1953 - ?
Steve is one of the pioneers of Top 40
radio. He took the Wildman nickname in Waterbury
at WATR. After Waterbury he worked at WPRO Providence,
then came to WPOP for afternoon drive. He spent some
time at WNAB Bridgeport from 1959-61 and later moved
to WILD Boston in 1963. WMBM Miami was his last radio
stop. In 1970 he released a comedy album, "MY MAN
! WILD MAN !" which can still be found on some
Wildman Steve Gallon died in Miami FL September 1, 2004;
he was 78. Read more in the WPOP
Jock Lounge. (9/11/04)
February 1964-after November 23,
native of Vinton, VA, James Edward Gearhart was a literature
major at Roanoke College. His first job in radio was
in 1958 at WROV.
He was program director and operations manager at WHYE
in Roanoke. Jim was hired from KQV Pittsburgh to be
WPOP's program director and morning driver (replacing
Tom Allen), though
he had previously worked at WMMW in Meriden, CT.
leaving WPOP Jim worked at WFIL Philadelphia. He later
played music weeknights when WCBS New York changed to
an all-news format in 1967, but they thought enough
of his work to retain his show. He also spent time at
WNEW and WNBC in New York; KIRO in Seattle and a station
in Los Angeles; WUSL Philadelphia and WBUD Trenton,
NJ. For 25 years Jim hosted the wakeup show at WXKW
in Trenton, NJ. In 2013 he was inducted into the New
Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
Sept. 2015 83-year-old Jim sustained a head injury in
an accidental fall at his home. After a prolonged leave
of absence it was announced on Nov. 23, 2015 that he
would not return to the air at WXKW. But in March 2017,
Jim began a weekly podcast in conjunction with New Jersey
1964 - 1965
got his radio experience at WBAM Montgomery, AL; WLOF
Orlando, WFUN Miami and KAYO Seattle.
many WPOP alumni, his resume after leaving Hartford
was long and impressive: KEWB Oakland; KFWB Los Angeles;
back to KEWB; KCBQ San Diego; KOY and KRIZ in Phoenix;
WINZ Miami and KULF in Houston. Johnny's photo is courtesy
of the Bay
Area Radio Museum, Inc.
Johnny died in a Houston airplane crash while covering
a railroad tank car fire on March 15, 1974; he was only
Hartford native, Joe was a veteran of several stations.
He graduated from Hartford Public High School in 1939
and attended New York University. His broadcast career
started in the 1930s as a page boy with NBC in New York
where he earned a whopping $15 a week. He moved to WWLS
in Beckley, WV, WPAT Paterson, NJ, WBIG Greensboro,
NC, and Philadelphia, arriving back home at Hartford's
WCCC. He put in several years at The Hartford Times
station, WTHT. Among his duties were hosting children's
programs, for which he wrote songs selling the virtues
of drinking milk. For a time he did play-by-play of
the Hartford Chiefs minor league baseball team. Joe
became a registered stock broker in late 1953. In 1957
Joe also hosted a Sunday television show called Two
O'Clock High on WNBC Channel 30 in West Hartford.
In 1959 he was working at WINF in Manchester.
Joe spent less than a year hosting WPOP's overnight
show before rejoining WINF. He later went to work for
a local brokerage firm. He hosted stock market reports
on WTIC which led to his hiring in 1966 as host of the
W. Girandola died April 24, 1970 at the age of 49 after
open heart surgery.
April, 1964 - after January 29, 1969
Lou Terri, Gary and
Del Raycee are tied
at #2 for length of service at WPOP with about five
Born in Webster, MA on October 3, 1943, Gary was raised
in East Hartford. He began his broadcast career at UCONN
in Storrs, where he was involved with the student station,
WHUS. Gary graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor
of Science degree in Broadcasting. He worked at the
old WHAY 910 in Farmington before joining The WPOP
Good Guys from WLIS in Old Saybrook, CT to host
Saturday mornings from 6:00-11:00AM and Sunday afternoons
3:00PM-midnight(!). When Jerry
Gordon left a few months later, Gary slid into the
overnight shift and remained there for his entire stay.
He was replaced on-air by John
Scott, but Gary stayed in the area moving into sales
at WHCT TV18 in Hartford. Gary was on call as a fill-in
at WPOP from 1970-72, and once in 1973 as Gary Mitchell.
Channel 18, Gary was back at WPOP as sales manager from
1976-84 during its all-news days. In the spring of 1984
he was appointed as general manager of WNLC/WTYD in
New London. In the late 1980s he was the New England
regional manager for the National Association of Broadcasters;
and in late 1990 joined the Connecticut Radio Network
International in Hamden as sales development director.
Gary and his wife, Lois, realized a longtime dream by
obtaining a license for a new station. They put WKCD
FM on the air, serving the Mystic/North Stonington area,
on November 30, 1995. Gary suffered a stroke in 1998
and subsequently sold the station, splitting his time
between Connecticut and Florida.
passed away at his home in Venice, FL on February 22,
2012; he was 69.
prior to October 7, 1963 - October,
native of Norwich, Jerry's first radio job was at hometown
WICH when he was just 15 years old. While attending
the RCA Institute in New York he worked as a technician
at WLIB. Wanting to get on the air, Jerry made the first
of many long moves--all the way to tiny Conway, NH and
WJWG. A few months later it was on to WLAM in Lewiston,
ME, then a cross-country relocation to San Antonio and
KITE. In an era before airlines rewarded frequent fliers,
Jerry's next stop was at WBUD Trenton, NJ. Then it was
back west to KXOA in Sacramento. Career ping pong next
landed him at WINF Manchester, CT, after which Gentleman
Jerry Gordon joined The New WPOP as overnight
man. He was hired by program director Doug
China who left within a couple of months, to be
replaced by Black Jack Murphy, who moved Jerry to middays,
11:00AM-3:00PM. When Jim
Gearhart was hired as the new program director,
Jerry was moved back to overnights, after which he returned
to WINF to host 11:00AM-3:00PM.
long Jerry was back on the road again. He made a second
stop at KXOA Sacramento followed by on-air jobs at WCOL
Columbus; WMEX Boston; WPDQ Jacksonville; WKIS Orlando;
WDAE Tampa; KSFO and KGO AM/TV San Francisco. During
his 20 years in the City by the Bay, Jerry spent several
years as The Five O'Clock Shadow, a mysterious
television entertainment reporter. During his long career
he has hosted music and talk shows and anchored news.
He was the voice of Disney, and anchored news at KVUU
(later KNIH) in Las Vegas. In 1997 Jerry and his wife,
Phyllis (also a broadcaster) were inducted in the Nevada
Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In his later years, Jerry
lived in Henderson, NV.
Jerry died on December 22, 2022 at the age of 84; see
his note (12-26-22).
February 4, 1974 - June, 1975
from Manchester, NH, Dana Lee Gordon got his
start in radio at WUNH FM while a student at the University
of New Hampshire in Durham. He also worked at WHEB and
WBBX Portsmouth, and WFEA Manchester, in his home state.
Springfield hired Lee for WPOP's last year of music;
he hosted 10:00AM-3:00PM. When Bob
Craig joined the staff Lee moved to afternoon drive.
the rest of the jock staff, he was out of work the day
the music died so Lee went into voice-over work for
area ad agencies and notably for WFSB TV3 in Hartford.
He returned as WPOP's production manager from 1979-97.
is a well-known Hartford voice talent (e-mail);visit
his site and see
his note (8/3/16).
February 1, 1974 - June 28, 1975
Tracht was born in the Bronx and attended Ithaca College.
Getting involved at the college radio station, WICB
FM, a colleague commented that he "was cookin'
with grease" and the Greaseman was born.
He found work at commercial station WTKO in Ithaca and
continued perfecting his act at WENE Endicott; WAXC
Rochester and WRC Washington. Program director Dick
Springfield hired Grease to host WPOP's morning show.
He portrayed a hick farmer "from cow country"
and started and ended his show with the sounds of a
tractor. He was a victim of the station's switch from
music to NBC's all-news format, the News and Information
quickly landed at WAPE Jacksonville where the act became
more contemporary and filled with innuendo. After seven
years in Florida he returned to Washington at WWDC FM.
While often brilliant in his satire and ability to think
on the spot in front of live studio audiences, his comments
on the 1986 Martin Luther King Holiday caused a huge
public outcry and he was suspended. Greaseman moved
to Los Angeles to launch a nationally syndicated music/comedy
show from 1993-98 which was aired on WXRK New York among
other stations. He returned to D.C. at WARW FM where
racially insensitive comments got him fired in February,
March 5, 2001 Grease returned to the air in syndication
on WZHF Arlington, VA; WNST Baltimore, MD; WPWC Dumfries,
VA; WCDW FM Binghamton, NY; KGUY Portland, OR and WKHZ
Ocean City, MD.
the Greaseman's web
out Mike's 2014
autobiography at Amazon.com
December, 1968 - October 18, 1970
Born in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1943,
Mike had an interesting childhood since his father was
an Army officer during World War II and the family lived
all over the world. His formative years were split between
Panama, rural Virginia, Massachusetts, South Carolina,
Georgia, Germany and France. He attended Paris American
High School and was an English major at the College
of William & Mary (Class of 1964). Mike's early
radio experience was gained at WHAP Hopewell, VA (where
he worked with future WPOP Good Guy Bill
Winters); WPVA Petersburg, VA; WXEX-TV Petersburg,
VA; WKBK Keene, NH; WAIR in Winston-Salem, NC; and WAYS
Charlotte, NC where he worked with future WPOP colleagues
Larry Black and Jackson
Armstrong. Program director Danny
Clayton hired him to replace Tom
Tyler on the 9:00AM-noon shift; the hours were later
changed to 10:00AM-1:00PM. In September 1969 Mike moved
to the 4:00-7:00PM shift to replace Dick
Heatherton. For a few weeks that fall he also did
a rare one-hour airshift from 11:00 p.m. till midnight.
intended to leave WPOP to go into advertising. On August
31, 1970 Heatherton returned from WFIL to the afternoon
drive shift. Mike did Sunday nights for the next few
weekends but then Dick left again for KLIF in Dallas
so Mike returned to the weekday airshift until Scott
St. James arrived in October.
radio journey took him to another station owned by WPOP's
owner, Joe Amaturo, WFTL in Ft. Lauderdale, where he
was program director. He later moved to WIOD Miami;
WLOD Pompano; WFTP/WLQY Ft. Pierce and Spots Recording
studio in Ft. Lauderdale. Mike operated Classic Video
Productions in Ft. Lauderdale and Video Dynamics Corporation
in Sunrise, FL
2019 Mike opened Message Makers, LLC in Boca Raton and
has written a dozen novels (e-mail);
see his 2014 note.
prior to January 25, 1964 - after
October 7, 1966
of Connecticut's most popular radio personalities, Ken
spent time in Hollywood as the press agent for movie
star Sal Mineo and personal manager of singer Johnny
Restivo. He was born on June 29, 1937 as Joseph T. Mulhall,
Jr. and he cut his radio teeth at all three AM stations
in his hometown of Waterbury (WBRY, WATR and WWCO).
He was heavily involved at WBUR FM while attending Boston
University's School of Public Relations and Communications
(class of 1959). He also worked at WBOS in Boston as
an announcer and board operator. In September 1959 he
went back to work in Waterbury at WBRY. Ken came to
WPOP from WHYN in Springfield. Within weeks of starting
at POP Radio, Ken was also hosting a weekly tv show
on Channel 18 in Hartford.
Program director Jim
Gearhart hired him to be music director and nighttime
host. Ken was accompanied each night by Fats Fontoon,
the lovable weather balloon and her boyfriend/husband
Rocky Hill. For a while in 1965 Ken challenged
listeners to count the records between 8:00-9:00PM;
if he played less than 20 per hour (!) the first caller
could collect $100!
was famous for his Order of the Black Socks for
which membership cards were distributed. If you were
spotted wearing black socks you won a handful of 45s
from The Good Guys. Members had to swear never
to scootch "and do your best to report all scoochers
and otherwise uncool people to club headquarters."
Ken used the airwaves to distribute secret code messages;
do you remember how to translate "JH8/7--O/AH...?"
September 7, 1966 the station hired Lee
Baby Simms to host the night show, moving Ken to
afternoon drive. A few weeks later WPOP listeners came
close to mutiny when Griffin, Fats and Rocky jumped
ship for WDRC. His last documented act as a Good
Guy was co-hosting a Hollies concert at the State
Armory with WDRC's Long John Wade on Friday, October
After a long stay at The Big D, Griffin moved to southern
California where he spent seven years at stations like
KGOE Thousand Oaks; KGIL San Fernando and KIIS Los Angeles.
He returned to WDRC briefly in 1977 and later worked
at WRCQ Farmington; WMAS Springfield; WIOF Waterbury;
WRCQ (again); and WWYZ/WATR Waterbury before moving
to Boston and the publishing business. Ken later moved
to Florida where he hosted a trimulcast on WCCF Punta
Gorda, WENG Englewood and WAMR Venice. He finished his
career hosting a weekly call-in show on WKII in Punta
passed away in Port Charlotte, FL on September 28, 2010
at the age of 73.
March 1966 - August, 1966
left the news director's position at WHYN AM/FM in Springfield
to become director of WPOP's 20/20 news, though his
time in Hartford was very short.
Born in Boston on October 1, 1939, he was a graduate
of the University of New Hampshire and manager of the
UNH campus station. Ed was a reporter at WHEB in Portsmouth
- the first on the scene at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
when the nuclear submarine Thresher went down
in 1963. He was a stringer for NBC Radio during the
Hampton Beach riot and covered John F. Kennedy's presidential
campaign. Ed also worked at WTSN Dover, NH and was news
director at WCSH Television in Portland, ME. In 1966
Ed began a 40-year career at New England Telephone based
in Maine; he retired in 2006.
Edgar M. Groome, Jr. passed away in Scarborough, ME
on April 14, 2008 at the age of 68.