I’m big fan of FIRSTS. Life is too short. If you can be first at SOMETHING it’s a big deal to me. I was the FIRST DJ in Worcester to break the Saturday Night Fever album and play it on the air in the late 1970’s. But it did not end well at first…more to come.
I was impressed and happy to see that Beth Mowins is the first female to call PLAY BY PLAY on Monday Night Football this past week. Another positive proving that we can do anything if we put our mind to it with hard work, commitment, a little luck and and a person or two that are our champions. Congrats Beth!!
Ok, back to Worcester. In 1977 I was the first DJ in Worcester to play Stayin’ Alive off the Saturday Night Fever album as it exploded on radio across America. I was a weekender on a local Worcester radio station that played top forty hit music. My boss and I were talking before the show and I recommended to him that we should probably play this album as it just hit the air that day in other cities like Boston. He said, “good idea. Separate the hits and play Stayin Alive, More Than A Woman, and Night Fever.”
So I played each song, ten minutes apart. I thought that’s what he wanted. That’s what I WANTED. Well, based on the immediate call on the hotline from my boss who began to rip me a new one, it was a mistake. He said “I used up all of the value of having three massive hits to spread out over hours, by playing them so close together.” I could have milked it all afternoon in my six hour shift. So he told me to wait an hour and a half before I could play them again.
I was only sixteen and very wet behind the ears. But my mistake was probably the right thing to do, because after playing the three hits so close, the phones EXPLODED with listeners wanting to hear more. It was like we “broke the rules.” When my boss called me back about forty five minutes later to check on my “wounds”, I told him of the exploding phones. Because of that, he told me to play one of the hits every half hour adding How Deep Is Your Love and You Should Be Dancing. The phones exploded all afternoon as we gave Worcester a huge gift.
More good news: the boss soon forgave me. The station didn’t receive a copy from the record label. It was MY PERSONAL album.