10 Questions with ... Ron Chavis
July 15, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
It all started when I was working on the set of Mr Rogers in the early 70s.
1) Who are some of the people that have influenced your career?
Michael Erickson, Jay Silvers, Sam Weaver, Frank Greenlee, Batt "Batman" Johnson, Jerry King, Ken Dowe, Hyman Childs, Mike Love, Dwight Douglas, Carl Anderson (The Clear Channel "Carl").
2) How did you get started in radio?
Spinning Jazz and Rock records at WPPJ Radio, Point Park University. I got a call from then ABC Radio "album rock" pioneer Dwight Douglas, saying, "The future of radio needs you!"
3) Can you tell us how you have been able to work in so many different formats?
It's all about the listener. Human beings share common feelings, interests and desires, no matter the music. As a show host, I've tried to get to the heart of people as best I can, and taking it to a level that's just a little "bigger than life." I think this should be every personality's goal.
4) Radio has changed over the years; what are some of the changes you like?
That I'm still in the game. And as long as I am ... I'm gonna play.
5) You are known for your voice and production skills. What caused you to get so involved in production?
I love the craft. I do what I love for a living, so I've never "worked" a single day in Radio. (Many former employers agree!)
6) What new challenges are you anticipating?
A successful commercial Internet radio venture. (I know. I know! But hey ... I have a secret, viable business model!). I'm also working at pumping up my freelance "station imaging" and commercial voiceover work. Check me out here!
7) What frustrates you the most about radio and the music industry?
Form before function. One keen observation: On one hand we hear, "People only wanna hear what they already know." These same "geniuses" marvel at the success of Pandora for turning listeners on to music they don't know! Dude ... Pandora's a robot ... that's doing what radio should be (used to do)!
8) Have you ever held any other jobs outside of radio that you loved?
Yeah. I loved working as a "temp (D2)" at General Motors in the '90s. It was a "team" experience!
9) What's you advice for someone just starting out in radio?
I'll quote a famous phrase from Dante's "Inferno" ... "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate," or "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." IOW ... if you're thinking it's anything like you see on TV or in the movies, you're in for a surprise! Making it to the top (fame and money, as a talent) is akin to making it in the NFL!
10) What are your top 5 songs of all time and why?
"What's Goin' On" ... "Whiter Shade of Pale" ... "Joanna" ... "Sympathy For the Devil"
"Stand by Your Man" ... Hey, because of the way they make me feel! After all, what else makes a song great?
Do you have a favorite radio memory? Something you either heard growing up or something you participated in.
Seattle. C 1978. A fellow jock left a side of Hendrix playing, while he took the elevator down six flights to get burger. He forgot his keys. A photo turned up on the front page of the paper next day, because he called the fire department, who sent a truck so he could climb the ladder to the studio window.
What's your opinion on the future of radio and Urban radio?
It'll all become more and more automated ... and take a seat to Internet Radio.
We're at the precipice of a time of change, unprecedented since the emergence of FM.
What would people who think they know you, be surprised to learn about you?
That I know Sam Weaver. Everyone says "I don't believe it." I tell them, "Neither does he."