Being from Syracuse and growing up in Camillus in the 60's, I was an avid listener to WOLF and WNDR. Guys like Bud Ballou, Fran McGrath (Mac and Maude Skidmore), Jim O'Brien, Dandy Dan Leonard, Big George Plavocos, just to name a few. Very inspirational to me.
Then came the 70's. It was 1972. One day while driving to OCC (Onondaga Community College) during my sophomore year, I discovered 62 WHEN. Great music, oldies and current top 40, plus, Sweet Dick Burch in the a.m. He had a segment called Ted Amature
What's Your Talent. I would call most mornings as George Burns, Jack Benny, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne; doing that for about a year. Sweet Dick told me he was going over to WNDR. So I called WHEN and talked to General Manager, John Patton. John sent Captain Gordon (Gordon Spooner) to my house in Camillus with
a letter of employment and a cigar. Production assistant.
Wow! 980 James street was then owned by national publishing powerhouse, The Meredith Corp, and was home to both WHEN TV & Radio. My mother thought we were going to get a free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens (Just kidding).
Jim Ashbury, PD, ask if I could imitate Wolfman Jack...he handed me the American Graffiti album. And
was born... midnight to 6 a.m.
Overnights I had Raymond Day and Betsy West (later to become a Senior Vice President of Prime Time at CBS Television News) as news people. I also would see Charles Webster, Marc Levinson and every morning, Rod Wood. Rod and I would wake up-- I mean
Phil Markert move his piano to get ready for his show.
While doing voices with Phil I added Congressman Bill Walsh and some others. Rod would once in awhile do Fred Fullofgas (WSYR TV News Fred Hilligas) from Carefree, Arizona.
One of my responsibilities was Jr. Achievement. Skip Clark and others would tape listener's request , hand them to me with the song and I would play it on air. Sometimes there were other things on those tapes too (oops ...never mind).
Being at WHEN was an unbelievable experience. There was Phil Markert, Jack Mindy, Dr Al, John Simmons, & entertainment critic Doug Brode, with his movie reviews. Also, seeing people in the building I grew up watching on TV like
The Magic Toy Shop
cast, Ron Curtis and Jack Morse. Something I'll never forget.
Continuing on... a short stint in Naples, FL with Mike Andrew's, then back to Syracuse at WFBL with Jim Ashbury in 1975 and Rick O'Shea /Coyote, voices with Jack Mindy in the AM.
They used to say "If it works in Syracuse, it'll work anywhere". So off to KIKI - Honolulu, Hawaii as
, then on to Ft. Lauderdale/Vero Beach as
. Now retired in Vero Beach.
All and all, I was blessed to be a part of a great time in radio. WHEN Memories forever!
Terry O'Shea aka