My career — such as it is — began in a black widow spider infested shack not far from the cemetery in Walla Walla, Washington. I was also raised in a cane break by an old momma lion. KTEL radio’s transmitter building is the lovely arachnid sanctuary to which I refer, and yes, I did sit there with a pellet rifle and shoot the spiders on the wall. It is amazing what we took for granted in broadcasting. For example, we took for granted that a rack of Scully tape machines would never replace live radio personalities. We were right. Satellites did what Scullys only attempted.
KTEL, the mighty 1490, had 250 watts of power. I have hair dryers with more power than that, and we typed our program logs as we went along, entering the start and stop time of every commercial.
We had local rock stars in Walla Walla — among them Jeff Hawks of Hawk and the Randellas. When Paul Revere and the Raiders played to 11 people at the Natatorium Roller Rink, Hawk had over 700 at the VFW hall. He was a star. I saw Jeff the other day. He looks great, and no different than he did forty years ago — except he looks more mature. He gave me the world’s best haircut, honest. I mean that guy can cut hair as good as Craig Tarwater plays guitar, and that’s saying something. Yeah, small world after all. Jeff left Walla Wall back in the mid 1960’s for short term fame on ABC TV with DON AND THE GOODTIMES and national tours.
Now he is a famed hair stylist here in "Hollywood." No, he’s not gay. He was, however, in a good mood. I have the distinction of having played his first ever record on KTEL back in probably 1963 or 64.