This has been a tough month for me. I am losing two people that I love to other states. One is my radio sister, Robin Marshall who is moving to North Carolina; the other is my cousin, Jamie, who is moving back to California.
I've known about Robin moving for some time, so I was ready for her departure. I only found out about Jamie moving from a Facebook post. I called both and her husband, leaving messages. Her husband Cliff emailed me, thanking me for the call, but they can't see us before they leave as they are pressed for time.
Moving is very stressful and I went 25 years without seeing Jamie. I saw her for the first time in all those years at my aunt's funeral in Portland, Oregon two years ago. I also saw her mother and sister for the first time in as many years. It was great to reconnect with long lost relatives.
It turned out that Jamie and Cliff lived in New York City, so they were fairly close to Long Island. My family saw them three times over the last couple of years and we had a great time. I was hoping they could come to our annual barbecue in August, but that's not happening. We wish you the best in your new job in the Sonoma Valley. I am also very jealous.
I have known Robin since 1985, when she first joined WAPP-FM, in New York City. I told this story to her four daughters a couple of weeks ago when I went to her house to pick up some air check tapes and the looks on their faces were priceless. They didn't think their mother had a life before they were born.
I was visiting my friend Allen Beebe and Robin was just going on the air. I asked Allen who's that hot woman. He laughed and told me it was Robin. You will never forget those incredible green eyes. The best part is that her daughters have the exact same eyes and attitude as their mother. I truly feel sorry for her husband, Steve: outnumbered in his life. It's only him and their one son Dylan against the four females. Estrogen beats testosterone one more time.
There aren't many people that can work at any job for 25 years, much less stay in the number one radio market and make a living at it for that long. Robin has also worked at WPIX-FM, WQHT-FM, WQCD-FM, WKJY-FM and most recently did weekends at WWFS-FM. She is also the voice of numerous radio stations across the country and television commercials, as well.
Now combine all that with raising a husband, 5 kids, 2 dogs and other assorted animals and you have one very busy person.
Robin compiled this incredible book, "Is This Thing On?" about radio people and their first radio jobs, worst radio experiences and what they are doing today. Robin asked me repeatedly to tell my story, but I procrastinated and never got it to her. I promised for volume two I'll write my story. The title of this column is paying a bit of homage to Robin and her book.
One storyteller, in the book, is All Access owner, Joel Denver. I met Joel in 1978 when I was in college and on spring break, visiting my grandparents in Florida. Joel was the Program Director of WMJX-FM/96X at the time. One of my college friends, Steve Singer also came to Florida for vacation and we made some phone calls to visit radio stations and get our demo tapes heard.
Joel was kind enough to welcome us to 96X and patiently listen to our demos. I can now say, honestly, that my college radio air checks were bad, awful and terrible. Yet, at the time, I thought I was hot shit and could get a job anywhere. Joel was polite and though he didn't offer us high paying jobs, he did give us some long forgotten advice and told us to keep plugging away.
Fast-forward 26 years; I'm back in contact with Joel. I remind him of this visit, including the fact that he had a 'fro' haircut and glasses. He nicely said he remembered that visit. Thanks for being polite again Joel, but if you really remember that, I'm a monkey's uncle.
Radio being the small world it is, Robin and Joel are good friends. As it turns out, Robin and I know many of the same people in radio, including the silky voiced Dick Summer. I listened to Dick on WNBC-AM, WYNY-FM and WPIX-FM, in New York City, when they still existed. Dick is a true radio personality, not a disc jockey. His kind of radio no longer exists, anymore.
I talked to Dick for the first time, in 2003, when I was organizing the WNBC-AM and WYNY-FM reunion. While he politely declined to attend, he did tell me to stay in touch. We have and I am highly entertained for doing so. He has sent me many of his "Personal Touch" CD's and other various recordings. Dick is truly a classy man, even if he doesn't read this column as often as he should.
Robin and Dick have done some work together for her "Jayne-FM" format. Their show, naturally, was "Dick and Jayne." Not quite the stories you remember from childhood though.
I believe that things happen in threes. That is what I told Robin when we chatted, tonight, and I told her I was writing this column. The question remains, which DJs do I know and care will be leaving New York City radio next, but I'm not even going to speculate on who it could be.
I can only handle so much sad news at one time. I told Robin I am truly going to miss her and our occasional breakfasts together at the diner. I am also going to miss my cousin, Jamie; to have such wonderful people in our lives only makes us better. Robin said they have diners in Charlotte. That's true, but it's not a 20-minute drive from my house. She did say I have a place to visit.
Big sigh here: how do you say good-bye or so long to two people you love and don't want to leave? You know they are doing better things for themselves and their families and can only wish them the best of luck.
Robin and Jamie, good luck and I'll miss you. I love you both.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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