A promotional announcement airing on rock-formatted WJFK-FM (106.7) touts afternoon host and 20-year "rock-and-roll authority" Don "Cerphe" Colwell as being "the only Washington radio personality who talked to Paul McCartney" last week. However, it seems that just isn't so. Cerphe acknowledged yesterday that he was one of about 40 people, including Ernie Kaye, a full-time producer-announcer at direct rock competitor WWDC-FM (101.1), and an anchor for National Public Radio, who attended the McCartney press conference before the Fourth of July concert in the visitors' locker room at RFK Stadium. In the 50-second promo, McCartney answers a question allegedly posed by Cerphe about the difference in playing to small halls versus large audiences.
Cerphe acknowledged that he recut his question to McCartney to produce the promo because of "its poor technological quality" but asserted that it was one of three questions he asked McCartney. However, because "three or four others" asked the rock star a question at the same time, it went unanswered until someone else asked McCartney the same thing.
Meanwhile, it's too bad WJFK's promotion director Fred Traub didn't have a tape recorder with him on Friday. Just before McCartney's second concert was to begin at RFK, a freight elevator carrying Traub, McCartney, Linda McCartney and four others got stuck between floors for "between seven and 10 minutes," by Traub's estimate.
On Second Thought Thirty ago Bobby Marchan cut a record about a man's heartache over his woman. Both sides got plenty of airplay when the record was released. On Side 1 of "There's Something on Your Mind," "she's not reacting to him the way she used to and he knows something is going on," summarized Eric St. James, who hosts "Magic Memories" on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. on WMMJ-FM (102.3). "On Side 2 is a three-minute monologue where he talks about how people act when they are unhappy; how he now wants to pick up a gun and kill her."
It's a song St. James has heard and played many times, but as he transferred the record onto an audio cart for his show two Sundays ago, he became disconcerted.
"It didn't hit me until I was playing the flip side. I heard the lyrics. I just didn't feel -- especially in these days and times -- that it was appropriate to play," said the 42-year-old host. St. James didn't play Side 2 on the air, which prompted several calls of inquiry to his popular program. Finally, he relayed his feelings to the audience and the studio line was silent.
Last week, St. James said he was aware of the impact lyrics can have on listeners and that he was "just afraid of that one day I would get a call from a guy who said he was mad as his old lady, heard the song and went out and killed her."
More News on the Dial Alexandria's WCPT-AM (730) has dropped the Satellite Music Network's Heart 'n' Soul format and has begun airing the audio feed of TV's "CNN Headline News."
The switch was made because the Group W station, co-owned with classic rock WCXR-FM (105.9), failed to show in the winter ratings survey. The AM station's previous appearences in the ratings book were dismal. "Radio 730 CNN Headline News" will not carry local news reports but will give local weather and public service announcements, according to Creative Services Director Mark Lapidus. But there's plenty of speculation both in the business and on the sidelines that local news coverage will be added if listenership increases significantly.
Although CNN news editors reportedly are now writing copy for the ear as well as the eye, goofs occasionally do happen. Recently, an anchor told viewers/listeners "What you're seeing now is... ."
Lapidus said that WCPT has applied for a nighttime power boost to 390 watts. Currently, power is reduced after sunset to 19 watts from 5,000, making it nearly impossible to hear the station outside nearby Northern Virginia.
On the Air Humorist P.J. O'Rourke talks about "Modern Manners" tomorrow on the Mike Cuthbert Show, at 8 p.m. on WAMU-FM (88.5) ... NPR yesterday began a two-month long look at "The American Future," with segments to be aired mostly on Mondays during "Morning Edition With Bob Edwards," heard locally on WAMU-FM (88), and on the evening news show "All Things Considered," heard on WETA-FM (90.9) and WAMU ... Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Calif.) will guest-host the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh program (heard here on WMAL-AM 630) from Washington next week. In the early '70s, the conservative congressman was a talk show host at KGO in San Francisco and won Emmy awards in 1968 and '69 for hosting a live political affairs and current events TV show.