November 23, 2009

Thoughts and a Tribute to Mark Raymond - A Radio Man

"...I think Mark Raymond died of a Broken Heart, not by some fine chick from Alabama where he was living and was once the PD of a Huntsville Urban AC , but by the business of radio that he spent most of his life in.

This is a partial re-post from the blog Random Ramblings from a Radio Chick. After reading her post, I was touched by what was written.

The rest of the post is here... (poster's name not given)

I remember a few years ago Mark wrote something about him getting out the business for ever and how he was frustrated by alot of the things that were going on and shortly after that he got the PD position in Huntville.

I worked with Mark at the first station I ever worked and he and Chris Turner were PD and Assistant PD and they gave me my first fulltime job in radio at WGIV Charlotte. We were a struggling AM at that time and we were trying to stay afloat while the new FM at that time WPEG was emerging.

Mark, who was from Trenton, NJ and me from Philly were good friends and we both had big dreams of working in big markets, making alot of money and enjoy the life of radio business that we both loved. We often debated over who was the better station WBLS or WDAS. With Mark living in Trenton he heard both stations while I was very partial toward WDAS FM.
Mark left the station to be PD at WERD in Jacksonville, with Chris Turner and they wanted me to come, but I had a new born daughter and didnt want to move at time. I loss track of Mark for a few years and then he called me after hearing me somewhere in he told me that he was out of the radio business and working for Circuit City in the Winston Salem area. He later got back in the business that he loved, radio.

Mark, like me and others have spent almost our entire lives doing this radio thing in small towns like Winston-Salem, Sumter, Huntsville and other towns paying the so called dues and dreaming of bigger markets and bigger things.

Mark never made it to WBLS like he always talked about but he did what he loved. He was a good kat who was serious about the business and I hope he was fullfilled.

I worked with some good kats and Mark was one of the good ones, and I just wanted to say that cause I havent seen anyone comment on him. Even though he wasn't one of those so called bigtime over hyped PDs or syndicated hotshot, I know he was a real black radio guy who worked in the trenches for little money , little hype, and he deserves his due."

-From The Trenton (NJ) Times Mark Raymond Smith, 52, of Madison, Ala., passed peacefully from this life on Friday, Nov. 6, 2009, after a gradual decline in health. A native of Pennington, N.J., he had resided in Huntsville, Ala. since 2005. He attended North Carolina Central University where he studied broadcasting, and obtained his FCC Third Class License from the Allen and Singer School of Broadcasting. Mark’s love of radio started in 1975 while working as a mobile DJ in Trenton, N.J. Here's more of the obituary; but I'm sure it only tells a small part of the story of the radio man Mark Raymond.

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