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Filling in at WRTI, midnight to 6, my first-ever on-air jazz shift. At 1:05 a.m., the phone rings. Two and a half minutes to end of CD.

“WRTI, Kile Smith.”

“Hey, who’s this?”

Um… “This is Kile, hi.” Silence “How’re you doing?”

“Hey, you’re new there.” Is that a question? “I haven’t heard you before.”

“That’s right, I’m filling in tonight. Usually I’m over on the classical

“You takin’ requests?”

“Ah, no, sorry, I have a list I’m playing from. But we do take re

“Yeah, I call here all the time, they know me. Could you play some Horace Silver?” Two minutes to end of CD.

“Well, I haven’t looked through everythingThat is, I’ve glanced at everything but don’t remember seeing his wait, wasn’t he on that Joe Henderson CD? 1:15 to go. “You know, after 3 o’clock there’s a new playlist, I might have seen him on a Joe Henderson

“Yeah well if you can’t take requests that’s cool you gotta do what you gotta do.”

0:55. “Mm-hm that’s true, OK, thanks for calling, keep listening.”

“You know my ex-wife, my first one, she really liked that Horace Silver (laughing), yeah, ain’t that somethin’, she liked him too, how about that, you know what I mean?”

Strangely, I think I do know what he means. “Ha, that’s great.” 0:30. “Hey listen, take care, I’ve got a break coming

“Oh yeah, I call here all the time, they know me. Me and Horace Silver, ha.”

0:20. “Yeah, OK, and we’ll try to get some on for you. I’m going to have to go now, all right, I appreciate it.”

“All right man, cool, keep the peace.”

Well, all right. Just made the break, and the shift’s going well. I’m discovering why they invented the term “disc jockey”; with the constant shuffling of CDs, back-announcing in the right order, getting in and out without a fuss, and getting everyone’s name (I hope) right, it’s like classical announcing, but… well, it’s faster. The shift flies by, I’ll have only one cup of coffee the whole night. I hit NPR news at 3:01:00, feeling good; there’s an NPR window at around 3:05 a.m., I jump back in, back into the music again. 3:07 a.m., the phone rings.

“WRTI, Kile Smith.”

“What, you still there?”

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