Friday, December 12, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #382

WARM RADIO BACK ON THE AIR!!!

WARM Radio returned to the airwaves this week with a different format. The Mighty 590 has been off the air for at least three or four months. WARM returned this week with a stronger signal (for now) and a new identity. WARM is now CBS Sports Radio. WARM becomes the fourth station in the market that is now all sports. Plus there are now 9 frequencies that carry all sports. WARM joins Rock and Roll powerhouses like WKBW in Buffalo, CKLW in Detroit and WCFL in Chicago (now believe it or not, WSCR!!) that became all sports. I'm glad to see WARM back but will miss the oldies.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #383

HALE SPORTS FELLOWS WELL MET 

WARM Radio was always heavily involved in promoting local sports. Ron Allen and George Gilbert started the tradition of previewing local teams. The tradition was continued by Kelly Reed as well as Bobby Day who was an anchor for the high school events as well as a sideline reporter. Bobby who is now the Voice of the Arena for Penguins Games at the Mohegan Sun Arena also coordinated WARM's presence at area sports banquets,. This is a report and photo from Bobby's Face book page. 
From one of the many banquets/dinners WARM radio hosted thru the years..Most people couldn't believe the celebrities that would come through Scranton/Wilkes Barre, but there were quite a few..and they all seemed to enjoy speaking at our events, esp. the Boy Scouts of America dinners with our good friend Don Simpson!! Kenny Stabler joined us at a UNICO dinner!!
From left, Mark Duda, Lou Michaels, Kenny Stabler, Kelly Reed, Greg Skrepenak and Bo Orlando.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #384

SUSQUEHANNA BROADCAST REUNION

The other night a reunion of a sort was held by former employees of the Susquehanna Broadcasting Company, the company that for many years owned the Mighty 590 WARM and of course Magic 93. Kelly Reed the former sports reporter for WARM came in for a visit from New York with her husband Emmett. The event was coordinated by Reed and Tommy Grimes both who did stints on WARM and Magic 93. About 20 or so former WARM and Magic employees attended. I was happy to be invited even though I was an employee of WARM in Sales in the post Susquehanna era. Also attending were radio and TV broadcast icon David DeCosmo as well as WILK's Sue Henry. Here is a recap of some of the meet ups I had: 
DARRYL DAVIS:  Darryl was the producer for the morning shows on WARM with both Harry West and Terry McNulty. Davis was also the guy who set up some of the computer systems for the station. Darryl is now working in health care and we both recounted some of the after show breakfasts we'd have with Harry West after his program. 
KELLY REED: Kelly and I swapped stories about the initial seasons of the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Red Barons. WARM was a big player in the promotion of minor league baseball in those early seasons. 
JOE OHRIN: The always comical Joe Ohrin upon seeing me said, "Don't get up, you must be 100!" I did and we chatted about some of the promotional remotes WARM had in the early part of the 2000 as well as his work at the Wyoming Valley Mall. 
TOMMY GRIMES: Tom shared the fact that he actually did a stint on WARM but then spent 17 years on Magic. Grimes is a successful trucking executive but has a special place in his heart for all things radio. Grimes told me that one of his biggest boosters and mentors from his early days of broadcasting was the late Jim Emmel. Emmel was a teacher who loved broadcasting, had a great set of pipes and was one of the most beloved members of the WARM team. Emmel previously worked at WGBI AM and FM as well as an AM station owned by former Lackawanna County Commissioner Bob Codero's WWAX. Tommy was a wealth of knowledge and that should come as no surprise since he had the passion to coordinate this event. This was the guy after all that set up this great event. 
JIM LOFTUS: Magic was of course the old WYZZ FM before Susquehanna bought it. That brought a flood of stories from former WARM/MAGIC/HOT 97 (now BHT) GM Jim Loftus. Loftus told about his job interview as a youth at the house on Prospect Street in Wilkes Barre hat housed the 50,000 watt powerhouse WYZZ and opined on the changing state of broadcast radio in this new century. Arriving with Loftus was his wife Renee, a former Hot 97 personality as well as Jerry Paparelli who was a Sales Manager for Hot 97 and then later at Rock 107. Loftus currently is the GM at WOGL and its associate stations in Philadelphia, his wife Renee recently retired from Wilkes College and Paparelli is working in Regional Cable Sales.  
BOBBY DAY: Bobby arrived late because there was a Penguins game and he is the Arena voice of the team. Bobby and I spoke of his time at WARM in both news and on the air. Bobby recently was associated with WBRE/WYOU TV as the News Assignment Editor. 
TOM JENKINS: When I was at WARM in sales I had the opportunity to work closely with Tom Jenkins. Jenkins was involved in production of some very good radio commercials that were client favorites. Jenkins is now associated with The River, 104.9FM. We also had a very animated discussion about hair care or lack thereof, hair, not care, these days for both of us. 
JERRY PAPPARELI : Jerry and I had the opportunity to swap stories about our time at Rock 107 as well as the cousin of his that I friended on Face book thinking it was him. Jerry was and is a passionate broadcast guy and recounted stories about his time at WWDL, Q102, Hot 97 and Rock 107. We also remembered the late Tim Durkin who was the General Sales Manager at both Magic 93 and Rock 107. It is 10 years since Tim  passed away much too young. 
DAVID DECOSMO AND SUE HENRY: When the three of us sat together, well let's just say the radio talk began to fly. DeCosmo told many stories of his radio career in Hazleton at WAZL, WNAK in Nanticoke, WILK in its South Franklin Street location before his TV broadcast career on WYOU. DeCosmo currently cohorts a weekly show on ECTV. David and I also regaled Sue with our days on the softball field. He was good,  I was not. Sue also got into a great discussion with us about how young, budding journalists are setting their sites on being the heirs to the people assembled in the room at Grotto. There were a few people I did not get a chance to interact with like Bob Lenio and Suzie Quinn. There were many who sent their regrets like Tom Woods. Harry West, Rob Neyhard and Joey Shaver. Then there were those we tried to get contact numbers for too. That said the event was a great time to bring back old memories of fine, hard working  people involved in the endeavor of broadcasting. 
And as always, WARM, the MIGHTY 590 was on top of the discussion list. Here are the photos: 
Renee Loftus, Emmett Loughran and the guest of honor Kelly Reed.

This is the guy I really wanted to speak to about getting The Mighty 590 back on the air. Bob Lenio who was one of the best engineers Susquehanna ever had. 

Dave Zukosky was also in the house that night too! 

Suzie Quinn, Mary Sanderson Ruda, Susan McAndrew O'Connor and Kelly Reed.
My former boss Jerry Paparelli at the event. 
Here's a true meeting of the minds, David DeCosmo, Sue Henry, your blog editor and yet another boss of mine, Jim Loftus.

There not only was a group hug but a group picture!!!! First row, Tom Jenkins, Suzie Quinn, Mary Sanderson Ruda, Susan McAndrew O'Connor and Kelly Reed. 
Second row: Jim Loftus, Tommy Grimes, Jerry Paparelli, David DeCosmo, your blog editor, Sue Henry, Darryl Davis, Bobby Day and Joe Ohrin. 
(This photo by Emmett Loughrin, other photos by Sue Henry, Tommy Grimes and David DeCosmo), 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #385

JOEY SHAVER AND ROCKY GLEN 

This spring WVIA TV did a feature called "Back In the Day". Produced by Ben Payavis and hosted by Larry Vojtko one of the shows centered on WARM Radio's relationship with the storied amusement park. WARM Day was a huge event every summer. As a matter of fact it was the cap off to summer. WARM played host to many a top 40 rock act. In this segment WARM great Joey Shaver takes us on a tour of the memories at the Glen.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #386

TWIN VALLEY PROMOTION 

WARM Radio was heavily involved in a promotion in the late 1980s spearheaded by ad agency executive and former WARM personality Bob Woody. The event was designed to stress the similarities instead of the differences between Wilkes Barre and Scranton. On an autumn day in 1988 the entire WARM staff was there in force to do a live broadcast and lent a hand. And of course with any big party, there was cake! 


Harry West is wielding the knife as Paul Ciliberto, Terry McNulty, George Harris from 98.5FM and Norm Hill look on.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #387

TOMMY AND THE CONGRESSMAN 

The late Congressman Dan Flood was a very familiar figure in WARMland. Flood was a mainstay in the district and would show up at various events. He lived full time in the District in a modest home on Pennsylvania Avenue. However in Washington Flood was known for his flamboyant style. As a matter of fact in the 1970s Flood was featured on the cover of Harper's Magazine. With an article entitled The Best Congressman". The article as well as the cover only heightened the legend of Dan Flood at home and abroad. 
Former WARM personality Tom Woods, by that time doing news on WTOP Radio, then a news giant in the radio world had a photo op with the author of the Harper’s piece. George Cole (center) as well as the Congressman.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #388

WARM "LAND" MEETS DISNEY "WORLD"
Radio was a big player in the 90s when Walt Disney World in Florida allowed radio stations to broadcast from the gigantic, iconic theme park. Former WARM staffer Kelly Reed put this up on her Facebook page and with her permission we run this great WARMland 590 Mighty Memory. It involves hard work, persistence, a harmonica,  Miss America herself and the one and only Terry McNulty. 
Reflecting on working at WARM, Magic 93, I was very blessed to meet some wonderful people and become friends with many talented dedicated broadcasters!! One of the best was Terry McNulty..He was brilliant and his range of characters was limitless. One of the great perks I had was finally getting the opportunity to do a live broadcast of our morning show at Disney World!! What fun.Rob Neyhard was our Producer on the trip(I believe!!), Joe Ohrin was our Hilarious Promotions guy... and Terry and I hosted the show at the Disney Boardwalk. Here we are with Miss America, (1996..yes..way back).

The late Terry McNulty, Shawntel Smith, (Miss America,) Rob Neyhard, Kelly Reed and Joe Orhrin.
 Joe worked so hard that trip because all the obnoxious morning guys were scaring off Miss America and her people until I told Joe to work his "magic"(sorry!!) and tell her we were really very nice and she would have fun. His charm worked and when Terry found out it was her birthday and serenaded her on his favorite harmonica, she was delighted and our listeners loved it!! 
As Joe Ohrin used to say (and for all I know is still saying it, "Everything is Ulysses!"

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #389

WARM STILL OFF THE AIR
Will WARM ever come back???? People are waiting to hear. Operative word here is.....hear! (Photo: BTR Network).
For the last eight weeks WARM, the Mighty 590 has been dark. No programming is coming from the signal. Station officials tell us that there are transmitter problems and they are being addressed.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #390

WARM AND HALLOWEEN 


The Mighty 590 WARM really went all out for Halloween. From a jingle to various parades and contests, WARM was at the forefront of community events for the big day. That extended into safety programs for parents, candy drops and later on huge parades at the Viewmont, Wyoming Valley and Steamtown Malls. WARM personalities even dressed up for the occasion. Here is WARM's Tommy Woods done up in Halloween garb during a 1960s event. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #391

HARRY ON THE MOVE 

Harry West with 590 Forever blog editor. 
If former WARM listeners are wondering what has become of Harry West, well I am proud to report that Harry has been on the move and enjoying life in retirement. 
Harry and I met up at a fundraiser recently for the Osterhout Library last month. Mrs. 590 Forever and I were seated at a table and a few people sat down at the other end. There was laughter and banter at the other end and to me there was something vaguely familiar about it. Then I heard the voice. It was none other than Harry West. I waited a while until he finished his story and then approached him. He started kidding around and  put his head in his hands as if to ignore me. Then he smiled and wisecracked “What happened to your hair?” 
We then recounted stories about his WARM days as well as hearing updates on his children. Harry also gave us an update on his health. Doing well staying in shape, getting out and still driving. Harry remains active and gives a shout out to all the WARM listeners who remember the old days of The Mighty 590.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #392

ANOTHER FORMER WARM NEWSMAN DIES

News came last week that former WARM news anchor Mike Majchrowitz passed away. Mike was on WARM in the early 90s for a short stint and is best remembered for anchoring the 5pm extended newscast with Ruth Miller. 
Majchrowitz moved on and wound up with Fox Radio News as the White House Correspondent. Mike Majchrowitz joined Fox Radio in its infancy in 2005 and was the Congressional and later White House reporter. He died of cancer after a long battle and was 51. 




Here is Majchrowitz in front of Air Force One and doing some work in the White House Press Room. (Photos: Fox News Radio website). 
Thanks to Brian Carey of 1010 AM WINS Radio and Joe Thomas from The Sports Hub 102.3FM and Entercom Radio for their help  with this 590 Mighty Memory.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #393

KEVIN JORDAN'S OBIT 


Kevin J. Jordan, 57, of Exeter passed away Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. He was born Sept. 28, 1956, in Wilkes-Barre, a son of the late Donald M. and Mary Lenahan Jordan of Kingston. He attended Bishop O'Reilly High School and King's College and was a well-known local journalist. He began his radio career in 1972 working for WBAX-AM and later joined WILK-AM and WARM-AM. In 1979, he returned to WILK as news director and in 1981 his news department won the coveted Joe Snyder Award from the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association. In 1982, he joined WBRE-TV 28 as bureau chief and later joined WDAU-TV 22 as a reporter. He retired in 1997 after 25 years as a broadcaster. 
During his career he won numerous awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. Among the notable stories he covered were the George Banks mass murder, Francis Hannon murder case, and he was subpoenaed to testify before Wilkes-Barre City Council. He later served as the director of Luzerne County Voter Services from 1997 to 2004 andushered in the computerization of the office. Most recently he worked at The Men's Wearhouse in Pittston. 
Kevin was the "Voice of the Queensmen," serving as the public address announcer at Bishop O'Reilly High School sporting events; the former president of the Professional News Media Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania; member of the board of directors of VISION and Luzerne County Head Start; and served as a semi-professional umpire with the United States Slowpitch Softball Association and the United Umpires Union. 
Surviving are his son, Kevin Christopher (K.C.) Jordan, Conshohocken; daughter, Erin Jordan, West Wyoming; brother, Mark Jordan and his wife, Maureen, Kingston; sisters, Eileen Rishcoff and her husband, Bernard, West Wyoming; and Kathleen Jordan, Kingston; godson, Sean Jordan; nieces and nephews. The funeral will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday from Maher-Collins Funeral Home, 360 N. Maple Ave., Kingston, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. in the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. Private interment services will be held in St. Mary's Cemetery, Hanover Township. Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the American Lung Association , 71 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701, or Holy Redeemer High School, 159 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.

Monday, September 1, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #394

KEVIN JORDAN PASSES AWAY, WARM NEWSMAN IN THE 70s 


The late Kevin Jordan. (Photo: Face book). 
Our longtime friend Kevin Jordan died Sunday night after a long, arduous battle with lung disease. I had known Kevin since 1975 when we met on the radio trail. He was working at WBAX and then later moved on to WARM. I posted a story about our meeting on this 590 Forever WARM blog site a few years ago and Kevin was both amused and thrilled by what I wrote. In an e mail we commiserated about that car he drove as well as parking in Scranton in the mid 70s. (That story appears in 590 Mighty Memory # 501, from July 27th, 2010. )
Jordan was a true broadcast reporter who believed that no story was too big or too small to cover. As a Radio reporter he believed that two things were need to excel, accuracy and speed. He always wanted the story first but never hesitated to share any tips or information that would help any broadcasting in search of a story. He knew the consumer was not just a WARM or WYOU audience but any outlet that people were tuning into at the time. 
One of the great things about Kevin was that he loved the history of WARM. We’d spend time talking about the glory days of the Mighty 590 and he would always recount stories of his favorite broadcasters. A true inspiration he once told me was the late Terry McNulty who could easily transition from news to satire and right back. 
After broadcasting, Jordan was head of the Election Bureau in Luzerne County and then moved on to private business. We’d e mail and chat on Face book. The topic would always start out on baseball, politics, pop culture or just anything inane….but we always ended up speaking about broadcasting, remembering the old faces and voices, critiquing the new comers. Kevin Jordan was a fun person to be around with an ironic wry wit and a sense of humor. Most of us will smile every time we think of one of his remarks. 
This week there will be many Kevin Jordan stories told. He will be remembered well. With his knowledge, drive, passion and ambition, I feel Jordan could have been a player in a major market. Assessing his life’s work, perhaps it is unfortunate for him that he didn’t take that route. However, it is fortunate for us here in Northeastern Pennsylvania that he didn’t. We had the opportunity to see a real professional in our midst. 


Jordan with WARM staffers in the mid 70s. (Photo: Andy Palumbo blog, Bobby Day Face book page).  

My appearance on PA Live recounting the career of Kevin Jordan. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #395

END OF ANOTHER WARM SUMMER
The stage at Rocky Glen Park and the prices for rides.

Radio was part of many great summers for teenagers of a certain age. As the summer of 2014 ends, we look back on the past summers of the Mighty 590. One of the big highlights of the good old Summertime was WARM DAY. To this day various men and women in their sixties remember Rocky Glen Park and the WARM Day experience. 
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were guests at WARM Day. A little known secret is that Valli would rehearse in private at the WARM building because he had relatives in Dunmore. Fifty years ago this summer Valli and The Four Seasons had one of their biggest hits, “Rag Doll” which was constantly played on The Mighty 590 that year.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #396

2014 POCONO DRAG LODGE REUNION 

Another Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion has come ad gone and once more the Reunion was a good time had by all. Pocono Drag Lodge was an entity in the 60s that was a huge part of The Mighty 590. Race results were on WARM and big events were thunderously promoted on the Mighty 590. This year a decent crowd turned out and people heard the music of 590 AM WARM on the 2014 Drag Lodge Reunion. 

Former WARM personality Tom Woods took center stage this afternoon at the Drag Lodge Reunion. (Photo: Tom Woods Facebook page). 

The welcoming logo. 

Cars, cars, cars today at the Drag Lodge Reunion. 

Awards and announcements were the order of the day today at the Annual Drag Lodge Reunion. Photos: Charlie Hulsizer Facebook page.

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.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #404

TOM AND FRAN AT 50 

Our congratulations to Tom Woods and his lovely wife Fran on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. These two crazy kids were married when Tom was a personality on the Mighty 590 and Fran was at WNEP TV. Their love has endured and that is a great thing. 


Here is a photo of Tom and Fran today. 


Friends made a special cake featuring their Wedding photo. 
And when Tom and Fran tied the knot, On the Billboard Hot 100 dated 50 years ago this - April 4, 1964 - the Beatles made history as the only act ever to monopolize the chart's top five positions. The Billboard Hot 100, April 4, 1964 was:
1, "Can't Buy Me Love" No. 2, "Twist and Shout" No. 3, "She Loves You" No. 4, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" No. 5, "Please Please Me" .

Friday, March 21, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #405

PEARLY WHITES AND WARM 

Okay, how does a radio station in Wilkes Barrie Scranton get involved in tooth whitening? One word: advertising. Since WARM was the dominant station in the Wilkes Bare/Scranton market, it got first crack (and sometimes the only chance) at national Radio buys. As an added extra, WARM threw in advertising on the back of its popular survey sheets. 


WARM ran Macleans ads in teen day parts, mostly from 3 to 11 at night as well as a ads in the popular morning program. Macleans was a tooth paste that promised you a white set of teeth, a fresh minty breath and a winning smile. All the things a teen needed to make an impression on the WARMland dating scene. To my knowledge, Maclean’s is no longer distributed in the U.S,. but people can get it in Canada and the UK. And then of course Amazon sells it as well as EBay. But back in the heyday of WARM, Maclean’s had a major presence as one of WARM’s top national advertisers.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #406

ANOTHER WARMLAND MAYOR??? 

Former WARMland personality Tommy Woods in the back seat in Wilkes Barre's 34th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Woods was Honorary Mayor for the day, Mayor Carl Kuren is in the front seat. Wilkes Barre Township always participates in the City of Wilkes Barre's St. Patrick's Day Parade.


It appears that former WARM personality Tommy Woods now can add one more title to his illustrious career. Mayor. Tom was the honorary Mayor of Wilkes Barre Township today, the day before St. Patrick’s Day in the 34th annual Wilkes Barre St. Patrick’s Day parade. Woods rode in the spiffy red Cadillac with his wife Fran as well as Wilkes Barre Township Mayor Carl Kuren. Woods spent many a St. Patrick’s Day at WARM playing the likes of the Irish Rovers and Carmel Quinn. Good to see a WARM personality getting this honor on the day of the wearing of the Green!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #407

LETTER FROM LENNY 


When I was writing my Rock and Roll column for the Sunday Dispatch, and doing some promotion work for a record company, I kept in touch with Len Woloson for help in getting records played in the West. The company was small and went nowhere. But things happen for a reason and now 43 years I found this letter. 
In a letter from the fall of 1971 Woloson was quite candid about his departure from WARM. Len was “The Morning Mayor” at the Mighty 590 and left after a few years in that position. Woloson confided that he felt the General Manager (Jack Herr) at the time felt that anyone could do the morning show at WARM and said that he felt he was underpaid. More poignantly, Lenny wrote: “I must confess that I AM HEARTSICK ABOUT NOT BEING IN THAT AREA because it is my home. And above all the nicest people live in the Scranton, Wilkes Barre area. I mean that Dave. I can’t tell you how much I miss everybody." Referring to Las Vegas where he moved to Woloson wrote: "This is a GREAT town. I do all the production for KENO and for the fun of it…work the weekend." 
Woloson also mentioned that he won an amateur talent contest. "A few weeks ago I entered an amateur contest at the Holiday Inn and won! Which in turn got me to appear as a comic at the Casbar Room of the Aladdin Hotel ..on the strip."
In the rest of his letter Woloson confided that WARM was at its ebb and the halcyon days were over. But in closing he reiterated this message, "PLEASE give my REGARDS to everyone".
Len also sent an article that was in the Vegas newspapers too. I scanned it and hope you could access the contents.  There were a few things in Lenny's letter I did not repeat because he was quite unhappy with a few managers at the Mighty 590 and even though his is deceased, I have chosen to respect his thoughts. I also kept the capitalization in my reposting of Lenny's letter to emphasize how much he missed WARMland.
The interesting thing  about this letter as well as some others from the personalities at WARM are eye opening. Len was very candid, seemed homesick and banged it out on an old manual type writer. Having used one and how laborious they could be in comparison to what we have today, I am more grateful than ever for these letters. 
Above is an article that featured Len in a Las Vegas newspaper. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #408

THE WOODSMAN ON THE RADIO 

Tom Woods then. 

Tom Woods now. 
WARM's Tommy Woods will be back on the radio this Friday night as a guest on the Beatledd Radio hour on WRKC FM, 88.5 on your dial. The Beatledd Hour has turned into one of the most popular programs on the Fab Four and Woods will recount the days and months of 1964 when he Beatles topped the charts on the Mighty 590. It will be great listening. 

http://wrkc.kings.edu
 And your host..................................................Beatledd!
 Woods on the radio with Moon Dog and Beatledd. (Photo: Beatledd Facebook page). 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #409

LETTER FROM HARRY 

WARM's Harry West. (Photo: 590 Forever archives).

WARM’s Harry West took a little detour in the late 60s and early 70s. Harry went to KQV Radio in Pittsburgh but by his own admission was not happy there. Harry wound up at WSBA in York and when I was writing a column for the Pittston Sunday Dispatch, I gave him a little shout out. Harry responded with a very gracious letter. I have it up on the 590 Forever site but in case you can’t read it, here are the key points. 
WARM thanks for your nice Christmas card and sentiments. I really appreciate hearing from the old camping grounds of WARMland. Since leaving WARM, I spent two horrendous years in Pittsburgh trying to “fit in” playing way out rock and after two years I finally figured out that my format and that music did not mix. I did not renew my contract in Pittsburgh and was offered a job with Susquehanna and here I am! I will certainly be looking for your column in the mail and if you like you can tell my former listeners ( if any of them remember me!) that I o miss them but am firmly entrenched in the morning show on WSBA from 6 to 9AM Again thanks for your correspondence and if you are ever in WSBAland, we’re at 910 on the dial…and I’d love to have you stop by for a chat.
Sincerely, Harry West WSBA Radio 


Amazing. If any of my listeners remember me? Wow. That was vintage Harry. Even though Harry was content when he sent me this letter, he did return to the Mighty 590 on July 16th 1973 and remained at WARM until the early 90s. Harry's response was a thrill for me because as a Senior in high school he was the reason for my interest in radio. Through the years I had the opportunity to interact with him and was grateful for his kind words. Harry is and will always remain one of the legends of WARM.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #410

RON ALLEN AND JIM FREGOSI 


The late Ron Allen on Opening Night in 1989 at Lackawanna County Stadium. (Photo: Andy Palumbo.net) 


The late Jim Fregosi. (Photo: Philadelphia Phillies).

 THE TOP OF THEIR GAME 


There are certain times in one’s career where you seem to reach the zenith. When I heard about the death of Jim Fregosi last night I also thought about WARM’s Ron Allen. You might ask why. The Phillies in the early 90s were woeful franchise. They were a bunch of misfits that couldn’t get out of their own. At the same time WARM Radio was heavily into an Informational/Entertainment format. One of the most popular programs on the Mighty 590 was the Ron Allen Sportsline. Allen was at the top of his game. After years of hybrid formats where Ron’s show was on Sunday nights, Allen was given the afternoon drive time show piece of local broadcasting. 
Allen would broadcast his program starting at 5pm everyday sometimes with live broadcasts from Lackawanna County Stadium. His show was right before the Phillies games. As one might know, there is huge contingent of Phillies fans in WARMland. During the 1993 season, Allen had access to major talent on the Phils. It would not be unusual to hear guys like John Kruk or Mitch Williams being interviewed by Allen or his sports sidekick Kelly Reed. Allen at least once a month scored an interview with then Phils manager Jim Fregosi. The skipper was blunt and to the point but the loquacious Ron Allen always seemed to stretch the time he was given by the Phillies PR Department with Fregosi. 
Allen was a broadcast lifer like Fregosi was a baseball lifer. And Allen talked baseball with the Manager. During that magic season of 1993 Ron Allen and WARM’s coverage of the Phillies was the place to be for fans of the Fightin’s. During the 1993 Series Allen had unprecedented access to the team by phone, in person or through Kelly Reed, a WARM News and Sports staffer. It was heady stuff. 
The Phils lost that series in a memorable home run that Joe Carter hit off Mitch Williams. The next year they did not reach the pennant and a few years later Fregosi was fired. Ron Allen in just a short time would be let go by the group owing WARM but it is said he was given a lifetime contract before he left. Fregosi moved on and The Sportsline on WARM was gone. But for that one great year, 1993, the Phillies and Ron Allen were at the zenith of what baseball and sports talk radio was supposed to be. And that’s why to me the late great Ron Allen, WARM Radio and Jim Fregosi will always be part of something special.