During the past few weeks 5D has been extolling the virtues of a small town America radio station. Not only has King Falls been won the vote for "Best small town in America' (voted for by, er, Chamber of Commerce of, er, King Falls), but it also boasts a local institution with its radio station - King Falls AM.
The station has had something of revamp in terms of its late-night talk show in the form of new presenter, Sammy Stevens who took over the 2 a.m time-slot from the local institution that was Diamond Dave Alvarez, who recently retired after his 18 year long stint in the shows hot seat. The first four shows have introduced us not only to Sammy, his erstwhile local boy producer, Ben Arnold, but also to the little known reputation that the King Falls area has had in regard to paranormal activity.
While the cases of the paranormal have been an important and riveting part of each show, one of the other highlights has been the presentation from King Falls 'outsider' Sammy and local boy Ben. The information coming from King Falls has been a little sparse when it comes to giving out too much information on the their presenters so I am eternally grateful to the station owners for giving me the opportunity to talk with the two guys themselves.
In addition to the interview, I've also included the links to the four shows that have been released on podcast so far (each lasts approximately 15 minutes) for you to enjoy just in case you haven't had the opportunity to do so.
Q) There doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there so tell us a little about you and your life before you moved to King Falls.
A) Just living the dream! I spent a few years working my way up the radio food chain, producer here, on-air there until I got my break at the BJ & Kazoo Morning Show. I did my time and it just wasn't for me. I prefer real people stories to Kim Kardashian every day of the week.
Q) So how did you land the gig at King Falls AM? After all, the place isn’t quite the big city life that you’re used to is it?
A) I was in the middle of contract negotiations and I got a random email from Merv, he owns King Falls AM, and it was a serious amount of money to do what I really wanted to do, which was Talk Radio. I'd never even heard of King Falls until then.
Q) Judging from what I’ve heard on the show, the locals seem to include their fare share of, how can I say, eccentrics. What has the welcome been like from them so far?
A) Ha! There have been a couple of guys who give me the willies but the welcome here has been warm and amazing. It's kinda like living in 1950's post war America here. Everybody knows you and you know them. I've never had a bad interaction with any of the residents when I'm out and about. Good people.
Q) That Mayor Grisham doesn’t seem to like you. Do you agree?
A) I think ... hmm, how do I put this? I don't think the Mayor is a fan of the show. I don't think he has a problem with me, personally, but I don't think he likes real news being reported in his town. That's an issue.
Q) What do you think of all the crazy sh*t that is happening in this quaint town?
A) You know, for every weird call we get or crazy situation that happens, we've got hours of radio that is just normal everyday talk. News. Weather. Real people talk and real people problems. I think only the crazy stuff gets publicised. They don't report about us talking to people about Paediatrician recommendations. But that's just the way the news business is. But ... yeah, when it's crazy, it's full on bat s**t isn't it?
A) Ben Arnold is the real deal. I've never worked with anyone that is more prepped and knowledgeable than Ben. On top of it, he's a good guy inside and outside of the studio. I honestly couldn't have picked a better partner than Ben.
Q) Do you really think that you should been made to apologise for what happened over the coverage of the Bass tournament?
A) You know, I'm probably gonna get an inbox full from Merv because of this, but the hell with it. I don't think we should have. I don't think any news outlet should have to apologise for reporting news. Ever. Our feeds were cut. Ben & I were forced off the property. Then a week later, almost two weeks later, we have to apologise on air for reporting the news? That's unheard of. That's some North Korean level politics at work.
Q) How long will you be staying in King Falls?
A) As long as they'll have me! Radio is a business and I've signed a contract that will keep me here for a good while regardless, but I like it here. I genuinely like the people and even though I'm not a fan of these "happenings" that go on, I'm also getting a front row seat to report on things that journalists dream of reporting so it's a plus. I don't ever know what to expect when we go to the phone lines and that's not a bad thing.
Q) So King Falls born and bred?
A) 100%! King Falls has been and always will be home for me.
Q) What’s it really like to work with a big city boy like Sammy?
A) It's fun. Sammy's a real pro. He's got a good way with the listeners I think. I've learnt a lot from him. Even some stuff I didn't want to like the co-host thing, but it's been fun.
A) Uh ... I'm not sure ... subtext? Ron's just a buddy but he's also a very particular type of guy and I was just waiting to see if Sammy would end up riling him up. He did! But Ron's a cool guy. His pop used to let me and my buddies go out on his pontoon boat and go searching for Kingsie during the summers. The Begley's are good people.
Q) Which leads me onto the lovely Librarian, Emily Potter she seems to have gained much admiring remarks?…… Tell me about her.
A) Somebody is admiring Emily? Who? I wanna know ... I mean, Emily and I are just friends. Strictly friends. Did Sammy ask you to ask this? He's just stirring the pot, man! I've been checking out books twice a week from the King Falls library for YEARS! He's trying to act like I've got a crush on her or something. He's crazy. We're just friends. But she is terrific though, right?
Q) Just what is the deal with all the crazy stuff going on in and around Kings Falls?
A) Crazy stuff? You'd have to give me an example, I'm not sure what you mean.
Q) Crazy stuff. Mysterious lights. Alien Abductions. Ghosts --
Q) Right, Apparitions. Werewolves. Lake Monsters. You have to admit, that's not your average run-of-the-mill news items.
A) See, I wouldn't call that crazy. It's just things that happen. Do they happen more in King Falls? Maybe so. But every town has it's little "paranormal" events. I think we're lucky to get so much of it, if anything. You learn about this stuff as kids but you don't always get to see it. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm as worried as anybody when it comes to Tim Jensen being missing or werewolves bothering townsfolk. I'm not trivialising it. But if Sammy and I reporting on it raises awareness or helps the folks listening then it's all worth it.
A) Oh, I know. And there's plenty I'd like to see out there. But leaving King Falls? I just can't see it. This is home. I can see buying a little house and settling down with the right girl. Raising a family. That's the plan, I think. One day.
Q) A girl like Emily Potter?
A) I could definitely see Emily and ... alright! Where's Sammy? I know he put you up to this.
I would like to say a big thank you to Sammy and Ben for sparing some of their time to chat with 5D.
You can find the Facebook page for King Falls AM RIGHT HERE