQMX Send Me Backstage T-shirt! (Check our Website WQMX.com to see how you can get yours)
Last week when the Browns played their first preseason game, my favorite moment was when Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi, a guy that walked on to the Browns camp uninvited (under strange circumstances) ran a kick back for a TD. What a terrific underdog story. The entire Browns team ran after him and mobbed him with excitement. That shows me the team is on the right track. Football can be unique that way. GO BROWNS!
(Cover Pic - part of the amazing team I'm on at WQMX!)
Nick Anthony - One of my bosses - I learn a lot, about a lot, being around him.
I saw, and believe still, in life and business, you play for the guys next to you, and hopefully you are around people of the same ilk. If your skill set in life, and on the job is such that it elevates those around you, then you are in the right place, with the right people. I have been lucky in much of my career to be around such. And in my personal life as well - now more than ever. To me, that's the mark of a good leader.
My Friends, Don, Tex, and Joe have made me better, on and off the course for over 30 years!
That doesn't mean you put yourself in the backseat, to the contrary. A job and life is a team sport, and if your gifts make others around you better, than everyone wins. It's just that simple. Those who choose to not reflect that many times end up isolated and in the long run, not as successful as they think they are. Elevating only yourself has a short shelf life in the grand scheme to things. Life is a long journey, and it's better when team mates like you, respect you, and are glad you are around to raise them up, as they do you.
And Windy - has made me me better every day since I met her...
I like all kinds of music. Yes, I have made a proud living on Country Radio, but most people in my industry like many different styles. Last week, I went to the Doobie Brothers concert at Blossom, and I was reminded of one of my favorite songs of all time! China Grove - By the Doobies. BTW I have always been a big DB fan! It felt good to hear them play it in concert!
I call that song, and others like it, a "Drive Around The Block Song." Meaning, if it comes on the radio and I am almost home, I drive around the block to hear it. It may have the greatest guitar riff ever, and I think it's a great example of American Rock music. Powerful, to the point, driven, honest, and almost infectious. You have to listen....
These songs exist within me for reasons I can't quite fully understand. Maybe we don't hear them much anymore, or it's the kind of day it is. Or maybe it takes you back to a great time in your life. I just know, when on, I'm driving around the block.
I have other "Drive Around The Block Songs" too.....
Up Down - Morgan Wallen
After The Lovin' - Englebert Humperdink
Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty
Startin' With Me - Jake Owen
Route 101 - Herb Alpert
Small Town USA - Justin Moore
Still Doin' Time - George Jones
And the list goes on - and is probably too long to list.
There are some new flicks out this weekend! Let's take a look!
Dora And The Lost City Of Gold
Dora The Explorer live action time is here. They have been promoting this movie in previews in theaters for many months, hoping for a large payday. And they might get it. The time is right for a new family flick to go to the top.
This will draw across the spectrum, as parents will want to take the kids, and see what this is all about. This has been treated a bit skeptically by some national critics, but this will be a hit.
There is a big cast in this flick that will tell a story we have not seen before. The wives of a bunch of mobsters continue business as usual after the husbands are sent to jail.
They turn out to be quite good at it too. I always look forward to flicks that are original in their premise, and this seems to be one.
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
The time is right in the movie world for a good old scary summertime flick, and here it comes front and center.
I feel this could be one of the big surprise hits of the summer.