Man From Mars Productions
overview of the late 60s is that WDRC FM was something of
a mystery to management. Since mid 1967 the FCC had required separate
programming 50% of the time (10A-8P). Did you and John
Scott offer input about a direction the FM could/should head
to make it distinct from AM? A stereo signal was still a year away
thought the FM should play an expanded library since it started
to appear that that's where radio was going. Bertha
didn't like the idea because it would have meant double the work
for her. She didn't have any help when I started there, no Jim English.
During your stay at Big D the FM jocks ran their own board,
while AM jocks worked through an engineer. Did that cause resentment
or was it an opportunity to better control your own destiny?
never had a board op. It was a pretty big deal to me and almost
strange. I was used to running several different machines, rapid
fire, so it sort of left me twiddling my thumbs. Then too, you had
to adjust to having an audience in the person of the tech staring
at you, and he wasn't very responsive (sorry, George), as some were,
then you were left in a kind of suspension, at times wondering how
a bit came off.
to put too fine a point on it, but a lot of fresh bodies rode the
elevator at 750 Main Street in 1968 - John
Rode, Jim Jeffrey,
you, and finally Dick
McDonough. Most were gone in a year or less. Was it DRC
in particular, or the radio industry that was in flux?
Big D was going through its own growing pains, talent was bailing
here and there, and overall changes in the business were running
rampant as well. But it was culture-wide, in retrospect. One day
Charlie asked me into his office to vent, flabbergasted, expressing
astonishment at the violent events of the day. There were riots
going on in Hartford's North End, and a curfew was imposed on the
city. A good part of the upheaval in the 60s was about race -- no
secret there -- so when you listened to Sly & The Family Stone it
took on some new and relevant meaning. But the pleas in "Everyday
People" were definitely, seemingly all of a sudden, out the window.
All of this was new to us and we had to wonder just exactly how
dangerous it was going to get. To a good-natured guy like Charlie,
it was confounding and pretty intimidating.
You drew the short straw on Christmas Day '68. During your FM shift,
John Rode came down
the hall several times and appeared in brief cameos as Santa Claus.
How much were the AM jocks competing with their FM counterparts?
was no secret that FM was Triple A ball to AM's majors. It was a
new entity and to move from FM to AM, as Field did, was a very big
deal. Rode was an
original. We were best of friends, hung out a lot along with Walt
Pinto at some lizard lounge. When John started getting into
trouble as a no-show - this, after Korsen had arrived with the big
axe -- he started looking elsewhere. I suspect he, like me, like
Lee Babi, like a lot of DJs, got bored quickly and moved on to the
next station. So John suspected he was going to be 86'd, started
looking, and landed the promise of a gig at WIBG in Philadelphia,
another heavy hitter 'cause this guy had pipes second to none. A
short time before he was ready to jump, he got the word that the
Philly station had been sold - to Buckley-Jaeger! What kind of luck
much of a factor was WPOP? During your stint at DRC, they
were disciples of the Drake philosophy and attracted some of their
highest ratings of the 1960s.
gave WDRC a good run, even beat us here and there. The thing
was, Big D FM's numbers added to AM's provided an edge. But it was
definitely neck and neck.
It's June 1969 and suddenly Stephen Kane is no longer on Big
D. What happened?
fired, but I never knew why. It's possible Korsen just decided I
wasn't talented enough, God rest the bastard's soul. But I'd tested
their patience on a few occasions, too. Those activities I mentioned
earlier that filled time? Rode and I decided we'd have a contest
one day to see who could get away with the bluest comment. Back
and forth we went, Paul Gregory, our board tech, overseeing it,
one upping each other. Well, it's obvious I didn't know where the
line was, and when it came back to me, I introduced "Mony Mony"
by Tommy James & The Dildos - which, for that time, was pretty risqué.
I got called on the carpet by the GM, Mike Boudreau, a big lovable
tough guy, who demanded to know why I'd done that, and was completely
flummoxed when I told him I didn't even know what the word meant.
Truth? I'm not sure I did. Anyway, I can't recall, but that may
have been the first of numerous suspensions I got hit with over