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Behind The Mic: Greg's "First" Disastrous Day in the Village

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 While I was still a station volunteer, a golden opportunity presented itself:  Maggie Brennan invited me to guest-host The Global Village.

Maggie needed a day off, and was trusting me with her baby.  Not only would I be filling the shoes of one of Central Ohio's most venerable radio personalities, but as it turned out there was a live Studio A interview and performance session scheduled that day with none other than the legendary Rodney Crowell!  I'd be responsible for interviewing a stellar solo artist, former member of Emmylou Harris' Hot Band, and a bona fide one-time member of the Johnny Cash clan.  (Crowell, reflecting on his first face-to-face meeting with The Man in Black:  "I had been dating Rosanne and it came time to meet and spend a few days with her family.  Upon arrival at the Cash compound, I was adamant my sleeping arrangements would include me sharing a room with Rosanne. Johnny, ever the protective father, would have none of it.  When I persisted, he glared at me and said  'Son, I don't know you well enough to know if I'll miss you when you're gone.' ")  I had interviewed scores of artists throughout my radio career but, to paraphrase Joe Biden, this one was a big *##%&* deal!

The big day arrived, and after much preparation, I was ready.  

Or so I thought. 

 

The control board looked foreign to me.  Although I had previously guest-hosted Jazz Sunday, it had been a while and I had to, quickly, take a crash course in Master Control operations.  And I had to, quickly, find the proper underwriting and promotional announcements to air during the breaks in music. Not only that, but we were experiencing inclement weather that day, and Dan Mushalko would rush into the studio every fifteen minutes with a new National Weather Service watch or warning to get on the air immediately!  All this while trying to maintain my composure, do my best to be entertaining, and produce a proper radio show.

And then, the (hopelessly outdated) master control board went dark, which meant dead air.  Dead air!  Every DJ's nightmare.

When normal operations returned, I began to feel comfortable and confident that things were starting to go well. At that very moment, I glanced over my shoulder and caught a glimpse of Rodney Crowell, THE Rodney Crowell, setting up his gear in Studio A.  I about jumped out of my skin and a serious case of the jitters returned.

The time had come for the interview.  I gathered my notes, cleared my head, drank a big ol' glass of confidence, and entered Studio A.

I must've done something right. When it was all said and done I received compliments from listeners, the WCBE staff (including The Big Kahuna, Mr. Mushalko), and upon her return, Maggie.  Plus, they didn't revoke my volunteer status and run me out the door.  And the ultimate compliment:  since that day, Maggie has consistently offered me substitute hosting duties whenever she needs some time off.

Without lavish and up-to-date studios, we're all tempered by fire at WCBE with incidents like this.  But that forces us to always focus on the fundamentals of great radio first, instead of using technology as a crutch -- which means giving you our very best.  That's certainly what I do every single day!

Greg Moebius is lifelong Ohio resident and received his broadcast education at Ohio University. He's been up and down the radio dial with on-air stints in Zanesville, Athens, Nelsonville, Newark and, for the past 30 years, Columbus. His love of radio and music is apparent. Greg, currently a Westerville resident, spends his down time on Central Ohio's bike trails, festival-hopping and playing guitar with an amusing band of misfits known as The Highpoint Brothers.