Rockback

The night the music died


There was a little more than an hour left in my usual KONO/KITY Sunday evening engineering shift. I had been able to finish all my necessary studying for the next school day before it was time to go home. I was looking forward to a bit of relaxing without studies “hanging over my head” for the first time in weeks.

Before I had the chance to do any relaxing, the engineering phone rang. When I answered, I was very surprised to be greeted by KONO Program Director, Rick Reynolds.

“There is a problem with the second hour of Rockback. Can I get you to go on the air at the top of the hour with the normal KONO format clock?”

“Do you want me to take a look at the bad tape to see if I can fix it?”

“There isn’t time to do that now.  The news has already started.”

“I’m heading to the KONO Control Room now.”

“Thanks.”

Relaxing…What’s that?

I had not been on the air on KONO in over a year. This was going to be an adventure!

I probably need to do some explaining about Rockback before I continue.

Rockback was a two hour taped show which covered the early years of Rock ‘n’ Roll that aired Sunday evenings between 10 PM and Midnight. Chris Cooper and Rod Tanner were involved with producing the show when I first became familiar with it. However, at the time I received the phone call from Rick, Rockback was done by whoever got assigned to do the show as part of their production work that week.

My hour on the air on KONO that night was fun!

I was surprised to get another phone call from Rick later in the week at home.

“I've decided to drop Rockback. Do you want to work Sunday evenings on KONO from 10 PM to Midnight?”

That is how I ended up back on KONO on a regular basis.

Paul Kirby,


Paul Kirby Note:  It wasn’t until many years later that I found out why I suddenly ended up back on the air at KONO. It seems that owner Jack Roth contacted the newsroom and wanted them to immediately break into programming with a news story. When Jack was told that there was no way to interrupt the programming since it was on tape, he called Rick Reynolds. Rick called me. I was back on KONO.

Editor Note:  Earlier this year (2014) the “music completely died” on KONO 860 when the format changed from oldies to sports talk.

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