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Monday, December 12, 2005, 9:17AM

Hi Ed,

Well yet another "oldie" bites the dust at the infamous DRC, I emailed Beth this AM, as one could not help notice the absence of Jack C, As usual heard the usual Jack and "management parted ways" Tommy Z, Mike Stevens, now Jack,,, Sure hope Larry has his resume ready.. I really don't care for this new format Mr. Nagel seems so anxious to create, I grew up with DRC, it was a great station, it was all about "oldies",, Today,,pfffttttt,, Happy to say WDUV Tampa is on my pc 24-7 these days.. A wonderful holiday season to you!

Rachelle Woike (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, December 6, 2005, 12:34PM

Hi Ed:

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Radio World blurb regarding the Buckley HD rollout on the wdrcobg.com website.

For those not aware, Buckley's WOR in New York City was the first high power AM station in the United States to adopt and transmit an HD Radio signal continuously, having signed on with it October 11, 2002. Much of the AM HD improvements over the past couple of years are in part due to WOR's and Buckley's commitment to this technology, as we have also served as a test bed for the HD technology.

As you read this, WDRC-FM is installing, and may be on the air with, an HD signal.

I'm extremely proud to be part of broadcasting history with this pioneering effort. Not bad for a kid who grew up around the corner from the WDRC Bloomfield transmitter.

Should you have any questions regarding HD Radio, or if you would like to hear samples of AM HD on WOR, please feel free to contact me.

Thomas R. Ray, III, CPBE
KC2NTU
Vice President Corporate Director of Engineering
Buckley Broadcasting/WOR Radio (e-mail)

 

 

Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 3:56PM

Hi, Ed:

I'm a longtime DRC fan and have visited and enjoyed your site frequently over the years. I'm surprised you haven't updated your history with DRC-FM's latest incarnation -- a kind of '60s through '80s "Jack" format, but with DJs. They call it "Big Hits," but I've heard songs that not only weren't hits, they weren't even singles: Donovan's "Season of the Witch," Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck's "People Get Ready" and the Beatles' "I've Just Seen a Face," to name a few. At first, I thought the introduction of '80s music to the playlist would mean the elimination of the '60s, but that doesn't seem to be the case. They're still playing Beatles, Jay and the Americans, Wildweeds, Beach Boys, etc., although the '60s Four Seasons songs seem to have disappeared.

Judging from comments I've seen browsing radio-info.com, I must be the only person out there who likes this new format. Everybody else seems to think that segues like the Rascals' "A Girl Like You" into the Village People's "YMCA" (which I just heard) are an abomination. Johnny Rivers into Roxette was another odd transition mentioned on the discussion board.

Anyway, I figure you have your reasons for not recognizing this really drastic change -- "Building Connecticut biggest playlist," is how it's being billed -- as something major, but it's a real eye-opener for me. Right now, they're playing "Time Won't Let Me" and I half-expect to hear something by Cyndi Lauper when it ends!

Howard Glazer, Meriden (e-mail)

Ed's response: The format change was noted on this web site in September 2004 when it happened; click here or here.

 

 

Monday, November 14, 2005, 4:01PM

I was an avid WDRC listener in the 60's. I remember a song called Barracuda by Big Pete that was played in 1961 or 1962. It reached no. 27 on the Big D swinging 60 survey. I think it was one of the greatest trumpet solos I have ever heard. Since then I have been searching for the record. I can't find it anywhere. Can anybody help?

Pete Froeliger (e-mail)

Ed's response: Can Anybody help?

 

 

Monday, October 31, 2005, 4:27PM

Dear Ed,

Thank you for sharing information on Stephen Capen. Stephen has been a friend of mine since early childhood; we both began life in a quaint town by the name of Rockland, Massachusetts. We have been friends forever and even though our lives took very different paths we would occasionally come together and reacquaint ourselves: most recently, online. You were so right about his humor and spirit when discussing the disease that was ravishing his body, but not only did his humor and spirit stand out, but his courage and eternal wisdom were apparent. I aspire to handle the end of my life with as much grace and poise.

My heart is very empty and I am left with one question: why does a person with so many talents, who was so good and special, have to leave so soon? I know he had not finished offering his view on the events of the day, or sharing new and exciting people with his audience...or spinning music that he so dearly loved. I consider myself very fortunate because he has left me with a rich library of stories, articles, and many e-mails over the months of our correspondence and for that I am eternally grateful.

Pamela "Greene" Uberti (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, September 13, 2005, 4:18PM

Hi Ed,

It's former DRC jock Mike McKenzie (McCann)... A quick update: after being let go when WCBS-FM changed from oldies to the DJ-less Jack format last June (along with fellow DRC alumnus Bill Rock), I'm joining WFAN as a fill-in anchor for sports updates. I'll make my debut on "The Fan" on Sunday afternoon September 18th.

My compliments on the terrific job you've done on the site.

Regards,

Mike McKenzie (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, August 21, 2005, 2:45PM

Hi Ed,

My name is John Diskes, I'm on the list of engineers who worked for WDRC. I was a control room operator and worked with Don Wade and Sandy Beach, Oct.'66 to April '68. Those were some of the best times of my broadcast career. I moved back to Cleveland, Ohio and worked in TV from 1968 to 2004. I am now retired, and living in the Charleston, SC area.

John Diskes (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, August 19, 2005, 12:18PM

Dear Ed,

Needed a fix of "real radio" during the course of the day after dealing with sales people & managers who don't even know what that term means…and no better haven than your website. Love the memories that it brings back. The next best thing to the site is my 1962 Seeburg jukebox full of 45's that I first heard on Big D. I can even punch in a couple of 45's on the old "MusicTown" label. "N-2" on my Seeburg is "All Of My Life" by Detroit Soul and "A-3" is "Stop Your Cryin" by The Shandells. (wonder if anyone remembers that New Britain band!)…I'll play "When She Smiles" from The Wildweeds just as often. And just about anything else that was part of the "Swingin 60 Survey" back in DRC's heyday. Every so often I visit the Hartford area and tune to 102.9 when I do. Even that's not quite the same these days, but it's as close as you're gonna get. Here's to Phats & Rocky, Ken Griffin (who I worked with for awhile at 'RCQ) Barry Grant and the rest of those guys that made "real radio" every day!

Ed Kelly (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, August 7, 2005, 10:57PM

In response to Bob Lords comment: "Funny how they all revere Mr. Parker and yet he canned so many of them."

Charlie may have been in the room when most of us were canned, but his heart wasn't in it. While Charlie had complete creative control at BIG D, he often had little control over who was to be employed.

A few days after I was let go, Dick Korsen was incensed to find that after having giving me severance (due me by the AFTRA Union Contract) that I was picked up by WTIC. He actually called me and told me that he wanted the money back!

How's that for "insight as to what it was like to work there"? (or in may case no longer work there...)

Tom Kelly (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, July 23, 2005, 8:05PM

Hey Ed,

Just "killed" another 3 hours on the site...love the history of this station...lots of cool pics and stories... Kudos!

Got a question.... What was the name of the instrumental used after "Stairway To Heaven" when AM/FM Used to simulcast??? I heard Rich Kaeser play it into a break during Brad's show and called him... but he did not know for sure.

Things are good here by the way...Radio14fun.com is still going strong after 2 years on the web with a ton of equipment upgrades and more bandwith. I have picked up some listeners in NYC and Chicago area after the demise of CBS-FM and WJMK's oldies format. It is really cool having listeners around the USA and the world. My 8 year old still has the radio "bug" and does his own thing and runs his own gear on the station.

Well hope to hear from you again with the answer to this burning question....and keep up the awesome work!

Johnny Gardner (e-mail)

Ed's reply: Johnny did a little digging and determined the tune is Apricot Brandy by Rhinoceros.

 

 

Saturday, July 9, 2005, 7:16PM

Ed:

Great job talkin' to Steve Kane. I think you got more insight from him on what it was like to work there than from anyone else. Funny how they all revere Mr Parker and yet he canned so many of them. Steve and Bradley Field had deliveries that I call "humorous"--no matter what they said, it came out funny and entertaining without neccesarily being a joke. Sure beats " Good times, Great Oldies, KOOL 105, now here's 3 more in a row".

Bob Lord (e-mail)

Ed's reply: Many of the WDRC airchecks throughout this site are from Bob Lord's collection. Much of the credit for the site goes to him.

 

 

Monday, June 27, 2005, 12:13AM

Ed,

Visited the DRC website for the first time in a couple of years....wow, you have been busy. It looks great. The best part, for us former DRC air personalities is....we never age in those pictures.

I wanted to let you and your many Connecticut web visitors know that there is a new book out... about five really remarkable men from their state. The book is: The Bomber Boys (True Stories of B-17 Airmen) . It was just released this week and is available at this website. It will soon be available at all the major book websites (Amazon, B&N and Wal-Mart).

Each of the five stories in the book centers around the lives of five men (from Branford, Cheshire, North Branford and Old Saybook) and their experiences as airmen aboard five different Flying Fortress bombers during WW2.

It was written by Travis L. Ayres, which is my legal name. I still do a radio show (as you indicate on your website) for Country Station KQSM-FM in the Northwest Arkansas (Fayetteville, Bentonville) market.

Keep up the good work on the DRC site. I know you're making a lot of people smile when they remember listening to the station or working there.

Warmest regards,

Marc Sommers (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 12:37PM

Hi Ed,

Just to keep your site updated: Pat Sheehan is back on Cable TV here in the Connecticut area. He hosts a show on the Comcast owned station CTN. I haven't seen it, so I don't know what it is about, but I saw a short promo for it on the local cable channels.

Former 'DRC engineer/producer,
"Duke" Landry (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, May 20, 2005, 4:19PM

Ed,

Yes indeed. It all happened so fast I found myself absorbed in your Web site learning things I never knew about my colleagues. I'm really glad you gave Charlie his due. One of a kind, that man. He was a friend, a father, and a mentor all rolled into one -- and of course he'd find that very amusing. A number of people have reconnected with me via your site.

I spent a really good amount of time studying WDRCOBG and the WPOP site one day recently. There were dozens of people I knew, knew of, or crossed paths with and your info gave me a tremendous background to all of them (where IS Kris Kane these days? I never even knew he worked at Big D). Ha! I had a friendly/contentious relationship with Bertha Porter when I was there, but never knew these stunning facts about her longevity at DRC and the dedication that brought her there. I was in the process of moving toward a more counterculture perspective that subsequently took me to WHCN, WBCN, WGLD Chicago, WNCR Cleveland, and to program CJOM in Windsor, Ontario, where we were fired en masse for invoking the rebellious and sometimes obscene spirit of Lenny Bruce. Imagine, all that due to Dick Korsen firing me. I realize only now that I wasn't alone in my estimation of that crude character's treatment of others.

In any case, I'm back in Massachusetts. I suppose you might update my entry to show the Napa stations are a done deal for me. I'm very much in touch with the radio scene, even filed a daily commentary from the Democratic National Convention for KNX Los Angeles last summer. Walt Pinto and I have had conversations and he filled me in on the likes of McDonough, who was a very close friend, and Robert Walker.

And basically I'm circling the Radio Airport, wondering if I'll have a chance to do it again whether by pod or stream or ether, knowing I worked in the medium during a high water mark in its history and can't settle for less, Jack be damned.

I wish you well. Your sites are obviously the product of a tremendous effort, and you're to be congratulated for it.

Stay in touch. Cheers,

Stephen (Capen) Kane (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, March 22, 2005, 12:35PM

Hi Ed,

I finally found the WDRC picture. It was in a box of old radio stuff I have in the garage. Some folks are now following your lead and doing tribute sites for WAKY and WKLO in Louisville and they asked me if I had any old stuff from there. That is how I found this picture.

The latest for me is that after 3 and a half years I am no longer a Sirius Satellite radio jock. I still have my liner clients around the country and I am now the PD and afternoon drive host of Public Radio 1480 AM WKGC here in Panama City. It is a Modern Standards format on a facility owned by Gulf Coast Community college. My website is www.revomedia.com. Thanks again for all the memories.

Dale Reeves (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, March 3, 2005, 8:07PM

Hi Ed,

Little bit of an update. The new email address is dianephoenix@bellsouth.net. I am now teaching 4th grade in Hobe Sound, FL. We lost our condo roof in Hurricane Jeanne. Can't believe we got both the eyes of Francis and Jeanne coming over Stuart, FL. I guess lightning does strike twice. Bummer, but we didn't blow away! Thanks for keeping up the site. It looks great!

Diane Novak Phoenix (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, March 1, 2005, 12:12AM

When you worked with Pat Sheehan you always had to listen for his inside shots that he worked into his newscasts. In the summer of 1970 there was a lot of talk about the brownouts experienced by the Conn. Power and Light Co. while at the same time they were asking for quite a substantial rate increase. As Pat was doing a story on this on a real hot Hartford day he explained that while the power was being lowered the customers were being asked to pay a higher amount on their bills. That is how I would explain it , however, the way Pat put it was what the power company was saying to the rate payers in effect was " DOWN OURS AND UP YOURS.' True story.

Bob Molloy (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, February 27, 2005, 8:31PM

Ed,

I enjoyed seeing the pictures of 750 Main Street on your site. While I never worked there, I toured that facility on a Saturday in June of 73. Jim Scott was on the FM and the AM was doing a show origination. I believe it was Kevin in Master Control that day.

I was 11 and somewhere still have a picture of me sitting in that back production room. I remembered thinking, "Wow... this is where Dick McDonough voices all those great promos." Little did I know that 6 years later I would be sitting at the same board in Bloomfield going through one of Charlie Parker's infamous auditions. I got the job thanks to Dave Overson taking pity on me and stopping the tape more than a few times.

How time flies. Charlie would have been 80 this week. Somehow, it's not that hard to envision him reaching over to the volume knob on that old stereo and cranking up Drop It Like It's Hot, which he would be playing every 90 minutes.

By the way, the time of my employment at the Big D was June 2, 1979 to June 9, 1984. After 11 years with Cox Radio in Tampa, I transferred to Atlanta as PD of WSB-FM last Fall.

Best,

Paul "Roberts" Ciliano (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, February 13, 2005, 3:39PM

Hi Ed!

I enjoy browsing through this wonderful web site from time to time. You continue to do such a brilliant job!

I began my Connecticut broadcasting career in 1991 at WSNG AM 610 in Torrington. Then I worked for Susan St. James and Dick Ebersol as a parttime news anchor at WZBG 97.3 FM for about a year when they first got started in LItchfield, in 1993. Next it was back to WSNG as News Director and co-host of a daily talk show with Dan Lovallo (now News/Sports Director on The Brad Davis Show) in 1994. I was also hired by WTIC-AM 1080 as a parttime news anchor and stringer and managed to do both jobs for a while.

The rest is right -- hired as full-time News Director in 1997 for WDRC/AM-FM, and then became FM co-host and News Director in 1999 where I was partnered with my good buddy Mike Stevens. We are coming up on our 6th anniversary as "Mike and Beth in the Morning!" Time flies when you're having fun! Thanks for all you do for WDRC, Ed!

Best wishes,

Beth Bradley (e-mail)

 

 

Wednesday, February 2, 2005, 2:08PM

Ed:

Good job on Studioshots; the package makes for a nice presentation. You forgot to mention that from the control room looking ahead was the newsroom and next to it the newsbooth, where one day Bob Molloy forgot to play the Christophers and cost Walt Dibble 2 minutes of extra prep time. When he heard the news jingle he panicked and grabbed all of the copy in front of him along with his bagged lunch and headed for the booth microphone with a "what the hell just happened here?" look on his face. I apologized.

Bob Molloy (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, December 30, 2004, 2:57:00AM

Ed,

Any word on the whereabouts of Danny Siemasko. He was the audio production genius at the Big D in the early 70's and a great guy! Happy New Year!

Rod "Allen" Ewing (e-mail)

Ed's reply: Dan and his wife retired from the family video production business in Pittsburgh. Click to drop him an e-mail!

 

 

Wednesday, December 29, 2004, 6:51:00AM

Ed,

I have family there (Michael Berman/Lawyer) and I always wanted to work at the nations first FM. It was a dream come true as my best friend Russ Oasis always used to talk about WDRC.

To me it was alot like WFUN in Miami another classic station, after WDRC I went to New York to work for Celebrity Cruises as head DJ of the fleet for five years.

Thank you for adding me, the posting looks great. That is a wonderful website you built, what a tribute to WDRC! Happy New Year!

Alan "Michaels" Polasky (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, December 28, 2004, 7:20:00PM

Hi Ed!

Great to hear Christmas Through The Years again! My Dad (Charlie Parker) wrote that back when my sister and I were kids. A lot of the items were things that I actually asked for! John does such a great read on it, and naturally it really hits close to home for my family. Thanks for always remembering, and keeping his spirit alive.

Merry Christmas,

Steve Parker (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, October 23, 2004, 4:33:00PM

Hi Ed:

Have you heard of this novel? Takes place in my hometown of West Hartford Ct. And as the review indicates the hero listens to, collects, and rates Big D surveys!!! The book is enjoyable light reading, nothing earth-shattering and a little after my (and I suspect your) time.

Rick Hyman (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, October 14, 2004, 5:34:00PM

Ed

Long time no talk. I thought you might be interested in a couple of things.

As of Oct. 1st I am the imaging voice for WDRC. I'm on after every other song and on the promos id's etc. Its particularly exciting to me because DRC was my first job in top 40 radio and now nearly 4 decades later I'm the imaging voice.

By the way I'm still at NBC TV but in addition for the past two years I've been at Sirius Satellite radio. (yes the new home of Howard Stern) I do mornings MON-FRI 6-noon on "Prime Country" ch 32 and noon to 6pm on "60's Vibrations" (oldies) ch 6. On Saturday night I do a specialty show on "Elvis Radio" ch 13 called Sound track Saturday night (music from Elvis' movies). I'm also on WCBS-FM and still working for what used to be SFX and is now Excelsior radio doing a daily syndicated radio feature. Right now I'm doing ALL of the primetime commercial billboards for NBC for shows like Law and Order, Fear Factor, West Wing, Crossing Jordan, the Apprentice, American Dreams, Father of the Pride, etc...

Still love your DRC site.

Bill Rock (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, August 12, 2004, 3:59:10PM

Hello:

Mike Smith of the Dave Clark 5 fell at his home in Spain about 8 months ago. He may never walk again. He is in a London hospital were he has been since his fall almost a year ago. Please check Mike's website for all the details and ask your listeners to e-mail Mike Smith at theboltons@rpa.net He could use all the e-mails and cheering up ,please ask the WDRC listeners to help.

Yours Truly,

Frank Gawlik (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, July 8, 2004, 10:06:02PM

Would you be so kind as to update my e-mail link and, if possible, get me back on your mailing list? I would love to know what is going on with all the other radio folks.

I now live in the US Virgin Islands and my current contact with radio is limited to listening to it, especially during hurricane season! My favorite stations down here are WOSO (English language talk radio from San Juan) and ZBVI -- a local station out of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

Phyllis Parizek (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, June 5, 2004, 10:55:42PM

Ed,

I very much enjoyed the pictures (History - wdrcobg.com) of the (original) WDRC FM transmitter site being built in Meriden (circa 1936). As you know that building is now occupied by WHCN. As Chief Engineer of WHCN (20+ years) I have done a lot of work in (and on) that building. It is great to see what it (and the surrounding yard) looked like. The 90 ft mono pole remains intact, although there are no antenna on it. I recently had my tower guy paint the structure to further preserve it.

The building was added on to in 1981 when we (WHCN) acquired MCI Telecommunications as a tenant. MCI used the site as a backbone analog 6 Ghz microwave telephone relay station for a toll path from NJ to Boston. They vacated the site in 1991, at which time I relocated the transmitter facilities of WHCN in to the MCI space.

The building lives on!

Many thanks,

Rick Walsh (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, May 23, 2004, 5:24:16PM

Ed,

The BIG D website is the Cadillac of sites, just as BIG D was the Cadillac of radio stations. I miss WDRC so much. The last time I drove through Hartford I was saddened at how poor DRC FM sounded. How can a legend fall so low? Be well.

Russ Oasis (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, May 22, 2004, 11:07:58PM

Hi,

I was browsing and I came across your web page with all the DJ personalities. I used to work with Jim Scott (a.k.a. Jim Sweeters) a few years back at Bloomingdale's in Cheshire, CT. He was a Customer Service Representative there like I was. We got to talking and he mentioned how he used to be a DJ at a few radio stations, one of them being Magic 104 in Waterbury and his name was Jim Scott. Looking at the picture of him on the site, it's him, although 30 years younger. He's out of the radio business now, I assume. He is married and lives in a condominium in Watertown, CT. He has one son in his 20s.

I don't know if this is useful information or not.

Thank you, Alyssa (e-mail)

 

 

Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 1:54:34PM

Hi Ed:

Wonderful job on the WDRCOBG site. Although I spent a total of 6 years as Chief Engineer at WDRC AM/FM (1991-1993, 1996-1998), there was much I didn't know about the history of the station, which is something I have always been facinated with. Your website has filled in many gaps for me. My early years were spent in East Hartford in the 60's where my older brother would constantly have the transistor radio or old tube "hi-fi" tuned to 1360 AM. WDRC was the soundtrack to my pre-adolescence, perhaps contributing to my somewhat strange condition today. But seriously, the music and DJs of those years, and later the excitement of the Big-D Sound Survey and all of that had me playing radio in my garage after school for years. And even now as an adult, I'm still playing radio. Your history of WDRC is not only a history of a radio station, but of radio itself, from the early years of WPAJ's broadcasts from the Taft Hotel to W1XPW's clean FM, to the voices and jingles of the personalities that lit up the dial for so many listeners in the Northeast. As radio encounters the changes and growing pains incumbant with the new technologies it's absorbing and contesting, it's refreshing and reinvigorating to revisit the colorful years of a station with such an exciting past and energetic present. You website is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in broadcasting. Thank you!

Charles Dubé, CBRE, CBNT (e-mail)
Chief Engineer, WFCR Amherst, MA

 

 

Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 10:25:14AM

Ed,

I don't know why it's taking me this long to update you, but for some reason it has. First off, let me say that your site is just amazing! Thanks for taking so much time and effort to put it together. I'm sure it's provided hours of enjoyment for thousands upon thousands of radio fanatics all over the world.

There has apparently been some confusion about the passing (in 2002) of a personality named Johnny Michaels. To the best of my knowledge, he was an air personality at WMCA, WOR-FM, WNBC, WCBS-FM, WWDJ and WFAS.

I, on the other hand, am the Johnny Michaels who has the Hartford connection.

The confusion around the two "Johnny Michaels" certainly centers around WCBS-FM. The other Johnny was the first jock to spin oldies on the station in 1972. I did not work there until 1975. For the record, I was the first jock to play country on WWYZ on 9/1/88. The first song was "Young Country" by Hank Williams, Jr.

I'm currently out of the radio biz. Since 1998, I've been the Internet Manager at Parsons Buick in Plainville, CT. (I tend to give great prices to fans of radio. Just can't help myself.)

Again, I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get the record straight, but now your site can be more accurate than ever. Take care and thanks for remembering me.

John Bekish (aka Johnny Michaels) (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, May 8, 2004, 9:34:14AM

Hi. I never worked at WDRC but I have many memories of listening to both big D and WPOP when I spent some time in the Hartford area.

WDRC was to Southern New England what WABC Music Radio 77 was to the New York market and so much of the country. The great jocks of the time that were so great to listen to. I remember many nights listening to Dicky Robinson for example. Yes I too thought it stood for Dick Robinson Company although I did question it in the back of my mind.

WPOP on the other hand struck me in the late 60s as a Drake formatted station or a poor imitation of it. I kind of remember WPOP in the early '60s when they were called Pop Radio. It was a true radio war in the Hartford market between two ams that were close in frequency. A great time for radio all over America.

I remember Dick Heatherton on WPOP in 1968. He called himself "Happy Dick. I had heard him before that on the former WBIC 540 on Long Island. He called himself The Real Dick Heatherton. I didn't know it was a takeoff on The Real Don Steele. Years later in 1972, he would begin doing afternoons on WCBS FM after the station went oldies in the Summer of that year. He would remain there until 1986.

I remember WDRC when it did AOR for two hours a night in 1968. It was called The Scene of the Unheard and it was hosted by Griffin. At that time Hartford did not have a 24 hour AOR station. I believe WHCN went on the air doing free form radio in 1969. They were part of the National Concert Network before that. So were stations like WBCN in Boston which would become a legendary AOR station.

Your site has helped answer many questions especially about Big D FM on 102.9. It also reminds me of a great period in radio and what unfortunately is missing today.

Thank you for a tribute site for a great radio station. Remember "Fun is Big D in Hartford."

Larry Stoler (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, May 6, 2004, 6:55:08PM

Dear Mr. Brouder,

A few weeks ago a cousin of mine asked if I could dig up some old papers that belonged to my grandfather, Italo Martino. He wanted to show them to a man that didn't believe he was a radio pioneer.

Not wanting to dig out all the old articles and photographs, my son and I decided to type my grandfather's name in and do a quick search on the internet. Your site came up immediately. I got a lump in my throat when I saw my grandfather's picture there, especially since I have seen the originals he took of the radio station.

Thank you for your site. It made my mother happy to see her father remembered in such a fine manner.

Ann Brano (e-mail)

 

 

Monday, April 19, 2004, 1:11:52AM

Hi,

Not quite WDRC stuff - and I grew up in Hartford in the 30s, 40s and 50s listening to the station. I even did some production in the late 50s when I was the newly minted director of radio and television for the Greater Hartford Council of Churches. We did production on all the radio and TV stations in that era. I made many runs from our offices in the Hartford YMCA out to Bloomfield Ave.

Finding a bit of the WTIC history (AM FM TV) on your web site brought back old memories of the day:

>The FCC began comparative hearings for Channel 3 on October 30, 1953 in Washington. Travelers Broadcasting >Service Corporation came out swinging, suggesting that rival applicant Hartford Telecasting Company had a >stockholder who had unlawfully obtained a radio license in Oklahoma. Hartford Telecasting's counsel countered, saying >the company was better qualified to operate a TV station.

A few years later, with NBC o&o channel 30 (WNBC in New Britain) and CBS o&o channel 18 (WHCT in Hartford) on the air (thus proving to the FCC and nation that a UHF signal was pretty good) the FCC did a "drop in" license which was awarded to Travelers Broadcasting. They lit up channel 3 as an independent.

Things then became a dark secret horse as to how long the WTIC-TV powerhouse would remain unaffiliated. The day the deal was announced I had a scheduled production meeting at channel 18. When I entered the 555 Asylum station's small walnut paneled lobby there was a trail of paper tears from the big bronze CBS eye on the wall to a paper puddle on the floor. I asked the receptionist what it was about. She said the New York CBS teletype message came in that morning, something on the order of . . . 'At the close of the broadcast day, channel 18 will go dark. The CBS-TV affiliation for Hartford area will be WTIC-TV beginning tomorrow. . . WHCT staff will have opportunity to relocate at another CBS UHF station' (Dayton I think). When I walked back to the producer's area most of the folks were pretty drunk . . . sad and bad news to take home that day. The channel went dark for quite a while, was reactivated by Zenith in the first on-air experiment with pay-TV. It was a set top box and you put in a card that was punched somehow and mailed in for billing. Harold Dorschug, the then chief engineer at WTIC-TV, told me his staff had cracked the code. It was simple - you did need to use the quadrature assemply from an Ampex 2" quad video recorder to do it. Not a home kind of thing. Zenith was too early and a "religious" broadcaster from Glendale, CA was given the station in some strange deal. He was also given a station in the SF market so I knew what Hartford was getting - weird stuff!

In the midst of all that a colleague and I arranged the first stereo radio broadcast in Hartford, on WTIC AM and FM. It was a concert from an Episcopal church in Hartford recorded on an early Ampex stereo recorder. The sound field wandered back and forth as the different audio limiters on the two stations did limiting and compression at different rates - but it was STEREO.

I left Hartford for San Francisco in 1961 - did production for church groups on all TV and most radio stations in the SF-Oakland market. Also did syndicated kids programming and hosted a CBS-TV net religion series. After that was a professor of communication at a theological seminary in Berkeley - now years retired. One present hobby. Helping the California Antique Radio Society restore the old KRE radio station building in Berkeley on the edge of SF Bay. A month ago it was ripping up old carpets, next weekend is paint out the grafetti. Three stations broadcast from the tower - their studios are in SF. The building will be part museum (the Wolfman Jack scenes in American Graffiti were filmed there) and the rest an HQ for old radio folks.

We now return you to your WDRC chatter.

George Conklin (e-mail)

Ed's response: Thanks, George, for some great Hartford broadcast memories. There is a WTIC alumni site started by, and now dedicated to, the late Bill Clede.

 

 

Tuesday, April 6, 2004, 7:34:38AM

Hi Ed,

So sorry to hear about Bradley Field. I'll never forget the day that my Dad, Charlie Parker, told me that he was naming a guy Bradley Field. We all thought that was great! He loved to come up with memorable names, just ask Sandy Beach! And as you can tell by the writing style on your Memoriam page, Dad really enjoyed the play on words he could do with this new member of THE BIG D Family! Brad was a great guy, both on and off the air. Sure will miss him. But rest assured, he's with my Dad, back on the airwaves, and he can be heard daily....just close your eyes, remember and listen. Please pass along my thoughts and prayers to his Family, Friends and Fans.

Steve Parker (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, April 2, 2004, 1:27:38PM

Hi Ed,

I just wanted to say hello and thank you for putting up such a great site. My father, Joe Barbarette, worked at the station in the early 70s. I wasn't born until 1977, so this site is the *only* place where I can hear my dad's voice from his radio days. It's really cool. :~)

Peace, Mary Barbarette (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, February 1, 2004, 2:16:36PM

Great interview with Tom K. He was a blast to work with!

Steve (e-mail)

 

 

Sunday, February 1, 2004, 12:47:10PM

Dear Ed,

My brother-in-law emailed me the site last night and I was thrilled to see some of my old co-horts. Sebastian and I still stay in touch although, geographically, we would be undesirable for teaming up again!

I am now living and teaching reading in an elementary school in Stuart, Florida. I also write children's shows and am directing an American Bandstand type children's production at the school where I teach. Of course, the show is packed with oldies and my "Dick Clark" character will be played by a ten year old whose grandmother probably was part of the "Little GTO" generation!

I've toyed with the idea of doing a call in show, locally, but haven't as yet committed myself to my former life. After 14 years with Sebastian and 18 years on the air, I am enjoying the privacy of the classroom, my wonderful husband, Bob, and boating 365 days a year. Thanks for the memories.

Diane Novak Phoenix (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, October 23, 2003, 1:06:10PM

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed your site. I lived in Simsbury from 1969 to 1974, right next door to the Korsens. Anyway, 30 years later, I still will sing " Double You Dee Are Sea - Hartford's Big Dee". Is that on the site?

Warmest regards,

Gary Goodenow, Miami, Florida, late home of The Joey Reynolds Show (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, October 16, 2003, 6:39:44PM

Dear Ed,

WOW!!! I'm impressed. I just stumbled upon the site and was bowled over. Please keep up the good work.

Here's some additional info for my "personality" listing. I was with WDRC's news department from April, 1978 until March, 1985, anchoring and reporting.

Prior: WTKO, Ithaca, NY; WTXL, West Springfield, MA; WDEW, Westfield, MA; WHYN, Springfield, MA

After: First part should be WATR/WWYZ, and you can add WPOP to the list between WNAQ and WFSB

Today: looking for full time media job, driving a school bus for Salter's Express in Simsbury, working with the Hole In The Wall community theater in New Britain and the Simsbury Summer Theatre for Youth. I also filled in for Beth Bradley the week of August 18th this year while she went on vacation...my first time back on DRC since 1985 and back on the radion since December of '87 when I switched to TV news.

I'll try to find an appropriate photo.

Thanks,

Kevin Brownell (e-mail)

 

  Jim Harrington's book

Friday, October 10, 2003, 2:48:38PM

Just Published... Squeeze Play by Jim Harrington (e-mail)

Johnny Reece is a major league pitcher who has always had a talent for striking people out. Teams fell over themselves trying to recruit the young man with the menacing fastball. But baseball isn't his only talent. He's also a major league hit man-a contract killer who likes his work. Reece does more than strike opponents out, he eliminates them altogether. Jack Kane is a retired New York City detective who travels to Pittsburgh in search of the killer of one of his long-time informant friends. Kane is in his mid-forties and a talented man in his own right. He left the NYPD and tried other things, but eventually he returned to what he did best-catching bad guys. When it comes to murder investigations, Jack Kane is a big leaguer too. For action and suspense, Squeeze Play hits a Grand Slam. MORE INFO

 

 

Monday, October 6, 2003, 4:55:30PM

Hi Ed,

Let me add my congratulations to you for a web site well done.

A few years ago my wife and I took a train to New York from the Berlin station. I paid for the tickets with my credit card and the agent immediately recognized my name: he was a long-time Big "D" fan. He told me of the site then, but I was unable to find a link from the WDRC site. Now, I'm checking up on the whereabouts of old friends.

As for me, I am a product of Worcester, MA, a grad of Leland Powers School of Radio and Theatre in Boston. My first full-time job was with WSYB in Rutland, VT. Uncle Sam requested my presence for a job in Korea, after which I joined WNHC Radio and TV, Channel 6 (now 8), in New Haven (1950-1954) and was the station's first staff weatherman. A stint at WSAI in Cincinnati was followed by five years as news director of WADS in Ansonia, CT and then on to WHIM in Providence before returning to CT and 'DRC (1961-1963). It was during this time the station ran it's first St. Jude Radiothon and that year we brought in more money than every other city except Chicago. I was at Ch. 13 in Baltimore when Pres. Kennedy was shot and spent several days on the subsequent coverage. From 1965 to 1992 I was in public relations for The Travelers Insurance Corp. Since retirement travel and volunteer work keep me busy.

Keep up the good work - and thanks for all the past work.

Al Fletcher (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, August 22, 2003, 1:41:14PM

Hi Ed,

Took another look at your great WDRC site and realized that I haven't updated you on the latest since I left Nashville. Living in Panama City Beach, Florida and working for Sirius Satellite Radio 7 days a week from my home studio. I'm on Country Road 32 evenings, Monday thru Friday, and afternoons on the weekends. My site www.dalereeves.com will soon announce my new career as an ERA Real Estate agent here on the beautiful Gulf Coast. Thanks,

Dale Reeves (e-mail)

 

 

Monday, August 18, 2003, 2:43:20PM

Hi Ed,

I am still amazed at the Big D Site that I am part of....How huge it has grown...I love the history of DRC and can't get enough of it...I like the POP site as well...I wanted to update you as to what is going on lately....

On May 23rd 2003...I launched West Hartford's first Internet radio station from the studio in my home. RADIO14FUN (Radio ONE FOUR Fun) It runs 24/7 via Live 365.com.

The real unique thing about this is that I passed the "radio gene" on to my 5 year old son who does a show live at 8 eastern each night (7 days a week) I get in here live 7 days a week around his show 7-9pm eastern...rest of the time...it's music and more...done the old fashioned way before "corporate clutter"...when radio was fun...remember?

Regards,

Johnny Gardner (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, July 3, 2003, 11:24:34AM

Ed:

I am a 'child of the 60s" . Growing up in G-bury Ct, I grew up with WDRC. This is a great web page! Lots of memories. Congrats and thanks!!!!

Over the years I have tried to locate/buy albums and 45s of Conn. bands. I have all of the Wildweeds 45s and album and two of the Blue Beats 45s (Extra Girl and Born in Chicago). . . . plus the 45 "Cinnamon Square" when they were The Moovees. . . . . they also put out a 45 called "The Collector" under the band name The #1 which I can't locate.

So two questions that you or your colleagues may be able to help me with.
1. am I correct that The Collector was The #1 aka the Blue Beats and
2. I am dying to find a copy of this 45. anyone have any ideas of where I could find one (or get a tape recording of it).

thanks for your time. I look forward to any thoughts you folks have.

Chuck Jefferis, ex G-bury-ite in Vermont (e-mail)

Ed's note: Can anybody help?

 

 

Thursday, June 12, 2003, 1:54:20PM

Thanks Ed for the email.

I have spent all my radio life in Boston. Started at WJIB in sales in 1968, then went to Blair Radio as a national rep from 1968 to 1971. Joined WRKO in the summer of 71 as a sales rep, then became local and general sales manager. In 1974 I rejoined the Blair organization when they purchased WHDH, and stayed there 11 years-started as local sales manager, and worked my way up to Vice President and Station Manager. In 1986 got my GM gig at WCOZ. Then in 1988 joined Roth Communications as VP/Group Manager of the 6 market group. Followed by a role as President of Back Bay Broadcasting, which owned stations in Boston and Providence. After that group was sold, I got in to the Dot-Com world, and worked at a CMGI owned company and a Softbank funded dot com company. I now am a partner in a software company in the Boston area.

My father was at WDRC from 1960-1968. They were phenomenal years, with some great talent working there. Charlie Parker was a legend, as was Bertha Porter. I remember the time Sandy Beach, the afternoon guy, put a rubber ear in Bertha's soup that she was cooking in the stations kitchen, as a joke. It melted, Bertha ate the soup, and never knew that she also was eating a melted rubber ear. After my father left WDRC he bought a station in Groton-WSUB and eventually put an FM on the air too. He passed away in 1976, and the station was sold the following year.

I don't think I ever had my picture taken with the RCA mic. But somewhere I have a picture of me interviewing Paul McCartney, as the Beetles arrived in Boston. Long John Wade travelled with them that year, and I was fortunate enough to be with the tour in San Francisco, LA, NY and Boston.

Peter S. Crawford (e-mail)

 

 

Wednesday, June 11, 2003, 3:11:34PM

Hello Ed,

A friend of mine, who I worked with in the radio business in Boston, Bill Wayland, just told me about the WDRC site. I want to tell you what a kick I got out of looking at it. My father was the GM at the station from 1960 through 1968. It was a phenomenal time to be in rock and roll. Looking at the website brought back a flood of wonderful memories. Congratulations on the job you did pulling all the info together. Best Wishes.

Peter S. Crawford (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, May 31, 2003, 10:11:34PM

Hi,

Great Site!!! I respectively submit that my name be added to the list of past WDRC Chief Engineers. I was Chief from May '83 to October '84, when DRC AM went Motorola AM Stereo. Existing employees Dave Nagel and/or Wayne Mulligan can confirm if necessary.

I was Chief at the time of the installation and Wayne Mulligan supervised the engineers from Motorola when they installed the system on our MW-5 transmitter. Wayne might have provided you with the early '86 date and I would certainly defer to his memory, but I'm pretty sure it was 84-85. Ken Trimble was AM PD at the time, Phil Brittan and Glen Colligan on AM, J. Kristafer on FM along with Floyd Wright and Johnny Michaels (FM PD).

John Ramsey (e-mail)
Chief Technical Officer
WCCC-FM/WTMI

 

 

Friday, May 23, 2003, 2:16:50PM

Today while surfing the web I came upon your WDRCOBG.com website. I just spent over two hours looking over the list of personalities you have had over the years. It really brought back fond memories. I remember Charlie Parker because he gave me the OK to tape music from DRC to play at a closed circuit station in the VA Hospital in Newington. In later years I worked with Charlie's son-in law on the Newington Police force. He also gave the VA many records for their library. I remember Aaron Shephard because he always knew my name when I called him with a news tip. After I got out of the service in 1956, where worked in AFRS, I auditioned for a job at DRC without any success. That is when I started doing the show at the VA.

As I said above your site brought back memories....memories....and more memories. I still listen daily to DRC-FM and will do so for years to come.

Bob Cashman (e-mail)

 

 

Friday, May 16, 2003, 1:45:24AM

Hi, Ed and everyone,

Everyone I encounter who has toured this site says it's hands down the best radio tribute site on the web. I couldn't agree more, although there are some fascinating ones with interesting histories to tell, too. (Check out CHUM, Toronto, for one.) Still doing voice-overs fulltime, and in addition I've become an active correspondent at Spectropop, a site devoted to the pop side of 60's music, centering on the emergence from doo-wop through Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, "sunshine pop," "soft progressive," and "northern soul." The site is all kinds of fun, as well as being loaded with thoroughly-researched articles and interviews with artists and producers of the era. Its discussion group includes many musicians, composers, producers and offspring of same from that era, as well as well-known current music writers and record company reissue supervisors - plus a bunch of remarkably well-informed fans.

I recently did a feature interview with Carol Connors which has just debuted on the site. She was, if you remember, the lead singer for Phil Spector's debut group, the Teddy Bears ("To Know Him Is To Love Him" and half a dozen gorgeous but non-hit follow-ups). She has continued to have a successful career as a songwriter, including the Rip Chords' "Hey Little Cobra," "Gonna Fly Now" (the theme from "Rocky") and currently two songs in the movie "The Pianist," for which she wrote the lyrics. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the interview and the website and its myriad features. It's all done "for love, not for money." If you're a fan of this era of music - and especially the stuff we wish had been bigger hits - you'll love it! Incidentally, I'm developing my own website for my voice-over business; Only my demo is up so far, but much more is coming very soon!

Voices from the past: Back around Christmas I heard from Bill Beamish (still alive and well, and playing golf in Florida) and Tom Kelly (still on the air and thriving). Mike Taylor and I have also batted e-mails back and forth, although not for a while - hi, Mike! I still talk with Stu Kaufman/Kaufperson regularly - he's running a day-care center in Minneapolis and having a ball (still a music nut, too) - and a bunch of old radio friends from my WHCN days, including Gabby Fandango, Mike Kirven, Rick Allison and Jim Shanahan (now Jim Shannon). Sadly, you probably know that John Labella (ex-WTIC and ex-WHCN) died tragically in a freak traffic accident last year in Dallas, and former WHCN alums Winn White and Jim Zeiner both passed away in 1999. A question: I'd heard Johnny Michaels (ex-WTIC, ex-WWYZ) had passed away. Truth or rumor? I hope it's the latter. Take care, all - drop a line anytime!

(the once and again) Country Paul
still alive and well in New Jersey (e-mail)

 

 

Thursday, May 8, 2003, 11:31:26AM

Hi Ed,

Just a short note to let you know that Mike Taylor is no longer affiliated with WLTY-FM. I received an e-mail from him stating that he'd been 'down sized'. Apparently, he's retired from radio. He stated that he's moving to Dunnellon, Florida, where he and his wife are breeding show dogs. Does anyone know what ever happened to John Larabee ? I've lost contact with him.

John 'the Duke' Landry (e-mail)

Ed's reply: It's believed John Larabee is working for Metro Traffic in St. Louis.

 

 

Thursday, April 17, 2003, 4:57:20PM

I saw your nice web site and thought I'd drop you a line.

I've got an old LP from WDRC called Color Me OBG. It has a bunch of oldies on it from the 60s. I always wondered where that radio station was located. Anyways, I'm unloading all my records and maybe you know someone who would be interested in buying this LP from me. Thanks,

Chuck Eames (e-mail)

 

 

Wednesday, March 5, 2003, 11:03:42AM

Hi Ed,

Just want to pass along a note to all my many 'DRC friends that they can get caught up on this old DJ in a feature article in the Feb. 28th '03 edition of Radio & Records, page 83. Great to read the comments regularly on your excellent site, especially from people I worked with like Steve Parker! Charlie Parker was like a father to me in the years we were together at Big "D" so Steve has always been like a brother to me. Hey, if anyone knows how to get in touch with ex-Music Director Jimmy English please contact me. Bless you Ed for the great work in progress.

Bart Mazzarella (Bob Marx) (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, February 18, 2003, 11:55:06AM

RESPONSE TO FEEDBACK from February 4, 2003 below:

Hi Ed!

It took place on Blue Hills Ave. I still remember my dad listening to the radio in the kitchen, as the police broke the door down, and questioned Joey on the air! (Not to be confused with the famous "Hooked On A Feeling" record sticking....Oogachaga.....Oogachaga.....I witnessed that one in person! Also at Blue Hills Ave., but the second time around!) As always, thanks for the memories!

Steve Parker (e-mail)

 

 

Saturday, February 15, 2003, 2:32:08PM

Ed:

WDRC holds a special place in my heart. As a kid, when DRC changed to a rock and roll format, I was 12, the perfect age for following the new artists. At my school, there were two camps, those who followed WDRC, and those who followed the "other" pop station, WPOP. The rivalry was intense, and in particular, I remember when two versions of "Concrete and Clay" came out, WPOP played the Eddie Rambeau version, while DRC went with the Unit Four Plus Two. Neither station played the other version.

I saved all the surveys (and still have them in my attic, if the mice haven't gotten to them). I even befriended a lady behind the counter at Korvette's in Hartford, and she would save me her copies of the surveys, WHICH SHOWED THE POSITIONS BELOW THE SWINGIN' SIXTY. Heady stuff to have that inside information.

While still in high school, I went to Dick Robinson's Connecticut School of Broadcasting, second-ever class. In that class was Wayne Jones, who has run an oldies show for over 26 years on Sunday nights at WWUH (University of Hartford), even to this day. I remember an oldies show where Dick told me to ask for him at the back door, to get in to meet the artists performing. However, the door was locked, and no one seemed to hear me. Then Bertha Porter came along. When she encountered the same problem, she started pounding on the door, pulling it rather violently, and yelling "Robinson" a couple of times. She got in, of course. That was Big Bertha.

The DRC jocks would visit our school for record hops. They all were great guys, Sandy Beach, Don Juan Wade, Long John Wade, Ron Landry, Diamond Jim Nettleton, Ken Griffin, Joey Reynolds. So many over the years, but the best were in the '60s. Each week, I would listen to the Winners' Circle countdown of the top 13 weekly songs, and my friend Bill and I would even make our predictions as to the order of the top 13. I have many tapes of the year-end countdowns, including one year where Dick Robinson played 'Beatnik DJ' as the #1 song of the year, turning off the turntable midway! Fun to listen to, even today.

Hey, were you at the DRC party held about five years ago at a hotel? I went there, and took pictures of the deejays who attended, including Ron Landry, who died in 2002.

Anyway, WDRC defined, shaped, and solidified my love of music to this day that I now have a personal collection of about 50,000 45s, and about 12,000 LPs. So that's why I say that the Big D holds a special place in my heart.

Robert Warner (e-mail)

 

 

Tuesday, February 4, 2003, 6:58:02PM

Found your WDRC site by accident...

One quicky, I remember when Joey Reynolds played in the Midnight Hour for an hour on WDRC-AM. But, I think the studios were at the transmitter site on Blues Hills Avenue at that time--they hadn't moved to Hartford as of yet.

commquart@cox.net

Ed's response: You may be right. The move from 869 Blue Hills Avenue to 750 Main Street took place in May, 1967. Joey started at Big D the previous December. Since the exact date of the Midnight Hour caper has been lost, it could have been from either location. Anyone have additional info?

 

 

Monday, January 6, 2003, 9:47:54PM

I just spent an easy hour looking through the WPOP website. Very Nice!

I noticed on the WDRCOBG site, that it says I worked Mid Day shifts at DRC AM & FM. I was actually hired by Dick Korson in 1987 to be production director. Dick said he would give me $5000 more to do PM Drive on the AM for a while, so I said yes. I never got off the air shift and was switched to DRC FM PM Drive about a year later, and stayed there until I took mornings at WRCH in September of 1989. Before WDRC I was at WSNE Providence.

Best Regards,

Allan Camp, PD WRCH (e-mail)

 

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