June of 1958 I came home from my FR year in college (Gettysburg)
having listened to WCAO for the preceding eight months. They were
among about ten US stations that were the forerunners of Top Forty
Radio (“DJ’s play hit records and say funny stuff”).
We had nothing like that in Williamsport, PA when I was in high
school, but upon arriving back home I was told, “there’s
a new radio station in town, and they’re playing ‘our’
I found the station on my car radio, and Kerby Confer (Scott) was
on the air. He was a year behind me in HS and we had been friends
– and done some stage shows – since eighth grade. Also,
I was the bass singer in a doo-wop group when I was in HS –
The Five Sharps. We stunk, but others told us we were pretty good.
I can still sing a mean bass run!
I went to the station – 6PM, June 5, 1958 – went in,
saw Kerb and said, “this looks like real fun.” He said,
“It is, and we need an announcer. Why don’t you audition
for the job?” I went to WMPT the next morning and auditioned,
and was hired - .85c/hour. June 6, 1958. The first record I played
on the radio was “I Wonder Why” by Dion and The Belmonts
– and I’ve been wondering why ever since!
Within six months Kerb and I made a vow that we’d own a radio
station together someday. By age 23 (1963) I was the Morning Man
(and Emperor!!!) on the #1 station in the 12th market in the US,
and I got Kerby his job there in March of ’64. From 1975 thru
1988 we owned and operated over fifty of them together, all over
the eastern and southern US. What a kick it was for me to be in
the ‘big city’ and experience all that it had to offer.
Including getting acquainted with all of you young –n and
VERY GOOD – musicians. God, how I love radio!