Thursday, February 27, 2014



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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014



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



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

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


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.

Friday, February 7, 2014



This week marks the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles to America. And WARM was one of the first radio stations to get in on the excitement. WARM first educated listeners about the Beatles through its First News First Live at 55 broadcasts. If it was a cultural phenomenon, WARM was going to cover it. Then when the record started to get released, WARM played them. It was not uncommon in the spring of 1964 to hear more than four Beatles records an hour on WARM. Plus the Beatles were releasing records one after another from various labels and it was pretty hard to keep up with it. 
WARM had a few contests where you could win a Beatles 45 but there wasn’t anything big because of the intense popularity of the group. But WARM had no trouble at all charting those two sided hits from Capitol and they always made the number 1 slot in less than five weeks. When the Beatles played Shea WARM scored a few tickets and did a co promotion with Martz Trailways for the 1965 World’s Fair and the chance to see the Beatles at Shea.  But through the years, WARM had little chance to do anything other than giving away those items. But as the dominant top 40 music station in the market (there was WSCR, WICK and WPTS playing elements of rock) WARM was the “go to” place on the dial for anything Beatles related. Plus WARM was not adverse to programming Beatles music in various time slots. During mid days you heard “Yesterday” and softer versions of the Fab Four. Later on in the night, you heard the rollicking remakes of “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Please Mr. Postman”. 
Like WARM, the Beatles transcended age groups that made them popular even to this day. As George Gilbert told filmmakers for the documentary “WARMland Remembered”, “You could never go wrong with the Beatles”. Indeed. During this first week of February fifty years ago, the number one song in WARMland was the iconic “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. 
 WARM survey sheet from February 1, 1964. (Click to enlarge, LuLac archives).

Saturday, February 1, 2014



Every day I try to listen to the Mighty 590 and every day I have to give it up. The signal in Wilkes Barre is pretty bad but the memories of WARM still stay stronger than ever. Images abound from loyal fans who have kept pictures and keep sakes through the years. In December I got this communication from a WARM fan who works at the facility the current reincarnation of WARM is housed in. Due to three or four ownership changes there isn’t much left of WARM. But this reader found two photos of WARM Red and Blue News signs. Here’s his communication to me and the photos. 
Hi David: I have been a fan of your 590 Forever WARM Radio blog for the past year or so. I'm not directly connected to WARM, but I work in the same building for 97.9X and 97BHT. I am also a radio archivist with an interest in the history of "The Mighty 590". Sadly, there nothing of WARM's past at the radio station, except for a couple of signs from "The News Leader" era. I thought I'd share these images with you. The Best, Scott Lowe 

Thanks Scott and if anyone has any photos or images they would like to share, we’ll put them on on the 590 Forever site.