Earlier this week, I did a post in which Albert said he thought he was getting better at his craft at age 71. During our interview, I asked him to reflect back on his roots.
In the latest edition of My First Job, Albert recalls his early days as a young broadcaster while attending Syracuse. He actually got his start as a DJ.
The legendary Marty Glickman then took him under his wing. As a fill-in, Albert called Knicks and Rangers games at the age of 20. It was the start of a career that’s still going strong after five decades.
I was a DJ at Syracuse. I worked for a record company when I was kid in high school. It was fun. We would run record hops, as they called it. We’d get an auditorium and we brought in Chubby Checker, Del Shannon, people like that. We made money and lost money. It was a great experience.
My next job was in a classical radio station in Syracuse. WONO-FM. They weren’t happy with me.
I’d open the station in the morning on the weekends. To me, the thrill was reading the sports. I guess I was a little too enthusiastic with my reports. Their audience wasn’t that way. They wanted it low-key.
The great thing about Syracuse, there were many opportunities in the city. My first sports (play-by-play) was with the Syracuse Chiefs minor league baseball team. We did the home games and recreated the road games. All the minor league teams would do that.
You did the crack of the bat, the crowd noise. You got pitch-by-pitch on the wire. If you had a rain delay, you had trouble.
I was very fortunate when I left Syracuse. I went to WCBS in New York. I worked for Marty Glickman, who was doing everything in New York at the time: Giants, Knicks, some network assignments. I worked for him as his research guy.
Marty brought me in to fill in for him on Knicks and Rangers at a very young age. I didn’t even know if I was ready. I was 20. It was a joke, really.
But he had confidence in me and it all worked out.