I can’t remember wanting to do anything else but be on the radio. My uncle, Lou Essick, was a radio announcer in the Carolinas while I was growing up. As I recall, he drove a Chrysler and had a glamorous wife – a real Southern belle. Neat cars and nice looking women – wow, that’s what radio was all about.
I’ll admit it. I got into radio to meet girls. I thought they’d be so impressed that I was on the air that they’d overlook all of my shortcomings. And you know what I’m talking about.
Tom Francis – Big T – was program director of WIMA in my hometown, Lima, Ohio. At that time I was a senior at Lima Central Catholic High School. I was on the yearbook staff and I bugged the crap out of Big T to buy an ad in our yearbook. I guess he liked my schtick because he gave me a job working weekends. My big break!!! I got to play DJ for a few minutes before a high school football game. Then I ran the control board producing the game on the air. There was a weekend DJ on WIMA named Biggy BC Carr. There was a good reason he took that name. He was about the size of Montana. Biggy let me record some ID’s for his show. “Ladies and Gentlemen, your listening to Bill Carr, on Radio Lima – WIMA!” You can’t imagine the thrill that coursed through my veins when I heard my voice coming out of the radio. Pure Magic! I was hooked. Soon, I’d be rubbing elbows..or at least I thought..with all my radio heroes on the top 40 station in Toledo. WTOD. Now, there was a great station. I loved the station jingles -🎵WTOD 1560. Jingles – the glue that put the sound together. John Garry, Larry O’Brien, Mike Shaw, Don Patrick Newsbeat”. I loved WTOD – and I hated their competitor? WOHO. (A prelude of hate to come). I never made it to WTOD. But I did make it to WERT in Van Wert! They gave me a job as traffic manager. I was excited but I couldn’t figure out why they needed a traffic manager in Van Wert, Ohio. Hell, the only traffic in that town was a slow moving John Deere.
But that’s enough for now. Stay tuned because coming up, the 1968 presidential election and my first utterance of a dirty word on the air. For now, this is Skip Essick signing off