WUMB October Program Guide

The End of an Era

The end of July marked more than the end of the 7th month of the 17th year of the 2000’s. If you spent years wondering what the year 2001 would be like, teased by the futuristic visions of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, the fact that we are sixteen years beyond that point may still seem like a big deal.

For all the things that writer/scientist Arthur C. Clarke predicted which have come to pass, he did not foretell this major event: Dave Palmater has retired from WUMB. I thought he’d be here forever, too.

It is a “classic” that people in radio look different from how they sound (for me, I have always fashioned myself potentially as Tom Selleck’s sexier younger brother…exclusively and in no other way than in how I sound). Years before I came to work at WUMB, I always got an impression of Dave’s appearance that – counter to this – closely matched the real thing. It merged with the comforting and informative personality of who I heard. Sort of like an uncle whose counsel you would seek. But who also liked a lot of the same music you did.

Before I started working at WUMB, I volunteered for three fundraisers. Dave and I immediately connected over baseball – specifically the joys of going to Minor League games. He was even kind enough to record me reading some station ID liners because it’s nice to have a variety of voices on hand and, similarly, the ubiquitous “just in case.” To someone who had not put on a pair of headphones and talked into a microphone for eight months, this was manna! No, the ID’s never got used. But to have an established guy like Dave even consider recording me reading some liners was a boost.

Since becoming a WUMB staffer, on more than one occasion I have been surprised to learn how much musical interests Dave and I have in common. Not surprisingly, I have also learned a lot about many other artists from Dave. And while I like to think I have a pretty broad base of musical knowledge, I am sure that what I know is not as much as what Dave has forgotten. Dave once told me something like he was a folklorist by trade. Listening to him talk about music and artists (in person and on the radio), I could believe it. Here’s another way I can believe it:

Another of my fellow WUMB air staffers has always had my respect for the information he’s shared on artists over years in Radio. Now that we work together, “the curtain is drawn” and I can see that – GASP! – he brings in notes. Before I go in the air studio, my playlist is marked up in scribbles, arrows, circles, and connecting arrows. Sometimes it gets messy enough where a pharmacist might be confused looking at it (ever try to read a pharmacists’ hand scrawl…?).

Dave goes in there with nothing but his playlist. He sits there, cracks open the mic…and the information just flows out of him (you can also hear this skill in his interviews with artists). My theory is that when Dave cuts his forearm on a sharp piece of furniture, musical knowledge flows out before any blood escapes.

It’s been my pleasure to share an office with Dave the last couple of years, as well as to share almost nerdly interest in the joys of audio production, tales of past concerts, etc.

Best of luck and times to you in your next chapter, Dave. May it include lots of research on the impact of sitting on a porch or the beach…relaxing. As Dan Blakeslee says – on his new album, no less – “there should be no shame in wasting time.” There are times when that’s just what we need.

You and I still have to try it out at a minor league baseball game.

~ Perry

Leave a Reply