Golden Oldies

Irma Aandahl, in black, and Diane Rehm, center, at WAMU in 1973

Friday morning I took a trip down the New Jersey Turnpike to record an interview with Irma Aandahl.  Irma hosted WAMU‘s morning talk show in the 1970’s–until her assistant Diane Rehm took over and it became the now famous Diane Rehm Show in 1979.

After at least 80 years of life,  I figured Irma might have some good advice for a less seasoned radio producer.

Some favorite nuggets:

  • The best advancement to come in radio production?  “Microphone holders.  They changed everything.”
  • There’s no reason to doubt yourself.  “I never got nervous.  Why would I be nervous?”
  • Speak your mind.  “This is just the stupidest conversation I’ve ever had!”
  • Do your homework.  “We were good about that, we never reviewed a book we hadn’t read.”
  • Handcrafts are silly.  Of Diane Rehm,  “Let’s just say, she made her own clothes (eyeroll).”

As I got up to leave, I adjusted the clasp of my jacket cuff which had come undone.  Irma shrieked, “Can’t you afford to get that fixed?”  I feebly tried to explain it wasn’t broken.  Irma just tsk-ed and lit up another Winston as her nurse lead me out the door.