Man From Mars Productions
March 26, 1971 - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons played
the Bushnell. (L-r:) WDRC's Bob Craig & Dick McDonough;
(center) Charlie's longtime secretary Karen (Putinas) Fritz,
and (far right) WDRC program director Charlie Parker
and Steve Parker grew up considering the WDRC on-air
personalities as their big brothers.
"I don't remember anyone who was higher up the list as
far as who he liked. I really don't. He liked them all. You
don't direct a Joey
Reynolds the same way you're going to direct a Sandy
Beach. He could bring out the devilish side of Joey
Reynolds better than Joey could."
"The other thing that I loved was when he tried to name
the guys. The Sandy
Beach thing had me hysterical - I was like, YES! And Sandy
didn't like it. But I loved Sandy. He took us up to ride his
horses. We had a lot of fun with Sandy."
worth noting that Charlie put the Diamond in Jim
Nettleton's name, originally dubbed Long
John, Big D Wade, and transformed Kenneth Sasso
when Jack Tupper came down from Maine to host WDRC's
wakeup show in 1975, Charlie renamed him Jack
Morgan as a inside tribute to his son-in-law (Kathy's
husband). Charlie's son, Steve, had an opportunity for an
on-air gig at KISS FM in the mid 1980s.
"I couldn't wait to tell my Dad and I said to him, 'what
should I use for a radio name?' He looked at me and said,
'I gave it to you when you were born!'"
"When Dad had to fire somebody it was always wrenching
for him. They were all like extended family. Except the night
decided to just play King Crimson. All night. That was bad.
He didn't answer the Hotline...that was really bad."
Parkers lived in Newington, not far from the Cedar Street
studios and transmitter of fierce rival, WPOP.
"It was a big enough rivalry that friends who knew where
our Dad worked would sometimes say things like, 'POP did something
really cool last night.' And I'd be like, 'no they didn't!'
It was a fierce competition."
Joe Hager & Charlie Parker
with singer Bobby Sherman
25, 1970 - WDRC's Mystery Phone contest
both of the Parker children grew older they had the chance
to work at WDRC. Steve spent time answering the Request
Line during Mike
Holland's night show.
recruited them both for the Mystery Phone contest, which involved
identifying the number from a public phone booth.
"It was near the old Newington Theater. Dad said, 'every
time I'm going to run this contest I'm going to call you and
you're going to have to get to that phone'."
the phone rang, Kathy had to calmly read a pre-prepared script
and get the caller's phone number so a return verification
call could be made.
"I had to do one over at Wittonbury Mall in Bloomfield
and I was there when it hit."
"He involved us in everything. Whatever he had going
on, it was Charlie and the kids. It was really fun."
now it can be told what happened to Little
Dee, the Big D Dune Buggy. Steve Parker pretty much destroyed
in it the family driveway while Dad was inside the house.
He tried to adjust the driver's seat and accidentally crushed
some wires which shorted out, setting the dune buggy on fire.
"He had a lot of opportunities, especially after he became
PD of the year in '75 from Billboard Magazine. He was constantly
getting...you know, everybody wanted him to go to work
everywhere else. He really never wanted to shake up
"He didn't want to move us.
he always kept our Mom alive in our minds."
recalls her father even had an opportunity to go to work for
the Beach Boys at one point. But instead, he spent 39 years
working at WDRC in the state where he was born and
had lived all his life.
August 1981 - WDRC's Joey Orlando,
Charlie Parker, Susannah Young
The Hartford Courant - August 2, 1983
"He had his first double bypass in '76. Then he ran into
health problems in April 1983. I think the powers that be
were frustrated. My Dad was in the hospital, five weeks in
the Intensive Care Unit on a breathing machine. He was alert
but couldn't speak. We didn't know day-to-day if he was going
to be alive. He went in for another double bypass, but he
started hemorrhaging within 24 hours so, they had to open
him up a third time."
family members were allowed to visit Charlie in the hospital,
so WDRC owner Rick Buckley, and general manager Dick
Korsen, had increasing concerns about when - or if - their
program director would be back.
"We couldn't give them any long range answers about his
health. He couldn't. The doctors couldn't. Even when it appeared
he was going to be able to come home, there were still a lot
of unknowns and there was no way to give a concrete answer
as to his availability."
"It was just basically determined that he was going to
the time, Steve Parker was working in the WDRC sales
department. It fell to him to clean out his father's desk.
Shortly after Charlie's departure was announced, Steve submitted
his resignation and moved to a sales position at WPOP.
of Charlie's children say he had never expressed any thoughts
separation from the job he loved was very difficult for Charlie
Parker. His children say he was a company man and knew the
chain of command, so he understood the decision made by his
employers. Dick Korsen stayed in touch with Charlie, consulting
him from time to time. Charlie spent a lot of time on the
phone talking with dozens of air personalities whose careers
he had helped nurture and perfect.
Friday, November 20, 1992, WDRC FM staged its 10th
annual Legends of Rock and Roll concert at the Hartford
Civic Center, preceded by an invitation-only reception in
the atrium of the Goodwin Hotel. Charlie Parker and his family
were greeted as VIP guests. During the concert, Frankie Valli
interrupted the Four Seasons performance to bring Charlie
onto the stage to thank him for all WDRC had done to
support the group during the previous three decades.
20, 1992 - Jack Morgan and his wife Kathy (Parker) Morgan,
Charlie Parker, Steve Parker
Parker was 68 when he passed away on March 14, 1993.