Executive Producer - Dana Berry
My first records were ones my Dad brought home for me from his business trips. I still have the copies of many, including Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection and Empty Sky. I would play them on my older brother’s hifi, which included the now extinct stackable turntable. My brother supplied Sgt. Pepper’s to counter my Shaun Cassidy. Eventually good prevailed and I found myself enthralled by the inside gatefold of Kiss Alive II and the space intro of Fly Like An Eagle. Friends and I would take the T to Harvard Square and rifle through the stacks at Mystery Train, Looney Tunes and Second Coming. Some of these record store visits are the clearest memories I have of my adolescence.
I have moved a lot, various places in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and now Oakland. Never was I without a turntable and records. It never crossed my mind to get rid of either so it’s always mystified me when people say, “I remember record players!” Maybe “mystified” isn’t the right word. I have jettisoned many records over the years that I wish I had back. But that’s the joy of record shopping, you can find another copy from the same era. Nowadays, you just pay a lot more for it.
I met Dave when we worked for the same company in Sacramento. He had just built his Post Audio studio and the warm, relaxed ambience provided a much needed escape from the burning fluorescents of the news room I worked in. We formed a friendship and even collaborated on an internet radio station called Wrong Radio. David was the creator and I was the collaborator, similar to our relationship here on Vinyl Snob.
What do I do other than help produce the Snobcast? I sing, play drums and guitar in a band called Night Herons and have a side project called Bitterwind. I’m writing a horror/comedy screenplay and make occasional adoption videos for Berkeley Humane. My record collection is fair to middlin’ and my tastes range from Merle Haggard to Fugazi.
Music has always been more than a hobby or even a passion. It’s been the fabric that I’ve clung to as life unfolds before me. One wish I have is to put out my own vinyl LP (I’ve come close with a 7” many years ago.) But for now, pulling a record from the stack, sliding the vinyl from the sleeve and gently placing it on the turntable is enough. Thanks for listening!!
Chief Engineer - Jerry Whitaker
Growing up in the 1960s, listening to the local Top 40 stations, my goal was to work in radio. My interest centered on the engineering side, which I pursued while attending California State University at Sacramento. KERS-FM was the campus radio station, and I jumped at the chance to finally get into radio engineering. I was involved in a number of projects—some authorized, some not. Over a weekend, we put a pirate AM radio station on the air for the nearby dorms. We called it KEG. It was fun and we had some listeners, until the administration found out about it…and shut us down. (There were other repercussions as well…)
Fast-forward a few years. I talked my way into being the Chief Engineer at a small market radio station in Northern California. For me, it was a dream job. But chasing other interests and opportunities, I spent the next three decades doing everything but radio—focusing for the last 17 years or so on advanced audio/video television system development.
And then David suggests we meet up for lunch and talk about some ideas he had for a radio program focused on vinyl records. With that began the search for an analog radio mixing console that would form the focal point of a new studio. After a year of occasional searching on eBay, we found a good candidate. It needed a lot of work, but it held great promise too.
The restoration effort for the Gates Executive audio console in Studio Two stretched over 18 months. It was truly a top-to-bottom rebuild, made possible because there was no deadline for completion and no budget limit. The project kept evolving. David would come up with an idea and pitch it to me… and I would go back and figure out how we might make it happen.
I’m thrilled to see the Executive console back in operation. It has been a long and fun journey from “sold as-is, local pickup only” to being back on the air. And, now I’m back in radio!
Thom Pinto - Staff Announcer
Thom Pinto is best known for his narration on documentaries, such as 'Manson: Inside The Mind of a Mad Man", "Arlington: Call to Honor", and the long running series, "Tales of the Gun". Thom worked regularly with Dave on a Smithsonian series, when the topic of "The SF Sound" came up, as Dave was always spinning something vintage on the turntable in his studio's waiting room. Being a DJ in the 70s himself, he was instantly on board. "I've known Dave for several years now, and I'm stoked to lend my voice to the podcast". More info on Thom's voiceover work and classes can be found at www.thompinto.com
Cameron Robbins - theme music
NATAS Emmy winner Cameron Taylor Robbins is co-founder of News90 Films and BnC Media. He’s worked on an Emmy-award winning food and entertainment show as well as radio commercials in the Bay Area. Cameron has been a featured artist with airplay on a Fresno radio station as well as a host of a popular news and entertainment radio program on 96.9 WTKK. He has done tireless instruction in sound design and post scoring. Cameron met Dave Whitaker doing voice-over work at his studio in Sacramento. Cameron’s television news career has taken him across the country, working in stations across California, Oregon and now, Massachusetts. Among other activities, he plays local shows with his band The Bourbon Chasers. Cameron lives in Peabody, MA with his lovely wife and dog Rudy.
John Everett - logo design
John Everett is an artist/designer and RISD grad currently living in the Bay Area. He is an avid record collector and an enthusiastic guitar player of very limited ability (says he). Please take a moment to check out some of his work HERE.