|YOURE A NEW ENGLANDER,
I was born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut.
YOU GOT TO WORK IN YOUR HOMETOWN VERY EARLY ON.
Yes, I had the good fortune of working at a station that really was, and still is In many ways, a legend: WDRC in Hartford, the station that boasted talents like Joey Reynolds, Jim Nettleton, Long John Wade and his brother Don Wade and Ron Landry. WDRC had so many great people go through that station! I sat in that chair, always wondering, "What do I do? Do I really belong here?" it was a real kick for me working in my hometown and particularly at WDRC.
WHERE DID YOU ACTUALLY START IN RADIO, ED?
My first job I got during my college years. I went to school at Ithaca College in upstate New York and I was the program director of the college station there, WICB.
A GREAT COLLEGE STATION THAT WAS, TOO ...GOOD EQUIPMENT AND IN THE ERA I REMEMBER IT, THEY HAD DRAKE SOUND-A-LIKE JINGLES - REALLY WELL DONE.
It was and I assume it still is, a college that takes its broadcasting seriously and that was the era I was in school there - we had the "Fake Drake" jingles and we tried to mimic the format and really learn radio, not just play radio. One afternoon I fielded a phone call from a program director in Binghampton, New York asking if I knew of anyone who might want a summer job at WINR Radio. "What a coincidence," I said, "you're talking to someone who could certainly use an opportunity." I landed that summer job there, my first break into commercial radio.
SO YOU WORKED THERE FOR THE SUMMER THEN WENT BACK TO COLLEGE IN THE FALL?
Right. I had two summers in Binghampton at WINR and was invited back there, as I recall, after graduation from college. My feeling was that I'd had two summers there and if I go back after graduation, where do I go from there? So I took a chance and took a summer fill-in job at WHYN in Springfield, Massachusetts. That was in 1971.
ANOTHER NEW ENGLAND LEGEND LIKE THE BIG D!
Absolutely! The station owns Springfield, Massachusetts. The fill-in turned into a permanent job and I stayed there for a year and a half, then moved into Hartford where I worked at WCCC for a brief while, then joined WDRC in 1973.
SO YOU WORKED FOR THE GREAT CHARLIE PARKER THEN.
I had the privilege and the pleasure, yes.
THAT WAS THE ONLY STATION HE EVER WORKED AT FOR 20 SOME-ODD YEARS!
That's right. I believe he started in the mail room back when WDRC was not even in Hartford, but in New Haven or somewhere, and they were a network station playing all the network programming. A real legend we used to say Charlie Parker has forgotten more about radio than most people ever knew. Charlie was big time radio even though it was Hartford and I dont think youll find a major jock on the East coast who didnt somewhere go through Charlie Parkers door. He was a real innovator with the contests he created . . . secret sounds, mystery words. Things like that all originated at his doorstep.