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Man From Mars Productions

Jim Jeffrey
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  Jim Jeffrey in 2009

It is with regret that we report the death of James A. Jeffrey, Jr. He collapsed on a New Hampshire golf course - one of his favorite places in the world - on September 17, 2009. Jim was 72.

audio:  March 17, 1969 Like many of the personalities at WDRC AM/FM in Hartford, Jim Jeffrey's stay was relatively short when compared to his diverse career. He has worked onstage in theater and doing stand-up comedy...played records...reported the news...run a broadcast school...hosted a talk show...anchored TV sports...been a motivational speaker...and dealt in real estate in the mountains of New Hampshire.

WDRC's Jim Jeffrey  
 

In February 2008 he answered a series of questions for WDRCOBG.COM.

Q: Tell us about your early years.

A: I was born in Clinton, Massachusetts but always summered here at Newfound Lake, thus knew where I wanted to hide in the Pines when done (with broadcasting).

Q: What stations or people influenced you to pursue a broadcast career?

A: Dave Maynard at WBZ Boston, WBZA Springfield, Westinghouse for New England, as they used to say, became a mentor. When I arrived at KDKA they had a veteran doing morning news slots, another outstanding veteran doing afternoon drive, and you had to learn to WRITE in their styles, not yours. Great training!

Q: Was there any time in the military?

A: I went through testing for Air Force pilot training; 67 of us got to Westover AFB outside Springfield. Of that group from all over New England and New York State, ten of us qualified for pilot, five for navigator. They tossed me out for being colorblind. And I had been worried they would find out about my broken neck (diving into 3 feet of water when I was 15). I got my draft notice the week I was married. My wife's family were all upset, mine thought it was funny because when the Army doctors saw my neck X-rays they said, "goodbye...have a nice life, but don't let anyone slap you on the back."

 
  WKXL 1450 KC, Eagle Hotel, Concord, new Hampshire

Q: Tell me about your experience auditioning (and working for) Frank Estes at WKXL.

A: I just went in and said, "Dave Maynard at BZ said you had a morning slot open," and kept talking till he said, "okay." During summers I worked KXL from 6 to 9 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m. then raced to Westboro, Ma. to rehearse the next weeks' play. I found some dinner, did the show, raced back to KXL and slept on the sofa till it was time to open things up. I remember an Air Force tanker going down in New Hampshire that first week on the air. With so many stations calling for a report, including KDKA, which I couldn't get straight, cause I was always told stations east of the big river began with W (dumb kid, huh?).

 

 

To me Frank had more class than God has angels. I missed out on what could have been a friendship of a lifetime...and thus goes life in Broadcasting.

I remember asking Frank, who flew a bomber in World War Two, "when did your bomber crew really begin to believe you were the guy to get them through the War," and he answered, "when I found England and landed safely." Quite a guy.

WKXL owner Frank Estes

Frank Estes

 
  WPRO Providence logo

Q: You moved on to WSPR in Springfield where you worked with Dick Robinson. Dick moved on to Providence. But jump ahead to early 1968. You're doing overnights at the Mighty 630 - WPRO. Did you contact WDRC or did they contact you?

A: WPRO Providence was by far the most talented group of jocks I was ever involved with as a group. Between PRO and DRC, I was home in Sterling, MA. My Dad having suffered a heart attack. When he was back on his feet (and my folks three trucking companies held no interest for me), I called Dick Robinson.

 
 

Q: Sterling isn't far from Lunenburg, the home of the man you replaced at DRC. Did you know Sandy Beach prior to DRC?

A: Sandy was doing mornings on AM when I was doing mornings on FM.

Q: You started on the FM side doing various shifts. Was there an expectation that you would slip into morning drive when Sandy left for Buffalo?

audio: March 16, 1968 A: No, I cannot recall "expecting to take over AM drive" if and when Sandy left. I never spent time picking Charlie Parker's brain about pop radio. (I never had listened to local radio except for a few weeks with WBZ and had no idea what "personality radio" was all about). Anyway DRC allowed the AM drive guy, Sandy Beach, to about do what he wished, while staying with Charlie's music policy. They got by with smooth-good company air people, till after supper when the Dick Robinson's and the Joey Reynolds of the world really captured the teens and sub teens...something I was not comfortable doing.

 
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