Sorry, kids, but I don’t dig your music. I love old familiar stuff, which says more about me than the music. On sleepless nights, I tune in VCY and listen to gospel golden oldies. One tune last night carried me back to 1950 in Iron River, Michigan and my first radio show.
Each Saturday night for two years I did a 30-minute show called Melodies of Life. I handed the engineer an outline and five black 78’s guaranteeing 15 minutes of music. I filled between-tune time with unscripted palaver. I played familiar gospel on the country side. My favorite was The Gentle Carpenter of Galilee with Stubby and the Buccaneers. That tune got me in trouble; it had a beat. Worldly, said a deacon. Melodies of life gave a troubled woman and her kids a church home and netted me two funerals, one in a tavern.
In 1953 we moved to Muskegon, Michigan where I was assigned a week of morning devotions on WMUS. Caught in a programming crisis, the station manager asked if I could fill in for a few days. The few days grew to two years. In time ran the board, read commercials, ripped pages off the teletype, and phoned the police and fire departments to write the morning news–all volunteer hours.
In 1958 our family moved to Anchorage, Alaska. I did no radio, but I wrote and produced two half-hour TV specials with super-talented kids from a city-wide youth program I engineered. The Lincoln’s Birthday script grew into The Song of a Man and a Land. You can read it at www.lloydsstorytree.com.
Radio and TV stints took time from pastoral duties, but they broadened the outreach of our small congregations and touched many lives we would not have reached.
Interesting what one radio tune at midnight can conjure.
Old Grandpa Lloyd.