Dick Summer reveals the REAL father of classic rock radio inBoston

Rick Kelly rickkelly@gmail.com
Mon Jul 31 15:09:29 EDT 2006

On 7/31/06, Dan Strassberg <dan.strassberg@att.net> wrote:

> I'm guessing, but I think Bradley arrived at WROW in 1953 or 1954. I don't
> remember whether he was still at WROW when I graduated from RPI in late May
> 1956, but he may have been.

A buddy of mine communicates occasionally with BB.  i forwarded some
comments peoplke were making on the list and he send these
observations about his time in Albany:

"Here's a quick summation of my experiences in New York State's fabled
Capitol District, beginning with being a listener of a fellow named
Earle Pudney (!) who played the piano and did mornings at WGY, which
was the only station we could get in North Creek NY in the
Adirondacks, where I spent my soph & junior HS years.  This was in
1948-49 when I was 14 and 15.  My mother thought Earle sucked, which
indeed he did, and she said once that if he made any more than $50 a
week,he was being grossly overpaid.  I told her that Martin Block at
WNEW was making $75,000 a year (I read it in Parade Magazine) and she
said whoever wrote that article must be a liar because that was far
too much money for such a frivolous occupation.  Of course that firmed
my resolve to go into radio as soon as I graduated from High School,
which I did.

In 1950 we moved to Troy for my Senior year and I graduated from
Lansingburgh HS in June 1951.  I was 17.  In July, I got my first
radio job at WKAL Rome NY at 75 cents and hour doing morning drive,
making even less than my mom thought Earle Pudney made.  It was easy
to get a radio job in 1951 because the Korean War was raging and a lot
of the good jocks were in the service.  But I'm getting ahead of
myself: In 1951, WTRY was the hottest radio station in the Tri-cities
by far.  They had CBS radio, which meant Arthur Godfrey, who was as
hot then as Oprah is now.  They had a first-class news operation,
PLUS, the announcers came to work in business suits (there were no
women on the air) and TWO count 'em TWO guys did the 30 sec break
between net shows.  One did the station ID, the other guy read the

That's how I envisioned my future, 30 secs of work, then 30 minutes of
buffing my nails.  The major personality in town by far was Paul
Flanagan, who was a staffer during the week and did the Tri-City
Ballroom from 10P-1A on Saturday night, a top 10 (or maybe 20)
countdown show in which listeners called up and voted for their fave.
It was a staggeringly popular show, listened to by most adults, and
every kid in town.

Paul Flanagan was a painfully shy guy, I tried unsuccessfully (by
annoying the hell out of him with constant phone calls)to mentor me
but he just wouldnt.  The only other jocks of note in 1951 were Dick
Mills, morning drive at WPTR, a station with such a rotten signal that
it didnt matter how good he was, and Howard Malcolm, also mornings, at
WTRY for a while.

Dick Mills had a Ford convertible with his name written in big letters
on the sides, and Howard Malcolm was an easy-to-
listen to guy who was always late for work.  Since that time, I've
noticed that middle-market jocks who seem too talented for their
venue, are usually gone in a few months, fired for whatever it was
that got them canned from their previous gig.  I cant think of any
other station or any other personality that made an impact on me or my
friends during that time.  Radio (and everything else)
was under the firm control of our parents in those years and we never
had an inkling of what was on the horizon in just a very few short
years.  So I'm going to stop now, and pick it up with a time more
relevant to your life, my years at WROW 1955-59 in a later note.
It may even be later today but right now I need to run a few errands
before the sun melts me down to a senile nub.

bb BTW you mentioned John Mounteer in your reminiscent email and I
remember him vaguely as the only guy I ever heard of who worked at a
radio station (WXKW) that simply disappeared one day, never to return,
its frequency retired.  I assume it was some FCC quirk that did him in
because in those days, every radio station made money.  c u later "

Dan can tell the tale if he wishes - and has - about BB's mention of WXKW/850.


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