The Earliest "Broadcasts" Of WPSC Radio
by Joe Nicolosi
Memories Of The Snack Bar PA System
Hello again. I hope you are all doing well. You will note that I have "broadcasts" in quotation marks, since although the word "broadcast" does loosely apply to WPSC back then (1968-69 or so) but it is in the same way a farmer would broadcast seeds across a field…. The sound could be heard through multiple speakers in the Snack Bar, but it was in no way connected with any radio apparatus for transmitting.
When I first learned about the college "radio station" it didn’t even have any call letters. The only equipment we had was a very large AMPEX reel-to-reel tape recorder, a microphone, and a couple of turntables. Using this, a tape was made of a show to later be played in the Snack Bar. Student Government ran things in the Snack Bar at that time, and although they always cooperated with us to get our tapes "broadcast" to the speakers, there were times that other things postponed the playing of our "radio shows". So if you had a show geared to a certain Tuesday, it might not make it till Friday.
I must say, playing the tapes through the speakers above the normal din of the snack bar, did not make for good audio quality, if one could even hear it. Raising the volume of the speakers was generally not a good answer, since if you were sitting there, listening was mandatory, and people wanted to talk or study (not a good place for the latter, music playing or not).
Back then, there were essentially two types of DJ…. the fast-talker (for those who remember, like B. Mitchell Reed on WMCA or Cousin Brucie on WABC (who slowed down in later years)). The fast-talker would have either an oldies (of course oldies then referred to the 50’s and 60’s) and would play a lot of doo-wop music, etc. or a contemporary, but not hard-rock type of show.
Then there was the second type of DJ who spoke much slower and played the Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, etc. type of music like was played on WNEW-FM etc. Each show of course had it's own following (not so much in the very early days, but after we got our homemade transmitter set up.)
I myself did both types of show…. I had an oldies show and later did some on-campus advertising for my "New Rendezvous" show which was more hard-rock oriented. I had a lot of fun doing both.
For the WPSC gang that was around at that time, here are a couple of radio names, not real names, just radio personality names, to joggle your memory.. I always used my own name for my shows.
- Big Eddy From the Coast
- Reggie James
- Jerry Edwards
- B.K. The D.J.
So although it was a bit difficult to get our shows heard over the noise of the Snack Bar, we had a lot of fun. Later, when we began transmitting to the campus on 590 AM things got much better of course. Then students could listen in their dorm rooms…. we had special request lines open, could provide up to date news etc.
Well…. that’s it for now. Next time I hope to write about what our early “studio” looked like. Thanks.
Updated: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Page By: Joe Nicolosi