1976-1977 KSLQ 98.1

KSLQ St. Louis was top in the Arbitron ratings, with its relatively new Top 40 format, and squeeky-clean bubble-gum image. Joe would discover it was only an image.


Mason arrived to KSLQ via the local chapter of S.A.M. and I.B.M.; Society of American Magicians (founded by Harry Houdini) and International Brotherhood of Magicians, respectively. Growing up as a magician, Mason belonged to both of these nerd-fests, and it just so happened the new morning disc jockey, Jeff Baker, was interested in magic and had stumbled across Greg Ginsburg, who belonged to both magician organizations and also happened to be a good friend of Mason's. Ginsburg had already begun teaching Baker some tricks, but did not have the reciprocal interest in radio. Mason, on the other hand, was riveted by the possibilities.


Before long, 16-year old Mason, as professor of prestidigitation, had worked his way into the hearts and minds of the KSLQ group, as resident magician "Q-Dini." (rhymes with "Houdini") A clever nickname, it made Joe seem and feel like he was more part of the gang than he really was, but that seemed to be fine with the station management and airstaff, and it certainly was more than fine with the young Mason. Of course, it probably helped things along - the fact that Mason also had been working part-time at the renowned Fatted Calf Hamburger restaurant down the street and was partial to bringing by free Calfburgers at the whim of hungry (and curiously, red-eyed) D.J.'s. Morning man Jeff Baker (magic protege of both Mason and Ginsburg) was promoted to Program Director, and voila, a permanent part-time position answering the listener request lines and tallying song requests (needed to help formulate its Top-40 playlist) materialized, and was enough for Mason to quit Fatted Calf, and begin what would be the start of a radio career that would eventually bring him to number one in the market.