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Anita Miller

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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins


Anita Miller (aka 'April May') was part of the office staff from 1971-77.



Anita writes:

On Being Hired at WPGC:

I was hired in the summer of 1971 after I heard an announcement on Harv Moore's show that the station was looking for a receptionist and general office person. I called the station and got an interview with Dee Masano a few days later. I had worked briefly for KVI radio in Seattle before moving to DC in 1970 so I knew the phones and bookkeeping stuff but I had stayed at home for a while and wasn't sure if Bob Howard would give me the position. He was tough in the interview wanting to be sure I could get to work (since I didn''t drive in those days) and I used the bus. Later I moved across the street from the station and literally walked to work each day.

I was sort of a jack of all trades so I worked the holidays so there would be someone to do phones, update logs and handle anything the DJ's couldn't do from the control room. I also got called a lot when people locked themselves out like when Bob Raleigh Sr. broke his fingers. That was some disaster for Senior -- ouch.

On Bob Howard:

Bob was tough but fair and if you did good he was generous with raises and praise. Cross him and he could berate you with equal enthusiasm. He had a pair of lungs for sure. One of his rules was no food or drink in the office as the equipment in the control room was the scene of many spills and the engineers got tired of trying to get cheetos out of the turntables (yes this was the prehistoric era of radio)

I know for a fact Bob came in on weekends to be sure the weekend guys were playing honest and he caught one poor hapless DJ with coffee and a sandwich and gave him the axe. He finished his show and I'm sure the listeners were very surprised to hear Mr. Soundoff doing the pratter and taking requests. He did enforce the rule for everyone so when Mr. Richmond and Associates came to town they had to tke lunch in the hallway or up on the 3rd Floor lobby because Bob refused to send out for lunch saying if my employees can't eat in the office neither can you. My Hero!

Beverly Burch, Sue Gardiner & I used to act as hostesses when the station did Promo Parties for visiting celebrities and we all helped with mail-outs and contests. Boy did Bob love to give away money in those days! The Missing "W" contest, cars and $25,000 at a pop when other stations gave away T-shirts and records. He had trade accounts with different clients and the prize closet had everything you could imagine!

Bob encouraged all of us to come up with ideas to improve the station or the ratings and we were Number 1 all across the board regardless of age, time of day and the fact that we played Top 40 in a town that was pre-dominately Black or at least very conservative. I swear, we had old folks in the home, bikers, good-ol boys and gangsters listening to WPGC just to win money. The Salesmen didn't have any air-time to sell because we were sold out in all times for six months in advance. One year we raised the rate card 3 times and still the spots sold. They were reduced to selling spots when someone cancelled - didn't happen very often.

On Bill Prettyman:

I loved working with Mike Cohen and Charlie Scheu (like on your foot) but Bill Prettyman was a trip. He got me involved in a remote broadcast one time in one of the shopping malls just before Easter and I may never forgive him. He planned to give away plastic eggs to the shoppers with prize slips to get records, gift certificates to the different stores or cash. His wife Sharon and I were supposed to man the prize booth. The plan was for him to wear an Easter Bunny costume as he gave out the prize eggs but he waited til the last minute and no costumes were available. So he tells me the Friday before the remote that the only costume he could acquire was a Playboy Bunny costume and guess who had to wear it?!

I'm sure you can figure out the ending to this story. Stop laughing - it was not exactly my finest hour! Still, I heard later that the stores claimed it was the best remote must have been booming. To my knowledge Sharon wouldn't let Bill take any photographs. But I know people at the mall (shoppers and merchants) took some. Visitors the site may still have some from their private collections they could send in. I still have the hit man on retainer to get Prettyman!

On Harv Moore:

Harv let eveyone get their 15 minutes of fame every chance he got and for a man of his fame that was amazing -- no ego just the boy next door for real. He told jokes about my blueberry muffins on air: I believe they were used for door stops and paper weights. Said my parents were going to enroll me in cooking school but I burnt the application! We got a lot of mileage out of my lack of culinary skills. I had to put the fire department on danger money every time I turned on the stove.

On Big Wilson:

Big Wilson gave me the name 'April-May'. He had a thing for initials meaning something cosmic so Anita Miller became April-May so when the guys bounced gags off me on the air I could be famous and unknown to the listeners. Chris Fisher made everyone play Elvis records if they wanted a paycheck. It was a small price to pay to get paid. One time she gave Biggie a check with all zeroes in the amount. We waited in bookkeeping for a long time waiting for him to hit the roof and demand his due. Nothing. Finally Chris broke down and went in search of Biggie to see if he was dead on the control room floor -- nope! He said he figured it would happen sooner or later - that Uncle Sam would take out more than he earned!

On The Airstaff:

Columbus and Jim Collins were a joy to work with. Jim and I didn't get to play together too much- He usually came in just about the time I left for the day. He was always friendly and nice to everyone just not much of a talker off the air. In the control room though he really sizzled.

On First Media:

I was sorry too when First Media took over. Boy what a bunch of characters those kids were. They didn't even know what ASCAP & BMI were and didn't understand why we paid them so much every month. I decided to have a bit of a giggle with them so I told Chris Fisher not to explain the rules and she sat there while they decided to discontinue payment of the outrageous fees. Boy did the fines hit the fan! People should know the business if they want to run the shop.

In Retrospect :

It was sad to see everyone scatter to the four winds. I hope everyone is happy because they were the most talented co-workers I've ever had the privlege to work with. This site is a joy and shows lots of hard work. For years I thought I was the only one who still felt the station was special. My youth giving it more emphasis than it deserved. Perhaps not! This site demonstrates what people can accomplish when they care if only briefly.

Radio will never die because it takes creativity and personality to make it work for the listeners. TV is too corporately controlled and plays down to the audience. I hope the next generation of DJ's will take the blow torch from this site and be inspired to try to top us. Wouldn't that be something!!!



Print Materials


Click on thumbnails below to see full size images.








Click on thumbnails below to see full size images. 

With Harv Moore in July 1971.

With big Wilson in Dec. 1971.

With Sue Gardiner, Bev Burch & Bobbie Sweitzer in '72.

With 'Phono Phunnies' Contest winners in 1973.


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