of the broadcast industry's major air talent have spent time
behind a WDRC microphone. And certainly it had personalities
long before the pop music era began in 1960.
chief announcer Ray Barrett interviews renowned CBS reporter
and commentator Edward R. Murrow in the WDRC studios
during the late 1930s. (photo
courtesy of Deborah
Naughton was a major celebrity during his 17 years at
WDRC (1942-59). He hosted several programs, but was
known mostly as the host of the morning "Yawn Patrol"
and "The Old Music Box."
World War II, many male announcers went into the service creating
numerous staff openings for women. Jean Kirwan was one of
them, becoming a WDRC engineer. Jean and Russ' courtship
was often the subject of the social columns in local newspapers.
1947-1951, he wrote a weekly column in The Hartford Courant's
"Parade On Youth" magazine
called "Record Ramblings."
November 1958, Russ went around to high school glee clubs
and recorded them for airing on his "Shopper's Special"
WDRC dropped CBS and launched a pop music format, Charlie
Parker billed his airstaff as The Friendly Five (the
originals were Ron Landry, Art
Johnson, Jerry Bishop, Jim
Raynor and Gene Anthony).
When the staff expanded to six in September 1963, they were renamed
The Swinging Six. This particular group was the primary weekday
staff in 1966; "Long John's other brother," Don,
was the sixth, filling in for the regulars and hosting Saturday
and Sunday shifts.
Beach owns the distinction of being WDRC's first
all-night host (sort of). For a while in mid-1966, Sandy
kept the station on after the normal 1:00AM signoff time
each Saturday night.
was something of a tradition to remain on the air all night
New Year's Eve. Long John
Wade did it in 1964 and 65; Bradley
Field did it in 1968 and 69. On January 1, 1970, Dik
Haddad became the permanent all-nighter as WDRC
began broadcasting "48 hours a day...24 AM and 24
Dick McDonough on 24-hour operation.