CNI Radio loses a great talent when JimmyLee passed away

CNIRadio.com was made into a 24/7 radio station by Jimmy Lee. He set up the shoutcast server running at 16/11 mp3 stream so even those on dialup could listen. He played with the settings till he got the mp3 stream the best quality it could be for a talk radio show. Many folks said that Jim’s engineering on our 16/11 mp3 stream was the best audio mix for that low bit rate out there. Jim was awesome at the engineering of the show.

Jim also created the automation script for CNIRadio.com‘s 24/7 radio station through a type of bubble sort algorithm to play first an introduction and then the corresponding show, an indie music selection, and then it would touch the file and choose again a random show that hadn’t played for a while within each show category … 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without fail unless hardware failed or it lost Internet connection. Even a reboot would restart the automation script on boot. In addition, Jim created an interjection ‘play now’ command to pause the automation script and play the particular file interjected to the ‘play now’ command and then it would return to normal automation. You could also pause the automation for during the live shows on Saturday evenings, and then unpause the automation to resume after the live show was over.

Jimmy Lee was, of course, also the co-host of our JimmyLee and Bambi Show on CNIRadio.com on Saturday evenings from 7-10 PM ET every week for 10 years. Jim did all the engineering for the show, and the pregame indie warm up and ran the sound board, played the intro music and sound bites, he also did engineering on Skype calls between us and guests on the show, and of course as noted JimmyLee  introduced the show and was co-host for our 3 hour show on computer, news and information weekly.  Jim and I would discuss our thoughts on many topics of the day, sometimes talk about strange weather, our Root Cat before he passed away, including holding the Root Cat up to hear him purr during the show every week, and sometimes talk about cooking, hacking, Linux, and so much more, as well as sometimes talking about some stories from JimmyLee’s youth. A few were ones we have discussed here on Jim’s memorial blog as well. Others Jimmy Lee never got to talk about and I am talking about them here on his memorial blog. We always had a lively show and folks really enjoyed it.

Jim’s cousin Frank Markley from Ohio found CNIRadio.com and started listening and emailed Jim about the show and how much he enjoyed the show. Jim and Frank kept in contact through email. Frank also shared the information about the show with his brother Dave Markley also from Ohio. Dave started listening to the show as well, and also calling Jim and Skyping with him regularly over the last year.

NOTE: Jim’s cousin Frank Markley wrote the following in an email from 1//11/2015:

It’s good to hear you back on the Jimmy Lee and Bambi show these past two weeks. I’m glad you’ve got your voice back and it sounds like you are recovering from your illness.

Something I really enjoyed about the show was hearing Jim’s memories of growing up in Massillon. I never knew when a new story would come along. The story he told about receiving the disappearing ink solution through the mail (probably from David) and Aunt Maries’s initial apprehension about the contents was amusing and rings true to character for Aunt Marie. And I remember another Jim told about a hovering sweeper that they had that I had no idea existed. It would have been interesting to see it in action.

Thanks, Frank. It is good to finally be back on the air if only for a short while each week. And I too am glad that I am over the illness I had that made it difficult to be on the air. Although maybe that illness gave me the excuse I needed to not be on the air. I found it very hard for weeks to talk or think about Jim without weeping or wailing uncontrollably. That would never do on the air. I have learned to take deep breaths to try to keep from crying when I am on the air or in places it would be inappropriate to breakdown like that. Many people have been sending their prayers and positive thoughts to me since Jim passed away and I must say, as hard as it is, I am sure it would have been even harder without all those prayers and positive thoughts. I can now actually be on the show without breaking down, mostly.

You bet, Frank, Jim’s telling of the story of the disappearing and re-appearing ink  (the two packets Dave sent in USPS Mail that Jim would then put with water and use on paper)  was quite cool.  I loved that story. I remember that story about the hovering sweeper too and I had no idea they had them back then either until Jim told me about it. Yes, it would definitely have been very interesting to see it in action.

I am so sad that JimmyLee will no longer be able to do CNI Radio station and show engineering and updating of shows in the various lists on the content server at Adam’s house in San Diego. I particularly miss Jim on the show and our discussions. It is wonderful to be able to continue hearing Jim’s intros on CNI Radio as it is to hear Brian/Klok’s intros. It is a comfort.

Great thanks to Adam Ross/ross54 who has been taking over the engineering for the show for now and Adam has been doing the live JimmyLee and Bambi Show hosting with guests Mr. Anderson/Joshua and I have even been able to be back on the show for a short stink for the last couple weeks. In addition, he has been running pre-recorded shows from TWiT.TV for the 2nd/3rd hours as well as Adam’s and Joshua’s Sour Apples podcast shows when they have time to record one during the week.

Eventually, I hope to learn to do the engineering and run the show like Adam is doing with guests and likely recordings as needed since it is not an easy thing to do … engineering and doing most of the talking during a three hour show. I have done it before when Jim was not feeling well and I didn’t have guests that night. It is quite exhausting. But with guests I may be able to pull it off once I learn the engineering. I have the equipment but need to get settled before I can even think about doing that.

4 thoughts on “CNI Radio loses a great talent when JimmyLee passed away

  1. Ian Chase

    Though I rarely got to enjoy the show “Live” on Saturday nights, it became my Monday then eventually Sunday morning ritual to listen to the replay. I would normally be up on the cni irc channel early on Sundays where I would chat with Jimmy about the show topics and other things. We were normally the only ones on that time of the morning on a Sunday and we had some really great conversations. Though no doubt could I even begin to imagine how hard it is on you Fran, it is nice to hear your voice on the show and truly believe you will get all of the engineering equipment figured out and will be able to run the show. If that is what you choose to do. 🙂

    1. Fran Post author

      Jim was great to talk to; online and offline. I am so glad you got to chat with him about the show topics like that. What a great memory.

      I am sure eventually I will be able to figure the equipment out as well. It may be some time before I can do that since I am staying with my sister and brother in law and my mother; and I still very much need that support. But in time when I am able to work on it and Adam said he would work with me if I have questions along the way in that process when I can do so.

  2. Elizabeth

    I wasn’t able to listen on Sat evenings either, but I frequently listened early in the week during the day. I didn’t realize you were back on the air Fran–I’ll start listening again.

    Didn’t realize that JL did so much of the behind-the-scenes work for CNI Radio. It was great to hear the history.

    1. Fran Post author

      Yes, JL was amazing. And so low key. The show and CNIRadio.com would never have been if it were not for JL. He was the glue. I will try to learn to be the glue too. It’s not easy to do it all though. That’s why Adam is doing what he does right now and bringing me in via Skype. I miss using our sound board, limiter and my mic. All three Christmas gifts over time from CNI Radio listeners.