Being Hired at WPGC:
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.
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)
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!
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
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:
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?!
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 ever...business 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!!