Friday, July 2, 2010

The Eddie Sales Variety Show

I slept with my radio on sometimes growing up. One very early Sunday morning I woke up and it was still dark. Listening to the radio I thought that my mind had been altered. I could suddenly understand the Filipino language program. For a long time after I thought that just that time a Babel Fish had been put in my ear only that morning. Every other morning I was up listening to KNUI radio’s Filipino radio show that played between 4:30 and 6:00. The morning folks came on at six and the rest of the day was in English. It wasn’t until I was working at KNUI years later that I learned that only on Sunday mornings the show was in English. That morning I was an engineer for The Eddie Sales Variety Show.
I had worked a week of graveyard shifts so far. The AM station played the FM automation all night and I taped commercials and changes music reels. At about four o’clock the DJ for the Filipino show would come in and set up. At 4:30 he would break the AM off from the FM and do his show for 90 minutes. I would go about my business.
Then at about 3:00 on my first Sunday morning came a different guy. The smiling little man seemed to be all eyeglasses. He told me he was Eddie Sales. (His last name was pronounced SAH-les.) When I told him how tired I was he told me to go nap and he would wake me up. I stretched out on the couch of the break room and thought what a nice guy. I didn’t expect to have to get up until his show was done.
He woke me up just before his show started. I stumbled into the AM studio to see he had set up in the newsroom. I was going to actually work the broadcast controls and master volume and start and stop records for him. I put on my headphones and pushed the microphone away. Eddie Sales went over to the newsroom. He had about four boom boxes set up and cassette tapes standing by. I pulled down the FM controls and played the Eddie Sales Variety Show introduction.
Eddie talked, played commercials on his tape decks with music he composed. He cued me to play the records. And then he played a tape of his radio drama. I cannot put into words what the radio drama was. I think Eddie had recorded it with a few lady DJ’s. His accent was so thick and the sound quality so low you could barley understand it even in the studio. Eddie’s adventures included discussing risqué topics, backrubs, and Camay soap. I realized then that this is what I heard in the early morning years ago.


  1. Hey David,
    I'm also a graduate of the Eddie Sales School of Radio and Drama. I ran the board for him and did a number of characters on his radio drama in 74-75. The stories were hilarious. Three or four of us would sit around his kitchen table, he'd hand us scripts and we'd just tape it - one shot, good enough. He was a great guy. I hadn't thought of him in years, googled him and your blog is all that came up. What a shame. You'd think there'd be a museum.

    1. It's great hearing from a fellow alumni of the show. Ron Youngblood and Chivo have also confessed to me being his engineer.
      Thanks for reading the blog and posting your comment.