I was a high school junior in 1972 when my father, the radio newsman, asked if I wanted to babysit for his boss at the radio station. I assumed it was to babysit his children.
In reality, he wanted me to babysit the Sunday morning God show. The radio station played the local church services from the previous week every Sunday morning. No one wanted the job.
It required me to place tape reels on a tape player and hit the start button on time, pretty simple. It also required me to crack the microphone once an hour and announce the FCC’s required station Identification. To this day, I clearly remember the first words I ever muttered on American broadcast airwaves, “This is KRLN, Cañon City, Colorado. The station with the news reputation!” I stammered but heard my voice in the headphones for the first time. I immediately realized my chosen career.
After high school, it was off to college to major in music and minor in broadcasting. The radio bug had already bitten, I stopped going to music classes and never missed a radio class. Two and a half years later, I was offered a full-time job and my career was underway. The Kid Curry radio show played in Pueblo, Knoxville, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Miami, Florida.
Radio gets in your blood and I studied hard. For 33 years, I lived it 24-7 and everyday was different, sometimes every hour. I loved rising in the morning and watching local news, scouring local papers, USA Today and People Magazine to have content for my show. I loved the fund raisers, high school football games and pep rallies, visiting offices with donuts on Friday’s and doing late night shows from clubs on the weekends.
I loved the comradery of staff. It was exciting to find new, exclusive music to play and create promotions: bus sides, concerts and contests.
In January 1996, the dismissal of the Program Director put me in his chair as interim PD. For 6 months, the General Manager flew in the nation’s best radio Programmers for interviews. He would introduce me, “This is Kid Curry, he’s our interim PD until I hire somebody.” I hated that. I didn’t want a new PD, I wanted to be the Program Director.
While the GM was distracted with the parade of programming stars, I garnered support from the staff and made some new programming changes. The ratings began making it clear who the General Manager should hire. I became the Program Director of Miami’s Power 96 in June.
The staff and I created 9 years of the best success in the station’s history. It was, without a doubt, the most fun I’ve ever had playing radio. I was even interviewed for a big job in Los Angeles. I felt like I was on a roll.
I also felt a deterioration of my walking gait and couldn’t feel my feet contacting the ground. My toes would curl up at touch, “floaters” appeared in my right eye and the bladder was becoming a problem. Weeks of testing resulted in the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis that ended my radio career in 2005.
It ended because my deteriorating condition was a distraction from the work that was in my blood. My ability to give 24/7 was over. Multiple Sclerosis can carry a death sentence..
Sixteen years later, modern science has given me hope