{Prehistoric Amber} How To Conduct Your Radio Show In a Way That Will Make You Famous

1. First, pick a song that you absolutely love and never get sick of hearing, like What You Want by John Butler Trio. Always include this in your set list. No matter what. You might have played it on every single show since you started DJ’ing four years ago, but it doesn’t matter. Even if some of your listeners – albeit musical idiot listeners who have no taste and cannot appreciate nor recognize the all-consuming emotional genius that is What You Want by John Butler Trio – hate it, you know that since you are a psychology major the more they listen to it, the more fond of it they will become. Pretty soon they will be calling you, begging you to play it again. If that doesn’t happen, just keep playing it and tell yourself that it will. And if they only call to tell you to stop playing that goddamn song, tell them that you have the radio show and they don’t and so you will play whatever the fuck you want. CLICK.

2. Always – ALWAYS – have a song by Air Supply included in your playlist. Not only is the poetry in Air Supply’s lyrics poignant and without compare, but it also breaks up the monotony of the whole “I know more about music than you do” attitude that some shows can take on. If you absolutely cannot stand Air Supply (how dare you) then songs by ABBA will also fit nicely as a substitute.

3. Please play songs that have swear words in them. Songs that you listen to in the car and don’t really pay attention to, and the first time you realize that they say the word “fuck” in it is the time when you are playing it on the air. You get bonus points if this happens to you five times in one show. You get engraved into the Hall of Fame if you did this on a public radio station that is monitored by the FCC who likes to give the station a fine of about $1,500 for each swear word they hear while they are monitoring the station.

4. If you have two CD players to cue up music with, announce that you are going to play a particular song and talk about it for five minutes before you hit PLAY and then realize that you started playing the wrong song. I’ve done this a million times, and it never ceases to delight my listeners.

5. Mispronounce words constantly. Is “precipitation” included in the weather report? Pronounce it as “participation.” There are some listeners out there who have nothing better to do than to pull out their phone book, look up the phone number to the radio station, dial that number, wait five rings for you to answer the phone, and then tell you exactly how you mispronounced it and how it should be pronounced. You are giving them meaning to their lives, and they will always be grateful for it during the rest of their empty, pitiful existence.

6. Be super lazy the week preceding your radio show, neglect to come up with a playlist, and then decide to do an “All-Request” show. Then have about, oh, 50 people call in and request songs. Go look for them in your music library at the station and realize that even though your radio station has the largest collection of music you’ve ever seen in your life, that it does not, however, contain any of the songs that those 50 people just requested.

Ahh, yes. It has taken all of these tips and more to make me who I am today on the public radio circuit. And the amazing thing is that I just keep coming up with more and more ways to become notorious, much like the B.I.G. If you would like to listen and find out for yourself, the radio show is on tomorrow (Sat. Jan. 7th) at 1 to 5 PM Central time at www.wojb.org.

Written and published January 6, 2005

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

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