Friday, April 21, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #262

VINYL AND WARM RADIO 

This guy, Harry West knew vinyl when he saw it! 
WILK's Sue Henry, the unofficial  co promoter of Record Store Day (along with Mike Evans) poses with some platters. (Sue Henry Facebook page)
WARM Radio was built on vinyl. Those 45 records catapulted WARM to Market Leadership in the 50s, 60s and 70s. When you listened to WARM, you heard vinyl. When you went to a hop or a dance or a remote, you got vinyl. 
What better day to remember The Mighty 590 with two of their forays in vinyl. First there was the Ballad of WARMland. 


Then there was the album of WARM hits. 
I'm telling you this because  Saturday is RECORD STORE DAY. 
Saturday morning from 9am until noon, former Rock 107 jock Mike Evans will be doing doing a VINTAGE VINYL take-over show on Marywood's VM-FM 91-7. Normally, he spins stuff burned onto CD from vinyl. But Saturday, he's firing up the decks and bringing in the records. All original pressings -- on the radio.
I used to go to Record Stores to get my WARM survey sheets. McCroy's had a Record Department, Kresge in Pittston, Record shops on the Square  as well as Richie's Record Rack in Pittston. 
Then there was Wayne's in Edwardsville where you could get a 10 pack of 45s for a buck along with a WFIL or WIBG survey sheet.

Monday, April 17, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #263

WARM SONGS OF APRIL 1967

This survey sheet is interesting in the sense that you see a few future hits holding in the thirty to forty places that would be hits in the summer. Number 33 was Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To love".
 
Frankie Valli's solo "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" was debuting at number 35.
Ronnie Dove's "My Babe" was slowly moving up the charts.
And at number 3 were Frank and Nancy Sinatra with "Something Stupid"

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #264

WARM SONGS OF APRIL 1965

The top ten  early April of '65 featured 5 solo artists that were pretty much mainstream. The beauty of the WARM survey was that while it housed the Kinks and Beatles in the Top 10, there were other artists there too. And mom loved them! 
Closing in at number 5 was Wayne Newton's "Red Roses For A Blue Lady".



 In a previous edition we touched on Ronnie Dove's "One Kiss For Old Times Sake". But Jack Jones had a top ten hit with number 7 with a version of the George Jones Country hit "The Race Is On"  Ray Charles Singers weighed in at number 9 with "This Is My Prayer"



Meanwhile Elvis was at number 11 with a record called "The Clam" proving that not all of The King's stuff was gold.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #265

WARM SONGS OF APRIL 1965

April of 1965 was a year of changes in this country as well as WARMland. The station had a slogan called "The Station of the Year". This is a theory but with WARM first being founded in 1940, perhaps WARM felt that in an oblique way they might be calling that out. But it's only my theory. 
Number one was Freddie and the Dreamers "I'm Telling You Now". 


 

Number three was a personal favorite of mine, Ronnie Dove's "One Kiss For Old Times Sake".


 

The Four Seasons were at number 34 with "Toy Soldier". 

 


And at number 31 was a song called "Four Seasons" which sounded like the group from Jersey but was from an artist named Lenny Coleman. The song sounded a lot like The Seasons but in fact it was done by Coleman and The Ebb Tides on Laurie Records.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #266

WARM RADIO AND THE SONGS OF APRIL

When this well worn sheet came out, Pet Clark held the top spot.


 


A novelty song was number 5 by The Royal Guardsmen with "Return of The Red Baron".



 


Plus the Four Seasons were in at number 6 for "Beggin".

Friday, April 14, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #267

WARM’S GIANT 
EASTER BUNNY 


 It was April 1971 and WARM Radio was running a contest giving away a72 pound Easter bunny. The station also gave away 91 other prizes. 
WARM promoted the contest on its weekly April 4th 1971 survey sheet. The number one song that week was “She’s A Lady” by Tom Jones and this song, “For All We Know” by The Carpenters came in at number 8.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #268

"DOUBLE G"  GONE 9 YEARS THIS WEEK 

George Gilbert was one of the cornerstones of WARM Radio, the Mighty 590. Through the years he worked as a radio host, a Program Director and then in Sales. Plus Gilbert had a storied career in the Commonwealth working in Philadelphia, Wilks Barre-Scranton and Williamsport. Here is how he was remembered 9 years ago this week. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #269

THE SONGS OF APRIL ON THE MIGHTY 590 

We go back to 1960, April. JFK was not yet President. The New York Mets and Houston Astros were just a twinkle in the eye of Major League Baseball. And the top 40 chart of 1960 was filled with a variety of tunes that became world famous while others faded into obscurity.  
 A song that was very odd for Perry Como came in at number 20. 

 

Number 37 was The theme from "Mr. Lucky" by Henry Mancini. 




 Bobby Darin was in the mix at number 25 with "Clementine". 


 And the Champs weighed in at number 31 with "Too Much Tequila".

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #270

WARM SALUTES NUMBER ONE TEAM

It has been 47 years since the West Scranton Invaders won a Basketball Trophy. WARM Radio was on the case doing live reports from the games and even dedicated a survey sheet to the winning team. Here is a story that Scranton Times Reporter Joby Fawcett wrote about that great team and their reunion.
It was a night that defines what high school athletics are truly all about.
Swapping stories and recalling great memories, members of the 1970 West Scranton boys basketball team reunited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of winning the Lackawanna League Southern Division, District 2 and Lynett Tournament championships.
It is the only year a boys basketball team won both the district and Lynett crowns.
Bob Bugno organized the gathering that brought many of the former players from as far as Texas back to West Scranton High School where those memories were made during a 24-3 season that ended in the state semifinals with a tough loss to Haverford, 68-57, in Harrisburg.
"I couldn't be happier," former coach Dan Donovan with a proud smile. "It was one of the greatest teams I ever coached. This was not only a wonderful team, they were wonderful kids. These kids came to work every day and worked hard every day.
"Tonight is one of the most special moments I have had."
The Invaders huddled around, enjoying the trophies that were displayed.
"I didn't know who would show up," said 1970 player of the year Jerry Karwoski, who spent more than two decades in Germany and now resides in Texas and was the Player of the Year in 1970. "I couldn't miss this for the world. We haven't changed a lot. It's great to see everyone."
Those who returned were coach Donovan, assistant coach Joe Barbuti, Bugno, Karwoski, Joe Orzel, Jeff Lewis, Jim Warner and Craig Mailen. Former school principal A. William Panaci and former athletic director Armand Martinelli were also back.
Other players on the title team were Walt Snopkowski, Paul Mailen, Bob Sparacino, Mike Julio, Frank Maccino, John Jurbala, Tom Sack, Emil Palarino and Paul Provini.
"We all practically lived together back then," said Bugno, who surprised the players with a highlight DVD of that 1970 season. "It was more important to coach Donovan for us to be good people. I look at all these people and how class people they are. I love them. I never forgot them and many of us haven't seen each other in 40 years, but we immediately reconnected."
WEST SCRANTON INVADERS THEN
WEST SCRANTON INVADERS IN 2010
JOBY FAWCETT / STAFF PHOTO Members of the 1970 Lackawanna League and District 2 championship team gathered for a 40th reunion last week. First row, from left: former school principal A. William Panaci, 1970 coach of the year Dan Donovan, former athletic director Armand Martinelli and Jeff Lewis. Second row: Joe Orzel, Bob Bugno, former assistant coach Joe Barbuti, Jim Warner, Jerry Karwoski and Craig Mailen. 
 
And on that WARM survey sheet, the number one song dated March 1st, 1970 was "Venus" by The Shocking Blue".

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #271

TOM WOODS @ 80

This month marks the 80th birthday of WARM Sensational 7 member Tom Woods. Woods was one of the cornerstones of those WARM days of the '60s where The Mighty 590 dominated the airwaves with its 5,000 watts of power.
Woods later went to work in Washington, D.C. at WTOP News radio.
After returning to the area Tom worked in radio at WILK, did voice overs for the WBRE TV Newscasts, voice over work for various businesses and is currently seen on TV promoting various services.
He resides in Wilkes Barre Township and is happy to be remembered by his many listeners. 


TOM WOODS THEN


TOM WOODS NOW 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #272

WARM ADS CONTINUE 

WARM Radio also included schedule ads in most local newspapers. Our contributor Joe Klapatch found this one in the Scranton papers.This was dated August 24th, 1952. 
This was back in the day when radio stations had listings and ads in newspaper to help move listeners to their frequencies. 
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #273

WARM KEEPS ADVERTISING PUSH ON

As WARM moved to its new frequency, the station still kept up its advertising. In this ad from August 19th of 1952 the Art Bolin Swing program is highlighted. Thanks to our good friend and contributor Joe Klapatch for these ads. 
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #274

AUGUST 18th 1952 

WARM DEBUTS ON 590 FREQUENCY 

WARM Radio debuted on the 590 frequency on August 18th, 1952. Our contributor Joe Klapatch provided the ad that ran in The Scrantonian. The ad is in two parts. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #275

WARM ANNOUNCES BIG MOVE 

WARM Radio made the bight move on the dial in 1952. The station moved its frequency from 1400 to 590 with 5,000 watts of power. Here is the ad that was in the August 17th, 1952 edition of The Scrantronian. Our contributor Joe Klapatch tells us this ad appeared the day before WARM debuted on 590. 
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #276

WARM BROADCASTS SOAP BOX DERBY!!!!
WARM Radio was front and center in that 1950s racing craze of Soap Box vehicles. Contributor Joe Klapatch found this article from July 13th in The Scrantonian. It was WARM's foray into coverage of local sports and events. A mission they would continue well into the 21st century. 
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #277

WARM MAKES APPLICATION FOR TV OUTLET 

Our good friend and 590 Forever contributor Joe Klapatch has sent us this article dated July 2nd from the Scranton Times on WARM TV.  WGBI Radio also applied for a license.
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #278

WARM MUSIC OF MARCH 

This survey sheet features a virtual banquet of pop songs from the year 1967. There was hard stuff, fluff, pop and teen music. But topping the charts this week was a group from Cincinnati called The Casinos. 


The Casinos were a nine-member doo-wop group from Cincinnati, Ohio, led by Gene Hughes and which included Bob Armstrong, Ray White and Pete Bolton. Ken Brady performed with the group, taking over for Hughes from 1962-65 as lead singer. Pete Bolton was replaced at the time by Jerry Baker. Brady left the group to perform as a solo artist and Hughes returned, at which time The Casinos became a nine-piece group. 
They are best known for their John D. Loudermilk-penned song "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," which hit #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1967, well after the end of the doo-wop era.

The Casinos were playing in a Cincinnati club where WSAI disc jockey Tom Dooley liked to visit. Dooley had a song he wanted to record but needed a band to provide the music. The Casinos had been getting great reaction to "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" at the club and wanted to record it. Dooley offered to pay for studio time at Cincinnati's King Records Studio for the group to record their song if they would back up Dooley on his song. The Casinos' tune, not his, quickly became a national hit. (wikipedia)

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #279

THE HISTORY OF MODERN MUSIC ON WARM

This show aired on The Mighty 590 for three full days in March of 1970. There were very few personality driven shows from 9am to around 9pm. News, weather but no patter and contests. The program was marketed toward that first group of WARM listeners that were now in the work force. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #280

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BILL HALEY AND THE COMETS

During March of 1970 this message was featured on the WARM sheets.

BTW Bill Haley and the Comets were credited with having the first Rock and Roll hit with this tune. The original members of this group were Haley, pianist and accordion player Johnny Grande and steel guitarist Billy Williamson.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #281

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CRESTS?
Founded by J.T. Carter, the group included Talmadge Gough Harold Torres (deceased) and Patricia Van Dross Carter selected vocalist Johnny Mastrangelo (1939-2010) (shortened to Johnny Mastro and later to Johnny Maestro) as lead vocalist.

This was a WARM tease for a big program that WARM featured during the last week of March 1970. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #282

WARM SONGS OF MARCH 

This survey sheets features songs that are inching up the charts. 
 Debuting in the teens was the Monkees album cut "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You". This is a preview of MTV Videos.
 
Then at number 24 was the Platters swan song "With This Ring".  
The bottom  video is a more recent version. 
 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #283

WARM SONGS OF MARCH

How many of us youngsters treasured those WARM survey sheets? Many. Right now there are even classic copies on EBay for sale if one is so inclined. There were the "savers" then there were the "touch up" artists who insisted on putting their own brand on the sheets.
In this sheet featuring Tom Woods,  a friend of mine who shall remain unnamed,  touched up the  Woodsman's photo.
But I was also not blameless in this caper. At the bottom of the survey was a notation by me regarding a song by The Seekers. We found that song that was supposed to be the follow up to "Georgie Girl" but never cracked the top 30. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #284

WARM SONGS OF MARCH 

George Gilbert always used to say that the compilation of the WARM survey sheets consisted of a poll of local record shops, consultation with the national charts and listener preferences. He also used to say that in picking music for a top 40 radio station, "With the Beatles you could never go wrong". 
In this WARM survey which features "Little" Joey Shaver the Beatles were of course in firm place at number one with their double side hit "Nowhere Man/What Goes On". 


But I call your attention to the chart songs numbered 30, 31 and 32. 
Number 30 was "Bang Bang" by Cher where she shot her baby down. 

Number 31 was "Husbands and Wives" by Roger Miller about marriage issues.    
 Number 32 was Elvis Presley's version of the classic "Frankie and Johnny".
Was this pattern by accident? Coincidence or not???

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #285

WARM SONGS OF MARCH 

It is hard to believe that "Simon Says" by the 1910 Fruitgum Company was the number one song on The Mighty 590 in the tumultuous early days of the year 1968. But it was in March of that year. This survey sheet features some of the songs that would later impact the music of WARM. 
In the teens on this survey was the Delfonics big hit "La La Means I Love You.
Then there was this instrumental destined for the Top 10 at the start of the summer by the Raymond Lefevre Orchestra.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #286

WARM AND THE  MUSIC OF FEBRUARY
WARM Radio was still dominating the top of the radio heap in February of 1969. Check out this survey sheet that included what I thought was the most overrated song in the world "Build Me Up Buttercup". I have been a fan of The Foundations but I hated that song.
Instead we'll feature one from a group called The First Edition featuring a guy named Kenny Rogers charting at #12.
 
Then there was the Pick Hit  of the week from Glen Campbell called "Galveston". The Campbell video of the song was disabled on You Tube so we have to settle for this video.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #287

WARM IN THE TEENAGE SKIN GAME
WARM Radio started out as a radio station that was meant to attract teens. The first generation of WARM teens were no different than the teens that succeeded it in the late 60s and 70s.
WARM was a big proponent of advertising skin cleansers for its core audience knowing full well that the scourge of acne could inhibit many of its younger citizens.
Here are two ads from products of the era. PhisoHex which I used and was developed in hospitals. Phisohex, brand of hexachlorophene detergent cleanser, is an antibacterial sudsing emulsion for topical administration. Phisohex is indicated for use as a surgical scrub and a bacteriostatic skin cleanser. 
The next one was Tackle which my friends tell me was just as aggressive as its name. If you notice the ad below, an early 1960s ad directed the product toward men. But in the WARM survey ad, you saw both a boy and a girl with the assurance that girls could use it too.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #288

MUSICAL PEACE THROUGH THE TURMOIL OF 1968
No one can dispute the tumult of the year 1968 in our history. The Tet Offensive in January, the protests in France and America against the war in Vietnam were just a preview of the year ahead.
The music ws getting progressively harder in bite as well as having an edge.
However during 4 weeks during the time, the number one song in WARMland was "Love Is Blue", an instrumental from the Paul Mauriat Orchestra. Mauriat was the conductor of Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat, who specialized in the easy listening genre. 
“Love Is Blue” was the first instrumental to hit number 1 on the Billboard charts since the Tornados hit with “Telstar” in 1962 and the only American number-one single to be recorded in France. The success of the song and the album on which it appeared, Blooming Hits, established Mauriat as an international recording star.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #289

WARM AND THE MUSIC OF FEBRUARY 
The winter months might not have had the allure of a summertime night in WARMland but the Mighty 590 was cracking out the hits. On this survey sheet Joey Shaver is featured on the week that the Cowsills followed up their '67 hit, "The Rain, The Park and Other Things" with "We Can Fly".

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #290

BIG HAPPENINGS IN SCRANTON FOR WARM IN 1968
WARM Radio promoted a few big acts during February 1968 with three national bands at The What's Happening A Go Go. No less than The Fantastic Johnny C who had a hit called "Boogaloo" Down Broadway" stopped by in February.
Then the Strawberry Alarm Clock followed with the month wrapping up with Jon Fed and the Playboy Band. The Strawberry Alarm Clock hit big with "Incense and Peppermint"  
while John Fred was riding high with the hit "Judy In Disguise".
Local bands like The Mel Wynn trend and Freddie and The reflections also were featured.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #291

WARM'S BIG PROMO 

When WARM put a little guessing game on their survey sheets, it usually meant something big was coming promotion wise. 
On this sheet from the end of January 1972, WARM touted February as a big month. 
The station had a 14 day contest for Valentine's Day where the grand prize was a Caribbean vacation.
It also had a promotion for with local grocers (Affiliated Food stores) for Ash Wednesday and Lent. 
Plus there was also a President's Day promotion. This was big because the Uniform Holiday Act of 1971 which made February 21st, 1972 the first President's Day according to the new law. Previously Lincoln's Birthday was celebrated on the 12th and Washington's on the 22nd of February. 
WARM telegraphed things way in advance for the fun and excitement of its audience.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #292

GAMBLING MEN OF WARM 

Rob Neyhard, Kevin Lynn and Greg Foster (Photo: 590 Forever archives) 
During the late 90s WARM Radio was News talk Radio, WARM. WARM was in its third ownership in just under three years and the Citadel Corporation was big on Non traditional Revenue. Meaning more special events to increase revenue. 
At the time I was in sales at WARM and Rob Neyhard was doing News and Sports Talk after Imus In the Morning,  and Kevin Lynn had an afternoon drive time show on 590. Greg Foster, the gentleman on the right was the Program Director. The three are seen here at a Casino Night that had various clients playing those games of chance. 
Currently Rob is retired from teaching but heard frequently on WILK Radio filling in for the local hosts as well as broadcasting local sports on Cable TV. Kevin Lynn is a spokesperson for an energy company and Greg Foster is Program Director at KOA Radio in Colorado. 
However on this night about 18 years ago they were gambling men and looking good for their station, 590 WARM.

Friday, February 3, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #293

THE GREAT YO YO CONTEST ON WARM  RADIO

Radio had a very unique contest in the 1980s involving The Smothers Brothers, the FM Kirby Center and yo yos. Yes, yo yos. The Brothers were going to be at the Theatre for a live show and WARM ran a promotion asking for entrants who were handy with yo yos. The main prize was the opportunity to be on stage with Tommy Smothers as he sang his famous “Yo Yo” song. 
One of the entrants was a lifelong neighbor of mine from Pittston Junction Charles “Chuck” Simalchik. Chuck was a youngster then and his parents, Charlie and Rita were big fans of WARM and urged him to enter the contest. Recently he told me that he showed his stuff but was not the grand prize winner. 
When we discussed the contest, Chuck remembered it fondly. There are many people who are now grown ups living in and out of WARMland that had chances to win prizes, from cars to pools to concert ticket and yes to even be part of a concert. 
The WARM/Smothers Brothers Yo Yo contest was just one of many through the years that touched the lives of people who entered and listened.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #294

WHEN TOMMY MET TIMMY 

Hall of Famer Tim Raines.
 WARM's Tommy Woods.

Recently Major League baseball writers elected Tim Raines into the storied Hall of Fame. He played as a left fielder in Major League Baseball for six teams from 1979 to 2002 and was best known for his 13 seasons with the Montreal Expos. He is regarded as one of the best lead off hitters and base runners in baseball history. In 2013, Raines began working in the Toronto Blue Jays organization as a roving outfield and base running instructor. 
Raines was the 1986 NL batting champion, a seven-time All-Star, and four-time stolen base champion. 
Raines had some issues with cocaine and has been in recovery. But during the 80s Tim met up with WARM legend Tom Woods. Woods in the 80s did many voice overs for local non profits and was the introduction voice for WBRE TV News. Woods also volunteered at the Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services Agency headed by Carmen Ambrosino. Raines shared with Woods his effort to concentrate on his game and efforts to get better, which by the way he did.
The Montreal Superstar, now Hall of Famer was just one of the many sports figures Tommy Woods met along the way before, during and after his days at the Mighty 590.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #295

TONY MURPHY, BASKETBALL TOP TEN AND THE GOOD GUYS 

Around the 1970s, WARM 's Sensational 7 wax winnowed down to about 6 jocks. So a new name, "The Good Guys was marketing the station. Newcomer Tony Murphy was an audience favorite too. WARM started the slow transition into being the sports leader and began ranking the top football and basketball teams. This survey sheet from that era says so much in just a few words.