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WDRC's Don Wade
click for tribute
to Don Wade

DON WADE
May 31, 1964 - after August 14, 1964 and June, 1965 - October, 1967

 

Born in Manhattan on Feb. 20, 1941 Don Maxfield Wehde began college as an economics major at William and Mary, then segued to Boston University where he got interested in radio. His two stints at Big D were interrupted by a shift with Uncle Sam. Sometimes called "Long Don Wade," because of his 6'5" height, he was the younger Wade sibling, also known as "Long John's other brother." During his first stint he was known as "The Swinging Six Plus One" and was the summer vacation relief man; the second time he replaced Shannon as the staff utility man, hosting Saturdays from 1-4PM and Sundays 7PM-midnight. Like his brother, Don spent time with the Beatles, shooting home movies of them as they filed the movie, "Help!." Contest winners were treated to a special showing in August, 1965. After Ron Landry left in March, 1966, "Don Juan" inherited the morning show where his voice characterizations were used to introduce a number of colorful and humorous guests. Don later worked at the Buckley stations in Philadelphia and Seattle.

PRIOR: WTID Norfolk, VA; WHAV Haverhill, MA; WORL Boston, MA; WUPY FM Lynn, MA

AFTER: WNOE New Orleans, LA; WKBW Buffalo, NY; CHAM Hamilton, ONT; KLIF Dallas, TX; WIBG Philadelphia, PA; KOL Seattle, WA; KTAC Tacoma, WA; Denver; WUSN Chicago; WLS Chicago

TODAY: From 1986-2012 Don, and his wife Roma, woke up Chicago on WLS (except for seven weeks in a 2004 contract dispute). In September 2012, 71-year-old Don had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his brain. It was announced on December 13, 2012 that Don and Roma would not return to the station. Don died in Florida on September 6, 2013; he was 72. (9-10-13)

audio:  April 4, 1966
WDRC's Long John Wade
click for
Long John Wade
interview

LONG JOHN WADE
September 1, 1963 - November 4, 1966

 

Long John was born on New Year's Eve 1939. Even in prep school at New Hampton, NH, Long John was interested in radio; he ran the school station. He attended Boston University and worked at several Boston area stations. While working in Springfield as Johnny Midnight, John Wade got a letter from Richard Buckley, Sr., inviting him to an audition. But the job turned out to be at the Buckley station in Providence. Wade said "no thanks" and held out for a position in Hartford which came a few months later. Initially he was named Big D Wade but after two weeks Buckley told Charlie Parker to change it because he didn't want any one individual to have that much influence. Wade became Long John.

His arrival at Big D officially marked the transition from The Friendly Five to The Swinging Six. So named because he is 6'4" tall, Long John hosted the "LJW fling" during his entire stay, mostly from 4-8PM, but briefly from 3-6PM just before he left for Philadelphia. A feature of his show was a countdown of the Top 13 records on the Swinging Sixty Survey every Monday afternoon. He was a regular instructor at Dick Robinson's Connecticut School of Broadcasting and later started his own broadcast school in the City of Brotherly Love. John was especially close to the Beatles, in particular Paul McCartney and John Lennon. In August, 1964, Charlie Parker sent him on the Beatles American tour for several weeks during which he sent back live reports as his brother, Don, filled in. In February, 1965 Long John vacationed with the Beatles in Nassau, and he was with them at the Warwick Hotel in New York for their famous press conference on August 13, 1965.

PRIOR: WHIL Medford, MA; WAAB Worcester, MA; WHAV Haverhill, MA; WORL Boston, MA; WTAO Boston, MA; WSPR Springfield, MA

AFTER: WFIL, WIBG, both Philadelphia, PA; WCBS New York, NY; WCAU AM/FM and WIFI Philadelphia, PA

TODAY: Long John spent his retirement on Cape Cod; see his note (8-9-00). He passed away May 15, 2006 at the age of 66.

audio:  April 13, 1964
Dan Walker

DAN WALKER
after July 5, 1981 - ?

 

Born Angelo A.Vecchiarelli, he graduated from Seymour High School in 1970 and attended Greater Hartford Community College and the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. "Your man Dan" was at WDRC for about a year and a half. He filled in as a utility announcer on different shifts.

PRIOR: WLAE Hartford, CT; WADS Ansonia, CT; WFIF Milford, CT; WCCC A/F Hartford, CT; WICC Bridgeport, CT; WKCI FM Hartford, CT; WWCO Waterbury, CT; WNVR and WNAQ Naugatuck, CT

AFTER: Dan owned Angelo's Carpet One in Waterbury from 1973-2010, then relocated to Florida.

TODAY: Dan co-hosts a weekend real estate show on WAXE in Vero Beach, FL (e-mail)(8-14-16).

 

LIZ WALKER
prior to March 12, 1983 - after November 11, 1984

 

Not to be confused with the Boston television news anchor, this Liz Walker also worked in news at WDRC.

PRIOR: WMMW Meriden, CT

AFTER: WGGB TV Springfield, MA

TODAY: ?

audio:  April 21, 1984
WDRC's Bob Walker

ROBERT MICHAEL WALKER
August, 1968 - February 6, 1970

 

While most people remember Bob as a newsman at WDRC, you get extra credit if you remember a series of Sunday music shows Bob hosted on WDRC FM right after he arrived. It was afternoon man Brad Field who who referred to Bob by his full name so often that as of January, 1969 all his newscasts were delivered by "Robert Michael Walker".

PRIOR:

AFTER: WPOP Hartford, CT; JVC Corporation, New Rochelle, NY

TODAY: For many years Bob has lived in Orange County, California where he runs a successful business (e-mail)(8-17-15).

audio:  November 17, 1968

DOUGLAS WATSON
prior to July 14, 1944 - ?

 

Douglas was a Newington resident who worked as a part-time announcer during World War II.

PRIOR:

AFTER:

TODAY: ?

 
WDRC's Patty Parker (aka Ann Welch)

ANN M. WELCH
prior to March, 1944 - after August 6, 1945

 

Born in Hartford, Ann attended local schools and graduated from Bay Path College. She did clerical work at Pratt & Whitney before joining WDRC in a similar capacity. The Hartford resident also did part-time announcing. She is also known as Patty Parker, the wife of longtime program director Charlie Parker. They were married in Hartford on October 20, 1945.

AFTER:

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).

 
WDRC's Larry Wells

LARRY WELLS
October 1980 - October 4, 2011

 

Larry started as the 7PM-midnight personality on WDRC FM when the music format was contemporary hits and the on-air slogan was "The Music Leader - DRC FM." For most of his years, however, he has hosted 10AM-3PM (and later 9AM-2PM) during the oldies format. When Doug Taylor was let go in an October 2008 economic cutback, Larry replaced him on the afternoon drive shift, 2-7PM Larry and Floyd Wright swapped back and forth between middays and afternoon drive in 2010 and 2011. Larry covered most of Floyd's shifts during a medical leave in the summer of 2011. Larry was released in 2011, 3 days short of his 31st anniversary!

PRIOR:

audio:  November 25, 1981
WDRC's Mike West

MIKE WEST
September 4, 2004 - October, 2005

 

Born four days before Christmas in 1949, Mike joined WDRC FM concurrent with the station's shift to Big Hits of the 60s and 70s. His initial shift was Saturday from 10AM-3PM, though he was primarily a weekend man. After leaving DRC Mike taught at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

PRIOR: WGNG Providence, RI; WAVZ New Haven, CT; WTIC FM Hartford, CT; WKCI New Haven, CT; WCTK FM New Bedford, MA

AFTER: WCTB Augusta, ME

TODAY: Mike passed away on January 27, 2015 at the age of 64 (1-28-15).

audio:  December 23, 2004

WALT WHEELER
May 19-August, 1969

 

Walt spent three months in the WDRC news department, replacing Aaron Shepard and preceding Pat Sheehan.

PRIOR: WNHC FM-TV New Haven, CT; WNBC AM/FM/TV New York, NY; Van Leeuwen Advertising Inc., New Haven, CT

AFTER: United Press International, WCBS, both New York, NY; Empire State Network, NY

TODAY: Walt is spokesman for the New York National Guard (6-11-00).

audio:  July 3, 1969
Bud Wilkinson

BUD WILKINSON
November 5, 2000 - present

 

Bud Wilkinson hosted the nationally syndicated Broadway's Biggest Hits program, which was heard on WDRC AM, WSNG, WMMW and WWCO from 9 to 11 a.m., Sundays. As a teenager, he hosted a Soapbox Derby program in Torrington; today WSNG is owned by Buckley Broadcasting. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1975, he spent 14 years in print, including 10 years as TV/radio columnist for The Arizona Republic newspaper. In 1989, he moved to television and spent eight years as entertainment reporter in Phoenix. He also did daily entertainment reports on radio. Wilkinson launched Broadway's Biggest Hits as a local program on KOY radio in Phoenix in December 1997 and took it national in October 1998. As a writer, Wilkinson contributed extensively to Arizona Highways, Phoenix magazine, (Arizona) Diamondbacks magazine and Electronic Media.

PRIOR: WTOR Torrington, CT; KSAZ-TV, KTAR, KOY, all in Phoenix, AZ

AFTER: WJMJ Propsect, CT

TODAY: Bud is a columnist for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury (e-mail) (5-24-13).

 

FRANK WILLIAMS
February 7-10, 1970 and July, 1973

 

Frank briefly did news at WDRC in 1970, and returned to do additional news shifts in July, 1973.

PRIOR:

AFTER: WCCC Hartford, CT; WINF Manchester, CT

TODAY: ?

 
WDRC's Grahame Winters

GRAHAME WINTERS
August 20, 2000 - July 7, 2014

 

Grahame was a Big D veteran long before becoming a member of the airstaff. She joined WDRC as promotions director in 1992. She's no stranger to the business, either. Her parents met while working at WPOP in the mid 1960s. The late Bill Winters was an air personality for several years and "Miss Marcia" Fox was the on-air secretary to morning man Woody Roberts. After a brief foray into radio sales at WCCC, Grahame returned to WDRC in March, 2000. Her first on-air shift was during WDRC FM's 40th Anniversary Weekend in August, 2000. The family 'radio tradition' continued when Grahame married WCCC overnight personality Jeff Slater! She was promoted to assistant program director in 2003 and replaced Dave Nagel as program director in August 2008. In late June 2009 Grahame began hosting the 7PM-midnight music show after Mike Stevens joined Jerry Kristafer on the wakeup show. Grahame made way for the syndicated Tom Kent in May 2011. That October, however, she inherited the midday shift after the departure of Larry Wells. Grahame was let go along with the rest of the FM airstaff when Connoisseur Media took over from Buckley Broadcasting on July 7, 2014.

PRIOR: WILI Willimantic, CT

AFTER: WCCC Hartford, CT

TODAY: Grahame voicetracks middays on WHYA on Cape Cod; she also can be heard on WILI FM in Willimantic.

audio:  March 31, 2002
WDRC's Harry Wood

HARRY WOOD
November 8, 1947 - ?

 

Harry was a staff announcer at WDRC during the post World War II years.

PRIOR: WNEW New York, NY; WFIL Philadelphia, PA

AFTER:

TODAY: ?

 
Terry Woods at WKBR

TERRY WOODS
February 12-October 4, 1970

 

A Meriden native, "The man with the goods" did his first show on WDRC FM from 10AM-4PM, replacing Kent Clark who became assistant director at Connecticut School of Broadcasting. From April till August, Terry hosted midnight-6AM on WDRC FM, then returned to the midday slot for the remainder of his tenure. After WDRC he began using the professional name "Chuck Martin" and worked in some major markets. He was Billboard Magazine's 1972 Program Director of the Year for his work in Indianapolis, and later programmed prominent stations in California. He also taught journalism for several years at Chapman College and has won numerous awards for his commercial work.

PRIOR: WWCO Waterbury, CT; WKBR Manchester, NH

AFTER: WPTR Albany, NY; WNHC New Haven, CT; WIFE Indianapolis, IN; WMYQ Miami, FL; WAVZ New Haven, CT; WIVY Jacksonville, FL; KISN Portland, OR; KHJ Los Angeles, CA; KFRC San Francisco, CA; KWST Los Angeles, CA

TODAY: Chuck Martin Enterprises is a full service advertising agency and production studio in Diamond Bar, California (909-861-8122) (5-24-13) (e-mail).

audio:  March, 1970
WDRC's Floyd Wright

FLOYD WRIGHT
March, 1983 - February 1986 & August 2008 - July 7, 2014

 

A native of Wallingford, Floyd graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in Mass Communications. "Friendly Floyd" hosted the afternoon show on WDRC FM before switching gears and playing music at country music stations. Floyd returned to DRC FM in August 2008 to host Sunday afternoon & overnights. When Larry Wells moved to afternoon drive on October 13, 2008, Floyd replaced him from 9:00AM-2:00PM, but they switched back again a few months later. Thanks to computer technology, Floyd also voicetracked various shifts at the Buckley Broadcasting stations in Syracuse, NY - WFBL and WSEN beginning in February 2009. Floyd underwent bypass surgery after a heart attack in June 2011; he returned to the air around September first. Floyd was let go along with the rest of the FM airstaff when Connoisseur Media took over from Buckley Broadcasting on July 7, 2014

PRIOR: WHEB Portsmouth, NH; Albany, NY; WKCI Hamden, CT; WAVZ New Haven, CT

AFTER: WYNY New York, NY; WWYZ Waterbury, CT; WRCH FM Farmington, CT

TODAY: In October 2014 Floyd joined WJMJ in Pomfret for afternoons, noon till 3:00 p.m. (e-mail).

audio:  April 20, 1984
Kathy Wyler

KATHY WYLER
prior to November 26, 1981 - after February, 1985

 

After graduating from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and working at WRCH, Kathy became news director at WDRC.

PRIOR: WRCH Farmington, CT

AFTER: WRCH Farmington, CT

TODAY: Kathy retired from the morning show at WRCH on July 13, 2001 to spend more time with her family (e-mail).

audio:  November 28, 1981
WDRC's Susannah Young

SUSANNAH YOUNG
prior to March 18, 1980 - late 1981 ?

 

Little is known about Susannah. She was the only female to host regular music shows (overnight) during WDRC's entire pop music history.

PRIOR: WELI New Haven, CT

AFTER:

TODAY: It is believed Susannah lives in Middletown, CT (1-16-01).

audio:  April 18, 1981
WDRC's Kim Zachary

KIM ZACHARY
April, 1991 - January, 1994

July 22, 2013 - August 29, 2014

 

This Avon native and UCONN graduate was one of many morning news anchors for Jerry Kristafer on FM and Brad Davis on AM. She was married to longtime WDRC traffic reporter Jim Sharpley. She later married Dan Williams, with whom she hosted mornings on Springfield radio and television for 17 years. In February 2013 Kim & Dan began hosting an online program. Kim rejoined Big D in July 2013 working alongside Jerry Kristafer and Mike Stevens on the morning show.

PRIOR: WMAS Springfield, MA

AFTER: WRCH Farmington, CT; WHYN AM/FM Springfield, MA; WGGB TV Springfield, MA; WRCH Farmington, CT

TODAY: Kim was the only member of the FM airstaff retained when Connoisseur Media took over the station on July 7, 2014. However, she was let go on August 29, 2014, replaced by a simulcast of WPLR's Chaz and AJ, which is also heard on Connoisseur's WFOX FM in Norwalk (8-30-14) (e-mail).

audio:  July 20, 1992
WDRC's Jack Zaiman

JACK ZAIMAN
September 18, 1939 - August, 1960

 

A native of Hartford, and 1932 graduate of Weaver High School, Jack Zaiman attended the University of Connecticut for two years. In 1934 he joined the International News Service, and later United Press International. Most people remember him for his many years as a columnist for The Hartford Courant but he worked part-time for WDRC in its early days while employed full-time by the newspaper. While much of his work at WDRC was publicity-related, in 1939 he read a sportscast over W1XPW, Doolittle's experimental FM station. It was relayed, without wires, to FM stations in Albany, then to Schenectady, then back to Hartford, all without static. No one heard the broadcast except for the engineers at each station because there were few FM sets in use. Starting in 1944 Jack presided over WDRC's Needle Club, a social circle of movers and shakers who gathered at the Marble Pillar restaurant for spontaneous, and often humorous, live broadcasts of political issues. In 1948 he also began hosting Heard and Overheard, a Thursday night 15-minute program devoted exclusively to Connecticut's political and social scene. In 1964 Jack was doing political analysis from The Hartford Courant on WEXT; he retired from the newspaper in 1979.

PRIOR:

AFTER: WEXT West Hartford, CT

TODAY: Jack retired to Boynton Beach, FL. He died on February 9, 1994 at the age of 78.

audio:  December 20, 1945
WDRC's Tom Zarecki

TOM ZARECKI
May 2001 - August, 2004

 

Tom's long broadcast career began in 1966. In addition to on-air positions he has been a program director, chief engineer, and at the age of 19 was board operator at WABC and WPLJ for Dan Ingram, Cousin Brucie, Pat St. John and others. Tom also ran his own radio consulting business. He has a bachelor's degree from Western Connecticut State University and is currently working on a master's degree there. He is a columnist for Radio Ink and Talkers magazines. After several months of fill-in work, Tom took over the early Sunday morning shift on WDRC FM in mid November, 2001.

PRIOR: WTOR Torrington, CT; WTBY Waterbury, CT; WNTY Southington, CT; WXCI Danbury, CT; WINE Danbury, CT; WQQW Southington, CT; WABC/WPLJ New York, NY; WRKI Danbury, CT; WGRG Pittsfield, MA; WNVR Naugatuck, CT; WELI New Haven, CT; WMNR Bridgeport, CT; WDAQ Danbury, CT, WLAD Danbury, CT; WREF Ridgefield, CT; WAXB Danbury, CT; WEVD New York, NY; Radio Computing Services; WJMJ Prospect, CT

TODAY: In addition to weekend work at WJMJ, Tom chairs the Communication and Mass Media department at Lincoln College of New England in Southington; see his note (11-27-01)(e-mail).

audio:  November 25, 2001
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