The SnowMan was born in the Midwestern United States in 1953. He received well above average grades throughout most of his schooling. He earned a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering in 1975 and has worked with high technology most of his life. Even at an early age, there was plenty of indication that the little SnowBoy would be involved with electronics. Though a love of broadcasting was also apparent at an early age, economic pragmatism, and a profound boredom with the stultified status quo that had settled over radio at the time drove him to seek employment in a more lucrative field. In his humble judgement at the time, he was ready for radio, but it was not yet ready for him. Now, with the openness of the internet, all that has changed.
The SnowMan has been a radio nut from early childhood. He spent countless hours tuning the radio dial, learning the locations and call letters of all the stations he could hear. He became an expert on the radio dial at an early age. One morning his parents wanted to tune in to a special program on an obscure radio station outside of the local market, but the adults did not know the frequency. The obvious solution...wake up the six-year-old radio nut-case and ask him! The little SnowMan didn't even awaken enough to fully reach consciousness; but, amazingly enough, his answer was correct, thereby delighting his parents and placing his name irrevocably on the roster of the truly weird and famous, along with such other great names as Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus...
Living at the residential School for the Blind in Iowa, about one hundred miles from home, The SnowBoy discovered that the radio station in his home town could be faintly heard on his Zenith table-top radio. That little 500-watt signal on 1480KHz served as his life-line, connecting him to his home and parents, cementing his relationship with the magic of radio which could transcend such unfathomable distances.
From the time that he discovered that AM radio recievers in use at the time contained a local oscillator which generated a carrier that could be heard for several hundred feet, he concluded that, if he could just figure out how to place audio modulation on that carrier and transmit that signal over a reasonable antenna, he would have a radio station!
The eight-year-old SnowBoy spent the entire summer of 1962 in the basement in hot pursuit of that goal. By the end of the summer, several shocking discoveries and near brushes with death later, the technological breakthrough had been accomplished. Virtually glowing with the thrill of achievement, he took to the airwaves, treating the local neighborhood in suburban Ottumwa, Iowa, to a unique combination of country music and cornball commentary. He strived to sound just like his heroes, the local radio personalities.
Later The SnowBoy took his broadcast technology to the Iowa School for the Blind where he established and "managed" a radio station for the student body. "We were still using the variable frequency oscillator method", he remembers, "and the thing tended to drift off frequency. About every thirty minutes or so, we would say something like, 'At this time, KISB interrupts our normal programming to conduct a frequency adjustment.' Then we would shut down the audio so I could listen to the co-channel interference under the carrier and adjust the transmitter frequency for as close to a zero-beat as patience would allow. It was really pretty hokey, but we had a great time doing it".
The SnowMan went on to attend Iowa State University from which he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1975. He was active in student radio all four years and served as production director most of that time. He also hosted an easy-rock night-time program and became known around Ames as the "Musical Master of Mellow Rock".
"Looking back," The SnowMan recalls, "I thought I sounded pretty good at the time, but after listening to the air check tapes again recently, I am now officially prepared to revise my assessment downward slightly...well... maybe quite a bit, really."
The SnowMan also worked in commercial radio for a few months between college and a job more in line with his education. "Basically," he says, "it was a lot less fun than I thought it would be. I think you really need just the right environment, and that just didn't happen. I've done the disk jockey thing, and I've done the straight reads, but what I'd really like to try is a talk show. I think it would be a riot to try to be entertaining without sounding like a Rush Wannabee."
The old SnowMan has worked for over thirty years as a software engineer designing computer software for a variety of applications, but in 1987 he began assembling a production studio in his home. He struck a deal with a local radio station that allowed him to enter the side-business of producing radio ads and advertising jingles.
"Actually," he says, "I had been writing music for several years, plus I had this broadcasting thing, and the studio just brought it all together. It was a way for me to keep my day job, and yet explore some new frontiers without actually selling the farm."
This brief sampler is of work done in the late 1980's. Stand by with eager anticipation...Listen to a demo of the SnowMan's advertising production. Prepare for an overwhelming desire to buy things you don't need.
The SnowMan proudly claims to have fantasized being in the radio business for over forty years. This is, as he points out, entirely consistent with his overall philosophy that it is generally more convenient to simply fantasize doing a thing, than it is to go to all the trouble of actually doing it. Besides, it usually works out better.
The SnowMan is seen here in his recording studio preparing to launch into yet another loquacious Snowman Radio Broadcast from his mythical radio station he calls WWSNOW. He is not actually broadcasting, just fantasizing doing so; and people all over the world are listening to The SnowMan via the internet, fantasizing along with him.
While the Snowman Radio Broadcast is no longer in production, you can find all the episodes at WWSNOW.COM Don't listen to them all at once. You'll enjoy them more if you pace yourself. Back to the SnowMan Main Page