Wednesday, March 19, 2008

KCCK's Place in Star Wars History - Dennis

"Talking Pictures" co-host and well-known movie buff Denny Lynch found a reference to KCCK in a new coffee table book celebrating "Star Wars." Star Wars Vault was released late last year, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of "Star Wars" (later subtitled "A New Hope").

Says Denny, "It is full of all kinds of reproductions of SW artifacts, many of which can be removed from the book for examination: Script pages, storyboard sketches, animation cels, T-shirt transfers, etc.

"Pages 78-79 deal with the radio adaptations that aired on NPR starting in 1981. I recalled the excitement that fans felt at the chance to hear these stories between the releases of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI. I have the posters that were
distributed to KCCK at the time.

"As you can see, the highlight for us here is a reproduction of the cover of KCCK's March 1981 program guide. It is reproduced in the original colors."

The radio adaptation featured Mark Hamill & Anthony Daniels, reprising their roles as Luke Skywalker and See Threepio, and expanded the movie's story into a 6 1/2 hour, 13-part tale. Subsequent adaptations of "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" were also produced. (from Wikipedia)

We're not sure if the drawing of Darth Vader was original work by a Kirkwood graphic artist or adapted from an existing piece. Ours is one of just three examples of radio promotion pieces in the book.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

30 Years in Cedar Rapids - George

It was March 1978 when I arrived in Cedar Rapids to be early morning anchor and general assignment reporter for KCRG-TV9, coming from KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, SD, where I was a reporter, producer, weekend sports anchor and later assignment editor/assistant news director. Prior to that, I worked a short time at KORN-AM in Mitchell, SD, after getting out of the army. That's the station where Gary Owens of Laugh-In fame got his start. Mitchell is also home of the world's only Corn Palace (hence, KORN). The Mitchell High School athletic teams, by the way, are the original "Kernels."

Three and a half years after coming to TV9, I moved over to become news director for KCRG-AM 1600. Three and a half years after that, the position was eliminated and I was left without a job.

It was then that I went to work part-time at KCCK, working in the news department with Mark Yother and Nancy York. A few months later when Mark left KCCK temporarily, I become news director...later adding the duties of operations director. I'm now in my 23rd year at KCCK.

During the past 30 years I've seen four sons go through Arthur Elementary, Franklin Middle School and Washington High School. One son has graduated from Iowa State, another from Kirkwood and the two youngest are currently at ISU. I have one granddaughter and a grandson is on the way.

In the meantime, I continue to work with the small but dedicated, professional staff at KCCK. We've won some awards and I'm proud to be part of Iowa's only full-time jazz station. -- George Dorman