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Saturday, February 19, 2000, 12:06:18PM

ED, THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMPILING SUCH A GREAT TRIBUTE SITE. IT MEANS SO MUCH TO GO BACK AND RELIVE THOSE MEMORIES. THANKS AGAIN, WELL DONE!

LARRY YANOFSKY (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, February 18, 2000, 8:54:40AM

Hi Ed!

As a 20+ year radio vet and Hartford native, I must say your DRC site is nothing short of breathtaking! I am currently 10 year PD/Afternoons at Rock Powerhouse WZXL Atlantic City but my career started talking up intros on my crappy bedroom hi-fi pretending to be on The Big D(at age 12). I'm on this site nightly just for the inspiration, especially after a lousy day with a GM? sales guy? or morning ego. Long live Charlie Parker and all my boyhood idols including Gary DeGraide, Bob Craig and Dick McDonough! They are the reason I love what I do! Keep up this great project!

Steve Raymond (e-mail) (check out our new site WZXL.COM)

 

 

Wednesday, February 16, 2000, 10:06:26PM

Hi,

Last I heard, Frank Holler was starting up a satellite oldies broadcast with his "Jukebox Saturday Night" program. That was about six months back now, so things may have changed a bit. I absolutely love your site! I wasn't born until the 80's, but I've always loved WDRC, and I think that my heart stopped when I saw this page! Keep up the incredible work!

Brian Kowalenko (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, February 13, 2000, 11:12:34PM

Hi.

This is just to let you know I've added a link to your site from mine, www.HartfordHistory.net. My site is a collection of writings -- articles, academic papers, and personal recollections -- on the history of the city. If you'd like to contribute anything or know somebody who would, I can be reached at kevin@hartfordhistory.net. Thanks for the consideration, and good luck with your site; I'm amazed you've got so much stuff.

Kevin Flood (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, February 12, 2000, 10:28:54PM

Ed,

Larry Justice told me the stations in Arkansas that he worked for from his the time he was a junior in high school until he was drafted into the army in the latter part of 1959. They are: KBBR, Benton Arkansas (while in high school) KXLR, North Little Rock, Arkansas KAJI, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Until he went to WPGC in Washington he used his the moniker Kirk Justice (Kirk is his middle name). Incidentally, before he joined WPGC in February of 1962, he had been off the air as a music personality since the autumn of 1959...while in the army he conducted an interview program called the Fort Leonard Wood Hour, which was heard on many stations in the south. I find it a bit amazing that he was able to join a major market station after being out of the usual Top-40 routine for two and a half years!

Jeff Marley (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, February 12, 2000, 7:40:42PM

Ed,

What a great job you have done with this site! It brings back memories of happy times and a formative part of my life. I worked as a part-time engineer at WDRC around 1974-1977. For a young college kid who had grown up with The Beatles and The Big D, in Hartford CT, this was a dream job. It was also great experience. WDRC insiders were well aware of all the problems with labor relations, unstable executive management, and limited resources. But to the outside, WDRC continued to deliver a high quality product. Key people like Charlie Parker and Wayne Mulligan held the place together, and while I didn't appreciate it at the time, were role models for the type of leader that I've tried to be in my business life. Charlie, in particular, had a unique ability to inspire creativity and hard work among everyone. It was great experience to have been around this.

Pete Bonee (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, February 12, 2000, 10:47:22AM

Hi Ed,

You know more about me than I know about me. Your Big D site is terrific. I can't tell you what a "hoot" it is for me to be back on the Big D again.

Gary James (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, February 10, 2000, 9:47:26AM

Ed,

Just came across your WDRC website, very nice job. I grew up (and still live) in Putnam County so had the best of both worlds, New York stations and Connecticut as well. I remember DRC so well from the early to mid 70s (I was 13 in 73) and things like "Repeating the Big D Big Story" and Otis playing "Stairway to Heaven" every Sunday night as the lead in to "American Top 40". I also recall a fun contest called "Conversation Please" where callers had to speak on a topic for a period of time to win a prize (an almanac of some sort I think) I wouldn't mind picking up a few clips of that period.

Lou Orfanella (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, February 8, 2000, 9:36:20AM

I really enjoy your web site. I recall two more nicknames from my era - when they all had them. "Dapper" Dick Pace and Jim Raynor "Shines".

Thanks, Ron Pitruzzello (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, February 8, 2000, 1:34:04AM

why isn't there any chuck martin a/k/a/ terry woods checks???????

VoiceMan99@aol.com

Ed's reply: You missed it. Since January 26th there has been an aircheck of Terry; click here and listen!

 

 

Monday, February 7, 2000, 1:31:50AM

Hello....

I just spent an hour or so traveling through your website catching up on all of the people who I had worked with at Big D. It brought back so many great memories! And a few sad ones (Roscoe's suicide, for instance.) But I just had to get back to you and add a few of my own thoughts about Charlie Parker after reading Rabbett's touching remembrances. Coincidentally, Rabbett was the overnight jock who followed me every night after my 7-midnight shift. Rabbett was a cool guy who probably didn't know quite what to make of me but we enjoyed chatting before I headed out each night.

I actually worked at Big D twice. In September, 1976, Charlie hired me while he was on Cape Cod and heard me on WCOD. He also hired Len Thomas at the same time. (There's a great story about how Lenny left 'DRC which I'll share with you later.)

When Charlie hired me, I was really psyched. Everyone in the business knew of him and his fabulous reputation for guiding real personalities into stardom. When he brought me to Big D, his original intention was to use me as a utility guy. Charlie always auditioned his hires before putting them on the air because he always wanted to hear his new guys as they would sound within his format. The day I auditioned, he threw just about every format both stations used at me and couldn't decide where to put me. He thought I was such a total lunatic!

He decided to simulcast my morning show on both stations to replace Jack Morgan who had already accepted a gig back home in Maine at WGAN. My material was so "out there" that Dick Korsen fired me two weeks before Christmas, 1976. Charlie fought for my job but nobody could ever change Korsen's mind once he made a decision.

Eventually, I wound up in LA after Ken Griffin, who had a dj placement service in Newport Beach, had been told by Charlie that I should be working in a Top 5 market. Ken helped me get a foot in the door at KGOE in Thousand Oaks and soon thereafter I was doing mornings at KIQQ. (Bruce Chandler was the afternoon guy!) But Bill Drake and Gene Chenault owned KIQQ and they changed formats and staffs just about every fortnight, so soon, I was out. I filled in for Dick Whittington at KGIL and did some freelance V.O's, but I was really getting tired of the business. I was considering another career path when in March of 1978, Charlie tracked me down and offered me the 7-midnight shift which John Larrabee was vacating for a shift at WXLO in New York. I was beside myself with glee. And Charlie assured me that Korsen wouldn't object to my material in that evening time slot. So back I came and FM Stephens was born. I stayed until May, 1979 when I moved back to my hometown of Boston for a 12-3pm shift at WVBF.

Charlie Parker saved my broadcasting career plain and simple. He was more than just a great PD. He was a great audience. Rabbett's recounting of his get-togethers with Charlie in his office to just talk and exchange ideas was a frequent occurence for just about every jock at 'DRC. I would come to work 3 hours early sometimes just so I could sit with Charlie for awhile and share many a laugh with him. They were great times. It's no coincidence that the staggering list of enormously talented personalities that worked at Big D went on to even greater success and stardom. Charlie was a springboard of inspiration and enthusiasm that helped to create winners.

I share Rabbett's opinion that many PD's today couldn't match Charlie's leadership or sincere devotion to his airstaff on his worst day. And sadly, many of them wouldn't understand the importance of it.

Charlie's departure from WDRC was a travesty. He was replaced as PD while recovering from open heart surgery and I spoke to him numerous times after his dismissal. His spirit was gone, his enthusiasm was lost and for all intents and purposes, his life was over long before he died. His deep, textured voice was damaged after his surgery and that helped to increase his depression. Dick Korsen would die years later but it's not easy to forgive him for how he brushed Charlie aside with such heartless cruelty.

Radio has changed so much since the glory days of 'DRC and what passes for creativity and inventiveness today usually consists of obnoxious morons making rude, mindless (one of Charlie's favorite words) phonecalls or twelve goons stuffed in a studio all laughing at the bogus (one of Jimmy English's favorite words) comments that go nowhere. Charlie would be disappointed at what passes for personality radio today but I know he would have loved Howard Stern. Stretching the envelope of the power of radio was what excited Charlie the most.

I'll always be grateful for his guidance, patience, and honesty. Even though I now work in network television, many of his lessons have stayed with me and still directly apply to what I'm doing now. Are there any PD's anywhere in the world today that will have that said about THEM after they've passed on?

OK, now the Len Thomas story. Lenny did middays at Big D am back in 1976 and 1977. He followed Brad Davis, who replaced me in December '76 as morning man. Brad had always done a lot of phone bits on his show and they were always recorded on the studio Ampex reel-to-reel. There was a switch that had to be set to "program" to play it back and set to "phone" to record a phonecall. One morning, Lenny tried to record a request to play back over the song that the caller had asked for. After hanging up, he saw that the switch had been left in the wrong position by Brad and Lenny cursed, "Goddam f***ing Davis!" Lenny's mike was open. Charlie walked over to the studio window and looked in with an ashen face. Charlie pointed down at the mike key and Lenny almost fainted. Charlie poked his head into the studio and said, "I hope Dick wasn't listening." He was. Korsen arrived at the station soon after, walked into Charlie's office, told Charlie to call a utility guy to come in, and then summoned Lenny into his office when relief arrived. To my knowledge, Lenny was the only jock in the history of the station to be fired during his shift. Lenny went on to work at WBZ as a jock for a few years and still does some booth announcing for WBZ-TV today.

It's been great flashing back to those unforgettable years at WDRC. Let me know if you'd like any other FM Stephens anecdotes. There are a bunch!

Thanks, Bill Stephens (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, February 5, 2000, 8:07:36PM

Hi Ed:

What a pleasant surprise. I almost expected to see you at the DRC reunion back in, hmmmm, 95? 96? Even Joey was there, doing yoga in the lobby of the hotel for Chrissakes!! Funny, I only have one air check from my DRC days, and it wasn't a stunner. You probably have more.

Anyway, I'm in the Chicago area because my wife got a tremendous promotion in her job with McDonald's. I'm looking in the Southeast for something to do, because the climate is more moderate and the stress will be less. After 40 years, I'm sorta slowing down (by choice). The Dallas experience was distasteful (3 years at KLUV Oldies), and here's hoping for a really pleasant situation in the future.

Just got into our new place 4 days ago (from Big D), so we've got boxes everywhere. Judd Otis not working after a serious bout with cancer. Jim Nettleton in Philly at an oldies station.

FYI, do you know who gave Gary DeGraide his first job? Me. He did part-time for me in Providence at WICE. I swear. And so did Jim Harrington. And Don Berns (actually, Don did 7-mid for me for two years while an undergraduate). Thanks for the memories.

Bob DeCarlo (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, February 5, 2000, 1:31:10PM

Ed,

Regarding the post here by Barry King: I can confirm Frank Holler worked at WIOQ in Philadelphia. He was the program director there in the fall of 88, when he interviewed me for a potential opening. As it turned out, we wound up working together, but not at 'IOQ. In June '89, CBS hired him to program its St Louis oldies FM, KLOU, which I had joined the previous November as evening jock. Frank was with the station through the following March, but unfortunately as many PDs at the station found, dealing with the CBS corporate structure - as well as "10 ton gorilla" sister station KMOX - made the job a lot less pleasant, and lessened his influence on things.

Mike McCann (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, February 5, 2000, 10:15:32AM

I grew up with Joe Barbarette living next door. I lost contact with him in the years that follow. How can I trace him down to check in on him and what he is doing now? Any help you can give I thank you for.

Dave Herens
74 Evelyn Road
Bristol, Ct. 06010 (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, February 4, 2000, 7:22:44AM

Hello From Connecticut!

I am 16 years old and visited your website wdrcobg.com and would like to compliment you on the excellent work you’ve done one the site! How can I get some OLD WDRC RADIO bumper stickers and other stuff? [Visitors: can anybody help Paul?]

Paul Walker (e-mail)

P.S. WDRC FM is my favorite station!!

 

 

Thursday, February 3, 2000, 12:46:24AM

Dear Ed,

We worked together very briefly on election night 1974 in New Hampshire at WKNE. I was a college kid from Connecticut. Now here I am working at WDRC, the heritage station both you and I grew up with...and still recall with such great admiration. Thanks for keeping the memories alive! Your website is a great tribute.

You list me as the current afternoon drive host on BIG D 103. While I have done some afternoon fill-ins, the evening slot from 7pm to midnight remains my regular shift. Doug Taylor is the 3-7pm host Monday-Friday.

Now, of course, I'm at WDRC-AM/FM Hartford, CT, where I began parttime in September 1993 and handled swing shifts for the first couple of years. I did morning news on AM & FM the first four months of 1995, worked as Jerry Kristafer's morning sidekick 1/96-7/96, was FM music director 1/96 thru 8/99, and have been the regular weeknight guy since 7/96. It's been quite a ride!

Regards,

Glenn O'Brien (e-mail)

 

 

Monday, January 24, 2000, 7:38:24PM

Frank Holler was an old friend of mine. I was working on air and as MD at WKRQ, Cincy, and Frank was on WLW. We used to chat on the phone during our shifts, as we were opposite each other. A lot of times he had plenty of free time because 'LW would broadcast the Reds games during his shift. He was friends with some of the KRQ staff, like Chip Hobart and Bill Todd, and of course when Bill Todd became PD at WDAI, he brought Frank along to join the staff as "Jason Paige."

But, looking at the listing for Frank on wdrcobg.com, as far as I know, Frank was never on WIOQ in Philadelphia. He was on WYSP, as was Chip Hobart a bit later. And Frank may have also previously been on the Quad Father in New York, WQIV. I'll have to check my QIV airchecks to be 100% certain, but I'm 99% sure.

I enjoyed reading Frank's profile. I didn't really know a lot about what he had done prior to WLW, although I did know that he was one of the first grads of the CT School of Broadcasting. I think his picture is still near or at the top on their brochures.

I did not know that Frank has been gone from DRC for a few years now. I'm surprised that where he is now is not known [see reply from Mike McCann], if he indeed did go to another station or industry-related company. But having known Frank, anything's possible.

Barry King (e-mail)

 

 

Monday, January 24, 2000, 5:27:20PM

Way cool...great job!

Best, Alan a/k/a Al "Late-Nite" Lawrence (e-mail)

 

 

Monday, January 24, 2000, 5:05:32AM

Ed:

Wow! You have given The Big D new life! There are scores of us who owe you big time!...so...in the finest New England tradition....if you ever should need someone's legs or arms broken just call...um..call Harrington first! Thank you so very much.

Now for the corrections.... Prior to WAAB...I worked at my hometown station WVAM , Altoona, Penna. (Altoona's version of Bill Hart) After WDRC I worked briefly at KBYR and KENI in Anchorage, Alaska. Flew single engine airplanes on wheels, skiis and floats doing a bush pilot thing....(Granny Goose at WFEA turned me onto to flying in the late sixties). I worked construction on the transAlaska pipeline. Became a general contractor and found myself on the other end of the microphone cable ... erecting broadcast and telecommuncation towers throughout Alaska for the past twenty or so years. I am happy to say I am no longer a mercenary in the war against gravity.

Now....for the moment just a small town Alaskan business guy....I am building a production studio and for therapy I am restoring my two black ragtops, a 1944 jeep and a 1963 Sting Ray, got any parts?

Ed, thanks for remembering the American Pie special. Please give credit to Co-writer and co-host John Carter. John, then a singer guitar player , had a regular solo gig singing fifties rock at The Rockin Horse Saloon. The American Pie production would have never made it on the air had it not been for the Gentle Genius of Audio Production...Danny Siemasko. I know he left WDRC to go to Pittsburgh to join Bob DeCarlo at KQV. Danny S. and Dave Overson along with the other engineers who worked the production studio at Big D were fantastic...they made the local spots sound like national productions making it easier for the audience to hang in there during the commercial sets.

As soon as I figure out how to align the tape heads on my Otari 5050 I will send off a wonderful high energy Joe HighGear Hager aircheck. I was so lucky to have worked and hungout with Joe.... He was so much fun.. I remain in awe of all the guys that I was fortunate enough to have worked with at Big D....yes, even that young hot-shit (fresh out of high school ) Bill Hart. Bill, you were without a doubt ......cool!

Charlie Parker knew how to assemble and create a winning team. He helped each of us to dig deep within and find our dreams. Then he allowed us to live those dreams on WDRC in Hartford. Thank you Charlie and thanks again, Ed!

Your frosty friend in the far North....Rod "Allen" Ewing (e-mail)

ps I would have never got through the audition if "The Prince" had not met me for lunch prior to my appointment with Charlie....and bought me those relaxing beers. If Charlie was the Captain then Dick McDonough had to have been the Big D Chaplain.....

 

 

Friday, January 21, 2000, 1:19:12PM

ED,

I am compelled to write. A very intense site! I have to hit the hay but trust me this will be required reading for several nights. I had the chance to audition for Charlie Parker in the late 70's at age 19. Never cut it but it was a great experience. Thanks for all the prep and first class presentation!

Regards, Jay Fink WRIP Windham, NY (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, January 20, 2000, 8:30:04PM

The 'DRC site looks great! When I got your email last week, I checked it out and spent quite awhile reliving my adolescence - then my computer crashed (unrelated to the site) so I haven't been able to respond since then. You've done a nice job, Ed. As a fan of the station, thanks. As a former employee of the station let me make one little, nit-picky correction: the stations I left and returned to were in NORTH Carolina, not South as you have listed. A lot of people get the two mixed up. Also, if you wanted to add that I returned to program a new talk format and became a talk host for six years, in addition to becoming GM, that would be just as accurate as what you have. (I know I was only a blip in the 'DRC history, but it's where I grew up!)

Again, Ed, good job and thanks for the memories.

Bruce Naegelen (e-mail)

 

 

Wednesday, January 19, 2000, 8:44:08PM

Ed....good to hear from you....i remember meeting you at wgir many years ago back when radio was still fun!!! that's why I always wanted to work at DRC...thanks to charlie parker it always sounded like a fun place (it still was when i was there)......I was actually the last person to get hired by charlie before he had a heart attack(I actually set him a card while he was in the hospital saying that I hoped I didn't sound so bad on the air that it caused his heart attack.....I was actually there from march 1983 til february 1986.....they wanted to move me back to am but I told them no because that would have messed up my weekend hours in new york at wyny....actually they just wanted to make room for frank holler on fm.......when I was younger I just figured i'd eventually get a full time job in new york, but it never happened ...but I did get to do 13 years of weekends at YNY through 3 different formats......if I had it to do all over again I think I'd rather just do one job and have some days off.....now i'm working for AMFM in hartford....WWYZ moved to hartford 2 and a half years ago......I don't know how, but I've managed to keep afternoon drive for 12 years through 5 ownership changes...by the way wyny is where i learned the country format...then WWYZ changed and I didn't get canned because I already knew the format.......by the way I really enjoyed the drc tribute website.......

Floyd Wright (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, January 18, 2000, 7:23:50PM

Ed,

Great Work. I'm honored to be in such company. I was there for such a brief moment in time. WDRC was really a very special radio experience and you brought back a lot of memories. It is also nice to know what Gary De Graide, Rod Allen, Jim Harrington, Bill Neil, John Rode and Chuck Crouse are doing, just to mention a few I remember. Joe Hager was always a favorite, too. Sad to hear he's gone. Thanks for linking my website and e-mail. Maybe I'll hear from some of the other alumni. My memory of that period of my life is pretty cloudy, thankfully. For example, I had no idea what actual dates I worked at WDRC. I think I still have my WDRC promo picture with the "Mic" somewhere.

Charlie Parker was one of a kind. A rare PD who really appreciated talent and helped develop the best. Despite having to deal with crazy management and flipped out talent (including me) he never lost sight of his vision of a what a great radio station should sound like. It was his work of art. Charlie actually tried to bring me back in '74 and arranged a meeting with Korsen. I was really flattered but knew that Dick Korsen and I would never agree on much. In this day of "monkey hear - monkey do" programming by committee it's a pleasure to reflect on what radio might have been if more true originals like Charlie Parker were running the show.

Today, I am still doing voice work and radio syndication work from my studio in Nashville. I moved here from CT two years ago. With our two little boys at home (10 and 3) it is great to have time for life with them. In the past year I've guest hosted for 3 weeks each on the Talk station, WWTN and the Big Band station, WAMB. Radio is nice to do once in a while but without guys like Charlie Parker to work with...well, let's just say live radio ain't as much fun as it used to be.

Last year I was the host of SFX's country monthly "Superstars of The Decade." This year the show is called "Sessions." I'm also heard on TV Land doing what are called VOC's. (Voice Over Credits) I share those duties with Bill St. James (Bill Hart) and Dan Ingram. I also do the occasional network promo. Last month I was on the ABC College Bowl promos for Ford. I also still do character voices for animation and was the voice of "Bill Clinton" in the film "Beavis and Butt-head do America."

Thanks for thinking of me.

Dale Reeves (e-mail)

P.S. As far as your bio info goes - how did you keep track of all of us? You must have friends in the CIA.

 

 

Tuesday, January 18, 2000, 5:37:04PM

Hi - my colleague and golf buddy wcbs 88 pm drive anchor wayne cabot just send me word of this site - and I have goosebumps at looking at all the great old pictures and bios. Fan-tastic. Quick note to update my bio - I now am the wall street and business reporter on wcbs newsradio 88 - BUT IM STILL IN CT - they built me my own studio and I telecommute to news 88 from an office with isdn lines and stock tickers in essex. I left Big D to go to DC to be press secretary for senator dodd - then got back in to radio at wtop, ap radio - rko radio network etc - off to vermont - then back to ct and nyc--- Great job on this site. Thank you, Ed.

Joe Connolly (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, January 18, 2000, 8:17:56AM

Hello Ed, Congratulations on the awesome WDRC site... I'm proud to have been included.

BTW: Where did you get that cheesy picture of Paul Ciliano? Ya know, he still kind of looks like that.

Tom Kelly - WBIG/The Oldies Station (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, January 16, 2000, 4:42:42PM

Ed...

Joe Cipriano (who worked with me in LA at KKHR) tipped me off to your fabulous labor of love. I just sent a note to Bill Neil (who worked with me in Miami) to let him in on the site.

As a native of West Hartford, I grew up with Big D ... worked at Big D and emulated Big D when I got my chance to program. I'd always ask "how would Charlie have handled this?" Thanks for the great memories ...

Ed (Mitchell) Scarborough (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, January 16, 2000, 1:52:28PM

I'm Mike McCann, who during my 4-month run at WDRC-AM went by Mike McKenzie - Charlie Parker thought it best if I went by a different name than the one I used on KC101, where I'd come from.

I left BIG D for New York's WYNY, where I spent a total of 8 years - after that, I joined CBS Radio St. Louis to launch the oldies format on KLOU. Later I returned to the East Coast at WKHL Kool 96.7 Stamford and now work as as a producer for syndicator MJI Broadcasting and fill-in frequently at WCBS-FM New York).

You've done a great job on the site. It's amazing to realize what a wonderful "finishing school" WDRC was -- so much top talent passed through its doors, both in the downtown studio, and later on, on Blue Hills Ave in Bloomfield. Move around in the business, as we all have, and you realize how highly regarded the station has been and continues to be as an oldies outlet.

And after taking part in this summer's KC101 20th anniversary reunion, maybe all of us BIG D alumni can get together in one place for one very special time.

Regards,

Mike McCann (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, January 15, 2000, 7:51:42PM

Just found your site... WOW! I can't imagine the amount of work you put into it. It brought back a lot of memories. In fact, my best friend in the whole world is Ed Mitchell (now Scarborough)... who hired and fired me from WMXJ, Miami. (He pushed for the hire... couldn't prevent the fire... it's a long story!) Ed left my house a matter of hours ago after we painfully watched the Dolphins self-destruct in Jacksonville!

Since WMXJ, I've been working part time at WFLC (South Florida's Coast). As it turns out, I'm now doing mornings while they conduct a national search.

By the way, Bob Craig and I did switch midday spots... but... I was filling in for Bob while he was vacationing at the Cape. Charlie asked my availability. Dick Korsen had decided to send the union members a message, by eliminating Bob, who was shop steward. He then went across the street. As a result of the incident, no one wanted to be shop steward, especially during contract talks... so we held a blind draw, each of us serving three months at a time. It was my misfortune to draw the quarter that contained a wage re-opener. I was obligated to inform the rank and file of their option. The next day, I was fired... and Ed Mitchell took over my slot! I should have known about him back then!

I'm flattered to be included considering the relatively short period of time I spent at DRC. That place... more specifically Charlie... made my career. I can't tell you how long I tried to get in there, knowing it was the launch pad to a major market for so many people. It (and Charlie) deserve a special place in broadcast history... and in a sense, have it, thanks to your obviously tireless effort.

Bill Neil (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, January 15, 2000, 10:22:20AM

Ed,

Kudos to you for this incredible web site.

As a native of West Hartford, "The Big D" was that one elusive station that I always wanted to work for (along with CKLW). When Bill Hart and I were kids, we worked together at Radio Shack in West Hartford Center in 1967-68. When he told me that he was going to be on the air at "The Big D." I didn't believe him. The day I heard him, I was green with envy.

By the way, let me be the first to spill a dirty little secret....it was T erry Woods who cracked the fiberglass fender on The Big D dunebuggy.

I've been in touch with a lot of the late 60's early 70's group. I speak with Terry (Chuck Martin), Bill Hart (now St. James), Joey Reynolds (you should print the story of his shoes nailed to the program director's door in Buffalo with a note that says "fill these"). I spoke with Joe Hager about a year before he died. Even spent an afternoon finding out what its like to be Dick Robinson, on his boat in Martha's Vineyard last year.

Before I sign off, I'd like to mention the obvious. It was Charlie Parker that made that station magic. In retrospect, WDRC was a one man magic show. There was a special vibe, a sound, an aura that no other station could ever duplicate. Just look at where so many guys went from there...... New York, LA, Philly. Even if there was someone today that had the ability (and patience) to build the kind of personality base that WDRC had, the current radio business climate would not wait for the "cake to bake."

Carry on.

Russ Oasis (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, January 14, 2000, 11:05:06PM

I replaced Otis in the Nighttime when he wanted to get fired and move to Texas. I was there doing the overnights on AM&FM as Rabbett during the end of 77 and most of 78. I landed out here 1/15/79.

You gotta include a section on Charlie Parker the Program Director and his bit with the Jack Benny statue in his office. If Charlie was at odds with management jack would be facing the wall when you went in the office. If everything was ok you saw Jack facing in the room.

I worked when Barry Grant - you're old friend Barr was pd...then he got fired.

Country Paul Peyton was the 7- midnight guy and used so much handcream I told Barry to have him swab the board and the big Gates Stereo Statesman Board Pots before I took over... Me and Mike Taylor - the morning guy dubbed him as "Greasy Paul." He even slimed all the records and I think for a while was required to wear gloves when he handled them otherwise his globby finger prints were all over them - the damn needles would get stuck and the records sometimes stopped. It was that bad.

From midnight to five I rocked harder than anyone on the planet then from 5-5:30 I had to lighten up in preparation for the am/fm separation and when Brad Davis came in. I light-rocked the FM til six and Mike Taylor took over. He sometimes had 20 spots an hour - hardly played any music. was a trippy place but it was a cool job I was heard from Nova Scotia to Florida and got calls from all over...was good fun..

Aloha - Rabbett (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, January 14, 2000, 6:46:02PM

Hi Ed...

What a surprise! You've done a terrific job with this site. How did you do it? The pictures...the bios...if it was a book, I'd buy it. WDRC was a great station. It will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. Charlie Parker was more than a boss...he was a mentor and a true friend. And all the other great people who I had the distinct honor to meet and work with....Dick M., Jim, Gary, Bob, Bill, Dick H., Walt, Don, Joanie, Phil, Brian, Dick R., Karen, Lois, Steve, Joe, Kent...and the list could go on and on. I'm a lucky guy to have worked at that station. I've worked at bigger...but none better. Thanks Ed. All The Best To You and Yours.

Jim Harrington (e-mail)

P.S. Oh, and by the way, I'll never forget meeting the dashing young M & M Man From Mars...all those years ago.
P.P.S. And where did you find the old DRC mic? It looks like the one in the promotional pictures.

 

 

Friday, January 14, 2000, 12:25:26PM

Hi,Ed...

Wow! The website is great. I Can't wait to spend more time on it. I don't look like that anymore..(Except the hair, the glasses, and the sideburns) Recently came across an unscoped 7/4/71 aircheck and mustered the courage to listen...MY LORD! At the time, I thought I sounded pretty cool. Played it when I spoke to communications students at NYU, to give them hope. I'll be going through all my old tapes this winter, I'll see if there are any treasures in there you might want.

Thanks again for a great job! I Loved working at Big D.

Best,

Bill (Hart) St. James (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2000, 5:09:42PM

Awesome, dude! Tnx for notifying me of the site's existance. It's a trip down Memory Freeway. If no one has gotten around to dubbing you the King of Radio Station Research, I will.

Two tiny quibbles about your listing for me: my ego asks that you list WCBS(AM) just before WEEI. And I acquired WLMI in December 1992. (The WLMI people did a double-take at the photo of Walt & Lon & me. )

A reflection: while WDRC was one of the best-sounding radio stations I've ever heard, the accumulated data makes it clear that it was a highly unstable place, with staffing constantly in flux. (I know: welcome to Top 40 Radio...) I guess the credit flows largely to Charlie Parker, for establishing and maintaining an upbeat off-air corporate culture that made everyone feel that they were working for a class act. Someone should find a way of preserving the essence of Charlie's memos. Some PD's would communicate with the troops in a couple of sentences. Charlie would use an entire page of single-spaced text, outlining philosophy and sharing his thoughts. He was a walking argument for an off-air PD: he had to create his vision by working indirectly through all of these constantly-changing, quirky, sometimes rebellious individuals. He couldn't just do his airshift and tell everybody to follow his lead.

Again, thanks: you've managed to follow your bliss, and along the way give a lot of people a shiver of nostalgia.

Chuck Crouse (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2000, 12:32:26PM

Ed,

Wow! That thing is a trip down memory lane. Thanks for sending me the E-Mail to let me know about it.

When I get a second, there's some stuff I'll be able to update for ya on the personalities section. And where did you get that cheesy picture of me?

Paul Ciliano (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2000, 11:09:06AM

Dear Ed:

Thanks for the OBG website. Great Fun! Life is Good!

Ron Landry

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2000, 6:25:20AM

Hi Ed,

I was at DRC From Sept 1990 until Sept 1992 working various slots and fill-ins (vacations) and holding the Saturday Morning and Sunday Afternoon Slots from 12N-6P. Before DRC I worked For: WIOF (Magic 104) WCCC (During the Stern Years) WWCO Waterbury (Music Director).

AFTER DRC: WWYZ (fill ins 1998-1999) WAXB (Danbury/Patterson OLDIES B-105) As a Part Timer. Full Time : I work for the US Postal Service as a letter carrier in West Hartford where I reside with my wife Luci and 2 sons Daniel and Gianni. I have also attached a photofile...I will look at the site a little more.

Good Luck,

Johnny Gardner (e-mail)

PS: Steve Skipp is spelled with 2 "p's"...he is the Program Director of WAXB.

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2000, 6:17:04AM

I can't believe the work that you've done on the site..It's wonderful..you should be very proud. I'm honored to be part of it......You must have quite a private eye helping you find facts...

Ed, Thanks for mentioning the jingles Susan and I did for Charlie......That time of my life was filled with turmoil......Thank God that NOW all is well with my soul.

The only thing that may be part of the GDG story is that before going to WRKO...I did 7....Midnight for about a year and half....( I THINK)......However don't feel like you have to change anything...THE SITE IS GREAT>>> God Bless ED...Your broadcast brother...

Gary De Graide (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2000, 12:19:10AM

WOW!! What an incredibly DEEP site...the amount of information is mind boggling. I learned things about myself...even I didn't know!! Congratulations on what is obviously a labor of love...I am honored to be included among the alumni. Thank you.

Joe Cipriano (e-mail)

 

 

Wednesday, January 12, 2000, 10:40:18PM

Thanks for the info. Some air checks would be great. Wish I had some to send you. Did you just start the site? I have one of the old survey's. Let me know when you get some more goodies on there.

Joel Cash (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, January 9, 2000, 7:23:54PM

A FOOTNOTE (OR TWO) ABOUT TOM FORD. I WAS PRIMARILY THE MAIN BOOTH ANNOUNCER AT CHANNEL 30 FROM '70 TO '89. VOICED OVER TEN THOUSAND COMMERCIALS IN THE TRI-STATE MARKET. FROM '80 TO '92 CONCENTRATED HEAVILY ON FREELANCE DOING REGIONAL/NATIONAL SPOTS. WHILE AT "30" DID THE TODAY SHOW MORNING NEWS CUT-INS FROM '72 TO '82...ABOUT 5,000 'CASTS. NOW JUST FILL-IN FOR NEWS/MUSIC ON 'DRC AM....AND AM LOVIN' IT!!!!! INCIDENTALLY...I GOT STARTED IN ARMED FORCES RADIO AT FORT HUACHUCA, ARIZONA IN THE EARLY '60'S DOING TAPED ARMY-PROMO SHOWS AIRING ON 80 STATIONS IN THE GREAT SOUTHWEST.

REGARDS,

TOM FORD (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, January 9, 2000, 5:56:10PM

George Goldring at WKDR in Burlington, Vt. advised me of your WDRC Web-Site. It's the best I've seen. Having spent ten years at the Big D, I'm probably in the top 5 announcers in the HISTORY for a stay that long. Dick Korsen told me that was a big feather in my hat. I have a better picture for the web-site and other information that would apply to my success for "Buckley Broadcasting." Good ole Rick. When Rick Buckley came into town, he'd call Korsen to pick him up at Bradley International Airport. one time Dick Korsen went to the airport looking for Buckley for a couple of hours. Meantime, Buckley had already arrived at the station. He was driving an old Mustang, with body rot up to the windows. Myself, Wane Mulligan, and Tom the engineer were in the parking lot with wayne putting new battery cables on Buckley's car. In pulled Dick Korsen driving the Big D Limo. That turned out to be quite an experience. I miss all the good days at the Big D, and would return. I also am very impressed with the Web-Site. In the Site business, it's hard to find a good corporate Web Site Programmer. This is becoming the most thorough Web Site I ever came across. Good luck in finishing.

Regards,

Ken Gilbert. RADIO VERMONT GROUP (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, January 8, 2000, 7:40:52AM

Nice job on your website. as someone who has worked at wdrc for 16 years it is fun perusing.

Ron Pell (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, January 7, 2000, 12:13:02AM

Hello there, Just wanted to drop a line saying how impressed I am with the wdrcobg.com web site. Great job! I'm presently in my 13th year at Westwood One's Oldies Channel, formerly Transtar and Unistar Radio Networks. I am also currently doing the voice work on Big D 103; promos, stager's, etc. Thanks for the mention on your site.

Best regards,

Brad Pierce (e-mail)

 

 

Monday, January 3, 2000, 10:56:54PM

Ed,

I've been meaning to say hello for the longest time. You have a super site. A couple of your old buddies and I were talking about the site the other day.

Just to catch up for the last four years I've been the promotional voice for NBC News. Today I am the voice of NBC Weekend Nightly News, Meet the Press promos plus various other programs on MS-NBC and CNBC. I am also the announcer on Weekend Magazine with Stone Phillips on MS-NBC. I am also the voice of News 12 New Jersey and for the last 10 years have voiced a daily comedy bit for (what is now) Winstar radio services. A while back I worked for Dick Clark and hosted Motor City Beat, a Motown oldies show. By the way Dick Robinson used to refer to me as "Radio Shack Bill", a take off on my Radio City Bill Days at WNBC. Today I am the voice of the NBC Radio Shack Network heard in every Radio Shack store in America.

Mel Phillips and I have dinner fairly often. I'll mention that I e-mailed you. I believe he told me that you did a super job on the WRKO reunion. By the way I also have an aircheck of the WDRC 35th reunion when Walt Pinto (Kent Clark) and I did the final two hours.

Let me know how you're doing. Keep up the good work.

Bill Rock (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, December 24, 1999, 3:47:46PM

As Magoo would say "You've done it again"!

Fantastic job Ed. I spent 10 wonderful fun-filled years at the Big D and I learned more from your Web than I did when I was there.

Steve Parker, Charlie's son put me on to this site. I can't believe the amount of work you put into this project.

It was good seeing some familiar faces and old stories. Thanks for the plug on the 16 years of Rock piece. I still have to send you that Bi-Centennial Production we put together called 776. I also have some of the concert adds still around. If you want I can dubbed them off to you. All of them have Charlie's voice on them. They consist of concerts for The Four Seasons, Linda Ronstadt and a few more.

I was listening to one of my old Out take tapes this morning when I had an out take of you as the MM Mars guy. This little dog almost chewed up your leg. It was hysterical.

Again, you did a great job.

Dave Overson (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, December 21, 1999, 1:22:28PM

Hi Ed,

That's incredible what you have done with the DRC history - and ALL THOSE PEOPLE! Thanks very much for including me in the roster of BigD Alumni. I'll have to send you some images and stuff I have from my time. I have shots of Korsen, Dick Robinson, Walt Dibble, Kent Clark, Dick McDonough and several others - even a couple of the receptionists - like the FABULOUS Shirley!

Again - GREAT job - very impressive and a wonderful contribution to the business and people of that time.

Best Regards,

Lance Drake (e-mail)

 

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