With fondness and laughter Bruce Miller, George Manesis, and Gregory Humphrey trek back 41 years to reminisce about the Wausau, Wisconsin broadcasting school. From how these young men saw themselves at the time, to how radio impacts their lives today, this podcast episode surely mirrors the hundreds of graduates over the years. From the school owner, Ray Szmanda, to the iconic Scott Street Pub these three guys regale memories that will transport all those who once harbored ‘radio fever’ to a place of youthful nostalgia. An episode that has a professional touch, a human connection. Darius Rucker, The Knack, and Connie Smith add the melody.
Doty Land is not the biggest or the best podcast, but it is mine and it makes for lots of smiles and hours well-spent on the Madison isthmus.
Radio and broadcasting was my first love as a boy, working at WDOR was a thrill for years, and my home studio for podcasting now is the perfect niche.
I am super pleased with how my Alzheimers episode has landed with listeners, which is what is reflected in the downloads. I used contemporaneous notes from the time and recorded the episode in under 30 minutes. Adding the bumpers and editing and the project was completed in a couple hours.
Stories of laughter and also tenderness deals with the final chapter of the life of Albert Trull. It makes for a somber podcast. But one that is aimed to reach out and ask what role all can play with the elderly people needing friendship and companionship within our communities.
I find the tone of what I hope to achieve on my podcast episodes mirrors what I heard coming over the radio airwaves while growing up in Hancock. Respect your audience, be professional, and have fun, too. Check, check, and check.
And so it goes.
I reject the long-time undermining of standards in our nation. From the way people dress without care regarding how they look (well, it was his good T-shirt for the funeral home visitation), or the often-boorish language that is usually shouted loudly for added impact inside a mall. Everywhere one looks there are fewer guardrails being employed for how people act in society.
I read today on a Facebook page for podcasters the following about a Joe Rogan episode. A listener took the time to hear the long episode, and upon finishing offered the following comment.
I heard countless plosives, breaths, and bangs on the table… even a glass being knocked over at one point. Long pauses between thoughts… so much so that I checked my phone to see if something went wrong. Studders, stammers, and even talking over each other at points. So many things that we often view as faux pas and no-no’s,….
That is how Rogan, a ‘successful podcaster’ presented himself to his audience. Now, I could challenge the conversation Rogan recorded or the ‘facts’ he tossed to his listeners. But my post here is about something larger than all that.
I have a far different perspective on what an audience should expect from podcasters. Perhaps old school, even. And as such, I offered the following as a reply on the page this evening.
First and foremost, always respect your audience. We are basically asking folks to allow us into their homes, cars, or ear pods via a podcast. Our behavior and demeanor ‘on air’ should echo how we would act if in person, or how we would want others to be acting if knocking on our door to have entrance. Being abrasive for impact—not that most podcasters desire that—should not be the goal.
We would wish for our best delivery if face-to-face, so when recording a podcast aim for breath control, do not play with water glasses, and stem cursing, if that is an issue. I would suggest that while ‘anything goes’ seems to be a way to podcast, is that really how you want others to hear you? Perceive you?
For instance, it can be very effective in conversation to have a pause but to have a span where a listener checks the connection is not what most would wish their podcast to sound like. Again, our podcasts reflect on the person behind the microphone.
Next, the pacing of delivery is something that does not get mentioned much, but it matters. Most people in our nation speak at about 160 words per minute. Just as an aside, and a weird trivia point here, but Walter Cronkite trained himself to speak only 124 words per minute as he felt that pace allowed for understanding whatever was being imparted to the listener.
Finally, try placing a photo of your parents or some person you really respect in your podcasting area and talk to that person as you work behind the microphone. How would you make your episode sound if that person pictured was the one to hear the final product?
Having higher standards does not mean perfection will result, but it will ensure quality control for what we love to do.
For my blog readers, I should state I do not take time out for each instance where ‘anything goes’ raises its head. But broadcasting, and its cousin podcasting, do merit some response when the lessening of respect to listeners and just sloppy production values are deemed to be acceptable.
And so it goes.
This is my second podcast this week!
When a German soldier in WWII acts with compassion to save the lives of Americans what does that tell us about humanity? Those types of acts of compassion on the battlefield are explored in an upcoming documentary. Stephanie Manesis, director and producer of the film talks not only about the multi-year project but also how creativity has manifested itself in her life. Podcaster Gregory Humphrey notes it is a joy to have such a great conversationalist to interview.
It has been a mighty long fifteen months as we have traveled the pandemic journey. But today there was real light at the end of the tunnel when James and I received our first vaccination shots. For the occasion, I wore one of my favorite T-shirts, one that made for smiles decades ago….and again today as it still fit! Months ago when the vaccine was starting to be available I knew exactly what I would wear when the needle met my arm.
The enormity of the pandemic, along with the scientific surge of research and discovery that allowed for the vaccines to be manufactured has not lost their power even as my desire to get vaccinated was in overdrive. It was my need to fully feel the moment that led me to ask a question when finally getting close to the shot being administered. I wanted to know something I could always recall about the woman who was holding the needle.
She always wanted to go into the world of medicine as her dad was a doctor. While sports medicine held much sway over her for years she finally decided to become a medical assistant. When I asked her if the pandemic seemed surreal she responded by saying such massive outbreaks can occur if not dealt with properly at the start. She nailed that one!
With that, she wheeled herself to my right arm and asked me what I was going to do the rest of the afternoon. I uttered about four words and got to the part of giving the title of the book I was reading when she informed me we were done. I truly did not feel it. Just like that, I had my first shot of Pfizer.
A few hours later as I type this post there is a slight soreness. But I feel psychologically different, a part of my being has caught up with the facts I had been reading for months. A part of the personal dread about the virus, and the impact it could have had on this home is already dimming.
As I got up and ready for today I thought of the boys from my hometown area (Hancock, WI)–the ones I have been reading and podcasting here and here a lot about lately–who fought in WWI during the 1918 pandemic. The local newspaper at the time, The Hancock News reported on the ones who died in Europe. They all did not die from a German bullet, but also from the influenza pandemic.
I strongly suspect if all the young men who left my hometown area for Europe had been able to remedy the influenza pandemic with a vaccine shot they would have quickly rolled up a sleeve. Perhaps even ripped off the sleeve and thrust their arm forward!
We live with so much technology along with the power of medicine and science. We have umteenth ways to become informed on the ways a vaccine is made and works once inside the body. Yet too many rebel about why they have ‘the right’ to not take the shot. We hear nonsense about ‘freedom’ and the weak-minded who try to equate not taking the vaccine to some principled stand rooted in our nation’s founding. Try to inform that group that George Washington believed in the science of his time and knew why inoculation for smallpox was vital.
As such I ask how would Edward Cutsforth respond to the naysayers and vaccine deniers that we hear about today?
The rejection of the vaccines must end. So please, if you have not received your vaccination, make an online appointment today.
With sentimental images of Hancock, Wisconsin, and many personal letters from hometown boys fighting in World War I, Gregory Humphrey brings the accounts from The Hancock News back to life. With music from the era, along with ‘advertisements’ from L.S. Walker Company in Hancock, listeners will be transported back in time with this professionally produced podcast. The letters from the boys bring their memories back to life. Listen to the podcast here.
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“Fond memories of Larry King, including podcaster Gregory Humphrey’s audio recording of a call to the late-night radio host, are included in this episode. In addition, the one interview broadcasters wished King had given about his decades behind the microphone. A most respectful tribute to a radio legend.”
During the past year and a half one of my greatest pleasures has been the hours spent working in my broadcast studio. Working in radio in my young adult years, in fact loving radio broadcasting my entire life, has added to the joy received from the studio on our third floor. Presently my podcast work is revolving around a tribute to radio legend Larry King. Granted, the world has thrown a number of curveballs over the past year, but it is essential that we locate our space to find needed calm and pleasure. This broadcasting work has grounded me, taken me back in time, and also pushed me forward. Seems perfectly timed for where life has placed me.