Monday, February 3, 2014

"Note to WBAI's Program Director"

(Below is that note the WBAI program director asked me to jot down for'em.)

 Dear Bob,

Greetings comrade. This is in reply to your asking for a 100 word description of my reasons for hanging around here for 34 years. Obviously it's the free internet, and pizza.  That, and having a place to sleep when shit happens.

Okay there's a few other things too.

Umm lets see. I mostly blame Jean Shepard of WOR radio here in town back in the day. Well him, and Bob Fass.  Without them big mouths. I'd probably be retiring from the Navy now with a chest full of medals, and full medical from the V.A. 

Thanks a lot guys.

The above Thought Criminals added to my fascination with radio. Yeah I was already an addict when they showed up. Hell I'm old enough to remember hearing the "Lone Ranger", and "Your Hit Parade" on the damned thing. 

See my grand uncle had a giant Crosley console job in his parlor...yeah I said "parlor" I'm seriously old school. Anyway he let me fiddle with it. It had the works am fm shortwave! I was tuning in Warsaw Berlin London Rio even bleeping Moscow! That did it I had to be in on this game!

My first stuff was on WYSO Antioch University in Ohio. I was 19, and in college to stay out of Vietnam, and eventually to get into the middle class. Well one out'a two ain't too bad.   Did volunteer work for WNET early-PBS  tv, also as it happens later for 'BAI even'KCR up at Columbia University.

Anyway cutting to the chase I woke up one day at WBAI, and never left..the pizza. Been an engineer, and on air person since the late 1970's till they kicked my butt the hell out'a there during the latest massive die off last summer. Yeah they were others. Btw still waiting for the damned severance...ahem.

I've done the commentary music live radio hyjinks on the spot reporting all that. It was swell fun. Had the happiest, and saddest times of my life in halls'n offices on the air too. 

I recall well a post fund raiser party centuries ago that spilled on to the air. Fortunately the limits on the charges have long expired. The old gang loved each other, and now we're burying each's been real.

As for the future either we join the 21st century or we die...period. I know you know that, but the 'on air' population needs to internalize that real quick...I don't know if we have the time. We need two years minimum to turn it around...we'll see.

As for what I'm up to now well news editorials story telling...that's what I am btw. Classical to New music science history theology. Basically all the stuff normal Americans have zip interest in. However we've never programed to them so mostly no harm done.

How many words is this so far?

Okay okay I'll shut up. Hey writers, and live radio folks are like this. Ask us for a few words or put us infront of a mic, and bleep happens. Anyhow hope this helps, and see ya soon.

Sydney Smith 

Late of the Engineering/OPS Dept. 

Stay Tuned

(My Great Feet.)


  1. Granted as I mention elsewhere this is a "...smarmy load of self serving Bullshit!"

    I assumed this is what they wanted.

    Uncle Syd

  2. I fondly remember Jean Shepard, and an old Crosley AM/FM/CW at my grandparent's house. And, speaking of Channel 13 WNET, do you remember Sandy Becker? He had a kid's show in the late 50s, early 60s.

  3. Indeed I do. Sandy, and "Uncle Fred Scott" were my surrogate baby sitters back in the day..I miss them, and the worlds they created for us.