Welcome to the WPOP Mailbag - Page 2
 

Monday, December 29, 2014, 1:21PM

Ed,

I'm just seeing this (news about Lou Morton's death). Thank you for sending my way. Lou was a gentle man with a deep passion for the news business. I have only good memories of him.

Woody Roberts (e-mail)


Friday, November 14, 2014, 9:47PM

Ed,

Thanks so much for doing that (tribute to Lou Morton). I appreciated revisiting my old life!

Bill Coffey (e-mail)


Friday, November 14, 2014, 10:53AM

Thank you, Ed, for passing along this information. I am so saddened to hear of Lou's passing. I remember how disheartened I had become being out of work for four months in late 1970, when Lou hired me at WPOP and gave me the name "Sunny Shores!" The year-and-a-half I worked for him and Augie Santana (Chief Engineer) are the fondest memories of my younger years. Lou was a man of character and good conscience, quite a personality both on and off air, and I owe so much of who I have become to that man. He will always be remembered, and missed, by all of us who had worked with him.

Sheldon Shores (Sunny Shores) (e-mail)

P.S. Just to update the website information, I am now retired and live in my family home in the Philadelphia area.


Thursday, May 15, 2014, 4:48PM

Ed:

This is my new email address (for the last ten or so years).

Mike Greene
Royal Grand Vizier
Video Dynamics Corporation
954-646-9626 (e-mail)


Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 4:24PM

Just a quick update on my personal status. I retired from AP Radio in Washington in November of 2012. My wife, Irene, and I are now enjoying our golden years in NH. Here's my new e-mail address.

Bryant Thomas (e-mail)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 5:09PM

Ed,

Please let your web site visitors know that my book is done and will be ready to ship by 3/31/14! Feel free to use any part of this email on your fine web site, if you wish. Please include my email address. Thanks!

An exciting new music reference book will be available by 3/31/14: “Supplement to Connecticut Rocks!” Pre-publication sale – save $5.

Well over 200 pages
Over 350 new entries for Connecticut artists and Connecticut-based labels from 1950s to 1995 & beyond
Over 380 updated discographies & biographies from "Connecticut Rocks"
Forewords by Nay Nassar, Cliff Edwards, Country Paul Payton, Robb Warner
Up-to-date price guide of Connecticut Records worth $25+
Record dating guide for "CCS" record numbers

Paul Bezanker (e-mail)
2603 Kim Miller Road Lake
Toxaway, NC 28747-6777

Bezanker book cover

Saturday, September 1, 2012, 8:59PM

From 1966 through 1969, I was the Music Director/Record Librarian at a small college radio station, WCCS, at Central Connecticut State College in New Britain, CT. WCCS's frequency was 670 AM. (For radio station historians: Sometime before 1966, the station's call letters were WTCC, for Teachers College of Connecticut. A while after 1969, the call letters changed again, to WFCS.)

As station MD and librarian, I eagerly contacted every label representative I could locate to get better service of promotional records sent to the station. I soon contacted Merv Amols, the Northeast rep for Capitol Records.

Merv and I became frequent phone pals (remember, this was long before emails). I always looked forward to receiving packages from Merv in the U.S. mail of LP's and 45's. During the summer of 1967, I visited the radio station frequently to stay on top of the mail and record library. In July, I received a thin package from Merv. It contained the new Beatles 45 with the picture sleeve. I didn't realize it, at the time, that I held the Beatles' new 45 with the "B" side that nobody had yet heard! The Beatles' "Baby You're A Rich Man" was the B-side of "All You Need Is Love." The 45 r.p.m. single's scheduled U.S. release date was July 17, 1967, and the single was commercially released on Capitol #5964 with a full-color picture sleeve.

One of my sources for MD information was Bob Piava, MD at WPOP, in Newington, CT. On the day I received the Beatles' 45, I stopped by to talk with Bob, and we ended our conversation early because he had a lunch meeting to attend. As we were walking out to the parking lot, I casually asked Bob which side of the new Beatles 45 was the "plug" side. Bob paused and replied that only the "A" side was available. I told him I had the "B" side on the 45. I handed it to Bob, he ran into the station's production studio, recorded the "B" side on tape, and had it on the air within minutes. While the song was being aired, the MD of WDRC, Bertha Porter, called Bob. WDRC was WPOP's long-time fierce competitor for greater Hartford's Top 40 market. Bertha yelled at Bob for playing the "B" side on WPOP before WDRC had it, and Bob smiled and politely told Bertha that "win some, lose some."

A week later, I wrote Merv a nice letter thanking him for his outstanding promo service to WCCS. That was the wildest experience I ever had at WCCS!

Paul Bezanker (e-mail)

Ed's reply: Paul is the author of Connecticut Rocks! The History of Connecticut Rock 'N' Roll© and is working on Supplement No. 1 to Connecticut Rocks!©.


Sunday, August 4, 2012, 10:10PM

Hi - Really enjoy looking at your site for WPOP. While my stay there was short, I really enjoyed the area and great people. Little known fact; Dick Heatherton and I were roommates and I had a chance to meet his sister Joey. Both very classy people. It was Dick who came up with the nickname NAGROM W. NEHPETS. I left to return to Miami, but it was for WQAM (560-Tiger Radio). I had graduated from high school down there and my girlfriend was still down there (I had worked at WFUN - 790 when I met her). I later worked at WINZ (when it was rock). As a matter of fact I worked at a lot of stations down there.

The only other station that I worked at in New England was WFEA in Manchester, before going to WSAI in Cincinnati. Wow - haven't talked about this in years.

Still do a few commercials from time to time. Wrote the book 'The Human Legacy' in 2001. Now retired and living in Kentucky. Keep up the good job.

Stephen W. Morgan (J.L. Long)(e-mail)


Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 8:09PM

Thanks Ed. Heard from Lee. Worked with Gary at WPOP, WIOF, WNLC, WTYD. Wonderful gentleman. Warm regards,

Clark Smidt (e-mail)


Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 5:11PM

I am very sad to report that Gary Girard died at 7:30 this morning at his winter home in Venice, FL.

His health apparently took a sudden turn for the worse late last week and Gary was placed under hospice care at home. Within a week, he was gone, fortunately not suffering any pain or indignity.

I believe most of you knew Gary or certainly knew of him. For anyone who didn't. he was the Sales Manager at WPOP and FM sister station WIOF Magic 104 (later WYSR Star104.1). Gary Girard also fulfilled a lifelong dream when he built and put on the air WKCD - CD 107 in Mystic, CT -- the station that is now WWRX Jammin' 107-7.

We called him "Quad G" for "Good Guy Gary Girard." He was that, and he will be missed. Per Gary's wishes, no memorial service is planned at this time.

Lee Gordon (e-mail)


Saturday, August 27, 2011, 1:43PM

Back in the 60’s I was an avid listener and a card carrying member of the Royal Order of The Black Socks. I’m still wearing only black socks!!

Larry Fisher (e-mail)


Thursday, August 18, 2012, 11:53AM

Ed...Happy you're happy in Radio's after-life.

Yeh, I've been with Temple University's WRTI-FM/HD/Stream since 2005. I do a regular Big Band Jazz show Sunday evenings 7-8pm Also a Vocal Jazz Show on their HD channel...both of which stream on-line wrti.org. Those are recorded. PLUS I'm their go-to guy for fill-ins. By the way, check out our webstite wrti.org. You can listen on-line and also you can download an updated picture/bio there to replace that scandalous photo of me from 1970.

I've also narrated several audio books for Hachette publishing out of New York. I record them at a studio close by. You know, this past week a guy I used to work with at WBZ during my audio engineer days in 1963 found me when he keyed in Jeff Kaye's name...and the link from the DRC/bio brought him to me via WRTI. Strange ! Anyhow, we haven't been in touch for about 45 years.I haven't been in touch with Jeff since the late 80's.

By the way, do you know of anyone who would have a copy of the Heller-Ferguson jingles that were on WBZ in the late 60's? One in particular I'm looking for is the lengthy 2 minute track that begins..."Boston listens...BZ while we let the music play...." I have a copy that I think you made for me, but the audio drops down midway through. It's one of my all-time favorites. Thanks,

Bob "It's L U N C H T I M E" Craig (e-mail)


Sunday, August 7, 2011, 1:32PM

Hi Ed,

I am a relatively old unknown nobody now (always have been I guess -- LOL) , but I worked in Toledo at WTOD as Rick Allen, and WOHO as Earl Richards, among other stations. I had the good fortune to know Sam Holman while he was GM at WOHO and again while he was at KNEW In San Francisco. Sam wouldn't hire me because he thought I was too young at the time, so I went to WTOD, however I would later work for WOHO.

I know Sam has passed away, but I am trying to find Bill Hughes, who was a good friend and my boss (PD & OM) at WTOD. If anyone knows Bills present address I would appreciate letting me know so I can contact him. I enjoy listening to Bill on your site as well as the other airchecks you have. If you have any other checks of Bill please advise. He was a very talented individual who deserves more credit than he was given through the years while at WTOD.

If anyone knows his whereabouts, please contact me.

Thanks

Earl Sharninghouse (e-mail)


Monday, April 18, 2011, 3:22PM

hi there,

enjoyed a stroll down memory lane, looking at your WPOP page. I used to work there in the mid-80s. My question is why you have ommitted the entire WPOP period under Merv Griffen ownership, when it was all news with a CBC half hour clock format. I was afternoon drive before I went to KFWB in LA. I still keep in touch with Lee Gordon and I truly miss the days at WPOP we were a real family that enjoyed putting a local produce with network assistance, not the other way round like it is today. I miss community oriented radio. -- Now I am with Clear Channel, and so it goes..

Chris Simon (e-mail)
WSPD News
Toledo, OH

Ed's reply: Hi Chris: Thanks for checking in; I always enjoy hearing from WPOP alumni. As it says right on the home page, "these pages focus on the period during which WPOP played music, 1956-1975." By the time the station went all-news I was living in New Hampshire and it would have been difficult to track the changes at that point. We do have some coverage of the Merv Griffin era.


Thursday, January 7, 2010, 4:05PM

Ed,

Greetings from Florida! Wanted to update my move from Connecticut to Florida and found Don Blair and Del Raycee on the Florida Turnpike. Living in Stuart, FL and those "boys" chose the west coast of Florida, instead. My e-mail address has been changed (see below).

Keep doing the great job you have always done to keep us the "world" connected to great memories and good fellowship. Have a wonderful 2010 with health, peace and prosperity. I know from Don that Ray Somers resides in North Carolina....any word from Mike Lawless?

Bob (Scott) Goldberg (e-mail)

Ed's reply: Unfortunately Mike Lawless passed away in 1996.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 4:05AM

Hi Ed:

Just went back to the WPOP web site. Just to update it, I was employed at WPOP in the summer and fall of 1971 following my senior year at CCSC. We spent the summer heaving rocks along both shorelines of the stream that ran between the two towers so as to try to retard the erosion of the ground-radial system. Of course after a long hot day heaving the rocks, Augie Santana, the venerable Chief Engineer, always had a few six-packs of beer for the three of us to enjoy at the end of the day. I loved the pix Jack Ramsey posted on his visit. It brought back so many memories of the gates BC-5P2 and especially of the Westinghouse 5HV. Even though I was driving an old Volkswagen, I always knew when the Westinghouse was on the air. It had a spectacular low end response and really “boomed!”

It’s too bad the Media Gang in Boston didn’t have a fall get-together this past year. I enjoyed meeting you at last year’s (2008) gathering. I may try to make this coming spring’s gathering if there is one. But working overnights at channels 7 and 56 in Boston does take its toll on sleep. Please give my regards to wild Bill Hennessey the next time you see him!

Best regards and please keep up the good work on the WPOP and WDRC webpages.

Steve Cohn
Sr. Engineer / Air operations
WHDH-TV 7-NBC / WLVI-TV CW-56
Boston, MA (e-mail)


Thursday, December 31, 2009, 3:06PM

Hi, Ed.

After leaving WTIC in 1977 I worked evenings and weekends for six months at WPOP (Feb. - Aug. 1978) as a news anchor. It was part time for purposes of supplementing my income. If you think I qualify I would like to be listed on your web site.

Dick Bertel (e-mail)


Saturday, December 12, 2009, 7:03PM

Now that I'm all enthused again about Ron and his Rattltones, is there any place to get a CD with that song on it? I can't find it anywhere. Thanks. Oh the memories!

Bruce Heselton
New Britain (e-mail)


Friday, November 13, 2009, 9:55PM

Hi,

I wrote to you a long time ago about your great website on the vintage WPOP. I had mentioned that POP initially affiliated with CBS when it switched to all news; WTIC would then drop NBC and switch to CBS, and POP had to switch to NBC. Your site does not mention the CBS affiliation, but I do remember it. For reference, I found a link to Christopher Simon, who worked there during the CBS era. He makes mention of the affiliation. In addition, in the 1979 movie "PROMISES IN THE DARK," Marsha Mason plays a doctor who has a scene driving on the Hartford highways, and is listening to WPOP with the CBS new theme (familiar on WCBS-AM). Check it out.

Stuart Cook (e-mail)

Ed's reply: I don't dispute Stuart's information but as it says on our home page, "these pages focus on the period during which WPOP played music, 1956-1975."


Monday, July 27, 2009, 2:40PM

Hi--

My name is Jack Borden (note en). Hired at WONS (pre WPOP)--then at 54 Pratt St.---"upstairs". That was '53. It was then owned by General Tire & Rubber which also owned WNAC Boston. Morphed to Ch 18 Hartford when Gen Tire joined with WTHT (Hartford Times) to start up Ch 18 Hartford which in '56 became a CBS 0&0. I'll pick it up from there if anyone out there really cares.

I'm still above room tempereature albeit pushing 82. My phone # is 508-479-0073. I'd welcome a call.

The all-time most talented person ever to work at WPOP was Dick Brown. How many out there remember Dick? If it weren't for 3 packs/day of Luckies he'd still be around--making Howard Stern and Imus sound like fuzz-faced amateurs on a (small) college station.

I haven't read all of the info on the POP site--yet. I've not read any article that does a good job telling the story of "early" Hartford radio & TV.

If you want to give it a try I'll do all I can to assist in pointing you toward some of the still-living personalities.

I left Hartford after Travelers got Ch 3--and snuffed out Ch 18. CBS didn't need a calculator to conclude they could make more money airing their pgms through a max power V than they could owning a limited range U! They just folded the place in Oct '58 and were going to donate all the equiptment to the City of Stamford where they owned a vaccuum tube (remember them) plant and the city was starting up an educ channel. At the last minute--a buyer for the station showed up. The was buyer was.......?

Jack Borden (e-mail)


Sunday, June 14, 2009, 11:02PM

hi ed..

my name is geoff bell... my stepdad, hermie dressel, was a good friend of both ken griffin, and joey reynolds. hermie was in the 'fun' end of the music business... playing with alan freed, mging the legendary KINGSMEN (the same that recorded 'louie,louie')..and evetnually woody herman.. i just want to clarify he never was a drummer for woody herman.. a number of people got that wrong.. he was woody herman's personal mgr from 1968-1986. he was never his drummer. i just wanted to clarify that for the 'record'....

all the best....

geoff bell (e-mail)

Ed's Note: Hermie Dressel's name is mentioned in an interview with Ken Griffin that can be found here.


Sunday, March 22, 2009, 8:36PM

Hi.

Truly enjoyed reading all the greatness experienced by those who had the pleasure of working at WPOP. Reading some of the letters, I do remember "Augie" in the engineering department. I hired Bill Winters as program director of WCAO in Baltimore in the early 70s.

The mention of his wife (Marcia Fox) brings back, probably, the one thing I did as program director at WPOP and that was....having the Beatles LIVE ON THE AIR from their suite at the Warwick Hotel. I was in that suite thanks to my friendship with Rick Sklar of WABC. The party was in full swing when I noticed a phone in the corner....decided to call the station and called Kenny Griffin - told him I would get the Beatles on the air...and I did, though it was difficult because of all the noise in the room.

That Sunday, I had a field pass for the Beatles Shea Stadium concert (again thanks to my buddy Rick Sklar.) WPOP fans called me "The Leader." Naturally, there was a phone in the dugout and I wondered whether I could dial long distance. I did and gave a report on the air and told "Tony the Tiger" to record it while the Beatles were singing in the background.

When I returned to Hartford - with Ken Griffin - we aired a special called "The Beatles are Alive." Lou Morton, Lou Terri (a wonderful guy), Roy Cooper and the very talented George Brewer formed a great team with Kenny Griffin at night.

Great web site and great recollections.

Art Wander (e-mail)


Monday, March 9, 2009, 5:17PM

Hello Ed:

Bill Love here. I'm still in the same place doing the same shift where I've been for the last SEVENTEEN years-WKDQ in Evansville, Indiana.

I have attached a couple of pictures that may be of interest. There's one of me as I appear today at age 66 but there's another that is actually interesting - three actual radio legends in one place. It's the WPOP "bossjock bossketball team" sitting in the middle of the gym floor at Pulaski High during a basketball game against the Pulaski faculty. I'm facing the camera with my psycadelic warm-up still on. Dickie Heatherton is on my left, Steve O'Brian is squatting and Dan Clayton in leaning over us. The other starter- Alan King - is most likely in the hall taking a smoke break.

Big Bill Love in 2009

I have a personal website that may have some things of interest. There are some old air checks and pictures.

Thanks again Ed for developing the WPOP site. I love to visit.

Best regards,

Bill Love (e-mail)
WKDQ
Evansville, Indiana


Sunday, March 1, 2009, 11:06PM

Hi:

The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, to quote another well known denizen of Hartford, Sam Clemens.

The limited bio info under may air name is completely wrong except for the dates I worked the overnight for first Art (Wanderlich) Wander who came in as PD and for Ev Wren who succeeded him. Actually I had a previous history with WPOP doing Sunday nights 6 to midnight from fall 1962 until spring of 1963 as a part timer. I was on right before Johnny "Alligator" Argo. The shift was broken up by an r&b gospel show at 8:30 for a half hour and a few other taped features played from the transmitter. Turnover was so great that I was third in seniority in the AFTRA shop behind Don Blair and Paul Smith (nee Saul Stockman) both in news. I know Paul went on to all news 1010 WINS in New York but don't know if he's related to the WJR morning talker at WJR. Don I tracked as far as Mutual, and was delighted to learn from your notes that he is alive and well in Venice FL retired from a distinguished career. I also did daylight fillins when anyone was ill and was there the day that Morton "Doc" Downey had his heart attack on the air during the morning show, filling in PM drive for Bob "Booby Scoo" Scott. Paul told me he heard the dead air, and was standing straddling Downey's slumped form segging 45s while the ambulance crew attended to him! Fortunately the always smiley "Doc," son of the singer Morton Downey, survived and went on to a notable TV career in a confrontational manner quite unlike his friendly, cheery dispostion to his co-workers. Fourth in seniority was Gary Girard who was hired a couple of days after me to do the Saturday night trick, remaining a weekend warrior for several years. He, and Lou (Gualterri) Terri were the only ones I knew when I was hired back post graduation at a whopping $15 a week more than I was making at WTOR, Torrington which was where I grew up as a teen...a boon for me in 1964 when I got my first phone to ensure all the part time work I wanted while I finished up at the University of Hartford.

But I digress. In 1962 the station was owned by Telebroadcasters with all of the music programmed out of KUDL in Kansas City and sent to us on typed lists to play. They were very out of touch with the East Coast music trends, forcing us to be a couple of weeks out of date on our playlists...perhaps anticipating the recurrent inadvertantly.

Art Wander came down from WOLF in Syracuse and introduced a Rick Sklar imitative programming format that kept us just a little below WDRC in the ratings behind the Travelers behemoth on 1080 owning the market thanks to Bob Steele, Ross Miller and 50kw. Nice guys by the way.

I took the overnight 12-6 (and occasionally 8 when they needed legal coverage in engineering...I had to join IBEW as well as AFTRA and worked combo, an economy measure that enhanced my value to Joe Amaturo who owned the station then). I often worked in a small studio in the back of the building to give me clear line of sight on the meters when we used the alternate main. The station had moved its studios out to Newington by then. But I got married in the fall of 1965 and wanted off the graveyard to get to sleep with my wife! So I left to go to WHAY which has just changed over to beautiful music WRCH...Rich Radio. I was there when they moved out along route six from in town New Britain. Left there to go back to WTOR at a lot more money...then onward to WORC and later WAAB in Worcester MA in 1968.

Moved to PA and worked in automotive accounting for a few years, then taking over PM drive jock in 1971 for WSBA, flagship of the Susquehanna chain in 1971, became excited by the award winning news dept and shifted there in 1972, went to part time in 1973 to pursue a business masters and try to make some real money (with little success) in computer sales with Burroughs then back to automotive accounting and then a second tour in news with WSBA (5k/1k da2 910khz) from 1976 to 1978 (Also did some part time there in news in 1989).

From 1978 to 1984 I did Saturday nites at WHYL 5kw days (only) on 960 in Carlisle PA while running a small printing business I owned. Pinched for funds, I joined WHGB (formerly WFEC) doing mid days, then news director (mornings) and finally PM drive. 2 tours there, interrupted by work in stockbrokerage. A lot of part time for WGET 1320 (1k/500w DA) in Gettysburg PA while spending several years running the office at a small brokerage. Hit my nadir doing telemarketing for a few years. Since 2006 with WIOO (1kw-D on 1000 khz Carlisle PA) doing first part times then 2 years AM drive in classic country format. Simuled on WEEO-AM 1480 460w day/9 w nite in Shippensburg, PA which feeds an FM translator at 93.9 with an amazingly potent 80 watts. Hope to be on the air with a similar translator at 97.9 for Carlisle sometime this summer. I run the news operations (sans budget or staff of course...this is small town radio) as well as jocking 6-10. Whispering Bill Anderson didn't miss it by much...but we do a professional job and serve the heck out of the community.

Except for 1971 jocking at WSBA I haven't used the Stan Douglas monicker since WPOP. It's too hard to explain who you are when you talk with a news source you also know off air.

Please let the world know this is one Good Guy who really isn't dead...yet. I'm looking forward to perusing more of this site I just stumbled upon for the first time tonite.

Thanks for the update on so many co workers I've lost touch with over the years! Now if I could only find Alan Field (nee Irwin Fenster) who mentored me at WTOR before moving on to WITH and WCAO in Baltimore. Lost track of him after about 1963. Anyone have word of him? Married to a pretty young think named Lu before moving on and a strong interest in jazz.

Best to all,

Craig Senior (aka Stan Douglas) (e-mail)


Saturday, August 23, 2008, 1:22PM

Has it been 50 years? Time really flies when you're having fun!

I was in high school during the 60's and listened to both WPOP and WDRC. Back then, I never would have guessed that I would go on to work at both stations as well as WHCN, WMRQ, WTMI and WCCC.

From time to time, I run into broadcast colleagues at the bank, concerts and restaurants, however the 50th reunion brought out folks that have retired or are now working away from CT. There was so much talent and history to be shared at the reunion, it boggles my mind.

Listeners think radio people are competitors and there may be a degree of truth to that. However, I've found radio, tv and sports broadcasters, engineers and sales folks to be warmest, friendliest and most creative people I've ever met.

A big heart felt thanks to Lee Gordon for being the agent provocateur and keeper of the flame. Please, let's... "Do it again, in twenty-ten". (Cue music and fade).

Stew Crossen (aka Beef Stew & Sir Stew)
106.9 WCCC - WTMI 1290 AM Hartford, CT (e-mail)


Friday, August 22, 2008, 7:32PM

Ed-

You need to add me to the WPOP page. I worked there 33 years ago for Dick Springfield, Paul Bessette and Bob Gruskay. I was in sales and did some production. I was at WPOP for about a year then went to WCCC to work with Howard Stern and Sy Dresner. I also lasted about a year there, then went to TV30 to work with Howard Wry, Phil Mikan and Mike Watt. Those were the good old days.

Linda Davidson (e-mail)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008, 10:36AM

Hi Gang,

I was involved with WPOP in the summer before it went all talk. My mom, Joan Giucastro worked in the office, and married Doc Fidler, station GM. The Amaturo Group moved us to St Louis in 1975, after the station was sold. My mom and Doc turned a pop hits station...KGRV, into KISS radio...easy listening, which in turn turned it into an all computerized rap station, MAJIC 108. That last summer at WPOP was the best. Every Saturday I got to sit in the receptionist seat and take requests and high school football scores and give them to the jocks. Mostly Frank Holler...who called me voluptous Vicki....I was 13!! I loved Go magazine....I still have a couple of copies somewhere. We had a ding a ling contest that I had to give prizes for...in honor of Chuck Berry's song. That was fun. And I remember the day Bob Paiva called me in to his little office and asked me if I liked a particular song. It turned out to be.."It Never Rains In Southern California." WPOP got some kind of award for being the fist station in the country to play it. I was very cool and suave in school because my parents worked at the number one rock station in the area. I remember when Jim Croce came to the station for a mini concert. He played "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" for the first time in front of an audience right there in the conference room. The next summer it was a hit. How cool was that? Anyway, thanks for all the great memories with this website....it's awesome!

Vicki Giucastro Simon (e-mail)


Thursday, June 5, 2008, 7:32AM

Ed-

Sounds fun! My e-mail is below, or wclx@madriver.com. Thanks. Rock on. Holler and I used to call POP the "Boss of Newington", or was that New England?

Chip Hobart (e-mail)


Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 7:25PM

Ed:

Here is an update on me. I will officially retire from radio on June 30th, 2008. Forty-seven years in the biz; 30 in country radio.

I remember the day so well when Kennedy was shot. I had just gotten off the air at 10AM, and was sitting in Doug China's (Charlie Douglas now) office. Can't remember if he was in the office or not. He usually followed me on the air from 10-12. Anyhow, our news director ran in (can't for the life of me remember his name; this was 1963; you might be able to look it up). He said "something strange is going on. UPI (might have been AP) was sending down their usual batch of mid-day RECIPES, and somebody on the line kept interrupting with the word "BUST"; happened several times. Finally, they stopped recipes to find out what the bust was, and that was when we first heard that Kennedy had been shot. Went home (at that time, my wife and I lived near Hartford H.S.) and started watching the coverage on TV. Next morning, it was classical music; nothing but classical after Kennedy died. That was on a Friday. All weekend, my wife and I kept up with the coverage on TV. We finally went to bed late Saturday night, as I recall, to get some sleep. Imagine our surprise when we got up on Sunday morning and Jack Ruby had shot Oswald. At first, we couldn't figure out what the hell was going on....it was surreal, to say the least.

Sorry we can't make the reunion.

Tiger Tom Allen (e-mail)


Friday, May 30, 2008, 2:55AM

Back in 2005 we decided to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the end of rock 'n roll on WPOP with a little impromptu get-together. It was so much fun, we decided we ought to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of rock 'n roll on 'POP -- whenever that was. The nearest anyone could figure, that transition took place in 1958 so this is the year.

Based upon an earlier survey, it has been decided that the best time to hold our 50th Anniversary Reunion would be late summer, but not too close to Labor Day. So, barring widespread protest, the date will be Saturday, August 16, 2008 at a location to be determined. Once we have a good idea how many people plan to attend, we'll pick a place and send out an announcement. Most likely we'll choose an outdoor venue as well as an indoor alternative in case of bad weather.

At this time there is no agenda, no special program, no audio-visual presentation or anything else requiring special preparation, unless somebody wants to volunteer to put something together. It's just going to be old (and not so old) radio people getting together, swapping war stories, reminiscing about the good old days, and renewing old acquaintances or making new ones.

The mythical anniversary of rock on WPOP is the catalyst for this event, and we'd like to see as many WPOP veterans as possible, but this is by no means limited to "Good Guys" and their ilk. Anyone who worked at WPOP or any of its sister stations -- WIOF, WYSR, WMRQ, WHCN, WKSS, WWYZ, WPHH, WURH -- is invited. But why stop there? Anyone who worked in radio or TV in Connecticut or Western Massachusetts, or is pals with someone who did is encouraged to join in. And if you know someone who fits the above criteria, spread the word.

So there you have it. You have about two and a half months to clear your calendar and make your travel plans. Once you are reasonably sure you can make it or you can't, please let me know (either way) so we can figure out where to hold this extravaganza. And if you'd like to volunteer to help out, you are more than welcome. Hope to see you there.

Lee Gordon, Reunion Committee Member (e-mail)


Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 7:39PM

Hey Ed ,

Just now lookin' around and , somehow , you know how it is, WPOP and me.. cool , you know what especially caught my attention ? When I moused over the picture..The picture changed ........... Then and now ( more or less ) Now here is my ? to you ......

Which one of these Guy's would you rather hang out with ?..... Ahh..... Hartford... Of Course .... Her Name Was Jennie Alexandria ...............

Lee Baby Simms (e-mail)


Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 9:30AM

ED...

MY NAME IS GEOFF BELL. I GREW UP IN AND AROUND RADIO IN THE GREATER HARTFORD AREA...I WAS VIRTUALLY RAISED AT WHAY (LATER WRCH etc..) FROM 1957 TO 1969. OVER THAT 12 YEAR PERIOD, MY DAD, CHARLIE BELL WORKED AT THE STATION IN VARIOUS CAPACITIES (MANAGERIAL & SALES). I KNEW ALOT OF THE "ORIGINAL" CREW IN THOSE DAYS WHEN IT WAS LOVINGLY REFERRED TO AS "MUSIC MANSION." MY STEPDAD, HERMIE DRESSEL, ALSO WORKED THERE. HE HAD A JAZZ SHOW, AND WAS THEIR PROGRAM / MUSIC DIRECTOR.

AS FAR AS WHEN & WHERE...THE STATION WAS AT 22 GROVE HILL UNTIL (+/-) FEB. 1966. I BELIEVE THE FM-STEREO (100.5) WAS MAYBE '65 (?) AND MOVED TO FARMINGTON IN 1966. I REMEMBER THE MOVE AND KNOW FOR A FACT THEY WERE AT LEAST THERE BY THE SPRING / SUMMER OF 1966. I USED TO GO TO THE STATION WITH MY DAD ON SATURDAY MORNINGS THEN, & I GOT "RAIN" & "YELLOW SUBMARINE" FROM THERE IN 1966, IN FARMINGTON.

IT WAS A GREAT PLACE TO GROW UP...FOND MEMORIES OF THE CREW, AND GETTING STACKS OF 45 RPM RECORDS FROM THE LATE 50's TO LATE 60's. THEY DIDNT PLAY ALOT OF WHAT CAME IN SO I GOT LOTS OF HITS ALL MARKED "PROMO." LOTS OF BOB DYLAN, PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS, AND PETER, PAUL & MARY.

***THIS IS EVERY RECORD COLECTOR'S DREAM. ONE SUMMER DAY IN 1967, MY DAD LET ME LOOSE IN THE RECORD LIBRARY AND SAID: "OK, FROM HERE DOWN, ANYTHING YOU WANT." WELL NEEDLESS TO SAY, THERE WERE SHELVES OF ALBUMS & 45's THAT NEEDED A NEW HOME AND WHAT HOME BETTER THAN MINE? EVERYTHING YOU CAN THINK OF: "THE VELVET UNDERGROUND", TO THE "LOVIN' SPOONFUL,", TO THE "BYRDS".. AND EVERYTHING ASIDE & IN BETWEEN. TWO REAL "STAND OUTS:" AN ORIGINAL 'D.J. COPY' OF "LISTEN TO ME" BY BUDDY HOLLY ON CORAL W/ A BLUE LABEL. I STILL HAVE IT AND THE FIRST MONKEES SINGLE W/ PROMO MATERIAL & PICTURE SLEEVE...AND OF COURSE, AGAIN, TWO SINGLES BY THE BEATLES!!!

ITS FUNNY WHEN I DRIVE ON GROVE HILL TODAY, I CAN STILL IMAGINE THE STATION THERE. ALL THE CREW IS GONE & MOVED ON BUT THE MEMORIES ARE FOREVER!!!!! I REMEMBER WHEN THE HOUND WAS ON WHAY. MY DAD KNEW GEORGE LORENZ WELL.

ANYWAY...JUST THOUGHT I'D SAY HELLO, AND ADD MY MEMORIES. AS I CAN REMEMBER I BELIEVE THE CALL LETTERS STOOD FOR "What's Happening Around You."

ALL THE BEST,

GEOFF BELL (e-mail)


Sunday, April 20, 2008, 10:33PM

Ed:

Thank you so much for writing, I am so sorry that its taken me so long to write back but I have been swamped, as you can imagine.

Thank you for your kind words, its really great to read your posting on the site. Its really awesome that he inspired you as much as he did us. I know he really appreciated those with the same love for broadcasting.

He was an amazing man & father - and as you know he had a great memory.. amongst other fantastic traits. I hope you are doing well, we are just trying to swim through our sea of emotions over here.

Best,

Devon Armstrong (Jack's daughter)


Saturday, March 29, 2008, 7:40PM

Ed,

Both your sites are great. Jack Armstrong was the best and he is sadly missed. I remember him most from WPOP and WKBW. Anyone who wants to SEE Jack as he was should check out the nine minute clip on YOUTUBE from the WIXY 1988 Reunion Weekend. He is awesome there as he always was. YOUR LEADER will live on here and everywhere reminding us all what was so good about Radio not so long ago.

Marty Zeldis (e-mail)


Thursday, March 27, 2008, 3:30PM

Ed,

Wow! The guy was one of the best I'd ever heard. Though I followed him at POP, I first heard "Jackson W. Armstrong" when he was doing nights on WKYC in Cleveland. I was a kid in Kansas City (which was DX heaven, being in the middle of the country) and heard him blasting through the night. First song: Everlasting Love" by Robert Knight (not the redo by Carl Carlton) I also caught him in Denver when he was at KTLK.

Ray Dunaway (e-mail)


Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 10:07AM

I still can't believe our leader is gone. Jack was one of the greatest. I stole a lot of stuff from him in my early days in the biz. God Bless you Jackson!

Uncle Johnny (e-mail)


Monday, March 24, 2008, 8:31PM

A HUGE loss for all that knew him. Personally..I knew him from 1968 with WPOP-Hartford...Ken Wolt had the vision to get him on the air. What a guy! Thanks for the great radio Jackson...we'll watch the gorilla for you:)

Markus (e-mail)
Mark Driscoll Productions


Monday, March 24, 2008, 7:13PM

I met Jack in SF when he was at KFRC..nice guy. I knew his work, he was great but I didn't know till now that he worked at POP.

Thanks.

Jerry Gordon (e-mail)


Monday, March 24, 2008, 6:54PM

Ed,

You really hit home here. Jack Armstrong was my hero and THE REAL NEAL had a lot of Jack Armstrong in him.

By the way, I am doing mornings on XTRA 99 in Gloucester, play by play sports on WLQM and am the track announcer at Langley Speedway in Hampton.

Neal Steele (e-mail)


Monday, March 24, 2008, 5:51PM

hi ed.. thanks for sending that along.. (jack armstrong) was one of my early influences, and i am so sad i never got to meet him.. thanks for keeping the site going.. great memories..

grease (e-mail)


Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 2:46PM

Anyone know where I can find the first 2 WPOP albums (Pop Explosion and Hear Here) or who might have them available for sale? My aunt had given those 2 records to my Mom back in the early 70s and I recall them fondly growing up in New Britain. I remember the little station on Cedar Street especially when walking down the train tracks between there and Twin City Plaza on the New Britain/Newington line. I still have a turntable and would enjoy hearing them again but I am also planning on using the album cover art as part of a display on a wall in our new addition. Wonderful memories. Thanks for having such a terrific website..

Bob Nadolny (e-mail)

Ed's reply: I see these all the time on Ebay; anyone have a copy they want to sell to Bob?


Wednesday, January 9, 2008, 9:10AM

Hey, nice web site. I didn't work at WPOP but was at WTIC in late 70's and knew lots of the folks then. Do you have any [way to] trace of one of the salespeople working then, probably in 1979...young woman named Nancy Keyes? Would love to track her down.

I last heard she might be married to a guy named Fox in Pittsfield, but no joy on looking that up. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Greg Gilmartin
MYSTV Studios
32 Taugwonk Spur, A5
Stonington, CT 06378 (e-mail)

Ed's reply: Can anyone help Greg?


Monday, August 20, 2007, 11:25AM

Ed,

I was still at WHAY in New Britain when the Hound Dog came to us on tape although we did meet once or twice but can't say if it was at WPOP or WHAY....most likely the latter. On occasion he would be in the studio....late, late...going live but not very often. His theme, a haunting R&B type instrumental recorded by a local very good young band, and it was called the Sound of The Hound....on Candy label...the product of one of our local record distrubutors....the very one that made tv deejay Jim Gallant very comfortable with one of the first color TVs in the area and a nice Buick convertible and who knows what else.

Don Blair (e-mail)


Monday, June 11, 2007, 10:49AM

I'm trying to locate Barbara Bodnar who was with WPOP in 1968 as Continuity Chief. She worked with Terry McKay at the same time, according to your website.

I worked with Barbara at the American Forces Philippines Network in 1965 and continued to be an Armed Forces Radio and Television broadcaster until 1997. Appreciate your help.

Sincerely, Richard and Nutam Walters
Parker, CO (e-mail)

Ed's response: Barbara Bodnar Linden lives in West Hartford (e-mail).


Friday, April 13, 2007, 10:12PM

Ed

Just checking in with an update. In August, 2006, I sold WLMI (FM), in Kane, the icebox of Pennsylvania. I have since retired to Lancaster, PA, where the alarm does not go off at 4:50 am. I'm not doing any radio now, but don't rule it out. I love visiting your website, because it brings back so many (mostly) fond recollections.

Chuck Crouse (e-mail)


Wednesday, March 7, 2007, 8:28PM

I just found your website and was glad to get information on Bill Winter's career. I noticed in his bio, that his time at WALT in Tampa, Florida was not mentioned. He went to WALT after he left WHAP in Hopewell, VA and worked for Dick Oppenheimer at both stations. Bill did such a great job at WHAP that Mr. Oppenheimer asked him to come to Tampa with him. After WALT, Bill went to WLCY in St. Petersburg, Florida.

I met him in 1961 in Hopewell, VA. He was a very talented young man. It is sad that his life ended so early. It was great to see the picture of him. He hadn't changed a bit from the time that I knew him. Thanks for the memories.

Cecelia (e-mail)


Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 2:55PM

Ed!! Excellent work (as usual)!!!!

After talking with with Del Raycee over the weekend and giving it some thought, I was coming to the same conclusion that you did...that the move to "Top Forty" at WPOP was an evolutionary process from '56 to '59.

That last newspaper ad that you mentioned from January of 1959 still has a thing called "Connecticut Ballroom" which to me sounds suspiciously like a "Big Band" segment. That, along with the Yankee Network Food Show, indicates to me that this still wasn't Top Forty in its purest form.

To me "Top Forty" means playing the most popular songs from a tight playlist over and over again in a defined format. I'm thinking along the lines of the format invented by Todd Storz and Gordon McClendon. This is the team type Top 40 format where all the air personalities worked together as a branded group like "Good Guys" or "All Americans."

By 1959 stations around the country were copying the Storz-McClendon format and I'm sure WPOP did the same. I'm from Long Island and the earliest version of this format that I remember was WMGM in NYC around 1958. WINS was playing some rock but the format definitely didn't meet the definition described above.

If I find some time over the holidays, I'm going to go to the Hartford Public Library and look through the 1959 editions of the Hartford Courant. Maybe I'll come across a screaming headline...."WPOP Adopts Top 40 Format."

Hal Whitney (Da Judge) (e-mail)


Friday, November 17, 2006, 7:44PM

hey!...

just tripped over this site, and I am digging it-so many memories!...

I now live in ATLANTA-family of 5...

but I was raised on the New Britain - Newington border. I would ride my bike down to WPOP quite a bit...the joint was like MECCA for me...

I was more of a WPOP fan than WDRC...BIG fan of GRIFFIN, TERRI, SIMMS...

I am sending your site to a number of friends who would truly enjoy this!...

I cant begin to tell you how wonderful this site is. Life was sure simpler back then...and I feel almost transposed with thoughts of my 9 volt transistor and my family...(not in that order...well, maybe in that order!)...

Hey THANKS AGAIN-this is tremendous!

Tom Ekwurtzel (e-mail)


Thursday, September 21, 2006, 9:08PM

Hi...

I was reading the Crumpet Caper page, and I don't remember there being a fued involved..but it was a long time ago. I do remember I was drafted to be an agent because they were running out of trips to London and they thought a newsman would be more difficult to figure out than a jock. For your edification, and use in the website if you would like, I submit my column from the December 12, 1997 Kenner Star (New Orleans suburb):

Ed Clancy (e-mail)

"TRAVELING WITH “FATHER CLANCY"

As a good Catholic boy, I am aware that many mothers of same, at one time or another, think about their sons becoming priests. Frankly, my mother never mentioned the subject to me, but I have always wondered what she would have thought about one episode of my life that gave me a chance to see things from the other side of the collar.

In the late 1960's I toiled for a radio station in Hartford, Connecticut, WPOP. (It’s now an all talk station, although at the time we were rock and roll oldies. It sort of brings to mind the inexplicable use of the name “Jazz” in Utah. But I digress).

Some brilliant marketing mind at the station decided we were we going to conduct a listener contest called “The Crumpet Caper,” and the grand prize would be an all expenses paid trip to London, England. (Incidentally, we were not aware until the contest was well underway that the term “crumpet” was not used in mixed company in England, although by today’s standards its probably quite tame).

It seems that all the listeners had to do was listen for clues to the whereabouts of a WPOP “personality.” “Personality,” meant DJ, disc jockey, on-air talent, celebrity, etc. It certainly did not mean “newsman.”

Well, it transpired that either our listeners were extremely crafty, or our clues were extremely easy. I suspected the latter. We apparently had only four trips to London to give away and in less than two weeks we had three winners. The brass was very nervous. These contests are supposed to last several weeks to cover the ratings period. Ratings periods were important to us because they determined who was number one in the market and who was dog meat. The WPOP plan was to use the lavish giveaway to boost the station from dog meat status. But if your contest is over in two weeks, the listeners no longer have a unique reason to listen to your station, and go back to the one they tuned in before your contest came along.

The program director came to me and said, “Ed, we have a problem. We’re running out of personalities. I want you to disappear for a few days and be a ‘mystery celebrity.’”

“But I’m a newsman, not an airhead air personality!”

“We’ll pay you extra.”

Logic always worked with me. I disappeared. Barbara Bodnar, the lady who was organizing the contest, came to me and asked, “What do you want to be?”

“Be?” I replied.

“What disguise to you want?”

I decided I wanted to be a Catholic priest. I don’t know why, but I was intrigued with being someone I knew I could never really be. And so, Father Clancy was born.

Since I was obliged by the rules of the contest to use only public transportation, one of our conspirators borrowed a friend’s taxi cab and I was chauffeured all over the Insurance City in a faded orange contraption. I was able to stay in the best hotels (no private homes), and at regular intervals I phoned the radio station to give a new clue. These clues, by the way were so vague and useless that we were able to stretch the contest out for a couple of weeks.

My stint as a Catholic priest was one of the more enlightening periods of my life. I remember how, when I would walk into a store or restaurant, eyes would turn, ladies would smile, children would giggle and people would take a step back to let the “priest” come through.

As I walked down the street, middle aged women would come up to me and say, “Bless you Father.” It dawned on me then that I better not get caught doing anything un-priestly.

I was rather good at holding my own whenever I became involved in any theological discussion. It’s amazing how many people want to talk religion when you’re a priest. But I almost lost it when a woman came running up to me wanting me to hear her confession. I started to panic. I hadn’t prepared for this one, and had no idea what to do. Finally I mumbled something about being a “beginner,” and not licensed to hear confessions. I escorted her to the nearest Catholic church and into the confessional. Luckily the green light was on.

The most memorable moment, however, was when I was sitting in the back of the taxi, and a drunk staggered over to the cab. He peered into the back window, putting his nose right up on the glass, and yelled as loud as he could, “GOD BLESS YOU, FATHER. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. IT’S TOO LATE TO HELP ME.” And he stumbled down the street.

I told Barbara I wanted out. I was not cut out to be a priest. So we started making the clues a little easier and finally got a winner. I seem to remember a gorgeous young woman coming up to me yelling, “I found Ed Clancy! I found Ed Clancy!” It was at that moment I was truly sorry I was a priest.

The experience taught me a lot of things, but chief among them: being a priest is a lot more than wafers and wine. It’s committing yourself and your soul to other people, sometimes not so savory people. It’s not like radio, where you go on the air, do your show or report your news, put in five or six hours and go home. I learned that when you’re a priest, you’re “on” 24 hours a day. And your audience is literally “in your face.”

When I finally returned to work the next Monday, Barbara called me into her office. “You did a great job, “ she said. I beamed. “Next week you’re a Monsignor.”

I think if we hadn’t run out of free trips to London, I would have been.


Sunday, August 27, 2006, 12:51AM

Addressed to Lee Gordon:

My name is Rosemarie Thibeault and Augie Santana was my dad. Having Goggled my dad's name I came across your lovely tribute to my dad. I cannot tell you how very much those words meant to myself and the rest of his family who loved him so very much and are still having a hard time believing that he has left us. My dad was indeed a wonderful man and I do not know of anyone who ever met him that didn't like him. My children and grandchildren just adored him, he was their Pop.

Beside the time he spent with his family he was happiest down at the station, he just lived and breathed that building. I remember as a youngster going down there in the evenings when he was working on some project or another to have dinner as a family. When my brothers were maybe 10 and 12 he would take them along with him on the weekends to rebuild the catwalks that led to the towers. They would come back dirty, wet and tired but so happy!

The quote you mentioned; How goes the battle for men's minds and women's bodies was one of his favorite. The last time I heard it was about a month before he passed. I had gone to see him at the end of a very long day and seeing the weariness on my face he said,"So Sissy, (his pet name for me), how goes the battle for men's minds and women's bodies! He knew it always brought a smile to my face. Please have no doubt that although his obit may have been brief it wasn't out of lack of respect but simply due to shock. We were in no way ready for him to leave us. I would like to reassure every one knew him that he went peacefully and without pain. All of us who loved him were able to say good-bye and tell him it was okay to go, that we would be alright. The picture we put in the paper is our favorite, if you could view the whole photo you would see that it was taken at the station. He was sitting at one of the consoles with a mike in front of him.

Once again I would like to say thank you for your kind words, they meant a lot to us.

Sincerely,

Rose Thibeault (e-mail)


Friday, July 21, 2006, 11:53AM

I have just become acquainted with the WPOP website, and saw the list of former talent, plus a picture (?) of myself. Jack "Brooks" was NOT a Korean War Veteran. He was a World War II vet who served in Korea in 1945 and 1956, first as a heavy weapons specialist, but later as the morning man on Armed Forces Radio, Souel, Korea. There he was the "Jack the Bellboy". Returned from Korea, back to school, on to WWNH, Rochester, NH, then to WCCC where he worked for 9 years before joining WPOP. He was hired by Del Raycee and Zoppi, and worked along with Don Blair, Morton "Doc" Downey, Jr., Joey Reynolds, Lou Terri and in the newsroom Paul Scott (Stockman), John Swope, Mike Lawless and Mike McClellan. I was in the newsroom when the first Kennedy assassination bulletin came in. Lou Terri was on the air.

You got everything else right. Sorry about the photo. It obviously was a copy of a copy of a copy of a promotional shot in the days when WPOP used me to sell to the advertisers.

Jack Brooks (Broitman) (e-mail)


Monday, June 19, 2006, 1:40PM

Dick Heatherton was the "King of Kielbasa Country". Ken Griffin used to play requests for "New Britski"

Uncle Johnny (e-mail)


Friday, June 16, 2006, 5:19AM

and the memories started coming back...

Does anyone know which DJ claimed the title "King of Kielbasa Country" and was he the same one who called "New Britski, the white sox capital of the world?"

...Spots for "Flingo East and Flingo West."

And finally, is there a roving copy of Joey Reynolds's "Wild Weekend" which he scarfed from WKBW when he came over?

You know, I could never tell that WPOP was a 5Kw'er and WDRC was a 50. We just kept popping the car radio buttons for the best tunes. Thanks for the great site!

Roger Kolakowski WESX 1230 AM (2003-2006) (e-mail)


Friday, May 26, 2006, 6:08AM

Has any heard from or know the whereabouts of Linc Holmes? I know a close relative that is looking for him.

Thomas McHugh (e-mail)


Monday, May 22, 2006, 8:58AM

Hi Ed:

I just came across the WPOP website. I worked as an engineer at the xmtr in Newington from about April 1956 to Oct 1958 and then again from Oct 1962 to about March 1964. I was in the USCG from Oct 58 to Oct 62.

I remember Phil Zoppi (station Manager), Lou Terri (DJ), Doug Ward (DJ), Mike Lawless (DJ) and the engineers Rogers Holt (Chief Eng), Chuck Ripley, Auggie Santana, Jim Geer, Lew House, Wayne Mulligan and Don Muckle (Chief Eng - replaced Holt).

When I first started working at the xmtr in early 1956 I was only 19 years old. It was quit a thrill working at a ROCK station. Some of the DJ's would refer to me as the "teenage" engineer.

I remember one Sunday morning when I opened up at the xmtr (we were not 24 hrs then). We had been on the air for about 2 or 3 hours when a minister of one of the Hartford churches delivered a tape recording I was to play later on that day. It was a very windy day and the wind slammed the door and the vibration knocked us off the air. All sorts of lights started flashing and relays banging. It turned out that one of the 891R modulator tubes shorted out. It had about 10000 hrs on it so I guess it was about time.

I have fond memories of those days. I didn't find out about the reunion until is was over. I'm sorry I missed it.

Neil Fitzgerald (e-mail)


Tuesday, November 22, 2005, 9:58PM

We looked up Zoppi and found your site, if you notice, when you search Zoppi , some clown my dad hired ,refers to him as a affable sales- type with MAFIA UNDERTONES. IF YOU HAPPEN TO KNOW HIM I'D SURE LIKE TO SUE HIS ASS. MR. ZOPPI PASSED AWAY AT AGE 62 , JULY 1978 . MAKING WPOP A SUCESS WAS NO EASY TASK , AND TO CONTROL THAT LIST OF DJ'S DURING THAT TIME PERIOD WAS A STATION MANAGERS NIGHTMARE .

Nancy Zoppi (e-mail)


Sunday, November 13, 2005, 1:46PM

Hi Ed...

Hope everything is well up there in the Great White North. I don't mean to rub it in (well, maybe just a little), but it's sunny and about 80 here in Florida.

I just wanted to keep you updated. I have an new web site. My old site is still up on the web, but it has no demos on it, so therefore is useless.

I'm strictly doing my VO business now, and building a nice client base. It's really amazing what can be done these does with the internet. I just finished the first spot of a campaign for a client in South Africa!

Also, I did a spot a while ago for Radio Disney for a children's book character called Captain Underpants. Aahhh, the things we do to make a living. Again, I hope all is well, and keep me posted on any big changes up there (IE: reunions, etc.).

Take care,

Bill Blizard (e-mail)


Sunday, October 31, 2005, 8:47PM

Hi Ed!

Great job on the WPOP Website. I enjoyed the articles and bios on all the POP jocks/staff.

I remember listening to WPOP when my brother was the Program Director. I would also listen to their sister station WIOF.

And you might want to add WFAN/NEW YORK CITY for the bio on Lance Christian. I remember hearing him host a few shows on WFAN several years ago using the name Sebastian. Keep up the great work.

Stephen Springfield (e-mail)


Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 4:45AM

Hi Ed:

click photo for
more on the 2005
WPOP Reunion
Link to WPOP Reunion photos

Just came across the reunion notice via the WDRCOBG website. I worked at 'POP in 1971 right out of CCSC for about 6 months as an engineer with Augie Santana as chief. I remember we spent the better part of the summer heaving rocks in the brook between the two towers in Newington to shore up the embankments to prevent further erosion of the ground radial system. I hope Augie is still around, and if so, please give him my best regards. I do remember those days quite vividly, with the Gates BC5P2 main transmitter and the old Westinghouse 5HV which had a real sweet sound. Given the somewhat short notice, I don't think I'm going to be able to attend, but if Augie or even if Doug Wardwell makes it, please give them my warmest regards. I'm going to have to look up Doug in Rhode Island one of these days! He was my "boss" at CCSC-TV for a few years!

Since my days at 'POP, I've been at (the old channel 27) WSMW-TV in Worcester, (the old channel 6) WTEV in New Bedford, MA, and for the past 26+ years here at channel 7 (now WHDH) in Boston and have survived three owners so far!

Hope 1410 is still alive and well and hope the reunion goes well too!

Steve Cohn, Senior Engineer / Air Operations WHDH-TV Boston (e-mail)


Sunday, May 29, 2005, 2:11PM

Hi Ed:

Enjoyed the trip 'down memory lane' today as I sit way out here in Rancho Mirage, CA (Palm Springs area). I used to listen to WPOP in Willimantic where I grew up and worked for a while there as a reporter for The Hartford Times while in college.

Believe an old pal of mine named Bob Mills was a WPOP guy in the mid-60s...think he was on-air, or even sales for a while?? If anyone knows or recalls Bob (we used to vall him "General Mills") Mills, he or she can email me.

Charlie Barrett (e-mail)
Publicist for NBC's THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON
1984-1992


Wednesday, May 18, 2005, 9:06AM

Ed,

Blair again. Revisiting your WPOP site.....what an awesome body of work and, for the likes of us, incredibly interesting. A note or two.

Kal Kolby came to Channel 30 as a news anchor after Barry Barents....or maybe even to do weekend anchoring....not positive...but he was there....talked like he had a mouthful of marbles....but there he was for a relatively short time. This had to be around 1965...as I was getting ready to head for NYC. I felt he gave the channel a real come down.

As for the book mention you so kindly give us.....you might note that Splashdown is about all 31 oceanic recoveries...not just Apollo 11 although that was certainly the biggie.

Did I ever write to tell you that a bandleader, who appeared at Lake Compounce, wrote a book about his long career and included a picture of the Hartford deejay and station personnel crowd in his book....is still blowing the horn and leading a young big band down here? Leon Merian lives in or around Sarasota. We've been to hear him several times and he just recently played a big band date at our Venice Little Theater. He's in his early 80's and is the trumpet heard on the sound track of the film Ben Hur.

Don Blair (e-mail)


Friday, April 22, 2005, 1:46PM

Ed,

Bless you...for thou shalt bring old deejays together and they shall break bread and recall old times. Thanks to your untiring efforts.....Bob (Goldberg) Scott and yours truly were able to break the bread....breakfast at a popular restaurant near Hartford (I had flown up to attend a friend's funeral) and then head back to my daughter's house for more nostalgia and chuckles. It was a truly excellent visit and he really promises that next time he and the wife are in our area they will stop in. The funeral was for a former member of the rock band I managed for a few years in the sixties. Thanks to the practice of having record distributors reps bring acts to your record hops....Freddie Boom Boom Cannon heard my "kids" at one of those outings and decided then and there that they would back him on his next record...Buzz Buzz A Diddle It....probably written by Bob Crewe and/or Frank Slay. It got into the 30's on Billboard. He made some money but Slay and Crewe sent us a bill for the studio time. I wrote back suggesting they put their bill where the sun don't shine. End of story. All is well here in warm, sunny Florida. Our book is in a second printing and looking at a third around mid-year.

And thanks again for your website and all your good work.

Don Blair, Venice, Fl. (e-mail)


Saturday, February 12, 2005, 11:28PM

Hi,

Thought I would correct some of the information published about myself. I left WPOP, in Hartford, in 1972, and joined WJJD, in Chicago. I became the 12 noon to 3 p.m. host, which lasted until I was invited to join WMAQ's "gonna make me rich", in 1975, doing the 10 to 3 p.m. shift. Worked with some great people, including Bob Pittman, creator of MTV, and Lee Sherwood, who was our morning show host, and P.D.

In 1975, I moved to St Louis to do the morning show on Country Music, WIL, in St Louis. In 1977 decided to try programming, and joined WSLR, in Akron, as morning show host & pd. In 1981 I rejoined my former boss at WIL, Wally Clark, who had moved to KSD, in St. Louis.

From 1981 until 1996 I worked for Gannett's KSD, which ultimately became KUSA for a brief period until Gannett sold the properties.

Since that time I have worked in the auto business, and am currently employed at Sinclair Lincoln Mercury, in the St louis area as a sales manager.

I never worked in Rochester, and that must have been someone else using the same name. Best wishes!

Bill Coffey (it is my real name) (e-mail)


Sunday, January 16, 2005, 1:33AM

I used to listen to WPOP back in the 50's and 60's all the time. I'm 61 now so I grew up as the rock era became huge and POP had all the tunes. I accidentally came across your site when a group called Ron and the Rattletones popped into my head. I clicked on and remembered that there song "Doug's Drag" was a DJ theme way back when on POP. This is a great site! Thanks for the memories. Wish I still had that 45.

Bruce Heselton (e-mail)
New Britain, Ct.


Friday, May 14, 2004, 4:58:12PM

Ed,

I ran across your name while searching the i-net for info on Fred Lowery [known as Bruce Hayes on WPOP]. I knew Fred passed away several years back but I never could find anything lengthy on it and no obits. I was one of Fred's admirers. I used to listen to him when he anchored, along with Paul Henderson, at WFIL radio in Philly. I tuned in just to hear Fred anchor the afternoon 'casts at FIL. He was great. I followed him to Mutual Radio and that was a real treat for me. I never met Fred and never saw him so I don't know what he looked like. I auditioned for a news writer position at WFIL when he was there but I never saw him, only Paul Henderson. That was a treat.

I miss hearing both Fred and Paul. Not much good on radio these days. Thanks for your help.

Tom Wahl (e-mail)
WEAR-TV
Pensacola, Fl.


Sunday, May 9, 2004, 12:42:12PM

Hi Ed,

A friend of mine told me about this site a couple of days ago. Since then it's been fascinating reading about the people I worked with or knew of and how they're doing; also saddening in finding out that some have passed on so young.

I'm currently living in Waterbury and, like Al Bundy, I'm 'married with children'. (5 of them).

In the mid 90's, when WIOF changed format (again), and let everybody go, I said to myself "That's it". I did not want to subject the family to the life of a gypsy. I wanted the kids to stay in the same school district. My wife, Lesa, and I both work in retail, for Bloomingdales. It's not a glamourous job but offers something radio rarely does --stability.

When our youngest daughter is finished with high school in three more years, Lesa and I want to move to Florida. If a radio job became a possibility down there it would be enticing, as long as I didn't have to read flash cards. There are times when I miss being on the air, but I'll never miss reading those flash cards. Everyone saying the same thing, the same way, at the same time of the hour, it's predictable and boring.

Anyway, thanks for your time. You've done an incredible job with this site and I plan to visit it often.

God bless and keep up the excellent work.

Ric O'Connor (e-mail)


Sunday, May 2, 2004, 1:25:14PM

My dad called himself "The Grand-daddy" of the Good Guys, also known as "Lovable Lou Terri." He was definitely lovable and we miss him terribly. Upon his death in 1989, my family donated his service flag to the station for a memorial. Does anyone know if that flag is still around? If it is not on display, we would love to have it back.

Thanks so much!

Donna Gualtieri Dell'Arcoi (e-mail)


Friday, April 2, 2004, 1:27:38PM

Hi Ed,

I just wanted to say hello and thank you for putting up such a great site. My father, Joe Barbarette, worked at the station in the early 70s. I wasn't born until 1977, so this site is the *only* place where I can hear my dad's voice from his radio days. It's really cool. :~)

Peace, Mary Barbarette (e-mail)


Thursday, March 11, 2004, 7:02:48PM

Hello...

Never worked at WPOP, but listened frequently at night on the skip in Levittown PA outside Philadelphia. To help you in updating, I'm writing to inform you of the passing of two jocks listed on your amazing site.

Larry Hall, who moved on to WCBM, WCAO and others( I worked with him there) died last year from ALS.

John Marion also has died. Prior to his Catholic radio ministry at WTMR-AM in greater Philadelphia, John was a newscaster at CBS Owned WCAU-AM in that city.

Kevin Fennessy, President
WFBS Radio 1280, Berwick PA (e-mail)


Thursday, March 11, 2004, 1:39:46PM

Ed,

I'm not sure that you can help me but I'll try to explain my dilemma in a very short synopsis. Back in the later 1960's (1967-1969) I used to listen to WPOP exclusively. Anyway, the radio station played a song back in those days by a gruop called, "The Peoples Choice". The name of the song was Lost and Found. I purchased a 45 rpm of that recording that, unfortunately, was recently broken. It was on the Phillips label. Since it was one of my favorite songs of all time, I have been desparately trying to find a replacement. It seems that no matter where I search, this group and/or song never existed! Can you help me find another copy? I would appreciate any assistance you can render.

Jack Giacomi (e-mail)

Ed's response: Can anyone help Jack get a new copy?


Friday, November 22, 2003, 11:39:10AM

Hello,

It has been 5 years since my stroke. I turned 60 in October. As you may already know, I am retired, and after we sold the station 4 years ago we bought a house in Florida where we live in the winter. It’s on a lake (with resident alligators) in a very nice "over-55" gated community. Englewood is just south of Venice in southwest FL. We are 2 miles from Manasota Key which has 4 beautiful beaches. I am happy and I feel good. I continue to recover well from the stroke. My wife has helped me over the past 5 years with my speech recovery, and I still attend speech therapy sessions. We keep busy every day and go out to lunch 3-4 times a week. We miss our smooth jazz format, so we now enjoy several channels on XM satellite radio with contemporary jazz as well as an upbeat classic gold channel. We have XM in our car, boat and both houses, although there are two smooth jazz stations here in Ft. Myers and Tampa. We still live in Stonington, and enjoy time on our boat "SaltAire" in the summer. Our little dog "Docker" is 6-1/2 now and still keeps us smiling. I hope all is well and let me know what's new with you. Stop by if you are in our area, either CT or FL.

Best regards,

Gary Girard (e-mail)


Tuesday, September 23, 2003, 9:35:38AM

Hi Ed,

Hey, I just realized I'm on two sites created by you and I want to write to thank you for remembering that I was once part of two of the greatest radio stations ever!

When I was growing up in New Britain as Bart Mazzarella I dreamed of one day taking my place beind the mighty mic at WPOP as one of the "Good Guys" but as fate would have it I was hired by news director Paul Lockwood as a weekend newsman doing 20/20 news (as Bob Marx). Big Bill Love was one of the guys I enjoyed working with along with fellow newsman Robert Michael Walker who broke me in. Unfortunately I didn't fully appreciate the position and was unavailable for weekend duty on more occasions than Paul could stand and I was summarily dismissed!

As a schoolboy in New Britain I always heard of the heated rivalry between WPOP and The Big "D" and of course I had the privilege of working at both stations ('DRC as a mid-day jock for 8 years '75-'83). Incidently, Bob Paiva was instrumental in helping my band, The Detroit Soul, record a hit single, All Of My Life in '67 and he got Ken Griffon involved in the studio as well as promoting the record on The Big 14! In those days we were living the movie, "That Thing You Do". What a magical time starring bigger-than-life people in Hartford . It was truly the golden age of radio and regrettably we will never see it ever again.

Thanks Ed for keeping our radio memories alive with your dedication and hard work!

Bartman, WSCF - Christian FM Vero Beach, Florida. (e-mail)


Tuesday, August 19, 2003, 8:15:10PM

Hi Ed,

My name is Mark Johnson. I'm a PD up in North Conway, NH, WMWV its a Triple A format up in the White Mountains.

I just wanted to thank you for this great tribute to my favorite radio station growing up in New Britain, WPOP. I liked DRC but loved POP as a kid and have fond memories of it. Mostly I was a fan from 1968 thru the end in 1975 with the Greaseman. Thanks again for this great site.

Mark Johnson (e-mail)


Tuesday, August 14, 2003, 3:45:52PM

Just writing to give you props on the WPOP archive site. I currently work at WPOP. It almost kind of sad to see how huge an AM radio station was and is not simply a talk sprts bottom rated station. That may change with the recent syndication of the jaxx show but even still. Great site very informal. I liked it.

Michael Czarnecki (e-mail)


Tuesday, June 3, 2003, 2:28:04PM

Ed:

With malice toward none, I've always been a WPOP listener and prefer the POP web site over the Big D. WPOP had a "progressive edge" over DRC in it's programming, some of it's on air talent and was handicapped with a weak radio coverage area.

Jim Shannon, Avon, Ct (e-mail)


Monday, May 19, 2003, 5:13:22PM

Ed,

Interesting Tribute site !!! As I recall, I worked at WPOP from August 1962 until June 1963. That was during my Junior year at Trinity College. After graduating in June of 1964, I joined the staff of WHAY (changed to WRCH in 1965) as News Director and did some freelance TV and radio work in Connecticut until 1966. Other than a short stint at WROW in Albany in 1969, I was out of broadcasting until December of 2002.

In addition to the Christian Business Review weekly television show, I am currently in the process of transitioning from being in sales to doing sales training at the Sandler Sales Institute. To see the Press Release on Christian Business Review, click here. To view a 6-minute segment from the show, copy and paste the following URL into your browser: mms://media1.enterzone.com/CBR/V/cbr.wmv

Regards,

Fred Herdeen (e-mail)


Tuesday, April 15, 2003, 2:25:22PM

Hi, there!

I happened to find your website about the WPOP Jocks and thought I'd bring you up to date on Jack Kelly. His real last name was spelled Szczepanik. He was born in Buffalo and started his radio career in the early 1950s at WUSJ in Lockport, NY. From there it was on to WWOL in Buffalo where he used the name Vic Bell. In 1958 he went to WKBW to do the all-night Spotlite Serenade and then stayed on when KB went "Futursonic" on July 4, 1958. After that he was in Rochester and then ended up back in Buffalo at WBNY. When WBNY was sold to McLendon, he was there for a brief time doing the beautiful music format before working for Mohawk Airlines and then ending up in Hartford. After Hartford, he ended up back in Buffalo at WMMJ and then back to WYSL, which had now become a rocker. When he went to WYSL, he started using the name Sean Grabowski. He was there until March 1970 when he moved to WGH in Norfolk/Newport News, VA and then WNOR in Norfolk. After that he went to Milwaukee where he was with WRYT. After that he ran a Broadcast School in Milwaukee and even spent a couple years as the P-A man for the Milwaukee Brewers. He died in January of 1980 in Milwaukee.

Jack also worked for Zach Land at WSPR and used the name Bob Allen. He loved Hartford and hoped to end up back there one day, but it never happened.

How do I know this? He was one of my closest friends. He married my wife's roommate and was my son's Godfather. I think it's great the way you have researched so many of the WPOP Good Guys. I spent a lot of years in radio in Buffalo, Louisville, Norfolk-VA Beach and Richmond and it is always good to see there are others who still have the "Broadcasting Bug." I'm still doing some radio and TV, but only as a sideline. I appreciate your website.

Dick Harman (e-mail)


Sunday, December 8, 2002, 12:54:56AM

I noticed a photo of Mike Lawless, who worked with me (or, I worked with him) at WICC when he did news, and WJZZ when he did music. Don't know where he is now, but I do remember that his theme on FM, doing jazz, was a piece called "The Outlaw." That's it; nothing more from here.

Tom Carten (lotsa stations, lotsa years) (e-mail)


Friday, December 6, 2002, 1:14:32PM

Dear Ed,

I am shocked and amazed at the archival work you've done to create this website. Certainly wish all the stops I made during radio days had one. (Of course in the case of Lee Simms that would require a large staff).

Although only briefly at WPOP, it was a vivid existence with Lee Baby, Woody Roberts, Bill Bland, Bill Winters, Bob Paiva, Ed Clancy and other reprobates all under the command of the estimable Joe Amaturo.

Mr. Amaturo never really "got me", I think. Woody told me once he wanted to fire me until one night we hosted a Beach Boys concert at Bushnell Auditorium. The B.B.'s were late, not there at showtime, and Bill Bland and I ad-libbed our way into a long meandering story about chili recipes, as I remember, until their plane landed. We were able to get the sold-out house laughing and that so impressed Joe that my job was safe.

I got the job there through Pat O'Day who was National P.D. for Seattle, Portland, Spokane Radio (Danny Kaye) which owned WUBE in Cincinnati where I had been canned by some new genius trying to improve ratings...or actually GET some. (WUBE could not be heard in 25% of the market due to it's weak signal and 1230 on the dial). Pat recommended me to Woody and I left my lovely Cincinnatti girlfriend, packed my "64 Rambler and headed to Hartford. I left at night, got as far as Cleveland and stopped at a Holiday Inn on Euclid Ave. I had car trouble and couldn't go any further and during the night they relieved me of everything in it.

When I came to Hartford, after having my car robbed of all my possessions in Cleveland, I literally had the clothes on my back and some laundry the thieves left. A quick trip to Robert Hall with what was left of the 100 dollars I had negotiated for moving expenses kept me from freezing to death in the approaching Connecticut winter. I moved into the same motel Lee Baby was living in on the Newington Turnpike, (Woody was at a nicer one next door), which had the thinnest walls I've ever encountered. How they were up to building code, I'll never know. But that's another story.

We were a motley crew in those days. We hung together almost every evening chasing the local flora and fauna, and sampling the local wines. I think I lived on clam chowder and alcohol. One night we decided to order a tribute cocktail indigenous to various cities we'd worked in. Tequila Sunrise for San Antonio, a Pina Colada for Miami, etc.,etc. I think I made it to about the sixth etc. (a shot and beer for Buffalo), but I was young and seemingly indestuctible.

There was a Chinese restaurant we liked to favor with a western motif called "The Round-Up" where we cooked up the name "Cannonball" for me. Woody thought a colorful nick-name might help. He was wrong, but otherwise was a sharp fellow and had that certain "Carny" side to his character that a good radio guy needed then. He was sick one morning and Lee Baby took his show, announced his passing, and did a memorial show for him playing "some of Woody's favorite sides" with a tear in his voice.

My main claim to fame as a jock on WPOP, I think, is the fact that I once fell into the swampy creek that ran by the studios and getting a strange fungus on my hands. I was wandering around outside waiting for the sandwich truck to pull up. The studios themselves were something between WW II quonset hut and 60's draft board and actually just a pre-fab looking addendum to the transmitter shack.

By the way, Tom Shovan was there also then working in continuity. Someone told me when he left they found old food caches squirreled away in his office. He was a huge guy. WDRC had Joey Reynolds and the Wade Brothers at each end of the drive times. The feeling at "POP in those few brief months I was there was one of David going up against Goliath. And there was a fair amount of flexibility from Woody as to being creative on your show. He would definitely fall into "Personality Programming" niche as a P.D. But just before I left they hired that consultant (Graham ?) who was much more rigid and harder-formatted. Also big-time game guy. Cash calls, etc.

I see that I am rambling on and haven't even gotten to the Lee Simm's boa constrictor that he kept in his motel room story or the offer J. Amaturo made to keep me on when I left. (No money, but he emphasized the fact that Hartford had four distinct seasons, I am not kidding). My weird pal Rex Miller offered me a "buddy offer" to come to WNOX, Knoxville to do mornings which turned out to be another swamp.

As you can see, I DO love reminiscing about those days. I appreciate the opportunity to recall those days. I was 22 at the time. Would love to hear from anyone from those days, especially Beth McGurk. Or anyone period. It gets lonely here in the swamps of Manhattan.

Jim Horne

 
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