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Dick Fay at WINF in 1965

DICK FAY
prior to February, 1958 - prior to January 9, 1960

 

Prior to WDRC's pop music era, former Marine Dick Fay did an all-night music show in 1958, during which he offered listeners a list of gas stations and garages in Greater Hartford. He was half of the Bacon & Fay morning team (with Bob Bacon) from mid 1959 through January, 1960. During his time at WDRC Fay lived in Newington, and later, Windsor Locks. Dick has lived in Florida since 1966.

PRIOR: WHAY New Britain/Farmington, CT; WGTH New Britain/Hartford, CT

AFTER: WINF Manchester, CT; WMMB Melbourne, FL

TODAY: Richard L. Fague was working as a supply expediter for InDyne, Inc., at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida when he died August 10, 2002 at the age of 75; see his note (3-9-02).

 

MIKE FELDMAN
prior to April 17, 1987 - ?

 

Mike is a Connecticut School of Broadcasting graduate. He attended UCONN and University of California in Los Angeles and won some AP awards for his journalism work, including at WDRC. He changed career direction and now works in public relations.

PRIOR: WLIS Old Saybrook, CT

AFTER: several technology and public relations firms in New York, NY

TODAY: Geltzer & Company, New York, NY (e-mail).

audio:  April 17, 1987
WDRC's Bradley Field
Click for Bradley Field
tribute

BRADLEY FIELD
August, 1967 - June 18, 1969

 

In 1967, the FCC required AM/FM stations to stop simulcasting a certain percentage of time based on market size. In WDRC's case, its 20-hour broadcast day needed to separate half the time. Bradley Field, a native of Queens, NY, was one of the first announcers hired specifically to do an FM shift (7AM-noon). Referred to on-air by Sandy Beach as "Andy Panda," listeners might remember him as "Bradley Bucket." He laughed readily and always presented a fun program. In 1968 he took over afternoon drive on AM. During winter months, WDRC changed from day to night pattern during his shift. He delighted in concocting elaborate build-ups to the moment of silence which occurred when the antenna was switched. He later went into station management, owning nine stations in Colorado. And, no, that's not his real name.

PRIOR: WHBI FM Newark, NJ; WKBW Buffalo, NY

AFTER: WCCC Hartford, CT; WHB Kansas City, MO; KING Seattle, WA; WFAA Dallas, TX; WXYZ Detroit, MI; KGFT/KBIQ Colorado Springs, CO; WWL New Orleans, LA; KAUM & KZFX, both Houston, TX; KOA Denver, CO; KFKA AM Greeley, CO

TODAY: Kenneth William Sasso passed away on March 24, 2004 at the age of 57 from congestive heart failure; click here for more.

audio:  January 9, 1968
WDRC's Alan Fletcher

AL FLETCHER
1961 - 1963

 

A Worcester native, and graduate of Leland Powers School of Radio and Theatre in Boston, Alan was a news anchor during his time at Radio Fun. He was news director at WINF in 1964.

PRIOR: WSYB Rutland, VT; WNHC AM/TV New Haven, CT; WSAI Cincinnati, OH; WADS Ansonia, CT; WHIM Providence, RI

AFTER: WINF Manchester, CT; Channel 13, Baltimore, MD

TODAY: Al is retired from The Traveler's Insurance Company; see his note (10-6-03) (e-mail)

audio:  @June, 1962
Ed Flynn at WAVZ

ED FLYNN
July, 1969

 

Summer months are notoriously tough to staff at radio stations due to staff vacations. Charlie Parker borrowed this seasoned pro for several Sunday morning shifts. Ed was also an instructor at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

PRIOR: WAVZ & WELI, both New Haven, CT

AFTER: WAVZ New Haven, CT; WWCO Waterbury, CT; WELI New Haven, CT; WTIC Hartford, CT

TODAY: At the end of 2009, Ed retired from regular duty at WATR Waterbury after 55 years in broadcasting. (1-2-10)

audio:  July 20, 1969
Tom Ford

TOM FORD
prior to August 28, 1999 - spring 2002

 

Tom was a fixture for many years at Channel 30 (1970-89), serving as chief booth announcer and subbing in news, weather and sports; he also hosted a weekly half hour talk show. Later, while owning a photo store in Cromwell, he filled in on news and music shifts at WDRC AM.

PRIOR: Armed Forces Radio, Fort Huachuca, AZ; WHAY New Britain, CT; WBIS Bristol, CT; WHNB TV West Hartford, CT;

TODAY: Tom is retired and living in Connecticut; see his note (1-9-00) (e-mail)(1-14-16).

audio:  August 28, 1999
WDRC's Alice Gordon Fraser

ALICE GORDON FRASER
June 1943 - ?

 

Alice was born in Hartford and graduated from Mount St. Joseph Academy in West Hartford, and received a bachelor's degree from the Hartt School of Jusic. She was the daughter of Thomas G. Fraser, chairman of the Hartford War Council. At the age of 21 Alice was hired to replace announcer Russ Naughton and trained to take over his morning program when he joined the Army. She also served as part-time arranger of musical programs at WDRC. The Hartford resident also sang outside of the station. Later, while working in the music libraryof a New York City station, Alice sand with the Radio City Music Hall choral group and performed monthly with the NBC Opera Theatre on television. She was a registered stockbroker before returning to Connecticut and earning a master's degree in education at the University of Hartford. She taught in the Hartford school system for more than 25 years.

PRIOR:

AFTER: WOR New York, NY

TODAY: Alice died in New London on January 22, 2000 at the age of 78.

 
WDRC's George Freeman
click for George Freeman interview

GEORGE FREEMAN
December, 1959 - 1960 & 1961-1967

 

A native of Youngstown, OH, and speech major at Heidelberg College, George's on-air career at Big D only spanned a year (as news director), though he also worked there as an account executive from 1963-67. George bought the first of several radio stations in 1969, selling his last property (on the Kentucky/Indiana border) in 1999.

PRIOR: WKST AM/TV New Castle, PA; WHOT and WBBW, both Youngstown, OH; WNHC New Haven, CT; WNBF AM/TV Binghampton, NY

AFTER: WNEW TV New York; WHCT TV Hartford, CT; WCCC A/F Hartford, CT; owned WGON AM/WQXO FM Munising, MI; KGRI A/F Henderson, TX; WDGS New Albany, IN; and WIKI FM Carrollton, KY

TODAY: George is retired from radio in Madison, IN but continues his lifelong interest in the industry. He was vice president of the Indiana Historical Radio Society and a frequent contributor to early radio publications (3-15-15) (e-mail).

 
WDRC's Tina Gao

TINA GAO
before August 16, 2011-after June 23, 2012

 

Tina was born in Wuchan, China and attended Ecole Secondaire Saint-Luc in Montreal, Boston Latin School, and graduated from UMASS/Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2003. Her broadcast career has been based in Beantown, though her voice has been heard on many new England stations by virtue of her traffic reporting for Metro. That is how she came to be heard with Jerry Kristafer & Mike Stevens on DRC FM's morning show in 2011. Tina had a nine-year run at Greater Media's Boston station where she appeared on air, hosted and produced a program called Exceptional Women, served as public service director, filled in on news, and hosted a Sunday morning jazz program. She is fluent in English, Chinese and French and has done extensive acting and voiceover work.

PRIOR: WKLB Boston, MA; Westwood One/Metro Traffic Networks Boston, MA; WMJX Boston, MA

AFTER: WHDH TV Boston, MA; WBZ Boston, MA

TODAY: In February 2017 she began anchoring midday newscasts at WBZ in Boston (6-11-17).

 
WDRC's Johnny Gardner

JOHNNY GARDNER
September 1990-September, 1992

 

PRIOR: WIOF Waterbury, CT; WCCC Hartford, CT; WWCO Waterbury, CT

AFTER: WWYZ Waterbury, CT; WAXB Danbury,CT/Patterson, NY

TODAY: Today Johnny is a letter carrier who lives in West Hartford and does occasional fill in radio work; see his note (7-23-05) (e-mail).

audio:  July 18, 1992

DAVE GAREY
March - September 15, 1980

 

Dave worked the 7PM-midnight shift on WDRC FM, replacing Charlie Daniels.

PRIOR:

AFTER:

TODAY: ?

audio:  May 19, 1980
WDRC's James Garrett

JAMES F. GARRETT
September 15, 1942 - 1946

 

Jim grew up in Columbus Grove, Ohio and graduated from what is now the University of New Mexico. His radio career started there and brought him to Minneapolis before joining WDRC as a staff announcer in the mid 1940s. In May 1945 Jim made a series of bedside broadcasts while a patient at St. Francis Hospital. He later spent 40 years as a booth announcer at Detroit's 50,000 watt WJR, retiring in 1986.

PRIOR: New Mexico; Minneapolis; WFBM Indianapolis, IN; WLOK Lima, OH

AFTER: WJR Detroit, MI

TODAY: Jim passed away September 26, 2000 at the age of 82.

 

JOHN GARRY
spring, 1981 - December, 1982

 

PRIOR: WNLC New London, CT; WVVE Stonington, CT; WKND Windsor, CT

AFTER: WHTX Pittsburgh, PA

TODAY: WMXP Pittsburgh, PA (11-91).

audio:  May 9, 1982
WDRC's Al Gates

AL GATES
June 2, 1969 - January 17, 1970

 

A native of Hamburg, NY, Al attended Ithaca College and did a tour of duty around the world as a NATO photojournalist. He was obviously a creative guy, working for a time as a commercial artist. His short stay at Big D was entirely spent simulcasting morning drive, replacing Jim Jeffrey. It's not exactly accurate to say he did a team show, but he did have frequent company from his duck, Feathers, Akbar Mytie, Mary Margaret, Readings With Charles (and announcer, Dwayne). After his departure from WDRC, the entourage moved over to talk-formatted WINF. Incidentally, Gatesy's on-air work at WPOP was only in the form of spots--he was an account executive there before seeking his fortune in freelance voice work.

PRIOR: WHYN Springfield, MA; WSPR Springfield, MA; WPRO Providence, RI; WIXY Cleveland, OH; WRKO Boston, MA

AFTER: WINF Manchester, CT; WPOP Hartford, CT

TODAY: Al lived in Wilton, CT for many years but now lives in Providence where he continues a very successful freelance voice career; see his note (3-6-14) (e-mail).

audio:  October 18, 1969
Ken Gilbert at WAQY

KEN GILBERT
late 1980 - May 14, 1990

 

Prior to Big D he worked in Vermont and was program director and afternoon driver at Springfield's WACKY 102. During his lengthy stay at WDRC FM, Ken was host of Jukebox Saturday Night. In fact he was the first personality on the air when DRC switched from Top 40 to oldies.

PRIOR: WFAD & WCVM Middlebury, VT; WAQY Springfield, MA

AFTER: WHYN FM Springfield, MA; Angelsea Productions, Hartford CT; WMNW Port Henry, NY; WLVB Morrisville, VT

TODAY: Today Ken works for Ken Squier of NASCAR fame; the company owns radio properties in Waterbury, Stowe and Burlington, VT and race tracks in Barre, VT and Plattsburg, NY; see his note (11-02-09) (e-mail).

audio:  May 10, 1982

MIKE GRADY
prior to May 26, 1979 - September, 1981

 

Mike served as a program assistant to Charlie Parker and did various fill-in shifts on both stations, including the overnight shift.

PRIOR:

AFTER:

TODAY: Stop 'N Shop, Southington, CT.

audio:  May 26, 1979
WDRC's Barry Grant

BARRY GRANT
July 3, 1972 - August 24, 1975 and mid 1977 - 1978

 

This Manchester native and UCONN graduate was the overnight man on WDRC AM/FM during his first stay. "Grant's Tomb" had a heavy rock feel and Barry was the exact opposite of the hype-oriented deejay. Since Barry had a First Class ticket and could monitor the transmitters overnight he worked from the FM studio, hence requests during his show were phoned in to 278-8310. In 1984 he won a Billboard magazine Personality of the Year Award. He earned the same award at WPLR and WMAD, where he was program director, and both stations also were chosen Billboard Stations of the Year. He also won an award in the Drake-Chenault national Talent Search. Barry's return to WDRC involved shifts exclusively on D103 and a stint as program director. Barry spent 26 years doing play-by-play for the N.Y. Islanders Hockey team and other professional franchises. He later worked in the banking industry.

PRIOR: WEMJ Laconia, NH; WINF Manchester, CT; WKSS Hartford, CT; WAAB FM Worcester, MA

AFTER: WPLR New Haven, CT; WYDD Pittsburgh, PA; WMAD Madison, WI; WRHD AM/WRCN FM Riverhead, NY; WLNG Long Island

TODAY: Barry passed away unexpectedly at his Manchester home on October 9, 2012.

audio:  July 4, 1973

LAUREN GREY
January, 1994 - after May 15, 1995

 

Lauren was the morning news anchor for Brad Davis on AM and Jerry Kristafer on FM.

PRIOR: WHYN Springfield, MA

AFTER:

TODAY: WGBB TV Springfield, MA (9-7-96).

 

WDRC's Ken Griffin
click for Ken
Griffin interview


Click for info on Ken's autobiography

KEN GRIFFIN
October, 1966 - April 17, 1970 and July-September, 1977

 

Born June 29, 1937, Ken was already very well-known in the Hartford/Springfield market so when Dick Robinson was ready to move into a daytime sales position, Charlie Parker pulled off a brilliant strategic move by replacing him with his primary competitor. Ken's regular complement of characters moved with him from WPOP: Phats Phontoon (the one and only, lovable weather balloon) and her boyfriend, Rocky Hill. Most listeners never realized their lengthy dialogues were all voiced, live, by Ken. He was a hit with teenagers - Ken once accompanied a contest winner to Hollywood to meet the Monkees. Most of his time at Big D was from 8PM-1AM on AM and FM, but for a time in early 1968 he did afternoon drive on AM. Eager to take a stab at show business on the west coast, Ken quietly slipped over to the midday slot on WDRC FM for his last few weeks in Hartford. In Los Angeles, he spent several years working for Buckley's KGIL. Ken returned to Hartford seven years later and found the market--and radio--quite different. He did numerous fill-in shifts and helped Charlie Parker in programming before leaving Big D again. One of WDRC's most popular personalities, Ken always had a special rapport with the kids who listened to him every night.

PRIOR: WBRY, WATR & WWCO all Waterbury, CT; WBUR FM & WBOS Boston, MA; WBRY Waterbury, CT; WHYN Springfield, MA; WPOP Hartford, CT

AFTER: KGOE Thousand Oaks, CA; KGIL San Fernando, CA; KIIS Los Angeles, CA; WRCQ Farmington, CT; WMAS Springfield, MA; WIOF Waterbury, CT; WRCQ Farmington, CT; WWYZ/WATR Waterbury, CT; publishing business in Boston; WCCF Punta Gorda, WENG Englewood & WAMR Venice, FL; WKII Punta Gorda, FL

TODAY: Ken suffered a massive heart attack and died at his home in Punta Gorda on Tuesday, September 28, 2010; he was 73.

Click here for Ken Griffin scrapbook

audio:  January, 1967
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