Saturday, June 30, 2007

Distracted Recollections- An Introduction

My aim, with this blog, is to get at my personal recollections of St. Louis.

How many times have I heard a public radio teaser about Gaslight Square and the subject would quickly change to local food? There are plenty of artifacts at our History Museum but no one to tell the stories. I’ve been lucky enough to have lived in almost every neighborhood. It always seemed like I was at the right place at the right time. My thoughts tend to drift and events will hardly be listed chronologically.

My dad was one of St. Louis’ great characters “Jerry the Indian”. A Gaslight Square luminary, he knew all the jazz giants of the day. He bragged that he held me as a baby under the bell of Chet Baker’s trumpet. A private solo I slept right through.

One of the last operations running in Gaslight was a small public access radio station “KDNA”. My dad had a show spinning his old 78s. The station was shut down after a drug raid. Legend has it that the raid happened live on the air. The DNA was broken down to the Double Helix and converted to KDHX which still thrives today as an alternative to boring corporate radio.

I had the opportunity to be in on some early broadcasts. The building was a shell in the process of being rehabbed. I brought in the first cd player the station used. We did the Sunday “midnight ‘till morning” show in a coal bin in the basement. Always praying the electric space heater wouldn’t melt the records.

Tracy Wynkoop and Mark Gray were the official DJs. Tracy would read the “Weekly World News” for the news spots. He once devoted an entire show to my brother’s dog.

I met a program director a few years later after they had become more established who almost bit my head off after I told him we stored six packs of beer outside our coal bin to keep them cold.” If the FCC had known about that, they would have shut us down for sure”! Oh well.

Much more to come!


No comments: