Big Chuck Asks: “Did I Really Do 5,000 Interviews?”
As everybody knows by now, I will be retiring from radio on June 29 after 33 years on the air in Oneonta. Because of this, we have had some fun trying to crunch the numbers. Things like how many broadcast hours? How many commercials did I produce? How many remotes did I conduct? These are fun but there is really no way to know for sure.
But here is a good one we discovered. How many radio interviews did I do on the air over 33 years? Well, it is an imperfect science but here is what we came up with. I have done an average of three live interviews a week over my career. Take 33 years and multiply it by 52 weeks and you get 1,716 weeks. Take 1,716 weeks and multiply it by an average of 3 interviews a week and you get 5,148 interviews. So lets round it down to 5,000. Sure, it could be a lot more or a lot less. We will never really know. But the math works. Hard to believe.
About 80% of the interviews have been with local residents who have come on my show (or by phone) and talked about their groups, organizations, non-profits, fundraisers and upcoming events. My microphone was always on for these groups. No group was too small or too big for me to interview. And we got an awful lot of information out to our audience in the three counties I broadcast to. Some were very frequent guests. I can't count the times I have interviewed Liz Callahan (Hanford Mills Museum), Cam Morris (tour bus company), Sen. Jim Seward, Mark Simonson (Oneonta historian), and many others who were always on the air with me.
The other 20% of the interviews were with authors, politicians and music stars. Once we went country back in the early 1990s, I became very active in lining up the stars of that era for interviews on my show. Anne Murray, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood, Barbara Mandrell, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers and many more have all been interviewed by me on the show over the years. It was great fun.
Want to know a secret? Interviewing has always come natural for me. Some people freeze up and get nervous. Not me. I dive right in. However......there was one time when I interviewed a big star and I was as tongue-tied as a school boy.
It was Mary Wilson of The Supremes. I interviewed her for my Thursday Night Oldies Jukebox. When she answered the phone I froze. Then I stammered and stuttered. I was just so in awe of this woman (and the The Supremes, of course) that I sounded like an idiot when talking to this real Motown legend. And I think she knew it. At one point, she actually said, "Are you OK Big Chuck?" It ended up being a great interview and memory for me but I must admit, I was intimated by her legendary fame.
Last week I interviewed Bob Brzozowski (photo above). I have interviewed Bob dozens of times over the years and he is a very interesting guy. For many years he talked about Greater Oneonta History Center events. Now he is involved in the effort to save the old Oneonta Theatre, and that is what we chatted about last Friday.
After we were done I told Bob I was retiring from radio and that he would go down in the books as the last Big Chuck interview. He was surprised!
And so was I. The last interview of 5,000? Wow. Now, if only I could remember who was #1....
The Cast of 'Friends': Then & Now