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Stan Major

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Stan Major was PD and did Mornings in 1958, arriving from WPGC sister station, KBMI in Las Vegas when owner, Max Richmond asked him if he wanted to work in DC. While at WPGC he oversaw the return of the FM after a long period of darkness and the AM's transition to 100% Rock & Roll. He left that same year for WCBM in Baltimore. Within months he was named PD at WJJD in Chicago. Stan would later also work at sister station WMEX / Boston, making him the only person to have ever worked at all three of the Richmond stations. In addition, Stan had a long successful career in Talk radio in Miami but is perhaps remembered best for his stint in the '60's as a NBC Network reporter from Saigon. He passed away on 09/25/15 at age 80.



Stan wrote:

I was the Morning jock and Program Director in 1958-59. Max Richmond and I became fact I think I'm the only dude to work for all of his stations...Las Vegas, D.C. and Boston (WMEX) where I was the morning newsguy.

I was in Vegas doing the morning drive show. Max Richmond came out after I had been there a few months and fired everyone. But he had taken a liking to me for some reason and asked me if I'd like to go to his DC station.

I was at WPGC about a year but can't remember when they named me Program Director. I think Dean Griffith (Dean Anthony) was named Program Director by Bob Howard when I left for Baltimore.

I think I started in mornings then moved to afternoons with the Program Director promotion. That's when we kicked off the 'F. Dudley Dudley' morning news with Eliot Paul.

On Elliot Paul and 'F. Dudley Dudley':

I hired Eliot Paul to do our morning news and told him to call himself 'F. Dudley Dudley' and use a British accent, which he did very well. It was fun.

On Jerry Kearns:

Jerry Kearns' grandmother ran Blair House, the Presidential guest home across from the White House. I remember going down to the Blair House with Jerry and spending the weekends in the feather beds on the top floor where the service stayed when Kings, Queens and Presidents came to visit. Ike had Cuban cigars in the kitchen freezer! We washed our cars out in back. I remember spending hours in the Senate gallery watching JFK (already running for President). Sometimes both he and Nixon were in there at the same time.

On 'Mr. PG':

The 'Mr. PG'story is a radio classic. Fred Gray took the 'Mr. PG' promo which stated, "If 'Mr. PG', Color Radio approaches you on the street, show your support. 'Mr. PG' is walking the streets for crippled children. The guy edited the words "color" and "crippled" and changed the promo which ran for hours before someone caught it to,"Support 'Mr. PG', crippled radio, walking the streets for "colored" children". They tell me Mac had his first mild attack when he heard it.

On The FM:

Max Richmond waddled in to the studio one day bemoaning the cost of the power bill to keep running WPGC-FM (remember this was in the late 50's so nobody even knew what FM radio was.) He said he'd sell the FM to me for $10,000! I told him I didn't have the money...he said I should call my folks. He said I could put $1,000 down and get it. What's it worth today?

From Stan's Blog:

You gotta love DC! if you can afford it...that is. DC is a great place...easy to get around in...and lots of things to see. The radio station closed down at sundown...even the FM which nobody listened too as it just simulcast the powerful AM programming. of about 5 or 6 o'clock I was free to wander along the Mall...browse the museums sit in the Senate and watch political stars like young Jack Kennedy...old Eve Dirksen...and on rare occasions Richard Nixon who was Vice President at the time.

A fellow named Jerry Kearns worked at the station and his Grandmother ran Blair House... the big house across the street from the White House where visiting dignitaries stayed. Harry Truman had moved into the Blair House for a couple of years while the White house was refurbished. This was during the final year of Eisenhower’s presidency and when it wasn’t occupied we had the run of the place. We used to wash our cars in the back parking ourselves to anything in the frig...including the big dark Cuban cigars Ike kept in the freezer for guests. I even stayed overnight...way upstairs in the maid’s bedroom in the most comfortable feather bed I’ve ever been in. Then the next morning I took a bath in the main guest bathroom where they had installed a gold plated bathtub for Queen Elizabeth's earlier visit.

Jerry was actually in the military at one of the closed mouth agencies that are to be found (or not found) around DC and he worked at the station part time. I commented to him one day about something we did on the air and he smiled and whispered that “they” probably heard it. I said what do you mean? “Oh...everything is monitored... they hear everything.” It was my first glance into the secret world of evesdropping...knowing that all the radio stations in the area were probably being taped and listened too. Kind of scary for a democracy like ours....more like something you’d expect in Russia.

Max Richmond...triple radio station owner from Boston...was a loose cannon with staff at times. Upon departig WPGC for WEAM, Fred Gray decided he’d take a contest promo we had running on the station and do a little tape cutting job which became a classic Mac story in broadcasting. We had a guy roaming the streets of DC and burbs as a promotion for the station...called “Mr. PG...our station call letters were WPGC....and our logo was “color radio” which I never figured out.

The promotion was tied in with the foundation to support the the on the air announcement said: Mr. PG...Color walking the streets for retarded children. If you spot him say “Hi” and he’ll give you $100 and donate $100 to the Retarded Children's fund on your behalf.” Well...Fred, using his tape and scissors... spliced a couple of words and switched them on the promotion which ran most the the day before someone caught it. 'Mr. PG...retarded walking the streets for colored children'!!! A great story...especially on a big, popular station in Washington DC where the FCC could monitor easily.

After a few months of this fun...I got word that someone in Baltimore at WCBM had heard my PM drive show and might be interested in my services. A bit of research told me it was a Plough of a chain of stations owned by the big drug company. As they also had WJJD in Chicago...I jumped on the idea of joining them.

My stay at WCBM there was ever so brief. But I loved cruising Inner Harbor and eating the best fries in the world (second only to the fondue restaurant in Germany). I was just a jock (DJ) doing an early evening show...but there was an opening for a combo Program Director / DJ at WJJD and I contacted the national program guy in Memphis...a decent gentlemen (few of these in our business)...Gene Plumstead and he took an immediate interest and I was soon on my way back home. So goodbye Edgar Allen Poe and hello to the "Windy".

Before I left WPGC, Mac came to town and invited me to dinner. He wanted to sell me the FM...WPGC FM. He said the power bills just running the transmitter were driving him nuts...and I could believe him..Mac was the kind of guy who had the first dollar of profit in his billfold...and he bragged that he had a code system worked out with his secretaries so that he could call them and get his point across without being charged. At about 10 cents a minute back then..that WAS being cheap.

Nobody listened to FM radio in fact...nobody could because few had FM capability on their radios. We fired up both stations at 6AM each day and the FM just carried what the AM was running. Then, because the AM was limited to daytime hours only...we shut both down at sunset and so...he was correct in feeling the FM was a useless entity “Why don’t I sell the FM to you?” he said over dessert and coffee. “I’ll sell it to you for $10, me a couple thousand down and we’ll work out the rest.”

I replied that I didn’t have the kind of money “Call your Dad...tell him you want to buy a radio station in DC!” “Dad still doesn’t like me being in this business...beside...what the hell would I do with it...nobody can hear FM.” Well...I know that you know where this is going. Now...of one listens to AM any more (hardly) and WPGC-FM in the 70’s, 80’s and later became the most valuable FM property in the entire DC area. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s worth about $100 million on today’s market...give or take a few millions. So much for my crystal ball in the broadcasting business!



Chuck Hunter Remembers:

Very sorry to hear this. Stan was a real pioneer at 'PGC and he led an amazing life. Thanks for keeping us up to date.




Special thanks to the late Dean Griffith (Dean Anthony)
for the photo below from his personal collection).


WPGC's Stan Major in 1960

Headshot from about 1960.



Print Materials

Sales Kits One Sheet

WPGC Composite Air Staff in 1960

Airstaff 1960



Sound Files

1959 - 1960 Production Montage - 3:37




Best Bet of the Week Approx. 1959 - 1960
#1 Hit Stager Approx. 1959 - 1960
#2 Station Approx. 1959 - 1960
2 O'Clock Stager Approx. 1959 - 1960
3 O'Clock Stager Approx. 1959 - 1960
10K Watts of Instant News Approx. 1959 - 1960
Gathering News Every 2nd Approx. 1959 - 1960
Instant News! Approx. 1959 - 1960
Top News Story Stager Approx. 1959 - 1960
You've Heard Thee News! Approx. 1959 - 1960
News Close - Stay Tuned 4 Approx. 1959 - 1960
New Sound Of WPGC 1960, 100% Rock

Special thanks to contributor, Lee Whitney for the above, the earliest known surviving audio of WPGC.



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