The 1954 WLS Family Album:
Turntable Operator Max Thompson
note: One of the unique operational features of the major Chicago radio
stations was the presence of the "turntable operator" or "record
turner". They were members of the American Federation of Musicians and had
exclusive jurisdiction over turntables which, in other markets, engineers or talent
operated. James C. Petrillo, the enormously powerful president of the Chicago
Federation of Musicians (and later the American Federation of Musicians) waged
a war against "canned music" from the earliest days of Chicago broadcasting.
"Record turners" were one artifact of his clout.
Max Thompson, as pleasantly methodical as he looks, must see to it that every
recorded and transcribed announcement and music number goes on the air upon split-second
cues from the studio. Madeline Lorch and Fred Vopatek assist him in these duties
in studio E.
to the 1954 WLS Family Album index page
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Rich Samuels (e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)