IN THE STUDIO through the darkest hours of the night, Josh Venable,
the overnight DJ for KDGE (the Edge) in Dallas, spins records that
mean something to people.
means something to him.
listening to the radio when I'm on, you're probably alone, too,"
the 25-year-old former UNT student says. "You're either laying in
bed trying to sleep or you're up wandering around because you can't."
believes that helps him make a connection with listeners.
I saw American Graffiti I have had this romantic notion about
what DJs are," he says. "They're there as we fall in and out of
love, and they tap those memories for each of us with the music
loves being that person.
At 17, he
knew he wanted a career in radio. So he set out to get it. After
a year of persistent phone calls, George Gimarc ('80), one of the
founding DJs of the Edge, hired him as an intern.
Venable's coffee runs led him into the studio, where he eventually
took over the Sunday night new-music show, the Adventure Club.
help of Keven McAllister, a fellow intern-type who was his complete
opposite in every way, the Adventure Club with Josh and Keven
became one of the highest-rated segments in the Edge's line-up and
won national critical acclaim.
remains that way even though its winning formula of conflicting
DJ personalities and musical styles changed with the departure of
McAllister in 1997.
show has proven to Venable is that his notion was right —
people love music, and they love radio.
who essentially created the Edge's format with the help of fellow
DJ Wendy Naylor before it went on the air in 1989, also understands
something we have on in the background," he says. "It provides each
of us with a soundtrack for the movies that are our lives."
soundtrack is not always filled with music.
radio's prime time is the morning commute. In the Metroplex, where
the freeways are always jammed, the people who serve as morning
drive-time jokesters are critical in the battle against road rage.
Worth's two top-rated morning shows —
Dorsey Show on KSCS and the Kidd Kraddick Show on KHKS
(Kiss FM) — both feature
Rybczyk ('83), a.k.a. Hawkeye, has served as Terry Dorsey's partner
for 12 years. And loved every minute of it.
were named Billboard's On-Air Personalities of the Year in 1998.
to offering his own commentary in the morning, he writes the scripts
for the show's famed recurring character bits.
do voices myself, but I have all these funny little conversations
floating around in my head and writing the characters for the show
gives me an outlet for those voices."
At the rival
station, Big Al Mack, who was a North Texas student in the early
'80s, serves as Kidd Kraddick's "stunt man."
Big Al is
the guy who makes all the crazy things happen (or not).
He is the
person who offers complete strangers money for their bags at the
airport. ... He's the guy who traveled across the country with a
band of the show's misfit listeners, so one of them could try to
win $10,000. ... And, he's the one who appears at various places
around the Metroplex in a bunny suit at inopportune times.
it's something different.
And he does
it all because it's meant to keep people smiling as they drive to
UNT alumni took their passion for sports and turned it into another
top-rated Metroplex morning show.
as George Dunham ('88) and Craig Miller ('88) of KTCK (the Ticket)
are lovingly known, wax poetic about everything from the future
fate of America's Team to the best way to cure a cold.
occasionally take time out to offer some of their own comic relief
by regularly crank calling other morning shows.
Miller met as freshmen living in West Hall.
love of sports immediately drew them together. And it has kept them
both say that age has muted their passion.
kind of made sports play a less important role," Dunham says. "Now,
I'd rather go see my sons play in their pee-wee games than see a
doesn't mean he's not a sports fan.
measure me against any normal person, and it's pretty clear I'm
a fanatic," he says.
just as fanatical about music and all things audio.
DJ gig allows him to explore and share that fanaticism —
he's the host of KRLD's Saturday night show, the Lost Tapes.
allows listeners to discuss music with Gimarc and hear old commercials,
radio airchecks, the latest music news, TV theme songs and rare
doing that show because I get to talk about the stories behind the
music and behind radio," he says. "I also get to share a lot of
the stuff that isn't heard at any other time on radio."
love for music started at an early age, and he, like Venable, started
working in radio before he went to college.
was at North Texas, Gimarc found himself on-air non-stop, due to
his DJ jobs at two commercial stations as well as North Texas' station,
on to create KRQX, an AM classic rock station that proved to be
the blueprint for what would become KZPS and other classic rock
stations in the early '80s.
In the time
since, Gimarc has written three books covering a wide variety of
bands and musicians. He served as a consultant on the Time/Life
History of Rock and Roll project, and he regularly works
with VH-1. Today, he is working on his fourth book, and he is the
head writer for Johnny Rotten's VH-1 show, Rotten TV. In
addition, he is working to launch a completely new format for Top
while unlike anything on the air today, capitalizes on his understanding
of radio's role as background for people's lives.
sound will be unveiled for stations across the nation via satellite
this year. Stay tuned.