CHALMER HARPER * SUPERSTAR!
MY INTERVIEW WITH CHALMER HARPER
I was recently able to hangout with Chalmer Harper the Music Director and Midday Talent at SOS Radio Network, KSOS, in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was able to take a tour of the station and interview the man, the myth, the radio legend in person. Big thanks goes out to our mutual pal TayTay Singer for helping us connect.
Before the INTERVIEW here’s some basic info on the man from his own bio.
Chalmer Harper grew up in Chattanooga/Cleveland, TN, and has a BA in Religion/Mass Communications from Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA. Chalmer has been in the Professional Christan Radio Industry for 18 years. He began his career as a weekend, part-time on-air talent at WCQR in Johnson City, TN. Since then, Chalmer has been a Production Director, Assistant Program Director, Music Director, Program Director, Station Manager, and General Manager in Christian Music Broadcasting. He spent the past decade in Springfield, MO at KWND and KWFC-FM, and has recently moved to Las Vegas to be the Music Director and Midday On-Air Host for KSOS, SOS Radio. Outside of radio, Chalmer has spent a lot of time on the stage as an actor in Musical Theatre, and playing guitar and lead vocalist as a Worship Leader for his church. He is a self-proclaimed coffee snob, and comic book nerd. He also adores spending time with his wife of almost 18 years, Meredith, and his kids, Jay & Eliza.
THANKS FOR TAKING A MOMENT TO MEET WITH US. WHY HAVE YOU DEDICATED YOUR LIFE TO A CAREER IN RADIO?
I think my dedication to radio came naturally. I have enjoyed radio since I was able to understand what it was. I have been an avid fan of the medium! I would make mix tapes of the music from my favorite stations, and leave the jocks in there, because I liked the way it sounded to have narrative over the beginning of a song! Actually, that still gives me chill bumps, when it is done correctly. Many times, I would find myself turning the volume of the station up when the jocks were talking. I even had a little red Radio Shack Cassette Recorder that I would use to make skits, fake commercials, and create my own faux radio station, as a kid. Performance of the Spoken Word has been something that captured my heart, and radio was one of the best places to find it, and my favorite place to find it. As I got older, it seemed any time there was a narrator part or a ‘Radio Guy,’ I would be selected as that character or voluntary that I was doing that part… Oh, Chalmer will do it. So, in college when I actually, got to try my hand at doing ‘radio,’ I instantly fell in love with it, and that feeling hasn’t left me since.
ANY PARTICULAR REASON YOU WERE DRAWN MORE TO CHRISTIAN RADIO VS. SAY …HEAVY METAL, ETC ?
Honestly, I would’ve done any format of radio. ‘Just put me in, Coach!’ However, I felt called to the Christian Format. I felt like Christian Radio was an amazing way to share about the love of Jesus in a non-threatening way. It also allowed me to be a real person, and connect them to the two things that changed my life dramatically. Jesus and Radio.
ANY FAVORITE CHRISTIAN ARTISTS?
I have plenty from over the years… and I am friends with so many of them now that I have been working in the format almost 20 years… I think that I have to put Crowder, TobyMac, and For King and Country at the top of my list of favorites, though… each time I experience their music… it is worth the time I took to listen.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL OUR ARTISTS FROM OUR YOUTH!? ARE WE OLD?
Man, so many of our favorites from ‘back in the day’ have new careers, or are onto other things. However, I am crazy impressed with those that have had some incredible longevity. Some of those you might remember…. Skillet, MercyMe, Steven Curtis Chapman, Newsong, The Members of DC Talk are still making music, and two of them, you still hear quite a bit on Christian Radio. I just referenced TobyMac. Then, Michael Tait from DC Talk is now the lead singer for another band that has been around for a long time… the Newsboys! The Newsboys story gets interesting, because they just brought back the original Lead Singer and Guitarist, Peter Furler and Phil Joel, to create Newsboys United. To round out, DC Talk, Kevin Max, took over as the lead singer for Audio Adrenaline, as Mark Stuart, stepped away to focus on a ministry to Haitian orphans, called Hands and Feet.
MY READERS WILL LOVE TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE A COMIC BOOK NERD. WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITES? HEROES / VILLAINS? ANYTHING YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING?
Heroes: Superman, Green Arrow, Batman, Wolverine, 90’s X-Men, Spider-Man
Outside of DC, Marvel… VOLTRON (Here’s looking at you, Lion Forge!)
Villains: Joker, Lex Luthor, Darkseid, DeathStroke, Bizarro, Sinestro, Doc Ock, Magneto… Hagar from the Original Voltron. She ran the villain show, not Zarkon or Lotor. And from He-Man: Skeletor!
I HEAR YOU ENJOYED THE “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY” FILMS…
Yes, indeed! My whole family enjoyed them. The character development, the storytelling, the acting, the nods to legacy – they both completely captured my heart… as has been said before… You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… it’s better than Cats!… Definitely can’t wait to see where Guardians Vol 3 takes us!
HAVE YOU BEEN TO A COMIC-CON OR THE BIG ONE IN SAN DIEGO YET?
I have never been to a ‘larger’ Comic-Con, and definitely haven’t been to SDCC… However, I did put my name in for badges for 2020! It would be amazing to be a part of that.
WHEN YOU AND I LAST SPOKE I REALLY LOVED YOUR INSIGHT ON A PARTICULAR MOMENT IN “AVENGERS: ENDGAME” COULD YOU SHARE THAT WITH US?
Thanks! When watching Endgame, I get uneasy toward the end of the big battle… as a Spidey fan, when Iron Spider says… “ACTIVATE INSTANT KILL”
…It is my personal opinion that Peter Parker would never say that, or do that! It is so out of character for him. The only way I have been able to reconcile it in my brain, is that they are at the end of an all out WAR…and war makes you do things outside your character, but… that one thing… is out of line for the Spider-man I know.
THAT RESONATED WITH ME BECAUSE I HAVE STRONG FEELINGS REGARDING THE VIGILANTE JUSTICE “DEATH SENTENCE” SERVED OUT BY OUR “HEROES” ON THANOS AFTER HE WAS A BROKEN DEFENSELESS MAN ON A FARM. THOR NEVER CUT LOKI’S HEAD OFF AND MANY INNOCENTS DIED AT THE BATTLE OF NEW YORK! …DO YOU FEEL OUR CULTURE HAS LOST THE SENSE OF RIGHT AND WRONG? …IF OUR MOST POPULAR HEROES CAN DO THIS TO A THEATER OF CHEERS?
It is disheartening to know that many heroes have decided to forego the vow of ‘no-killing.’ In my mind, heroes fight hard, using their brains, powers, resources, and strength, in every moment, to preserve life. Now, I understand that doesn’t always work out. There are circumstances and story-lines that lead to the last-resort choice. But the motive of the hero remains pure… My want and desire… and really the precedent that was laid before us in these story-lines are that the heroes value life so much that even those that have distorted it, taken the life of others, and think they can control it (or want to…) will not have their own lives taken from them at the hand of the hero.
WHAT COMIC BOOKS WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN?
Without question, “Amazing Spider-Man, Renew Your Vows.” It is has been one of my favorite comic book series… even into the 8 years later… I know it’s over, but that makes it a possibility to turn into film. I would also like to see a Green Arrow, Black Canary film… The action, the heroism, the romance, the tension, the hotheaded attitudes… Ah! Can you tell I’m a fan? Lots of Story-lines that would a great film. I am a fan of the Arrowverse on TV, but I think this film would have to go into a completely different direction, especially for the character of Ollie/Green Arrow… I feel like they wanted him to become Batman on TV… He’s not Batman.
ANY PARTICULAR ADVICE FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN THE PODCASTING, RADIO, AUDIO CAREER? I IMAGINE THE INDUSTRY KEEPS CHANGING…
My best advice for all those interested in being these industries… is (1) to connect, (2) be a content creator (3) Be relevant (4) Be a great storyteller (5) Be welcoming to any and all who might put an ear to your talent.
So whether you are looking to be a talent, or an editor, production director…. I hope you will keep in mind that humans connect to humans. YOU are the draw to those mediums in these days that are fraught with loneliness. When you are relevant, welcoming, a great storyteller, and content creator — You will be a STAR! And by the way, there is only one you, and only one way you see things – the world needs to hear your talent. Go for it!
HOW CAN THOSE INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING YOU CONNECT BEST? SOCIAL MEDIA?
Best way to connect with me is probably Facebook or Twitter…
FB: Chalmer Harper on SOS Radio
You are also always welcome to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE INFO ON THE STATION?
THANKS FOR BEING WILLING TO CHAT WITH US.