Dick Summer reveals the REAL father of classic rock radio inBoston
Sun Jul 30 13:13:04 EDT 2006
During the period in question, WROW was first owned by its original owner,
Harry L Goldman, who later sold it to Capital Cities. WROW was Capital
Cities' first property and the location, New York's Capital District (a.k.a.
the Albany-Schenectday-Troy market), gave the radio company its name. In due
course, Capital Cities morphed into ABC, which then merged with Disney. I'm
not sure of the year in which ownership of WROW passed from Goldman to
CapCities, but when I left the Capital District in 1956, I think (though I'm
not at all sure) that Goldman might still have owned the station. As best I
can remember, when I left, WROW-TV had gone on the air on Channel 41, but
had not yet acquired WMGT Pitttsfield on Channel 74 and moved it to Channel
19. I also can't remember whether Channel 29 in Hagaman NY in the Mohawk
Valley was yet on the air (I don't think so, however). Channel 29 later gave
way to Channel 10 in Vail Mills NY (very near Hagaman and exactly 170 miles
from Channel 10 stations in Rochester, Montreal, and Providence). Channel 10
later moved to a site in the Helderberg Mountains southwest of Albany near
the site of Channel 6. That move required FCC approval of short spacing to
Providence. Meanwhile Channel 35, whose transmitter site was north of Troy,
obtained permission to move to Channel 13 and to short-space to Channel 13
in Newark NJ (WNET). It always struck me that Channel 10 should have used
the Channel 35 site and Channel 13 should have used the Channel 10 site.
Although, in both cases, the short spacing would have been worse, the
majority of the market population would have received full-power signals
instead of the low-power signals necessitated by the short spacing.
BTW, Goldman later put the AM 1300 licensed to Rensselaer--across the Hudson
from Albany--on the air. It was originally a 5 kW directional daytimer but
later was granted full-time status. The original calls were WEEE, then WQBK,
then I lost track. Although the 1300 station hardly had a signal that could
compete with WROW's (at least by day), it really isn't a bad signal.
Dan Strassberg, email@example.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Drown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Dan Strassberg" <email@example.com>; "A. Joseph Ross"
<firstname.lastname@example.org>; "Donna Halper" <email@example.com>
Cc: "boston Radio Interest" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 12:12 PM
Subject: Re: Dick Summer reveals the REAL father of classic rock radio
> 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
> Lowell Thomas was the principal owner of Cap Cities, wasn't he? As he
> 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" <email@example.com>
> To: "A. Joseph Ross" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "Donna Halper"
> Cc: "boston Radio Interest"
> 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > WROW from Buffalo (not sure which station). He was a master at all of
> > 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
> > from WROW to WBZ.
> > --
> > Dan Strassberg, email@example.com
> > eFax 707-215-6367
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "A. Joseph Ross" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > To: "Donna Halper" <email@example.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
> > > > use drop-ins (or "hacks" as they used to be called) and occasionally
> > > > play songs nobody else on the station played, especially weird
> > > > records like "Grandpa's Grave." ('They're removing grandpa's grave
> > > > build a sewer..'-- ah they don't write lyrics like that anymore.)
> > > > the daytime jocks also had their share of weird novelty songs too--
> > > > recall Bruce Bradley using segments of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put
> > > > Spell On You" as his favourite drop-in... Still, it's obvious the
> > > > station used heavy dayparting and Summer probably had the most
> > > > 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
> > > > 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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