Exiting the on-air studio area, I made the journey up the spiral
staircase to the second floor of Carey House Square, Wichita,
Kansas. That’s where the managers and sales staff held sway at KFH
“A Mountain of Music”. First door on the right was the office of
Program Director and morning man Scotty Michaels. I was an eighteen
year old baby air personality and to me, he was THE MAN.
charisma on air. He was a great radio communicator-funny, compelling
and real. He was a wonderful story teller. I was enamored of his
presentation on air and wanted to be like that myself. I just knew
that he could help me. Since I was a part-timer, I rarely had a
chance to talk with him. But this day, I was filling in for the
midday guy who was on vacation. I was determined to ask him a
question. One question that could change my life.
entered his office, I saw that he had 45 rpm records stacked up on
both ends of his desk with a stack of Radio and Records Magazines
and Billboard Magazines in the middle. Next to him was an ash tray
with a million or so cigarette butts in it and one cig burning in
between his fingers. It seemed to me that he was smoking and
drinking coffee simultaneously while ignoring his constantly ringing
telephone. His skinny black tie was loosened and the sleeves of his
white shirt were rolled up halfway on his arms.
motioned to me that I should sit in the chair situated in front of
his desk and said “What do you want? Make it quick-I’m kinda busy”!
As I sat
there, craning my head to look up to him, it seemed like I had
climbed the mountain to meet with Gandolf the Great. He was ten feet
tall and I was a Hobbit.
“Mister Michaels, I really like being on the air. Can you give me a
tip that will help make me better at it”?
back in his chair, took a deep drag from his smoke, then leaned
forward, pointing at me with his cigarette between his fingers and
said “Be curious. If you ever reach the point where you think you
know everything there is to know about communicating, you’re done!
It’ll be over for you! Keep learning and re-inventing. Stay curious
and be a learner”!
at me for about ten seconds, but it seemed like an hour; and then
said “Isn’t it about time for you to be on the air”? It was, so I
traveled back down the spiral staircase to the studios.
kept what he said close to my heart, striving to know why people
turn up the dial to listen to radio. What makes them turn it down,
or even, off! Will I ever get to the point where I know it all? No
way! However, to this day, I remain curious.
of curiosity makes us better and gets things done. Curiosity makes
us raise the bar on ourselves. Curiosity caused Columbus to sail for
the new world. Curiosity got us to the moon. Curiosity has resulted
in countless medical breakthroughs. Curiosity killed the cat but
satisfaction brought it back.
of curiosity will make you a better communicator.
After 10 plus years in Contemporary Christian Music radio in Chicago
and NYC, Johnny Stone has pulled up stakes and moved to Tucson,
Arizona. The national network, Family Life Radio, has inserted
Johnny and his wife Stacey into afternoons and things will never be
the same again! Still raising the bar on himself and everyone around
him, Johnny is pleased to have remained in CCM radio and working
with all the great people at Family Life Radio and in the CCM
Johnny is also owner of StoneStudiosLLC which produces the weekly
syndicated shows "Looking Up Country" for country stations and
"Looking Up To Number One" for CCM and AC/Hot AC stations.
Contact Johnny at