“I’ve been here since Hector was a pup,” said Tim Scott. “When I was 13 years-old I used to ride my bike out to the radio farmhouse because I thought it would be cool to be on the radio. Captain Steve Bridges of KFMH let me hang out and watch.”
Scott said he kept hanging out at the radio station and when he was 14 he started running the control board. By the time he was 15, he was hired as an employee.
Last week, the ol’ radio hound returned to the airwaves of Vintage Sound 93.1 and KWPC AM860 FM95.1 after an eight-week medical absence. Scott is feeling good and happy to be back in the radio farmhouse that has been his professional home since 1973. He’s lived through many changes at the radio stations and has a lifetime of stories to tell about his career.
“I’ve worked for every owner the radio station has ever had,” said Scott. “Back in the day when radio was king, something was drawing me to radio. “Even today, I want to be that voice on the radio, that guy in the background.”
He remembers the “old days” when they had turntables and a control board setup at the fair. They produced the radio show live, complete with live commercial reads and they spun records right there at the fairgrounds. Today, just about everything is digital and live remote radio broadcasts can be done with little more than a smart phone.
Scott says although the technology has evolved dramatically from his early radio days, the reason people listen hasn’t changed much.
“Radio is always there when people need it,” he said. “It’s not just there for the music. People tune in to find out about things like storms and school closings. And a lot of what George Volger, the original station owner, created on KWPC is still on the air. We still carry funeral announcements and the Buy-Sell-Trade Show.”
And speaking of storms, Scott remembers a terrible snowstorm in 1976 when he and another disc jockey were stranded at the radio farmhouse but stayed on the air for three days. Schools and roads were closed and there wasn’t the prevalence of four-wheel-drive trucks to get around.
“The two of us did a sleep-work rotation. I’d be on the air for six hours while the other guy got some sleep,” said Scott. “We ran out of food, so the owner of the old Dandee Restaurant drove his snowplow truck to the station to bring us some chicken dinners. He couldn’t get into our driveway, so I had to wade through waist-deep snow to meet him.”
He also recalled the days when he broadcasted live from a barge in the middle of the Mississippi River to play music synched with the Fourth of July fireworks show.
Tim speaks fondly of those days when “radio was king.” He’s met and interviewed just about every country and rock musician that’s come to the area for shows. He talks about trips to Nashville where he would visit record companies and bring home all the records, cassette tapes and CDs he could carry. In those days, the record labels and artists really needed to connect with radio DJs to make sure their music was played on the air.
Now in the 21st century and over 70 years since Muscatine’s KWPC radio went on the air, much has changed but much is the same. Disc jockey, engineer, music lover, announcer, and radio-farmhouse staple Tim Scott still remains. Listen for him by keeping your radio dials tuned (or your web browser or mobile app) to KWPC AM860 FM95.1 and KMCS Vintage Sound 93.1.