Memories of John Garabedian and V-66...
Wed Jun 13 12:46:32 EDT 2007

The WGTR calls probably came from WPTR or they were intended as a
resurrection of the original WGTR, which I believe was the earliest
incarnation of what is now WAAF.  Donna, help us out here!


GT (in car-speak Gran Turismo, so therefore cool-sounding) + WPTR could 
be one explanation.  Also GTR is musician's shorthand for 'guitar' and 
quite likely what suggested John's callsign pick (and that of 
proto-WAAF perhaps).  Later on there was an '80s band GTR that had a 
couple of hits.

I thought WAAB-FM went straight to the WAAF calls sometime in the '70s. 
 What was WAAB-AM is now WVEI-1440 Worcester.

WGTR-1060 had a fair signal into Arlington in the mid '70s but could be 
slopped by WBZ and WILD on "broader" radios.  It took a lot of 
nosedives going under powerlines so it wasn't suitable for in-car 

John used several sign-off songs (yes, WGTR was a daytimer) including 
"Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "Feel the Benefit" by 10cc.  
Humor, sometimes risque, was part of the overall entertainment plan.  
Both WGTR and later V-66 played a decent amount of local talent, as did 
WBCN's Maxanne Sartori.  I remember Reddy Teddy among other local bands 
in the '70s.  One of my work friends Mark Hallberg managed a band 
October which got airplay in the '80s on WBCN, WFNX, and maybe V-66 TV 
as well.  These were kids from the Burlington-Woburn area who met at 
UMass Amherst.  There were (/ are) many such bands around metro-Boston 
going way back to the '60s days of Teddy & the Pandas, Barbarians, et 
al.  A few were discovered but most just wound up keeping their "day 
jobs" and entertaining their friends at local bars, backyard parties, 
and - yes - garages.  The talent level of undiscovered bands frequently 
surpassed that of bands that did have hits.

John H. Garabedian's WMEX days were memorable.  I think this was 
approximately 1969-1972.  In the summer of '70, three college-age 
friends of mine (Chuck O'Neal, Chris Leary, and Tim Smith) worked at 
the WMEX transmitter site in North Quincy.  I'd visit there sometimes 
during Garabedian's show and during a show put on by someone named 
"Cousin Duffy".  Both of these guys played a lot of album cuts, 
progressive rock, and hard rock within the confines of what a Top 40 
station like WMEX would dare to play.  Obviously 'BCN had a lot more 
latitude, but WMEX was quite forward-thinking and experimental compared 
to its main AM competition over at WRKO.  By this time, you may recall 
that WBZ had bailed out of serving up rock music.  Their halcyon days 
of experimentation were the mid '60s when Dick Summer, Jefferson Kaye, 
and Bruce Bradley introduced folk-rock (Dylan, Baez, Richard & Mimi 
Farina), blues (Paul Butterfield), and acid-rock to Boston radio when 
WBCN was still a classical station.  A handful of low-powered college 
stations were the only other places progressive rock could be heard.

Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA
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