By Joe Janes
56 out of 365
Joe, late teens
(1979. Joe is sitting at the console of a small radio station in small town Ohio. He wears corduroy slacks and a new, black concert t-shirt for Woody Herman and his Thundering Herd.)
… and at Bataan Elementary they’ll be having macaroni and cheese, green beans and a fruit cocktail. Go easy on those cocktails, kids. That’s it for school lunch menus. Weather and the news coming up in ten. Right now, here’s the latest from Gerry Rafferty on WRWR, 94.5 FM, We Reach With Radio…
(Joe flips a switch and we hear Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line” begins to play. Joe takes off his headphones and cues up the next record. Rob Rider enters and closes the door behind him. He wears a gray three-piece suit and carries some record albums.)
ROBGood morning, Joe J.
JOE (turning down the music)Morning, Rob. How are you?
ROBGood, good, good. Well, okay. You know, it’s no longer “We Reach With Radio.” It’s “WRWR – We’re Radio Active.”
JOEOh, I thought it was either one.
ROBNope. Just “We’re Radio Active.”
JOEBecause of the new nuclear power plant they built outside of town.
ROBIt’s clever and topical.
JOEThat it is.
(Rob looks at turntable and spins his head around to read the label.)
ROBI was also wondering why you were playing the side of a 45 that clearly doesn’t have a tan sticky on it.
JOEOh, I’m sorry. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. You know, this song has been getting a lot of airplay. You should consider giving it a tan sticky.
ROBPerhaps. But remember, we only play rock and roll at night. Only adult contemporary during the day.
ROBI brought in some new albums to put into the rotation, “Steve and Edie’s Greatest Hits”-
JOEThat’s an album?
ROBSome Montavani and Roger Miller.
JOEThat’s… great. Let me double check something. Is it album-single-album-single? Or is it single-single-single-single-album?
It’s male vocalist single-album cut-instrumental single-album cut-female vocalist single-album cut-band single-album cut.
What should I do if I have a Steve & Edie single and their album is next in the stack? Do I play two in a row?
No, no. I think you should just skip over that album and go to the next album.
There’s also fewer instrumental singles than any other singles. I could end up playing “Hot Buttered Popcorn” two or three times in a shift.
I think that would be okay. Um… Joe J.? You wouldn’t know how this got into the adult contemporary “band single” rotation?
(Rob picks a 45 out of the bands single pile.)
JOEWhat is it?
ROB“Dog and Butterfly” by Heart. It clearly has a neon green sticky indicating rock. Heart is a rock and roll band. It does not belong here.
JOEHave you heard the tune? It’s all acoustic guitar. Roger Miller out rocks it.
ROBI see. Well, let’s keep it where it belongs for now. Have you seen Joe C. this morning?
ROBHe looks very nice today. Very professional. Shirt and tie. (Pause as he looks at Joe’s outfit.) Very well. I look forward to hearing Heart after 7pm.
(He exits. Joe turns the music back up, checks the log and organizes his commercial cartridges as “Right Down the Line” continues playing. Lights fade.)