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WDRC's Don Wade
click for tribute
to Don Wade

May 31, 1964 - after August 14, 1964 and June, 1965 - October, 1967


Born in Manhattan on Feb. 20, 1941 Don Maxfield Wehde followed his oldr brother, John, to New Hampton School in New Hampshire (Class of '59), where he was co-president of the radio club, played football and track, and was involved in motion picture photography. He began college as an economics major at William and Mary, then segued to Boston University where he got interested in radio. His two stints at Big D were interrupted by a shift with Uncle Sam. Sometimes called "Long Don Wade," because of his 6'5" height, he was the younger Wade sibling, also known as "Long John's other brother." During his first stint he was known as "The Swinging Six Plus One" and was the summer vacation relief man; the second time he replaced Shannon as the staff utility man, hosting Saturdays from 1-4PM and Sundays 7PM-midnight. Like his brother, Don spent time with the Beatles, shooting home movies of them as they filed the movie, "Help!." Contest winners were treated to a special showing in August, 1965. After Ron Landry left in March, 1966, "Don Juan" inherited the morning show where his voice characterizations were used to introduce a number of colorful and humorous guests. Don later worked at the Buckley stations in Philadelphia and Seattle.

PRIOR: WTID Norfolk, VA; WHAV Haverhill, MA; WORL Boston, MA; WUPY FM Lynn, MA

AFTER: WNOE New Orleans, LA; WKBW Buffalo, NY; CHAM Hamilton, ONT; KLIF Dallas, TX; WIBG Philadelphia, PA; KOL Seattle, WA; KTAC Tacoma, WA; Denver; WUSN Chicago; WLS Chicago

TODAY: From 1986-2012 Don, and his wife Roma, woke up Chicago on WLS (except for seven weeks in a 2004 contract dispute). In September 2012, 71-year-old Don had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his brain. It was announced on December 13, 2012 that Don and Roma would not return to the station. Don died in Florida on September 6, 2013; he was 72. (9-10-13)

audio - February 23, 1967

WDRC's Long John Wade
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Long John Wade

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Long John Wade

September 1, 1963 - November 4, 1966


Long John was born on New Year's Eve 1939. Even in prep school at New Hampton, NH, Long John was interested in radio; he ran the school station, was president of the radio club, and was active in dramatics. He attended Boston University and worked at several Boston area stations. While working in Springfield as Johnny Midnight, John Wade got a letter from Richard Buckley, Sr., inviting him to an audition. But the job turned out to be at the Buckley station in Providence. Wade said "no thanks" and held out for a position in Hartford which came a few months later. Initially he was named Big D Wade but after two weeks Buckley told Charlie Parker to change it because he didn't want any one individual to have that much influence. Wade became Long John.

His arrival at Big D officially marked the transition from The Friendly Five to The Swinging Six. So named because he is 6'4" tall, Long John hosted the "LJW fling" during his entire stay, mostly from 4-8PM, but briefly from 3-6PM just before he left for Philadelphia. A feature of his show was a countdown of the Top 13 records on the Swinging Sixty Survey every Monday afternoon. He was a regular instructor at Dick Robinson's Connecticut School of Broadcasting and later started his own broadcast school in the City of Brotherly Love. John was especially close to the Beatles, in particular Paul McCartney and John Lennon. In August, 1964, Charlie Parker sent him on the Beatles American tour for several weeks during which he sent back live reports as his brother, Don, filled in. In February, 1965 Long John vacationed with the Beatles in Nassau, and he was with them at the Warwick Hotel in New York for their famous press conference on August 13, 1965.

PRIOR: WHIL Medford, MA; WTAO Cambridge, MA; WAAB Worcester, MA; WHAV Haverhill, MA; WORL Boston, MA; WSPR Springfield, MA

AFTER: WFIL, WIBG, both Philadelphia, PA; WCBS New York, NY; WCAU AM/FM and WIFI Philadelphia, PA

TODAY: Long John spent his retirement on Cape Cod; see his note (8-9-00). He passed away May 15, 2006 at the age of 66.

audio - November 12, 1964
Dan Walker

after July 5, 1981 - ?


Born Angelo A.Vecchiarelli, he graduated from Seymour High School in 1970 and attended Greater Hartford Community College and the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. "Your man Dan" was at WDRC for about a year and a half. He filled in as a utility announcer on different shifts.

PRIOR: WLAE Hartford, CT; WADS Ansonia, CT; WFIF Milford, CT; WCCC A/F Hartford, CT; WICC Bridgeport, CT; WKCI FM Hartford, CT; WWCO Waterbury, CT; WNVR and WNAQ Naugatuck, CT

AFTER: Dan owned Angelo's Carpet One in Waterbury from 1973-2010, then relocated to Florida.

TODAY: Dan co-hosts a weekend real estate show on WAXE in Vero Beach, FL (e-mail)(8-14-16).


prior to March 12, 1983 - after November 11, 1984


Not to be confused with the Boston television news anchor, this Liz Walker also worked in news at WDRC.


AFTER: WGGB TV Springfield, MA


audio - April 21, 1984
WDRC's Bob Walker

August, 1968 - February 6, 1970


Born in January 1944, and hailing from Queens, NY, Bob served his country with the U.S. Army in Korea. While most people remember Bob as a newsman at WDRC, you get extra credit if you remember a series of Sunday music shows Bob hosted on WDRC FM right after he arrived. It was afternoon man Brad Field who who referred to Bob by his full name so often that as of January, 1969 all his newscasts were delivered by "Robert Michael Walker".


AFTER: WPOP Hartford, CT; JVC Corporation, New Rochelle, NY

TODAY: For many years Bob lived in Orange County, California, but he now lives in Boynton Beach, Florida (e-mail)(7-16-22).

audio - February 9, 1969

prior to July 14, 1944 - ?


Douglas was a Newington resident who worked as a part-time announcer during World War II.




WDRC's Patty Parker (aka Ann Welch)

prior to March, 1944 - after October 21, 1945


Born in Hartford, Ann attended local schools and graduated from Bay Path College. She did clerical work at Pratt & Whitney before joining WDRC in a similar capacity. The Hartford resident also did part-time announcing. She is also known as Patty Parker, the wife of longtime program director Charlie Parker. They were married in Hartford on October 20, 1945.


TODAY: Patty passed away February 19, 1964 at the age of 43. She and Charlie left two children: Kathy and Steve (who has his own successful broadcast career).

WDRC's Larry Wells

October 1980 - October 4, 2011


Larry started as the 7PM-midnight personality on WDRC FM when the music format was contemporary hits and the on-air slogan was "The Music Leader - DRC FM." For most of his years, however, he hosted 10AM-3PM (and later 9AM-2PM) during the oldies format. When Doug Taylor was let go in an October 2008 economic cutback, Larry replaced him on the afternoon drive shift, 2-7PM Larry and Floyd Wright swapped back and forth between middays and afternoon drive in 2010 and 2011. Larry covered most of Floyd's shifts during a medical leave in the summer of 2011. Larry was released in 2011, 3 days short of his 31st anniversary!

PRIOR: WSPK FM Poughkeepsie, NY; WFLY FM Albany, NY


audio - November 25, 1981
WDRC's Mike West

September 4, 2004 - October, 2005


Born four days before Christmas in 1949, Mike joined WDRC FM concurrent with the station's shift to Big Hits of the 60s and 70s. His initial shift was Saturday from 10AM-3PM, though he was primarily a weekend man. After leaving DRC Mike taught at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

PRIOR: WGNG Providence, RI; WAVZ New Haven, CT; WTIC FM Hartford, CT; WKCI New Haven, CT; WCTK FM New Bedford, MA


TODAY: Mike passed away on January 27, 2015 at the age of 64 (1-28-15).

audio - March 26, 2005
Walt Wheeler

May 19-August, 1969


Born on December 21, 1940 in Lancaster, PA, Walt attended Mount Hermon School, Wesleyan and Michgan State Universities. He spent three years in the U..S. Army from 1962-65. His time at WDRC was short - just three months in the news department, replacing Aaron Shepard and preceding Pat Sheehan.

PRIOR: WNHC FM-TV New Haven, CT; WNBC AM/FM/TV New York, NY; Van Leeuwen Advertising Inc., New Haven, CT

AFTER: United Press International, WCBS, both New York, NY; Empire State Network, NY; Walt spent many years as the Deputy Chief of Public Affairs for the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs (National Guard)

TODAY: Walter Chester Wheeler lived in South Schodack, NY, near Albany. He died on December 2, 2017 at the age of 77 (6-15-21).

audio - May 19, 1969
Bud Wilkinson

November 5, 2000 - present


Bud Wilkinson hosted the nationally syndicated Broadway's Biggest Hits program, which was heard on WDRC AM, WSNG, WMMW and WWCO from 9 to 11 a.m., Sundays. As a teenager, he hosted a Soapbox Derby program in Torrington; today WSNG is owned by Buckley Broadcasting. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1975, he spent 14 years in print, including 10 years as TV/radio columnist for The Arizona Republic newspaper. In 1989, he moved to television and spent eight years as entertainment reporter in Phoenix. He also did daily entertainment reports on radio. Wilkinson launched Broadway's Biggest Hits as a local program on KOY radio in Phoenix in December 1997 and took it national in October 1998. As a writer, Wilkinson contributed extensively to Arizona Highways, Phoenix magazine, (Arizona) Diamondbacks magazine and Electronic Media.

PRIOR: WTOR Torrington, CT; KSAZ-TV, KTAR, KOY, all in Phoenix, AZ

AFTER: WJMJ Prospect, CT

TODAY: Bud is a columnist for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury (e-mail) (5-24-13).


February 7-10, 1970 and July, 1973


Frank briefly did news at WDRC in 1970, and returned to do additional news shifts in July, 1973.


AFTER: WCCC Hartford, CT; WINF Manchester, CT


WDRC's Grahame Winters

August 20, 2000 - July 7, 2014


Grahame was a Big D veteran long before becoming a member of the airstaff. She joined WDRC as promotions director in 1992. She's no stranger to the business, either. Her parents met while working at WPOP in the mid 1960s. The late Bill Winters was an air personality for several years and "Miss Marcia" Fox was the on-air secretary to morning man Woody Roberts. After a brief foray into radio sales at WCCC, Grahame returned to WDRC in March, 2000. Her first on-air shift was during WDRC FM's 40th Anniversary Weekend in August, 2000. The family 'radio tradition' continued when Grahame married WCCC overnight personality Jeff Slater! She was promoted to assistant program director in 2003 and replaced Dave Nagel as program director in August 2008. In late June 2009 Grahame began hosting the 7PM-midnight music show after Mike Stevens joined Jerry Kristafer on the wakeup show. Grahame made way for the syndicated Tom Kent in May 2011. That October, however, she inherited the midday shift after the departure of Larry Wells. Grahame was let go along with the rest of the FM airstaff when Connoisseur Media took over from Buckley Broadcasting on July 7, 2014.

PRIOR: WILI Willimantic, CT

AFTER: WCCC Hartford, CT; WILI FM Willimantic, CT

TODAY: Grahame voicetracks middays on WHYA on Cape Cod; she is a secretary for the Manchester Public School system (8-9-20).

audio - July 13, 2008
WDRC's Harry Wood

November 8, 1947 - ?


Harry was a staff announcer at WDRC during the post World War II years.

PRIOR: WNEW New York, NY; WFIL Philadelphia, PA



WDRC FM's Terry Woods

February 12-October 4, 1970


A Meriden native, you might call Terry the man of many names. Born William J. D'Antico, in 1961 he was serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid when he started playing records on the ship's WINT radio station as The Mad Barber. When his hitch ended in 1964 Bill studied broadcast journalism at Columbia University. At WDRC he called himself "Terry Woods, the man with the goods." He did his first show on WDRC FM from 10AM-4PM, replacing Kent Clark who became assistant director at Connecticut School of Broadcasting. From April till August, Terry hosted midnight-6AM on WDRC FM, then returned to the midday slot for the remainder of his tenure. After WDRC he began using the professional name "Chuck Martin" and worked in several major markets. He was Billboard Magazine's 1972 Program Director of the Year for his work in Indianapolis, and later programmed prominent stations in California. He also taught journalism for several years at Chapman College and has won numerous awards for his commercial work.

PRIOR: WWCO Waterbury, CT; WKBR Manchester, NH

AFTER: WTRY Troy, NY; WNHC New Haven, CT; WIFE Indianapolis, IN; WMYQ Miami, FL; WAVZ New Haven, CT; WIVY Jacksonville, FL; KISN Portland, OR; KHJ Los Angeles, CA; KFRC San Francisco, CA; KWST Los Angeles, CA

TODAY: Chuck Martin Enterprises is a full service advertising agency and production studio in Diamond Bar, California (909-861-8122) (5-24-13) (e-mail).

audio - March 1970
WDRC's Floyd Wright

March, 1983 - February 1986 & August 2008 - July 7, 2014


Born May 26, 1950, this native of Wallingford went to Lyman Hall High School and graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in Mass Communications. "Friendly Floyd" hosted the afternoon show on WDRC FM before switching gears and playing music at country music stations. Floyd returned to DRC FM in August 2008 to host Sunday afternoon & overnights. When Larry Wells moved to afternoon drive on October 13, 2008, Floyd replaced him from 9:00AM-2:00PM, but they switched back again a few months later. Thanks to computer technology, Floyd also voicetracked various shifts at the Buckley Broadcasting stations in Syracuse, NY - WFBL and WSEN beginning in February 2009. Floyd underwent bypass surgery after a heart attack in June 2011; he returned to the air around September first. Floyd was let go along with the rest of the FM airstaff when Connoisseur Media took over from Buckley Broadcasting on July 7, 2014

PRIOR: WHEB Portsmouth, NH; WPTR Albany, NY; WAVZ New Haven, CT; WKCI Hamden, CT

AFTER: WYNY New York, NY; WWYZ Waterbury, CT; WRCH FM Farmington, CT; WJMJ Prospect, CT

TODAY: Charles F. Bukowski died on April 30, 2023; he was 72 (5-1-23).

audio - April 20, 1984
WDRC's Kathy Wyler

prior to November 26, 1981 - after February, 1985


In 1959 Kathy graduated from Boston College with a bachelor's degree in English. After she married, she was a stay-at-home mom to four children. She graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and worked at WRCH. A longtime East Hampton resident, she became news director at WDRC in February 1985. After leaving the station she was responsible for public relations and advertising for Together Dating Service in Farmington. Kathy retired from the morning show at WRCH on July 13, 2001, after which she joined the faculty of Briarwood College in Southington.

PRIOR: WRCH Farmington, CT; Waterbury, CT; Brookfield, CT; New Haven, CT; SPringfield, MA

AFTER: WRCH Farmington, CT

TODAY: Kathleen A. Sullivan passed away on May 16, 2023; she was 86.

audio - November 26, 1981
WDRC's Susannah Young

prior to March 18, 1980 - after January 2, 1982


Susannah was born in Manhattan on June 13, 1947. She was educated at the private Brearley School, Finch College, and Columbia University. She also attended the University of Hartford where she got her introduction to radio at the college station. She was the first female to host regular music shows (overnight) during WDRC's pop music history. In February 1981 she particpated in a panel titled Meet Women in Radio at G. Fox and Company. After her radio career Susannah worked as a yoga and fitness instructor in Greater Hartford. She also focused onher interest in arts and museums.

PRIOR: WWUH FM West Hartford, CT; WELI New Haven, CT


TODAY: Susannah E. Shickman died on October 11, 2019 in Bloomfield; she was 72 (11-24-19).

audio - April 18, 1981
WDRC's Kim Zachary

April, 1991 - January, 1994

July 22, 2013 - August 29, 2014


This Avon native and UCONN graduate was one of many morning news anchors for Jerry Kristafer on FM and Brad Davis on AM. She was married to longtime WDRC traffic reporter Jim Sharpley. She later married Dan Williams, with whom she hosted mornings on Springfield radio and television for 17 years. In February 2013 Kim & Dan began hosting an online program. Kim rejoined Big D in July 2013 working alongside Jerry Kristafer and Mike Stevens on the morning show.

PRIOR: WMAS Springfield, MA

AFTER: WRCH Farmington, CT; WHYN AM/FM Springfield, MA; WGGB TV Springfield, MA; WRCH Farmington, CT

TODAY: Kim was the only member of the FM airstaff retained when Connoisseur Media took over the station on July 7, 2014. However, she was let go on August 29, 2014, replaced by a simulcast of WPLR's Chaz and AJ, which is also heard on Connoisseur's WFOX FM in Norwalk (8-30-14) (e-mail).

audio - July  20, 1992
WDRC's Jack Zaiman

September 18, 1939 - August, 1960


A native of Hartford, and 1932 graduate of Weaver High School, Jack Zaiman attended the University of Connecticut for two years. In 1934 he joined the International News Service, and later United Press International. Most people remember him for his many years as a columnist for The Hartford Courant but he worked part-time for WDRC in its early days while employed full-time by the newspaper. While much of his work at WDRC was publicity-related, in 1939 he read a sportscast over W1XPW, Doolittle's experimental FM station. It was relayed, without wires, to FM stations in Albany, then to Schenectady, then back to Hartford, all without static. No one heard the broadcast except for the engineers at each station because there were few FM sets in use. Starting in 1944 Jack presided over WDRC's Needle Club, a social circle of movers and shakers who gathered at the Marble Pillar restaurant for spontaneous, and often humorous, live broadcasts of political issues. In 1948 he also began hosting Heard and Overheard, a Thursday night 15-minute program devoted exclusively to Connecticut's political and social scene. In 1964 Jack was doing political analysis from The Hartford Courant on WEXT; he retired from the newspaper in 1979.


AFTER: WEXT West Hartford, CT

TODAY: Jack retired to Boynton Beach, FL. He died on February 9, 1994 at the age of 78.

audio - December 20, 1945
WDRC's Tom Zarecki

May 2001 - August, 2004


Tom's long broadcast career began in 1966. In addition to on-air positions he has been a program director, chief engineer, and at the age of 19 was board operator at WABC and WPLJ for Dan Ingram, Cousin Brucie, Pat St. John and others. Tom also ran his own radio consulting business. He has a bachelor's degree from Western Connecticut State University and is currently working on a master's degree there. He is a columnist for Radio Ink and Talkers magazines. After several months of fill-in work, Tom took over the early Sunday morning shift on WDRC FM in mid November, 2001.

PRIOR: WTOR Torrington, CT; WTBY Waterbury, CT; WNTY Southington, CT; WXCI Danbury, CT; WINE Danbury, CT; WQQW Southington, CT; WABC/WPLJ New York, NY; WRKI Danbury, CT; WGRG Pittsfield, MA; WNVR Naugatuck, CT; WELI New Haven, CT; WMNR Bridgeport, CT; WDAQ Danbury, CT, WLAD Danbury, CT; WREF Ridgefield, CT; WAXB Danbury, CT; WEVD New York, NY; Radio Computing Services; WJMJ Prospect, CT

TODAY: In addition to weekend work at WJMJ, Tom chairs the Communication and Mass Media department at Lincoln College of New England in Southington; see his note (11-27-01)(e-mail).

audio - November 25, 2001
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