Monday, September 4, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #161

WARM RADIO AND THE SONGS OF SEPTEMBER 

September 1967, fifty years go had a number one song called "Ode To Billy Joe" by Bobbie Gentry. Neil Diamond was coming up at number 6 with "Thank The Lord For the Night Time" while Frank Sinatra was descending at number 7 with "The Word We Knew". Meanwhile Jay and the Techniques stormed into the top ten with "Apple Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" at 8. 
The Mama's and Papa's debuted at number 18 on this WARM survey. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #162

WARM"s TV PROGRAMMING

Here's a programming ad from the Scranton Newspapers for WARM TV, Channel 16 in the spring of 1954. One of the show being featured was "Space Ranger". 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #163

JACK WILSON ON WARM TV TOO

Back in the 1950s when radio first began, radio was more popular than TV. WARM TV saw that and decided to have their popular Morning Man at the time Jack Wilson to do the last half hour of his radio show on Channel 16. 
Wilson's upbeat show then led into a very popular ABC broadcast from Chicago called The Breakfast Club. 
Here's an ad promoting Jack Wilson and then a film clip from The Breakfast Club. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #164

WARM TV GETS A BIG THANK YOU FROM THE CITY OF SCRANTON 

The day after WARM TV began, the city of Scranton sent out public kudos to the new broadcast entity. Mayor Bil Hanlon met with the principles and here's the photo from The Scranton Times from 1954. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #165

THE HISTORIC McCARTHY HEARINGS ON WARM TV

April 1954 was a pivotal time in American history. Senator Joseph McCarthy appeared before the United States Senate to answer questions about his claims about Communists in government. The televised hearings were in effect the Waterloo of McCarthy's career. WARM TV, Channel 16 took the live broadcast of those hearings from mid day to late afternoon. 
Prior to that, WARM TV signed on at 4pm. The hearings added heft to the programming schedule. 

One of the most memorable moments was when the Counsel for the Senate, Joseph Welsh took McCarthy straight on. This happened in June of 1954, this ad was placed when the hearings started in late April.  

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #166

WARM TV LOCAL LINE UP

Here's an ad from the Scranton Tribune touting the new Channel 16 local team as well as a preview of the TV programming. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #167

WARM AND HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP BASKETBALL

As far back as the 1940s and 50s, WARM Radio would broadcast basketball games. Here's an ad from 1954 on an out of area game between Scranton Prep and Allentown Central Catholic. At stake, the Class A Eastern Semi Finals.  
This was from March of 1954, a type of early version of March Madness before it was March Madness. 


Saturday, August 26, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #168

ELVIS GONE @ 40 


WARM Radio and Elvis essentially grew up together and then faded away as the rock icon each one was in their own right. This month  we look at the 40th anniversary of the death of The King. It was a Tuesday afternoon in August 40 years ago. The weather was muggy, oppressive and cloudy. One of those dog days of August that was neither pleasant nor horrible. Just blah. 
I was working at WVIA FM and TV at the time. My shift was 2pm to 10. I had a rather forgettable program at 4pm called “Mostly Pops” where we played nothing but Boston Pops Music. In the evening, I was George Graham’s newscaster for his program (still going strong I might add,) “Mixed Bag”. Fridays on TV they let me do a Phone In program on TV about……..wait for it…politics. 
For some strange reason I remember what I was wearing that day. I had on one of these soccer shirts with the fat stripes of Kelly green and black. I also had on, sadly, green shoes. After I got settled and did the Pops program, I went to check the news wire. Back then the news came from a teletype machine. WVIA had the UPI (United Press International) Service. 
Right around 5:20 pm Bill Kelly, the then Vice President of both TV and Radio strolled through the hallway between the Control Room and the broadcast studios. We started to chat in the hallway about the station and the news of the day which included the troubles of Jimmy Carter’s Budget Director Burt Lance as well as the Panama Canal debate. All of a sudden, the bells started to sound on the teletype machine. 
DING. DING. DING. DING. 
Kelly asked me, “Do you mind while I look?” Hey Bill Kelly was an iconic Newsman on WARM before he came to WVIA, who was I to say no. As it rang, Kelly said, “Presley!” I said, “Is it about the concert tours?” He looked at me and said, “No, it says here he died!” “Died?” I replied. “Died”, he emphasized. 
He grabbed the bulletin and I got the second one that came in as a correction. My recollection is that he went to the TV booth and cut a brief announcement for the next break and I broke in on WVIA FM. Bill is about 7 year older than I but it had an impact on both of us. We had both listened to the music. Seen the movies. We both knew that Presley was part of pop culture. Americana if you will. 
That night on “Mixed Bag” I did news updates and George Graham talked and played artists influenced by Presley. When I got home that night, all three networks at 11:30pm had Elvis retrospectives. Throughout the days, Elvis was the news. The way he died, the funeral. The legacy. All of it was front and center. Even during the rest of that summer into fall, the best icebreaker in a bar to speak to a woman was to say, “Shame about Elvis wasn’t it?” 
Years went by and Elvis’ image has been chipped to bits. But to this day, he is still revered as a classic entertainer. He is parodied to death. He is sometimes belittled and dismissed as a puppet of the Movie and Record industries. All of that though is submerged by the raw talent of Elvis. His image has been bruised and battered. But the music, the thing that we were all brought together around him….40 years later, and beyond…. will remain timeless. This was the song that was on the Radio from Elvis the night he died. “Way Down”.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #169


THE MORNING MAN OF WARM IN THE MID 50s 

Before there was Harry Newman, George Gilbert, Harry West,  Lenny Woloson, Kim Martin, Terry McNulty and others in the morning drive time slot on WARM, there was Jack Wilson. Positive, upbeat and filled with information, Wilson put WARM listeners on the sunny side of the street.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #170

OPERA ON WARM RADIO???
YOU BET!!!!

At one time, as a matter of fact it was January 1954 that WARM Radio programmed opera. In this ad from the Scranton papers dated January 26th, 1954 WARM presented "Tannhauser" sponsored by The Texas Company, later to become The Texaco Company in 1959.
Here is the ad and what WARM listeners heard that day. 
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #171

THEN THERE WAS THE INITIAL TALENT LINE UP OF WARM TV

This is an ad that came out announcing the line up of WARM talent, national local. Take a look and you might, or might not see familiar faces. Win and Lynn Foreman were the pioneer broadcasters on 16 and Jack Wilson did double duty on both WARM TV and WARM Radio.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #172

LOCAL PROGRAM TO HELP KICK OFF WARM TV OPENING 

It would have been very easy for WARM TV to just go on the air and run network programming. I'm sure there is a segment of the population that would have been thrilled with that. However WARM TV went big with a local program that was broadcast at 8PM that night. Here is an article fro the Tribune, February 7th, 2 days before sign on. The Scranton Times followed up the next day.


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #173

WITH TV, YOU HAD TO HAVE ONE OF THESE

WARM TV started with what every TV station in America started. A test pattern. Not many people over the age of 40 have a clue what a test pattern was. But they looked like this. 

These two newspaper articles from the Tribune and Times, dated January 27th and 29th, 1954  announce the times an of course the station! 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #174

WARM TV ANNOUNCES DEBUT DATE

These two newspaper articles in both the Tribune and Times highlight just exactly when the new TV station, Channel 16 will go on the air. The ads ran on the 12th and 13th of January 1954. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #175

WARM TV AD  PREVIEW PART 4

These two ads from January 30th and February 5th 1954 tells of the competition of the transmitter as well as the installation of kitchen equipment and stage sets in the new WARM Studios. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #176

WARM AD TV PREVIEW PART 3 

These two newspaper ads tell of the continued progress of WARM TV. The fellow looking into the WARM TV window now sees the studios have been sound proofed and the heavy duty power circuits for the station have been installed. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #177

WARM TV AD PREVIEW PT 2

In this preview from January 18th and 20th of 1954 readers saw more progress for the new WARM TV Channel 16. These ads touted the painting of the studios as well as the lighting for the studios. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #178

WARM TV PREVIEW PT. 1

That Union Broadcasting Company certainly could promote WARM Radio since its inception in 1940.  When WARM TV took to the airwaves, there were various newspaper promotions touting the progress of WNEP TV Channel 16. Here are two from January 7th and January 9th, 1954 from the Scranton Tribune. 


Friday, July 28, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #179

ANOTHER WARM HIRE

WARM Radio in its early days picked off talent from New York City. In an article in The Scrantonian from December 27th, 1953, check out this guy.  He had first class credentials that he used in building WARM Radio.
 Here's a little something from Ozzie Nelson's band.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #180

WARM MOVES INTO NEW BUILDING 

As WARM Radio and TV  grew in the 1950s, so did its need for space. In this ad from December 3, 1953 from the Scranton Tribune, the move is reported in this article provided by our good friend Joe Klapatch. This building was set to house the burgeoning TV operation.


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #181

WARM MAKES 24/7 PROMO SPLASH PART 3 

This is the right segment of the ad that heralded the arrival of WARM Radio and its 24 hour broadcasting. The ad appeared in the Scranton Tribune on November 23rd, 1953. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #182

WARM MAKES 24/7 PROMO SPLASH PART 2 

This is the left side of the ad that appeared in The Tribune trumpeting the 24/7 broadcast day of WARM Radio.  
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #183

WARM MAKES PROMO SPLASH 

WARM Radio really promoted its 24 hour broadcast in various ads in the launch. In this edition we look at the full ad from The Scranton Tribune on November 23rd, 1953. Here's the whole ad. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #184

WARM HIRES SID FREIDMAN 

Sid Freidman was well known to WARM listening teenagers in the early 60s when he hosted WNEP TV's "TV Bandstand. The llocal show aired from 6:30 to 7:30PM featured local teens dancing to the top hits of the day. 
It later became Komotion and continued on until the mid 70s. 
But here's an article about Sid when he got his station WARM Radio. From October 9th, 1953's Scranton Tribune. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #185

WARM RADIO GOES 24/7

This article provided by our good friend Joe Klapatch announces the fact that WARM was going to be on the air 24 hours a day. That was a big thing for November of 1953. To my knowledge, WARM was the only 24 hour a day station until the mid 1960s. 
Here's the article from The Scranton Tribune. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #186

WARM TV GETS ABC AFFILIATION 

When WARM TV got its TV license via The Union Broadcasting Company, it needed a network affiliate. With WBRE having NBC and WDAU saddled up with CBS, ABC was the logical choice. William Scranton, later a Congressman, Governor and Ambassador was involved in the negotiation that brought ABC to 16. 
It is a relationship that still has endured from the sale of WARM TV to the Shelbourne Family and through various ownership through the years. But here's how it was announced from The Tribune on Oct. 7th and 1953. 
The second article is from the Times on Oct. 6th, 1953. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #187

WARM AND THE COMMUNITY CHEST 

WARM was always involved in community service. As a matter of fact, The Mighty 590 was the leader in giving non profits as well as cultural organizations a major boost. Our good friend Joe Klapatch found a great article from October of 1953. The Community Chest, which was the forerunner of the United Ways of Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming and Monroe Counties respectively utilized WARM for this endeavor. 
The Quiz promotion ran during the fund drive and featured local volunteers who supported the campaign for human services. 
 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #188

LEN WOLOSON, THE ALL NITE SATELLITE

Len Woloson came to WARM from WPTS Radio. Woloson held down the 1am to 6am slot until he was transferred to another Susquehanna station. With Lenny's style and antics it was hard to sleep sometimes in WARMlamd in his heyday.  
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #189

"DOUBLE G" IN THE MORNING 

For a time George Gilbert held down the Morning Drive slot on WARM, The Mighty 590. Here was a promotional piece from The WARM survey at the time. 
Gilbert later moved on to the 12 to 3 slot, then 10 to 1pm and then 1 to 3pm. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #190

WARM AND THE SONGS OF JULY

July 1967 had "A Little Bit Of Soul" by The Music Exposition as the number one song. But deep in the lower runs of the chart was a song by Betty Swann called "Make Me Yours". You don't hear that one on many of today's oldies stations!

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #191

WARM AND THE SONGS OF JULY 

July 1967 was a big year in news as well as music. There was a blend of both rock and pop on the WARM charts. During this week the top spot was dominated by a one hit wonder with "Come On Down To My Boat Baby" by Every Mother's Son. Mitch Ryder was in the top ten with "Joy" while "A Girl Like You" by the Rascals were moving up. 
Plus in the 20s was none other than Frankie Laine with "You Wanted Someone To Play With. Meanwhile Glen Campbell was climbing with his initial hit "Gentle On My Mind". 
 

Monday, July 3, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #192

WARM DAY MEMORY REVIVED #9

HAZLETON'S EDDIE RAMBEAU PROMOTED BY WARM

Eddie Rambeau was a Hazleton singer who made a national splash in the 60s. His career was helped immensely by wARM and the personalities. In this article by Joe Middleton from The Wyoming Valley Observer its author  chronicles Rambeau's relationship with WARM. Rambeau had a national hit "Concrete and Clay" which was released by another group, Unit 4 Plus 2, and cut into his ability to climb higher on the charts. 
Rambeau also had a moderate hit with "The Train" in 1966. The flip was "Yesterdays Newspapers".

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #193

WARM AND THE MUSIC OF JUNE

June 1966 was a year of varied music on the WARM charts. The number one song was held down by an entertainment icon who held sway on the previous incarnation of WARM Radio in the 40s and 50s, the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra.
Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night" dethroned the Four Seasons, stars at past WARM Day events who fell to number 2 with "Opus 17". 
Johnny Sea debuted at number 20. Bobby Darin was at number 17 with "Mame," Jerry Vale was leaving the charts with his last top 40 record "Less Than Tomorrow.".  But the song that really stood out was this one by country singer crossover artist Leroy Pullins. 
This WARM chart really showed the diversity of the Top 40 at this time in its history. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #194

WARM DAY MEMORY REVIVED  #8 

WARM GETS NATIONAL RECOGNITION

WARM Day and its success gained a lot of state wide and local attention. At the end of 1965 it also got national attention with the Corporate Community. Here is a magazine article from an industry wide publication that featured WARM Day. Our thanks to Joe Middleton for providing this. 


Sunday, July 2, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #195

WARM DAY MEMORIES REVIVED  #7

HOW WARM GOT THE SEASONS TO PLAY AT WARM DAY

 One of the great “gets” for the historic WARM Days at Rocky Glen was the 4 Seasons. Legend has it that Frankie Valli practiced in the WARM studios and the group had to be shuttered into the park under cover. Bill Stuart who was the Music Director at WARM at the time shared this account of how the Seasons came to the event along with a very big organ they traveled with during their tours.
"As music director it was my job to line up artists for WARM Day. Any way we played and more importantly charted a song by this female artist, who I can't recall her name now . So, I called this guy, I think his name was Jerry Weintraub, Weinstein, whatever who managed the Four Seasons at that time. Gave him all the info, he said "I'll get back to you kid"....I figured that was that never to hear from him again. About a week later I get a call at the station and it's HIM!!! He said "You got um!!!!” I said, “Wait, what?” He said, “You guys are one of the few stations playing "my girlfriends record" and for that I'll give you the Four Seasons for WARM Day!” WOW!! I ran into Ted Hepburns office and said, guess who I just got for this WARM Day? The ****ing Four Seasons!!! "
Some 50 years later, when I co-owed WKXP in Bloomsburg with Scottie Young, I get a phone call from Ted Hepburn telling me "Kirby wants to know what you guys are going".  First of all Ted Hepburn has no idea who I am or that I ever worked for him at WARM. When I told him who I was and that I'm the guy that got the Seasons for WARM Day he said to me..."You know what I remember about that situation"..."how in the hell are we going to get a damn Wurlitzer organ up on the stage?” 
Well they got the organ on the stage, Ted remembered that BUT not the song or the girlfriend. We’re still trying to figure out the girl friend but that’s a mission for another day. In the meantime, we thank Bill Stuart for that input. By the way, Frankie Valli is now worth 80 million bucks. That’s a lot of Wurlitzers! 

 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #196

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE LEAVES WARM? THEY STILL WIND UP IN RADIO 

Bill Stuart was one of the bedrock announcers of WARM in the 60s. As a matter of fact, it was Bill Stuart who did the Harry West jingle, "Harry West, the Harry West Show, Harry West, the Harry West Show" that stayed with everyone long after Bill and Harry left the airwaves. 
When Stuart left WARM, he went on to WSCR as the Morning Man with the moniker of William B. Stuart. Then shortly after the Flood of 1972, WBAX went to an Oldies Format that featured a line up of guys like Ron Berry, Sam Liguori, Scotty Young and Bill  himself. Stuart was named the Program Director and the station rocked the Valley with the great sounds of music and patter that was associated only with WARM. Stuart and Young also traveled to Texas to cut those iconic PAMS jingles for 'BAX. Here's a story about Stuart back then and an article that I penned promoting the station when I wrote my music column for The Sunday Dispatch.  
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you notice in my column, i spelled Bill Stuart's air name WRONG!  The column was written 4 decades ago o a belated apology to Mr. Stuart.