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WDRC's Walter B. Haase
Click for more on Walter Haase

WALTER B. HAASE
1924 - August 3, 1959

 

Walter's tenure at WDRC was remarkable because he was there with founder Franklin M. Doolittle almost at the beginning and retired a year prior to the station's switch from CBS affiliation to local pop music programming. He was originally the studio manager and secretary. He was known for many years as Uncle Walt on the morning Shopper's Special program. He also served as control room operator and continuity writer. In 1930 he was appointed program manager, and in 1945 Walter was promoted to station manager. At one point Haase owned 20% of the station and served as Secretary of the Corporation.

AFTER: Walter was assistant director of Career Training Institute Inc., Wethersfield, CT

TODAY: Walter Bernard Haase passed away July 19, 1975 at the age of 68.

 
WDRC's Charles Haaser

CHARLES B. HAASER
prior to October 19, 1942 - October 1946

 

Charles was a staff announcer in the mid-forties and lived in West Hartford. He arrived at WDRC to replace Jerry Piven who joined the Army. During 1945 Charley took turns hosting the popular Night Owl disc jockey show with Dean Luce. He left to join the news staff at crosstown WONS in October 1946.

PRIOR: WMAS Springfield, MA; WTHT Hartford, CT

AFTER: WONS Hartford, CT

TODAY: ?

 
WDRC's Dik Haddad

DIK HADDAD
January 1-August 23, 1970

 

As first permanent host of WDRC's all-night show, Dik welcomed a New Year and a new decade on his first broadcast as "Hartford's original Arabian Night." But he had spent the previous six weeks doing weekend shifts using the name "Bill Drake".

PRIOR: WINF Manchester, CT; WCCC Hartford, CT

AFTER:

TODAY: Dik is a freelance writer and producer in West Hartford; see his note (1-10-12) (e-mail).

audio:  January 1, 1970
WDRC's Joe Hager

JOE HAGER
June 9, 1969 - June 5, 1972

 

The son of a Philadelphia jazz musician, Joe started at Big D AM on the 10AM-3PM shift. But his high-energy style made him the perfect replacement for Ken Griffin on the night shift, effective April 13, 1970. "Highgear Hager" spent three years at WDRC. His later career brought him to several large markets and several formats, including country music, but he was the afternoon host at a Florida oldies station, using the name "Smokin' Joe Beamer" when he lost his life to cancer.

PRIOR: WRSU Rutgers, University, NJ; WNJH Hammonton, NJ; WMID Atlantic City, NJ; WWBZ Vineland, NJ; WAMS Wilmington, NJ; WWCO Waterbury, CT; WAVZ New Haven, CT

AFTER: WAVZ New Haven, CT; WIFE Indianapolis, IN; KSTP and KDWB, both Minneapolis, MN; WIVY Jacksonville, WAIV Jacksonville, WQYK St. Petersburg, WFLZ and WYUU both Tampa Bay, FL

TODAY: Joe died February 23, 1999, at the age of 54, while working at WKQL Jacksonville, FL.

audio:  May 12, 1970
WDRC's Larry Hall

LARRY HALL
June 21-September, 1973

 

This East Weymouth, MA native became interested in radio while attending college in Pennsylvania; his first on-air jobs were at the college stations in El Paso (University of Texas) and California (Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria). Larry's first shift at Big D was a warmup of sorts, doing the last two hours of Jim Scott's Solid Gold FM show. He briefly took over Jim Harrington's FM afternoon drive and Sunday morning simulcast shifts after Jim left for Boston.

PRIOR: WSBA York, PA; WCBM Baltimore, MD; WXTR & WGNG Providence, RI

AFTER: WPOP Hartford, CT; WHOO Orlando, FL; WCAO, WXYV, WFBR, WBKZ, WMAR FM, all Baltimore, MD

TODAY: Larry died November 11, 2001 in Ruxton, Maryland; he was 57.

audio:  August 19, 1973

GARY HAMILTON
1982

 

PRIOR:

AFTER:

TODAY: ?

audio:  September 11, 1982

DEBBIE HANLEY
prior to May 15, 1995 - after March 31, 1997

 

Debbie grew up in Rye, NY and earned her broadcast journalism degree from Fordham University in the Bronx, where she got involved at the college station, WFUV. She worked at several stations before joining WDRC's news department.

PRIOR: Richmond, VA; WELI New Haven, CT; WATR AM/TV Waterbury, CT; ABC Radio Network; WTXX TV Hartford/Waterbury, CT

AFTER: WINS New York; WWOR-TV New York; Satellite News Channel, Stamford, CT

TODAY: Debbie is news director at WLAD in Danbury and sometimes fills in at WTIC in Hartford (8-14-11).

audio:  July 22, 1995
WDRC's Roy Hansen

ROY HANSEN
December 3, 1945 - after April 5, 1947

 

Roy was a WDRC staff announcer during the 1940s. He came from WTIC to host a Monday through Friday morning show complete with Otto Neubauer's eight-piece studio orchestra and two vocalists. The Market Basket aired from 7-9 a.m. After working at WDRC Roy worked in real estate in the Washington, D.C. area.

PRIOR: WONS Hartford, CT; WMAL Washington, DC; WTIC Hartford, CT

AFTER: WWDC Washington, DC

TODAY: Roy passed away in April 2003 in Florida. Read a note from his grandson. (3-30-08)

 
Judge Harrigan at WPOP

JUDGE HARRIGAN
December 1989 - July, 1990 ?

 

Judge primarily did weekend shifts on WDRC FM.

PRIOR: WGLI Babylon, NY; WAVZ New Haven, CT; WAAB Worcester, MA; WPOP Hartford, CT; WAVZ New Haven, CT; WRCQ Farmington, CT

AFTER:

TODAY: Aetna Insurance, Hartford, CT (7-95) (e-mail)

audio:  January 7, 1990
WDRC's Jim Harrington
click for Jim Harrington interview

JIM HARRINGTON
June 2, 1970 - July 12, 1973 and August 16, 1973 - October 24, 1974

 

James Kane Harrington was one of the more popular personalities on Big D and he held virtually every shift at one time or another, though he started as the midnight-six host on FM. Most of his years he was associated with WDRC FM. He left briefly in 1973 for a stint at WMEX Boston but soon returned. After his second stint at the Big D he spent several years playing oldies in New York while furthering a screenwriting career which landed him a stunt role in the movie, "Jaws." Jim appeared on television's "As The World Turns" and numerous national TV commercials. He also developed the country's first home shopping program on a cable company in New Haven and later opened an advertising agency/video production company in Pittsburgh.

PRIOR: WALE Fall River, MA; WCOD Hyannis, MA; WKFD North Kingstown, RI; WPRO FM Providence, RI; WGIR Manchester, NH; WSAR Fall River, MA; WICE, both Providence, RI

AFTER: WMEX and WBZ, both Boston, MA; WPTR Albany, NY; WGY Schenectady, NY; WCBS FM New York, NY; KDKA and WTAE Pittsburgh, PA; WHBC Canton, OH; WWSW Pittsburgh; WASP-AM, Brownsville, WPKL-FM and WCVI-AM, Uniontown/Connellsville, PA; WWVA Wheeling, WV; TalkStar Radio Network

TODAY: Jim runs a production and voiceover business in Pittsburgh. In August 2008 he began hosting a satellite-delivered syndicated morning show for Sovereign City Communications in Green Bay, WI, but economic necessity dictated pulling that plug on January 5, 2009; see his note (9-25-09) (e-mail)

audio:  February 28, 1972
WDRC's Bill Hart

BILL HART
March 7, 1970 - September 25, 1971

 

While still in high school, this West Hartford native attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. He was primarily a weekend talent at WDRC AM and FM but frequently filled in during the week (while the rest of his classmates were in school!). During his later years in New York, Bill was affiliated with NBC Radio and was the announcer on many network specials.

PRIOR: WEXT West Hartford, CT

AFTER: WIP Philadelphia, PA; WNEW New York, NY; WYNY New York, NY

TODAY: Bill lives on Cape Cod. As Bill St. James, he is one of America's most successful voiceover talents. From 1986-2012 he hosted the weekly show, "Flashback" on ABC Radio (later Citadel Media, then Cumulus Media). Today he hosts a four-hour weekly show, "Time Warp," distributed by United Stations. He is the voice of Nick At Nite, The Discovery Channel and Showtime cable networks; see his note (5-26-06) (e-mail).

audio:  July, 1970
WDRC's Bill Hennessey

BILL HENNESSEY
1967 and January 13, 1975 - July, 1975

 

A graduate of East Hampton High School and Emerson College, Bill was best known for his midday show at WTIC in the 1950s and 60s called, "Hennessey--That's Me." Both of his stays at WDRC were in the news department: briefly in 1967, and again for a few months in 1975 as co-anchor of the short-lived WDRC Morning News with Walt Dibble and Ted Dalaku. He spent five years as a bank officer before pursuing freelance voice work.

PRIOR: WDEV Waterbury, VT; WCCC Hartford, CT; WTIC Hartford, CT; WHNB TV Hartford, CT

AFTER: WHNB TV Hartford

TODAY: freelance voice work in Hartford, CT; see his note (10-9-09) (e-mail).

audio:  June 11, 1967

audio:  January 13, 1975

Wayne Hickox at WKLN

WAYNE HICKOX
after April 16, 1962 - prior to April 25, 1964 and August, 1974 - September 1980 ?

 

Born in 1935, Douglas Wayne Hickox began working in broadcasting on May 31, 1953. He worked in the news department during his first stay at Big D. He transferred to the Buckley station in Providence, and later their San Fernando affiliate. When he returned to Hartford in 1974 he hosted a music show during WDRC FM's album rock era (FM 103-WDRC FM).

PRIOR: WWLP TV Springfield, MA; WTOR Torrington, CT; WATR A/F Waterbury, CT; WINF Manchester, NH

AFTER: WHIM Providence, RI; KGIL San Fernando, CA; KDEO San Diego, CA; WSPR Springfield, MA; WHYN AM/FM/TV Springfield, MA; WELI New Haven, CT; WICC Bridgeport, CT; WMMW Meriden, CT; WKLN St. Augustine, FL; WAYL FM St. Augustine, FL

TODAY: Wayne passed away on November 1, 2013 in St. Augustine, Florida; he was 78 (11-10-13).

audio:  June 22, 1977
Mike Holland at CHUM

MIKE HOLLAND
June 18, 1972 - July, 1975

 

A Bristol native and Vietnam vet, Mike started on Big D FM doing 7PM-midnight, but replaced Gary DeGraide on the 7PM-midnight shift at WDRC AM April 8, 1973. A talented musician, he frequently accompanied the records, in studio, by beating on a drum pad. Mike always signed off his show by saying goodnight to his sweetheart, Karen, whose voice was heard on tape reciprocating. Mike recorded several records for CBS and Columbia Records that received extensive airplay in parts of the U.S. and Canada. While he was working in Toronto in 1981, Mike recorded an album called "Do She Want Love" (Bomb Records #7036). A new CD is due shortly featuring some of his early recordings.

PRIOR: WWCO Waterbury, CT; WAVZ New Haven, CT

AFTER: KXYZ Houston, TX; CHUM Toronto, ONT

TODAY: Mike retired from radio in 1987 and moved back to Bistol in 2003. You can view a clip of him, while working at CHUM Toronto, on YouTube. Read his note or send him an e-mail (7-28-09).

audio:  June 27, 1973
Frank Holler at WPOP

FRANK HOLLER
summer, 1985 - fall, 1988 and August, 1991 - January 26, 1996

 

Frank is a Hartford native and graduate of the inaugural class of Dick Robinson's Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Ironically, in spite of his exposure to Dick and the people at WDRC, his first job was as one of the Boss Jocks at WPOP. After leaving there in 1972, his travels took him to some major radio stations where he gravitated to heavier album rock music. When he was hired at WDRC FM in 1985, it was just in time for WDRC's 25th Anniversary special. During his five hour Saturday and Sunday night shifts on WDRC AM, he included dozens of airchecks and old jingles from the early years of the station's tenure as a pop music station. Frank eventually moved to afternoon drive and originated Jukebox Saturday Night. That program was originally simulcast and later moved to FM. After a three-year absence, during which he worked in St. Louis and Philadelphia, Frank returned to Big D FM as program director. He engineered the weekend-long 35th Anniversary Reunion in August 1995 during which many of the former voices of Big D returned to Hartford.

PRIOR: WPOP Hartford, CT; WLW Cincinnati, OH; WDAI FM Chicago, IL; WKLS Atlanta, GA; WWWW Detroit, MI; WCMF Rochester, NY; WCOZ Boston, MA

AFTER: KLOU St. Louis, MO; WIOQ Philadelphia, PA; WHYN Springfield, MA

TODAY: Frank still lives in Newington (e-mail)(5-24-13).

audio:  July 12, 1986
Tom Hopkins (1993)

TOM HOPKINS
October 23-November 8, 1972

 

Tom's stay was short. He was hired to host the morning show on a temporary basis between the departure of Jack Miller and the arrival of Pete Sullivan.

PRIOR:

AFTER: WBZ Boston, MA; Indianapolis, IN; KCMO Kansas City, MO; freelance foreign correspondent for Mutual News; WDAF TV and KBMA TV, both Kansas City, MO

TODAY: WQHT/WIOD/WFLC Miami, FL (3-93).

audio:  November 8, 1972
WDRC's Gary Lee Horn

GARY LEE HORN
November 2005 - late 2008?

 

A New York boy, Gary was an honors graduate of the Bronx High School of Science and Queens College. Most of his broadcast career he was a newsman and morning show co-host. He also spent time in the insurance industry and is well-versed in computer science. In the late fall of 2005 Gary joined DRC FM as a part-time news person, joining Doug Taylor for the Saturday morning wakeup show.

PRIOR: WFEA Manchester, NH; WYSP Philadelphia, PA; WHCN Hartford, CT; WTIC Hartford, CT.

TODAY: Visit Gary's web site or send him an e-mail.

audio - April 7, 2007
Fred Horton at WXTA

FRED HORTON
prior to August 17, 1985 - after March 16, 1986

 

A native of Syracuse, NY, Fred knew early he wanted a career in music. He got his first radio job at the age of 16 and worked fulltime through high school. He graduated from Onandaga Community College in 1971 and started working as a record promoter in New York and western Pennsylvania. He left the record industry to become WDRC's program director and station manager after the departure of Ken Trimble. He never did any regular airshifts.

PRIOR: WSYR Syracuse, NY

AFTER: WYNY New York, NY; WPYX Albany, NY; WTRY AM/WGNA FM Troy/Albany, NY; WGXK Memphis, TN; WBEE FM Rochester, NY, WXTA Erie, PA

TODAY: Fred passed away March 4, 2008 after a lengthy battle with cancer; he was 56.

 
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