15 of Cindy Campbell’s Favorite Memories of 35 Years with Q-106.5
On this, my 35th anniversary with Q-106.5, I took a few minutes to look back on some of my favorite memories.
It's hard to fathom that the first time I walked into this building on Acme Road in Brewer was 35 years ago. Back then, the offices were all on the 3rd floor of the building, with other businesses occupying the lower floors. There was only one studio because WQCB/Q-106.5 was the only radio station in residence. The staff consisted of less than 15 people, all working together to build this 1 1/2-year-old station into the market leader that it is today.
In my first year at the Q, I was a part-time employee, monitoring operations during the hours that we were airing a satellite feed. My job was basically to make sure we didn't go off the air, and to put us back on the air when we did. During that year, I also recorded commercials and, apparently, impressed management enough that they gave me a job when the afternoon guy moved to Florida.
From that point on, my life was never quite the same. Suddenly, this woman who was too shy to speak up in school was standing on stage, in front of large crowds of people, introducing famous singers or playing games with bar patrons while the local bands took a break. I don't mind telling you, it was very intimidating in those early years. (and, honestly, still makes me a little nervous)
There are too many memories to tell them all, but I thought I'd put together a list of my top 15. Thanks to everyone I've worked with in the past (also too many to list) and the amazing people I work with currently. Here's hoping the ride continues because I'm having too much fun to stop now.
1. Getting Tackled By a Game Warden at the Q-106.5 Pine Tree Camp Egg Ride
I love the reactions I get from people when I describe the Q-106.5 Egg Ride for the Pine Tree Camp. We stuff raw eggs into our snowsuits and ride snowmobiles....all to raise money for the camp for children and adults with disabilities. I'll admit, it is pretty gross. But it's also a lot of fun for an incredibly worthy cause. My favorite Egg Ride moment came at the hands (or feet, actually) of Maine Game Warden Jonathan Parker. As we lined up for a picture, Jonathan tried to nudge me with his egg-belly. Unfortunately he slipped (HIS story...haha) and he ended up landing on top of me, toppling both of us to the ground. Just hearing him try to apologize while we were both laughing hysterically was priceless.
2. Sharing Lemonade in Juice Boxes with Kenny Chesney on a Plane
When Kenny was a brand new artist, his record company flew me to Myrtle Beach to hear his showcase concert. On the way home, a complaint from a passenger behind me prompted a flight attendant to ask if I minded switching seats. I looked back and realized I'd be sitting next to Kenny Chesney. Of course I moved! The flight was short, so they served us the juice boxes and we both laughed at the stubborn straws that just wouldn't pierce the cardboard. He was sweet, funny, and gracious for the full 20 minute flight.
3. Rubbing Elbows With Garth and Countless Other Celebrities
Over 35 years, I've met a lot of Country artists. Most were incredibly nice, like Jeff Bates who quoted Bible verses in my car like poetry, and Luke Bryan who recorded a star-struck co-worker's outgoing cellphone message. But my favorite, by far, was Garth. He stood by the door of the backstage room and shook each of our hands, introducing himself. (like we didn't know who he was) He was genuinely nice, signing autographs, joking around, and signing posters we brought for a charity auction. He was still sitting with us when the band started playing and when we suggested that he needed to go, his answer was, "Nah....they can't start without me."
4. Honored With a Challenge Coin from the City of Brewer
On my 25th anniversary with the station, Mayor Jerry Goss honored me with a Challenge Coin from the City of Brewer. My hometown. It's one of my most treasured possessions. I'm still humbled when I think about that day. Hard to believe it was 10 years ago.
5. Concerts, Concerts, and More Concerts
I've always loved live music and it's a good thing because it's a big part of this job. I've seen more performances than I could ever count, Country and other formats. My connections with a promoter netted me backstage passes to meet B.B. King, who kissed my hand and told my sons to always respect their mother. One of my favorite Country moments involved presenting Neal McCoy with 10,000 golf tees for his birthday. His band had told us he was always stealing theirs.
6. The Highest Anah Shrine Clown Honor - A Pie in the Face
Every year, we would broadcast from the Anah Shrine Circus and, at one time or another, each of the male announcers would be surprised with a pie in the face. I couldn't figure out why they never pied me...until a friend asked them. They were, apparently, afraid that I'd be upset because it would mess up my hair or makeup. My friend told them they obviously didn't know me as well as they thought they did. The next circus, Chuckles and Bobo surprised me with a pie in the face...and I loved it.
7. September 11th, 2001
With all the good memories, there has to be at least one that's not so good. This was my toughest day on the air. I went on the air just before the second tower was hit. We realized that it wasn't an accident and all the music stopped. Bob Duchesne came in the studio with me and Allison Bankston was in the news studio. The three of us relayed information, talked about our own shock, and kept our listeners informed. I'm very proud of the work we did that day.
8. Announcing from the Stage at Gillette Stadium
We took buses to the New England Country Music Festival at Gillette Stadium for many years. But one year, we were allowed to get on-stage and introduce the first performer. Honestly, I couldn't tell you who the singer was, only that it was an amazing feeling to hear my voice echoing through the PA system in the field where the Patriots play. I'll never forget it.
9. Meeting the Harlem Globetrotters
As I mentioned before, I've met a lot of singers. But meeting members of the Harlem Globetrotters has been a special favorite. I remember watching Meadowlark Lemon play, so getting to shake his hand transformed me to a star-struck 10-year-old girl. And Zeus McClurkin (pictured here) spoke German with me on the air. Okay, it was just 'hi, how are you' (all the German I know) but still....too cool.
10. Eating Eggs With a Knife With Rascal Flatts
I was at a conference in Nashville where Rascal Flatts was performing for our group. Before the meetings got started, however, we all had a breakfast buffet. My husband and I got there late and ended up eating with the guys from Rascal Flatts...only to realize they ran out of forks. As the waiter scoured the place to find some, we all happily ate scrambled eggs with our knives and headed upstairs to the conference room. It really impressed me how down-to-earth they were about it, laughing along with us.
11. The Day Tanya Tucker's Bus Broke Down
Tanya was due to play at an outdoor concert in Farmington, but her bus broke down in Massachusetts. She and her band members walked to a nearby convenience store, only to find the owner was a Country fan with an airplane. He flew them into Portland, where the promoter's husband picked them all up and drove them to the venue. Meanwhile, I was telling the local bands to stretch it out and play a few more songs. When Tanya arrived, she was in full make-up with a big smile and a story to tell. Such a class act.
12. I Still Shudder When I Think of the Pigeon People
A Bangor Auditorium concert at the fair was delayed. (I can't remember why) It had to have been close to 100 degrees in the place and the crowd was getting antsy. Finally, the folks at the Auditorium turned on the big fans, at the end of the bleachers, to cool things down. Unfortunately, a pigeon was in the fan and got shredded by the blades, spewing blood and guts all over the people sitting nearby. They were troopers, however, and stayed for the show. That took...well...guts.
13. Sitting Inside a Dumpster While People Hit It With Golf Balls
The fundraiser in Skowhegan was for the local D.A.R.E. program. Bob Duchesne and I broadcast from inside a (cleaned) dumpster, which sat at the end of a driving range. People could buy buckets of balls and try to hit the dumpster. So, we'd be on the air when, all of a sudden, THWANG!!! I think my ears are still ringing. I'll say this. It was a real test of my ability NOT to swear on the air.
14. The Night the Lights Went Out at the Bangor Christmas Parade
I was sure I had covered all the bases. I planned out a float for the Festival of Lights parade in Downtown Bangor. The theme was 'Leroy the Redneck Reindeer.' We had everything, including someone in a reindeer suit, sitting in an ugly recliner, in front of a television on a TV tray. The only thing I forgot to do was double-check to make sure there was gas in the generator to run the lights. As soon as we pulled out of the parking lot, onto the parade route, all the lights went out. We still went through the parade, yelling to people that Leroy forgot to pay the electric bill.
15. Getting to Do What I Love
Luke Combs sings about what he'd be doing if he wasn't doing this. The song really hits home because I can't imagine doing anything else. Thank you for sharing these years with me. It's been an amazing journey. One that's not over yet. I can't wait to see what the next years will bring.