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Dedicated in memory
a teenager with acne growing up in PG County, I'm pretty sure
it was required to listen to WPGC, though only AM at that time
(only the Martians had FM in '64.) I never listened to the radio
or rock music until the Beatles
broke in early '64. WPGC helped open up my ears to a whole world
I had been missing while collecting trading cards, comic books,
and Famous Monsters Magazines.
the 'British Walkers':
in 1965, WPGC brought the British Walkers to Marlboro
Raceway in PG County. It was at the time of their first 45
on Try Records, 'I Found You' backed with 'Diddly Daddy'.
Both sides featuring Roy Buchanan on guitar as a member
of the group. Dean Griffith
was the master of ceremonies and I seem to recall several other
jocks there. It was a gas!!
Interviewing the Staff at WPGC as a teen:
working for the Suitland Echo High School newspaper as
sports editor, I convinced Bob
Howard to let me do a story on the station, figuring they
would give me some free 45s when I visited, which they did. I
interviewed Harv Moore, Tiger
Bob Raleigh, Jim
Madison and a couple others. Read
Harv Moore producing his record:
A couple months later, we had a group of students at Suitland
cutting a demo as Adam's Apples, they later changed their
name to Nobody's Children and Harv
Moore produced their first 45 on UA, 'Junco Partner',
and published the flip, 'Let Her Go' (written as I recall
by Lee Travers from the band). Harv
had already had a 45 out on his own on American Arts, a Beatle
break-in novelty with him singing on the flip, called
I Feel So Fine.
the Radio Rollercaster:
for me, two years later in 1966, I was Music Director at the University
of Maryland's WMUC
(for three years), went on to part-time at WSID-FM and WINX,
and later became PD & MD & on-air at WINX
after getting out of the Army. I became Steve
Kingston's first on-air boss.
digress a moment, Pierre Eaton was on a kick where he
felt for name recognition the jocks should have similar names
to Rock stars. When I first started there as a part-timer in 1968,
then PD Bob Edson changed my WMUC
name Sam Doug to Frankie Nelson.
The previous year, I worked as Doug Franklin at WSID-FM in Baltimore,
with Dave King as PD / MD. He had just left WINX
and wanted me to help get a progressive format on the air. Bob
Duckman, who had worked with me at WMUC
had worked at WINX
with King and recommended me due to my musical knowledge. (I was
music director all three years at WMUC,
as well as Record Librarian, then Asst. PD (to John
Dowling), then PD (supervising the hiring of Connie Chung
for the news department).
back to WSID, I started there Fall of '67. I did the 6pm-mid shift
on Saturday, hung around the studio all day Sunday (I didn't have
a drivers licence yet), did 6pm-midnight Sunday, then took a bus
back to College Park, getting back to my dorm or building FF (WMUC)
at 3 or 4 in the AM. I know I was working there the weekend Otis
Redding died, and I think also when Bobby Kennedy died
the following Spring, about 8 months or so.
didn't keep that format long and went Top 40 as WLPL and I went
as a weekender working with Joel
Denver. We pretty much did Sundays between us (after all the
Public Affairs crapola). By the time I got out of the Army in
early '72, Edson was gone, Pierre had been PD, Bill Vickers
was the MD / Engineer, and for some reason Pierre wanted to hire
me as a three in one, Morning Drive, PD, and MD. All for $100
a week starting salary!!
Steve Kingston & WINX:
I did that for awhile, but got tired real quick and hired someone
else for mornings. I did mid-days, eventually ending up at 7-midnight
again. That's where Kingston
comes in. He was a high school pal of Harvey Fisher (Bruce
Diamond, now Jack
Diamond of MIX 107, maybe someday Neil Diamond, who
knows??) His buddy Harvey had convinced Pierre to hire Steve
as the station janitor, and although he rarely spoke and was very
moody, he and I got along fine. He and
Robbie Norton both loved sitting down at the end of the counter
where interviewees sat and stare my ass off while I'd be talking
on the phone to girls. They didn't like girls, at least at that
this point, doing nights, I had created a concept called Heavy
Metal Thunder, which was all hard rock after 7pm. Deep
Purple, Black Sabbath, Amboy Dukes, Runaways, it all fit and
never had better ratings then during that all too brief time.
Occasionally, I would have something else to do and I originally
put Steve on just playing
the records, graduating to speaking and eventually to replacing
me when I quit in '73 or '74 to go manage Variety Records
in Wheaton Plaza. I'm pretty sure Big
Don O'Bryan subbed once and played Eagles and such,
and was not invited back.
had built up a good crew before I left as PD, we had Terry
Steele, Darius Pope, Sam Diego, and at one point, I passed
on hiring Greaseman (he ended up at DC-101).
One last WINX
story. We had this wonderful listener who was mentally challenged
but passionate about the station, Sue Ann Richardson. She
listened to me when I was Frankie Nelson, and after the
Army, I was Skip Nelson. She couldn't quite grasp why we
sounded alike, so the guys told her Frankie was my brother, and
he had gone in the army. For a couple of years, she would call,
and always ask first, "How's your brother Frankie?"
We had to keep the story alive; would have been cruel to do otherwise.
As a result whenever I e-mail or talk to Kingston,
he either calls me Sue Ann or Pierre.
doing WPGC's Sunday Night Oldies Show:
later when Scott Shannon
left WPGC for Q105 in Tampa and Steve
took over in 1981, he brought me in on Sunday nights to play
oldies at $50 an hour.
in the mid '80s, Flash Phillips
got Mark St. John to hire me at WAVA
doing Rock Of The '90s at $25 an hour. Now, I've closed
my record store down after 25 years in Rockville, and Yesterday
& Today Records is an internet / mail order function only.
Though I'm hoping to get a gig at Metro Traffic at maybe
$5 an hour. Good Times!!
thanks to Skip Nelson for
- Sunday Night Oldies Show - 2:25
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