A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z | Index
Wildman Steve Gallon
WILDMAN STEVE GALLON
1953 - ?
 

Steve is one of the pioneers of Top 40 radio. He took the Wildman nickname in Waterbury at WWCO. After Waterbury he worked at WPRO Providence, then came to WPOP for afternoon drive. He spent some time at WNAB Bridgeport from 1959-61 and later moved to WILD Boston in 1964. WMBW Miami was his last radio stop. In 1970 he released a comedy album, "MY MAN ! WILD MAN !" which can still be found on some web sites.

Wildman Steve Gallon died in Miami FL September 1, 2004; he was 78. Read more in the WPOP Jock Lounge. (9/11/04)

 
Jim Gearhart
JIM GEARHART
February-after November 23, 1964
 

A native of Vinton, VA, James Edward Gearhart was a literature major at Roanoke College. His first job in radio was in 1958 at WROV. He also worked at WHYE in Roanoke. Jim was hired from KQV Pittsburgh to be WPOP's program director and morning driver (replacing Tom Allen), though he had previously worked at WMMW in Meriden, CT.

After leaving WPOP Jim worked at WFIL Philadelphia. He later played music weeknights when WCBS New York changed to an all-news format in 1967, but they thought enough of his work to retain his show. He also spent time at WNEW and WNBC in New York; KIRO in Seattle and a station in Los Angeles; WUSL Philadelphia and WBUD Trenton, NJ.

For many years James E. Gearhart has hosted the wakeup talk show at WXKW in Trenton, NJ (e-mail). (6/21/07)

 
WPOP's Johnny Gilbert
JOHNNY GILBERT
1964 - 1965
 

Johnny got his radio experience at WBAM Montgomery, AL; WLOF Orlando and WFUN in Miami.

Like many WPOP alumni, his resume was long and impressive: KEWB Oakland; KFWB Los Angeles; back to KEWB; KCBQ San Diego; KOY and KRIZ in Phoenix; WINZ Miami and KULF in Houston. Johnny's photo is courtesy of the Bay Area Radio Museum, Inc.

Johnny died in a Houston helicopter crash on March 15, 1974.

 
Joe Girand
JOE GIRAND
April-December, 1963
 

A Hartford native, Joe was a veteran of several stations. His broadcast career started in the 1930s as a page boy with NBC in New York where he earned a whopping $15 a week. He moved to stations in Beckley, West Virginia, WPAT Paterson, NJ, WBIG Greensboro, NC, and Philadelphia, arriving back home at Hartford's WCCC. He put in several years at The Hartford Times station, WTHT. Among his duties were hosting children's programs, for which he wrote songs selling the virtues of drinking milk. For a time he did play-by-play of the Hartford Chiefs minor league baseball team.

After WTHT permanently went off the air, Joe spent less than a year hosting WPOP's overnight show before rejoining WINF. He later went to work for a local brokerage firm. He hosted stock market reports on WTIC which led to his hiring in 1966 as host of the Afternoon Edition.

He died April 24, 1970 at the age of 49 after open heart surgery.

 
Gary Girard
GARY GIRARD
April, 1964 - January, 1969
 

Behind Lou Terri, Gary and Del Raycee are tied at #2 for length of service at WPOP with about five years each.

Born in Webster, MA on October 3, 1943, Gary was raised in East Hartford. He began his broadcast career at UCONN in Storrs, where he was involved with the student station, WHUS. Gary graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcasting. He joined The Good Guys from WLIS in Old Saybrook, CT to host Saturday mornings from 6:00-11:00AM and Sunday afternoons 3:00PM-midnight(!). When Jerry Gordon left a few months later, Gary slid into the overnight shift and remained there for his entire stay. He was replaced on-air by John Scott, but Gary stayed in the area moving into sales at WHCT TV18 in Hartford. Gary was on call as a fill-in at WPOP from 1970-72, and once in 1973 as Gary Mitchell.

After Channel 18, Gary was general manager of WNLC/WTYD in New London; was the New England regional manager for the National Association of Broadcasters; and worked at Connecticut Radio Network International in Hamden. Gary was back at WPOP as sales manager from 1976-86 during its all-news days.

Gary and his wife, Lois, realized a longtime dream by obtaining a license for a new station. They put WKCD FM on the air, serving the Mystic/North Stonington area, on November 30, 1995. Gary suffered a stroke in 1998 and subsequently sold the station, splitting his time between Connecticut and Florida.

Gary passed away at his home in Venice, FL on February 22, 2012; he was 69.

audio:  March 23, 1967
Jerry Gordon
JERRY GORDON
prior to October 7, 1963 - October, 1964
 

A native of Norwich, Jerry's first radio job was at hometown WICH when he was just 15 years old. While attending the RCA Institute in New York he worked as a technician at WLIB. Wanting to get on the air, Jerry made the first of many long moves--all the way to tiny Conway, NH and WJWG. A few months later it was on to WLAM in Lewiston, ME, then a cross-country relocation to San Antonio and KITE. In an era before airlines rewarded frequent fliers, Jerry's next stop was at WBUD Trenton, NJ. Then it was back west to KXOA in Sacramento. Career ping pong next landed him at WINF Manchester, CT, after which Gentleman Jerry Gordon joined The New WPOP as overnight man. He was hired by program director Doug China who left within a couple of months, to be replaced by Black Jack Murphy, who moved Jerry to middays, 11:00AM-3:00PM. When Jim Gearhart was hired as the new program director, Jerry was moved back to overnights, after which he returned to WINF to host 11:00AM-3:00PM.

Before long Jerry was back on the road again. He made a second stop at KXOA Sacramento followed by on-air jobs at WCOL Columbus; WMEX Boston; WPDQ Jacksonville; WKIS Orlando; WDAE Tampa; KSFO and KGO AM/TV San Francisco. During his 20 years in the City by the Bay, Jerry spent several years as The Five O'Clock Shadow, a mysterious television entertainment reporter. During his long career he has hosted music and talk shows and anchored news. He is the voice of Disney as well.

Jerry has been at all-news KNUU in Las Vegas since 1995; see his note (3-12-02). (e-mail)

audio:  1964
Lee Gordon
LEE GORDON
February 4, 1974 - June, 1975
 

Hailing from Manchester, NH, Dana Lee Gordon got his start in radio at WUNH FM while a student at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. He also worked at WHEB and WBBX Portsmouth, and WFEA Manchester, in his home state.

Dick Springfield hired Lee for WPOP's last year of music; he hosted 10:00AM-3:00PM. When Bob Craig joined the staff Lee moved to afternoon drive.

Like the rest of the jock staff, he was out of work the day the music died so Lee went into voice-over work for area ad agencies and notably for WFSB TV3 in Hartford. He returned as WPOP's production manager from 1979-97.

Lee is a well-known Hartford voice talent (e-mail);visit his site and see his note (5/11/01).

audio:  January, 1975
Greaseman
GREASEMAN
February 1, 1974 - June 28, 1975
 

Doug Tracht was born in the Bronx and attended Ithaca College. Getting involved at the college radio station, WICB FM, a colleague commented that he "was cookin' with grease" and the Greaseman was born. He found work at commercial station WTKO in Ithaca and continued perfecting his act at WENE Endicott; WAXC Rochester and WRC Washington. Program director Dick Springfield hired Grease to host WPOP's morning show. He portrayed a hick farmer "from cow country" and started and ended his show with the sounds of a tractor. He was a victim of the station's switch from music to NBC's all-news format, the News and Information Service.

Grease quickly landed at WAPE Jacksonville where the act became more contemporary and filled with innuendo. After seven years in Florida he returned to Washington at WWDC FM. While often brilliant in his satire and ability to think on the spot in front of live studio audiences, his comments on the 1986 Martin Luther King Holiday caused a huge public outcry and he was suspended. Greaseman moved to Los Angeles to launch a nationally syndicated music/comedy show from 1993-98 which was aired on WXRK New York among other stations. He returned to D.C. at WARW FM where racially insensitive comments got him fired in February, 1999.

On March 5, 2001 Grease returned to the air in syndication on WZHF Arlington, VA; WNST Baltimore, MD; WPWC Dumfries, VA; WCDW FM Binghamton, NY; KGUY Portland, OR and WKHZ Ocean City, MD.

Visit the Greaseman's web site (e-mail). (3/25/08)

audio:  April, 1975
Mike Greene
MIKE GREENE
December, 1968 - October 18, 1970
 

Mike's early radio experience was gained at WHAP Hopewell, VA; WKBK Keene, NH and WAYS Charlotte, NC. Program director Danny Clayton hired him to replace Tom Tyler on the 9:00AM-noon shift; the hours were later changed to 10:00AM-1:00PM. In September 1969 Mike moved to the 4:00-7:00PM shift to replace Dick Heatherton. For a few weeks that fall he also did a rare one-hour airshift from 11:00 p.m. till midnight.

Mike intended to leave WPOP to go into advertising. On August 31, 1970 Heatherton returned from WFIL to the afternoon drive shift. Mike did Sunday nights for the next few weekends but then Dick left again for KLIF in Dallas so Mike returned to the weekday airshift until Scott St. James arrived in October.

Mike's radio journey took him to another station owned by WPOP's owner, Joe Amaturo, WFTL in Ft. Lauderdale, where he was program director. He later moved to WIOD Miami; WFTP/WLQY Ft. Pierce and Spots Recording studio in Ft. Lauderdale. Mike operated Classic Video Productions in Ft. Lauderdale.

Mike is president of Video Dynamics Corporation in Pompano Beach, FL (e-mail); see his note. (6/4/01)

audio:  August, 1969
KEN GRIFFIN
February 17, 1964 - after October 7, 1966
 

One of Connecticut's most popular radio personalities, Ken spent time in Hollywood as the press agent for movie star Sal Mineo and personal manager of singer Johnny Restivo. He cut his radio teeth at all three AM stations in his hometown of Waterbury (WBRY, WATR and WWCO). He was heavily involved at WBUR FM while attending Boston University's School of Public Relations and Communications (class of 1959). He also worked at WBOS in Boston as an announcer and board operator. In September 1959 he went back to work in Waterbury at WBRY. Ken came to WPOP from WHYN in Springfield.

Program director Jim Gearhart hired him to be music director and nighttime host. Ken was accompanied each night by Fats Fontoon, the lovable weather balloon and her boyfriend/husband Rocky Hill. For a while in 1965 Ken challenged listeners to count the records between 8:00-9:00PM; if he played less than 20 per hour (!) the first caller could collect $100!

Ken was famous for his Order of the Black Socks for which membership cards were distributed. If you were spotted wearing black socks you won a handful of 45s from The Good Guys. Members had to swear never to scootch "and do your best to report all scoochers and otherwise uncool people to club headquarters." Ken used the airwaves to distribute secret code messages; do you remember how to translate "JH8/7--O/AH...?"

WPOP listeners came close to mutiny when Griffin, Fats and Rocky jumped ship for WDRC in 1966. His last documented act as a Good Guy was co-hosting a Hollies concert at the State Armory with WDRC's Long John Wade on Friday, October 7th.

After a long stay at The Big D, he moved to southern California where he spent seven years at stations like KGOE Thousand Oaks; KGIL San Fernando and KIIS Los Angeles. He returned to WDRC briefly in 1977 and later worked at WRCQ Farmington; WMAS Springfield; WIOF Waterbury; WRCQ (again); and WWYZ/WATR Waterbury before moving to Boston and the publishing business. Ken later moved to Florida where he hosted a trimulcast on WCCF Punta Gorda, WENG Englewood and WAMR Venice. He finished his career hosting a weekly call-in show on WKII in Punta Gorda, FL.

Ken passed away on September 28, 2010 at the age of 73. (9/30/10)

audio:  1964
WPOP's Ed Groome
ED GROOME
March 1966 - August, 1966
 

Ed left the news director's position at WHYN AM/FM in Springfield to become director of WPOP's 20/20 news, though his time in Hartford was very short.

Born in Boston in 1939, he was a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and manager of the UNH campus station. Ed was a reporter at WHEB in Portsmouth - the first on the scene at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard when the nuclear submarine Thresher went down in 1963. He was a stringer for NBC Radio during the Hampton Beach riot and covered John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign. Ed also worked at WTSN Dover, NH and was news director at WCSH Television in Portland, ME. In 1966 Ed began a 40-year career at New England Telephone based in Maine; he retired in 2006.

Ed passed away in Scarborough, ME on April 14, 2008 at the age of 68. (6/10/08)

 
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