Clipped From The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Man at the Mike At 21, Bed Parks Has Had a Life lime of Thrills By DAVID BlXI.KIt p IDING in a cab that take.-, fire in the middle of Queensbom Bridge at about the time you're due for a broadcast in Central F"ark may sound like a movie thriller to Just ordinary people, but to Bert Parks, 24-year-old Columbia announcer, It's Just part of his radio life. It doesn't happen nil the time and that's why he says: "You don't have to believe it, but radio announcing is fun." Young Parks now handles some of the major network's most important programs. He gets a kick out of it all and wouldn't swap places with anyone. As it happens, his work is a pleasure with him. Vp North With Yankees Bert Parks was born and educated in Atlanta, where he had quite a reputation as an amateur actor. His forte was impersonations. He joined the staff of WGST. Atlanta's station, as one of the morning announcers when he was 17. Later . a year later ... hp was made chief announcer. He .stayed there until 1033 at which time Columbia railed him "up north with the Yankees" Ju.-t before leaving home, Brt won the city declimination award but to this day, he hasn't been able to figure out why. This September will round out his fourth year with Columbia. Need ollrt;p Trained Men A graduate of Merisl College in Georgia, Bert says, "I can not place loo much emphasis on the importance of a college education to a man considering radio as a care t. Particularly m the Imht el I ii" numb t of school , olfenng courses in i.k!m. "Two l.ircign l.tl' :!iai's are lieenvnrv . . preferably French and Spanish. Diction. English, poise and a talent lor doing something other than announcing tiiat can be broadcast such as singing, acting, writing or producing another musts." Fright In The Air Recalling some of the more unusual of his broadcasting rxixTi-ences. the young announcer con-tinned. "Htrangelv enough my worst attack of I right had nothing to do with radio. 1 was n.vi tied t broadcast the Navy inancv.cr "If Asbury Park. They were to take place quite a way out to sea I had never been up bclore and wasn't terribly keen on doing a broadcast for my first time up. "We were about 50 miles out to sea when the pilot turned to me and said: 'We're running short of gas. What shall I do?' I was ,i'-'x. a i Imm. Deri Parks beginning to feel sick anyway but managed to te'.l hnn to go back. We made it. refuelled and went up again. I got over being sick and the broadcast went off smoothly. The Band Walked Out "Then there was the time when I had to broadcast the day's program at eight o'clock in the morning. Now while the announcer is reading the program the studio ot'-hc t:: L s'liycid to !tle in ar..! ht- ready ,l-o st on the air at ft u.v Wh.'n I linr lic! and had nr.cn the station call I turned at I'imi to giw tne program over to I;:,' band. lma..:ne my surprise when I didn't x-e a soul in the studio. I had nothing at all to put on in it's place. I dashed out o: the studio, having the air dead, and ran upstairs to the control room. No one but the control man was there and not a musician could I find. "Ret inning to tne studio I tried to '.all the listeners. Finally a man came in. A bavest. It couldn't !uvc been a violinist or a trumpet, man. No. it had to be a bassist We s;it around until about 8.25. Then, a cello player came in and lor the next live minutes we had a cello concert going out on the air. One by one the band came In Just in time to sign off. That happens seldom but when it does it certainly means worry,"