Monday, June 9, 2014

The Second Night of RNI -- Live from the Radio Ship Sarah

On Friday evening, July 24, 1987, my AM radio was turned on. It was tuned in to 1620 kHz and the cassette was in the deck. It was all a buzz until -- the frequency was abuzz with the sounds of the 2nd test transmission of Radio Newyork International. My friend Randi Steele was at the controls, about to show NYC what free form radio was going to bring to the city. The first transmission, the prior evening, went well, but lacked the professional polish that Randi was about to bring to the airwaves. Not that there weren't audible studio glitches, but then it was free form.

My own recorded air contributions to the short lived RNI-fest of 1987 were never aired. They are probably sitting on VHS cassettes on a dilapidated school bus in northern Maine, perhaps never to be heard, perhaps to end up on Area 51 some day as others have. I was to have been part of the original air team on a part-time basis (wisely keeping my day job). Nonetheless, my contributions to the station are heard two-fold in this transmission. I coined the expression "The Wet One" as a station slogan, and Hayes Hayes delivers on its promise as a station slogan for a shipboard station with his deep, laborious pronouncement. I also provided the recordings of the "original" Dutch RNI jingles that were used as production material.

The station was heard all across the Eastern USA. QSL cards were issued and the legend had begun. While RNI is now simply a name used on WBCQ by a Johnny-come-later, this recording of the promise that Allan Weiner and Randi Steele offered NYC media remains for your listening enjoyment.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Allan Weiner and Randi Steele on 66 WNBC

Allan Weiner and Randi Steele, organizers of the Radio Newyork International (RNI) pirate ship broadcasts, pay a visit to the studios of 66 WNBC on the 2nd floor of 30 Rockerfeller Plaza in New York City. They are joined by longtime associate JP Ferraro. The date is July 28, 1988 and there are thunderstorms in the area which can be heard as static bursts on this off air recording.

The trio speak about their experiences with the FCC and take calls from supportive listeners. Also of interest are the commercials for NYNEX Mobile, proud that they are adding a new 5 MHz of spectrum to their cellular system; and regular advertisers Sears and K-Mart.

Host Alan Colmes also pokes fun at Randi as a former troublemaker, based upon phone calls that he -- yes Randi was still identifying as a he at that time -- made to radio stations back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is also revealed that Randi worked nights at WNBC back in those days as a producer to Big Jay Sorensen who these days is to be found on WCBS-FM in NYC.

Give a listen and I hope that you enjoy it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ed Armstrong and Marconi on KPRC

I was quited surprised this evening to hear a KPRC broadcast from 30 years ago being aired on WBCQ. I tuned past 7,490 kHz and heard some vaguely familiar segues and then the voices of Ed Armstrong (aka Randi Steele) and Marconi (aka Dan Lewis) coming out of my radio. Allan Weiner, owner of WBCQ, found some old reel-to-reel tapes in storage that had not seen the light of day for 30 years and decided to put them on the air. The pogram will resume at 10 PM Eastern (0200 UTC) on 7,490 kHz and on the web. Join me as we travel back 30 years in time to Pirate Radio Central in New York City.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

RNI Friday Follies via WRNO, New Orelans

On March 20, 1991 the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on fetal protection in the workplace in the case of UAW v. Johnson Controls.  What does this have to do with Dan Lewis op de radio?  The release of the decision was instrumental in dating the next show presented for your listening enjoyment.  It was found on an undated cassette tape.

Back in early 1991, Radio New York International made the bold move of providing a 7 day per week broadcast schedule.  I took Friday nights, naming them the Friday follies, and Tina agreed to help with the RNI Information news segment.

This program was somewhat unusual.  It was done live, and instead of doing a 5 minute news segment over the phone, Tina was able to join me in Randi's Flushing studio that evening.  It quite by accident turned into our version of Howard and Robin doing the news for an hour, but it was definitely done in Dan and Tina style.  Tina had a lot of airtime and used it well.  The discussion took the audience through sex, rape, culture, and strange crimes of passion.  NYC crime in the days before Giuliani, Bloomberg and Kelly was a topic, as were the price of luxuries and taxes disguised as user fees and tolls.

What is also unusual is that this was part of the brief 5 evening per week broadcast stint done via the facilities of WRNO in New Orelans, LA.  I was very happy to find this recording and be able to share it.  The date appears to be Friday March 22, 1991 at 9 PM Eastern (0200 UTC Saturday) based upon the release of the Supreme Court decision that week.

At about halfway through the program, Randi is featured in a spot which announced the complete RNI broadcast schedule:

Sunday @ 0200 via WWCR, Nashville
Monday - Friday @ 0200 via WRNO, New Orelans
Saturday - Radio for Peace International, Costa Rica @ 2230 and 0500

Times are UTC but in all instances except the 2230 RFPI transmission, the UTC days were actually the next day.  RNI could never get UTC quite right.  But on the web, anytime is party time, so listen here whenever you want.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The 2nd Week of the First Gulf War

Now that we're done with Superstorm Sandy, November sno'easters, and other artifacts that confirm global warming -- at least in my mind -- let's go back to the 27th of January, 1991.  This program is the third of a trilogy that was archived on a VHS Hi-Fi tape.

It's Superbowl Sunday and the 2nd week of the first Gulf War.  What do to, other than to drive up to the Yonkers studio, and take on the Bush Administration, the war, and Senator Jesse Helms.

We had a high quality audience back then and this episode is the proof, including letters from the incarceratedly challenged.  One guy even figured out how to get WWCR to overload a AM radio in order to listen to the mailbag program.

You don't have to overload your radio to listen.  And while there was no Facebook in 1991, be sure to like us in 2012.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dan Lewis Returns to the Air - June 8, 2008

I've taken long breaks from radio broadcasting a couple of times in my life.  Perhaps the longest one was after leaving Radio Newyork International in June 1991.  I didn't know it then, but I was not to return to the broadcast airwaves for 17 years.

I was involved with my family, including two new step-kids, running a side (on-line) business in the early days of the internet, and building my career.  So while I often thought of returning to the airwaves, I didn't take the plunge until I got a call from Big Steve of RNI, asking if I would like to fill in for JL once in a while.  I told him that I could not make a regular commitment, but wouldn't mind a guest appearance every couple of months.

This would be a different sort of program, but not too different.  It would not be mailbag program this time, but I would present a program of interest to radio enthusiasts that would give me an opportunity to again comment on the state of human affairs.

Ironically, I left the air when one Bush had us involved in a Gulf war and returned when another Bush had us involved in a fraudulent War of Terror.  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.  Who said that?

Please listen and enjoy, and be sure to like us on Facebook.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Waiting for Operation Desert Storm from the Gloom and Doom Tomb

There were two studios used to produce programming for Radio Newyork International back in the WWCR days.  The NYC studio was in Flushing, Queens and operated by Randi Steele.  It was a fun and energetic place from which to broadcast.

The other studio was in Yonkers, NY and just north of the City.  It was run by Pirate Joe aka Joseph Paul Ferraro.  When we were putting together the WWCR programming it was agreed that two out of four Sundays per month the broadcasts would come from JP's studio.

As it happened, I was the staff member other than Randi who best knew JP and had experience broadcasting out of that studio.  It was the Yonkers location where I had originated live programming for KPF941 during the early part of the 1980s.  So I drew the job of complementing Pirate Joe's programs twice a month.

JP's studio had a quieter, laid back vibe than Randi's.  Randi tended to have a more hyper personality than JP.  I seem to absorb whatever vibe I'm being exposed to and this led Randi to remark that, at least in his opinion, my programming coming from Yonkers sounded like it was coming from a "gloom and doom tomb".  Well, I wasn't looking to do a hyperactive, screaming DJ show anyway.  And more of the serious radio seemed to come out of JP's studio, with lighter fare coming out of Randi's place.

This week, we offer up a classic Dan Lewis RNI Mailbag show from 1991.  The chronic mail delivery issues seemed to have been resolved and Dan dives right in by reading a letter from a listener complaining about what he perceives as RNI's hard core left wing politics.  Alternative agri-fuel gets good attention, too, as an alternative to foreign wars over oil.

The program, done on the eve of Operation Desert Storm, is a time capsule of the early days of 1991 when our nation was on the cusp of going to war, yet again, to police the world.  Here in 2012, there is much to learn from the state of the world in 1991.  Despite the laid back environment, this week's program features a very heated exchange with a listener who wrote and called to support the war.

Please listen, enjoy and hopefully learn.

Be sure to like Dan Lewis on Facebook for updates of new programs as they are posted.