Richard Rangel Morava - Raised On Radio

 

                                  

Richard Rangel Morava was born on December 25, 1965 in Chicago, IL. He began his musical career at age 12 assisting the promotions department at WLUP in Chicago. "Dave Logan, Program Director at (WLUP) "the Loop," recognized my interest in music and gave me my

                                  

Rich and Sky 1980

big break." It was during this time that Richard learned how music was picked to be played by observing Music Director, Sky Daniels. "Sky was probably THE BEST M.D. IN THE COUNTRY at the time" says Richard. "He was always ahead of the other Music Directors and many followed "the Loop's" play list for their stations.

Two and a half years later Rich was down the street at the competition, WMET "the Mighty Met" under the guidance of Promotions Director Jim Corboy and Mark Campbell. The stint at MET lasted for about five months when Richard's family moved to Aiken, South Carolina.

                                        

After searching radio stations in Columbia, SC and Augusta, GA, Richard found a new home at WYMX in Augusta after becoming friends with the station's owner Mills Fitzner. "Mills was great and would allow me to do the 'Rich Rangel Radio Hour.' I used what I learned from Sky Daniels and would play unknown unsigned (to a major label) artists. I was the first (outside of Los Angeles) to give Motley Crue's Leathur Records album airplay." The trend of breaking new artists continued with RATT, Dokken, Great White and Queensryche. The show's format was "free form rock n roll" and Richard would bring his high school friends. "Looking back, I am surprised Mills let me do more than one or two shows. It was Wayne's World but what I did was real and I did  it first in 1982. It wasn't some comedy skit..."

WYMX was eventually sold, the format changed becoming "Sunny 105" and the music Rich was used to playing wasn't exactly bright or cheerful.

Rich Rangel Radio Hour 1983

                                  

Eventually a new rock station came to town, 96 WJFX and Richard became friends with the station's GM, Jerry Bellairs. "I would go out and help with station promotions and hang with the Music Director." Richard remembers "the label promotions rep came in from Atlanta with a advance copy of the new Motley Crue CD, I was blown away. I told him I easily heard three singles: 'Wild Side,' 'Girls Girls Girls,' 'You're All I Need' after one listen. There are two maybe three others that could also be singles. They both looked at me like I was from Mars."

                                  

Rich and Ozzy 1981

1987 found Richard in Lakeland, Florida and the search for a new station wasn't a positive one. "I can take photos like that..." Rich said after picking up a magazine in a local record shop. He had always tried to bring a camera with him to shows because his peers in school didn't believe he was meeting all these groups and going backstage. "In 8th grade I would tell my friends about meeting KISS or Van Halen or about hanging out backstage at concerts. So I started bringing a camera to the shows to show the disbelievers." Having a camera handy also lead to shooting radio contest winners for trade publications as well as building a portfolio of concert images. The progression from broadcast media to print was an

                                  

easy one. Rather than focus on the big name artists he would work on shooting the new up and coming artists. "I applied the same formula to shooting new groups as I did when picking out records to play on the radio." That meant shooting unknown groups like New Kids On The Block and Guns N Roses at

                                  

the time. "Axl is brilliant, anyone who couldn't see GNR was going to be big had to be both deaf and blind..." Breaking new artists helped make dealing with record label publicists easier but Rich didn't shoot just anyone. "There were a lot of one hit wonders and some groups that when you heard them play you just knew someone in A&R was going to get fired. I mean this isn't rocket science, it's rock and roll...

Axl Rose and Rich 1987

                                    

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