It was one of those cold Syracuse early Spring days in 1983 when Steve Simpson (then doing nights at 62) was at WJPZ and asked me if I'd like a part time gig at 'HEN. I immediately said HELL YES. I grew up listening to the station. Always loved it's history and footprint in CNY. So that afternoon, I drove out to Old Liverpool Road to meet with Karen Gallagher and Bob Carolin. I was hired on the spot and asked if I could start that night. I said sure.
That weekend was an important weekend in the history of the station. Not cuz they hired me (lol), but because the first night I was on the air was the last night that old Sparta board was in the main studio. The second night I was on the air (that next night) I was broadcasting out of the production room because Roy and another engineer were installing the new PRE board in the main studio for the switch to AM Stereo. I'll never forget Donna Spieziale sitting on my lap to read the news from that prod room. What a way to meet a co-worker :) The third night I was on, was the next night and I was back in the main studio with the shiny new board. I was also told by someone, (and I'm pretty sure it was you Jay) that I should be careful when Ray Diorio came in in the morning because he's almost ALWAYS was in a VERY BAD MOOD. Not knowing what to expect, it of course peaked my curiosity. Of course that next morning... a Saturday at 6am, Ray came busting in....looked at me with a scowl and said, "Who the hell are you?" I replied, "I dunno, I just wandered in here and figured I'd play a few tunes." He laughed his ass off and we became good friends from that very moment.
Sure, there are LOTS of other great stories about the station. But I'll fast forward to my last days in Old Liverpool road....13 years later...as PD of Hot 107.9. My office was in the old WRRB automation room. There were wires hanging all over the room when I moved in. One day, I finally decided to cut them all down and clear it out. As I climbed up my chair with a set of wire cutters in my hand, Roy Taylor was walking by and yelled out: "Don't do that!!! Those wires interconnect all the studios here!!!" lol. Man. Gotta love radio, huh?
Any how, I still reflect fondly on the days of "The Entertainer" and what it meant to work at one of the last great heritage radio stations in the country. Folks who I knew and worked with there: Dan Cummings, Cristie Casciano, Dave Bullard, Bill Carey, Captain Scott King, Bob Carolin, Karen Gallagher, Steve Simpson, Peter King, Jay Flannery, Ray Diorio, Vic Johnson, Rich Lauber, Bruce Siegel, Cathy Crawford, Rick Yacobush, Roy Taylor....what a fun time to be in the biz.
These days, I'm the President/Owner of Digital Sound & Video Inc
based in Daytona Beach, Florida. We do imaging for stations all over North America, the Caribbean and now West Africa. You can check us out online just click on our logo below. Looking forward to reading more from everyone else.