Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WKRP In Cincinnati

While browsing at the local Wallyworld a week or so ago, I came across the first season of "WKRP In Cincinnati." For the great price and all of the first year, it was one of those purchases I had to pick up. The show went on the air right about the time I made my own "real" stint in radio in the late seventies. The show brought back some good memories. I think the ensemble cast was absolutely great. Each character had their own style and substance. It would be hard for me to nail down my favorites for I liked them all. However, I really liked Gary Sandy as Andy Travis, Tim Reid as Venus Flytrap and my all time fav was Jan Smithers as Baily Quarters. Actually, being a young guy at the time I had a crush on Jan. I think she loves me, but she just doesn't know it yet! Grin.

There were some memorable episodes. When Carlson thought turkeys could fly was one of them. Another one was where Carlson was putting cocaine on his feet because he was told it was foot powder. Later, he started banging his foot on the floor when he found out it was real "coke" and yelled at Travis saying, "I've lost the feeling in my foot, oh no, I have a monkey on my foot!" That was way too funny.

Obviously some of the things that happened on the show could have resembled real radio stations. Some, well, couldn't be. It's easy to find the goofs in a show. But, I couldn't help but love it anyway. For those of you who watched the show, did you notice that it seemed the stylus was always on track one of the albums! Like, the first cut of the LP was the one always being played. Then, they didn't use headphones while "live" with the mic open. What about feedback? Plus, their phone was on a wall across the studio! But, you couldn't help but like the show anyway.


Plus, some characters did resemble some radio people I worked with through the years. I had some general sales managers that seemed to know-it-all like Herb did. I worked with a few male news directors through the years that were extremely uptight by nature like Les, and I did have a station manager that was like Carlson. The only difference was Carlson was likable although he didn't know what was going on. One GM I had was clueless like Carlson but he was a micro-manager that was more worried about the temperature of a studio than what our Arbitron ratings were doing. Sad but true. I don't like speaking ill of anyone but that one GM was out in left field. Just my humble opinion. In the Lord, I have no bad feelings about this man, I just felt he didn't belong in radio as he had no previous experience.

Finally, about the closing theme song. This quote comes from Wikipedia: The closing theme, "WKRP In Cincinnati End Credits", was a hard rock number composed and performed by Jim Ellis, an Atlanta musician who recorded some of the incidental music for the show. According to people who attended the recording sessions, Ellis didn't yet have lyrics for the closing theme, so he sang nonsense words to give an idea of how it would sound. Wilson decided it would be funny to use lyrics that were deliberately gibberish, as a satire on the incomprehensibility of many rock songs. (End Quote)

All along I thought he was singing real words and I just didn't understand them! All in all, it was a great show. Too bad they don't make them liked they used to. I've watched the whole season one now I can't wait for season two to be released. Below, listen to the closing theme. Be well all.

WKRP Ending Theme


  1. I thought I blogged about this very subject, but apparently not. WKRP was my all-time favorite show as a kid and actually MADE me want to work in radio. I had my chance, too and met many colorful characters along the way.

    As for the ending song, there's a great YouTube video that speculates (makes up) words for the song:

    If you're a fan of the show, it will be one of the funniest things you've ever seen.

    The only negative thing I've heard about the DVDs is that they don't have all of the original music. Apparently, the recording industry charges an arm and a leg for the rights.

  2. Rog,

    You're on cue (pun intended) about music rights. I loved Rich Man, Poor Man Book 2. It took them forever and a day it seems to finally get the rights so the series could be released.

    Also, I liked that Cincy was picked for the show since I'm an Ohio guy. Gotta love the Reds, win or lose. And I found out that Gary Sandy (Andy Travis) was born in Dayton and attended school there. What a small world.


  3. Great show and great ending song. Who wrote it, sang it, etc? I would love to get a copy of that and also the TAB, so I can learn it on the guitar.