Monday, December 30, 2013



From the original Sensational Seven to True Oldies, WARM has always been a mainstay in homes in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And in 1970, the survey sheet might have gotten smaller but the message was the same. You were spending Happy Holidays with WARM, the Mighty 590. Here are best wishes from "The Good Guys", circa 1970. 

Monday, December 23, 2013



The Mighty 590 always had a special spot on the dial during the holidays. As Christmas approached WARM had ads touting the sales and the newest items out for Christmas. On Christmas eve, WARM Radio started broadcasting nothing but Christmas songs throughout the 24th and right through the morning of the 26trh. Two songs played constantly by WARM during this entire music sweep were “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and this classic medley by the Ray Conniff Singers. 
Only three members of the original WARM Sensation Seven are still with us. Best holiday wishes to Tom Woods, Joey Shaver and Harry West. You made our youthful Christmas Days and nights something to remember.

Thursday, November 21, 2013



Fifty years ago John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. WARM Radio was at that time the dominant station in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In this video from "WARMland Remembered" on WVIA TV, the late George Gilbert and Tom Woods, one of the few surviving members of The Sensational Seven talk about that day.

Friday, November 8, 2013



Here is a compilation of WARM Radio jingles that have been sitting in my "To Do" Box. These radio jingles were a constant on WARM Radio in the early 60s. More to come.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


THE 60s WERE A GAS!!! 

WARM Radio was the top rated station throughout the decade of the 1960s. WARM was the news leader as well as the station teens turned to hearing the top hits as they cruised the streets of WARMland. It was fun and it was cheap. How cheap was it back then to gas up? Well in 1960 when Jimmy Dean sang “Big Bad John” gas was 30 cents a gallon. In 1969 when Zager and Evans hit number one with their hit “In the Year 2525”, gas was 34 cents a gallon.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013



Just what did a Top 40 radio station have to do wit the fight for Civil Rights in America in 1963? Well for one thing, WARM was on top of the big news stories of that era with its news live at 55 and at the bottom of the hour. 
WARM would always chronicle the news of these momentous events and broke in with bulletins during the freedom rider events in the south earlier in the spring. During that newsworthy march on Washington in August, WARM provided hourly updates and replayed the entire speech of Martin Luther King the following Sunday on a public affairs program.
In September of '63, when four young girls were killed by a bomb at a church in the South, WARM broke in throughout the day on the very sad Sunday afternoon of September 15th. While the African American population was small in WARMland, the Mighty 590 did not shy away from covering that big national story. And during that summer of '63 WARM not only entertained but informed, which I guess is what a radio station is all about.

Monday, August 19, 2013


WARM's Terry McNulty who had his share of covering emotional and important news stories in 1963.


One news event that struck closer to home in August of 1963 was the Sheppton Mine Accident. From August 13th the nation was riveted by the three miners trapped 300 feet below the earth. For all of Northeastern Pennsylvania, this was a raw wound. Just three and a half years removed from the Knox Mine Disaster, the fate of the trio was huge news.
WARM's Terry McNulty was one of the first media people on the scene. In a documentary about WARM made for WVIA TV, McNulty described the tapping he heard from the two surviving miners. TV and newspapers also covered the event as a front page item every day. WDAU TV sent reporters down there every day and news director Tom Powell provided hourly updates.
People eagerly watched with concern as rescue workers tried to reach David Fellin, Henry Throne and Louis Bova. Bova’s body was never recovered.
The event was sobering because there were still vestiges of the mines left with areas pockmarked by the strip miners. And everyone in my railroad family knew a miner. The bond was emotional and deep.
As a nine year old, this was just one of the stories of human drama that got my attention. Another thing that made an impression was that even though the rescue saved two men, one never came out. WARM Radio constant gave updates, bulletins and live reports from the scene. For two weeks it was the lead story on News Live at 55 and at the headlines at the bottom of the hour.
This past week, family members of the late Louis Bova gathered at a tombstone above the earth where Bova lost his life 300 feet below. More than 200 people attended a Mass for the fallen miner.
In 1970 a local group, The Buoys had a national chart hit called "Timothy about three men trapped in a mine. It was said that the tune was about Sheppton but the song's composer Rupert Holmes said he had no idea about the incident until the song was soaring to the top twenty.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


The iconic Grandstand seen by hundreds of thousands of people in the last 50 years at Pocono Drag Lodge.
(All photos by Mrs. 590 Forever).
At the Trophy Table yesterday at the Pocono Drag Lodge/WARM Reunion.
Man how I loved those old Chevrolets. If I ever win the PowerBall.........
The anniversary cake for the golden anniversary of Pocono Drag Lodge. 


The Pocono Drag Lodge celebrated its 50th anniversary this weekend. The Drag Lodge was a large part of pop culture in the 60s and 70s for music fans and motor heads alike. Just minutes from Wilkes Barre, the Drag Lodge was a meeting place for teenagers and car enthusiasts who loved the sounds of rubber on the road and the Mighty 590 on the radio. 
This weekend’s event which featured many great looking cars as well as great music and memories was well attended on a beautiful sunny day. I finally took organizer Charlie Hulsizer up on his invitation and toured the grounds and met many old friends who enjoyed the memories of WARM Radio as well as those great motor cars of yesterday. 
WARM Radio was the station back in the day that promoted the races, gave updates on race weekends and actually told you who won on any given night. It was a great event and we hope that Pocono Drag Lodge reunions last another fifty years. 
Onward my friends…onward!!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


WARM Radio Survey letterhead, circa 1961. (590 Forever WARM archives). 


One of the great things about doing the 590 Forever blog site is that the more I write, the more I hear from fans of 60s era top 40 radio who viewed stations like WARM as "The MODERN Golden Age of Radio" . 
Just as there are people of a certain age (ahem us!) who treasure the hits from '55 to 85, there are many others out there that really cherish the creativity and freedom of the radio talent who brought us that music. When someone talks about the classic top 40 stations like WCFL, WLS, WKBW, CKLW, WIFIL, WIBG and WARM, the Mighty 590, the music will almost always be secondary. Fans will bring up a particular personality, "Do you remember Ron Allen?" , "Hey how about that Harry West"? or "That George Gilbert was so smooth". That is a true testament to the power of personality in the top 40 era. 
I came across this gem from a reader of 590 Forever and it is an incredible piece on the history of WARM. It is a 15 minute rewind of a winter morning of 1961. You'll hear commercials from Shorten Dodge, Acme, Genesee, weather, a bit of Mother Fletcher and you'll never believe who is doing the news live at 55!!!! (Hint, see Mighty Memory #424) Courtesy of a top 40 radio fan,
check this out on You Tube. 


Tuesday, July 2, 2013


WARM's Harry West in the late '50s. (Photo: WARM Radio) 


Did you know that long time morning man Harry West started at WARM Radio as a Newsman? It’s true. Harry did the Morning News Live at :55 before he became the Morning radio host. George Gilbert manned the shift while Harry did the news.



Do you know that in the late 1950s and early 1960s, if you lost your dog WARM Radio would help you find it? It’s true. WARM had a feature called “DOG GONE” And they gave a description of your lost pooch and a call back number. And those exchanges were Glenwood and Olympic. Those were the days!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The ubiquitous “Sparrow” button. Every kid had to have one. (Photo: LuLac archives). 

The Sparrow 

When the “Batman” TV program began its run on ABC TV, it was wildly popular. Radio stations across the land decided to try their hand at creating superheroes that would be identified with their area. In Chicago, WCFL Radio, the Voice of Labor and the Big 10 created a character called “Chicken Man”. The end tag line for the fowl bird was, “He’s everywhere, he’s everywhere”. 
 In WARMland,. Ron Allen, the programming genius of the Mighty 590 created a character called “The Sparrow”. The tag line was “The Sparrow Knows”. 
Allen created a cast of characters turning “The Sparrow” into WARMland's Superhero. Scripts were written by Allen and voices were performed by various and sundry WARM personalities and staff members who just happened to be nearby. Ted Raub, famous for the Uncle Ted program and “The Ghoul School” was a major voice contributor along with then WARM newsman Bob Oliver. 
“The Sparrow” series ran throughout 1966 when “Batman” was hot and continued sporadically through 1967. After “Batman” bit the dust, so did “The Sparrow”. 
For a Top 40 station, an old time radio series was very labor intensive as both WCFL and WARM learned. But WARM had Ron Allen to do the production, scripting and voices. “The Sparrow” was an homage to old time radio as well as an attempt to do what WARM consistently did in its heyday, take a hot idea and put it into practice for WARM’s benefit. 
Plus “The Sparrow” served a dual purpose. The old time radio theatre gave adults listening to WARM a taste of the old days and gave their kids an idea of what it was like in their parent’s time. 
In the turbulent and divisive 60s, it was a bridging of generations that would soon fade into a memory. But “The Sparrow” had a good run, there were thousands of buttons that flooded WARMland that promoted the program. The late Bruno Gallagher dressed up in “The Sparrow” contest for remotes and made it popular. 
“The Sparrow” is fondly remembered as a piece of WARM history that still brings a smile to the faces of WARM listeners of a certain age. 
Editor’s note: Thanks to WARM’s Tom Woods for filling in some of the blanks and my friend Drew Wasko for sending “The Sparrow” button along for this stor.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Joey Shaver with George Herbert Walker Bush. Former Kiwanis member Frank Procopio is behind Shaver. Shaver and Procopio flew down in Shaver’s aircraft. (Photo: The White House). 


One of the building blocks of being a WARM personality was involvement in community service. WARM jocks were expected to take part in community projects and promotions. That also included service clubs. Former WARM General Manager Phil Condron was involved in the Rotary Clubs for years. WARM’s Joey Shaver was a Past President and member of the Wilkes Barre Kiwanis is Club for years. 
In the mid 1980s, the Kiwanis Club visited Washington, D.C. to get an award from the Reagan White House for its Wheel Chair program. For years, if anyone needed a wheelchair, all they needed to do was contact the Wilkes Barre Kiwanis Club. 
On this particular occasion, Shaver and along with other Kiwanis members met with then Vice President George Bush. The trip was coordinated by Kiwanis member Rob Friedman through former Kingston resident Marc Holtzman who was a key player in the Reagan Bush political era. 
As we all know, Vice President Bush later became President and Joey Shaver got to meet him before he was the 41st Commander In Chief of this nation. And how great was that for Joey, meeting a President because Shaver’s birthday falls on February 22nd, the official birth date of our first President, George Washington.

Friday, May 31, 2013


Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion banner featuring WARM. 


One of the basic audiences of WARM, the Mighty 590 in its heyday was  the car enthusiast. If you were fixing a hot rod in your dad’s garage, or going to the Pocono Drag Lodge for their summertime races, WARM was the station you listened to for details of the race and results. And if you were lucky enough to drive a car back then, your dial was set to 590! The last few summers, WARM has been a huge part of the Pocono Drag Lodge Reunions. We’ll be giving you more information on the 2013 event. 
 But to hold you over this weekend, WARM will be featuring car songs as part of the True Oldies Channel weekend feature. The weekend ends with Shannon's "Cruisin' America" show from 8pm yo 1am Sunday Night. Pop the top, rev the motor up or cool it down to an idle as you recall the best car hits of the great era of cars and rock and roll.

Scott Shannon of the True Oldies Channel heard on WARM, the Mighty 590.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Frank Sinatra.  (Capitol Records) 


Like many radio stations across America, WARM has had a constant relationship with Frank Sinatra. I bring this up because it is 15 years ago this month that the Chairman of the board passed away. Sinatra was a mainstay on WARM Radio as a music entity when it started in 1940. If a radio station wasn’t playing Sinatra, it was on a shortwave frequency. When WARM changed over to a rock and roll format in 1958, you would think that WARM would never play Sinatra again. But the programmers at WARM knew Sinatra would always have a place. During the 60s, Sinatra was on the WARM Top 40 charts with “Summer Wind”, “Strangers In the Night” as well as his last number one hit on the WARM charts “Something Stupid” sung with his daughter Nancy. 
WARM survey with Frank and Nancy Sinatra at the top of the charts in 1967.

During the 90s, when Sinatra’s “Duets” albums came out, both Ron Allen and George Gilbert premiered them on their short lived radio program which ran between 1 to 3pm. After WARM exhausted its talk format, Sinatra returned with Sid Marks syndicated program first heard on Saturdays and then on Sundays. While WARM no longer runs the program, many people have fond memories of it. And that is true for the music of Sinatra which has been part of WARM, and the Mighty 590 through the years. 

Fifteen years after his death, Sinatra’s link with WARM and other radio stations across America is still part of the soundtrack of many lives.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


WARM’s George Gilbert. (Photo: Sweensspace.blogspot)


A friend of mine shared this anecdote with me about George Gilbert. 
In the mid 90s, George Gilbert was employed as a Snior Sales Representative at WARM and Magic 93. Tim Durkin, the late Sales Manager and Joey Shaver the WARM Sales Manager thought with Gilbert’s past reputation on the Mighty 590, he could garner the stations new clients. And he did. His low key but friendly personality made him a success in his efforts on that level at WARM. 
One of the things Media Sales Representatives need to do is get out in front with clients. Using the phone to try and get a face to face meeting with a client is sometimes very hard to do. My friend was struggling and getting pretty much nowhere saying his entire spiel over the phone and then getting a no. 
Gilbert in the next cubicle called him over and said, “Can I give you some advice?” And my friend, happy that someone was throwing him a lifeline retorted, “Sure”. Gilbert said, “Next time you call a prospective client, just give him your name, the station and say I’m calling about an idea that I want to share with you. Then don’t say anything else. You’ll gey face to face meetings”. 
My friend resumed his work following GG’s methods and got some meetings and other future successes. Tommy Woods is fond of saying how the original WARM jocks were always a team. My friend and most likely Gilbert’s other coworkers in Sales saw that teamwork aspect of George Gilbert, not as a jock or Program Director, but as a Sales mentor. 
Teamwork: a tradition of the Sensational Seven that is still part of the WARM heritage. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013


The beach, the summer and WARM. 


Now that the weather has finally broken and we are seeing temperatures of above 70 degrees in WARMland, I always tend to remember WARM Radio as being an integral part of my summer. Home from school, you had the opportunity to blast the Mighty 590 all day long. And much to the chagrin of our parents, deep into the early morning hours. WARM was always part of the area music scene with WARM day at Rocky Glenn Park, the dances at Sans Souci Park and Hansons at Harvey’s Lake. Then of course there were the record give aways, the cash calls and the remotes where you could get up close and personal with any of the WARM air personalities. 
And in between the news, the top forty music, the 20/20 sports, the commercials and the patter of the disc jockeys who were part of the fabric of our summers was the ubiquitous WARM jingle. For listeners of the Mighty 590, it was indeed “the good old summertime”.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Tom Woods (center) with Peter and Gordon. (Photo: Tom Woods Facebook page). 


One of the "perks" WARMland personalities had was the opportunity to meet the rock and roll stars of the era. One of the guys who was very connected to the music scene at WARM was Tom Woods. Woods was the Music Director of the station and along with Program Director George Gilbert had a huge say in picking the records heard on the Mighty 590. 
Facebook has given former members of the WARM Sensational 7 the opportunity to share their memories. Here's one from Tom Woods' Facebook page regarding a visit from Peter and Gordon.
Here's a blast from the past...This is me with Peter and Gorden in 1965 just as they arrived from England for WARM DAY at Rocky Glenn Park. Sadly Gorden passed away in July of 2009. Gorden Waller is the one with glasses. This was their first time in the United States. Their big hit.."A World Without Love". 
One of the hit songs Peter and Gordon had was actually by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Tom and Fran Woods on their Wedding Day in 1964. (Photo: Facebook). 


This week former WARM Sensational 7 member Tom Woods posted a photo on Facebook of his wife Fran and Tom on their wedding day in 1964. Tom and his wife have been together for 49 years now. Tom got married when he was in the midst of a stored career on WARM. 
What happens when a well known disc jockey ties the knot at the number 1 radio station in the market? You do what other people do......just get on it with and do what other people did at the time. 
Except though that on Tom and Fran’s big day, George Gilbert who was on the air, did updates as to what was going on. Gilbert detailed the time of the church service, the reception and a few other things WARM listeners might have been interested in. WARM’s Terry McNulty was in the wedding party and Tom tells us that at the time, all of the WARM on air personalities were married. 
The wedding was held at St. Mary’s Church in Plymouth, now All Saints Church and from all accounts that day was a successful launching pad for the 49 year old marriage. Tom is long remembered for his 6 to 9PM stint as a WARM personality before moving on to WTOP in Washington, D.C. 
He is currently in semi retirement. The man with the good looks and dulcet tones keeps busy doing local TV commercials for various businesses. He is seen on TV doing ads for Green Briar Village and the long time married man has a new client he’s representing on TV. WARMlanders are you ready for this? Tom is is the spokesperson for “All About Singles" in one of their TV ads. What better spokesperson than a guy who is closing in on a Golden Anniversary. To Fran and Tom…many more.

Friday, April 5, 2013


The late Guy Randall. (Photo Osterhout Free Library) 


The headline on this 590 Mighty Memory is not intended to diminish people in radio passing through. As a matter of fact, it is a badge of honor to go from one radio station to another. That means you are more than a “one hit wonder” and someone who has real talent. One of the people who passed through the Mighty 590 was a legendary broadcaster from the area. Guy Randall ended his broadcast career at WARM. Randall worked at WARM from 1981 to about early 1984. Randall did a Sunday afternoon music show in addition to doing news reports when WARM was indeed the news leader in the area. 
My first memories of Randall are vivid. When I was 9, I had a triple threat combination of the mumps, the measles and the chicken pox. I mean I had them all at once. And our family doctor quarantined me to my room. For company, I had my sister’s transistor radio and other than visits from my vaccinated family, that was it. One afternoon I heard a voice that really knocked me out but that voice was playing music my parents listened to. Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Louie Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nancy Wilson, they were all people on the Ed Sullivan Show that I  as a young rock and roll fan, ignored.  But the announcer made the music interesting. And his name was Guy Randall. His show was on from 2pm to 6pm on WILK and his style was easy and deliberate. I wound up listening because his show led into Phillies baseball. 
Later on when I was in college, I did a part time stint as an intern at WBRE AM and FM. At that time, the dual station, owned by the Baltimore family was All News. It was part of NBC Radio’s national all news radio commitment. There was a network feed for 40 minutes but the other 20 had to be made up by the local affiliates. Guy’s role was to be the afternoon anchor, prior to that, at 10 am he’d go out and cover stories. On my first day I got to ride with him to a fire. As a newsman, Guy got the sound, the facts, the story and then filed it right away. During the ’76 primary campaign Randall coordinated the radio coverage for WBRE. The Pennsylvania primary was very competitive. Jimmy Carter visited, Morris Udall, so many surrogates. Guy made sure we had sound on all of them. 
Guy would always come into work carrying a few pens (you could count on him for a spare one if you needed it) and a brown bag. That brown bag sat on his desk until after the 2pm news and then he’d dig in. There was always a sandwich on rye and an orange. When it was a tough day, he’d saunter on down the hall and buy a PayDay. But then he told me he switched to M and M’s because the nuts would get in his teeth and hinder his delivery. When I asked him why he got into broadcasting, he simply said, “I tried it, they liked me, my  voice and Roy Morgan (owner of WILK) gave me a break." His olive skin and graying slicked back hair was conducive for TV but Guy never made that leap. 
When WBRE and NBC ended their all news association, Guy wound up at WARM. He covered a few stories for WARM and was put into service for an entire weekend in September of 1982 when George Banks went on his rampage. Guy is best remembered at WARM not for the way he arrived but for how he left. He, along with many fine broadcasters were fired on a day referred to by WARM historians as “Axe Wednesday”. 
After WARM, he was employed by the sports department of King's College and Pocono Downs Racetrack. He also served as Chairman of Council in Larksville Borough, his hometown for many years. He was a member of  St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church.
When Guy passed away, there were a few mentions of his radio career in his obituary. But for many of us who knew and worked with him, it was easy to fill in the lines with anecdotes and remembrances of a man who was always ready to help a fellow news traveler. 
WARM Radio only had Guy Randall’s multi talented services for just a few years. But in that short time, he proved to be more than just another “guy” passing through. He died in October of 2001 but when WARM fans get together, they recall the dulcet tones of Guy Randall, a great voice, good newsman and good guy. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013




Opening Day in Major League baseball is a special time of year. Especially in WARMland where the cold winters dominated the months of December, January, February and in some cases even March. A sure sign of spring was the sound of spring training games from Clearwater, Florida where the Phils always sounded so good on WARM. 
The Mighty 590 didn’t always have Major League baseball though. The Phillies were on WILK Radio in the 1960 all the way into the early 70s. WILK then wanted to clear the decks for its Top 40 format. The mantle of the Phils was taken up by WBRE AM n the 70s. Then when WBRE went All News in 1975, the Phillies joined the Mighty 590. It was a majestic partnership that continued until the early part of the 21st century. 
WARM was always the place for Major League baseball. The game was usually preceded by the Ron Allen Sportsline and then morning updates were provided on the drive time A.M. shows the next morning. When WARM switched over to an Oldies Format in the mid 2000s, Yankee baseball was broadcast on WARM for about two years. But budget issues and staffing availability made it impossible for WARM to carry Major League Baseball. 
However, despite that, we do have our memories! As pitchers and catchers start to play for real, it is with fond memories that we remember the role WARM Radio played in bringing sports fans Phillies baseball.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


The top 40. 


As I listen to the “True Oldies Channel” on WARM, I appreciate that format more and more every day. Think of all the big top 40 powerhouses that dominated the early days of Rock and Roll. Stations like CKLW in Windsor/Detroit, WLS and WCFL in Chicago, WFIL and WIBG in Philadelphia, WKBW in Buffalo, WMEX in Boston as well as the biggie, WABC in New York City. All of those stations rock and roll heritages are gone. All of them have become Sports Talk or News Talk Stations. Some have gone the religious routes and others are dark. But because of the ownership decisions of Citadel Broadcasting and now Cumulus Broadcasting, plus the dedicated staff, WARM, the Mighty 590 still plays rock and roll music. The songs of the Top 40, for so long dominant in those 50,000 watt powerhouses are but a memory for those listeners in those cities. But here in WARMland, the Top plays on in the form of “True Oldies”, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.