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1946 Veteran Makes Trouble At KGW-KEX-KWJJ Studios

(1 post)
  • Started 4 years ago by Craig_Adams


  1. Craig_Adams
    Radio historian

    In 1946 KGW & KEX had their studios in with KWJJ at 1011 S.W. 6th Ave., (because of the KGW-KEX studio fire in "The Oregonian" building in 1943). There was an incident brought up in the "Behind The Mike" column with William Moyes on January 9, 1946. It illustrates the wacky people even in our Portland Radio history.

    "Lots of Fun
    It's only a few months since Homer Welch's [KGW-KEX announcer] nemesis, a woman who used to barge into KGW every day and raise a ruckus, changed her residence, by request, to Salem. Monday afternoon [1-7-46], however, a discharged GI, somewhat exhilarated, took the situation in hand and it was like old times again---plenty of excitement.

    He strolled in about 2:30, but attracted little notice. The employees of KGW thought he belonged to KEX or KWJJ and they in turn thought he was connected with KGW. Every now and then he'd pass by some employee and remark in a low voice, the country was going to pot. He didn't strike a snag until he entered one of the control rooms. No visitors are allowed there, and the operator in charge threw him out.

    On his way out of the building he happened to glance into the main studio. Kay West of KEX was interviewing Vivian McMurtrey of the Short & Baum agency. The sight of the hot mike was too much for him, and in he barged, getting to within 18 inches of the mike, where he hollered, "I want to get a word in edgewise. I want to fix this Truman up good."

    Then the fun started in earnest. One announcer grabbed the guy. Then another did. Then the organist did. Then the gal at the switchboard plugged in on the house loudspeaker system and hollered, "Help! Anybody help!" Then she called the police.

    He Escapes
    For a while it looked like a tug of war with announcers and others hauling the guy in opposite directions. Finally he found an opening and bolted out of the door and up the street, disappearing just as two carloads of cops and detectives arrived and dashed inside.

    While the fracas was going on a few feet from the telephone switchboard, the excited operator got a call from a teacher who asked in a quiet, scholary voice, "Will you give me a list of your educational programs?" The operator said yes, indeed, but please call later, as there is one going on right at this moment."

    Posted on April 11, 2014 - 08:15 AM #