Remembering KBHI – Tammy Veil

My younger brother Mike Veil and I grew up with radios, stereos and a portable cassette machine that had all the buttons on one end. We were isolated living on a ranch between Modesto and Salida back in the early ’70s, so we recorded a lot of music off of KFIV and KJOY.  We also created our own radio plays. Mike was the witty one. He could come up with voices and scripts off the top of his head and I just went along for the ride. We would act out his radio scripts and record them. Oh how I wish I had those tapes today. When he followed me into high school in 1977, he recruited me to join him in taking Ron Underwood’s Radio Broadcasting class.

BR -L-R: Harry Mersman, Gary watts, Terry Watts, Cory Christensen, Linda Wirt, Frank DeMattos, Janelle Dotson, Deanna Rule, Dave Rose, Jim Smith FR L-R: Teri Harger, Ed Steele, Cherri Ebright, Sam Thorne, Lori Hammer (Photo courtesy of Tammy Veil)

Radio Broadcasting never really entered my mind before 1977. I was enjoying my third year of Art classes with Wilda Thompson and Glenn Streeter. But Mike was my brother and family is  everything, so I began my broadcasting career at KBHI, the low power high school FM radio station run by Mr. Underwood and his Radio class participants. Being an introverted country kid I chose not to take a position with the station other than an afternoon air shift right after my brother’s shift. I met some interesting people like classmates Dave Rose and Harry Mersmann. As well as some people who already had quite and understanding of radio. The family of Kathy and John Pappas were very much into the radio business in Modesto. I have some recollection of doing news stories with Kathy, producing and completing a radio special on Neil Diamond. The most memorable moment for me at KBHI was when the entire class took a bus to San Francisco to take the Third Class Federal Communication Commission License exam. We had a rousing good time seeing the city. Who would have thought that I would work and live in San Francisco 13 years later at KXXX FM, formerly KYUU.  KBHI gave me a well grounded foundation on nomenclature, procedures and theory of radio broadcasting. I fell in love with the structure, creativity and satisfaction of producing things that a multitude of people could enjoy.

Ron Underwood saw something in me that I didn’t. He took me under his wing and did what he could to keep me focused. I disliked school even though I was pulling straight A’s;  I just wanted out of there and to get on with life. My career guidance counselor pretty much threw in the towel when I told him I would not be attending college. However, my Art instructor Mr. Streeter helped me graduate in the mid term of my senior year by assigning me an extra art project so I could obtain the credits I needed to graduate. At the same time Mr. Underwood referred me to KTRB for a job interview. I was interviewed by Randy Hill, KTRB’s chief engineer and son of Doc Hill, owner of KYOS in Merced. Randy hired me at 17 years of age to assist KTRB’s Cal Purviance with the new KHOP FM automation machine. I fell in love with radio and left my mediocre artistic talents behind to pursue a career in Broadcasting.

Tammy on the air at KTRB in early 1980s (Photo courtesy of Tammy Veil).

Little did I know that my brother Mike, KBHI, Ron Underwood and Randy Hill would help me find my passion, kick off my career and give me the best memories of my younger adult years. I am grateful for all of them who saved this lost and wandering soul. And I am grateful to all of the great people at KTRB/KHOP who helped ‘raise me up’ to be a productive, law abiding young adult. Thank you.

Listen to  Tammy Lynn – Aircheck

Read  Tammy Lynn (Veil-Drew) Remembers KTRB-KHOP

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