The Strikebound Sound of WABC!

March 29 - April 10, 1967

Jonathan Wolfert of JAM and PAMS contributed the following commentary
and aircheck to the WABC Musicradio Web Site:


The Strikebound Aircheck!
(Mp3)


The Strikebound Aircheck!
(Real Audio)

 

From March 29 to April 10, 1967 there was a strike called by AFTRA (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). This meant that all the union talent, including the WABC airstaff, was taken off the air and replaced by management personnel. It was all very strange. But Rick Sklar could turn anything into a promotion, and the strike was no exception.

The above aircheck is a brief montage compiled from hours of tape. It includes:

The "strikebound sound" jingle that Rick Sklar ordered from PAMS (Series 31).

Hal Neal, president of ABC Radio, filling in as a newsman giving background on the strike.

The "super pickets" promo. This was, of course, a take-off on the station's weekly "superhit sounds" promo which featured excerpts from the week's top 5 songs. It's a promotion masterpiece and it worked. Whenever one of the All Americans tried to take part in the picket line outside the ABC building, they'd be mobbed by autograph seekers!

Rick Sklar worked as the booth announcer in the evening. He even turned looking for mistakes into a promotion!

ABC press relations executive Marty Grove filled in for Cousin Brucie and Chuck Leonard. He was trying to sound like Brucie, but... well, there's only one Brucie.

Bernie Koval, the gentle soft-spoken chief engineer, took his turn behind the mike as "Bernie the K" for Ron Lundy.

Jeff Berman sat in for Bobaloo. John Britton sat in for Chuck Leonard. Jeff Tellis sat in for Charlie Greer.

Rick Sklar did the news on many occasions. Sometimes he would intro the network news, but the network was having its own staffing problems and sometimes it just wouldn't be there!

Finally the strike ended. Within 30 minutes of the announcement, Cousin Bruce was back on the air and in an instant things got back to normal. Bruce couldn't help wondering "what is that Marty Grove talking like that for?"

The next day Dan Ingram had to remember how to do his show. Luckily for all of us, he did.


 

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