Fun with carts .. or lack of

Bits and pieces of Radio History ... Features, sign ons, sign offs, format changes ... posting what we want!

Postby FormerLady1130 » Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:05 am

Top Dog wrote:Over to you Joanna!!

(any good JBee storys)


Oh where do I begin.... :lol: in all seriousness though, there's no one I'd rather be on the air with when a system crashes and you have to ad lib your way through engineers racing around you to correct the problem.
JBee is the ultimate champion at that. (you can buy me the beer later jb)
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Postby segueking2 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:02 pm

If you never used carts and you have the blessing of Burli - you are lucky.
Carts were a pain in the butt.
Bulking carts. Remember the buzz of the flat black surface, and then you'd pull them away so they remained clean, as you cut the power...?
The noisy machine with the lever that engaged the puck would go THUNK> and it sounded crappy if you tried to cheat and load a cart while you had the channel open, while on mike.
CKDA had the worst - they were old bulky RCA's.
I liked the six stacker, and we all thought that was really the edge of technology. I used to have to use a telex machine to order music from the record companies......and yes, we had yellow paper spewing teletype machines, usually buried in their own sound proofing containers.
I was on the air when man landed on the moon, and when there was something earth shattering, the news bells on the teletype would go haywire. When Armstrong was about to step from the LEM - all the teletypes stopped...and we waited....and when he hit the surface....the newsroom erupted with all 4 machines from all four agencies letting fly.

Hugh Curtis was the Mayor of Victoria, and he also read the six o'clock major at CFAX. I had been an op for about three months, when I had the fearsome job of opping for 'his worship'.
He would have a stack of drop in and voicer carts from here to the ceiling, and one night I got them moments before "CFAX Acutron time is 6 o'clock......."......and I dropped all the paper cue sheets on the floor.
I had no idea what was coming and when. All those carts had lead sheets and nothing but scrawled labels in pencil, I couldn't read.
I had the sweats and the whole cast went horribly wrong. Curtis comes flying into the control room and kicks the chair and calls me a " F******G DONKEY..."
Carts......I loved them.

I would try and freak out the stoners, when I worked all night in Prince Geoge and I confess, while I worked at CFUN, too.
I would record a song on a 3 minute clean audipak cart.
I would FIRE the cart and at the same time start the 45, on cue.....as I dragged or sped up the 45...it would start to 'phase'. (*Arbors - The Letter, and Toni Fisher - The Big Hurt had hits with the effect....)....when it would start to get really interesting, I would fade up the 45 and the effect was subtle but on the air nonetheless.
I did that with a song called "Silver Moon" by Mike Nesmith and I had some guy call me,on the request line, swearing that he heard God singing in the chorus....

One more.

It was always swell to switch carts on a fellow jock.
I took "Walking in the Rain with the One I love" and included a very slick edit....
I should explain....towards the end of the crappy love song and some rainy sound effects.....the tune switches....and then the song has a phone ringing, and then a sultry voiced woman singer from the trio answers, and it is Barry White on the other end....(* he's the producer).....
...and they have some pillow talk.

Since all 'the hits' are on cart....or most of them.....you can switch a 3 minutes for a 5-6 minute cart with only slightly more heft...and the jock won't notice the switch...unless you are ready for it.....so....

Well - I switched it so the song had the phone ringing and no one answers...and it just rings and rings......and it goes on for about 5-6 minutes...

Jim Hault finally realizes he has been had and he comes on as "Big Alice" and starts arguing with Jim....about not payin' the phone bill.....

I loved carts.

Can't imagine anyone doing that and getting away with it now!
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Postby David in North Burnaby » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:14 am

Wonderful stories. I just had to say thanks. :)
Have you thought of Allat and al-'Uzza and Manat the third, the other? These are the exalted Gharaniq, whose intercession is to be hoped for. (Q.53) Satan's Version

http://davidinnorthburnablog.blogspot.com/
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Postby cart_machine » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:54 am

segueking2 wrote: It was always swell to switch carts on a fellow jock.!


In late 1976, a disc jockey (who shall not be identified in this story) at CHWK decided to pull a gag on his final day of employment there (for the time being).

The morning show had live spots and some were read over carted beds. One was for Zeller's, which used a doughnut. The jock decided he'd switch jingles. So when Larry Donohue, who was doing mornings at the time, hit the Zeller's cart, and on came the jingle .. in French.

Larry wasn't thrown a bit. He read the copy over the bed, hit the post at the end of the doughnut and went on with his show.

It was up to poor Bryan Laver to recart the correct jingle, no doubt muttering as he probably had a pretty good idea who was responsible.

cArtie.
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Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:20 pm

segueking2 wrote:...I switched it so the song had the phone ringing and no one answers...and it just rings and rings......and it goes on for about 5-6 minutes...

Jim Hault finally realizes he has been had and he comes on as "Big Alice" and starts arguing with Jim....about not payin' the phone bill.....


Jim also got burnt with a prank edit on Blue Swede's "Hooked On A Feeling"; a full 60 seconds or more of a looped "Oooga Chackah" intro.
It was inspired when someone noticed Hault would regularly talk over it up to post as if it were an instrumental intro. You did that in the AM show since the obligatory time and temperature had to be there somehow.

Of course the grand-daddy of em' all was the looped "held vocal note" on the bridge of Jay and the American's "Cara Mia My". That fooled no one but we played it now and then just for the benefit of listeners' comic relief.
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Postby Mike Cleaver » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:59 pm

Best Cart story from my CKOV days:
The just fired announcer who took a hand held tape eraser and ran it down the back of every cart in the control room rack!
The carts would play but with big holes in the audio.
Some 300 carts, commercials, promos, intros, etc. all had to be re-done.
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Postby segueking2 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:24 pm

Cara Mia - I had forgotten about that. Fred Latrimo played it one morning, and came off the end and said....uh, our Transmitter just had a nervous breakdown...we're fine now.....

Another beauty was with the old McCurdy Turntables.....I would que up Buck Owens LP but set it at 45////(*yeah, I know, it was weird format) - CKPG....gasp.

"Waiting in your Welfare Line"....which started - 'I've got the HONGRIES for your love'......and the next line..."But I am waiting in your welfare line"....
I would start it like Buck was in the Chipmunks and then slam it to 33 a microsecond before the second line. HILARIOUS, er, or not.
That show's you how desperate we were for FUN...I guess.
I also spent countless hours practicing layovers of beats out of jingles and working on the perfect MIX.
A certain CFUN boss Jock I know was an expert at this stuff, right, Neumann?
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Postby Glen Livingstone » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:55 pm

We used Aristocarts, which you could order in 30 second increments up to a max of 8 1/2 minutes. Anything over that length was dicey because they either started to wow, or were only good for a couple of plays before they were eaten by the cart machine.

We had to handwind a couple of ten minutes carts for really long songs (I can't remember which ones); they (the carts) didn't last long.

We had a part-time op who used to regularly "fry" the handheld bulk erasers by holding the button in the 'on' position for lengthly periods of time. The things would start to smoke, and by the time they got to that stage they were only good for throwing into the garbage.

I think at one point the engineers started ordering them by the gross.
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Postby segueking2 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:37 pm

Aristocarts were sort of, well, spotty.

There would be the inevitable jams....lovely - it usually happened that the cart bought the farm, while the jock was hurriedly using the mens.
I can't believe I worked all those years and managed to, ahem, take care of things in 2:40, or less.

Neumann and a lot of us other radio lifers have some dandy memories of carts dying, not being rewound....(*that was lovely).....I learned the hard way - that if you pulled a cart early, turn it over, or you would put it back in the run and screw up one of your team.
The short 40 second carts were particularly susceptible.

I loved juggling it all - the carts, the logs, the albums, 45's - heck, in the end I still loved using CD's....

Selector might be great for the sales team and the bottom line, but I think machine radio killed the 'art'.
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Postby Jack Bennest » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:31 pm

Since you mentioned Neumann - '2' - you should come to the next radiowest bash with your better half and doff a few brews with old Sennheiser and his new found buddies.

Radiofan and I often use the accent of Harry Hammer to pronounce
Neumann's name.....throw in a deep Bronx accent.
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Postby PMC » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:13 pm

Many relate to stories of carts, some pranks... I watched an all night guy pee into a empty metal garbage can, located in a news booth, during the 7:30am news, as it rattled through a hanging RCA mic... all of it, in an attempt to crack the newsman up.... this same all night guy set fire to the printed copy on another morning, and the news guy, finished the news by using his memory of writing the copy... the all night guy soon found others did not share his sense of humour and he disappeared... ego has played many pranks.

Wanted to ad to the above, the news man's first name was Tom, can't remember his last name, at this moment... I think he went to CKLW... this would have been around 1971.
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Postby cart_machine » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:54 am

PMC wrote:Many relate to stories of carts, some pranks... I watched an all night guy pee into a empty metal garbage can, located in a news booth, during the 7:30am news, as it rattled through a hanging RCA mic... all of it, in an attempt to crack the newsman up....


You know what would happen today, PMC? Someone would go running to the HR dept.

cArtie.
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Postby jon » Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:49 pm

cart_machine wrote:Someone would go running to the HR dept.

In 1977, everyone would be forced to wear diapers before they walked in the front door. At that time, janitors ran major organizations. They were employees, very well paid and very hard to get. This was long before janitorial services were outsourced. A few years earlier, my mother worked for 10 years at a Burnaby company and was finally promoted to run the Sales Desk. It marked the first time that she actually made more than the janitors.

I was at WCB Alberta in 1977, and an edict came down from the President that eating lunch at your desk was no longer allowed. A janitor had found a piece of cake, icing down, at the bottom of a metal garbage can. Remember, this was before the days of plastic bags in garbage cans.
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Postby Mike Cleaver » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:35 pm

HR departments for a talent driven industry.
Some bean counter going over applications for on-air jobs.
Never did get that one.
They're like grief counsellors and stress counsellors, made up jobs that didn't exist years ago.
Our parents got through World War II without them and radio and tv got along without them until sometime in the 80's.
Managers did the hiring and firing and friends and family helped you through the tough times.
There was also something called self-reliance that allowed you to survive and prosper.
Call me an old fart but I long for those simpler days.
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Postby Russ_Byth » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:38 pm

Mike Cleaver wrote:Call me an old fart but I long for those simpler days.


OK.... You're an old fart! ;)
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