Saturday, August 4, 2018

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #128

WARM'S BOBBY DAY MEETS DION 

Former WARM broadcaster Bobby Day recently had the opportunity to meet Dion. You remember Dion DiMucci, he of the Belmonts and rock and roll fame, right? 
Dion was playing The Kirby and spent some time with the WARM mainstay saying he remember the days at Sans Souci and Rocky Glen Park for WARM days. 
 From  left to right are Bud O'Mailia, Dion himself, Bobby Day and Doctor Lombardo. Here are three of Dion's best from 3 decades.

and this one from his 1980s album "Yo Frankie" where artists like k.d. Land, Paul Simon and Dave Edmunds lent a hand.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #129

WARM RADIO PROTEGES FROM WSCR 

This is a very interesting ad from June 25th, 1958. WSCR was the Top 40 Radio station that was competing against the "New WARM". The guys on the top of the ad, Terry McNulty and Ron Allen later went to WARM Radio. McNulty was the first News Director of WARM Radio and became the prime newscaster taking over fo Harry West who moved to the Morning Show. 
Ron Allen manned the 3 to 6pm shift for years until moving into sports. 
The man in the middle was ed Hughes who stayed at WSCR until 1969 when he was named Mayor Gene Peters Communications Director. Hughes ran for Mayor in 1977 but was defeated in the primary by Reverend Vernon Searfoss. Hughes also served as treasurer of the Professional News Media Association of NEPA. 
One of the interesting segments of this ad is the inclusion of a program aired Monday nights featuring Skitch Henderson. Henderson was the Conductor of the Scranton Philharmonic and later became the band leader for The Tonight Show when Johnny Carson took it over in 1962.  
The hybrid programming though on WSCR is telling. Top 40, personalities most of the time but THEN a shift in gears to Classical programming. Now I'm sure this was a business and advertising decision but in the early days of the New WARM, this wouyld never happen. 
WARM built its success on being consistent an redundant in that consistency. No deviation from  message and format, plus the picking off of key WSCR staff made WARM number 1 in a hurry. They sayed that way for years ever after.

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #130

TERRY McNULTY: MORNING MAN AT WSCR 

Since WSCR was a type of proving ground for WARM, we thought we'd include this ad from 1959 featuring McNulty before he was "The Big Fella" on The mighty 590. WSCR was owned by Tom Rice, was an NBC affiliate and ran top 40 music. 
The station was later acquired by WARM Radio legend of the 70s, Bob Woody who turned it into 13Q. 
When the station finally went dark,  the call letters went to a Chicago Sports station.  Here's that ad. 

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #131

THE PROMOTION CONTINUES

The mystery of the Question Mark is solved when a photo appears of Jack Murphy. Apparently the people promoting The New WARM put a Question mark in the previous ad in the Tribune to accelerate conversation and get people talking. Or maybe Jack was too shy to take a photo. Either way, a month later, after some buzz, the Sensational Seven tableau was complete in sound, print and sight.  This ad ran on September 7th, 1958. 




590 MIGHTY MEMORY #132

THE PROMOTIONS BEGIN

When WARM Radio signed on the air on June 19th, 1968 as the NEW WARM, the promotions began. Here's an ad from August 3, 1958. Right out of the gate, WARM Radio was RADIO 1. Check out Don Stevens and George Gilbert. This was the original Sensational Seven. 
Notice that Jack Murphy's photo had a Question Mark. There are many who feel this was a WARM tease to get people talking. For more than a month, that Question Mark made the rounds of teen hang outs, beauty and barber shops and every summer poll in what was to become WARMland. 


590 MIGHTY MEMORY #133

JUNE 1958 

THE MIGHTY 590 SIGNS ON  SIXTY YEARS AGO 
Sixty years ago this month, WARM Radio became THE MIGHTY 590! An era of music, information, news, and public service began! WARM took the area by storm and remained a dominant ratings leader until the summer of 1976 when WGBI FM (once a beautiful music station) went to rock and roll automation. 
From '76 on, WARM then began a transition to hybrid formats of sports and entertainment, then personality and talk,  straight talk, and now primarily network sports. 
WARM's, current format is primarily all network with very little local interactions. Strange but that was the way WARM started in 1940. 
The frequency  is two years away from 8 full decades. There were many programs, personalities and formats along the way. But many will agree that from 1958 to 1976, those were were the halcyon days of The Mighty 590! 
 



Friday, May 18, 2018

590 MIGHTY MEMORY #134

WARM RADIO SOLD IN MAY OF 1958 

This article from the Scranton Tribune of May 2nd, 1958 tells us that WARM Radio was sold to Susquehanna Broadcasting. A few weeks later, the staid format of WARM Radio became "The new WARM, the Mighty 590" and nothing was bigger than that for years in the local radio market.