and the man behind the mic is…

DJWe asked for your help identifying this dapper deejay—and you answered.

Randy Davis ’67, who worked at the station as an undergrad from 1963-67, wrote in with his guess: Willard Scott. Randy’s wrong, though the NBC weatherman, who graduated from AU with a BA in philosophy and religion, did work at WAMU from 1951-53.

Several other readers guessed—again, incorrectly—that the handsome man behind the mic was George Geesey, station manager in 1961, when WAMU debuted on the FM dial.

And then we got this email, which still gives me goosebumps:

That young man was me in 1958.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet David Schain, dapper deejay.

02_25_09_505We asked David about his WAMU days and what he’s been up to for the last 50 years:

I was fortunate enough to get the GI Bill, which allowed me to enter American University February 1957 in the School of Communications. Because I was not a great student in high school I was thrilled when I was allowed to enter AU, an event then changed my life.

When the photo was taken I was working on a regular basis at WAMU, which was strictly an on campus station. I was also pledging Phi Ep at the time and you can see the pledge pin in the photograph. My fraternity experience was as much a positive experience as my academic work at school. I met one of my closest friends, Stuart Bernstein, whose dad, Leo Bernstein, gave me my first job after graduation.

Even though I received a BA in communications, my first job upon graduation in June of 1960 was at a mortgage company. I worked on VA and FHA loans and inspected hundreds of houses for construction draws. I got my brokers license in D.C. and Maryland and sold houses on the weekends. Without boring you further, one thing led to another and I ended up becoming a subdivision and custom home builder and land developer: a far cry from what I majored in at AU (although I did go back and take a number of real estate courses over the first few years after graduation.) The marketing and advertising courses I took at AU helped me market the many properties I was involved with, including the Quince Orchard Swim and Tennis Cub I developed in Gaithersburg, Md.

I was married in my senior year and after graduation moved into Summit Hills apartment complex which was almost an extension of my college dorm since several of my fraternity brothers moved in at the same time. In 1962 I became the proud parent of Dara and three years later, my son Devin was born. I could write several books about the accomplishments of my children as adults but that is for another time. I spent the next 20 plus years living in the Bethesda/Potomac area where I did a lot of home building. In 1984 I was divorced and moved to Palm Beach Gardens Florida where my experience at AU once again became an important part of my life.

My real estate’s partner’s wife was trying out for a modeling company the evening we were planning to dine together. I was in the hotel suite where they were doing auditions and thought “I have a degree in communications, maybe I can try out too.” I went before the camera and in a few days they called me and wanted to take some photos. I became a “model.”

I registered with an agent and got a job making six instructional videos for FPL, Florida’s largest electrical company. Using my AU training, I worked 11 days doing 209 pages of copy in the field. A few months later I met the director of this project, with whom I was very impressed, and we created a video production company in West Palm Beach called Parallax Productions. We took in a third partner who was the production manager for the local NBC station and created one of the best production companies in southeast Florida. My years of training in communications at AU was finally paying off.

We created quality TV commercials, marketing videos, training videos and feature movies direct to video.

My experience at AU made this a very comfortable transition from my years in the real estate business. During the 15 years that I was active in the production company as a producer , directors and sales associate, I also did talent work for other companies as an on camera spokesperson or other talent work.

I sold my interest to my partners after this time and continue to go to castings in Miami for additional talent work.

I have been fortunate over the years to have been involved with many projects and met a lot of great people.

I spent six day in Barbados doing a modeling shoot as a grandfather for an upscale hotel chain and had to work 15 to 16 minutes a day. Hard work but somebody has to do it.

02_25_09_141One of the best days shooting TV commercials was two years ago when I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and went to Miami for an 8 a.m. call time as a grandfather for a Chevy commercial to be aired in Canada and worked until 5:30 p.m. I then went to Ft. Lauderdale for a 6:30 p.m. call time and worked as the “father of the bride” for an FPL commercials. My present wife, Carolyn, also does talent work and she was the “mother” of the 20 some year old bride. We worked until 1:30 a.m. and got home at 3 a.m. with all the energy in the world.

For the past 24 years I have been living in a country club community in Palm Beach Gardens called Frenchman’s Creek. When I am not playing golf or painting , I still go to castings in Miami which is a 3 ½ to 4 hour round trip from my home.

Thanks to my AU training I have had many years of enjoying “retired” life in Florida.

My friends from AU are the largest group of friends I have today and we are all grateful for the years spent there. Thanks for your time and showing the “old Schain” from college days.

Really, is it any wonder our dapper deejay went on to become a model?

Thanks to David for writing in, and to everyone else who shared their favorite WAMU memories, which I’ll be posting on the blog over the next few days.