CARL KASELL ' 56
Colon.y one summer and credits those
early years of stage work for helping
develop the voice that seems to come
from the center of the earth.
"We didn't have the audio devices and
gauging systems that they have now,"
recalled Kasell. "So you had to depend
upon your own voice and projection on
the stage. The e}""}Jerience on stage of
thinking on your feet, reacting to an audience, helped with radio."
Kasellioved the stage, but radio was
his true fascination. He told Griffith that
he was "going to be a radio star." He was
16 when he first took to the airwaves -
and where there was radio, there was an
early-morning shift. Even then, he seemed
destined to make friends with sunrises.
"I started in high school, where I
worked at a station in Goldsboro during
my senior year," said Kasell, who spun
records back then and celebrated his 51st
year in radio in June. "I signed on early in
the morning at 6 a.m., worked until
about 8: 30 and then went to school."
Carl's brother Jackie remembers the
magic radio created back then. "It was a
small town. To be on the radio was the
greatest thing in the world at that time. Peo-
ple admired him back then, and they still
remember that time and look up to him."
When he reached UNC, Kasell stud-
ied English but lived radio. He rarely ven-
tured far beyond the studios of WUNC,
then run by students, in Swain Hall.
"It was educational radio in the begin-
ning," said Kasell. "We were a member of
the National Association of Educational
Broadcasters. If you think that public radio
operates on a sort ofshoestring nowadays
- we didn't have a shoestring back then.
We didn't have a budget. We were on the
air just four hours in the everung."
Charles Kuralt ' 55, a contemporary of
Kasell's at UNC, also lent his talents to
the station while in school. Kasell remembers that he was "very good, even back
then. His voice was the same as it was
"It was a lot of classical music, a lot of
musical programming and programs we
got from elsewhere. I'm not sure how
NO/le/llb e r / D ece lll ber 200 '/
(I'm not sure how many
listeners we had) but we
did it. I loved it. For me)
it was great training ground.
I made my early mistakes
and I was able to correct
them and improve. lowe
that station [WUNC]
a lot. I really do.)
many listeners we had, but we did it. 1
loved it. For me, it was great training
ground," said Kasell, who frequently
returns to Chapel Hill for WUNC
fundraisers. "I made my early mistakes and
I was able to correct them and improve. I
owe that station a lot. I really do."
Kasell finished four years at Carolina
(but wasn't able to complete his degree)
before leaving for the Army. When he
returned from his stint, with a wife to
support, and then a son, he also returned
to broadcasting. After working as the
morning deejay and newscaster at
WGBR-AM in Goldsboro, he moved to
Alexandria, Va., in 1965.
" 1 was never all that fascinated with the
news back in those days," Kasell said, wrinkling his nose at the memory "News
sounded so boring. I was playing records in
tlle morning at a station in Alexandria, and
I had an opportunity to do some part-time
and weekend work at an all news station in
Arlington. It was like having two full-time
jobs - but we needed the money."
Eventually, WAVA in Arlington
matched his combined salary and made
hinl the full-time news director."I just
didn't think too much about it. It was
broadcasting. It was what I wanted to do,
so I went over."
While he loved entertainment and
performing, Kasell also was infused with a
sense ofresponsibility and a certain quietude that often outpaced his inner clown.
"Growing up, I was kind of wild;' said