Man From Mars Productions
February 19, 2000, 12:06:18PM
THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMPILING SUCH A GREAT TRIBUTE SITE. IT MEANS
SO MUCH TO GO BACK AND RELIVE THOSE MEMORIES. THANKS AGAIN, WELL
February 18, 2000, 8:54:40AM
a 20+ year radio vet and Hartford native, I must say your DRC site
is nothing short of breathtaking! I am currently 10 year PD/Afternoons
at Rock Powerhouse WZXL Atlantic City but my career started talking
up intros on my crappy bedroom hi-fi pretending to be on The Big
D(at age 12). I'm on this site nightly just for the inspiration,
especially after a lousy day with a GM? sales guy? or morning ego.
Long live Charlie Parker and all my boyhood idols including Gary
DeGraide, Bob Craig and Dick McDonough! They are the reason I love
what I do! Keep up this great project!
Raymond (e-mail) (check
out our new site WZXL.COM)
February 16, 2000, 10:06:26PM
I heard, Frank Holler was starting up a satellite oldies broadcast
with his "Jukebox Saturday Night" program. That was about six months
back now, so things may have changed a bit. I absolutely love your
site! I wasn't born until the 80's, but I've always loved WDRC,
and I think that my heart stopped when I saw this page! Keep up
the incredible work!
February 13, 2000, 11:12:34PM
is just to let you know I've added a link to your site from mine,
My site is a collection of writings -- articles, academic papers,
and personal recollections -- on the history of the city. If you'd
like to contribute anything or know somebody who would, I can be
reached at email@example.com. Thanks for the consideration,
and good luck with your site; I'm amazed you've got so much stuff.
February 12, 2000, 10:28:54PM
Justice told me the stations in Arkansas that he worked for from
his the time he was a junior in high school until he was drafted
into the army in the latter part of 1959. They are: KBBR, Benton
Arkansas (while in high school) KXLR, North Little Rock, Arkansas
KAJI, Little Rock, Arkansas.
he went to WPGC in Washington he used his the moniker Kirk Justice
(Kirk is his middle name). Incidentally, before he joined WPGC in
February of 1962, he had been off the air as a music personality
since the autumn of 1959...while in the army he conducted an interview
program called the Fort Leonard Wood Hour, which was heard
on many stations in the south. I find it a bit amazing that he was
able to join a major market station after being out of the usual
Top-40 routine for two and a half years!
February 12, 2000, 7:40:42PM
a great job you have done with this site! It brings back memories
of happy times and a formative part of my life. I worked as a part-time
engineer at WDRC around 1974-1977. For a young college kid who had
grown up with The Beatles and The Big D, in Hartford CT, this was
a dream job. It was also great experience. WDRC insiders were well
aware of all the problems with labor relations, unstable executive
management, and limited resources. But to the outside, WDRC continued
to deliver a high quality product. Key people like Charlie Parker
and Wayne Mulligan held the place together, and while I didn't appreciate
it at the time, were role models for the type of leader that I've
tried to be in my business life. Charlie, in particular, had a unique
ability to inspire creativity and hard work among everyone. It was
great experience to have been around this.
February 12, 2000, 10:47:22AM
know more about me than I know about me. Your Big D site is terrific.
I can't tell you what a "hoot" it is for me to be back on the Big
February 10, 2000, 9:47:26AM
came across your WDRC website, very nice job. I grew up (and still
live) in Putnam County so had the best of both worlds, New York
stations and Connecticut as well. I remember DRC so well from the
early to mid 70s (I was 13 in 73) and things like "Repeating the
Big D Big Story" and Otis playing "Stairway to Heaven" every Sunday
night as the lead in to "American Top 40". I also recall a fun contest
called "Conversation Please" where callers had to speak on a topic
for a period of time to win a prize (an almanac of some sort I think)
I wouldn't mind picking up a few clips of that period.
February 8, 2000, 9:36:20AM
really enjoy your web site. I recall two more nicknames from my
era - when they all had them. "Dapper" Dick Pace and Jim Raynor
Ron Pitruzzello (e-mail)
February 8, 2000, 1:34:04AM
isn't there any chuck martin a/k/a/ terry woods checks???????
reply: You missed it. Since January 26th there
has been an aircheck of Terry; click
here and listen!
February 7, 2000, 1:31:50AM
just spent an hour or so traveling through your website catching
up on all of the people who I had worked with at Big D. It brought
back so many great memories! And a few sad ones (Roscoe's suicide,
for instance.) But I just had to get back to you and add a few of
my own thoughts about Charlie Parker after reading Rabbett's touching
remembrances. Coincidentally, Rabbett was the overnight jock who
followed me every night after my 7-midnight shift. Rabbett was a
cool guy who probably didn't know quite what to make of me but we
enjoyed chatting before I headed out each night.
actually worked at Big D twice. In September, 1976, Charlie hired
me while he was on Cape Cod and heard me on WCOD. He also hired
Len Thomas at the same time. (There's a great story about how Lenny
left 'DRC which I'll share with you later.)
Charlie hired me, I was really psyched. Everyone in the business
knew of him and his fabulous reputation for guiding real personalities
into stardom. When he brought me to Big D, his original intention
was to use me as a utility guy. Charlie always auditioned his hires
before putting them on the air because he always wanted to hear
his new guys as they would sound within his format. The day I auditioned,
he threw just about every format both stations used at me and couldn't
decide where to put me. He thought I was such a total lunatic!
decided to simulcast my morning show on both stations to replace
Jack Morgan who had already accepted a gig back home in Maine at
WGAN. My material was so "out there" that Dick Korsen fired me two
weeks before Christmas, 1976. Charlie fought for my job but nobody
could ever change Korsen's mind once he made a decision.
I wound up in LA after Ken Griffin, who had a dj placement service
in Newport Beach, had been told by Charlie that I should be working
in a Top 5 market. Ken helped me get a foot in the door at KGOE
in Thousand Oaks and soon thereafter I was doing mornings at KIQQ.
(Bruce Chandler was the afternoon guy!) But Bill Drake and Gene
Chenault owned KIQQ and they changed formats and staffs just about
every fortnight, so soon, I was out. I filled in for Dick Whittington
at KGIL and did some freelance V.O's, but I was really getting tired
of the business. I was considering another career path when in March
of 1978, Charlie tracked me down and offered me the 7-midnight shift
which John Larrabee was vacating for a shift at WXLO in New York.
I was beside myself with glee. And Charlie assured me that Korsen
wouldn't object to my material in that evening time slot. So back
I came and FM Stephens was born. I stayed until May, 1979 when I
moved back to my hometown of Boston for a 12-3pm shift at WVBF.
Parker saved my broadcasting career plain and simple. He was more
than just a great PD. He was a great audience. Rabbett's recounting
of his get-togethers with Charlie in his office to just talk and
exchange ideas was a frequent occurence for just about every jock
at 'DRC. I would come to work 3 hours early sometimes just so I
could sit with Charlie for awhile and share many a laugh with him.
They were great times. It's no coincidence that the staggering list
of enormously talented personalities that worked at Big D went on
to even greater success and stardom. Charlie was a springboard of
inspiration and enthusiasm that helped to create winners.
share Rabbett's opinion that many PD's today couldn't match Charlie's
leadership or sincere devotion to his airstaff on his worst day.
And sadly, many of them wouldn't understand the importance of it.
departure from WDRC was a travesty. He was replaced as PD while
recovering from open heart surgery and I spoke to him numerous times
after his dismissal. His spirit was gone, his enthusiasm was lost
and for all intents and purposes, his life was over long before
he died. His deep, textured voice was damaged after his surgery
and that helped to increase his depression. Dick Korsen would die
years later but it's not easy to forgive him for how he brushed
Charlie aside with such heartless cruelty.
has changed so much since the glory days of 'DRC and what passes
for creativity and inventiveness today usually consists of obnoxious
morons making rude, mindless (one of Charlie's favorite words) phonecalls
or twelve goons stuffed in a studio all laughing at the bogus (one
of Jimmy English's favorite words) comments that go nowhere. Charlie
would be disappointed at what passes for personality radio today
but I know he would have loved Howard Stern. Stretching the envelope
of the power of radio was what excited Charlie the most.
always be grateful for his guidance, patience, and honesty. Even
though I now work in network television, many of his lessons have
stayed with me and still directly apply to what I'm doing now. Are
there any PD's anywhere in the world today that will have that said
about THEM after they've passed on?
now the Len Thomas story. Lenny did middays at Big D am back in
1976 and 1977. He followed Brad Davis, who replaced me in December
'76 as morning man. Brad had always done a lot of phone bits on
his show and they were always recorded on the studio Ampex reel-to-reel.
There was a switch that had to be set to "program" to play it back
and set to "phone" to record a phonecall. One morning, Lenny tried
to record a request to play back over the song that the caller had
asked for. After hanging up, he saw that the switch had been left
in the wrong position by Brad and Lenny cursed, "Goddam f***ing
Davis!" Lenny's mike was open. Charlie walked over to the studio
window and looked in with an ashen face. Charlie pointed down at
the mike key and Lenny almost fainted. Charlie poked his head into
the studio and said, "I hope Dick wasn't listening." He was. Korsen
arrived at the station soon after, walked into Charlie's office,
told Charlie to call a utility guy to come in, and then summoned
Lenny into his office when relief arrived. To my knowledge, Lenny
was the only jock in the history of the station to be fired during
his shift. Lenny went on to work at WBZ as a jock for a few years
and still does some booth announcing for WBZ-TV today.
been great flashing back to those unforgettable years at WDRC. Let
me know if you'd like any other FM Stephens anecdotes. There are
Bill Stephens (e-mail)
February 5, 2000, 8:07:36PM
a pleasant surprise. I almost expected to see you at the DRC reunion
back in, hmmmm, 95? 96? Even Joey was there, doing yoga in the lobby
of the hotel for Chrissakes!! Funny, I only have one air check from
my DRC days, and it wasn't a stunner. You probably have more.
I'm in the Chicago area because my wife got a tremendous promotion
in her job with McDonald's. I'm looking in the Southeast for something
to do, because the climate is more moderate and the stress will
be less. After 40 years, I'm sorta slowing down (by choice). The
Dallas experience was distasteful (3 years at KLUV Oldies), and
here's hoping for a really pleasant situation in the future.
got into our new place 4 days ago (from Big D), so we've got boxes
everywhere. Judd Otis not working after a serious bout with cancer.
Jim Nettleton in Philly at an oldies station.
do you know who gave Gary DeGraide his first job? Me. He did part-time
for me in Providence at WICE. I swear. And so did Jim Harrington.
And Don Berns (actually, Don did 7-mid for me for two years while
an undergraduate). Thanks for the memories.
February 5, 2000, 1:31:10PM
the post here by Barry King: I can confirm Frank Holler worked at
WIOQ in Philadelphia. He was the program director there in the fall
of 88, when he interviewed me for a potential opening. As it turned
out, we wound up working together, but not at 'IOQ. In June '89,
CBS hired him to program its St Louis oldies FM, KLOU, which I had
joined the previous November as evening jock. Frank was with the
station through the following March, but unfortunately as many PDs
at the station found, dealing with the CBS corporate structure -
as well as "10 ton gorilla" sister station KMOX - made the job a
lot less pleasant, and lessened his influence on things.
February 5, 2000, 10:15:32AM
up with Joe Barbarette living next door. I lost contact with him
in the years that follow. How can I trace
him down to check in on him and what he is doing now? Any
help you can give I thank you for.
74 Evelyn Road
Bristol, Ct. 06010 (e-mail)
February 4, 2000, 7:22:44AM
am 16 years old and visited your website wdrcobg.com and would like
to compliment you on the excellent work you’ve done one the site!
How can I get some OLD WDRC RADIO bumper stickers and other stuff?
[Visitors: can anybody help Paul?]
WDRC FM is my favorite station!!
February 3, 2000, 12:46:24AM
worked together very briefly on election night 1974 in New Hampshire
at WKNE. I was a college kid from Connecticut. Now here I am working
at WDRC, the heritage station both you and I grew up with...and
still recall with such great admiration. Thanks for keeping the
memories alive! Your website is a great tribute.
list me as the current afternoon drive host on BIG D 103. While
I have done some afternoon fill-ins, the evening slot from 7pm to
midnight remains my regular shift. Doug Taylor is the 3-7pm host
of course, I'm at WDRC-AM/FM Hartford, CT, where I began parttime
in September 1993 and handled swing shifts for the first couple
of years. I did morning news on AM & FM the first four months of
1995, worked as Jerry Kristafer's morning sidekick 1/96-7/96, was
FM music director 1/96 thru 8/99, and have been the regular weeknight
guy since 7/96. It's been quite a ride!
January 24, 2000, 7:38:24PM
Holler was an old friend of mine. I was working on air and as MD
at WKRQ, Cincy, and Frank was on WLW. We used to chat on the phone
during our shifts, as we were opposite each other. A lot of times
he had plenty of free time because 'LW would broadcast the Reds
games during his shift. He was friends with some of the KRQ staff,
like Chip Hobart and Bill Todd, and of course when Bill Todd became
PD at WDAI, he brought Frank along to join the staff as "Jason
looking at the listing for Frank on wdrcobg.com, as far as I know,
Frank was never on WIOQ in Philadelphia. He was on WYSP, as was
Chip Hobart a bit later. And Frank may have also previously been
on the Quad Father in New York, WQIV. I'll have to check my QIV
airchecks to be 100% certain, but I'm 99% sure.
enjoyed reading Frank's profile. I didn't really know a lot about
what he had done prior to WLW, although I did know that he was one
of the first grads of the CT School of Broadcasting. I think his
picture is still near or at the top on their brochures.
did not know that Frank has been gone from DRC for a few years now.
I'm surprised that where he is now is not known [see
reply from Mike McCann], if he indeed did go to another
station or industry-related company. But having known Frank, anything's
January 24, 2000, 5:27:20PM
Alan a/k/a Al "Late-Nite" Lawrence (e-mail)
January 24, 2000, 5:05:32AM
You have given The Big D new life! There are scores of us who owe
you big time!...so...in the finest New England tradition....if you
ever should need someone's legs or arms broken just call...um..call
Harrington first! Thank you so very much.
for the corrections.... Prior to WAAB...I worked at my hometown
station WVAM , Altoona, Penna. (Altoona's version of Bill Hart)
After WDRC I worked briefly at KBYR and KENI in Anchorage, Alaska.
Flew single engine airplanes on wheels, skiis and floats doing a
bush pilot thing....(Granny Goose at WFEA turned me onto to flying
in the late sixties). I worked construction on the transAlaska pipeline.
Became a general contractor and found myself on the other end of
the microphone cable ... erecting broadcast and telecommuncation
towers throughout Alaska for the past twenty or so years. I am happy
to say I am no longer a mercenary in the war against gravity.
the moment just a small town Alaskan business guy....I am building
a production studio and for therapy I am restoring my two black
ragtops, a 1944 jeep and a 1963 Sting Ray, got any parts?
thanks for remembering the American Pie special. Please give credit
to Co-writer and co-host John Carter. John, then a singer guitar
player , had a regular solo gig singing fifties rock at The Rockin
Horse Saloon. The American Pie production would have never made
it on the air had it not been for the Gentle Genius of Audio Production...Danny
Siemasko. I know he left WDRC to go to Pittsburgh to join Bob
DeCarlo at KQV. Danny S. and Dave Overson along with the other engineers
who worked the production studio at Big D were fantastic...they
made the local spots sound like national productions making it easier
for the audience to hang in there during the commercial sets.
soon as I figure out how to align the tape heads on my Otari 5050
I will send off a wonderful high energy Joe HighGear Hager aircheck.
I was so lucky to have worked and hungout with Joe.... He was so
much fun.. I remain in awe of all the guys that I was fortunate
enough to have worked with at Big D....yes, even that young hot-shit
(fresh out of high school ) Bill Hart. Bill, you were without a
Parker knew how to assemble and create a winning team. He helped
each of us to dig deep within and find our dreams. Then he allowed
us to live those dreams on WDRC in Hartford. Thank you Charlie and
thanks again, Ed!
frosty friend in the far North....Rod "Allen" Ewing (e-mail)
I would have never got through the audition if "The Prince" had
not met me for lunch prior to my appointment with Charlie....and
bought me those relaxing beers. If Charlie was the Captain then
Dick McDonough had to have been the Big D Chaplain.....
January 21, 2000, 1:19:12PM
am compelled to write. A very intense site! I have to hit the hay
but trust me this will be required reading for several nights. I
had the chance to audition for Charlie Parker in the late 70's at
age 19. Never cut it but it was a great experience. Thanks for all
the prep and first class presentation!
Jay Fink WRIP Windham, NY (e-mail)
January 20, 2000, 8:30:04PM
'DRC site looks great! When I got your email last week, I checked
it out and spent quite awhile reliving my adolescence - then my
computer crashed (unrelated to the site) so I haven't been able
to respond since then. You've done a nice job, Ed. As a fan of the
station, thanks. As a former employee of the station let me make
one little, nit-picky correction: the stations I left and returned
to were in NORTH Carolina, not South as you have listed. A lot of
people get the two mixed up. Also, if you wanted to add that I returned
to program a new talk format and became a talk host for six years,
in addition to becoming GM, that would be just as accurate as what
you have. (I know I was only a blip in the 'DRC history, but it's
where I grew up!)
Ed, good job and thanks for the memories.
January 19, 2000, 8:44:08PM
to hear from you....i remember meeting you at wgir many years ago
back when radio was still fun!!! that's why I always wanted to work
at DRC...thanks to charlie parker it always sounded like a fun place
(it still was when i was there)......I was actually the last person
to get hired by charlie before he had a heart attack(I actually
set him a card while he was in the hospital saying that I hoped
I didn't sound so bad on the air that it caused his heart attack.....I
was actually there from march 1983 til february 1986.....they wanted
to move me back to am but I told them no because that would have
messed up my weekend hours in new york at wyny....actually they
just wanted to make room for frank holler on fm.......when I was
younger I just figured i'd eventually get a full time job in new
york, but it never happened ...but I did get to do 13 years of weekends
at YNY through 3 different formats......if I had it to do all over
again I think I'd rather just do one job and have some days off.....now
i'm working for AMFM in hartford....WWYZ moved to hartford 2 and
a half years ago......I don't know how, but I've managed to keep
afternoon drive for 12 years through 5 ownership changes...by the
way wyny is where i learned the country format...then WWYZ changed
and I didn't get canned because I already knew the format.......by
the way I really enjoyed the drc tribute website.......
January 18, 2000, 7:23:50PM
Work. I'm honored to be in such company. I was there for such a
brief moment in time. WDRC was really a very special radio experience
and you brought back a lot of memories. It is also nice to know
what Gary De Graide, Rod Allen, Jim Harrington, Bill Neil, John
Rode and Chuck Crouse are doing, just to mention a few I remember.
Joe Hager was always a favorite, too. Sad to hear he's gone. Thanks
for linking my website and e-mail. Maybe I'll hear from some of
the other alumni. My memory of that period of my life is pretty
cloudy, thankfully. For example, I had no idea what actual dates
I worked at WDRC. I think I still have my WDRC promo picture with
the "Mic" somewhere.
Parker was one of a kind. A rare PD who really appreciated talent
and helped develop the best. Despite having to deal with crazy management
and flipped out talent (including me) he never lost sight of his
vision of a what a great radio station should sound like. It was
his work of art. Charlie actually tried to bring me back in '74
and arranged a meeting with Korsen. I was really flattered but knew
that Dick Korsen and I would never agree on much. In this day of
"monkey hear - monkey do" programming by committee it's a pleasure
to reflect on what radio might have been if more true originals
like Charlie Parker were running the show.
I am still doing voice work and radio syndication work from my studio
in Nashville. I moved here from CT two years ago. With our two little
boys at home (10 and 3) it is great to have time for life with them.
In the past year I've guest hosted for 3 weeks each on the Talk
station, WWTN and the Big Band station, WAMB. Radio is nice to do
once in a while but without guys like Charlie Parker to work with...well,
let's just say live radio ain't as much fun as it used to be.
year I was the host of SFX's country monthly "Superstars of The
Decade." This year the show is called "Sessions." I'm also heard
on TV Land doing what are called VOC's. (Voice Over Credits) I share
those duties with Bill St. James (Bill Hart) and Dan Ingram. I also
do the occasional network promo. Last month I was on the ABC College
Bowl promos for Ford. I also still do character voices for animation
and was the voice of "Bill Clinton" in the film "Beavis and Butt-head
for thinking of me.
As far as your bio info goes - how did you keep track of all of
us? You must have friends in the CIA.
January 18, 2000, 5:37:04PM
- my colleague and golf buddy wcbs 88 pm drive anchor wayne cabot
just send me word of this site - and I have goosebumps at looking
at all the great old pictures and bios. Fan-tastic. Quick note to
update my bio - I now am the wall street and business reporter on
wcbs newsradio 88 - BUT IM STILL IN CT - they built me my own studio
and I telecommute to news 88 from an office with isdn lines and
stock tickers in essex. I left Big D to go to DC to be press secretary
for senator dodd - then got back in to radio at wtop, ap radio -
rko radio network etc - off to vermont - then back to ct and nyc---
Great job on this site. Thank you, Ed.
January 18, 2000, 8:17:56AM
Ed, Congratulations on the awesome WDRC site... I'm proud to have
Where did you get that cheesy picture of Paul Ciliano? Ya
know, he still kind of looks like that.
Kelly - WBIG/The Oldies Station (e-mail)
January 16, 2000, 4:42:42PM
Cipriano (who worked with me in LA at KKHR) tipped me off to your
fabulous labor of love. I just sent a note to Bill Neil (who worked
with me in Miami) to let him in on the site.
a native of West Hartford, I grew up with Big D ... worked at Big
D and emulated Big D when I got my chance to program. I'd always
ask "how would Charlie have handled this?" Thanks for the great
(Mitchell) Scarborough (e-mail)
January 16, 2000, 1:52:28PM
Mike McCann, who during my 4-month run at WDRC-AM went by Mike McKenzie
- Charlie Parker thought it best if I went by a different name than
the one I used on KC101, where I'd come from.
left BIG D for New York's WYNY, where I spent a total of 8 years
- after that, I joined CBS Radio St. Louis to launch the oldies
format on KLOU. Later I returned to the East Coast at WKHL Kool
96.7 Stamford and now work as as a producer for syndicator MJI Broadcasting
and fill-in frequently at WCBS-FM New York).
done a great job on the site. It's amazing to realize what a wonderful
"finishing school" WDRC was -- so much top talent passed through
its doors, both in the downtown studio, and later on, on Blue Hills
Ave in Bloomfield. Move around in the business, as we all have,
and you realize how highly regarded the station has been and continues
to be as an oldies outlet.
after taking part in this summer's KC101 20th anniversary reunion,
maybe all of us BIG D alumni can get together in one place for one
very special time.
January 15, 2000, 7:51:42PM
found your site... WOW! I can't imagine the amount of work you put
into it. It brought back a lot of memories. In fact, my best friend
in the whole world is Ed Mitchell (now Scarborough)... who hired
and fired me from WMXJ, Miami. (He pushed for the hire... couldn't
prevent the fire... it's a long story!) Ed left my house a matter
of hours ago after we painfully watched the Dolphins self-destruct
WMXJ, I've been working part time at WFLC (South Florida's Coast).
As it turns out, I'm now doing mornings while they conduct a national
the way, Bob Craig and I did switch midday spots... but... I was
filling in for Bob while he was vacationing at the Cape. Charlie
asked my availability. Dick Korsen had decided to send the union
members a message, by eliminating Bob, who was shop steward. He
then went across the street. As a result of the incident, no one
wanted to be shop steward, especially during contract talks... so
we held a blind draw, each of us serving three months at a time.
It was my misfortune to draw the quarter that contained a wage re-opener.
I was obligated to inform the rank and file of their option. The
next day, I was fired... and Ed Mitchell took over my slot! I should
have known about him back then!
flattered to be included considering the relatively short period
of time I spent at DRC. That place... more specifically Charlie...
made my career. I can't tell you how long I tried to get in there,
knowing it was the launch pad to a major market for so many people.
It (and Charlie) deserve a special place in broadcast history...
and in a sense, have it, thanks to your obviously tireless effort.
January 15, 2000, 10:22:20AM
to you for this incredible web site.
a native of West Hartford, "The Big D" was that one elusive station
that I always wanted to work for (along with CKLW). When Bill Hart
and I were kids, we worked together at Radio Shack in West Hartford
Center in 1967-68. When he told me that he was going to be on the
air at "The Big D." I didn't believe him. The day I heard him, I
was green with envy.
the way, let me be the first to spill a dirty little secret....it
was T erry Woods who cracked the fiberglass fender on The Big D
been in touch with a lot of the late 60's early 70's group. I speak
with Terry (Chuck Martin), Bill Hart (now St. James), Joey Reynolds
(you should print the story of his shoes nailed to the program director's
door in Buffalo with a note that says "fill these"). I spoke with
Joe Hager about a year before he died. Even spent an afternoon finding
out what its like to be Dick Robinson, on his boat in Martha's Vineyard
I sign off, I'd like to mention the obvious. It was Charlie Parker
that made that station magic. In retrospect, WDRC was a one man
magic show. There was a special vibe, a sound, an aura that no other
station could ever duplicate. Just look at where so many guys went
from there...... New York, LA, Philly. Even if there was someone
today that had the ability (and patience) to build the kind of personality
base that WDRC had, the current radio business climate would not
wait for the "cake to bake."
January 14, 2000, 11:05:06PM
Otis in the Nighttime when he wanted to get fired and move to Texas.
I was there doing the overnights on AM&FM as Rabbett during the
end of 77 and most of 78. I landed out here 1/15/79.
gotta include a section on Charlie Parker the Program Director and
his bit with the Jack Benny statue in his office. If Charlie was
at odds with management jack would be facing the wall when you went
in the office. If everything was ok you saw Jack facing in the room.
worked when Barry Grant - you're old friend Barr was pd...then he
Paul Peyton was the 7- midnight guy and used so much handcream I
told Barry to have him swab the board and the big Gates Stereo Statesman
Board Pots before I took over... Me and Mike Taylor - the morning
guy dubbed him as "Greasy Paul." He even slimed all the records
and I think for a while was required to wear gloves when he handled
them otherwise his globby finger prints were all over them - the
damn needles would get stuck and the records sometimes stopped.
It was that bad.
midnight to five I rocked harder than anyone on the planet then
from 5-5:30 I had to lighten up in preparation for the am/fm separation
and when Brad Davis came in. I light-rocked the FM til six and Mike
Taylor took over. He sometimes had 20 spots an hour - hardly played
any music. was a trippy place but it was a cool job I was heard
from Nova Scotia to Florida and got calls from all over...was good
- Rabbett (e-mail)
January 14, 2000, 6:46:02PM
a surprise! You've done a terrific job with this site. How did you
do it? The pictures...the bios...if it was a book, I'd buy it. WDRC
was a great station. It will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart.
Charlie Parker was more than a boss...he was a mentor and a true
friend. And all the other great people who I had the distinct honor
to meet and work with....Dick M., Jim, Gary, Bob, Bill, Dick H.,
Walt, Don, Joanie, Phil, Brian, Dick R., Karen, Lois, Steve, Joe,
Kent...and the list could go on and on. I'm a lucky guy to have
worked at that station. I've worked at bigger...but none better.
Thanks Ed. All The Best To You and Yours.
Oh, and by the way, I'll never forget meeting the dashing young
M & M Man From Mars...all those years ago.
P.P.S. And where did you find the old DRC mic? It looks like the
one in the promotional pictures.
January 14, 2000, 12:25:26PM
The website is great. I Can't wait to spend more time on it. I don't
look like that anymore..(Except the hair, the glasses, and the sideburns)
Recently came across an unscoped 7/4/71 aircheck and mustered the
courage to listen...MY LORD! At the time, I thought I sounded pretty
cool. Played it when I spoke to communications students at NYU,
to give them hope. I'll be going through all my old tapes this winter,
I'll see if there are any treasures in there you might want.
again for a great job! I Loved working at Big D.
(Hart) St. James (e-mail)
January 13, 2000, 5:09:42PM
dude! Tnx for notifying me of the site's existance. It's a trip
down Memory Freeway. If no one has gotten around to dubbing you
the King of Radio Station Research, I will.
tiny quibbles about your listing for me: my ego asks that you list
WCBS(AM) just before WEEI. And I acquired WLMI in December 1992.
(The WLMI people did a double-take at the photo of Walt & Lon &
reflection: while WDRC was one of the best-sounding radio stations
I've ever heard, the accumulated data makes it clear that it was
a highly unstable place, with staffing constantly in flux. (I know:
welcome to Top 40 Radio...) I guess the credit flows largely to
Charlie Parker, for establishing and maintaining an upbeat off-air
corporate culture that made everyone feel that they were working
for a class act. Someone should find a way of preserving the essence
of Charlie's memos. Some PD's would communicate with the troops
in a couple of sentences. Charlie would use an entire page of single-spaced
text, outlining philosophy and sharing his thoughts. He was a walking
argument for an off-air PD: he had to create his vision by working
indirectly through all of these constantly-changing, quirky, sometimes
rebellious individuals. He couldn't just do his airshift and tell
everybody to follow his lead.
thanks: you've managed to follow your bliss, and along the way give
a lot of people a shiver of nostalgia.
January 13, 2000, 12:32:26PM
That thing is a trip down memory lane. Thanks for sending me the
E-Mail to let me know about it.
I get a second, there's some stuff I'll be able to update for ya
on the personalities section. And where did you get that cheesy
picture of me?
January 13, 2000, 11:09:06AM
for the OBG website. Great Fun! Life is Good!
January 13, 2000, 6:25:20AM
was at DRC From Sept 1990 until Sept 1992 working various slots
and fill-ins (vacations) and holding the Saturday Morning and Sunday
Afternoon Slots from 12N-6P. Before DRC I worked For: WIOF (Magic
104) WCCC (During the Stern Years) WWCO Waterbury (Music Director).
DRC: WWYZ (fill ins 1998-1999) WAXB (Danbury/Patterson OLDIES B-105)
As a Part Timer. Full Time : I work for the US Postal Service as
a letter carrier in West Hartford where I reside with my wife Luci
and 2 sons Daniel and Gianni. I have also attached a photofile...I
will look at the site a little more.
Steve Skipp is spelled with 2 "p's"...he is the Program Director
January 13, 2000, 6:17:04AM
believe the work that you've done on the site..It's wonderful..you
should be very proud. I'm honored to be part of it......You must
have quite a private eye helping you find facts...
Thanks for mentioning the jingles Susan and I did for Charlie......That
time of my life was filled with turmoil......Thank God that NOW
all is well with my soul.
only thing that may be part of the GDG story is that before going
to WRKO...I did 7....Midnight for about a year and half....( I THINK)......However
don't feel like you have to change anything...THE SITE IS GREAT>>>
God Bless ED...Your broadcast brother...
De Graide (e-mail)
January 13, 2000, 12:19:10AM
What an incredibly DEEP site...the amount of information is mind
boggling. I learned things about myself...even I didn't know!! Congratulations
on what is obviously a labor of love...I am honored to be included
among the alumni. Thank you.
January 12, 2000, 10:40:18PM
for the info. Some air checks would be great. Wish I had some to
send you. Did you just start the site? I have one of the old survey's.
Let me know when you get some more goodies on there.
January 9, 2000, 7:23:54PM
(OR TWO) ABOUT TOM FORD. I WAS PRIMARILY THE MAIN BOOTH ANNOUNCER
AT CHANNEL 30 FROM '70 TO '89. VOICED OVER TEN THOUSAND COMMERCIALS
IN THE TRI-STATE MARKET. FROM '80 TO '92 CONCENTRATED HEAVILY ON
FREELANCE DOING REGIONAL/NATIONAL SPOTS. WHILE AT "30" DID THE TODAY
SHOW MORNING NEWS CUT-INS FROM '72 TO '82...ABOUT 5,000 'CASTS.
NOW JUST FILL-IN FOR NEWS/MUSIC ON 'DRC AM....AND AM LOVIN' IT!!!!!
INCIDENTALLY...I GOT STARTED IN ARMED FORCES RADIO AT FORT HUACHUCA,
ARIZONA IN THE EARLY '60'S DOING TAPED ARMY-PROMO SHOWS AIRING ON
80 STATIONS IN THE GREAT SOUTHWEST.
January 9, 2000, 5:56:10PM
Goldring at WKDR in Burlington, Vt. advised me of your WDRC Web-Site.
It's the best I've seen. Having spent ten years at the Big D, I'm
probably in the top 5 announcers in the HISTORY for a stay that
long. Dick Korsen told me that was a big feather in my hat. I have
a better picture for the web-site and other information that would
apply to my success for "Buckley Broadcasting." Good ole Rick. When
Rick Buckley came into town, he'd call Korsen to pick him up at
Bradley International Airport. one time Dick Korsen went to the
airport looking for Buckley for a couple of hours. Meantime, Buckley
had already arrived at the station. He was driving an old Mustang,
with body rot up to the windows. Myself, Wane Mulligan, and Tom
the engineer were in the parking lot with wayne putting new battery
cables on Buckley's car. In pulled Dick Korsen driving the Big D
Limo. That turned out to be quite an experience. I miss all the
good days at the Big D, and would return. I also am very impressed
with the Web-Site. In the Site business, it's hard to find a good
corporate Web Site Programmer. This is becoming the most thorough
Web Site I ever came across. Good luck in finishing.
Gilbert. RADIO VERMONT GROUP (e-mail)
January 8, 2000, 7:40:52AM
job on your website. as someone who has worked at wdrc for 16 years
it is fun perusing.
January 7, 2000, 12:13:02AM
there, Just wanted to drop a line saying how impressed I am with
the wdrcobg.com web site. Great job! I'm presently in my 13th year
at Westwood One's Oldies Channel, formerly Transtar and Unistar
Radio Networks. I am also currently doing the voice work on Big
D 103; promos, stager's, etc. Thanks for the mention on your site.
January 3, 2000, 10:56:54PM
been meaning to say hello for the longest time. You have a super
site. A couple of your old buddies and I were talking about the
site the other day.
to catch up for the last four years I've been the promotional voice
for NBC News. Today I am the voice of NBC Weekend Nightly News,
Meet the Press promos plus various other programs on MS-NBC and
CNBC. I am also the announcer on Weekend Magazine with Stone Phillips
on MS-NBC. I am also the voice of News 12 New Jersey and for the
last 10 years have voiced a daily comedy bit for (what is now) Winstar
radio services. A while back I worked for Dick Clark and hosted
Motor City Beat, a Motown oldies show. By the way Dick Robinson
used to refer to me as "Radio Shack Bill", a take off on my Radio
City Bill Days at WNBC. Today I am the voice of the NBC Radio Shack
Network heard in every Radio Shack store in America.
Phillips and I have dinner fairly often. I'll mention that I e-mailed
you. I believe he told me that you did a super job on the WRKO reunion.
By the way I also have an aircheck of the WDRC 35th reunion when
Walt Pinto (Kent Clark) and I did the final two hours.
me know how you're doing. Keep up the good work.
December 24, 1999, 3:47:46PM
Magoo would say "You've done it again"!
job Ed. I spent 10 wonderful fun-filled years at the Big D and I
learned more from your Web than I did when I was there.
Parker, Charlie's son put me on to this site. I can't believe the
amount of work you put into this project.
was good seeing some familiar faces and old stories. Thanks for
the plug on the 16 years of Rock piece. I still have to send you
that Bi-Centennial Production we put together called 776. I also
have some of the concert adds still around. If you want I can dubbed
them off to you. All of them have Charlie's voice on them. They
consist of concerts for The Four Seasons, Linda Ronstadt and a few
listening to one of my old Out take tapes this morning when I had
an out take of you as the MM Mars guy. This little dog almost chewed
up your leg. It was hysterical.
you did a great job.
December 21, 1999, 1:22:28PM
incredible what you have done with the DRC history - and ALL THOSE
PEOPLE! Thanks very much for including me in the roster of BigD
Alumni. I'll have to send you some images and stuff I have from
my time. I have shots of Korsen, Dick Robinson, Walt Dibble, Kent
Clark, Dick McDonough and several others - even a couple of the
receptionists - like the FABULOUS Shirley!
- GREAT job - very impressive and a wonderful contribution to the
business and people of that time.