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WDRC's Dick Pace

DICK PACE
August, 1963 - December, 1964

 

A graduate of Fordham University with a marketing degree, Dick once sold cough drops as a traveling salesman for Vicks. He also spent two years in the Army, making a number of parachute jumps. Charlie Parker heard Dick on the air in New London and brought him to Hartford to replace Jerry Bishop as one of The Swinging Six, hosting 10AM-1PM. His shift included an early-morning news component; he alternated with Joe Barbarette delivering news on the Ron Landry show. Dick left Hartford for Providence, and later was a mainstay for 15 years at WBZ.

PRIOR: WFUV FM Fordham University; WBRY Waterbury, CT; WNLC New London, CT

AFTER: WJAR Providence, RI; WBZ Boston, MA; WHDH Boston, MA

TODAY: Dick earned a law degree at Suffolk University and is a partner in Hines & Patz, West Warwick, RI (8/3/12).

audio:  July 26, 1964

GEORGE V. PARISH
1940s

 

Hartford natives, George and his brother, John, were known as The Harmony Brothers on WDRC during the 1940s.

PRIOR:

AFTER:

TODAY: George died October 17, 1970, at the age of 60.

 

JOHN W. PARISH
1940s

 

Hartford natives, John and his brother, George, were known as The Harmony Brothers on WDRC during the 1940s.

PRIOR:

AFTER:

TODAY: John died January 22, 1966, at the age of 51.

 
Phyllis Parizek at WHCN in 1984

PHYLLIS PARIZEK
prior to November, 1981 - 1982

 

Phyllis worked for a few months in the WDRC news department. In the late 1980s she worked for the State of Connecticut. After her marriage, she and her husband settled in West Hartford in 1990.

PRIOR: WAVZ & WKCI, both New Haven, CT

AFTER: WHCN Hartford, CT; WVIT TV West Hartford, CT; WPOP & WKSS, both Hartford, CT

TODAY: Phyllis has lived for many years in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands where she is involved in wild bird rehabilitation; see her note (7-8-04). (e-mail)

audio:  November 28, 1981
WDRC's Charlie Parker
Click here for Kathy &
Steve's memories of
Growing Up Parker
.

CHARLES R. PARKER
March, 1944 - August, 1983

 

Without question, Charlie Parker was the brains behind WDRC's success for many, many years. WDRC was essentially the only job Charlie ever had and he lived and breathed Big D 24 hours a day. He was born in Hartford on March 2, 1925 and his love affair with WDRC began at the age of 15 when he was interviewed by Harvey Olson in a man-on-the-street spot. Olson hired Charlie two years later as a production engineer, running network programs from CBS. He met his wife, also an engineer (see Patty Parker) at WDRC; they were married in Hartford on October 20, 1945. As program director, and later vice president of programming, Charlie had a keen ear for hit music and was a talented writer. His trademark rhyming promotional copy gave the station a distinctive sound. In later years Charlie voiced many station promos and special features, and enjoyed his annual duties as Jolly Old St. Nick for the American Radio Relay League. Billboard Magazine named him 1975 Program Director of the Year. The next year he founded the Greater Hartford Emergency Food Bank. He is largely credited with devising the formatic elements which launched Radio Fun in August, 1960.

In June, 1983, after a period of ill health, he was replaced as program director by Ken Trimble. Charlie was out all summer and returned for just a few weeks in August. His genius at spotting trends allowed Big D to capitalize on many crazes including the wave of Beatles popularity. Charlie was a superb motivator of talent and had a wonderful sense of humor. Many broadcasters credit him with giving their careers direction; read what others had to say.

TODAY: Charlie passed away March 14, 1993 at the age of 68.

audio:  July, 1976

audio:  April 9, 1977

audio:  August 16, 1977

WDRC's Patty Parker (aka Ann Welch)

PATTY PARKER
prior to March, 1944 - after August 6, 1945

 

Anne M. "Patty" Welch did clerical work at Pratt & Whitney before joining WDRC in a similar capacity. The Hartford resident also did part-time announcing. As the receptionist at WDRC, she gave a young man a studio tour one day. He came to work at the station and on October 20, 1945 became her husband (see Charles R. Parker).

TODAY: Patty passed away February 19, 1964 at the age of 43. She and Charlie left two children: Kathy and Steve (who has his own successful broadcast career).

 
Paul Payton at WCCC

PAUL PAYTON
July, 1977 - March, 1980

 

An alumni of Brown University, Class of 1969, Paul was active in the student radio station where he experimented with progressive rock music. He co-founded the college station along with another WDRC alumnus, Don Berns, also Class of '69. Country Paul was the afternoon drive voice on WDRC FM during the height of its album rock focus.

PRIOR: WFAS White Plains, NY; WLNA Peekskill, NY; WBRU, WHIM, WICE, all Providence, RI; WSVP West Warwick, RI; WHCN Hartford, CT; KBPI and KFML, both Denver, CO; WHCN Hartford, CT

AFTER: WCCC A/F Hartford, CT; WPLR New Haven, CT; WWYZ Waterbury, CT

TODAY: For several years Paul has pursued a fulltime freelance voice career in Chatham, NJ; see his note (11/29/15). (e-mail)

audio:  November 27, 1977
WDRC's Bill Pearson

BILL PEARSON
May, 1979 - April, 1981

 

Bill worked nights on WDRC AM, 7PM-midnight. He was replaced by Chip Donavon, who left the afternoon shift to make way for Sebastian. He later ran the Atlanta branch of Dick Robinson's Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

PRIOR: WRCQ Farmington, CT

AFTER: WTIC Hartford, CT

TODAY: Sadly, Bill passed away in October, 2000 while living in Georgia. Read a touching tribute from his friend, Bill Stephens.

audio:  May 23, 1979
WDRC's Jim Peters

JIM PETERS
August, 1967 - February, 1968

 

A native of Chicago, Jim started at WDRC FM during the summer of 1967. He soon moved to the AM side hosting a 9AM-2PM request show. He finished his brief stay at WDRC doing middays on FM.

PRIOR: WLAN Lancaster, PA

AFTER: KPOI, KKUA, KORL, KIKI, KMAI all Honolulu, HI; KULA Waipahu, HI

TODAY: Jim left radio in 1987. He is now a board-certified hearing aid specialist in Orlando, FL; see his note (2-22-02) (e-mail).

audio:  January, 1968
WDRC's Michael Picozzi

MICHAEL PICOZZI
December 2014 - present

 

A Bloomfield native and high school graduate, Michael has a long history in radio - and Hartford. He earned an associate's degree from Mitchell College, then a bachelor's degree from Emerson College in Boston. His on-air career began in 1973 in Fall River, MA. He was named program director at WHCN in August 1977, before leaving for Philadelphia in 1979 where he worked at a pair of rock and roll legends. In 1981 he was appointed morning man and program director at WYSP. In August 1985 he returned to WHCN and by the next year was teamed with Gary Lee Horn each morning as Picozzi and The Horn. In May 1997 the pair split after 11 years when Michael was hired by WCCC where he remained until departing in April 2013.

PRIOR: WSAR Fall River, MA; WHCN Hartford, CT; WMMR FM Philadelphia, PA; WYSP Philadelphia, PA; WHCN Hartford, CT; WCCC FM Hartford, CT

TODAY: e-mail

audio:  February 12, 2015
Brad Pierce

BRAD PIERCE
prior to July 7, 1989 - July, 1991 ?

 

Brad was one of the voices on WDRC AM during a period of satellite-assisted programming. The slogan of The Oldies Channel format was "Your Station for the best oldies from the fifties, sixties and seventies." Thus, he didn't actually work at WDRC but was heard on it and other stations around the country affiliated with the service.

PRIOR: WPJB, WGNG and WPRO FM, all Providence, RI

AFTER:

TODAY: Brad is still with The Oldies Channel and does professional voice work; see his note (1-7-00) (e-mail).

audio:  July 7, 1989
WDRC's Walt Pinto

WALT PINTO
October 12, 1998 - April, 2002

 

Walt has had a long association with WDRC, starting on the air in 1967 as "Kent Clark." He returned to WDRC AM as program director in October, 1998 and left in April, 2002 shortly after music was dropped in favor of talk.

PRIOR: WGUY Bangor, ME; WBBX Portsmouth, NH; WICC Bridgeport, CT; WAVZ New Haven, CT

AFTER: WCCC Hartford, CT; WRCQ Farmington, CT; WELI New Haven, CT; WHYN Springfield, MA; WLIS Old Saybrook, CT; WMEX Farmington, NH; WJMJ Pomfret, CT

TODAY: Walt does middays on Dick Robinson's station in Palm Beach, WLML; see his note (2-21-00) (e-mail).

audio:  June 30, 1968
WDRC's Jerome Piven

JEROME PIVEN
February 10, 1941 - May 1942 & September to October 8, 1942

 

A Pennsylvania native, Jerry began his career at his hometown station in Scranton at the age of 14 in 1940. In Hartford his duties including announcing and program arranging, for which he earned $35 a week in May, 1941. In May 1942 Jerry moved to the City of Brotherly Love for an assignment at WPEN but he returned to WDRC in early September. A month later he became the fifth WDRC staff announcer to answer the challenge as the U.S. geared up for World War II. He resigned to join the Army and was replaced by Charles Haaser.

PRIOR: WGBI Scranton, PA

AFTER: WPEN Philadelphia, PA

TODAY: Staff Sgt. Jerome Piven was killed in the line of duty on December 6, 1944 while assigned to the 378th Infantry 95th Division. He was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He is buried in Luxembourg.

 
WDRC's Robert M. Provan, Jr.

ROBERT M. PROVAN, JR.
April, 1935 - September 1942; returned May 1946

 

Robert Martin Provan, Jr. was born in New Jersey in 1912. He worked for Pratt & Whitney aircraft company before becoming one of WDRC's early staff announcers. He also served as a Hartford alderman, and took his turn at being Mayor For A Day when the real Mayor Spellacy fell ill in 1940. Provan was in charge of promotion and production for W1XPW, Franklin Doolittle's first FM station which went on the air May 13, 1939. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on September 11, 1942. The May 6, 1946 issue of Broadcasting magazine noted that Bob had returned to WDRC as production manager. He later left Hartford for an advertising job in New York City. By 1950 he was living in Baldwin Park, CA.

PRIOR:

AFTER: Standard Brands, Inc., Madison Avenue, New York, NY

TODAY: Robert was living in Long Beach, CA when he died on November 30, 1976 at the age of 64.

 
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