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
Smilin' Steve O'Brien
prior to February 9 - July, 1968 & & prior to January 26, 1969 - after July 5, 1969

Smilin Steve-O was a seasoned radio veteran when he arrived at WPOP at the age of 22 fresh from WKNR in Dearborn, MI. He had already worked at WEAM Arlington, VA; WKZO TV Kalamazoo, MI; and WKFR in Battle Creek, MI.

Steve hosted WPOP's 6:00-9:00PM shift at a time when The Good Guys officially became The Boss Jocks. He was known for his fashion sense, sporting a collection of trendy bell bottoms, English-cut jackets, French cuff pullovers and Nehru style jackets.

He left WPOP the first time when opportunity called at WIBG in Philadelphia but returned to his old shift after a few months (in the interim Steve Morgan occupied 6:00-9:00PM).

When O'Brien left WPOP the second time he made stops at several stations including CKFH Toronto; WOR FM New York; WNHC New Haven; WINZ Miami; WCBS FM and WPLJ New York; Y100 in Miami; WNBC New York; KDWB Minneapolis; KXYZ Houston; WABC/WYNY/WNYW TV/WCBS FM, all New York; WMGQ New Jersey.

For years Steve has been a major on-camera and voice-over talent based in New York City; check his web site or see his note (e-mail). (6/2/08)

audio: March 1968
Ric O'Connor
July 13, 1971 - July, 1975

Ric was born in Chicago on January 11, 1949. He graduated from Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, California (Class of 1967). His early radio jobs were at KAVL and KUTY. He was hired for the all night shift at WPOP when Bill Coffey moved to middays. Ric inherited Coffey's 10:00AM-3:00PM shift when Bill moved to morning drive in August, 1971.

In February, 1972 WPOP tried something unprecedented in middays - Ed Clancy's talk show, Women's Glib. Since Frank Holler has just left, O'Connor moved to the 7:00PM-midnight shift. He did that until June when T.J. Lambert arrived. After bouncing around on various shifts, Ric ended up back on overnights (2:00-6:00AM) replacing Sunny Shores. He was on the last music staff when WPOP dropped music and went all-news in June, 1975.

Ric worked at several other Connecticut stations including WNAB Bridgeport, WRCQ Farmington; WATR Waterbury; WTIC Hartford; WNUS Springfield; WWYZ Waterbury; WIOF Waterbury; WNAZ Farmington and WYSR Waterbury.

Richard William O'Connor died at his Waterbury home on March 30, 2020; he was 71 (6/2/20).

audio: March 13, 1972
September 26-October 4, 1970

Lou Morton hired Jay to do weekends. His normal shifts were 10:00AM-3:00PM Saturday and 1:00-6:00PM Sunday.

After his short stay Jay entered the construction industry.

His current whereabouts are unknown.

audio: September 27, 1970
Rusty Potz
February, 1967 - after February 10, 1968

Robert Lawrence Rusty Potz was a swing shift man at WPOP, doing regular weekend music shifts and newscasts during the week using the name Ron Jackson. The Connecticut native was living in Wethersfield when he earned an Associate in Arts degree from the University of Hartford in 1963, immediately beginning his radio career. His pre-WPOP experience was at the former WSOR Windsor, CT (where he was known as Bob Potz). Starting in August 1967 he manned the 7-midnight shift for several weeks after the departure of Lee Simms and before the arrival of Dick Heatherton.

After leaving WPOP he worked at WAVZ New Haven and later ran the show at WCCC Hartford during its "All Request" format using the name Randy Potz.

Rusty was an institution at WLNG on Long Island from 1975-2015. On May 29, 2015 he retired with plans to move to Sarasota, FL. (5/31/15)

audio of Ron Jackson: March 7, 1967
WPOP's Del Raycee
prior to August 19, 1956 - March 1962

Born on September 19, 1926, Delbert G. Raycee joined the Navy during World War II. He began his broadcast career in 1948 at WKNS in Kingston, NC. His career took him to WSFL in Springfield, MA, WMNB & WNAW in North Adams, MA, WWSC in Glens Falls, NY and in 1956 he landed at WGTH Hartford. Del was one of the first personalities when the station was renamed WPOP; he was also program manager. Delzapoppin' took to the air from 6:30-9:00AM. By January, 1959 Del was heard from 10:30AM-noon and 1:15-2:00PM. Newspaper schedules from June 1959 showed Del following Dick Brown from 9:00AM-noon, followed by Howie Bee. On Monday, August August 17, 1959, the station began broadcasting 24 hours a day with Del as the 1-6AM host (thanks to tape recording). He holds the distinction of being the program director who instituted WPOP's format switch to Top 40.

After WPOP, Del was named station manager at WDEE in Hamden. In August of 1963 he began hosting middays at WHAY/WRCH in Farmington (as operations manager), and was station manager at WMAS in Springfield before returning to WDEE in 1966. He was general manager at WLIX in Islip, NY in 1969. After a few years as manager of station relations for the Mutual Network, Del resigned in March 1972 to join the brand new National Black Network in New York. He later went into station ownership and cable television. In August 1996 Del sold WLIS in Old Saybrook. In his later yearsd, Del divided his time between Clinton, CT and The Forest Country Club near Foirt Myers, FL.

Del died on December 7, 2018 and was buried in the Connecticut Veteran's Cemetery in Middletown; he was 92. (4/15/21)


Joey Reynolds

Joey's autobiography

prior to May 5, 1962 - after February 17, 1963

One of radio's best known and most colorful personalities, this Buffalo native was hired from WNDR Syracuse to do WPOP's 7:00PM-midnight show. By the time he reached Hartford he had already worked at WWOL Buffalo; WWVA Wheeling, WV; WAME Miami, WBNY Buffalo and WNDR Syracuse. His friend Morton "Doc" Downey got Joey the job at WPOP; they also roomed together for a time. Joey's first run in Hartford was fairly tame compared to his later antics; at WPOP he billed himself as Emperor of the Night People. While known in many markets for his distinctive theme song by the Four Seasons, he didn't use it at WPOP; the song on which it was based, Big Girls Don't Cry, didn't become a hit until late 1962, just before Joey left Hartford. Joey wrote the liner notes for their album, so they recorded the song to thank him. He did use it, though, during a one-night WPOP engagement on Friday, June 14, 1974.

Joey's career has been marked by many stops, often short. Within months of leaving Hartford he breezed through WNCO in Ashland, OH, then landed for a moment at WTRX in Flint, MI. When program director Jim Simpson left WTRX for WPOP, Reynolds took over for him, but soon moved to WKBW in Buffalo where he continued programming Flint from a distance.

Other stops on Joey's long resume include WNCO Ashland, OH; WIXY Cleveland; WXYZ Detroit; WDRC Hartford; WINF Manchester; WIBG Philadelphia; WHLW Lakewood, NJ; KQV Pittsburgh; KMPC and KRTH Los Angeles; WFIL Philadelphia; WNBC New York; WSHE, WPLG TV and WIOD Miami; WAXY Ft. Lauderdale; WQAM Miami; CITY FM satellite network; WBZT West Palm Beach; stints at 20th Century Records in Los Angeles; WOR New York, NY.

In 2000 Joey published his autobiography, Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella But Don't Get A Mouth Full of Rain. He hosted a nationally syndicated all-night show from New York City for 14 years; it aired on WDRC AM in Hartford between February 2002 and April 2010.

In October 2016 Joey began a Sunday night talk show on WABC in New York. (12/11/16)

audio: 1963


Dennis was a newsman at WPOP during the era when the station was located on Asylum Street in Hartford. Later he worked his way up the ladder as music announcer, music director and program director at WACE in Chicopee, MA. The next stop was Westfield, MA where he was program director at WDEW. Dennis spent much of the 1970s hosting a midday talk show at Manchester talk station WINF.

His current whereabouts are unknown.

audio: 1964 Dennis Richards promo
October, 1972 - after January 29, 1974

A cum laude graduate of UCONN, Susan was a one-time English Literature instructor at Eastern Connecticut State College who worked in the WPOP News department, coming from similar stints at WINF Manchester and WHCT TV in Hartford. She was famous before her arrival, though. While a correspondent for several Connecticut radio stations in 1971 she made headlines - and waves - when she sued the Hawaiian Club, an eating club for legislators, lobbyists and journalists at the State Capitol in Hartford for denying her membership because she was a woman.

After WPOP she worked as a reporter for WHNB TV in West Hartford.

It is believed that Susan Bianca Riggs was living in West Hartford when she died on July 8, 2006; she was 67.

audio: December 21, 1972
Bob Rivers
February 4, 1970 - March 13, 1971

A native of Williamstown, West Virginia, this U.S. Navy veteran hosted the overnight show during his year at The Big 14. He replaced Bobby Branigan (#2) and was replaced by Bill Coffey. When he wasn't on the air he could be found on the tennis court.

He left Hartford for WSAI Cincinnati. In September 1972 he headed west to KTLK in Denver, then spent the mid 70s to the mid 80s at KTKT/KLPX Tucson, AZ. His radio resume also includes stops at WKGN Knoxville, WAPE Jacksonville, WORD in Spartanburg, and KRUX in Phoenix.

Robert Burchette is a real estate agent in Tuscon (e-mail)(11/27/10).

audio: January 1971
September 19, 1966 - after January 6, 1968

Hailing from Johnstown, PA, Woody's family relocated to Texas where he attended Bellaire High School in Houston and was a radio/TV major at the University of Houston. He made early stops at KNUZ in Houston, KILE in Galveston and WLOD in Ft. Lauderdale. He came to Hartford as program director and morning drive host fresh from San Antonio, where he worked at KENS (KBAT), KONO and KTSA with Lee Baby Simms. In one sense they were joined at the hip, even buying a cabin cruiser together. His cast of characters included his lovely secretary Miss Marcia (Fox) and Dick Orkin's Chickenman. He regularly checked the Weather Knee Forecast. He was a stalwart member of the WPOP Good Guys basketball team which played benefits at schools around Hartford.

Woody helped orchestrate one of radio's favorite stunts which probably left WPOP listeners totally confused. On April Fool's Day 1967, the Good Guys traded places for the day with the air staff of WKBW Buffalo. Stan Roberts filled in for Bill Bland...Dan Neaverth filled Dan Clayton's shoes...Jefferson Kaye became Woody Roberts and Bud Ballou filled in for Lee Simms.

He led the Teenagers March which raised more than $67,500 for St. Jude's Hospital in May, 1967. A notorious bachelor, Woody once staged a promotion which resulted in listener Irene Szloseko being selected Miss Woody Show; for her trouble she won a new watch and a night on the town with guess who?

After leaving Hartford Woody returned to KTSA in San Antonio as Vice President and General Manager. He returned to WPOP as a consultant briefly in late 1972.

After putting KTFM on the air in San Antonio, Woody was nominated three times as General Manager of the Year by the Gavin Programming Conference (winning once). He later served as consultant at Doubleday's KEXL in Austin. Woody opened an office in Austin at Armadillo World Headquarters. From there came Willie Nelson's 1st Picnic plus the Austin City Limits pilot. His company created a Lone Star Beer campaign that actually added the word ' longneck' to the dictionary. In the late seventies, Woody named and formatted C-101 fm (KNCN) in Corpus Christi. In early 1983, Woody moved from San Antonio to Austin to serve as marketing head for the management company launching the career of Stevie Ray Vaughn. He also began fifteen years of directing the media image for Threadgill's Restaurant.

In the mid-nineties, Woody Roberts consulted and sat-in for Jim Hightower on the national Chat n Chew radio talk show, live from Austin. From 2000 to 2003 Woody served as general manager of Austin Music Network, a cable TV music video operation.

In May 2023 Woody (aka Robert H. Bracken) died at an Austin, TX care facility after a long illness; he was 82 (6/9/23).

audio: September 19, 1966
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