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Podcasting Lessons From A 1970s Radio DJ

January 31, 2015
jeff christie wixz

Jeff Christie at WIXZ

Want to get good at podcasting? Know that you must embrace failure to do so.

Just like you can’t learn a new language without speaking, you’ll never become a great podcast host without actually making podcasts.

You can’t just read books about it. You can’t just listen to great hosts. You can’t just take a course or talk about podcasting on Facebook.

The only way to get good at podcasting is to get behind a mic, hit record, and make podcasts.

You must make mistakes, because that’s the only way you’ll know what doesn’t work and improve on your technique so those mistakes are less frequent.

The Aircheck

In the radio industry, an aircheck is a demonstration recording intended to show off the talent of an announcer to prospective employers. Below is a series of 1972 and 1974 airchecks from a jock named Jeff Christie, that are especially interesting.

Jeff had a show on KQV in Pittsburgh called the “Jeff Christie Rock and Roll Radio Show” and you can hear him announce songs from The Stylistics, Stevie Wonder, and Rick Nelson. He announces the weather and stumbles over the amount of money in the “Cash Call” contest. He gives two six-packs of Carefree Sugarless Gum and flubs a line announcing The Carefree Rock Concert Contest.

It’s nothing special…

Except for a couple of trademark lines, which he’s still using today…

“Jeff Christie” was fired from KQV in 1974. He was told by station management that he would never make it as on-air talent.

He spent the rest of the decade bouncing around the country, going from one radio station to the next. Finally, in 1979, he quit radio entirely to take a job working for the Kansas City Royals.

Four years later, he was back, this time at a radio station broadcasting a format he was much more passionate about — talk radio.

Today, known as Rush Limbaugh, his syndicated show is the highest-rated radio show in the United States with a listenership of over 15,000,000 people each week.

We are not born talented. We become talented through hard work and tenacity.

It doesn’t happen at all once. As these airchecks show, what you’re playing around with now, may just be what propels you to success in the future.

So jump in, experiment, and make mistakes… That’s what the concept of “23 Hours” is all about — you’re not getting paid for the one hour a day you’re on air, you’re getting paid for other 23 hours it takes to get there.