Legendary D.J. goes off the airwaves
Kim has been with the MBC Radio Broadcasting Station since the beginning of his 37-year career. He was hired as a newscaster in 1972 and started working as a professional D.J. the next year. He set the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest time a person has led one program, the radio program “Date at 2 o’clock.” He has done more than 7,500 shows in a period of 23 years.
“I have a fan of his since ‘Date at 2 o’clock’ started,” says Hong Won-pyo, 36, who attended Kim’s farewell show. “I was first mesmerized by his clear and crisp voice but it was surprising to know that he was only five years younger than my father. It’s a shame to see him go when he’s still so healthy.”
For Kim, it’s just the beginning.
“Do we ever retire from life?” Kim said. “I think it’s the start of a change. I’m going to try new things and maybe I will be able to meet my fans through another means of broadcasting.”
As a D.J., Kim played a significant role in disseminating pop culture in Korea during the 1970s to 80s. He not only played the part of the D.J., but also worked as a producer and writer for his shows.
During the early 80s, Kim worked with comedian Park Se-min on “Pop Gag Drama.” Later, he became the first person in Korean broadcasting history to chat with his fans on the Internet during a broadcast.
“He’s different from the pop columnists who try to use fancy words. Even first-time listeners don’t have any difficulty understanding the world of pop music,” said Kim Gun-woo, a fan.
Kim acknowledges he has tried to be considerate of the public.
“I have been selecting music to match the tastes of my fans and I’ve just been going along with the flow of the times,” he said.
Indeed, many things have changed since the first time Kim stepped into a recording booth, from the public’s taste in music to the way people listen to it.
“I used to listen to Kim by turning the dial of a desk radio and now I’m able to stream the broadcast via the Internet or my MP3 player,” said Shin Soo-yang, 45.
Also, in the 70s, the ratio of American or British pop to Korean pop on the radio in Korea was 8 to 2, but these days Korean music makes up the larger portion.
Kim interprets this as a sign that Korean music has become more sophisticated through the influence of pop from overseas.
Shin Kwan-cheol, the program producer, says FM Golden Disk will continue, with singer Lee Sang-eun on the microphone. The format will remain the same, but they will mix pop with other genres, such as musical theater and movie music, and a more youthful tone, Shin said.
By Kang Hye-ran [email@example.com]