Working At WDOR Radio
On August 16, 1982 I walked into WDOR Radio in Sturgeon Bay for the first time as an employee. I sat behind the console with my headphones on, turned the microphone on, and ‘Trevor James’ came to life. It was one of those marvelous moments that I had hoped for from the time as a kid when I used my dad’s stopwatch as my timer, and the Stevens Point Daily Journal as both my source for news copy and advertisements, and played radio in my bedroom. That first day in Sturgeon Bay was a long way from Hancock, Wisconsin, not necessarily in miles, but in the number of dreams about the day I might be on the airwaves.
Lots of wonderful memories were made in that small studio on South 15th Avenue in the heart of Door County. Every August I have moments reminiscing about the days and nights that I worked in that studio playing records, recording commercials, and covering local news events.
As I write a smile is on my face about the time Tom Wagoner, a truly fun-loving morning man, rushed into the studio while I was ‘on air’ with a long piece of teletype paper from the AP machine that was literally on fire. As it burned he shouted for all the listeners to hear, “Hot news story just off the wires….” I recall laughing so heartily about that, and finally cluing my listeners in for the reason things were really fun at the station. The boss was out in Las Vegas at a radio convention and things could get amusing in his absence. Thankfully, we had metal trash cans for those hot news items!
I still have the knack for ‘walking up the ramp’ of songs, (over the opening music to a song) and stopping the line of DJ banter as the first word starts on a song. Many a time James smiles as I do the lingo while driving and listening to the oldies. The oldies are perfect, as I need to know the song of course that I walk up the ramp too! I can still chatter about all sorts of stuff, and never sound like it was not all pre-planned as I ‘walk the ramp’.
So imagine if you will a rather fast and spirited voice from your friendly local average everyday neighborhood DJ……
“…..9:57 on a Friday night…looking for a low of 63 degrees on the peninsula tonight with plenty of sunshine for tomorrow along with warmer temps…don’t forget the Bay-Lakes Fishing Report coming your way at five after the hour……taking you up to news time is Ray Stevens………….” ( and the first word from Ray’s mouth hits the airwaves)