Thursday, March 12, 2009

How I started at WMSE/ WSOE

This appears in the current WMSE email newsletter. The station asked some of its "old timer" DJs to tell the story of how they became involved in the station. Here's mine .....

Rich Mars: Wednesdays, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. City Rock Showgram
The station known as WSOE at the time (supposedly a campus-only station) you could sorta pick up as far north as UWM and as far west as my Sherman Park flat...
I read in the Xpress or some predecessor of the Shepherd Express, about this station at MSOE playing cool, new music you couldn't hear anywhere else with plans to go to 1,000 watts.
As a reporter for the UWM Post, I decided to do a story and tell UWM students about the station. Chris Jacobsen, who was president of the student club that ran the station, didn't want another story to appear, so I asked if I could be a DJ. He said 'sure' (I'm oversimplifying, here), but I had to attend a meeting of the MSOE Radio Broadcasters Club and get accepted. There was a power struggle at the time among club members about letting 'outsiders' (non MSOE students/alums/staff) be DJs.
The 'outsider' DJs generally were more likely to play punk and new wave (I was guilty as charged) and we were supported by Radio Club members who wanted more 'alternative' music on the station. I did my best to be friendly and not punk-y and the club let me in. I did a few hours of off-air training in the old studio which was in the basement of the old MSOE bookstore, which in turn, was an old church.
I believe my first show on WSOE was in May or June of 1980 and I was on right before or after Jules. I also was with WMSE when it launched in March of 1981, doing an afternoon 'drive time' shift with the air name 'Rich'. In the meantime, I made many new friends who love music as much as I did, hung out at The Starship and Zak's nightclubs and held impromptu after-hours parties at the station."
-Rich Mars

No comments:

Post a Comment