Growing up in a traditional, intellectual ethnic Jewish household in Queens, New York, Carol Miller was supposed to be a doctor or, at the very least, a lawyer. But hearing a doo-wop trio in the alley under her window changed the direction of her life: she fell in love with popular music. During the late 60s, as the rock explosion and rebellion hit American colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania where she was a biology student, Carol joined the underground airwaves of progressive rock radio.Carol pursued radio with the dogged intensity and ambition that made her an exceptional student. But mysterious symptoms that she developed as a young woman seemed to grow more intense and painful by the year. She and her family were haunted by an unnamed and never discussed illness that claimed most of her relatives long before old age. Carol knew that she might be as cursed as her elders and it drove her to make the most of what she always feared might be a short life.
From a young age, disc jockey Miller seemed destined to sit behind the studio mike of one of New York's most powerful FM stations introducing the latest and greatest rock albums to an audience of night owls. In her entertaining, though sometimes tentative and self-deprecating, memoir, she recalls that even as a child she lived in Radioland because it would get directly inside her head, and she could hear catchy and revealing songs as well as the patter of DJs such as Cousin Brucie and B. Mitchel Reed. Miller began collecting 45s with the money she saved by scrimping on school lunch, and she developed a filing system for her records that included notes on the music from several local radio stations. At the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1960s, working as a music producer for her college radio station, she sees a woman behind the mike spinning classical records, and in that moment she realizes that maybe she can actually talk on the radio, too. In spite of her deep knowledge of the music and her innate ability to connect listeners with these sounds through her smooth delivery, Miller faces the entrenched chauvinism of the male-dominated world of rock radio and openly chronicles her disappointments and her successes as she moves to the pinnacle of her career as New York's premiere female disc jockey at WPLJ and WNEW. Fiercely honest, she narrates her failed marriages, her friendships with rockers like Springsteen, whose music she introduced to New Yorkers, and Paul and Linda McCartney, and her lifelong struggles with health problems, including breast cancer, all the time maintaining her sense of humor and the grace that has made her such a wonderful companion to listeners all these years. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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August 28, 2012
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