Phil Harris

Summer Job: We All Have To Start Somewhere

Do you remember your first job? It was probably a summer job, right? Hopefully you still have some good memories of it. My very first job was as a golf caddy. Then I worked in a movie theater. I was recently reminded of what came after that.

Last week, I was having lunch with my youngest son at The Tipsy Burro on Monroe Road. While we were waiting for our burritos, I experienced a full-on flashback. Often, the music of choice at The Tipsy Burro is classic country and when Eddie Rabbitt's "I Love a Rainy Night" began to play, I was instantly transported back to the summer of 1992 and my first paid on-air job.

I was 18 and home from college when I was hired as an announcer at 1590 AM Stereo WCZN, Your Country Cousin in Aston, PA. It was just a summer job in a small southeastern Pennsylvania town, but it might as well have been a morning show in New York City. I was a nervous, raw, excited rookie just happy to be allowed inside the building. And when I got phone calls from listeners in nearby Philadelphia, I thought I was hot stuff.

Since that summer twenty-six years ago, I've been fortunate to still be allowed inside the building, although there have been many of them along the way. My career has taken me to great cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Austin, and Charlotte. But those experiences might never have happened if a program director named Sal April hadn't given me a shot on WCZN.

Thanks to the miracle of YouTube, I can prove to you that there really once was a radio station known as "Your Country Cousin."

"None of that rock stuff that you hear on those FM stations." Ha! I guess I took a wrong turn somewhere. I found another WCZN video that shows the barrel-shaped building from which we broadcast "real country."