35 Years Ago I Began the WAAL Journey
May 31st, 1982. It was 35 years ago, but it sometimes seems like yesterday when I walked through the doors on the 2nd and 3rd floor of 122 State Street, Binghamton and began full-time employment at WAAL 99.1FM - an album rock radio station.
I was a bit nervous. It was Memorial Day and no one else was around in case I had questions. Back then, we played album cuts on a turntable, chosen from a large number of record bins. Finding the songs I needed to play was at times difficult, and I only had a few minutes of time to find the album and 'cue it up' on the turntable before the song on the air ended. I still have nightmares about that.
35 years is an unusual amount of time to be employed at the same radio station. Radio Personalities like other entertainment business people, tend to move around a lot. Or at least they did. I must have not received that memo, but that's ok. I don't regret not moving on, nor did I in 35 years get the itch to go work at another radio station either locally or anywhere else in the country. When the adventure keeps you excited, motivated and you love the area you live in, there's no shame in staying around. Maybe when (or if) I retire that will change.
As to be expected with any business, over those 35 years I have witnessed many changes, from company ownership to meeting new staff and saying goodbye as they moved on to that next adventure. I have met and enjoyed working with so many great people who were employed at WAAL over these many years, and became close friends with several of them. I still keep in contact with quite a few even though they have moved away from the Binghamton area.
I have been lucky to experience the many exciting things associated with being a part of the entertainment industry, and am honored to have had those opportunities to enjoy.
Like anything else in the world, Radio has changed a lot in the past 35 years, including giving you more ways to hear us like online streaming and listening on your mobile phone. And it's still as exciting as ever. In the spring of 1972, I first stepped foot in a radio station, and immediately fell in love with it. The opportunity to talk into a microphone and entertain listeners with great music on the radio was something I could not pass up. That's why after 45 years, I'm still here entertaining you on the radio, and I thank you for listening.