Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Columbia Broadchasing System:

I spent three glorious teen summers at Buck's Rock Work Camp in Connecticut. In my second year, the camp had, for the first time, a radio/engineering club. The radio counselor was asked to do the announcing when we were actually on the radio. I had better explain.

Each of the three years I was there, the orchestra took a LONG bus trip to a Connecticut radio station. We set up our stuff and, following the country western show by the same local “star” who sang and played Hawaiian guitar, our absolutely terrible orchestra played on the air for half an hour. I have no idea how such arrangements were made in the 1950's, but obviously Buck's Rock got some nice on-the-air advertising out of it, and maybe even some dollars.

The station was a CBS affiliate, and Jerry (the radio counselor) started joking weeks in advance that he would sign off like this: “This Buck's Rock Concert was brought to you by WCON [I don't remember the actual call letters], an affiliate of CBS, the Columbia Broad-Chasing System.” This was a good running joke at camp, but many of us wondered how Jerry was going to get out of this “groove” when he had to do the real signoff. Well, the show was recorded (the camp made more money by selling the records to parents), so I had many chances to hear what happened to Jerry. It went like this:
“This Buck's Rock Concert was brought to you by WCON, an affiliate of CBS, the Columbia Broad [dead air, slightly under one second] -Casting System.”

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