Ever since I was a little guy (I’m still short and not just at the end of the month), I always wanted to be on the radio. I grew up listening to all kinds of radio. From “Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar” to Priscilla Forteosqu’s recipes, E.B. Rideout’s weather reports to Bob & Ray and I enjoyed it all. I became obsessed with listening to local radio Personalities. Stars such as Jess Cain (WHDH), Ron Landry (WBZ),Ed Hider (WMEX, WCOP), Jack Burns (WBET, WEZE and with co-host George Carlin) and Joey Reynolds, (WPOP, WKBW).
My mornings were the same as any Brockton Baby Boomer’s. My parents controlled the kitchen table radio and it was permanently tuned to Arthur “Doc” Jones Program emanating from WBET’s East Ashland Street Studios.
Radio was a stressful career especially during “sweeps” month. In fact, I did a lot of sweeping up at every station that employed me. Because my show sounded so off the cuff and so spontaneous, my “vast sea of loyal listeners” never knew that I had a 4 to 5 hour dress rehearsal each day before the program (I’ve got the dress down to once a week). We worked the bugs out before show time. If you ever saw my studio, you know the entire place had to be totally fumigated. I’m one of the few d.j.s who actually dressed in a white shirt and tie for each program. Sometimes, I even wore pants. Before transmitters were invented, we did the show door-to-door until I got it right which of course never happened.
My first show as a DJ. was in 1964. Program Director Arthur “Doc” Jones hired me at the Brockton Enterprise Times Radio Stations. At the time, there was no FM programming. There was no separate FM programming. Programming was live and identical for both AM & FM. Few listeners owned FMreceivers in the early 60’s and they rarely ever got to hear stereo programming. FM Stereo requiredthe radio station to buy expensive equipment. The same type of equipment stations need to purchase today if they want to broadcast in high definition. During the early 60’s, there was an active FCC with lots of field inspectors and we actually had radio station engineers. One at the studio and a second technician at the transmitter site some 2 miles away on Brockton’s west side.
Play the audio below and hear a young 18 year old Jack Raymond delivering his first live commercial posing as Ronald Regan.
Jerry Clark, my program director at WOKW and Eddie (Mitchell) Hider at WCOP radio introduced me to one of the all time greats, Eddie Lawrence,a great comedian and cartoon voice artist. He recorded lots of voices for my program portraying his Old Philosopher character. Play the audio below and hear Little Old Eddie.
In the first ten years of rock, some dj’s received custom theme songs recorded by top 10 artists. The Angels hit number one with “My Boyfriend’s Back”.The girls (Peggy Santiglia, now Peggy Davison, Bernadette Carroll, and Phyliis “Jiggs” Allbut) recorded a theme song for my program. In 2002, The Angels were granted rock’n roll immortality when the U.S. Postal Service saluted the great Girl Group by releasing a stamp to honor them.
Play the audio samples below from the JR show and hear “Theatre of the Mind” radio. The “bits” below have not been heard since they were originally broadcast and each skit contents comedy voices and sound effects.