Man From Mars Productions
Brouder is the webmaster for this site, which is not owned by, or
endorsed by, WDRC Radio or Connoisseur Media. The site is a labor
of love by a former listener, employee and admirer.
presented at this site is for research and enjoyment. Corrections
or additions are welcome.
Alumni are encouraged to provide recollections and input which will
be shared on this page.
August 16, 8:07PM
bring you up to date: The other "Jay Brooks" (who had been working
somewhere in the midwest, I think) had just come to work in New
Haven when I left WPLR to go to WDRC. I went to Charlie Parker when
I was hired and said, "Since WDRC reaches into the New Haven
market, I think I should change my air-name." Charlie was very
amenable to that, since it would be silly to have two air personalities
named Jay Brooks in the same market. I wanted to use the name "Jason
McCord" (which I thought was a strong-sounding name), but Dick Korsen
thought it didn't sound "real enough", to quote him. I distinctly
remember standing there in his office thinking to myself, and this
is the radio station which -- in its glorious past -- boasted personalities
named 'Sandy Beach' and 'Bradley Field' ??? I was about to go on
the air in five minutes to be broken-in during Jim Harrington's
shift, so the clock was ticking. A bunch of us paced around Korsen's
office, the others occasionally spouting out names, all of which
I declined. Then, someone said "Jay McCormick." I thought about
it for a moment, rolled it around on my tongue, and then kept it
for the next 23 years until I left WELI in 1995 when they went to
an all-talk format.
began my full-time radio career after graduating UConn as Jay Brooks
at WNHC-FM in 1970 -- which became WPLR -- and I was there until
1972, WDRC (1972-73).
WCCC, Hartford (1974-75); WCDQ, Hamden-New Haven (1976-1978); WNAB,
Bridgeport (1978-1981); and WELI, New Haven (1981-1995). Through
the years, I also did a lot of agency voice-over work for TV commercials
and industrial narratives, taught broadcasting techniques at both
the Hartford and Stratford branches of Conn. School of Broadcasting,
owned a couple of small companies, and worked as an AFTRA-SAG extra
during the 1974 filming of Jaws on Martha's Vineyard. Jim Harrington
was also there at the same time.
from full-time radio in March 1995, and became a free-lance writer.
I'm the author of the recently-released novel TWO
OF A KIND: An Erotic Love Story, published by Dorrance Publishing
Co., Pittsburgh, and I currently reside most of the year in Arizona.
Carson Elliott (a/k/a Jay McCormick) (e-mail)
Jay at WELI
Jay's 2015 book cover
August 12, 12:33PM
of Joey’s many stunts was sticking the record In The Midnight
remember my Dad, WDRC Program Director Charlie Parker, listening
to the station in the kitchen when the police broke the studio door
down. But with Joey, nothing ever surprised Dad (I don’t recall
anyone sticking 96 Tears).
though Joey was indeed one of the first “Shock Jocks” in the country,
and my Dad even went so far as to fire him for calling the Mayor
of Hartford Ann Ucello a “Dumb Broad”….they always remained good
friends. …..and he’s still a dear friend of mine today.
August 7, 5:37AM
attached a one sheet on this year's BIG
D 55th Reunion. Looks like it should be very cool. We're takin'
over the whole joint! We'll be playing air checks and stuff. Kent
Clark may even be bringing his 35th BIG D Reunion recordings. We're
also asking folks to bring along any BIG D memories......memorabilia
etc. Please help us spread the word! Hope you can make it! Thanks
July 18, 2015, 12:27PM
was the DJ , want to say Joey Reynolds,
that played 96 Tears over and over again? Does anyone remember
how long it went on? Remember listening to WDRC at Ocean Beach,New
note: This certainly sounds like a Joey stunt, though his most famous
was playing In The Midnight Hour over and over again. Does
the Question Mark and the Mysterians incident ring a bell with anyone?
March 2, 2015, 7:06PM
note: This was received after word of the death of West Hartford
native Don Berns
such sad news. I heard of his passing via FB at about 2:45am...and
I couldn't go back to sleep. I worked with Don in 1969 at WICE in
Providence and again in the mid 80's at WTAE in Pittsburgh. He was
a great talent and a good friend. He went to my wedding in 1971
and met my children when we worked at WTAE. I'm really going to
miss the guy. Thanks for the update Ed. Hope all is well with you
March 1, 2015, 4:24PM
i have retired (again)! i guess 43+ years of "playin' the hits"
was enough! it was only rock n roll, but i loverd it!
now, you can add WYKE-FM/Lecanto FL to my "after" column.
wife and i still reside in Dunnellon, FL. we are still involved
with our Vizslas (hungarian pointers). my wife, an international
flight attendant, shows our dogs and we both compete in hunt tests
& field trials. i also compete with them in obedience trials.
bill stephens once writing on this site how the number of us who
were lucky (and fortunate) enough to have worked at 'DRC - and with
the great charlie parker - are now dwindling. while that is both
sad and true, this 2-time Big D'er will always hold on to those
memories with great affection!
February 3, 2015, 1:37PM
are you my BIG D Brother? I get such a kick hearing Ron
Sedaille refer to his new internet
radio show as coming from the Fun Tower. Haven’t heard that
one in a long time! Dad must be getting a thrill out of hearing
how his FUN lives on. Thanks Ron.
another note…. People don’t need to be too worked up about music
changes at WDRC-FM. Connecticut’s First Radio Station has only had
3 owners since 1922. Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Buckley and now Connoisseur
Broadcasting. They’re a locally owned radio group, with love and
respect for the history and heritage of WDRC. They know and respect
what a special place WDRC has always held in the hearts of its listeners.
worry about the change of music. I understand how much it hurts
to lose some of the Personalities / your friends at BIG D. Just
ask the folks who grew up listening to some of the greats like Dick
Robinson, Sandy Beach, Long
John & his brother Don Wade,
Joey Reynolds and Dick
McDonough….the list goes on and on. Take a look at the personality
page of this amazing website that Ed Brouder developed and has
maintained through the years. We owe a debt of gratitude to Ed.
This site is not, nor will it ever be, the property of WDRC. It
lives through your passion as well as Ed’s passion and love for
WDRC. Thank you so much Ed.
sure has gone through many changes before and after August 18, 1960
(The Birth of BIG D and RADIO FUN!)). And just like it’s always
been, the owners will listen to their listeners. If the ratings
don’t stay strong, they’ll make changes to be sure. Just don’t be
afraid to speak up. Thank you to everyone for your loyalty through
is still WDRC, the BIG D…A true CLASSIC is still alive and well!
Which way they decide to take the music is up to you. Hopefully
with your continued passion, input and ideas….. ROCK & ROLL and
the BIG D will never die! Thanks everybody!
January 5, 2015, 10:46PM
you make and update to Ron Sedaille's TODAY listing on WDRCOBG.COM.
Ron has relaunched his hit show "All Request Saturday Night" that
was heard for years on WDRC FM until the Connousseur Media takeover
of WDRC in July.
Ron and ARSN can now be heard every Saturday night at his new online
streaming station. The station is programed 24/7 and is also
live nightly 8-10PM. I admire his and your lifetime dedication to
WDRC and want to be sure that listeners that might be looking for
Ron and his show can find him sounding better than ever!
has such a rich history, I live in Manchester NH and first discovered
WDRC when searching airchecks on Youtube and Ron has many uploaded.
WDRC was streaming their broadcasts so I became a listener. I then
got interested in the station and read every inch of your site,
great stuff as well as all the material that you have compiled on
local radio history. It really was a special place. Thanks for your
time and have a great new year.
October 30, 2014, 5:46PM
VERY sad about wdrc's new format. You lost a 50-60 lover's patronage!
and Judy (e-mail)
October 13, 2014, 6:30PM
a lot of long time DRC listeners were extremely upset this past
summer when Connisseur Media came in & totally destroyed what was
once a great radio station-Basically,the baby boomers were kicked
to the curb-I seriously doubt the revamped format will draw huge
September 30, 2014, 2:02PM
sorry I just wanted to say how much I miss the old big d radio station.
I miss the hosts I miss the music. I especially miss the morning
crew with Kim Zachary. What happened its like it turned into a classic
rock station overnight....we have rock 102 we don't need you too....bring
back the old drc. Thank you for my rant.
September 2, 2014, 12:14PM
was great seeing you a few weeks ago at the BIG D (aka the Connecticut
to hear of the passing of both Len Thomas and Don “Boom Boom” Cannon.
I remember when my Dad hired Len. Len had been on the Cape (Probably
WCOD). Dad heard him and gave him a call. Len was blown away by
the call. Apparently he had been sending my father airchecks for
years, and Dad wasn’t that impressed. When he heard Len in his element,
on the air, it made all the difference in the world. I also remember
my Dad coming home after the incident, and telling me what had happened.
He said that there really was no other choice. How could he be guaranteed
that it wouldn’t happen again? The FCC would have flipped.
was a great guy! He was very tall. A real giant as I remember, with
a wonderful personality, great smile, and a heart of gold. Don looked
like Sam the Sham (Sam the Sham and the Pharohs..Wooly Bully). He
used to hang out with Bill Hart, now known as Bill Saint James.
Billy was a short bean pool of a teenager from Conard High in West
Hartford, with “great pipes”. My Dad hired him straight out of Connecticut
School of Broadcasting. I think that Don and Bill used to play golf
together. What a sight that must have been.
the long run, we have lost two of my BIG D Brothers. My prayers
go out to both Len and Don as well as their families. Both great
talents. But on the bright side, Dad sure is glad to get them back
on the air at WGOD! As always Ed….Thanks for keeping the flame burning.
August 10, 2014, 9:17PM
the spring of 1970 the Announcers and Engineers Club (we did the
morning announcements on the PA) at my high school, the Norwich
Free Academy, had a chance to tour WICH on Cuprak Road in Norwich
(CT). Len Thomas was our gracious tour guide. One of our group must
have asked if it was true that lots of announcers/ personalities
did not use their real names. Len said that it was certainly true,
and that in fact one staffer at WICH had the last name of Ham, and
just imagine all the jokes and puns there would be about a Ham on
the radio! Little did we guess that it was him. Rest in peace Mr.
I still love the website, always finding something new, like the
link to Bob Craig's jazz show. Where it's always llllLLLLLUUUUNNNCH
TIME. Just had to get that in.
July 7, 2014, 2:29PM
sorry things have turned around again at WDRC.
catch you up, I received a heart transplant in June of 2008. I know
my donor was a man in his thirties. I have tried to contact his
family, but they are not ready. Being in retirement from WDRC has
been a huge change in my life. I quickly got used to having a heart
again, and am so grateful! But now I needed to get my life back
in order. I turned to a gym, Healthreax in Avon. I take lessens
from a trainer there, do yoga, Zumba and cardiac exercises.
one day a week reading at CRIS in Windsor. And I spend a good deal
of time speaking for the group Donate Life, which encourages organ
donation. I talk to kids getting their drivers license. I appear
at Donate Life tables at car shows and health fairs. My message
is, be an organ donor, and tell your family about it!
good luck to all my co-workers at DRC-FM. Use this time to do something
meaningful with your talent. CRIS is always looking for readers!
Best of luck!
June 17, 2014, 10:48PM
at WDRC in the 1960’s and 70’s as an engineer. I started when Ted
Hitchcock was CE, left to go back to school and then (on and off)
worked under George Watson and Wane Mulligan until WDRC discontinued
two person on air production.
to work with a lot of very interesting people, including Bertha
Porter (who had more gold records than it is easy to count, they
lined the walls when we moved back to downtown Hartford (from what
Arthur Nelson Johnson Jr. (I worked with him at WTIC) called the
Bathroom On Bluehills) and her replacement Jim English.
course Charlie Parker was one of my favorites. While I was working
Saturday mornings, Charlie would often start his new contests during
my shift. My guess is that he thought that if I could run them,
then anyone could. They were often very complex from an engineering
standpoint. By my shift the next Saturday, they were often very
simplified. I usually got them right the first time.
worked with Walt Dibble, and on one Saturday morning in 1971 we
got not a test, but a fully confirmed CONELRAD teletype alert at
exactly the time we expected to get a test. I called WTIC to see
what they were going to do, but they never answered my call (I suppose
they were just as busy as I was trying to decide what to do) and
Walt and I decided it was a mistake. I logged it as a test and we
rocked on. Here
is a link to the incident.
the on air engineer when Joey Reynolds decided to upstage WPOP during
a sweep with a stunt that played all top 40 hits in 5 minutes. I
added jingle pieces to cover the segues between the songs. Joey
went on to not call for any commercials for the next hour or so.
It was a Saturday morning, heavy with beer and other commercials.
As each commercial in the log was bypassed, I took its cart from
its slot and placed it on top of a pile in the full view of Joey
and mentioned that we were behind on the intercom. Soon there were
more carts in the pile than in the slots. We never got caught up;
management was not amused.
of the people that I worked with at WDRC that were standouts (not
in any particular order) were:
Dalaku – Very personable, great guy overall.
Dick Robinson – CSB founder. A total salesman by the time I met
him. One of the best.
Joey Reynolds – Just as crazy as you think he is; perhaps crazier...
Sandy Beach – Probably a member of the Tea Party today.
Bob Decarlo – Should never have left WDRC, he was a genuine Bob
Ken Griffin – From WPOP – Had the feel of greatness.
Bob Craig - “It’s Lunchtime” – I liked the overall idea, but it
was not commercial.
Don Cannon – Did overnight while I was at WDRC. A master of the
it would very much please me to be added to the list of engineers
May 9, 2014, 6:20PM
in West Hartford in the early to mid 60s, when I was a young teenager.
My radio memories consist of: WPOP's Joey Reynolds nighttime show.
Reynolds Show / on POP ra-di-o / pop tunes, news and weather / where
Connecticut gets together / on POP..., POP ray-dee-oh" [sort of
to the tune of Wild Weekend]. And his (midnight?) ritual of him
guiding his listeners in dripping hot wax onto their radio dial
so it would always and only get WPOP. (What was that spooky instrumental
tune that played during this?)
day I heard that he was going to make an appearance in the parking
lot of Sedgwick Foods, at the corner of Sedgwick Road and South
Main Street, West Hartford. I walked there (I lived 6 blocks from
it) and saw Joey on a platform, as I recall it. He was signing autographs.
There might have been tunes being played, but I don't recall now.
I had expected a really cool-looking guy, and was stunned by how
overweight he was, and with a sort of pinched-in face. We should
never see our radio heroes in person. I didn't wax my radio dial,
because I also listened to WDRC.
recall which DJ was on which of the stations. I just remember names
like "Rusty Pots", "Sandy Beach" and other seemingly unlikely names,
which I thought were made up because of the apparent puns.
radio promos for Connecticut Dragway and Arthur Drug Stores. "sunday
- Sunday - SUNDAY!!!! At Connecticut DRAG-WAYYYY!!!!" and "Arthur's,
Arthur's, Arthur's, Open all the time. Arthur's, Arthur's, Arthur's,
Open all the time. Arthur Drug Store."
was one in West Hartford, on Farmington Av, just at the Hartford
town line, open 24 hours, with a big lunch counter area, always
serving. We also haunted the 24-hour Dobbs House / Toddle House
in W.Hfd. Center. I occasionally listened to WTIC radio. At one
time they had a pop tune format show after Bob Steele's show, with
DJ Ted Dalaku, who called himself Ted Dala-koo-koo. At noon he'd
put on an affected voice and call out: "It's LUUNNCCHH TIIIIIME!"
[Ed's note: actually that was Bob Craig,
though he and Ted both worked at Big D].
listened late at night to faraway FM stations including WKBW-Buffalo
and WOWO-Fort Wayne. My restless feet were itching to go -- somewhere.
I moved to California and never returned to Connecticut.
April 25, 2014, 6:18PM
lived in West Hartford during WWII so as to be near the facility
because of fears of sabotage,etc. I recall going there one day with
Dad, unlocking the chain link gate, and seeing a gun, perhaps a
45. I was told that it was there so the transmitter operator could
defend himself in case saboteurs tried to take over the transmitter
to send messages, perhaps to submarines off the coast. You may recall
there were air raid drills, with searchlights panning the darkened
skies. Selected citizens were made air raid wardens, and houses
had blackout curtains, and of course gas was rationed. Seems hard
to believe, but true.
Doolittle (e-mail) (son of WPAJ/WDRC
founder Franklin Doolittle)
April 25, 2014, 5:07PM
reminiscing with my wife an old DRC story that my father related
to me. During the war they hired what I believe was an announcer.
Shortly thereafter someone saw him with a gun. My day then went
and bought a pistol, I do remember seeing it in his desk drawer;
looked like a 45 but at that young stage in my life I didn't, I'm
sure, know what a 45 was. I was probably at most 4 years old at
story is from memory so there may be gaps in it but it stuck with
me all these years.
Haase (e-mail) (son of longtime
WDRC Station Manager Walter Haase)
March 21, 2014, 12:55AM
is an obit we did for Jack
Roberts. He was a great guy...we all mis him out here in CA...we
were pals for 20 yrs since he arrived out here after producing Dick
Cavett's cancelled radio show in NYC. Did you know Jack, perhaps?
am from Willimantic, CT...used to write news for the AP in Hartford
and Brad Davis then at WTIC used to read my CT news stories for
his 12 mid nite news break and I would listen in the car driving
home. I also loved WDRC...listend to station lot. I went on to NBC
TV and became Johnny Carson's publicist on TNT SHOW during 80s,
90s. I am still in the PR game in LA.
March 6, 2014, 1:07PM
got off the phone with Walt Pinto(ring a bell?) Left New York a
few years back, settled into an old Historical home on the east
side of Providence. Still doing political work from home, and a
few History Films from local sites. Was singing for Disney for the
Pooh series for little ones; that was a hoot! Narrating illustrated
stories for Smithsonian, and Disney, and enjoying the many Arts
and Sciences from Providence. We have a Waterfire show on the river,
in the middle of the city-that draws International fans. You should
be here in the summer!
for continuing the saga of "Big D." It's nostalgic reading the after-notes!
March 5, 2014, 7:26PM
entry for WDRC's history: March 5, 2014:
nearly fifty-five years of ownership, Buckley Broadcasting announces
the sale of WDRC and its other Connecticut stations, WMMW Meriden,
WSNG Torrington, and WWCO Waterbury, to Connoisseur Media, LLC.
Buckley's President and CEO said that the "evolving competitive
landscape" coupled with the Trustees' "sincere desire to see this
historic brand continue, are cause for a change in the ownership
of our Connecticut properties." He mentioned Buckley's over half
a century stewardship of "these great call letters."
March 3, 2014, 6:49PM
enjoyed perusing your WDRC website. I was mildly associated with
DRC in the early 80s through the short-lived New England Broadcasting
Institute in Bloomfield. I believe it was started by the Korsens
and only lasted a few years. I think the school opened in either
1983 or 1982, but didn't last long. My class was either the first
or the second to graduate. Some of the DJs who taught were Floyd
Wright, Dave Nagle, Phil … sorry, Phil …, plus Ken Trimble and engineer
extraordinaire Tom Ray. There were two practice studios set up,
and we got the chance to go on-air at DRC on Sunday nights once
we completed the course. I still have the reel-to-reel of my one
and only on-air gig. I thought you might like to check into NEBI
if only for the purpose of trivia.
February 26, 2014, 4:24PM
a quick update on my personal status. I retired from AP Radio in
Washington in November of 2012. My wife, Irene, and I are now enjoying
our golden years in NH. Here's my new e-mail address.
February 19, 2014, 5:09PM
let your web site visitors know that my book is done and will be
ready to ship by 3/31/14! Feel free to use any part of this email
on your fine web site, if you wish. Please include my email address.
exciting new music reference book will be available by 3/31/14:
“Supplement to Connecticut Rocks!” Pre-publication sale – save $5.
Over 350 new entries for Connecticut artists and Connecticut-based
labels from 1950s to 1995 & beyond
Over 380 updated discographies & biographies from "Connecticut
Forewords by Nay Nassar, Cliff Edwards, Country Paul Payton, Robb
Up-to-date price guide of Connecticut Records worth $25+
Record dating guide for "CCS" record numbers
2603 Kim Miller Road Lake
Toxaway, NC 28747-6777
December 28, 2013, 12:13PM
Gang... My name is Joe Cipriano, former CT Radio Kid and now voice
a book that has just been released, "Living On Air - Adventures
in Broadcasting." It's what I call, "my love letter to radio." I
grew up on the air (hence the book title) in Connecticut and like
many of you, I started as a teenager in radio. I began at the age
of 14 at WWCO in Waterbury (Tom Collins) and eventually worked at
WDRC in Hartford (Dave
Donovan) before moving on to Washington, DC and later Los Angeles.
book is a memoir filled with funny stories about the characters
I've met along the way in radio and voice overs and how growing
up in Connecticut played a huge role in my life and career.
book is available at any bookseller, but as a CT Media person, I
am offering the book with a 25% rebate, if you buy it at here
you'll receive a $4.99 rebate after purchase via PayPal. Also, any
book purchased here
comes autographed and personalized.
is also an audiobook version of Living On Air and I'm very proud
of it. I wanted it to be more of a radio play than just an audiobook.
I had composer, Greg Chun score the book and create original music
for it. The sound design is beautifully done by AJ McKay with sound
effects and imaging that recreates the scenes for a theater of the
audiobook is on audible.com and if you sign up with audible, you
can actually get it for free. Here is the the link
for the audiobook. If you would like to hear a 5 minute audio
sample of Living On Air, the audiobook, you can listen
to that here.
you all the best in 2014.
November 3, 2013, 8:07AM
saddened upon hearing of the passing of Don
Wade. I worked with Don as his engineer (control room op) in
the mid 60s, during the time that they moved from their old Blue
Hills Ave. studios, to the new ones at 750 Main St. Hartford. He
was a great guy to work with.
Diskes (e-mail) [Ed's
note: click here for John's
page of WDRC photos]
November 1, 2013, 11:17AM
O'Brien update for your site. I've written five books with more
to come. I've attached the covers (all are under my real name).
LESZCZAK aka Bob O'Brien (e-mail)
October 22, 2013, 2:53PM
worked for me for several years at Briarwood College, teaching an
early morning announcing class. He used to show up early in my office
so we could "talk radio." I remember those times with him very well.
October 22, 2013, 2:47PM
was a good friend who worked with me and later for me. He helped
me learn English when I first came to America. He and Betty Kimball
were my sponsors when I applied for America citizenship. Franca
and I will miss him. We know he is now resting in peace after his
October 22, 2013, 2:35PM
the pleasure and privilege of working with Fred at WDRC back in
the late 70's. Fred was a pro and very nice guy. I was glad to have
known him. Fred was a very funny guy too, and fit well with the
all the craziness at the Big D back then. Rest in peace good friend.
October 22, 2013, 12:12PM
News = (Oscar) “Fred” Swanson died last Thursday at age 79. Fred
was one of the original voices on the old WHAY, New Britain -- and
enjoyed a long career afterwards at WJMJ. A soft-spoken, very gentlemanly
guy, he was liked and respected by all with whom he came in contact.
His lengthy illness prevented him from being an active member of
the Bunch Of Old Broadcasters, but he will be fondly remembered
by all B.O.O.B. who knew him.
September 15, 2013, 4:59PM
for posting old Don Wade pics. WLS just
did a tribute show. Heavy hearts.
Berg Chicago (e-mail)
August 13, 2013, 3:32PM
D TURNS 53!!! Pell and Parker are at it again!!! Remember last year’s
BIG D Blow Out? If you did……You probably weren’t there! Ron Pell,
(Former drummer of the killer band Alive & Kickin’) and Steve (“The
Bedding Barn Guy” Parker) Present…….. HARTFORD’S RADIO REUNION!!!
Be there as The Jocks Rock Around The Docks!!! Celebrate this day
in Big D History (August 18, 1960) when WDRC gave birth to the BIG
D ….#1 FOR FUN! (You might call this Charlie Parker’s Labor of Love….).
The Date………….THIS SUNDAY August 18th The Place……The Mattabessett
Canoe Club (Where the hell is that?) aka Harbor Park in Middletown,
CT. The Time……...2:00 PM – 6:00 PM The Price…FREE! FREE! FREE! With
your friends from BIG D! (I buy mine….you buy yours….) (Heavy Echo)
July 8, 2013, 4:13PM
a reminder to all of my BIG D Brothers, family and friends….. This
Sunday is the celebration of Barry Grant’s life…. Let’s make sure
that we give Barry the greatest send off so that his body can rest
in peace in Grant’s Tomb, while his soul sails on to Rock ‘N Roll
Heaven! Bet my Dad is happy to have him doing what Barry does so
well at GOD-FM. Rock On Barry!
May 16, 2013, 10:30AM
was posted via Brian McDonald on Facebook; I received the invitation
today. I am passing this along to various friends at WPLR, WHCN,
WDRC and WWUH. Please forward to all I may have missed who might
be interested. Those who knew him or were his fans will find this
of great interest. Barry Grant was a true original, an innovator
who made a great impression just by being Barry. When I worked with
him at WDRC-FM, his most salient program direction was, “Do your
version of what I do!”
to all, Country Paul Payton (e-mail)
July 14, 2013. 12:00pm until 6:00pm
sadly lost our dear friend Barry Grant this past October.
We all deeply miss him, especially that warm and infectious smile
he always gave to anyone who was fortunate enough to have met him.
Sunday, July 14th from 12-6pm at Shea's All American Grill in Manchester,
we will be honoring Barry with a celebration of his life by offering
an entire day of what Barry loved most.....live music performed
by all of Barry’s favorite musician friends. This will be the day
for us to thank Barry for all the support he gave to all of us!
Many bands are donating their talents to make this a very special
have decided to keep the ticket price at only $10.00 each which
is a steal for all the AMAZING bands and musicians that will be
playing back to back all afternoon! Also, tickets may be purchased
in advance by sending a check for $10 pp to Kenny Hicks, 968 Pucker
St, Coventry, CT 06238. You can contact Kenny at (860) 742-0739
for any info and/or ticket purchases etc. All proceeds from the
BarryFest will be used to cover any costs associated with
the logistics of putting on the event and any funds left over will
be donated to a charity to be named later (perhaps an animal rescue
since Barry LOVED his Jack Russell Terriers!) but we haven't decided.
The bands and musicians who will be donating their talent to perform
for all of us in Barry’s honor (not in any specific order of appearance)
that day will be:
Sweet Tarts" (an acoustic duo with a girly twist....but they
do boy songs, too)
(my good friends who will be playing all your favorite songs you
love to hear
Maid" (past members of "Little Village" and the
"Arizona Maid Band")
McDonald (of "Thunder Road" and "Electric Cowboy"
New Remains" (and Bill Wilson, vocalist from "Last Licks", will
also sing some tunes with them too!)
Mambo Sons" which was one of Barry's absolute favorites
Groove" (a TERRIFIC band, guaranteed to get everyone up dancing!)
The original "Little Village" (and the incredible Jimi Bell will
be joining them on stage too!)
will be a very special day for a very special person who we all
January 21, 2013, 12:26PM
been a long time since I visited the site. Was thinking of 'DRC
this morning and have spent almost three hours going back on old
times. I never worked for "Big D," but I had a connection through
Charlie Parker who gave
me permission to tape music from the library for a weekly show I
did on a closed circuit station at the V.A. Hospital in Newington.
I grew up a few miles from the transmitter site in Bloomfield. Ever
since I can remember I have loved radio. While in the service I
worked for AFRS and did a daily show for a short time at the AFRS
station on Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands in the mid '50's.
I listened to Big D every day starting with the format change 1960.
I remember Art Johnson,
who did the 10am/2pm shift signing off for news, after doing the
"old format" morning show and then signing back on a little after
noon with the "New" format. I had many conversations with Aaron
Shepard when calling in news tips. I got a little melancholy
today reading about the many old 'DRC personalities who have passed
away. In closing I simply have this to say, "THOSE WE'RE THE DAYS!"
Jay, Maine (e-mail)
January 9, 2013, 7:46AM
in the early to mid 70's, Pete
Ross was the "utility" man at WDRC. Whenever any air staff member
had his day off, Ross filled in. I had recently seen a post on radiodiscussions.com
that Gary Peters had passed away on Jan 3rd. I was very suspicious
that somehow I knew that name. As I suspected, it was the man I
knew as Pete. I recall when WDRC was doing a remote from the Manchester
Parkade in front of "Treasure City", I had stopped by to see Pete
just to say hi. He was gracious enough to invite me in Mobile Studio
D's "Green Room" to talk about how I was doing at CSB. During this
discussion, he told me to call him Gary (boy, was I confused). You
see, I used to get the key to open CSB on the 6th floor from him
when he subbed for the late Barry Grant in the DRC-FM studio on
the 15th floor at 750 Main Street. We talked regularly. Then, after
CSB, I would call him frequently to discuss how my pursuit of an
air shift was going. He was always very encouraging, telling me
not to give up over and over again. It always seemed like we were
close, personal friends although we weren't. I am so grateful to
Pete; uh Gary for his on-going inspirational support. His real name
is Gary Almeida. Gary, thanks for everything. Rest in peace. . .
Jim Wayne (e-mail)
E. Almeida - R.I.P.
October 16, 2012, 11:28AM
wanted to thank you for this great nostalgic site. I grew up near
WDRC and could see "The Fun Towers" from my back yard. I got a crystal
radio for Christmas one year..... remember those? It was red and
looked like a rocket ship with a retractable antenna. Of course
the only station I could receive was "The Big D." Fine with me,
it was my favorite station. I'm retired now and live in South Florida.
I saw Dickie Robinson on local TV here....how cool is that? What
fond memories. Take care.
October 11, 2012, 4:05PM
so many great memories of Barry. My dad Charlie Parker, Program
director of WDRC, first met Barry when I was in Manchester, CT looking
at a car at Rod Allen’s house. I believe that in the early 70’s
Rod was doing overnights at DRC-FM. Barry was working at WAAF-FM
back then. He and my dad hit it off immediately, and before we knew
it Barry was doing Grant’s Tomb on BIG D. My dad made Barry Program
Director of the FM for awhile. Barry really knew his stuff. He was
well respected by both the radio industry and music industry. He
used to hang out with the local and national bands. Barry had more
great stories about some of the most well known bands that he supported
and got started.
he returned to WDRC he was seen on TV during Saturday Night Live
doing a commercial for the FM. One of his props was a rubber chicken!
My dad and Barry laughed so hard. Barry had such a fantastic sense
of humor. A Genius in the industry with a wild sense of humor. No
doubt why he and my dad hit it off instantly. And he loved his Corvettes!
I saw him a few weeks ago and he was still driving one!
there is a Rock N’ Roll Heaven, well you know they have a hell of
an overnight guy now. Our loss is WGOD’s gain. God Bless You Barry.
May you forever rest in peace in Grant’s Tomb. Your Big D Brother,
October 10, 2012, 11:06AM
spreading the word - former DJ and program director (WDRC, WPLR)
Barry Grant passed away last night at his home in Manchester. He
was a great radio personality, a friend to Connecticut musicians,
and a proud supporter of the local music scene. He will be missed.
Guerra / Mambo Sons (e-mail)
October 10, 2012, 11:05AM
heard from a reliable friend that Barry Grant has passed away. Just
thought you’d like to know. By the way, I first met Barry back in
’73 when I attended CSB. I would arrive at 750 Main around 5am so
I could sit with Barry for a short while before I would get the
keys to open CSB for the day. . .
October 10, 2012, 1:21AM
a friend of Barry Grants. Unfortunately, Barry has passed away tonight
suddenly and unexpectedly. Thank you very much.
September 25, 2012, 1:58PM
Don Wade's illness...
was Don who agreed to listen to my very first aircheck in 1967 and
made some generally pleasant comments about it, then sent me in
to see Charlie Parker because I wanted to "steal" WDRC's jingle
package to cut up for WBRU (AM) at Brown, where I was the PD at
the time. It was that introduction which lead Charlie to hire me
on the spot when he asked to hear the aircheck I had just played
for Don and still had tucked under my arm (if you recall, 1967 was
the year the FCC required AM and FM operations to stop simulcasting
for at least 12 hours every day, and Charlie was...ahem...desperate
to fill his slots on FM). At any rate, WDRC became my second professional
gig, and I have in part Don Wade's generosity to thank for it.
August 14, 2012, 10:57AM
a hoot! I vaguely remember Joel Cash, as I was (and am) a little
younger than you. I never listened to WPOP, as I was loyal to WDRC.
The rivalry was great, and it extended to two groups of kids' support
in my school (RHAM High, Hebron). Specifically, I remember the song
"Concrete and Clay" which both stations jumped on. However, WDRC
played only the version by the Unit For Plus Two, while WPOP would
not play that version, but played only the version by Eddie Rambeau.
Nationally, both charted about the same, with the Unit Four Plus
Two going to #28, while Eddie Rambeau peaked at #35. I made sure
that our school hired only WDRC Deejays for dances. Pretty intense.
August 13, 2012, 12:47PM
you’d get a nostalgic kick out of this!
the letter shown in the attached scans in my “To Be Sorted” pile.
It’s a pre-ZIP Code (1962), hand-typewritten letter signed by DJ
Joel Cash on WDRC original letterhead welcoming me to the “JOEL
CASH-EW NUT CLUB”!
will notice my address on the envelope was in Glastonbury, CT. The
letter dates from my high school days. Growing up in a rural suburb
of Hartford, I always turned the radio dial back and forth between
WDRC (1360 AM) and WPOP (1410), following each station’s weekly
surveys, and listening to the Swingin’ Six or Friendly Five DJs
on ‘DRC and the wild guys on ‘POP.
New Year’s Eve in 1963, I listened to both stations, but I had heard
that Murray the K was broadcasting a Top (50 or 100?) Hits of 1963
on NYC’s station WINS and the printed survey was available by mail!
My radio couldn’t tune in WINS, so I sent for a copy of the survey
and it arrived 3 or 4 weeks later, autographed by the future “5th
Beatle” himself! I no longer have my survey collection; it’s in
the safe hands of Ed Brouder. Enjoy the attached images from 1962!
(It's a good thing collectors never throw anything away!)
March 12, 2012, 5:43PM
Ed and fellow WDRC alumni:
checking in – I noticed there was only one other 2012 e-mail so
far on the WDRCOBG site; maybe this will help to stir the pot a
bit and get some more people to check in!
the last couple of years, in addition to my “day gig” in voice-overs
(24 years so far, 22 of them fulltime, and still going strong),
I am now playing in an all-original music band, “Rob
Carlson & Benefit Street.” Rob is a long-time working professional
musician and impressive songwriter; he has also done a lot of radio
production over the years. Rob and I go back to a college group,
also called Benefit Street. Although the group had a top 10 hit
in Rhode Island under an earlier name (The American Dream, “Love
Is a Beautiful Thing” – I think Bob
DeCarlo was still at WICE when it hit), that band’s album never
got released in its proper time. However, it is now out on CD (including
the American Dream tracks) on Presence Records. Click here
for the band’s history, as well as links to buy the CD or download
tracks. I tried to make it as thorough and respectful of the band
as WDRCOBG is to the radio stations; you were my role model, Ed!
And as always, I maintain my voice-over
all is well with you and all of us surviving alumni. I’ve had the
chance to hang out with quite a few of us at Lee Gordon’s Connecticut
radio reunions, and although I missed the one in ’11, I’m looking
forward to more this year. CT radio may not now be what it once
was, but I’m happy to be part of its illustrious history and to
have worked with some of the most talented people ever to grace
the radio industry.
January 10, 2012, 3:37PM
year. New email.
Writing . Broadcast Production
West Hartford, CT (e-mail)