The Gates Spot Tape !
WLDB had two of these things,
instead of "Cart Machines" like everyone else. They had to be VERY expensive when
they first came out. I'd say they got them in the mid-60s when they went 1000 watts
with a new Gates BC-1T transmitter, probably part of the package.
The Gates Spot Tape recorder is capable
of filing 101 announcements, jingles, scenes, station breaks, featurettes,
and other programs. Each can last up to 90 seconds, and music of broadcast
quality can be included with no loss of fidelity. All information is recorded
on a 13-inch wide tape which winds and unwinds onto two cylinders as in an old-fashioned
player piano. An index lever is used to choose the desired track, The
tape-index scale is calibrated so that all the operator has to do
is set the index to the calibration corresponding to a specific
commercial or other program material. Any track can be erased and
new information put on without disturbing any of the other tracks.
I used to tune into the station
for comedic relief before I ever got into radio. There was always "scritchet - scritchet - scritchet"
for long periods of time when the records ran out when Mr. B. was on the board.
The Spot Tape made it's own unique sound, as he would move the lever across the
cuts AS IT WAS playing, because he couldn't see well, it was easier to listen
for the right one ! That's why the news was always late, he couldn't see the
Another funny one ... I applied for a job there when I was 17.
I auditioned with Chuck Kramer, who gave me a piece of copy to read, and he recorded
it right onto the Spot Tape. I didn't get the job, but a few weeks later, my father came
home from work and told me he heard me on the radio on WLDB ! They liked
my commercial for the First National Bank of South Jersey, they ran
it for months !