A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z | Index
WPOP's Tom Allen
September, 1963 - April, 1964

Tom Allen Lundgren started his radio career at KUMD FM while attending the University of Minnesota in his hometown of Duluth. When the morning man at WEBC was done in by too much New Year's partying in 1961, Tom got the call and his commercial career was underway. He worked at WISH Indianapolis before coming to Hartford as Tiger Tom Allen, replacing Jim Simpson as morning man from 5:00-9:00AM.

Tom also worked at WSPR Springfield; WJIM Lansing; KJR Seattle; WUBE Cincinnati (as Jack London); WITL Lansing; WIL St. Louis and WDEE Detroit. His career in country music stations includes KBOX Dallas, KASE Austin (where he hosted morning drive for 17 years), sister station KVET and KOKE FM in Austin. In 2008 Tom retired though it didn't stick; he still hosts a Saturday show in Austin.

In November 2014 Tom was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame; see his note (e-mail) (11/21/14).

audio: December, 1963
WPOP's Gene Anthony

On March 13, 1937 Gene was born in New Britain. He graduated from Lewis High School in Southington in 1954 and went on to Rensselaer Polytech Institute in Troy, NY. He started his radio career at WSPR Springfield. His next stop was at WDRC in Hartford where he did news and music. Gene was in the Army from September 12, 1961 to September 11, 1964. His next radio stop was WACE Chicopee before being hired at WPOP.

He later worked at WHAY/WRCH Farmington; WCCC Hartford; WHNB TV30 in West Hartford; WELI New Haven and WNTY Southington.

Eugene Anthony Hushak died on November 20, 1980; he was only 43.

audio: December, 1963
prior to May 5, 1962 - April, 1963

John Argo was born in Memphis on August 20, 1926, the son of an electrical engineer. He enlisted in the military in October 1944, and concluded his service just after the end of World War II in September 1945. His on-air career began in 1949. Known on the air as The Alligator, Johnny stormed through the south and midwest with a frantic-paced delivery, working at KWCB Searcy, AK; KJAY in Topeka, KS; KVLC Little Rock, AK; Beaumont, TX; Memphis, TN; WWOK in Charlotte, NC; WQOK Greenville, SC; WTOL Toledo, OH; WYZE Atlanta, GA; WDOK Cleveland, OH; WHEY in Millington, TN. When he married Elizabeth Ann Graham in April 1960 his name was listed on the marriage license as Johnny Alligator Argo of Kansas City, MO; his bride was 14 years his junior.

In 1962 WPOP extended its broadcast day to 24 hours. The first overnight host at POP's Palace of Platinum Platters was Johnny Argo, brought in from Tele-Broadcasters' sister station, KUDL in Kansas City. Upon leaving the Insurance City, Argo returned to KUDL, joining fellow WPOP-alumnus Mort Downey. Later he moved to WMBR in Jacksonville, FL. Then it was on to Kentucky, working at both Louisville Top 40 giants WKLO and WAKY. His final radio stop was in Mobile where he played big band music on WMOB and hosted a telephone talk show on WLIQ.

John Paul Argo, Jr. died in Mobile, AL on April 18, 1972 after a long illness; he was only 45. He was buried in Mobile's Pine Crest Cemetery.

WPOP's Jackson Armstrong
July 24, 1969 - February 7, 1970

In the August 9, 1969 edition of Billboard Claude Hall wrote, "Jack Armstrong is joining WPOP in Hartford. Tough luck, WDRC." Jack was billed as "the fastest talker in the east" and he may well have been. His on-air alter-ego was The Old Man and they were frequently joined by The Talking Gorilla. His nightly 8:00PM-midnight show was raw energy.

For a young guy, Jack had already worked at a lot of stations in his native North Carolina: WCHL Chapel Hills; WSSB Forest Hills; WCOG Greensboro and WAYS Charlotte. He also worked at WIXY and WKYC Cleveland; WMEX Boston and came to Hartford from CHUM Toronto.

He left Hartford for KTLK Denver and a parade of call letters and cities followed: WKBW Buffalo; WJAS/WKTQ and KDKA Pittsburgh; WHYI Miami; WIFE Indianapolis; KTNQ, KHTZ, KFI all in Los Angeles; KFRC San Francisco; KKHR Los Angeles; and KBOS Fresno. Frustrated by the lack of jobs for personalities, he moved back to North Carolina and sat out the radio business for about five years in the early 1990s. From 1997 to September 2004, Jack woke up Winston-Salem at WMQX. In 2003 Jack began voicetracking the night show at WWKB Buffalo but they pulled the plug on oldies and went to talk programming on February 6, 2006.

Jack passed away March 22, 2008 at the age of 62; read more; also see a note from his daughter. (4/2/08)

audio: February 7, 1970
WPOP's Joe Barbarette
January 4, 1971 - June, 1973

Joe was born in Hazelton, PA on September 7, 1930. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he attended Cambridge School of Radio and TV in New York in 1955. One of his classmates was Don Blair. Though they never worked together during their careers, they competed while Joe was at WDRC and Don was at WPOP in the early 1960s.

Joe first went on the air playing records at WBIS in Bristol, CT, then moved to WHIM Providence, owned by Buckley Broadcasting. He was transferred to their Hartford station, WDRC, where he stayed from 1962-68 until he accepted a post as press secretary for U.S. Senator Thomas Dodd. After that assignment he returned to radio as news director at WPOP. He was responsible for getting WPOP affiliated with the ABC Contemporary Network in September, 1971. While at WPOP, Joe served on the board of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

After moving to WFTL in Fort Lauderdale, FL., Joe retired from radio in 1977. He retired altogether in 1992 and lived in Gainesville, FL.

Joseph John Barbarette was 88 when he passed away in Florida on August 12, 2019. (5/12/21)

audio: April 1973
late 1965 - early 1966
  There may not have been an actual WPOP jock by this name, but a PAMS package contained a jingle for him. It is likely management at the time wanted a "house name" but never actually used it.  
WPOP's Dick Beech
January, 1965 - late 1966

Dick was hired as a utility man from WDEE Hamden, CT. During the week he did news at WPOP using the name Dick Beech; on Sundays he hosted 12:00 noon-4:00PM (and later 10:00AM-1:00PM) music shifts as Dick Stephens. He briefly hosted morning drive between the departure of Roy Cooper and the arrival of Kilroy.

After leaving The Good Guys, Dick worked at WKOX FM Framingham and WAAB Worcester.

Dick passed away on October 16, 1982 at the age of 53; see his daughter's note (5/21/02).

audio: April 24, 1966
WPOP's Chuck Bennett
November 27, 1972 - late 1973

A graduate of WEIM Fitchburg, MA; WTSA Brattleboro, VT; WKOX FM Framingham, MA; WKBR Manchester, NH; WKNR Dearborn, MI; WGNG Providence, RI; KFMX Omaha, NE; KGW Portland, OR; and WMYQ Miami, FL, Chuck came to Hartford from WNHC New Haven. He was hired by Bob Paiva. This high-energy jock was hired at WPOP to replace Judge Harrigan from 2:00-6:00PM when The Judge moved to morning drive.

When he left Hartford The Chucker went to WIFI Philadelphia; WPRO FM Providence and later worked at WOCA Ocala, FL after running a south Florida production company. His most recent radio job was as operations manager of WRGO Ocala-Gainesville, FL.

Chuck runs a voiceover business in Silver Springs, Florida (e-mail); see his note. (11/13/05)

audio: February 2, 1973
WPOP's Larry Black
prior to January 20, 1968 - early 1969 & August 14, 1971 - January 2, 1972

Born in 1945 in Alabama, Larry's life journey has taken him to Florida, WABB in Mobile, Alabama, Missouri and South Dakota among other places. Good Guy Larry Black, his wife LuAnn, and dog Kona-Sha, came to Hartford from Charlotte, NC where he worked at WIST and WAYS. He was heard from noon-3:00PM (Sundays noon-6:00PM). He left for WAXC in Rochester, NY but returned in 1971 to do weekends as The Reverend Mr. Black.

After his second stint in Hartford, Larry returned to upstate New York to produce a syndicated religious show, and eventually found himself hosting a Sunday morning religious show in WKDF in Nashville before launching a syndicated show carried on 175 stations. He did several years of morning drive on WSM Nashville.

Larry has been seen on the silver screen, with appearances in Ernest Goes to Camp and in 1992 he played a cab driver in the movie The Thing Called Love, a film about young Nashville songwriters embroiled in a romantic triangle. He was also in several Heat of the Night episodes. In 1996 Larry started Gabriel Communications in Nashville to produce music reunion videos featuring country and rock stars. In 2009 he launched Larry's Country Diner on RFD-TV.

In 2015 Larry was seriously injured in an ATV accident and required several months off the air to recover; his company stopped producing new episodes of Larry's Country dinner at the end of November 2022. See his note (e-mail). (12/10/23)

audio: October 17, 1971

WPOP's Don Blair

Don Blair's book, "Spashdown - NASA and the Navy"

prior to January 17, 1959 - April, 1962

Don was born in Newark, NJ on March 3, 1933. He spent 1953-55 with the U.S. Army, after which his broadcast training was provided by the Cambridge School of Radio and TV in Manhattan. In April 1956 he joined WHAY in New Britain, CT. Later, at WPOP, the Teddy Bear did both news and music. Through most of 1959 he hosted Connecticut Ballroom from 2:00-6:00PM. Toward the end of his tenure Don hosted the 8:00PM-midnight music show.

Don spent a few months in the all-night shift at WHYN in Springfield before joining the news staff at WNBC TV30 in West Hartford. He also spent time at WDEE in Hamden before heading to the news business in New York City in 1966 where he worked for the Mutual, CBS, ABC and NBC Radio Networks. In retirement, Don delivered weekly commentaries over a web service in Sarasota.

Don enjoyed a long retirement in Venice, FL, where he was a member of the Broadcasters Club of Florida and the Media Round Table. He interviewed a number of media figures on METV in Bradenton/Sarasota; they are available on YouTube. His book, Splashdown (left), was published in July, 2004 and had a third printing in mid-2005. It's about his experiences as pool reporter for the landing of Apollo 11 aboard the recovery ship USS Hornet, and all 31 recoveries-at-sea of NASA spacecraft. Order at Turner Publishing.

Donald W. Blair died on December 8, 2018 while living in Venice, FL; he was 85 (12-15-18).

WPOP's William Bland, Jr.
March 5, 1966 - June, 1968

William Bland, Jr., was the housewives' companion, hosting WPOP's 9:00AM-noon shift. He was 24 when he joined The Good Guys. Born in Alaska on July 7, 1942, Bill lived in Washington state and Oregon before joining the Marines for four years. His pre-Hartford radio jobs included KLOG Kelso, WA; XEMO Tijuana, Mexico; KSON and KDEO San Diego, CA; KISN Portland, OR; KLPS Santa Rosa, CA; and KTNT Seattle, WA.

Bill and his wife, Penny, were members of the Capitol Cities Gun Club, entering various shooting competitions in central Connecticut. According to Danny Clayton, one after-hours party of WPOP jocks became a little exuberant. Bill pulled out his credit card, was driven to Bradley Field, and woke up the next morning in San Francisco!

After he came off the air, Bill stayed in WPOP Sales until September 1969 when he joined the national Bridal Fair organization in Omaha. He later held national posts with the Star Stations and Heftel Broadcasting before going to WFMM/WNCC in Barnesboro, PA (where he was elected Mayor). Bill's last known radio assignment was general manager of WRKZ Hershey, PA, though he was a licensed Amateur Radio Operator using the call sign KD7QCB.

After moving back to Washington state, Bill earned his M.B.A. at George Fox University in nearby Newberg, OR. Toward the end of his life, Bill taught business courses at several institutions including Clark College in Vancouver, WA, Eastern Oregon University, Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR, and Portland State University's School of Business Administration in Oregon.

William Colman Bland died on February 2, 2009 at his home in Vancouver, Washington; he was 66. (10/17/10)

audio: April 24, 1966
August 30, 1969 - October, 1969

This individual holds one of the shortest records for a full-time employee at WPOP. Danny Clayton hired him to host 10:00AM-1:00PM weekdays and Saturdays from 10:00AM-3:00PM. Branigan became an assistant to Music Director Bob Paiva and for a couple of weeks (starting September 22, 1969) he hosted an unusual one-hour show from 11:00 p.m. to midnight. The format mirrored what was on the air during the rest of the day - what was unusual was the one-hour shift itself. Mike Greene took over the shift on September 16, then took it over again after Branigan departed until the end of the year. Branigan stayed in Hartford just about long enough for PAMS to sing a jingle for him then left for Canada where he reportedly went to work as a promotions man at RCA Records.

His actual identity and current whereabouts are unknown.

WPOP's Bob Branigan #2 (aka Clark Smidt)
November 8, 1969 - February 3, 1970

What do you do when you already have a jingle but no announcer? Hire Clark Smidt and change his name! That's what Dan Clayton did when the first Bob Branigan left town unexpectedly.

Smidt started in radio at WBIS Bristol at the age of 16. While a student at the University of Hartford, he was the driving force behind the creation of WWUH FM in July, 1968, serving as station manager. At WPOP Clark was hired for weekend work but worked full-time on the overnight shift after John Scott left and before Bobby Rivers was hired.

Clark went on to big things in Boston at WBUR, WBZ FM, WCOZ and programmed WEEI FM during its soft rock format. He later became a consultant to numerous other radio companies. On November 17, 1989 Clark realized a dream by signing on his own station, WNNH Henniker/Concord, NH. He sold it to Tele-Media Broadcasting in August, 1999 for $2.5 million in stock options. He left the company in January, 2002. He was the managing partner of WCAP in Lowell, MA.

Clark runs Broadcast Ideas, a consulting firm, in northern Massachusetts (e-mail); see his note (10/16/15)

audio: January 30, 1970
WPOP's Al Brenick
prior to February 22 - June, 1964

A press release published in The Hartford Times on February 22, 1964 said Al Brenick had been appointed news director at WPOP; he was married and had four children. He came from KQV Pittsburgh and was a lifelong resident of that city, having attended Duquesne University. A Billboard profile of the Hartford market (May 16, 1964) listed Al as WPOP's news director, presiding over a "four-man, mobile cruiser-equipped news operation." Al worked at WKTV-TV in Utica, NY as sports director from 1964-71, then moved into sales at WRUN Radio in Utica. In January 1972 Utica newspapers carried ads for Al Brenick's Warehouse Stereo & TV in the Whitestown Shopping Plaza.

His whereabouts are unknown.

WPOP's George Brewer
prior to May 4, 1965 - September 18, 1966

Born in Elmira, NY, George attended Ithaca State College and worked at WOLF in Syracuse and WTRX Flint, Michigan before coming to Hartford to replace Roy Cooper on the 3:00-7:00PM shift.

On July 7, 1966, George broke the world's record (at the time) for the longest roller coaster ride at Riverside Park by going round and round 310 times over 12 1/2 hours. By that time he was hosting WPOP's wakeup show from 5:30-9:00AM.

George left WPOP for WIXY Cleveland and later worked at WIXZ near Pittsburgh. He left radio to become director of merchandising for Epic Records. In early 1971 he was named assistant director of national promotion for Columbia Records.

George died March 1, 1973, at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, of a congenital heart disorder; he was only 30. He left a wife and two young children.

audio: March 1966
Tom Britton, aka John Larrabee
after May 1974 - September 1974

Born on May 15, 1948, Tom was a native of Oxnard, California whose first on-air job was at KUDU in Ventura. Along the way his radio career took him to KACY in Oxnard; KAFY in Bakersfield, CA; KCPX Salt Lake City, UT; and WDXB Chattanooga, TN. He came to WPOP from WAVZ in New Haven. His time at WPOP was short. By September 1974 he briefly relocated to WRIE in Erie, PA, then hoppd to WGNG in Providence. Soo, though, he returned to Hartford at WDRC where he hosted 7:00PM-midnight under his real name, John Larrabee.

His later worked at WXLO New York before gracing the airwaves of St. Louis at several stations over many years: KSLQ, 21 years on the air at KYKY, and KADI. John then formed JML Aviation, bought an airplane, and did airborne traffic reports on KMOX in St. Louis for many years.

John passed away on July 10, 2021 at his home in Moscow Mills, MO; he was 73 (7/28/21).

WPOP's Randy Brock
before October 5, 1967 - February, 1970

Randy began his broadcast career in 1961, the year he graduated from Jamestown High School in New York. He later graduated from Temple University with a degree in Secondary English Education. Prior to joining the WPOP News team, Randy worked at WOLF Syracuse, WMEX Boston, KBTR Denver and he came to Hartford from WTTO Toledo.

Hired by news director Chuck Crouse, Randy was the Capitol Beat news reporter.

Randy left Hartford for Philadelphia where he worked for WFIL, WPEN, KYW and Metro Networks. He spent many years as news director at WNPV A/F in Lansdale, PA, but it appears the stations went off the air on April 30, 2020.

It is believed Randy is retired and living in Line Lexington, PA. (e-mail)(6/10/20)

audio: July 20, 1969
WPOP's Bobby Brooks/Michael Murphy
August 25, 1973 - June 29, 1975

Bill Vassar's second stint at WPOP was as weekend and utility man Bobby Brooks; he had worked there the previous fall as Michael Murphy. He also did a Saturday night show using his real name for a while.

His other radio experience includes WCCC Hartford; WACE Chicopee; WHCN Hartford, WNHC New Haven; WCDQ Hamden; WRCQ/WRCH Farmington; WPLR New Haven; WAAF Worcester; WEEI FM Boston; WHYN A/F Springfield; WFAS A/F White Plains and WGBB Long Island. He has an extensive video background as well.

Today Bill/Bobby/Michael is VP of Production & Technology for EUE/Screen Gems in Wilmington, NC (e-mail); see his note. (10/16/15)

audio: June 24, 1975
WPOP's Jack Brooks
September 1960 - January, 1964

Born on July 1, 1927 in Philadelphia, Jack grew up in Brooklyn. He graduated from Lafayette High School in 1944. A World War II veteran, Jack also served in Korea where he did a stint on Armed Forces Radio as Jack the Bellboy. After returning to the U.S. he obtained a Radio Broadcasting degree from New York University in 1949, then began his radio career at WWNH in Rochester, NH. Jack moved to WCCC in Hartford in 1951, serving as program and news director.

During the early 1960s Jack was the director of WPOP's Pulse Beat News department, an operation billed as "the largest independent radio news source covering the world for the people of Central Connecticut."

Jack retired in 1996, after 32 years, as executive director of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was honored by that organization with honorary lifetime membership in December, 2001. For more than a quarter century, Jack was a volunteer reading for the blind on CRIS Radio. During his retirement he recorded and produced radio drams for the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum in Windsor.

Jack A. Broitman died on August 29, 2010 at the age of 83.

audio: January 1, 1964
Dick Brown in 1967
prior to April 10, 1959 - before March 4, 1960

Dick Brown was like many deejays of the era - moving from city to city plying his trade. Born in Philadelphia in 1926, he graduated from Connecticut's South Kent School and attended the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Marines. His radio journey began in 1945 at WPEN in Philadelphia. Next stop, KLZ and later KFEL, both in Denver. Then it was on to WCSS in Amsterdam, NY. He replaced the legendary Dick Clark when Clark left WKTV Utica, NY in 1952 to take over the Bandstand franchise in Philadelphia. He also put in time as program director at WILM in Wilmington, DE and WOKY Milwaukee, WI. Arriving in Hartford from WTRY in Troy, NY, Brown was one of the earliest morning men during the pop music era at WPOP. A colleague described him "as an early Stern/Imus type." For example, when he started at The Big 14 he called himself Dick Ribicoff in reference to Connecticut's esteemed U.S. Senator. He was on the air from 6:00-10:00AM.

He left Hartford for the all-night show at KDKA in Pittsburgh. His career took him around the country to stations like WONE Dayton, OH, WNBC New York, WIND Chicago, WCOP and WXHR Boston, WFEA Manchester, NH, and on Cape Cod.

He died while living in Naples, FL in May, 1984.

August, 1973 - ?

Mike joined the WPOP News staff from WAVZ New Haven.

His current whereabouts are unknown.

WPOP's Howie The Bee
January, 1958 - 1960 ?

Born in Hartford February 28, 1924, Howie got his start in Armed Forces Radio while serving in the Army Special Services during the Korean War. He had the distinction of serving in the Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard, retiring from the Army as a master sergeant. Back home he worked at WLCR Torrington, CT; WTXL West Springfield, MA; WSPR Springfield; then back to WTXL.

Known on the air at WPOP as Howie Bee, two months after his arrival he won a Sunday Herald poll as Hartford's "Most Popular Disk Jockey" for his Modern Sounds program weeknights from 10:30PM-midnight. For many months he hosted the wakeup show, 6:00-9:00AM. By June 1959 he was hosting noon-2:00PM, and by September, 9:00PM-midnight.

After Hartford, Howie's radio journey took him to Tucson, AZ and WTAP in Parkersburg, WV. He moved into the news end of the business, anchoring TV newscasts in Youngstown, OH and WSLR Radio in Akron.

Howard Charles Burlingame died May 11, 1999 at the age of 75 while living in Portage, OH. (5/17/01)

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