#TBT: WKMI DJ’s Stay Awake in Radio Marathon
Former WKMI Program Director Jim Higgs posted quite a memory on popular Facebook page Vanished Kalamazoo today. It's a picture from the early 1970's of a radio marathon, featuring two WKMI deejays, Bill Randall and Michael J. Steele competing to see who could stay awake (and alert?) longer. The event was at a long gone appliance store, S & S TV on South Westnedge Avenue.
Higgs, who now owns WAKV-AM 980 in Otsego, "The Memory Station", remembers the pair almost made it to the three day mark, going "just over 70 hours... but terrible enough for Mike and Bill."
The promotion was typical of the era. Goofy stunts designed to increase listenership, but also, in some cases, tied to charitable organizations. Many longtime Kalamazoo residents remember former WKMI host Dave Thompson and various outrageous stunts later in the 1970's.
This particular type of radio marathon is reminiscent of an episode of 1960's sitcom classic, The Dick Van Dyke Show. In "100 Terrible Hours", Rob Petrie has to stay awake for 100 hours, and then go to an interview for his dream job.