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Dedicated in memory
Walker in 1954
Walker was one of the first Air
Personalities on WPGC just six weeks after it signed on
the air from a farm on the edge of Morningside near District
Heights. In the interview
below, he recalls working at the station for exactly two years
from June 4, 1954 to June 4, 1956. His illustrious career included
stops at many notable Washington area stations including WOL,
WWDC and WMAL, but he is most fondly remembered for his work
with Willard Scott as 'The
Joy Boys' at WRC.
broadcast aired on 10/25/15. Three hours later, he passed on
to that great transmitter in the sky. He was a true friend of
this site, providing much information about the earliest days
of the station. Without his help, the WPGC sudios and offices
location in Hyattsville from 1954-1956 might never have been
on Ed's career can be found at the Washington
I was 16 or 17 years old, I drove out Brookville road in Silver
Spring, Maryland , Home of the WWDC Studios and Towers, I walked
into the old stone building, The receptionist was not at her desk,
So Iwandered down the steps, right into the studio area. The Engineer
who was running the board for the "Joy Boys", asked
me if I knew who those two guys were in the next studio. I gazed
through the glass and saw two gentlemen laughing as they were
doing a "bit" on the air, It was Willard Scott and Ed
Walker performing magic right in front of me!
Ed had a variety of REAL Sound effects they used, like a little
wooden box that he would knock on and it sounded exactly like
a door, that opened. That inspired me so much I'm proud to say
I was working on the air in that stone building just a couple
keep that inspiration with me everyday.
will surely be missed as a wonderful guy and a great talent .
I was born and raised in DC. I grew up listening to Walker and
Scott on WRC. They were icons.
I left WPGC, one of my stops was WLMD, Laurel. I had the great
pleasure of getting to know Ed Walker who was doing a talk show
at WLMD shortly after Willard Scott and Ed disbanded as the Joy
Boys of radio on WRC. Willard went to do weather at NBC TV New
York. Ed Walker was the real deal, personable and very talented.
He was an inspiration.
knew Ed from the AFTRA days, he was a great guy, a true friend
an ultimate professional and an elegant gentleman.
Walker, inducted in the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago
jock Ed Walker tells Willard Scott my only handicap was
working with you. Ed and Willard, who met at American
University, were the "Joy Boys" first at Washington's
WOL and then WRC and WWDC. Scott left to pursue TV fulltime
in 1974, and Ed worked at WPGC-AM, WMAL and the later WWRC.
It says something about his talent and attitude that the congenitally-blind
Walker did TV at WJLA (1975-1980) and News Channel 8 in the
affection that "Today Show" legend Willard
Scott has for Ed was evident from the moment he stepped onto
the podium during the live broadcast. Willard recalled the time
the local Jaycees contacted Ed and asked if hed like to
judge a beauty contest. (Willard joked, any young lady
here tonight like to get judged in Braille?)
Walker told how he used to handle delivering a five-minute newscast
at WPGC by listening to a rival station that subscribed to the
same news service and memorizing it but he got crossed
up one day when the station threw on a religious program instead.
following is an excerpt from an interview with Ed conducted
by a student at the University of Maryland from April, 1974
in which they discussed his days at WPGC:
Interview With Radio Announcer Ed Walker
by David L. Carter
University of Maryland Oral History Seminar
Donald Kirkley, Jr.) and Broadcast Pioneers Library, April 1974
Library of American Broadcasting, University of Maryland Libraries
Audio Transcript # 410
name is David Carter. The following is an interview with radio
announcer Ed Walker. The interview is taking place in Mr. Walker's
office at WWDC Radio in Silver Spring, MD. Today is April 20th,
got a job in 1954 at a brand new radio station called WPGC..."
Was WPGC in the Top-Forty format then?
Well, they certainly werent as into it as they
are now. They werent as polished. Radio wasnt quite
as frantic in those days as it is now. We were playing the contemporary
music. I guess you would call it Top-Forty, but we were playing
all the big hits of that day The Crew Cuts and The McGuire
Sisters, and all of the groups that were very popular. They
didnt have the production aids and things that people
use today, the jingles and stuff like that. We were just getting
into that in broadcasting.
You moved from WPGC to
year was that?
Well, I actually worked at both stations for a period
of time. I started at WPGC on June 4, 1954, and in 1955, in
March I think it was, Willard called me up and said, Ive
got permission for you to audition with me. He had a little
record show then in the evening, and he said, Theyre
going to let you do an on-the-air audition for two days.
So we did that, and they taped it, and I never heard anything
from the station. And I thought, well, it must not have gone
over too well. This was in March, and in July 1955, I get a
call that they wanted to talk to me at NBC. It took them all
that time. They work very slowly.
they hired me for a half-hour a day to work with Willard doing
a half-hour show, which wasnt a living, you know. So I
got permission to stay on at WPGC and do both shows as sort
of a trial thing, and I continued that from July 1955, until
November 1956. Now let me get my facts straight. I left WPGC
in June of 1956. I was there two years to the day, and then
I did some summer work at WRC that summer, and then Willard
went into the Navy, and then I inherited his afternoon show."
- Did you ever have any experiences with, perhaps, on the spot
news reporting or sports cast?
- Yes. Well, I've never done a sports cast, but I used to
try to do the news because of the situation wherever I worked.
I think you know the story, don't you? When I worked at WPGC,
I worked Sunday afternoons my first few months there, and there
was nobody else at the station except a high school girl who
answered phones and took down people's addresses. We used to
have these commercials where we were selling records and rebuilt
vacuum cleaners, and people would call in. It was called a P
I deal, a per inquiry deal. The station was paid by the number
of inquiries they received. They would not let her do the news.
said, "You've got to do the news on the hour". So
I had been working on this system in college, anyway, where
I would wear a pair of earphones and listen to someone reading
the news; and I would repeat it about a half a sentence behind
them just as a court reporter does with a stenomask machine.
I had worked out this system where I found another station that
used the same wire service and had sold the time check on the
hour, and they always started their news on time. So I would
just back-time myself to come out the same time they were; and
I'd put on my earphones and listen to this guy read the news;
and I'd follow him substituting my call letters wherever his
were given; and it was perfectly okay because I was reading
the same copy that we would be getting on our wire service anyway.
got fairly proficient at this. Then one Sunday I put on my earphones
ready for the news, and I heard, "from Long Beach California
- the Old Fashioned Revival Hour is on the air". Well,
they had sold the time; and I didn't know it; and so there I
stood with egg all over my face and rattled my pages and said,
"Due to technical difficulties", which is the big
out, "our teletype machine is not working properly, and
we will be unable to bring you the news at this time".
And that ended my illustrious news career.
following are excerpts from an interview recorded in
studio 'S' at 95.5
KLOS, Los Angeles on Friday, February 29th, 2004.
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