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Published: Wednesday, 12/28/2011

Retired radio personality gives voice to printed word

Shaw's latest project is book by Watergate figure

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Michael Drew Shaw, who did stints at radio stations including WTOD, WCWA, and WVK, has equipped an upstairs room in his home as a recording studio. He began recording books seven years ago and has completed 25 so far. Michael Drew Shaw, who did stints at radio stations including WTOD, WCWA, and WVK, has equipped an upstairs room in his home as a recording studio. He began recording books seven years ago and has completed 25 so far.
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A local radio veteran has found there's life after going off the airwaves.

Michael Drew Shaw, a Sylvania resident, has just finished recording a 2002 book by Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy.

It's the 25th such book recording he has done, and one of the most interesting, he said. The book will be available through audible.com.

"Liddy is such a fascinating character. I'd like to meet the guy," Mr. Shaw said. "I agreed with much of what he was saying."

The book, When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country, is Mr. Liddy's lament for liberties he contends are being incrementally killed off by liberals and big government.

Mr. Liddy, a former FBI agent, gained fame as a Watergate felon in the 1970s who went to prison rather than implicate others in the infamous break-in. Today he is best known as a speaker and conservative radio host whose program is syndicated in 170 markets.

Mr. Shaw, 66 and a Toledo native, started out wanting to be a song writer and music publisher, but his career path took a detour when he was a teenager in the late 1950s and saw lots of girls swooning over a disc jockey at a dance.

Then and there he decided that he wanted to be a disc jockey, and landed a job at WMGS in Perrysburg Township, which today is WJYM.

"I was only a kid doing station breaks," he recalled. "But I was on the air."

Mr. Shaw went on to become a well-known radio personality, with stints at WTOD, WCWA, and WVK.

The book by G. Gordon Liddy is a lament for liberties he contends have been killed by big government. The book by G. Gordon Liddy is a lament for liberties he contends have been killed by big government.
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He began recording books seven years ago. His next project will be narrating a biography of the late British writer Kingsley Amis.

The recordings are done in the studio in the upstairs of his home and are shipped online as audio files. Mr. Shaw makes it a practice not to read a book before he records it.

"I like spontaneity, and I think that spontaneity is more prevalent when I don't pre-read a book," he said.

When he sits down to record, he said, "I open it up, clear my throat, and get ready to deliver it. My job is to deliver in a believable and entertaining fashion." He splits royalties 50-50 with a book's print publisher.

Mr. Shaw said he did realize his youthful ambition of becoming a song writer, writing theme songs for Publix Diet Soda, Burger King, Monopoly, and the MGM Grand Hotel.

He has written several books, including the novel SLIDER: The Leo Butterburger Story. Mr. Shaw also has tried his hand at commercial real estate development. A proposed project that did not get off the ground was Fantasy on the Docks, which included a $5.5 million faux casino and virtual reality game room in International Park.

His latest book, On Fire with Ignorance, will be released in spring by Morgan James Publishing. "I've already done the audio version," he said.



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