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History: As a young boy Robert Kirk developed a love for radio production and of being "ON AIR". New York City was pioneering Rock FM Radio at that time with such "jocks" as Alison Steele, Pete Fornatel, Vin Scelsa and Jonathan Schwartz on WNEW-FM. Robert would make tapes, or airchecks, of these announcers late into the night discovering for himself an aural escape and the magic of "hippie music". Through his interest he got his third class FCC license at age twelve and visited various radio stations to meet these "wizards".
Here is a passage from a google for Alison Steele, DJ on WNEW-FM...."The Nightbird". http://www.shemadeit.org/meet/biography.aspx?m=53[As her colleague Jo Maeder wrote in the New York Times shortly after her death: “She made radio visual and visceral, instantly drawing the listener into his or her own inner landscape. . . . Like the other DJ’s on WNEW-FM during the late 1960’s and 70’s, she helped an entire generation cope with the social upheaval and emerging counterculture through what was called a free-form or progressive format.” In 1997, WNEW-FM aired a posthumous tribute in which Steele refers to a framed saying—given to her by an unidentified loved one—that “seems to sum up my entire philosophy about what I’ve done in music and at this radio station.” The saying concludes: “The purpose of life is to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have it make some difference that we lived at all.” Clearly, Alison Steele fulfilled her purpose.]
Listen to Kirk's homemade aircheck of Alison talking about Alice Cooper's "School's Out" album. This was originally recorded on a tube language lab Wollensak reel to reel. It was this machine he began to use for his first imaginary, make believe recordings.
WPIX-FM, NEW YORK CITY ....Disc Jockey Jerry Carroll allowed Kirk (introduced by a school friend) to come up to the station late nights in the late 60's and early 70's and simply "hang out"in studio B...the production room. This is where Robert learned splicing skills and started talking in a deep, funny voice. What a cool thing for a 13 year old kid! Jerry soon went on to become the "pitch man" for an electronics store chain in New York called CRAZY EDDIE. http://pocketcalculatorshow.com/crazyeddie/multimedia/crazyeddie-insane.mp3
.............................................................................................................. Jerry Carroll on TV
WFSR, WOODBERRY FOREST RADIO.... Bob Kirk, as he was known in high school, got the green light from Woodberry to upgrade the theater sound booth into an AM carrier current radio station where students could have their own weekly evening programs and learn radio technique. Kirk remembers one of his first faculty demonstrations of the on air sound when the dj just happened to be playing the most "tich tich" passage of Zappa's "Dina Moe Hum".......needless to say eyebrows were raised! Here are a couple of promos from those days on WFSR. The station was used for some class projects like the radio play from the 1940's... "Sorry, Wrong Number". Hear a promo for that project with Kirk and classmate Nicky Wilson . Take a look at this student film written and directed by Kirk... perhaps the first ever film shot by a student for a class at Woodberry Forest School !
WUNC-FM, CHAPEL HILL....Finally Robert gets serious in college and joins this NPR affiliate. He goes on to become chief announcer for the station spinning a mixture of jazz and classical each afternoon and producing news and arts features for both local and national broadcast. As well, this marks a peroid of interviews and concert recordings with such jazz luminaries as Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Stanley Turrentine, and Gato Barbieri.
WQDR-FM, RALEIGH.... At the same period as WUNC (1975-78), Robert is ask to come on board at this 100,000 watt monster, at the time one of America's premier rockers....North Carolina's first Album Station (now all country). Bill Hard (The Hard Report) was Kirk's boss and opened the doors to major market commercial radio. WQDR (QuaDRophonic) held on for years as a "Q" station under consultant Lee Abrams who pioneered AOR and then went on to be one of the founders of XM Sateliite Radio.
WQFS-FM, GUILFORD COLLEGE.... www.guilford.edu/wqfs (2000-2007) The little station that says it can! Robert enjoyed this alternative music outlet bringing his vast record collection and interviews to the table once a week. Hear Robert and his guest, columnist Kim Thore, having fun!
WSNC-FM, WINSTON-SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY.... (2006-07) One year volunteer producer : Radio Relish weekly. This half hour arts and entertainment show examines newly released films and music as well as featuring news and interviews in co-operation with The Winston-Salem Journal's Relish magazine. (Radio Relish shows online)
WFDD-FM, WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY .... (2007-2009) Friday Night Jazz aired as Robert's live three hour program each week. He featured an eclectic mix of tunes ranging from Big Band to World, Standards, Folk, Broadway, along with interviews of artists around the world.. wfdd.org.
...............Robert's original Radio Relish production suite......the dining room table! ...........Kirk interviewed singer/songwriter Kelly Willis (the EMF show) for Radio Relish