Thanks for calling!

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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!”

14 thoughts on “Thanks for calling!

  1. Well, Keith…dude you are a celebrity. You are listened to by a lot of people and they think they know you. You have a job that reaches many. You are in the public eye. It’s funny because I told you before but I listened to the last broadcast in 94 at that station and I thought…this is cool that he blogs and shares all of this. Then I saw an interview…Keith everyone doesn’t get interviewed everyday dude… You just happen to be modest and sincere and not an ass like some public figures are…

    Now when I watch WKRP I get upset because they don’t wear headphones because of you! That is cool that you have formed relationships like that. Will you ever go full time again?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, basically. More and more syndicated programs. Very rare to find a live 7p-midnight shift anymore. Delilah, Lia, Alice Cooper, and other syndicated shows eliminated those positions. Also a lot of afternoon shows are recorded. Talent from other cities will record for smaller stations. It’s sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is sad. We lose the local flavor when that happens. I also miss those crazy local morning DJ’s. Bells, whistles…everything going off…and traffic reports.
        I guess you would have to find the right city…if there are any left that does it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You would be surprised at how many morning shows are syndicated now – Free Beer and Hot Wings, Dave & Chuck the Freak, Elvis Duran, and so many more. The company Cumulus is notorious for pre-recorded or syndication. They took all of their country music stations and branded them NASH-FM and all of them air their syndicated morning show.

        For years, coaches, programmers, and consultants have preached “Local Wins”, yet they think that an occasional pre-recorded weather forecast or traffic update will do it. It doesn’t happen. Here’s an example of what I mean:

        Syndicated DJ: “So I am at the mall yesterday and I see this kid playing on the playscape”

        How can local do it better?

        Local DJ: I was walking through (Specific name of the local mall) yesterday and I was walking by that new Coffee Beanery they opened (something specific to that mall, which listeners will know) and I noticed this kid playing on that big tree in the playscape by Sears…

        A local listener will KNOW that they DJ is local – he’s/she’s naming off specific things that are specific to THAT area!

        NOTHING makes me more angry than to hear DJs pronounce street names or cities wrong! Many syndicated hosts are given lines to record to “sound local” and these often fall flat. “We have one on the way for Doris from Flint next” is ok the first time it plays, but if that liner plays 5 times in a month….well, you know its fake.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That is like having artificial grass for your yard and calling it grass.
        Do you think regular radio as we knew it will ever come back? At all? If it does I will start listening again. If not a station…an internet station with no overhead?

        I’m talking crazy talk now probably.

        Like

      5. There are some companies who still believe in local radio. Many of these would fall into the “mom and pop” companies. I’ll be honest, if I had the money, I would buy a station and run it. There is a lot to be said about stations owned locally. There used to be more of them, but the big corporations (Cumulus, Clear Channel, Citadel, etc…) came in and bought them up when Clinton changed the law about how many stations a company could own. That was the beginning of the end for many local stations. Many mom and pops held out and are still in operation today.

        Stations used to have a staff – a program director, assistant program director, music director, promotions director, and production director – each doing a specific job. Now it is very common to have one person doing every one of those jobs! It’s crazy.

        Many have told me to start an internet station. I know a few people who have done it, but I don’t really see how I could ever make a living doing it.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You would have to have an app with it so people could tune in…in their cars which would be very possible…I guess it would come down to advertising…at least it did in the old days I would guess.

        I wonder if it cost anything to start one up?

        What has happened is just plain sad Keith.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I agree – very sad. Way too many talented people not working in radio anymore. Sadly, there are plenty of people who will do the job for little pay (and who have no talent) and actually drive the listeners away because they just don’t get it.

        There used to be a website “Live 365” where anyone could put up a station. You just had to have a server with music and whatever you wanted to play on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. That sounds like what my wife worked in before…Medical Transcription…they made good money but now it’s practically gone. The Doctors want the transcriptionist back but the hospital and companies won’t do it because of voice recognition.

        I just looked that up…it’s really cool but you could not make money from that…you are right…you would have to have your own site.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Yeah – voice recognition! LOL have you tried “talk to text”?!?!

        As someone who works in the medical field – I can’t even begin to tell you how many mistakes are in dictations I read. I love when a female’s chart reads “HE instead of “SHE” and stuff like that!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I know man…one doctor was sued at Vanderbilt…he said right kidney…but the report said TAKE OUT the left kidney…The Doctors hate it.

        Jennifer had been doing it since the early 90s and was great at it…now she is going to try medical billing.

        Like

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