Rix Quinn – Finding a profession
Published 10:30 am Sunday, February 12, 2023
I’m jealous of people who find their life’s work early. For some, the discovery starts in elementary school.
Ray was a very likeable, outgoing guy. He got along well with everybody, including the teachers.
The rest of us tried to stay under a teacher’s radar, praying they would not call on us. We never raised our hands unless we wanted a trip to the restroom.
In music class we were required to sing solos. The girls would sing something sweet and lyrical. But guys would pick simple tunes that required little vocal range.
We each stood up, bellowed something resembling a moose call, and sat down. If the entire song was just three or four notes, we were fine with that.
But Ray would stand, and he’d say something like “I’d like to sing one of my Broadway favorites.” Then he’d launch, acapella. This amazed the girls and horrified the guys.
Around sixth grade Ray’s voice changed to low baritone, and he occasionally gave school announcements. By high school, this guy started working part-time in local top-40 radio, writing humor scripts and making actual money.
By college he had his own talk-music show, and then he hit the big time. He was hired by larger and larger radio stations, and then for decades he had his own morning show in a major market.
Today he owns a company that records both his and other professional voices. I still hear him in commercials.
I ran into him at a grocery store not long ago. He greeted me and started talking.
But I couldn’t help feeling like I’d left the radio on.
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