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Man From Mars Productions

1934 Calendar
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For many years during the 1930s and 1940s WDRC issued an annual laminated pocket calendar. As it turns out, the 1934 version (right) coincides with much of 2018...if you don't count the leap year part.

Here are some prominent October dates in the annals of WPAJ/ WDRC history:

October, 1923 - New Haven native Italo A. Martino joined Franklin M. Doolittle to sell radio sets. He later became an officer of the Doolittle Radio Company.

October, 1934 - Having relocated from New Haven in 1930, a new WDRC transmitting station was built at 785 Blue Hills Avenue in Bloomfield, 40 feet from the original structure.

October 30, 1938 - As an affiliate of the CBS Radio Network WDRC aired the weekly Mercury Theatre program directed by Orson Welles, plunging America into a national night of terror. Many people believed War of the Worlds was a real Martian invasion.

October 1939 - The first Doolittle FM station, W1XPW, began operating on a regular schedule at 43.4 MHz. The transmitter and 90 foot steel mast were atop Meriden Mountain (elevation 1,000 feet).

October, 1941 - Renamed W65H, the company aired the first commercial FM program. Programming consisted of dance, symphonic and classical music, sports, frequent news programs, live concert and semi-classical music, and interviews.

October 2, 1944 - WDRC's first news broadcast from The Hartford Courant. The programs aired Monday through Saturday evenings from 6:05-6:15PM. The station aired daily news programs from the newspaper until 1951.

WDRC's 1934 pocket calendar
 
 


October 1958
- Production manager Charlie Parker assumed additional duties as promotion manager. The following month he replaced Harvey Olson as WDRC program manager when Olson was promoted to vice president in charge of public relations.

October 26, 1959 - The FCC granted WDRC FM program test authority at 102.9 MHz and the station signed on. A dedicatory program hosted by Victor Forker aired at 8:15 that Monday night, featuring Connecticut Governor Abraham Ribicoff, Hartford Mayor James H. Kinsella, and the mayors of Meriden and Springfield.

October 10, 1960 - Topping WDRC's Lucky Thirteen Swinging Sixty Survey was Johnny Tillotson's Poetry in Motion.

October 1962 -Friendly Five weekend man Bob Cain left Hartford and returned to Providence to host news on WJAR. The same month WDRC debuted a jingle package produced by Roy Ross Enterprises, Inc. of New York City ("first in the capitol region of the Nutmeg State."

October 31, 1964 - Swinging Six personality Chip Thompson wrapped up his stay at WDRC, returning to Burlington, Vermont to get married.

October, 1966 - WDRC pulled off a competitive coup by stealing away WPOP's nighttime jock, Ken Griffin to replace Dick Robinson who moves to afternoon drive.

October 31, 1967 - WDRC Is Hartford was the main lyric line of a new custom jingle package written and recorded by Tom Merriman in Dallas.

October 11, 1969 - At 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, Scene of the Unheard aired for the first time, hosted by Dick Sandhaus. Featuring album length cuts and music not heard during WDRC's usual broadcast day, the program only ran for a few weeks.

October 2, 1970 - At 7 o'clock on a Friday night, WDRC FM's newest deejay debuted using the name Rod Kennedy. Thereafter he was known as Rod Allen.

October 31, 1971 - Program Director Charlie Parker brought back history as WDRC rebroadcast the 1938 version of War of the Worlds.

October 13, 1972 - Just before 10:00 a.m. Jack Miller said farewell to his morning listeners as his career took him to New York City. Later that afternoon, the brand new Mobile Studio D was unveiled at Lynch Toyota's "Put Your Hands On A Toyota and Never Let Go" promotion. Jim Harrington was the first WDRC personality to broadcast from it.

October 4, 1974 - After 4 1/2 years as midday host, Bob Craig did his last WDRC program.

October 24, 1975 - The #1 song on the WDRC Big D Sound Survey was Feelings by Morris Albert.

October 1978 - Dick McDonough finished a 10-year run as WDRC AM's afternoon driver; he was replaced by Tom Kelly.

October 20, 1978 - The #1 song on WDRC's weekly music survey was You Needed Me by Anne Murray.

October 1980 - Personality Larry Wells began what became a 31-year run on WDRC FM.

October 4, 1981 - WDRC AM installed automation to handle overnight music programming, displacing Mike Grady; it also aired UCONN football and basketball games...the first play-by-play it had ever carried.

October 14, 2006 - Popular nine-year veteran morning news person Beth Bradley suffered a heart attack, leading to her subsequent retirement from WDRC.

October 10, 2008 - After 18 years on WDRC FM, Doug Taylor was let go in a round of economic cutbacks.

October 2012 - DRC FM replaced Good Time Rock 'N Roll with The Biggest Hits on the Big D.

October 4, 2013 - Jerry Kristafer concluded a run on WDRC FM that totaled more than 21 years.

 
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