WWUH RADIO HISTORY
1993 Text
This section is under construciton and should be considered in draft form.  Your input is invited.  If you want to add material, make suggestions, correct the record, etc, please email us at wwuh@hartford.edu.  And if you have photos to share of your time at WWUH please let us know that as well.

 

The ECOM consisted of John Ramsey - General Manager, Sandra DeBorger/Gina Gunn - Operations Manager; Susan Mullis - Development Director; Marsha Pelletier - Program Director; John Merleu - Business Manager; John Ramsey - Chief Engineer; Mike DeRosa - Community Affairs Director.

Members-At-Large:   

          Rich Dittman and Tim Costa Urban Music Directors, Ed McKeon – Folk Director, Chuck Dube – Assistant Chief Engineer, Keith Barrett – Classics Director,.

          Staff:  Vicki Aubin, Keith Barrett, Janel Bilan, Paul Bock, Rich Boissoneau, Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Bart Bozzi, Keith Brown, Steve Burke, Frank Butash, Warren Byrd, Bob Celmer, Mark Channon, Matthey Charnas, Deborah Conklin, Venessa Cooper,  Rich Cormier, Tim Costa, Lee Courtner, Bill Cunningham, Marty Dabrowski, Donna Dauphinais, Sandra DeBorger, Mark DeLorenzo,  Dave Demaw, Mike DeRosa, Terrell Dickson, Steve Dieterich, Rich Dittman, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Stuart Donner, Stephen Doughty, Mark Dresser, Chuck Dube, Al Dzikas, Eileen Ego, George Michael Evica, Stuart Feldman, Vinny Fuerst, Donna Giddings, Art Greene, Brian Grossjean, Gina Gunn, John Holder, Julia Holiday, Harvey Jassem, Wayne Jones, Bruce Kampe, Jeffrey Katz, Tom Kelly, Arne Langsetmo, Gary Levin, Allen Livermore, Greg Lunch, Carlo Magno, Tony Magno, Doug Maine, Donald Mattz, Ed McKeon, McNal Allison, Ryan Melcher, Mark Melnick, John Merlau, Peter Michaelson, Dorienne Miner, Phillip Mitchell, Susan Mullis, Nay Nassar, Ted Nehay, Kevin O’Toole, Marsha Pelletier, Bill Perrier, Stephen Petke, Justin Prager, John Prytko, John Ramsey, Matthew Rankin, Henrique Riberio, Maurice Robertson, Chet Rotter, Mark Santini, Ed Savage, John Scott, Jack Seidl, Wesley Smith, Pat Stevens, Andy Taylor, Nancy Thoreson, Cliff Thorton, Dwight Thurston, Felix Viera, Dave Viveiros, Terry Weichand, Lloyd Weir, Dave Zaluda and Andy Zelden.

          1993 would be the start of WWUH’s 25th year…

Community

          Programming

          FM on Toast programmers included Bill Cunningham, Arne Langsetmo, Ed McKeon, Tom Bowman and Bill Domler.

          Jazz hosts included Harvey Jassem, Frank Butash, Bob Celmer, Donna, Terry Weichand, Donna D., Maurice Robertson, Peter Michaelson and Doug Maine.

          Synthesis hosts included Steve Burke, Andy Taylor, Vicki Aubin, Janet Planet and Rich Dittman and Tim Costa.

          Evening Classics hosts included Keith Barrett, Vinny Fuerst, Dwight Thurston, Steve Petke and Alan Livermore. Tom Kelly did the Suites for a Sunday Morning show.

          Gothics hosts included John Scott, Moondog, Bart Bozzi, Bill Perrier, Dave Zaluda, Lee Courtney and Lloyd Weir.

          All Night Shows were hosted by Gina Gunn, Terrell Dickson, Stephen Doughty, Don Maitz, Marsha P, The 801 and Jerry Tomko.

          Specialty programs included Polka Madness, UH Radio Bluegrass, Street Corner Serenade, Super Sabado, Carosello Musicale Italiano, Cultura E Vida and W. Indian Rhythms on Saturday and Tevynes Garsai and The Women’s Music Hour on Sunday.

          From the May/June issue of the Program Guide:

          On April 26th, an era ended for WWUH’s classical programming. Vinny Fuerst signed off for the last time as host of Tuesday Evening Classics. While the classical staff gathered together to personally wish Vinny goodbye, I felt that a few words in print were in order.    After all, Vinny has served as Tuesday host for almost ten year!  For much of that time he was Classics Director for the station.  As they say, all good things must come to pass and thus Vinny has moved on.  His plans were to travel some of this great country of ours and then to settle down in Maine.  By the time this reaches print we trust that his new start in Maine is going well!

          Vinny always took his role as classical announcers seriously.  He was a complete professional over the air, with in depth knowledge and a real compassion for the music he was presenting.

          Many of you are familiar with his fine Children’s Corner show which ran for about two years on WWUH, occupying the final half hour of his four hour slot.  This show combined readings, music and announcements and was highly entertaining and extremely well produced.  Vinny told me that he had created some 45 individual programs.  That’s a lot of work. The Classical programming will go on, but this show was wholly his own and will not be replaced.”

          Music

          Publicity

          Marathon

          Fall

          ECOM

FND    The original Folk Next Door in 1992 had been such a success, the station decided to do it again, only bigger and better.

In preparation to the video taping of the second Folk Next Door, we had the carpentry shop install light bars in the ceiling of the Wilde Auditorium.  This would allow us to hang TV lights from the ceiling without risk of them falling.  We received permission from the Gray Center to have this work done, and we funded the project.

          About a month before the Folk Next Door II, Dave Viveiros and Dave Gardiner met at the station on a Saturday to do some preliminary wiring for the outdoor part of the show.

Folk Next Door II, entitled "Honey Hide the Banjo, its The Folk Next Door Again!" was an even more ambitious project than the first concert.  This time, the event was scheduled to be in two parts:  a large outdoor show, free and open to the public at noon on the lawn in front of the library, and a ticketed evening concert in the Wilde Auditorium.  The trick was that we would be recording all of the acts at both concerts for possible inclusion in the live compilation CD of FND II.  Planning started six months in advance, and wiring and testing of the equipment took a full month of advance preparation.  We decided that while we would once again do the sound reinforcement in the Wilde Auditorium ourselves with borrowed equipment, we would have to hire a company to take care of the outside PA.  Engineering planning included not only electrical, communications and audio, but video as well as the campus TV studio was contracted to videotape both concerts.     

          The outside concert was set up around a wonderful, portable stage loaned to us by the Hartland Volunteer fire department.  We would send the sound from the PA mixer down to the console in the Recording Control room, where the stage sound would be mixed with audience and crowd mikes from a sub mixer on stage.  These feeds would go from the stage up onto the roof of the building, where they would join with new wiring that went through the conduit to the engineering shop.  From there, the signals would go into the Control Room. This allowed us to use the control room as the final quality control check of the sound, and eliminated the need to move the recorders outside for the day.

          The entire event was recorded live to 2-track DAT, but we also rented a digital 8-track ADAT just in case.  Because the 2 track tapes came out so well, we did not have to use the 8-tracks.

          Publicity for the event was excellent, and included the cover of the Hartford Advocate’s May 27 issue.

          The morning of the concert was overcast, with rain predicted for later in the day.  The decision was made to start the concert outdoors, even if we had to move it inside part way through the day.  Since we set up the Wilde auditorium with sound and lights the night before, such a move would be possible.   Sure enough, it started to rain about two hours into the outside concert.  At that point, there were about 450 people in the audience, many of whom moved down to the auditorium where the concert continued after about 60 minutes.

          The evening concert was a ticketed event, so we had to get everyone from the day concert out of the hall to make room for the ticket holders.  The evening show went very well, with a few technical problems with the monitors.

          We had so many requests for tickets to the sold out evening show that we set up and sold tickets for a "video lounge" where people could come and see the show live on  closed circuit TV.  We outfitted the three conference rooms on the third floor with large video monitors and connected stereo sound systems to them.  This required that we pull audio and video lines from engineering shop to the conference rooms through conduits we had specified years before.

          The tapes of the concert came out very well, and showed a marked improvement from the previous year.  This was because we had learned so much the year before.

A custom T-shirt was created for the Folk Next Door release party, white with the FND II Logo.

The Folk Next Door II CD received excellent reviews in both the Hartford Courant and Dirty Linen magazine.

Ed McKeon:

“…We named the concert "Honey Hide the Banjo, its The Folk Next Door again". It made a great T-shirt, but was way too long for most DJs to wrap their lips around. The 1993 concert was to be an all-day affair, starting outside with a free concert, with an evening paid event. Rain forced us inside after the third act and threw off the schedule till the concert ended around 2 a.m. Once again, the music was splendid, although the audience was not entirely happy, or entirely awake by the end of the affair, and on the way we lost a Chinese brother. The CD was heard, eventually, on airwaves as far away as New Zealand. The video version of the concert is still playing on local cable access stations. Highlights: the unofficial hoot hosted by Hugh Blumenfeld, The Nields, and Bruce Pratt as we changed stages, Dar Williams opening the evening show, Kate McDonnell soloing, everyone asking "who is that guy" after J.P. Jones played, the Gospel Stars of Hartford tearing the house down, our visit from folk great Eric von Schmidt”

The daylong concert taxed the abilities of our engineering staff, but thanks to advance planning, they were able to get all of the acts on tape.  Recording engineers included Dave Gardiner, Dave Viveiros, Chuck Dube and John Ramsey.

          Recollections from former staffers collected as part of the station’s 25th anniversary celebration:

          Phil Cabot-‘73

Hartford’s Mayor George Athanson was a good friend of the station. He often participate din our events including our annual dinner. He was convinced I was a fellow Greek and changed my name to Phil Cabotopolus.

          We had a 3-day fundraiser to earn funds for the Newington Children’s Hospital. Lowell Weicker, who was then Senator, spent considerable time participating on the air along with other celebrities. Mayor Athanson spent hours and raffled off his tie and shirt to help earn funds. Fortunately, he stopped at his shirt.

          We spent lots of time covering various Vietnam War protests. At one demonstration near the Capitol in Hartford, Abbey Hoffman was captured on tape by the station saying “Capitalism does pay” to Tom Hayden after they passed the hat to collect donations.”

          Steve Nichols-‘79

“Many recollections of those years really can’t be discussed until the statuette of limitations runs out, but …

After the Hartford Civic Center roof collapsed, Ed Stivender and the Myth America crew did some of the best radio ever created in the United States.

I recall roaming around Hartford on Saturday and finding that EVERYONE was tuned to Mort Fega’s “Focus on Jazz”.

Having long discussion with G.M. Evica, one of the planet’s truly interesting people.  I remember that for Marathon one year, he did a bogus Assassination Journal show that implicated Mickey Mouse and others!

WWUH in its own noble way has maintained a direction and focus that reminds us what radio can and SHOULD do. Inform. Entertain. Make us think!  Make us feel. Educate. Respond.”

Grant Miller-’89:

“What comes to immediately to mind when recalling my days at WWUH is simply what a profound influence that place had on the way I think about music.  The station has consistently had a wealth of truly interesting people on its staff. When I first arrived for training in September 1986, I though I knew it all. I was intent on proving it by being the first one then in training to finish a demo tape, and to get a show where I could demonstrate my “vast” knowledge.  Well, Stuart Werner was the Program Director at the time.  He rejected my first demo; he felt that the music wasn’t “alternative”.  I submitted a second demo, and about a month after getting my fist show he suspended me from doing fill-ins saying that my choice of material was nothing more than the ‘same old stuff’. He was right (in retrospect) but I resented him for a long time.

Reluctantly, I buckled down and began exploring the station’s vast resources . . . so much was learned over the next three years. As Operations Director, I worked a great deal beside John Ramsey, whose remarkable common sense, patience and ability to teach make (and still makes) him the perfect “man in charge”.

News headlines in1993 included: British House of Commons approves European unity pact (May 20). Maastricht Treaty takes effect, creating European Union (Nov. 1); Israeli-Palestinian accord reached (Aug. 28); Yeltsin's forces crush revolt in Russian Parliament (Oct. 4 et seq.); China breaks nuclear test moratorium (Oct. 5); South Africa adopts majority rule constitution (Nov. 18); Clinton agrees to compromise on military's ban on homosexuals (Jan. 29); Federal agents besiege Texas Branch Dravidian religious cult after six are killed in raid (March 1 et seq.). Fire kills 72 as cult standoff in Texas ends with federal assault (April 19); Five arrested, sixth sought in bombing of World Trade Center in New York (March 29); US agents blamed in Waco, Tex., siege (Oct. 1); House of Representatives approves North American Free Trade Agreement (Nov. 17); Senate follows (Nov. 21); Clinton signs Brady bill regulating firearms purchases (Nov. 30).

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