Dick Summer reveals the REAL father of classic rock radio inBoston

Doug Drown revdoug1@verizon.net
Sun Jul 30 12:12:30 EDT 2006

Re Dick Summer: I understand WROW was more or less a Top 40 station for a
while in the late '50s - early '60s.  (It was "beautiful music" for years
after that.)  Did Capital Cities Broadcasting own WROW back in those days?

Another question about Cap Cities, while we're at it: the veteran newscaster
Lowell Thomas was the principal owner of Cap Cities, wasn't he?  As he died
before Cap Cities' takeover of ABC, did the Thomas family continue to hold
majority ownership, or was it a publicly traded company?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dan Strassberg" <dan.strassberg@att.net>
To: "A. Joseph Ross" <joe@attorneyross.com>; "Donna Halper"
Cc: "boston Radio Interest" <boston-radio-interest@rolinin.bostonradio.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 7:17 AM
Subject: Re: Dick Summer reveals the REAL father of classic rock radio

> But since you lived in Albany at about the right time, do you remember
> Bradley on WROW playing what I'd call something between EZ listening and
> 40? One of his favorite records was an instrumental called Rio Batucada--a
> selection I have not heard since Bradley played it on WROW over 50 years
> ago. Although he did no Top 40 schtick, the fact that he was enormously
> talented really stood out. For all that it was a really low-budget
> back then, WROW's air staff sounded very professional. (Before the studio
> move to North or East Greenbush--site of the original Channel 41
> studios in a grungy apartment building on State St were a nightmare.)
> Besides Bradley, other WROW announcers that I remember were Mark Edwards
> (Arnold Friedman), George Leighton, and Ralph? Vartigian. Bradley came to
> WROW from Buffalo (not sure which station). He was a master at all of the
> slick production gimmicks of the day--backsells, talking over a record's
> intro and stopping within milliseconds of the vocalist's first note and
> doing it without making it sound forced or contrived. In that era,
> announcing and doing it well was a real art. I think Bradley went straight
> from WROW to WBZ.
> --
> Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
> eFax 707-215-6367
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "A. Joseph Ross" <joe@attorneyross.com>
> To: "Donna Halper" <dlh@donnahalper.com>
> Cc: "boston Radio Interest"
> Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 12:59 AM
> Subject: Re: Dick Summer reveals the REAL father of classic rock radio
> inBoston
> > On 29 Jul 2006 at 12:28, Donna Halper wrote:
> >
> > > That is true to a certain extent-- daytime it was a straight-ahead
> > > top-40, but the overnight show always had more freedom, so Dick could
> > > use drop-ins (or "hacks" as they used to be called) and occasionally
> > > play songs nobody else on the station played, especially weird novelty
> > > records like "Grandpa's Grave."  ('They're removing grandpa's grave to
> > > build a sewer..'-- ah they don't write lyrics like that anymore.) But
> > > the daytime jocks also had their share of weird novelty songs too-- I
> > > recall Bruce Bradley using segments of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a
> > > Spell On You" as his favourite drop-in... Still, it's obvious the
> > > station used heavy dayparting and Summer probably had the most freedom
> > > to experiment.
> >
> > I remember Bruce Bradley playing excerpts from "Grandpa's Grave"
> > regularly as part of his schtick in the early 60s.  Along with his
> > campaign to get people to send in their used teabags as pillows for
> > underprivileged sparrows.  And profiles of the Nutley Nutritional
> > High School Faculty.  When he did Dynaflow Needleman, the Drivers Ed
> > teacher, I identified him with my own Driver's Ed teacher.  Dynaflow
> > Needleman, however, had the distinction of having knitted his own car
> > from steel wool and having been the first to drive from Boston to
> > Honolulu nonstop and make all the lights.
> >
> > > When Dick briefly programmed over at WMEX, he tried to create an AM
> > > version of free-form progressive in 1969, if my memory serves. It was
> > > called "The Human Thing", and It failed miserably.  But it was an
> > > interesting experiment.
> >
> > I remember that, and I liked it.  Too bad not enough other people
> > did.
> >
> > --
> > A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
> >  15 Court Square, Suite 210                 Fax 617.742.7581
> > Boston, MA 02108-2503                    http://www.attorneyross.com
> >
> >

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