When I worked in radio full time, I never considered myself a “star”. I was a guy who worked on the radio trying to make a living. I was always humbled (and amused) when someone would come up to me and ask for an autograph. I would often chuckle when they asked, because I’m not “famous” and my signature is worth literally nothing! To that listener, however, I might have been as close to “famous” as they get.
Through my days on the radio, I have had the pleasure of meeting many people. It was not odd for me to be out in a restaurant and someone would come over and say hello. Many of them knew me from the radio, but I really didn’t know them. Then there were those who I did know. You can go back through some past blogs and I have written about how many of those loyal listeners became good friends.
Today I had something happen while on the air that made me truly miss being on the radio full time, and also was a reminder of the impact we have on people (not just those on the radio, but everyone). I answered the request line in the studio today and here was the conversation:
Me: Hi! The Moose!
Caller: Hi. Is this Keith Allen?
Me: That’s me.
Caller: Is this the same Keith Allen who used to work here back in the My Space days?
Me: (laughing) Yeah, that’s me. Who is this?
Caller: This is _______ from _______.
(I immediately remembered her)
Me: Oh my gosh, How are you?!
Caller: I have been looking for you forever! I wondered where you went….
This caller and I were friends on My Space many years ago and talked often about music and life. She told me how she had gotten married, and had grandchildren now. I told her that life had changed quite a bit for me too, since we last chatted. She said she couldn’t believe that it was me. It’s not often that a listener complains that you are playing too much music, but she did! She told me she thought she heard me say “Keith Allen” and wanted to make sure that’s what she heard before she called. I was glad that she took the time to call and say hello. It is always nice to reconnect with old friends!
This whole exchange made me smile. It’s funny how after all this time, she remembered me. It’s a great feeling to know that while I was on the air telling jokes, sharing stories about my life, doing bits, and making observations that I connected with my listeners. That connection went deeper than “I heard a guy talking on the radio about…” That connection became, “Keith Allen was talking about…”. THAT is what it is all about!
While I don’t get to do it on a daily basis, I am still very blessed to have the opportunity to do it once or twice a week. As long as I keep having moments like this…I will always love radio.
To my listener friend, “Thanks for calling!”