WOBC’s outreach team sends a call to WOBC veterans to write us
their fondest memories and favorite radio-related anecdotes…
Here are some of the responses we’ve received:
I was with WOBC all 4 years of my time at Oberlin, waaaaaaaaaay back in the early 1980s. Senior year I was the Jazz Director and Public Affairs Director. We had equipment from the 1950s, and CDs weren’t even a twinkle in the future’s eye. Everything was on LPs.
There were 2 other people on the “Executive Board”, as it was called back then, one named David Greene, and the other Karen Glauber. Karen was on the air doing her show (she went on to do some pretty cool things with Indy Rock at A&M Records), and at the time there was a glass panel between the control room and the studio where we sometimes had live performances. David thought it would be excellent to, well, drop his drawers and press his posterior against the glass while Karen was talking on the air. Karen, upon seeing the full moon over Oberlin, proclaimed to her listening audience, “David Greene has pimples on his a**!!”
While not a moment for the broadcast journalism hall of fame, it was, nonetheless, rather funny, perhaps in a “you had to be there” kind of way??
My guess is that this kind of history is not exactly what you are seeking. But, 30 year hence it still, so to speak, sticks out in my memory as a formative event during my WOBC years.
Can’t wait to drop by the station this commencement weekend!! I haven’t been there since my 20th reunion, 10 years ago. Thanks for putting this together!!
P.S. I remain committed to being fully clothed in public despite that event, so no worries about the unsightly during my drop-in to WOBC!
I wasn’t a DJ but a newscast member. My first week, Jerry Parra (station manager) took time to teach us how to correctly pronounce “Nicaragua.” Let’s just say that it took this Vermonter more than a few times to get it right!
- Lucinda Walker ’86
Not a DJ but I married one. Well, to qualify this: I *was* a DJ, modestly a co-DJ, with my friend Kai downstairs at the ‘sco. But my wife, Lucinda Walker (’86), now a small town library director in Vermont, did have a stint at OBC. I ventured up into the “attic” of the radio station (“musty” and “ochre” come to mind) only once. I think it was during my junior year, or early in my senior year, 1985, I was interviewed inside a small interior studio by a middle-aged man from outside Oberlin who was an editor at a local literary journal The Black River Review (he had a regular show, as far as I know). This constituted my first interview and, in a way, it was my “public foray” into authorship. In my senior year, and–significantly–in a tiny room in the center of a gray off-campus house, I started listening to WOBC regularly–and I wish I had started earlier. The connection to what the DJ chose to play was compelling, even while what was spinning were new worlds. Back from the first Oberlin semester in Dublin, Ireland (having seen R.E.M. play to about fifty young Irish–AFTER they had played Finney), I was starting to find affinities beyond what I had previously known.
Long live OBC. Viva!
I had a show with Anna McGlynn (also ’07) where we interviewed writers, both students and professors. We got sort of sick of doing real interviews so one day we had “Jesus” come on as a guest. My mom and Anna’s mom both called in because they were worried we were being offensive.
Wow, so many people I know in the thread. I was jazz director immediately after David Dunn, then Program Director for two years (first year shared the spot with Lorenzo “Jerry” Parra, second year Jerry was Station Manager and I was sole PD). Also friends with Peter and Lucinda during time at OC and after (hi, guys). Way too much history for me to tell all, so, since Dave posted and Lucinda mentioned Jerry, I’ll tell a story about the two of them. Jerry was in charge of news/public affairs in ’82-83. He liberated our newscasts from the old UPI teletype, brought in a very early PC (one of the infamous Oberlin Osbornes) and had us subscribe to Interlink/Interpress news service which we received via the computer for a more global perspective on news. Before he did this, he raised the issue with the board and some objected to giving up UPI. Dave gave an impassioned defense of Jerry’s vision and commitment to WOBC providing news that is as alternative as the music was. Dave’s speech ended with something to the effect of “after all of the great things this mensch, this bubbe, has done for WOBC news, we really ought to give him the benefit of the doubt.”
Other memories — Station Manager David Greene (81-82) climbing the antenna in a thunderstorm to make some repairs. Scared the shit out of us.
A live jam Louie Louie marathon — anyone could drop in with any instrument and join in. I think we played it continuously for 12 hours or more.
Interviewing Graham Chapman.
Finally, I commented on the April 7 history thread. I still don’t recognize who those people are.
– Josh Rubin ’85
(And one more love note from a WOBC DJ)
If you have any WOBC related memories or love notes you would like to share, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Amanda Mummery