Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Best DJs: WTIT's Hall of Fame

There is no particular order to our choices for "Best DJs". These are some of the guys who inspired me to become a radio personality which I was for a long time. These guys worked for a ton of radio stations. We've just listed how we stumbled upon them and continued to follow their careers. If these guys weren't so good, there would have been any Bud Weiser or for that matter WTIT Tape Radio. We cannot imagine life without this history of ours. Let's just start!
Jackson Armstrong, WPOP, WKBW

This guy could talk. And yell. It was never dull. He was a classic Top 40 jock at the peak of Top 40 radio. When he shouted out that his station was the "music leader" he wailed.

Dick Robinson, WDRC

I started to listen to Dick Robinson as a kid. When I was Gary Hunter at WRCQ and latter WCCC, I worked for Dick part time as an instructor at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. He became a customer when I owned a chain of video stores. He became a client when I was in radio sales at WTIC. He became a friend and mentor after that. We haven't spoke in a while, but the guy was terrific to me. And it is a gift to meet and become friends with a childhood hero. As salesmanager of WPOP and Radio 104 I hired his daughter Missy for her first radio gig.

Sandy Beach WDRC, WKBW

Sandy Beach had a classic radio name like "Rusty Potts" and it was those type of names that inspired me to be Bud Weiser. But as you know, I've never used that name on the radio. Just on WTIT and of course here on WTIT Tape Radio: The Blog. Sandy was a terrific jock. Great voice, very funny and he knew his music.


Some of these guys are friends, some are heros from my childhood. They influenced me to do radio. I want to thank them. I only have met Don Imus once. Rod Allen got us in to see him do a TV interview at TV 8 in New Haven. After all the drama from his repetition of a racist comment directed at the Rutgers' Womens Basketball program, he has landed at WABC.


When Hartford's first oldies station went on the air in 1974, it's call letters were WRCQ and was called 91Q. I was lucky enough to be in the station's original line-up. Before the current jocks kicked off the format, the station brought back a lot of classic DJs who had been stars in the 60's at Hartford's two big rock stations" WDRC and WPOP. One of my favorites from both of those stations was Joey Reynolds. He appeared as the final "DJ from the Past" on that first weekend. I would be the first DJ following him and starting the new station. All I said was "What an act to have to follow!" Joey invited all of us back to his hotel for a huge party that night. I'll never forget that night. I still have the tape of the end of Joey's show and the start of mine.

Bud Ballou WVBF

Bud was huge in Boston where I went to college. He was outrageous and funny and I still have air check recordings of some of his shows in the 1970's. He died young, which was such a waste.

Long John Wade WDRC

WDRC's afternoon drive host in their hey-day. I won my first radio contest on his show when I was 12. The prize? A 45 RPM of the Mama & the Papa's "I Saw Her Again". He also was at that kick-off weekend for WRCQ. It was great to meet him.

Dan Ingram WABC, WCBS

Dan Ingram was one of the best Top 40 DJs ever. Other jocks ripped off his style and jokes. But when you heard his "Dan Ingram" jingle and his infectious personality you were hooked. I still own a tape someone made taping all his best shows from the summer of 1968.

Ron Landry WDRC

He was WDRC's morning man for a long time. Everything he said was funny. He later did stand up and comedy albums with a partner. They were simply called Hudson & Landry. I still have a record album of their comedy.

Johnnie Williams WRKO

Top 40 changed and jocks talked less and played much more music. Some guys could do this and still be creative and funny. Johnny was one of those dudes. A fantastic voice in Boston.

The Greaseman WPOP

The Greaseman played a character as a DJ. He sounded like an old "good old boy" but was very hip. He was at WPOP doing mornings when I was in college and had a very long successful career spending years in the nation's capital.

Joe "High Gear" Hagar WDRC, WAVZ

While I was in college I spent a ton of time at WDRC because my friend Rod Allen did the overnight show. He and Joe threw parties after dark at the station and I became good friends with both of them. Joe was a classic radio guy. I sat in at shows he did at both WDRC and WAVZ. Joe died very young. He is missed.


When I first heard Sebastion on WDRC in the late 70's, he was a throwback to the great personalities of the 60's at WDRC. He has come and gone over the years. He left WCCC mornings for a ton of bucks at WZMX. A couple of years later when Howard Stern went national WCCC picked up Stern. Sebastion not only got creamed, but the station switched formats when they let Sebastion go. He went on and landed at an all sports station in Springfield, Mass. About a year before that station changed from an all sports thing to news, they replaced Senastion with a syndicated show from their Hartford and New Haven stations. It bombed. Had Sebastion finally left radio for good? Nope. When Howard Stern left on air to go to Serius radio, WCCC replaced Howard with Sebastion. He is still there as of 2008.

Jim Nettleton WDRC, WABC

Just a classic rock radio Top 40 DJ.

Rod Allen WDRC

Rod Allen was a good friend of mine in the early 70's. His parties while working with Joe Hagar, Gary DeGraide other jocks and me were legendary. A damn good DJ too. We sttill use some of his voice overs for promotions at WTIT. He wrote us after our site was launched in 2006.

Opie & Anthony WAAF

I worked with Opie and Anthony at WAAF. Great guys. They replaced David Lee Roth (who had started a morning show on Howard Stern's network after he went to Serius.) and are very talented.
Stoneman WPLR, WCCC

Not much of a voice, but man he knew music. He was on back in the days we still picked out the songs we played. He was the night guy at WPLR in New Haven for years. After he went to WCCC when they went album rock. I worked with Stoneman at WCCC. He followed my sfternoon show. Another enormous talent who passed away young.

Dick Summer WNBC, WMEX

A great mellow DJ voice. He programed WMEX a rock station in Boston while I was at college and did a terrfic call-in show at WNBC in New York in the late 70's. WTIT did a parody of that show and sent him a copy in 1975. I played Dick and Al "Tonto" played the callers.

Ken Griffin WPOP, WDRC

Worked at both WDRC and WPOP in the 60's. He did the very first "album rock show" in Harford that he called "The Scene of the Unheard:. We spoofed him at WTIT calling our show "The Scene of the Unwanted".

Honorable Mentions: Gary Craig, Damon Scott, Ted Dalaku, Lee Gordon, Lee Baby Simms, Charlie Fox, and of course Gary Hunter...

No comments:

Post a Comment