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
1953 - ?

Steve is one of the pioneers of Top 40 radio. He took the Wildman nickname in Waterbury at WATR. 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 1963. WMBM 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
February 1964-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 was program director and operations manager 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 25 years Jim hosted the wakeup show at WXKW in Trenton, NJ. In 2013 he was inducted into the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

In Sept. 2015 83-year-old Jim sustained a head injury in an accidental fall at his home. After a prolonged leave of absence it was announced on Nov. 23, 2015 that he would not return to the air at WXKW. But in March 2017, Jim began a weekly podcast in conjunction with New Jersey 101.5. (5/6/21)

audio: March 27, 1964
WPOP's Johnny Gilbert
1964 - 1965

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

Like many WPOP alumni, his resume after leaving Hartford 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 airplane crash while covering a railroad tank car fire on March 15, 1974; he was only 27.

Joe Girand
April-December, 1963

A Hartford native, Joe was a veteran of several stations. He graduated from Hartford Public High School in 1939 and attended New York University. 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 WWLS in Beckley, WV, 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. Joe became a registered stock broker in late 1953. In 1957 Joe also hosted a Sunday television show called Two O'Clock High on WNBC Channel 30 in West Hartford. In 1959 he was working at WINF in Manchester.

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.

Joseph W. Girandola died April 24, 1970 at the age of 49 after open heart surgery.

Gary Girard
April, 1964 - after January 29, 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 worked at the old WHAY 910 in Farmington before joining The WPOP 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 back at WPOP as sales manager from 1976-84 during its all-news days. In the spring of 1984 he was appointed as general manager of WNLC/WTYD in New London. In the late 1980s he was the New England regional manager for the National Association of Broadcasters; and in late 1990 joined the Connecticut Radio Network International in Hamden as sales development director.

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
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 was the voice of Disney, and anchored news at KVUU (later KNIH) in Las Vegas. In 1997 Jerry and his wife, Phyllis (also a broadcaster) were inducted in the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In his later years, Jerry lived in Henderson, NV.

Jerry died on December 22, 2022 at the age of 84; see his note (12-26-22).

audio: January 1964
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 (8/3/16).

audio: July 5, 1974
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, 1974

WPOP's Mike Greene

Check out Mike's 2014
autobiography at Amazon.com

December, 1968 - October 18, 1970

Born in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1943, Mike had an interesting childhood since his father was an Army officer during World War II and the family lived all over the world. His formative years were split between Panama, rural Virginia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Georgia, Germany and France. He attended Paris American High School and was an English major at the College of William & Mary (Class of 1964). Mike's early radio experience was gained at WHAP Hopewell, VA (where he worked with future WPOP Good Guy Bill Winters); WPVA Petersburg, VA; WXEX-TV Petersburg, VA; WKBK Keene, NH; WAIR in Winston-Salem, NC; and WAYS Charlotte, NC where he worked with future WPOP colleagues Larry Black and Jackson Armstrong. 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; WLOD Pompano; WFTP/WLQY Ft. Pierce and Spots Recording studio in Ft. Lauderdale. Mike operated Classic Video Productions in Ft. Lauderdale and Video Dynamics Corporation in Sunrise, FL

In 2019 Mike opened Message Makers, LLC in Boca Raton and has written a dozen novels (e-mail); see his 2014 note. (4/29/21)

audio: August, 1969
prior to January 25, 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 was born on June 29, 1937 as Joseph T. Mulhall, Jr. and 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. Within weeks of starting at POP Radio, Ken was also hosting a weekly tv show on Channel 18 in Hartford.

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...?"

On September 7, 1966 the station hired Lee Baby Simms to host the night show, moving Ken to afternoon drive. A few weeks later WPOP listeners came close to mutiny when Griffin, Fats and Rocky jumped ship for WDRC. 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, Griffin 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 in Port Charlotte, FL on September 28, 2010 at the age of 73.

audio: May 18, 1964
WPOP's 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 on October 1, 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.

Edgar M. Groome, Jr. passed away in Scarborough, ME on April 14, 2008 at the age of 68.

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
WPOP Home | Jingles | Jock Lounge | Albums | Music Surveys | Mailbag
©2001-2024 Man From Mars Productions