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RADIO DJs: Example of “Making Everything Your Own”

Greaseman aircheckIn my radio talent seminars, I stress the importance of a personality on a music station “making everything his own.”

Even though you don’t select the music, even if everything you do on-the-air is prescribed by your program log, if you’re a personality and not just an announcer you need to infuse those elements with enough of your own unique style to “make it your own.”

If you do everything exactly as everyone else on your station and on your competitors’ stations do, what’s the point of having a live jock in the studio? Why not just have one person voice track everything?

I’m not advising you to break format. I’m encouraging you to do what you’re supposed to do, but to do it your way.

Here’s an example from many years ago. If you’re not old enough to be familiar with “Late in the Evening” by Paul Simon, here’s a line from the song:


Here’s The Greaseman, coming out of that record a long time ago, on a less than digital quality rendering of an AM signal in Jacksonville, Florida. (You’ll want to crank up the volume first.)

As with many exceptional radio personalities, lots of people love The Greaseman; lots don’t. I’m among the people who “do.”

But “do you like this jock or not?” isn’t the point of this piece.

I heard him outro that record 3 decades ago. And to this day, every time I hear “Late in the Evening,” in my mind I hear “Grease”’s voice saying, “The next time you step outside to light yourself a ‘J,’ as you so quaintly put it, you’ll be looking at the back of a squad car….”

That is an example of a jock making something as basic as a song outro his own.

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