Music Troll - Home Page Link WPGC Aircheck:
Elliott & Woodside - 11/22/78


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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins



 

2nd Annual WPGC Simulated Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Jim Elliott came to WPGC from WEAM (where he was Program Director), for middays & Music Director duties in 1975. He had previously worked in Washington doing late nights at WRC. In 1977, he moved to mornings. In the Summer of 1978, Scott Woodside joined him for morning news.

Elliott & Woodside left the station in early 1982, accepting a then staggering offer from Q107. Jim later did mornings at B106, middays at WAVA & eventually became VP of Pop Promotion at Arista Records in NY. Today he runs his own airplay consulting firm while Scott resides in Atlanta.

What makes this aircheck so remarkable is the short amount of time Jim Elliott & Scott Woodside (they would not officially be billed as 'Elliott & Woodside until 1980) had worked together. The pair had been assembled by Program Director, Dan Mason when morning news guy, Don O'Day left WPGC to return to sister station KYAK as its Program Director in the Summer of 1978, roughly one year after the Great Strike That Struck Out and his arrival at the station.

Dan brought in morning news guy, Scott Woodside from sister station Z93 in Atlanta (where Dan himself had come from during the strike). Elliott & Woodside had an immediate & natural chemistry which struck a chord with many listeners. Scott's background in improvisational acting lent itself well to spontaneous goofiness on the morning show at any given moment and as any situation warranted.

That talent is clearly heard in this theatre of the mind production in many of the alleged, man on the street descriptions of the floats in this fictitious parade. Topical references to key figures in the news at the time created a comical premise that found infinite variations including the improbable appearance of Ricky Ricardo & Lucy on a float, All The President's Men on another, Billy Carter (who also sings a song for Jim Elliott) on one, Liz Ray belly dancing on another and Tong Sung Park handing out money on his float like it was going out of style.

Complimenting this cornucopia of hilarity are cameo appearances by overnight DJ, Liz Kiley interviewing Turkey Mogul, 'Frank Purdull' on the White House South Lawn, Scott Carpenter's description of the Mummers participation in the parade in front of the YMCA (they in fact hum if not mum to 'Stayin' Alive'), Waylon Richards' one man band float, and Dave Foxx (who produced the pre-recorded elements) who has a run-in with the law.

One of those prerecorded elements contained inside humor only station staffers or acquaintances would appreciate. Various station personnel's names were attributed to several committees who had planned the parade. Of note was the Clean Up Committee behind the horses consisting of 'Dan', (Dan Mason, Program Director), 'Bill', (Bill Prettyman, General Manager) and 'Glenn', (Glenn Potter, President of WPGC owner, First Media).

Long time listeners of the station knew immediately however the name mentioned in the funniest bit on the tape in which Dave interviews a confused old man on the parade sidelines who thinks that Harv Moore & The Redhead were still doing mornings on WPGC (they had in fact left the station over three years earlier!).

Keeping everything together and running smoothly, ringmaster, Jim Elliott also contributes several recurring Holiday themed features including a Thanksgiving Day Quiz and Things to be Thankful For comedy bits.

Embellishment was the word of the day in this presentation. Wild claims such as President Carter giving his okay for the parade to circle the White House and Channel 7 Eyewitness News giving WPGC all 15 of it's mini-cams to use in the parade (really necessary for radio!) were the norm. The joke was perpetuated with numerous disclaimers such as 'No need to go out to the parade; we're bringing it to you on the radio'. (The station did in fact receive calls as to the parade's route and viewing areas!).

Localization made the picture all the more believable. Whenever generic marching band music was heard between floats, mentions were made of various high schools in the area supposedly appearing in the parade including Bowie, Crofton, Suitland, Annandale, Walter Johnson, West Springfield, Montgomery Blair & Gaithersburg High Schools. Even the Army & Navy bands get in on the act plus a purported appearance by the Redskinettes & the Redskins Marching Band (the 'Skins faced Dallas that afternoon).

Commercials on this tape were not included but a few seconds entering & exiting stopsets are heard. Jingles in use were from JAM's 'Positron' package which had been ordered earlier in the year.

As to the '2nd Annual' reference, if anyone remembers a parade from the previous (or successive years), please contact the webmaster.

Special thanks to contributor, Steve Willet for this piece of radio history!

 




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