Life & LifestyleRetirement

Living Life My Way.

Onto My Next Act!

I started my radio career at KTBC-FM in Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1979.

A friend had been bugging me for months to meet his general manager at the local station. To my surprise, the manager hired me on the spot. I worked weekends and, eventually, nights for three years. And I loved every minute of the job.

But after three years, it was time to move on and spread my wings. The next stop was KROK-FM Shreveport, Louisiana. Then onto Texarkana station KLLI, a good place to settle down and grow. I had a blast, but, in 1989, KRLV in Las Vegas was calling. Next, KLASSY 100, and then classic rock at KKLZ.

Working in radio, you go where the jobs are, whether after six months or six years. If there is a greater opportunity for a better time slot and a larger audience, you pack up and go for it.

I arrived in Dallas in May 1999 and finally got a job at KZPS, now Lone Star 92.5, in Jan 2000. It was a part-time position, and I worked every shift I could to be heard and seen. Finally, the opportunity to do nights again arose.

I agreed on the position but wanted to do it my way. Management wanted to see what I could do.

Thus began the last leg of my radio career, and what a ride it was.


Ted with Led Zeppelin W
McKay with Swan Song, a Led Zeppelin tribute band

Over the years, I met Jon Dillon at Lone Star 92.5 and the band Red Beard. They both told me I should tell the stories behind the music as part of my repertoire. Folks love to know why, when, and where artists recorded their favorite songs, and knowing the backstory made them love those songs more. They couldn’t have been more right. Not only did the fans love the stories, but I also loved bringing them to life. Doing this gave me a chance to research the bands’ histories, and I learned more about what stories these songs told. It’s amazing to know what these artists where thinking and feeling as the words and notes came together.

I found great joy in learning the personal side of these artists individually and also as part of their bands. After many years of research and sharing on the air, I earned the moniker of “Rock Professor.”

It’s been an amazing ride of 20 years in the radio business in Dallas, but it’s time to move on once again.

Is it scary? Yes. However, I want to build on my life experiences in an industry I grew up in. I want to embrace new media opportunities such as narration, film, podcasting, and other things I truly love.

It is never too late to do more of the things you enjoy.

As in the past, I’m going for it and creating a future that is uniquely my own. Let’s see where this journey takes me.

I’m on to my next act, doing it my way.


Ted McKay

Ted McKay is a lifelong radio DJ, rock and roll historian known as the Rock Professor and jazz lover. Ted lives in Dallas, Texas, and is working on his second act.

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