Thirty years ago, Howard Stern launched his career as a professional deejay in Briarcliff Manor. The radio world would never be the same.
With Stern and his crew off for holiday break, Sirius satellite radio has been broadcasting the premiere of Ã¢â‚¬Å“The History of Howard SternÃ¢â‚¬? in lieu of his live morning radio show this week. Featuring first-person interviews and narration by Jim Forbes of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Behind the MusicÃ¢â‚¬? fame, the first 90 minutes of TuesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s broadcast alone were dedicated to SternÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s days spinning vinyl in Briarcliff and plugging various businesses and events throughout the Lower Hudson Valley.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My first radio job really was WRNW in Westchester and that was a very difficult situation for me,Ã¢â‚¬? Stern said during the special. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was not a good broadcaster; I was not a good straight broadcaster, and I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t thought of much.Ã¢â‚¬?
Recently completing his second year of a five-year, $500 million contract at Sirius satellite radio, Stern said he launched his full-time career with a $5,000 annual salary on Jan. 1, 1977 at 107.1 FM. He was 11 days shy of his 23rd birthday.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My first shift, when I got on the air, I was so nervous my hands were shaking,Ã¢â‚¬? he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The station was empty, thank God, because it was New YearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s morning. I hit the button to play the record, the whole board jams up. I mustÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve hit it too hard.Ã¢â‚¬?
Reflecting on the incident with sidekicks Robin Quivers and Artie Lange, Stern said he woke up the program director when calling him in the ensuing panic.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The engineer came in and started yelling at me Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this big fat guy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and he fixed it at some point, I guess,Ã¢â‚¬? he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“And all the other jocks heard me and they think I was horrible. I was the laughing stock of the station. The program director was going to fire me, I heard, because I woke him up. And again, I had to beg for his mercy. I said, Ã¢â‚¬ËœIÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m so sorry.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ He goes, Ã¢â‚¬ËœYouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re terrible; youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re horrible.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a miracle I sit here today.Ã¢â‚¬?
In addition to Briarcliff, check out the “King of All Media’s” direct connections to Armonk, Elmsford, Tarrytown, Bronxville, Scarsdale, White Plains and Yorktown after the break.