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 clock.

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 !

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