The Class Reunion
With The Four Preps December 2016
Singing with the Princess Pop Choir
With Country Singers Lindy and Ken of
The Doo Wah Riders 2006
With Country Singer
James Lann 2005
With The Four Lads 2008
With Gavin McLeod of
The Love Boat
Mary Tyler Moore Show
With Joe Giglio of
The Four Aces 2015
With Gretchen Christopher
Founder of The Fleetwoods in 2007
With Brenda Lee 2005
Working a D.J Gig in 2003
with my Son Karl
On remote for WMPT AM FM
South Williamsport, Pa in 1972
after being on a
On Air in 1974
at WILQ FM Williamsport, Pa
I think I always wanted to be in radio. I always loved music, but for what ever reason I never could master a musical instrument or read music. But that never stopped me from being a very avid fan of most musical types.
Of course I always listened to radio, from the days of the great network radio shows and live music to the beginnings of “personality” radio in the 1950's. Radio in the mid to late 1950's was block programmed, so each station gave you a variety of things for a wide demographic audience. Then came “rock and roll” and stations started to spring up all over the AM dial with this so called “devil's music.”
The first station that I could receive, day or night, where I lived was WMPT AM from South Williamsport, Pa. This was “MY” station, well at least during the school year. My father worked for Sylvania Electronics so I was lucky enough to get a very early portable radio. It was bulky and took a big 67.5 volt battery because it still had tubes, but it was portable! I often joke that they called it portable ONLY because it had a handle. Fortunately not much later came the first of the transistor “shirt pocket” size radios and now my music REALLY was portable. I can remember someone saying to my mom, “oh I am so sorry your son has a hearing problem.” What they were referring to was the fact that I was seldom seen without an earphone, which of course was attached to my radio.
Summers were spent at my Grandparents in the rural town of Canton, Pa. too far away from my beloved WMPT to listen. Fortunately, I found WATS in Sayre, Pa played rock and roll and I could receive them pretty well. Sometime around either 1957 or 1958, Canton had a big dance in the town square. My Grandfather, was a part time police officer, was working the dance so naturally I went along. Low and behold a fellow named Bill Sherwood from WATS was the Disk Jockey, “playin' the hits.” I must have watched him all evening and felt “gee this would be a neat job.” OK, I was hooked! That fall when I went back to Montoursville, I was old enough to attend the Friday night dances at the Montoursville Fireman's Social Hall. The dances were co-sponsored by a Montoursville High School Wig-Wam Club, the local Coca Cola Bottler Vernon Griggs, and WMPT, it ran every Friday night from 8:00 to 11:00 PM.
After a few short weeks I met resident Disk Jockey Dick Crownover and we became friends. I was allowed up on stage to watch him work. As I grew older, I even was allowed to help with the music, and I covered for Dick when he took a break at 10:00 PM after the “on air” portion ended. Pretty big stuff! Eventually I was invited to come over to the WMPT Studios located on the second floor of South Williamsport's Borough Hall. by the standard of today, the studios were pretty sparse, but I didn't know any better so it was really a big deal to a wide eyed young lad! From then on it was all about radio, from making up commercials to practicing introducing records. I even got the chance to do my first record hop, by myself, in 1963 at Warrior Run High School.
Ok, fast forward a bit to 1964. In those days the F.C.C. Required that all on air people have a license and that allowed you to operate the transmitting equipment. Getting the license invloved taking a test on rules and regulations and some very technical operations questions. I obtained a copy of the study guide and took my test the first day of Deer Season, (a national holiday in Pa), in 1964. I PASSED on the first try, so armed with license in hand I went to see Dave Castlebury the owner of WMPT, surely he would want to hire me! Well, he didn't, something Dave and I would laugh about for many years after that. I finally did find a job at WLYC AM FM, what started as a part time position in December of 1964, lead me to full time in the fall of 1965. From there I went on to work at WBPZ AM FM Lock Haven, WMPT AM-FM South Williamsport, WLYC AM WILQ FM, WKAD FM Canton, WENY AM-TV-WLEZ FM, Elmira, N.Y. KISS FM (WKSB) Williamsport,
WLEA AM-WCKR FM Hornell, N.Y. WIQT AM-WQIX FM Horseheads, N.Y. KZ 106 (WZKZ)-WCLI AM Corning, N.Y. Wiggle 100 (WHGL) Troy, Pa. and KMOG AM and KRIM FM in Payson, AZ.
Over the years I have done just about every job in radio, including General Manager, News Director, Sales Manager, Program Director, Disk Jockey, and even some on and behind the scenes TV along the way. These days I find that I really am enjoying returning to my first love, that of being on the air, playing oldies. Gee, some of them were new songs when I first played them!
I hope you enjoy "The Class Reunion", it is a labor of love presenting the greatest music of all time, by the original artists.