Many stations including WMEX were still using acetate records but they only played 10 times before sounding scratchy on the air. Ed had a gift for writing and singing funny commercials and station promos. Because station owner, Mac Richmond loved them, Ed wrote and performed hundreds of original songs for key advertisers such as; Raymond’s Dept. Stores, Thom McCann Shoes and Tri-S Gasoline. When the same Mac Richmond hired me 5 years later, he said Ed Hider was the best morning man he ever hired. Mac had champagne tastes with a beer budget. He also believed if you could announce better than him, you had talent. Conversely, if he could sound better than your audition tape, why hire you?

Canoe Club Ticket

Canoe Club Ticket (1961)

In the 60’s, there were lots of tough guys at large record hops. One Friday night at the Canoe Club in West Bridgewater, a WMEX Good Guy found out just how tough.

The Rondells were a quartet from Braintree on Boston’s South Shore.  Members (above, right to left): Lenny Petze (VP of A&R Epic Records Signing Boston & Cindy Lauper), Lenny Collins (Epic Records Promotion), Ray Pizzi (Legendary Hollywood woodwind artist), James Petze.

While introducing the band, I saw him literally get socked off the stage by a guy with a motorcycle jacket and big fists. It happened while Freddie “Boom Boom” Cannon (Palisade’s Park) was on stage with his back-up band that consisted of Lennie Petze and Lennie Collins among others. All of these people became my friends as my radio career continued. Mr. Petze was at the controls at Boston’s Ace Recording Studios when “Tallahasse Lassie “was recorded. Today, he’s retired in Florida at New Smyrna Beach. Lenny Collins hit the lottery in 1991 for 2.4 million dollars and travels between homes in Fort Lauderdale and Braintree. There is a local connection; Mr. Collins married the Brockton Water Superintendent’s daughter. In the 70’s, WMEX’s Donn Parker and I competed against each other after he bought a radio station in Central Massachusetts.
WMEX's Don Parker (1961)

WMEX’s Don Parker (1961)

By the late 60’s, all my childhood radio heroes, including Ron Landry, relocated to Los Angeles and the light went out on great personality radio in New England. It was symptomatic of the entire Country. America moved to California in 1970.

Emperor Bob Hudson (left) and Ron Landry (right) (1972)

Emperor Bob Hudson (left) and Ron Landry (right) (1972)

Start Audio and hear WBZ’s Ron Landry and Bob Starr.

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