Monday, June 23, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #397

WARM’S NEW SOUND 

If you are tuning in to the Mighty 590, you will notice that the True Oldies Channel is no longer on the station. The TOC was really good but the drawback was that the only announcer you heard was Scott Shannon. And at times if you listened in the morning, you might hear the same voice track (albeit with a different song) at night. But the contract with True Oldies was set to expire and Cumulus Broadcasting went another way. 
Last Monday the station started to air Good Time Oldies. There are various announcers who engage the audience in topical events of the day. Plus you hear WARM jingles interspersed every few songs. 
The new format gives WARM a new and in my opinion a better identity. Tune in to WARM 590 with their Good Time Oldies. Like the old days, let the good times roll on the Mighty 590.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #398

MY DAD AND WARM RADIO 


My father, Stephen "Jake" Yonki, circa 1940. 

Today is Father’s Day and my dad was a regular listener to WARM.  One of his biggest thrills was when he actually got to go to the WARM Studios in Avoca. I was a Senior in High School and was interested in going to Career Academy of Broadcasting in Washington. Joey Shaver who at the time was the local recruiter wanted me to stop by the station for “an audition” Joey made it seem like CAB was harder to get into than Harvard and I was nervous even though I did some news on the weekends at WPTS. 
When we got to WARM, Bill Kelly who was then doing the news showed us into the lobby and got Joey. Looking over his shoulder, Kelly said to me, “You’ll be fine”. Joey got us into a production room and asked me to read sixty seconds of copy. My father stood there watching me. There was a big old clock and I was instructed to hit the sixty second mark. As I read, out of the corner of my eye I saw my father watching that clock. I hit the clock right at sixty seconds. Joey said I was in, gave my parents the paper work and we went home. 
On the ride home all my father talked about was how clean and professional those WARM Studios looked. A railroader all his life my dad wanted to see me achieve in a field I was interested in. Although I never made it to WARM as an announcer, I did have a wonderful association with the Mighty 590 through the years. I did make it into that big main studio with the picture window but that was when WKQV was on the air and in that building. As a WARM purist, that doesn't count. 
My dad has been gone since 1980, WARM is certainly not what it used to be, and I have no idea what is now in that building in Avoca. But one of the fondest memories I have is my dad watching the clock in that Production Room as his kid “auditioned” at the Radio Station he had listened to since 1940.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #399

SCOTT ARTHUR 
 Former WARM broadcaster Scott Arthur. (Photo: LinkedIn). 
Scott Arthur started out on the Mighty 590 as an overnight disc jockey. Arthur turned the overnight show into a mecca for people who enjoyed Trivia as well as those who were into subjects like space aliens, extra sensory perception and other topic off the beaten path. Arthur later moved to the afternoons before moving on. Thanks to our friend Jim Filipinski, we found a profile on Arthur on LinkedIn. Here's what he is up to today: 
Scott is a multi-talented veteran of radio and television. Born in Baltimore and raised in New Jersey, he began his career during college in Philadelphia. He has since hosted talk shows, music shows and anchored news. Scott has also directed, produced and hosted television shows in Miami, Austin and Houston. His on-camera TV work includes local PBS presentations, infomercials, all night movie shows and a cable sports show. 
Scott was the Public Relations Manager for the Houston Hard Rock CafĂ© for ten years and the Media Relations Consultant for Houston’s Star of Hope Homeless Mission for thirteen years. He is currently the Director of Public Relations with that organization. In addition, Scott was owner of Arthur and Associates; a Houston based Public Relations and Marketing firm. Highlights included writing and producing public service and commercial projects for radio and television featuring among others, George Bush, Clint Eastwood, James Michener and Danny DeVito. 
His community service includes a weekly radio show for the blind and visually impaired originating from Houston’s Sight Into Sound studios. The 60 minute broadcast is heard in Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. He has served on the Publicity Committee of the HLSR World Championship BBQ Cook Off since 2006. 
Asked to name some of the highlights of his life, Scott includes his marriage, his daughter Nicole, mentoring experiences, a flight with the Navy’s Blue Angels, His birthday skydive, his meetings with 4 Presidents of the United States and his 2009 induction into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #400

VOICES IN THE NIGHT 


Keystone College Observatory. (Photo: Keystone College EDU) 
One of the most popular overnight disc jockeys and radio hosts on WARM was a fellow named Scott Arthur. Arthur had an extremely popular night time program where he asked trivia questions and in between records speculated about aliens and outer space. A few weeks ago an e mail came to my attention from a gentlemen who had interacted with an overnight radio host on UFOs a few times. I knew instantly it had to be Scott Arthur. Here’s the genesis of that question and how the group of young men interacted with the radio host. 
Jim W.Filipski C.P.P. is a Senior Commercial Photographer with Guy Cali Associates Inc. - Images for Business. The Cali group is one of the finest group of photographers in the state, dare I say the country. Anyway, it was Jim who related his past experience with the Mighty 590. 
Way back in the early 1970's ( over 41 years ago) My buddies and I did the pioneering set up work on Keystone College's Alvin Clark Refracting telescope at their Observatory in La Plume, PA. If you are familiar with the modern TV show "Big Bang" well that is almost a direct spin off of my buddies and I ( and we like to refer to ourselves now as the original Big Bang group) We virtually lived there from Friday after work until the wee hours of Monday morning when we got home with just enough time to grab a shower head out to our real jobs! We did this every weekend for many years and one of the guys, John Sabia still works for the Observatory to this day. Well as you can imagine in northeastern PA the weather is not always the best So many observing session would get rained out. And a bunch of young active minds must find better things to do then just sit around and wait. The hand held Hewlett Packard scientific calculator recently came out back then and it didn't take us long to find out that if we wrapped a coil of wire around it and attached that wire to our "constantly on", Short Wave Radio's antenna port ( this was set to "wwv" Government time signals for observing purposes We always knew what time it was by hearing the audio time signals) We were then able to generate what at that time was not very common ....digital tones! We decide to call WARM Radio during one of the late night talk shows at 3AM one Saturday morning and played the tones for the DJ on the line and then announced "This is the Interstellar Operator calling Will you accept the call from ( One of us would be named)" and we would hold a conversation with Scott Arthur. It was pretty wild for that time to hear those tones on a radio or in a phone for that matter. Well now our group is scattered about but we still get back together every few years to celebrate (April 13 2014 was our 42nd year anniversary) A few in the group went on to bigger things. One builds optics for special applications for the US projects, one is an project engineer for NASA, a number are computer programmers and yours truly is a Commercial Photographer as you know. There were 7 of us total for the core group and yes we are still all active in Astronomy. 
EDITOR'S NOTE: As for Scott Arthur, I have tried to research where he went after WARM. Arthur did move to day times for a bit in the 70s but I lost track of him since then. Anyone who knows anything about him, please e mail me. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #401

RESIDUALS OF WARM FAME 

Being a member of the lineup of the Mighty 590 WARM Radio in the 60s was a lot of fun but also a great deal of work. Disc jockeys worked a six day week but one perk was the extra employment they got from their WARM fame. In past 590 Mighty Memories we spoke of record hops as a way to earn extra money. Tom Woods who was the music director at WARM had the opportunity to host the Komotion Program on WNEP TV Channel 16. 
The show featured local teenagers from area high schools who danced like those teeners from Philly on American Bandstand hosted by Dick Clark. The show originated as TV Bandstand sponsored by the Coca Cola Bottling plant with host Sid Freedman. When Freedom left, Woods took over and did the job introducing local bands and playing the hits. 
Subsequent hosts of the Komotion program were Jay Kristopher, Doug Lane, and Bob Woody. Here are a few promotion advertisements from WNEP and his archives that Tom provided to us from Face book. 
Check that ad out above, that was when College Football was king on Saturday afternoons with one game, in color no less and then the old folks got to dance watching Lawrence Welk after Komotion!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #402

WARM AND THE RED BARONS 

Tonight marks the 25th anniversary of the first game at Lackawanna County Stadium featuring the Red Barons vs. the Tidewater Tides. With baseball and now two stadiums being here this long, the temptation is to think that baseball was here forever. But it wasn’t. It took a lot of hard work to get this effort accomplished. Attorney John McGee founded Northeast baseball, then shepherded the effort to bring triple A baseball to Northeastern Pennsylvania. There was political opposition but with the cooperation of funding from both counties, the new Stadium became a reality. 
However as opening day approached, the powers that be knew they had to deliver seats in the stands. The Red Barons Management asked the local media to do them a favor. Lead every sportscast with what the Red Barons were doing that day or night if there wasn’t a huge national or international sports story. And for that first year the media acquiesced. 
WARM Radio was one of the leaders in being a big cheerleader for the new home team. Even though other radio outlets had the rights to the broadcast of the games, WARM Radio did a live broadcast for every home game for that first season. The Mighty 590 in 1989 had become a hybrid format with music in the morning and then sports in the afternoon and talk or Phillies baseball later on in the evening. WARM staffers Ron Allen, Kelly Reed and Joe Thomas before he went to WILK covered Red Barons games dissecting each move and inning. Kent Westling the first play by play man on Red Barons baseball did 20/20 on the Mighty 590 too adding an extra punch of local flavor. 


Ron Allen at the Opening Night at Lackawanna County Stadium. (Photo Andy Palumbo.) 


 Here's a photo of WARM's Joe Thomas, now of WILK interviewing the Red Baron's first manager John Dancy. (Photo: Joe Thomas Facebook page).


The first Barons play by play announcer, Kent Westling. (Photo: Scranton Times).


Kelly Reed and long time Red Baron favorite Floyd Rayford. (Photo: LuLac archives).   
Twenty five years later the success of baseball in Northeastern Pennsylvania seems like a no brainer today. But during that first year, WARM Radio and its dedicated, knowledgeable sports staff beat the drums for baseball in Northeastern Pennsylvania, aka WARMland. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #403

GOOD FRIDAY AND WARM 


It is but a distant memory. Years ago on Good Friday stores would close. TV's were turned off. Radios too. But WARM Radio promoted a 3 hour devotional solemn program in the mid 60s to mark the day. This ended around 1968 but prior to that, WARM shut down the rock and pop and devoted the noon to 3 pm time slot to the day that Christians consider it be one of the most important in their liturgy.