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WPOP's Jonathan Dark
JONATHAN DARK
December, 1964 - late 1965
 

Who better to occupy WPOP's overnight hours than Jonathan Dark? He replaced Jerry Gordon and was replaced by Stan Douglas. Jonathon was just sixteen when he started in radio. Art Wander brought him to Hartford from KBGO in Waco, TX.

After leaving Hartford, Jonathan worked at WHYN in Springfield and then at WTXL West Springfield, MA. He later began using his real last name, Fricke, and went on to a prominent career as program director at country music stations WSAI Cincinnati and WMC Memphis. Other stations on his resume include KLAK Denver, CO; KDJW Amarillo, TX; KBUY Fort Worth, TX; KOKE AM/FM Austin, TX; KFOX Los Angeles, CA and KRAK Sacramento, CA..

He served as the first Country Editor for the trade magazine R&R, followed by several years at Warner Brothers country music division in Nashville. He hosted a weekly country program on cable television in Ft. Worth. He also ran an independent record promotion company in between programming various radio stations. In 1982 he launched TUNE-IN Publications and in 1994 Jonathan joined Ideas Advertising Group in Houston. He and his family later ran an artist management firm in Nashville.

In February 2006 Jonathan was inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame. He lives in Nashville (e-mail). (7/31/08)

 
Fred Herdeen (aka Sunny Deigh)
SUNNY DEIGH
August, 1962 - June, 1963
 

Like Jonathan Dark, Sunny Deigh was a pseudonym. In addition to working at WPOP, Fred Herdeen worked at WCCC Hartford; Connecticut Public Television and WTIC FM Hartford. In fact his stay at WPOP coincided with his Junior year at Trinity College.

After graduating from Trinity in 1964 with a BA in English, he attended the University of Hartford where he completed graduate courses in International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy. Fred also worked at WHAY Farmington and WHNB TV30 in West Hartford, and later at WROW in Albany, NY.

Fred is an experienced trainer, motivator, and facilitator. During his varied sales and management career, he has helped others to expand their business opportunities by using dynamic, proven sales techniques. Fred has organized and conducted numerous business seminars and workshops for senior level executives.

Fred lives in Florida and hosts the Christian Business Review television series, syndicated in more than 200 markets; (e-mail) see his note (5/19/03).

 
Dale Denver (Mike Adams)
DALE DENVER
August, 1973 - June 29, 1975
 

Mike Adams was born in Pittsburgh but grew up in Manchester, CT where be began his radio career on the overnight shift at WINF at the age of 19. A Connecticut School of Broadcasting graduate, he played the periphery of the Springfield market at WAQY and WACE. Not surprisingly, Dale Denver was an airname assigned by WPOP management.

He later played oldies at WRCQ in Farmington, CT before becoming program director of WLOB in Portland, ME. He returned to Springfield at WHYN and WMAS, then back to Hartford at WHCN (off air in sales) and as morning man at WCCC. Next, it was back to Springfield for another crack at WAQY. Mike's first foray into television was at Hartford's WFSB TV in 1985. Mike later moved to several stations in Boston where he hosted a sports call-in program on New England Cable News, as well as a radio show at WWZN. His 23-year run at WEEI in Boaston came to an end in June 2016. Check out his personal website.

Mike is heard on the Binnie Media Frank stations: WFNQ 106.3 Nashua, NH, 107.5 FM Portland, ME and 105.5 FM Rockland, ME. (e-mail) (12/11/16)

audio: June 29, 1975
WPOP's Dave Desrosiers
DAVE DESROSIERS
prior to June 13, 1975 - ?
 

Dave was a newsman who slipped in just before WPOP dropped music; he remained for the beginning of the all-news format.

Current whereabouts unknown.

audio: June 13, 1975
WPOP's Bruce Douglas
BRUCE DOUGLAS
before November 22, 1956 -after January 20, 1957
 

Little is known about Bruce, though a Hartford Courant article dated January 6, 1957 says he was a WPOP disc jockey. Later that same month Bruce and Al Schaertel shared hosting duties for Hartford's Official Top Forty program weekday afternoons from 1:45-5:00 p.m.

Current whereabouts unknown.

 
WPOP's Stan Douglas (aka Craig Senior)
STAN DOUGLAS
fall 1962-spring 1963 & August, 1965 - early 1966
 

After attending Buxton School from 1958-60, Stan worked weekends and fill-in on WPOP in 1962-63 while he attended the University of Hartford. He rejoined The Good Guys in 1965 filling the all-night show between Jonathan Dark and John Sherman. He also logged airtime at WTOR in Torrington (1958-67) where he grew up. Stan belonged to both radio unions - IBEW and AFTRA - so at WPOP he could double as an announcer and combo engineer.

After WPOP he worked at WRCH Farmington, back to WTOR, then on to Worcester at both WORC and WAAB. He later moved to Pennsylvania and worked out of radio before joining WSBA in York between 1971-73 and again from 1976-78. He has also been heard on WHYL in Carlisle, PA; WHGB Harrisburg, PA; WADV Lebanon, PA; WGET Gettysburg, PA; WIOO/WEEO Carlisle, PA. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Penn State and has worked as a stockbroker and small business owner.

Today Craig Senior lives in the Harrisburg, PA area; see his note (12/23/15) (e-mail).

 

Morton "Doc" Downey, Jr.

WPOP Fun Fact:
Doc Downey's cousin, Jack Downey, was a disk jockey
who used to sing along with
the records when WPOP was
known as WONS from 1948-54.

DOC DOWNEY
before February 23-December, 1962
 

Son of the famous baritone from Wallingford, Mort Downey was a one-man promotion machine. Reading broadcast trades from the early 1960s it was hard to miss his meteoric rise to stardom. The March 17, 1962 issue of Billboard magazine announced that "Morton Downey Jr., is new program chief at WPOP, Hartford, Conn." On his wakeup show he was known as Doc Downey and he replaced Jack Murphy.

He came to Hartford via WNDR Syracuse, NY (where he worked with Joey Reynolds) and WHIM in Providence, having previously worked at WFAS White Plains, NY, KROD and KELP in El Paso, TX; WONE Dayton, OH and WICE Providence. Hartford didn't prove that healthy for Mort; right after he got there he appeared at a twist contest and strained his knee and shoulder seriously enough that he had to be treated at St. Francis Hospital. Later, he suffered a heart attack one morning while on the air (see Craig Senior's recollections for details).

On June 30, 1962 the 28-year-old Downey filed papers to run for Congress in Rhode Island's first district. However, since he had an address in Smithfield - the second district - the candidacy quickly ground to a halt. He apparently had a test for public office because he ran for president as a Democrat in 1980.

Described by some as arrogant and egotistical, he found a close ally in programming consultant Irving Schwartz who convinced WPOP's owner, Tele-Broadcasters of Connecticut, to be the pilot station for a controversial computer music selection process. Schwartz touted WPOP's rise from #3 to #1 in the Hooper ratings based on a chart relying on "weighted" factors based on national sales. Some jocks resented the computer taking away their choice of records. Downey believed, however, and when Tele-Broadcasters installed Schwartz as vice president and general manager of KUDL in Kansas City, MO, he hired Downey and WPOP overnight man Johnny Argo. It was no coincidence that Tele-Broadcasters sold WPOP to Joe Amaturo and H. Scott Killgore in February 1963.

A significant note about Downey's days at WPOP...he forged a lifelong friendship with Joey Reynolds; they even shared a Hartford apartment for a while.

Downey's career included lots of call letters, some for very short periods. Among them: WYNR Chicago; KJR Seattle; KAFY Bakersfield; KRIZ Phoenix; KDEO San Diego; WCPO Cincinnati; WNOE New Orleans; WFUN Miami; KFBK Sacramento; WDBO Orlando;WMAQ Chicago; WERE Cleveland; WWOR TV New York (where he launched a nationally syndicated live audience confrontational TV show); WWRC Washington; KGBS Dallas; and WTAM Cleveland.

Sean Morton Downey died of complications from lung cancer on March 12, 2001. Check this site run by his widow.

 
Mark Driscoll
MARK DRISCOLL
June-August 17, 1969
 

Dan Clayton hired eighteen-year-old Mark Driscoll at WPOP for weekends when Frank Holler was called by the U.S. Navy. He briefly did 8:00PM-midnight weeknights between the departure of Steve O'Brien and arrival of Jack Armstrong. Mark's weekend service at the Big 14 came to an end when he was drafted into the Navy. He was replaced on weekends by the first Bobby Branigan.

Before coming to Hartford he had already logged time at KNAK Salt Lake City; KQIX Arvada, CO and KUDL in Kansas City. His post-Hartford stations were numerous and included WRKO Boston; WIBG Philadelphia; WRNO New Orleans; WOR FM New York; WRC Washington (where he was reunited with Dan Clayton); WWDJ Hackensack, NJ; WBBF Rochester; WKTQ Pittsburgh; KSTP Minneapolis; KNDE Sacramento; WNBC New York; WAPE Jacksonville; KHYI Dallas; WIOQ Philadelphia; WAQQ/WEDJ Charlotte; and numerous broadcast consulting positions.

Today Mark is doing full-time voice-over work and script writing ("Ellen Comes Out") in Los Angeles (e-mail). (6/25/12)

audio: August 2, 1969
WPOP's Ray Dunaway
RAY DUNAWAY
December 12, 1969 - July 25, 1970
 

A native of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, Ray was active at WRTC while a student at Trinity College in Hartford. He was hired by Dan Clayton as WPOP's weekend man, then assumed the 7:00PM-midnight shift for five months between Jack Armstrong and Doctor Jim Holiday. He resumed college at Baker University near Kansas City, doing afternoon drive at one of the local stations until graduating in June 1972. He did post-graduate work at Oklahoma State University while keeping a hand in radio.

His radio career took him to several major markets including Detroit's WWWW; WFAA in Dallas; KHJ in Los Angeles (where he was known as Mike Dunaway); KUDL and KMBZ in Kansas City; and KVRO Stillwater, OK.

Since May 1992, Ray has been morning man at WTIC Hartford (e-mail). (11/21/14)

audio: February 17, 1970
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