How To Become A Radio DJ (#1)

cintage-radioHow To Become A Radio DJ (#1)

It is with a small amount of fanfare and no amount of careful planning that Mid-Valley Mutations is proud to present it’s premier episode on KMUZ Radio. To help in this production, Austin has called upon his old friend Mike Staff to offer an audio essay about the trials and tribulations of radio DJs. It is not all free coffee and waiting for April Stevens to come on and deliver the weather.  Becoming a DJ is a long and arduous road, and for those of you who are not on the inside, this this program should give you a taste of what kinds of secrets exist for those of us on the inside.  Sit back, and enjoy 60 minutes of a little story called, “How To Become A Radio DJ,” in STEREO.

I’ve been spinning tunes on-air for nearly 20 years now, and in that time, I’ve picked up a thing or two about the world of DJing.  But when it comes to some of the more complicated mental gymnastics DJs have to go through to be successful, there’s only one person I turn to: the one and only Mike Staff, who in the mid-90’s released a self-help book / tape on that very subject.  If you are looking to become a NuRock Personlity in the rough and tumble world of radio circa 1999, then look no further than Mr. Staff.

Interleaved with Mike’s advice, I’ve curated an hour of music that helps light the way through what I want the show to be, AND through my own curious story in radio.  As the introduction suggests my life is starting over again, but I’ve used this track before.  It only makes sense that, much like the form and format of Mid-Valley Mutations, that this rebirth is an evolution above what has come before.  If you are familiar with my past radio work, then this shouldn’t be surprising.  But much like Fred Frith’s solo work, this show hopes to take radio and run it through an experimental filter all its own, and focus even more on the fringes of music, and music that is operating on a completely different wavelength.

This episode is broken into three sections, each with its own ebb and flow.  Mike Staff’s words of wisdom take many shapes and forms, and I tried my best to break it us as we went, in an effort to get a wider range of ideas into the show at hand.  I’m proud of the work here, and I hope that you enjoy what we’ve been able to cook up for you.  Being a radio DJ – as you’ll find out – is hard work.  But with some persistence and patience, you can be as good as someone as legendary as Mike Staff.

 

How To Become A Radio DJ

Part I: “Your dream is the most powerful thing you possess.”

01.) Diesel Lorry, 10-Ton, Interior, Start-Up, Constant Run, Stop [Excerpt] * BBC * BBC Sound Effects Libary
02.) The Mindset of Successful DJs * Mike Staff * How To Become A Radio DJ
03.) My Life Is Starting Over Again [Excerpt] * Daniel Johnston * Artistic Vice
04.) Evolution * Fred Frith * Cheap At Half The Price
05.) Begin The Beguine * Django Reinhardt * The Complete Django Reinhardt And Quintet of The Hot Club of France, Swing / HMV Sessions (1936 – 1948)
06.) Let’s Panic Later * The Ex * Starters Alternators
07.) Out There * Blue Faces * In The Days Of The Lightbulb On The Wall
08.) The Venerable Song (The Meaning Which Is No Longer Known) [Excerpt] * Sun City Girls * Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings

 

Part II: “A goal is just a well defined dream.”

09.) CAR, Rolls Royce Silver Sprite, Exterior, Start-Up, Drive Off * BBC * BBC Sound Effects Libary
10.) New Walk (Live) * Liquid Liquid * Liquid Liquid
11.) Iggy * RLLRBLL * 4 Corners
12.) The New Old Pitch * Bob Crane * His Mighty Hurricane Machine
13.) We Found Answers * Leb Laze * Library Catalog Music Series: Music For Troubled Machinery
14.) Resist The New Way * Men’s Recovery Project * The Very Best of Men’s Recovery Project
15.) Retired Woman Starts New Career In Monkey Fashions * Jad Fair & Yo La Tengo * Strange But True

 

Part III: Radio in Smalltown USA

16.) Train Starts Constant Run * BBC * BBC Sound Effects Libary
17.) Listen To The * People Like Us * Abridged Too Far
18.) “Clutch Cargo ’81” * Negativland * “Points”
19.) [untitled – Track 2] * 200 Yang * 200 Yang
20.) Night Music * Christian Marclay * Records
21.) Plague of Madness * Moth Hunter * Dust
22.) “R” Plays The Fool [Excerpt] * Replikants * Slickaphonics
23.) The Venerable Song (The Meaning Which Is No Longer Known) [Excerpt II] * Sun City Girls * Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings
24.) My Life Is Starting Over Again [Excerpt II] * Daniel Johnston * Artistic Vice

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The Mad Daddy Rides Again!

The Mad Daddy Himself
The Mad Daddy Himself

The Mad Daddy Rides Again!
(Featuring two hours of the originator of Halloween Radio, The Mad Daddy Himself!  Originally broadcast on 1 October 2011 on KPSU, again in 2015, and again in 2016 as “#19.1.”)

In the late ’50’s and early ’60’s, the citizens of Cleveland would tune in late at night to hear the rhyming ravings of a real radio genius, The Mad Daddy!  Using sound effects on record, a reverb machine, various tape effects, and a stack of records from groups that were not getting regular airplay, he would get on the air and present two and a half hours of some of the most inventive radio you’ve every heard.  And, in an instant, he was gone.  This show is a small gesture toward recreating what a real Mad Daddy show must have been like, using a variety of materials and sources that I dig up just for this broadcast.

These are actual recordings of The Mad Daddy himself, in action.  Half of this show is culled from an hour-long air-check tape from 1958, and various bits from from the great compilation, Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964, which make up the bulk of the material for the show.  There are also a few period songs from when his show was on the air, and also includes both sides of the 45 Mad Daddy cut in the early 60’s, “I Love A Good Practical Joke” b/w “What Is A Pfisteris?”

Special thanks go out to the excellent archivist and blogger, Kogar The Swinging Ape (the one responsible for the Lux & Ivy compilation series), and the “Salad Days” radio program, which did an excellent tribute show at the beginning of 2010.  Both websites helped lead me in the right direction when I was trying to assemble this broadcast, and both led me to recordings and songs that I was unaware of before I had this idea for a show.  In particular, Kogar posted on his blog a recording of an acetate that contained recordings of the sound effects that Mad Daddy used when he was on the air.  Those are sprinkled liberally throughout this show.

There is something wonderful about listening to The Mad Daddy in action, that I have never heard on any kind of radio before or since.  His rhyming weirdness, his theatrical enthusiasm, and the creepy undertones of his weirdness, have all the hallmarks of a good Horror Host, and in many ways he invented the form.  This isn’t exactly “creepy” or “spooky,” but definitely has a retro feel that fits the nostalgia that is common around this time of year.  Plus: his raps are fantastic.  All improvised, and well worth the time and energy.

Stay tuned, as next week we’ll feature his apprentice, Ghoulardi!  Enjoy!

The Mad Daddy Rides Again!

01.) The Mad Daddy * Show Opening * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records * Norton Records
02.) The Mad Daddy * 1958 Air-Check Excerpt 1 * The Mad Daddy * WHK Radio
03.) The Mad Daddy * News Break * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records * Norton Records
04.) The Mad Daddy * Gillette Razor * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records * Norton Records
05.) Rene Hall * Twitchy * “Twitchy” b/w” Flippin'”
06.) The Mad Daddy * 1958 Air-Check Excerpt 2 * The Mad Daddy WHK Radio
07.) The Joker (The Mad Daddy) * I Love A Good Practical Joke * “I Love A Good Practical Joke” b/w “What Is A Pfisteris?” *
08.) The Mad Daddy * 1958 Air-Check Excerpt 3 * The Mad Daddy * WHK Radio
09.) The Mad Daddy * RCA Dehumid-d-d-d-difier * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records * Norton Records
10.) The Five Stars * Pickin’ On The Wrong Chicken * “Pickin’ On The Wrong Chicken” b/w “Dreaming”
11.) The Mad Daddy * 1958 Air-Check Excerpt 4 * The Mad Daddy * WHK Radio
12.) The Mad Daddy * Record Rendezvous * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records * Norton Records
13.) The Mad Daddy * WHK Jingle * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records
14.) The Tune Rockers * Green Mosquito * “The Green Mosquito” b/w “Warm Up”
15.) The Mad Daddy * 1958 Air-Check Excerpt 5 * The Mad Daddy
16.) The Valiants * Good Golly Miss Molly * “Good Golly Miss Molly” b/w “This Is The Nite”
17.) The Mad Daddy * Random Air-Check Excerpt * The Mad Daddy
18.) The Mad Daddy * Gillette Razor 2 * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records
19.) The Joker * What Is A Pfisteris? * “I Love A Good Practical Joke?” b/w “What Is A Pfisteris?”
20.) The Puddle Jumpers * Snake Charmer * “Snake Charmer” b/w “Mud Puddle”
21.) The Mad Daddy * Big Bad Train * “Snake Charmer” b/w “Mud Puddle”
22.) Muddy Waters * (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man * Complete Chess Masters
23.) The Mad Daddy * Martian Shave * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records
24.) The Nite Riders * Pretty Plaid Skirt (And Long Black Socks) * “Pretty Plaid Skirt” b/w “I’ll Never Change”
25.) The Mad Daddy * Moldy Basement * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records
26.) The Eternals * Rockin’ In The Jungle * “Rockin’ In The Jungle” b/w “Rock ‘N Roll Cha Cha”
27.) The Mad Daddy * Record Rendezvous 2 * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records
28.) Dwight Pullen * Sunglasses After Dark * “Teenage Bug” b/w “Sunglasses After Dark”
29.) The Mad Daddy * Record Acid Test * Wavy Gravy! Atom Smashin’ Zoomeratin’ Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts 1958 – 1964 * Norton Records
30.) Dale Hawkins * Tornado * “Tornado” b/w “Little Pig”