Deane Parkhurst - Former Program Director
62 WHEN Radio's Early Contemporary Music Days

"In His Own Words"

Syracuse radio stations 62 WHEN Syracuse, NY The Big 62 WHEN
"When I was hired on at WHEN it was August of 1960. Bill Bell was the GM and John Scott the PD. We were like radio in the late 40s. CBS net, soap operas, Amos & Andy, Lowell Thomas the whole bit. I was hired on as night time guy but got switched to middays when CBS dropped the soaps. WHEN was really five stations in one. The entire sound changed depending on who was on the air.  Dean Harris (AM Drive) was into the big band thing, Ron Curtis (Afternoons) was all over the road. I liked jazz and swing type stuff. Jack Morse (as close to the day's popular music as he could) was working weekends and filling in where needed. Ron left for TV and was replaced by Bill Fortune who had been doing nights. Bill loved show tunes, Dean Harris left, Dave Mann came in and did mornings for 4 years before Jack Morse eventually followed and then did AM drive. Scott got tired of "There's No Business Like Show Business" every other hour, moved Fortune back to nights and gave me afternoon drive. We hired Jay Trachman for mid-days. There was no playlist, no music director. It took a while but Bell and Scott realized the station needed consistency but had no idea of how to go about it. They hired Frank Magid Associates as consultants. Magid's concept was simple: Sell his music programming service. His second principal was not to play anything that was "jarring" to use his words. We were duller than Muzak.   Bell left, Scott was named GM and gave me his old job as PD although I was still doing afternoons. Simply put Jack and I staged a mutiny and tossed out the Magid service. My first break from the format was to play Santana's "Evil Ways" and we never looked back. There was not one phone call or letter complaining about the switch. Not one. John Scott was also a close personal friend. We both went to Plymouth Church, our wives were best pals, we both lived in North Syracuse and our kids played together frequently. Shortly after John Patton's arrival, the two of us sat down over dinner one evening, thinking that I was likely soon going to be getting the axe. Thinking I had nothing to lose at that point, I told him all that I felt needed to be done. It turned out to be a good move because I was singing from his song book. Jack (Morse) left for TV Sports, Patton hired Dick Burch, I hired Jack Mindy to replace me. Jay left and we brought in Jerry Morgan (Foody). 18 months later we were number one in the market. The only category where we were not #1 was 12 to 18 and there we were a close second to WNDR."

Deane Parkhurst

Air Personality Deane Parkhurst- 62WHEN Radio Syracuse When I Grow Up I Wanna...
A Presentation of...
Class A Communications