Bryan Robison '97
Well, well, well. I don't quite know where to start... How about the first song I played on KSCL back in the summer of 1991? If I'm not mistaken, it was "Siva" from the Smashing Pumpkins' first album "Gish." If memory serves me right, the album had come out in May, this was June, and it was in the New Releases stack. If you ever DJ'd at KSCL in the early 90's, you had a set format you sorta had to follow: each hour was to contain some new releases, some Top 35, then whatever you wanted to play, but you always had to play New Releases and Top 35's.
Back to our program... I started at KSCL in the summer of 1991 right after my sophmore year of high school. Back then, Centenary was pretty much the same as it is now, and just about everything shut down for the summer. Without a high student involvement, KSCL reached out to the community (or we reached out to them) for community volunteers. I landed the 3 to 6 time-slot on Thursday afternoons with a friend of mine. If I remember right, the first song we played was "Siva" from the Smashing Pumpkins' first album, "Gish." It was a new release - brand new. I think I started around the first or second week of June, and the album came out in May. Still love that album... Anyway, Chris Case was the Station Manager back then. Pretty cool guy as I remember...
The format in those days was a real eclectic mix of musical styles, tastes, and genres. I remember on Sunday afternoons you could almost mistake KSCL for KDAQ - somebody had a World Music show from 3 to 6. Friday night from 9 - 12 was reggae, if I remember right. And most of the time during the week you could hear all kinds of "Post-Modern" stuff (these were the pre-grunge, pre-alternative days) like the Dead Milkmen, R.E.M., Public Image Limited.
After the summer of '91, student involvement dropped drastically and I'd say more than 1/2 of the DJ's were community volunteers. KSCL was always really interesting when it had non-students manning the old mixer (this was the funny looking one in the old pictures with the big round knobs, not the new one with the sliding faders that the station bought my Freshman year at Centenary.) We had a few on-air shows by some of the touring punk bands at the time, my old band the Roadside Monuments did an acoustic show over the air which was really fun, and we had a bunch of crazy radio shows with the late-night Coffee Talk being one of my favorites. For Coffee Talk, we had figured out how to get the the telephone system working and we invited people to call in and tell us what they wanted to talk about, then we'd put them on the air after they assured us that they wouldn't use profanity or make threats to the President - they always did (both curse and make threats, so we would hang up on them and they would call back, and we'd hang up on them again.) I also remember doing my show and having the PoBoy Express guys call in requests - KSCL always had a big following over there on Line Avenue.
Anyway, by the time I was actually a Centenary student, it was 1993 and I landed the job as Program Directory. I handled some of the day-to-day stuff, made sure the PSAs were in the right places, reviewed a bunch of records - they're the ones with the red and white stickers - and substituted for a lot of no-show DJs. Substituting wasn't that bad, you had to make a game of it. Some days you'd put on some compilation CD and let it roll, others you'd play the same album over and over. My favorite shows were the ones where I would play nothing but new releases - you can find a lot of really great music that way. My advice to DJs of today and tomorrow - PLAY NEW RELEASES!!! Some of my favorite bands to play were Gashuffer, the Supersuckers, the Meices (oh the Meices - great SF pop-punk), and Sunny Day Real Estate. The biggest mistake I made that whole year was missing the Sunny Day show when they played in town. I had a few friends that went and come to think of it, I think they were the only people there... I made it up to myself last year when I caught their show in Dallas after they got back together after they broke up after they recorded their second album and were on the Batman Forever soundtrack and started the whole emo thing. In fact, I think they played here right at the end of my Freshman year and I probably had a final or something that I didn't study for anyway, so I should have gone to the show.
After I left KSCL, the station got passed around to different people and I think it's pretty close to where it should be. Fight the whole NPR thing - I see where the school is coming from, but KSCL is a student-run station that has ALWAYS had little support from the administration building. We TRIED and TRIED to raise the power output - we TRIED and TRIED to raise the antenna height - incidentally, the top of the tower may still be laying on the roof right outside the Conglomerate's offices. Keep fighting to keep the station in the hands of the students, otherwise everyone is going to miss out on some valuable and rewarding experiences. Just think, without college radio, we probably wouldn't have had most of the bands that are popular today - though part of me wishes that Sugar Ray, Matchbox 20, and Limp Bizkit would have never happened.
Peace and Godspeed (I've always wanted to write that!)
In addition to being an avid music collector, I'm also a web developer for Bowman Internet Systems here in Shreveport. Check us out at http://www.bowmansystems.com and you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org