The Bob & Ray or Ray & Bob Radio Show

It all started innocently enough:

Ray Miller is one of my best pals. He accuses me of being the one who got him started in radio years ago. Not wanting to be credited with being responsible for steering him towards such an unrewarding career as radio, I of course have always denied any responsibility or connection. Ray has had quite a extensive career in radio and has learned all the "basics" of broadcasting, including announcing, programming, promotion, music director, and even had his hand in sales from time to time.

You mean College Street is STILL not done?

Back in 1987 fate brought Ray back to the Ozarks, working for a local 100,000 watt stereo broadcaster right here in good old Mountain Home, Arkansas. He wanted to move back home to be closer to his folks and also missed the fishing and friends he had left behind when he struck out into uncharted broadcasting waters in Florida and elsewhere. One fateful day I dropped by the studio and Ray made me stick around for a couple of hours while he was doing his board shift. One thing led to another and all of a sudden we had a "rock trivia" call-in show going. Ray knew all the latest pop music hits and stars and I had the bases covered for all the "oldies" and bands from the 50's and 60's. It was a fun afternoon and the radio audience seemed to really enjoy the show judging by the number of phone calls we took that day. It was a Thursday and he made me promise to return the following week for more rock trivia.

Bob is being serious for a moment

I did return the following Thursday. And the Thursday after that and after that........ And before I really realized it I was doing a regular radio program with Ray each and every Thursday afternoon. At some point the Thursday afternoon shows became the "Bob and Ray or Ray and Bob Radio Show....depending on which one you knew first". Of course, rock trivia was one of the mainstay segments of the show, but we soon began to add a few characters here and there. I think it all started when I used a crazy sort of Dudley Dooright voice character we named Brian Zabrinsky to read the weather each hour. He became "Brian Zabrinsky, the National Weather Service Dude". The next character was "Gloria Echobaum", the cleaning woman, played by my (then) wife Susan. Then Ray came up with "Rudy Doobaker", the show's pitch man. Next, a buddy of ours, Kent Jones started calling in with his own character voices (Melvin Mutton, Dr. Willie B. Freakly, Rudy Raindorf, and others). Soon we began getting phone calls from characters and we had no idea who they really were! It was positively scary. Mainly because we never used a delay line on the telephone. When we put people on the air it was really live. There was no way we could edit or "bleep" what was being said.... A practice unheard of in today's broadcasting operation.

Mr. Optimistic

Over the course of the next few months the show got more elaborate. We began to pre record some segments days before a show and then drop them into the show live. We created such segments as "Hey Listener" (we pick some hapless person out of the phone book for no apparent reason), "Fat Alert" ("Drop and give me twenty!"), "Disco Day" (self explanatory), "Mystery Song" (I'd fill the CD platter with CD's and then have Ray randomly choose a selection and try to name the artist), "Weird News" (usually stuff I got out of a supermarket tabloid) and "Pirate Radio" (where we supposedly tune in to a couple of radio pirates... "Rob & Bay", as they drive around town broadcasting from their van) Bands playing in the area or recording at the studio would record "guest segments" for later airplay, or even stop by the studio and perform live on the radio, using whatever instruments they could bring into the station or find just laying around. Ray even came up with a list of all the public telephone booths in town and began calling them randomly. We would allow the phone to ring over an entire song or until someone wandered by a pay phone and answered it just out of curiosity.

Jim and Tammy Faye or Bob & Ray ??

The show became the local (out)rage in town. People listened just because they knew that we didn't have a clue what would happen next. We were getting calls from all over the listening area. Many people who "were in on the joke" just wanted to add their two cents and called in with characters of their own or to comment on some aspect of the broadcast. I think station management was worried but the listener stats were so huge they were afraid to say anything about the show. It seemed at one point that every local business had the radio tuned into our show on Thursdays. Advertisers began to request exclusive sponsorship of the Thursday "fiasco" but we only accepted time buys as opposed to outright and total sponsorship. Our music format (if there was one) was basically oldies with a smidgen of current releases. I championed the weird and zany one-hit wonders of the past - complete with discography and history of the song or artist, and Ray would bring in current releases which we would comment on, or more usually play in reverse or just one segment over and over while we discussed it's "merits". Some days the bits were so fast and furious we would not even play more than five or six complete songs in a three-hour period. We even had the local cops listening in patrol cars. When they would call in we'd ask them where they were "set up" at and then tell all our listeners where the radar was stationed.... all live on the air!

The Halloween Show

As I look back in my notes I see June 9th, 1988 was the first entry in my appointment book where I went on the air with Ray. The show was from 3-6PM except during Cardinal baseball season when we had to move the show to nights (6-9PM). Night broadcasts were even stranger than the afternoon version. Night seemingly brought out the weirdos who called in periodically with incoherent babbling. We didn't know if they were for real or in character. Our audience at night was smaller than the day listeners. Most people who worked during the day had too much to do around the house in the evenings to spend time listening to our show. The general consensus was that the 3-6 slot was a happier place to be, but we still got bumped whenever there was a baseball game. My records show that the last entry I made was on June 22, 1989. We did an anniversary show which consisted of edits of some of the funniest shows we did in the previous year.

Alfred E. Miller

It was a long, strange trip! Fortunately I had the foresight to record every single show we broadcast. That amounts to roughly 54 shows that were three hours each. It took me quite literally months to edit those 162 broadcast hours down to just 5 CD's. That's 162 hours down to 6 !! And that was just for the "Aniversary Show" in June of '89. Recently I edited those clips down even further in order to create some special "Very Best Of" segments which will soon be available through this web site as MP3 podcasts. So we went from 165 hours to 6 hours and then down to 3 hours, 18 minutes (in 26 segments). Man! That's a lot of "funny" !!

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Examples of "Rock Trivia" on the show

D.J. Snuggs calls in

Brian Zabrinsky on tour with Shark Avenue

The Jimmy Vee Band Live in the studio - The Free Mexican Air Force

Ray calls his mom in the destist's chair

The M&M Rappers visit the studio and perform

Bob reads real Newspaper Want Ads

Bob's mom calls in with original band names trivia

Ray can currently be heard on the "The Rebel" 95.3 in Ft. Smith. Go HERE.

Ray's MySpage page can be found HERE.

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