WWUH RADIO HISTORY
1998 Year in Review
This section is under construction 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 was made up of:  General Manager - John Ramsey; Angela Haynes - Operations Manager; Susan Mullis - Development Director; Josh Lafayette - Program Director; Mary Dowst - Business Manager; Mike Derosa, Community Affairs Director and John Ramsey - Chief Engineer.

          Other managers included Kevin Shiveley - Classics Director, JO Spaak -  Jazz Director, Ed McKeon - Folk Director, Scott Baron - Assistant Chief Engineer, Brian Grosjean - World Music Director and Peter Rost - Blues Director.

          Staff:  Paul Aburu, McNall Alliston, Scott Baron, Keith Barrett, Paul Bezanker, Larry Bilansky,Rich Boissonneau, Jim Bolan, Tom Bowman, Bart Bozzi, Steve Brechter, Keith Brown, Warren Byrd, Michael Carroll, Bora Celik, Bob Celmer, Mark Channon, Deborah Conklin, Rich Cormier, Mark DeLorenzo, Dave Demaw, Mike Derosa, Amy Dement, Steve Dieterich, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Stephen Doughty, Mary Dowst, Chuck Dube, Al Dzikas, Geroge Michael Evica, Stu Feldman, Luis Faliciano, Dawn Finnemore, Laura grapsch, Mario Grietti, Donna Giddings, Art Greene, Brain Grossjean, Gina Gunn, Angela Haynes, Gilberto Heredia, Dean Hilderbrandt, John Holder, Harvey Jassem, Wayne Jones, Josh Layayette,  Chris Larsen, Gregory Laxer, Denise Ledwith, Gary Levin, Kevin Lyncgh, Tony Magtno, Doug Maine, Chris Marti, Mike Marti, Ed Mckeon, Matt Meagher, Bill Measom, Gail Meyhers-Jaworski, Peter Michaelson, Dorienne Miner, Phillip Mitchell, Craig Molino, Susan Mullis, Nay Nasser, Ted Nehay, Chuck Obushowski, Kevin O’Toole, Stephen Petke, Anthony Price, John Prytko, Johnny Prytko, Jr, John Ramsey, Henrique Ribeiro, Maurice Robertson, Peter Rost, Mark Santini, John Scott, Jack Seidl, Kevin Shiveley, Matt Slywka, Andy Taylor, Dwight Thurston, Dave Viveiros, Terry Weichand, Lloyd Weir, Joan Wright-Lee, Dave Zaluda and Andy Zeldin.

 

 

 

COMMUNITY

 

PROGRAMMING

          The tradition of live broadcasts continued.

We broadcast the Podunk Bluegrass Festival live from Martin Field In E. Hartford on July 25.  The event was produced by Kevin Lynch, and engineered by Scott Baron, Albert Hutagalog, Chris Marti and John Ramsey.  Steve Bretcher and Amy Gallatin served as on-site announcers. Terry Weichand served as board op back at the studio.

          WWUH once again broadcast live from the jazz concerts on Monday Night from the Park.   The August 27 show was dedicated to WWUH's 30 years on the air!  There was an outstanding audience turnout, and many of the performers congratulated WWUH from the stage.  Many station volunteers were involved with the broadcast series, including Scott Baron, Keith Barrett, Larry Bilansky , Bart Bozzi, Scott Deshfy, Chuck Dube, Stuart Feldman,  Dean Hildebrandt, John Holder, Albert Hutagalung , Doug Maine, Bill Meason, Peter Michaelson, Chuck Obuchowski, John Ramsey and Terry Weichand.

Pops and Jazz broadcast on Friday, 3/20.

The May/June  issue of the guide featured an article on the “Night Train” All Night Show hosted by volunteer Mike Marti.  May 3 Fats Domino special.

Hawks in 4th season on WWUH.

Committees set up for:  Anniversary (Kevin Shivley), Public Service, Library (Dean Hilderbrandt) Clean Up (Kevin Lynch).

 

 

In September, WWUH was a media sponsor of the Liberty Jazz Festival in Norwich, CT. The artists included Roseanna Vitro,  Andy Lavern/Dave Samuels Duo, the Mario Pavone Septet and the Joyce DiCamillo Trio. WWUH staff members Larry Bilansky, Bill Measom, JO Spaak and Chuck Obuchowski, participated.

FM on Toast programmers included Denise, Steve Dieterich, Ed McKeon, Tom Bowman and Bill Domler.  Jazz programmers include Dean Hilderbrandt, Chuck Obuchowski, Bob Celmer, Mark Channon, Terry Weichand, JO Spaak, Maurice Robertson, Bill Measom and Doug Maine.

          Synthesis hosts Sly, Andy Taylor, Joan Holiday and Dwight Thurston.

          Gothics John Scott, DJ P.A., Spreadlove, Johnny Prytko, Jr, Technique Specialist, Moondog and Llyod Weir.  All Night Show hosts included River City Slim, Bill Measom, Diabolic and Artifak, Dave Zaluda, Tyrone Eddy, McNal Allison and Mike Marti.

          Evening classics Keith Barrett, Scott Deshefy, Deborah Conklin, Steve Petke and Kevin Shively.

          Saturdays:  Polka Madness with John Prytko, UH Bluegrass with Kevin Lynch, Street Corner with jack, Nay and Jackie, Super Sabado with G.K. and Luis, Carosello Musicale Itaniano with Tony and Carlo Magno, Cultura e Vida with Henrique Ribeiro, West Indian Rhythms with Philip Mitchell.

          Sundays Ambience with Susan Mullis, Opera with Keith Brown, Tevynes Garsai with Al Dzikas, Woman’s Hour with Dawn Finnemore, Rock and Roll Memory Machine with Wayne Jones and the Greatest Show from Earth with Mark DeLorenzo.

The December issue of the Guide included an article entitled “A Backward Glance:  WWUH's 1998 Jazz Activities” written by Chuck Obuchowski:

          WWUH continued to play a major role in the regions jazz scene in 1998, even extending its reach o the global music community thanks to a newfound presence on the World Wide Web.  Jazz has been an integral part of the 91.3 FM programming mix since the station's inception in 1968.

          One of UH's 30th anniversary celebrations took place in Hartford's Bushnell Park on July 27 where The Mingus Big Band offered one of the summer's most exciting jazz performances; special thanks to Monday Night Jazz Series director Paul Brown for his cooperation.  Not only did the station broadcast the event live, as is the tradition on Mondays in July and August, but several UH. jazz announcers also emceed the concert and gave away a bundle of 30th anniversary T shirts to grateful fans of the stations.

          On a sad note, the jazz world lost a number of wonderful musicians last year who had enlivened the Bushnell Park stage on many a sultry summers night:  Walter Bishop, Jr., Thomas Chapin, Ted Dunbara and CJ Williams.  We also said good-bye to Betty Carter, Denis Charles, Dorothy Donegan, Tal Farlow, Kenny Krikland, FrankSinatra and Attila Zoller in '98;  WWUH offered musical obituaries for each of these marvelous artists.

          In addition to the Bushnell broadcasts, WWUH maintained a booth at the third annual Litchfield Jazz Festival August 8 and acted as a media sponsor of the inaugural Liberty Bank Jazz Festival in Norwich on September 20.  UH Staff members also helped to document on audio and video tape and in photographs In Harmony: A  vision Shared, the Thomas Chapin benefit concert held February 1 at Manchester's Cheney Hall.

          The WWUH jazz staff wrapped up the year with a benefit concert for 91.3 featuring The Jim Cifelli New York Nonet.  The event took place Friday, December 4th in the Wilde Auditorium.  Merci beau coups to the nine members of the Nonet, and to all the volunteers who helped make the evening such a success.

          UH jazz announcers in 1998 carried on a time-honored practice of including musician interviews during their programs:  Ron Carter, Chick Corea and Doc Severinsen were among the artists who shared their thought  on the WWUH airways last year.  Connecticut musicians also go their due, through air play of recordings, in-studio interviews and concert announcements.  The WWUH Jazzline remains one of the most comprehensive concert listings available by telephone in the Northeast.  As regular listeners are aware, ticket and CD giveaways are regular part of the station's jazz broadcasts.

          In June, WWUH was accepted into a select group of radio stations which submit weekly jazz play lists to The Gavin Report, an industry trade publication that tracked air play around the country.  Consequently, the station's record service increased greatly. 

Stuart Feldman and Chuck Obuchowski represented WWUH at the annual JazzTimes convention, held in NYC in October.

4728 new CDs were received between May 1, 1997 and April 30, 1998.  The breakdown by genre was Rock-1400, Jazz-792, Folk/Bluegrass-784, Classical- 741, Urban-278, Ambient-252, World/Reggae-195, Blues-178 and Soundtracks-108.

 

fnd

Folk Next Door 7 took place in the Millard Auditorium on  Friday May 1. This year's performers include Louise Taylor (Vermont), Peter Lehndorff
(Massachusetts), Justina and Joyce (Massachusetts), Darryl Purpose (Seattle),
Tom Prasado-Rao (Maryland), Steven Nystrup (Connecticut), Erin McKeown
(Providence), Mark Mulcahy (Connecticut), Beth Amsel (Massachusetts), Jeremy
Wallace (New Jersey), Chris and Meredith Thompson (Connecticut), Gideon
Freudmann (Massachusetts).

 

CONCERTS

The Celticairs concert series continued with performances by Dervish (sold out in Millard), Nomos, Danu, Old Blind Dogs, Cathy Ryan Trio, Rory McCloud and Tannahill Weaverrs.

Susan Mullis’s Ambience in the Wilde returned to campus in November. featuring Vidna Obmana in Wilde.

WWUH continued its year long 30th anniversary celebration by sponsoring the Connecticut debut of the Jim Cifelli New York Nonet. The concert took place on December 4th in Wilde Auditorium. The group has received acclaim for its fresh arrangements of standards, its unusual instrumentation and its leader's powerful original material.
     Local listeners found a special affinity for the Nonet, since two of its charter members cut their teeth in West Hartford's renowned Hall High School Jazz Ensemble. Trombonist Pete McGuiness, a 1981 Hall High grad, contributes compositions and arrangements to the New York Nonet. McGuiness regards his early professional training with Don DePalma at Hartford's 880 Club as indispensable; he also fondly remembers tuning in to jazz on 91.3 FM. "I can't emphasize enough how much I checked out WWUH," the trombonist proclaims. Tenor saxist Joel Frahm, who graduated from Hall in 1988, was on the verge of issuing his first recording as a leader for Palmetto Records. Frahm has worked with Maynard Ferguson and Betty Carter, among others.

         

MARATHON

          Marathon '98 aired the second week in March and had a $60,000 goal.  The T-shirt was tie dyed to celegrate the station turning 30 and the accompanying “You CAN trust someone over 30” slogan.  Celticairs was the top grossing show, bringing in $8,200.  Station listeners manned the phones during marathon for the first time in years.

          The ECOM presented the staff with a tourquise blue tote bag as a staff gift.

The fall Fund Raiser was a success, with $28,240 pledged.

 

ECOM

Bonnie Hast was elected Operations Director.

Hartt student Nicole Godburn was appointed Program Director in September.

In November, the station celebrated it’s 30th Anniversary with a party in the 1877 Club.  Both current staff and alumni were invited to attend.

         

FINANCIAL

          Budget:  Projected Rev.  117,100

          Univ.                     8,200

          Marathon             65,000

          Fall                       18,000

          Under.                    2,500

          Tower Rental                1500

 

Expenses:                    116,894.00

 

PUBLICITY: Hartford Courant and Hartford Advocate Articles

NB Herald Articles

 

ENGINEERING

The satellite dish for Pacifica was installed by engineers Scott Baron and John Ramsey who had to carriy fifty cinder blocks to the roof of the Gray Center in the first week of the year. A minidisk was installed to time shift Pacific Network News. 

Our engineering department made it possible for WSAM to go over the air on FM 106.3.

Connected to CPTVs Avon Generator in May.

Renovation of Recording Studio.

When WTIC's main FMantenna burned out, we switched back over to our old main antenna for a period of ten days per our agreement with them. The difference in coverage was amazing.

          The station continued to make strides in the Information Technology (IT) department. “wwuh.org” was secured as the permanent address for our web site. Internet access was added to the computer in the office, we increased the number of webcasting streams available and additional links to other interesting sites were added to our web site. All of this was accomplished with the help of our volunteer Chris Larson Web Master. 

 

MISC

In the spring, a new president was insalled at the University, the fifth since WWUH first went on the air.  At 45, Walter Harrison was the youngest president in the history of the University, and it wasn’t long before the ECOM realized that here was a president who really understood what WWUH was all about.

In April, we received word from the Commission that our license renewal had been approved!

The station’s 30th Anniversary party was held on November 14th in the 1877 Club.

An inventory of the station’s library inventory reveald 40,000 LPS, 35,000 discs. In order to accommodate further expansion, new sliding shelving was installed.

         

One extremely interesting development in the Hartford radio scene occurred during the fall of 1998, when an unlicensed “pirate” station took to the air from Bloomfield.     

July 98 Guide by JR 

This summer WWUH will celebrate its 30th Anniversary! While I usually write about the station in this column I’ve been encouraged to get a little more personal in this anniversary issue by my staff, so here goes.
     I’ve had the pleasure of being associated with the station since its early days, and I can
still remember visiting the station for the first time: It was late `68 or early '69, only months after the station first signed on. I saw an article about the University of Hartford’s new FM station in the local newspaper and having been fascinated with radio for quite some time, asked my father (who was always interested in finding positive things for his fourteen year old son to do) to take me over to the campus for a visit. WWUH was the first radio station I had ever seen, and I was simply amazed by what I saw. At that time, WWUH was shoe horned into the corner of the top floor of the Gengras Student Union, in a space that had been earmarked for the campus valet and barber shop! Everything about the station impressed me: The station's large transmitter humming away in the corner of the room, the "huge" record collection of close to 700 albums, the complex studio equipment (including an electronic gadget that turned mono records into stereo for air play). And then there was the music. From what I recall, the station's programming was as alternative then as it is now- an eclectic mix of progressive rock, folk, Jazz, soul, ethnic, and classical music. It was on 91.3 that I first heard Quicksilver Messenger Service, Ray Stevens, and Fairport Convention. In fact, "Turn Your Radio On" by Ray Stevens seemed to be one of the most popular songs played on the station around that time.  Listening to WWUH’s early public affairs programming, I learned about the Black Panthers, about Conscience Objectosr and about Cambodia and Laos.     

  I can’t imagine what the college student who gave me the tour thought of this inquisitive (and probably quite obnoxious) teenager asking all sorts of questions about broadcasting, but I know that I was thoroughly impressed by the volunteer nature of the station's staff; and the uniqueness of its programming.
      During the next few years my radio dial rarely left the 91.3 position (although I must admit that I would occasionally tune to 89.3 to hear the "Spitz and Peebles Show" on WRTC). The more I listened to WWUH, the more I was hooked on "Public Alternative Radio". One of my friends and neighbors, Barbara Spear, started attending UH and joined the WWUH staff, and she encouraged me to volunteer at the station. I honestly didn't think the station's staff, who were busy trying to run the station while carrying a full course load as full time students, didn't quite know what to do with this quiet fifteen year old. Since I had an interest in electronics, I was assigned to cleaning up the station's engineering shop, which was a small room in the basement piled to the ceiling with all sorts of wonderful (to me) parts and equipment.
     By this time the station had expanded in Gengras: in addition to the two studios there was  an office on the third floor, which contained all of the normal office furnishings, plus one very unusual item: a gigantic safe, painted bright orange! To this day I don't know where the safe came from, or what it was for. I do know that the station was struggling to stay on the air during those early years, with many of the problems facing them that face any new organization, with financial woes probably heading the list.
     One December afternoon in 1970, Ken Kalish  found out that I had my FCC Third Class License, and asked me to do a four hour program on Christmas Day. I was extremely flattered at the time, and accepted immediately. I now realize the truth behind the offer. I was  probably the only "warm body" with a license stupid enough to volunteer to do a show on Christmas Day. Just to be sure, they preprogrammed the show with me by picking out the albums for me to play in advance.
     Yes, I have that first show on tape somewhere. No, you won't be hearing it on the air during our anniversary celebration programming this summer. No way.
     They must have liked how I sounded during that show, or they must have been pretty desperate for announcers. In any case, I wound up doing fill-ins for the next year or so about once a week. I worked with some great programmers, and learned a lot about how the station operated.
     I drifted away from the station for a few years while I was on the road doing sound for various bands, but returned to the station in the Summer of '73 just after the station moved its transmitter from the campus to the top of Avon Mountain. This move caused the station to be off the air for a few weeks, and when 91.3 again came alive with a much stronger signal, I called in to congratulate them. Roger Stauss, who was Program Director at the time, took my call and invited me to come by for a tour. I arrived around four in the afternoon and after talking with Roger for about ten minutes, he asked me to fill in on the air for him as he had to go to work! Needless to say, I said yes, and it wasn't long before I was able to land two weekly shifts. The Sunday night and the Tuesday night Gothic Blimp Works.
      The Gothics at that time ran from midnight to at least two am, when the announcer could either sign off the station or stay on the air until 6am when the station normally signed on. The Gothics announcers had an unspoken pact to keep the station on until at least 3 am or so, and a few brave souls would stay on until the morning show started at 6 am.  I did that a few time but as much as I loved being on the air a six hour slot is a very long time to be on the air.   One cold Tuesday night I was about to sign the station off at 3 am when a wonderful young woman by the name of Clem walked into the studio and announced that she was here to do the All Night Show. It was dedicated to individuals such as Clem Infante who allowed WWUH to adopt a 24 hour a day schedule, something that was unheard of in college radio at the time. It is that same level of dedication that still keeps the station on 24/7.
     I left the station for the second time in late 1974 when my sound career was forcing me to miss too many of my scheduled shifts. I wouldn't return until 1977, but I kept in contact with the station both by listening and by talking with Mark Smith, a close friend who had joined the station at my suggestion and quickly snagged a coveted Morning Jazz slot in addition to becoming the station's Business Manager. Mark kept me abreast of what was happening behind the scenes, and convinced me to rejoin the staff in the summer of 1977, which was a time of extreme turmoil at WWUH. Simply put, a number of staffers felt that the station had started to drift away from its alternative roots, and that the station was beginning to sound too commercial, but that's the topic of another letter.
     In 1978, I was voted in as the station's Chief Engineer, filling the void left by Jim McGivern's departure for a full time gig with WTIC radio's engineering department. I also did some afternoon rock programming, hosting an "Afternoon Roll" program through the name change to "Miday Fuse" and finally ended up doing the Tuesday "Synthesis" for a number of years.
     In 1986 I was hired as the station's first paid General Manager, a position I have held ever since. I'm not kidding when I say that it is the best job in the world.

 

From the November Program Guide:

WWUH continues its yearlong 30th anniversary celebration by sponsoring the Connecticut debut of the Jim Cifelli New York Nonet. The concert takes place Friday, December 4th at 7:30 PM in Wilde Auditorium at the Harry Jack Gray Center on the University of Hartford campus.

     While the ensemble is hardly a household name; it has begun attracting national attention, following the release earlier this year of Bullet Trane, its first recording (see our Sept/Oct program guide for a review). The group has received acclaim for its fresh arrangements of standards, its unusual instrumentation and its leader's powerful original material.

     Local listeners will find a special affinity for the Nonet, since two of its charter members cut their teeth in West Hartford's renowned Hall High School Jazz Ensemble. Trombonist Pete McGuiness, a 1981 Hall High grad, contributes compositions and arrangements to the New York Nonet. His Sliding In CD, featuring sax master Dave Liebman, should be available on the Kokopelli label by the time you read this. McGuiness regards his early professional training with Don DePalma at Hartford's 880 Club as indispensable; he also fondly remembers tuning in to jazz on 91.3 FM. "I can't emphasize enough how much I checked out WWUH," the trombonist proclaims. Tenor saxist Joel Frahm, who graduated from Hall in 1988, is on the verge of issuing his first recording as a leader for Palmetto Records. Frahm has worked with Maynard Ferguson and Betty Carter, among others.

     Bandleader Jim Cifelli, a native of Yorktown Heights, New York, also benefited from a strong public high school arts education, although in his case, Western classical music provided the initial thrust. Jim's father, who had played trombone professionally for a brief period, began giving him trumpet lessons at age 9.

     "We listened to classical music at the dinner table every evening," Cifelli recalls. "My dad would ask us to identify the different instruments and composers...not as a test...it was just something I grew up with." Meanwhile, his older cousins introduced Jim to rock and pop music; the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Earth Wind & Fire were all early favorites. Undoubtedly, the tight horn charts of the latter had an impact on the young trumpeter.

     "My older sister got me into Freddie Hubbard," he relates, when asked about his first exposure to jazz. At the time, Hubbard was deep into his fusion bag, when he recorded for the CTI label, known for its slick, grandiose productions. Chuck Mangione, covering similar musica1 ground, also interested the horn playing teenager. However, soon after Cifelli began pursuing a college degree at SUNY Buffallo, his focus shifted toward earlier trumpeter stylists, most significantly Clifford Brown.

     Ten years ago, Jim finally headed for New York City, the jazz Mecca, to pursue a career as a freelancer. Still a yearning for a greater understanding of music, he returned to academics at age 30, studying at NYU and the Manhattan school of Music. His instructors included legendary arranger Manny Albam and "composing guru" Ludmilla Ulehla. While subbing in Joe Roccisano's little big band in 1991, Jim met drummer Tim Horner, and the seeds for the NYN were planted. The tribulations of trying to keep a big band together with another friend at the time led Jim to begin examining the concept of a slightly smaller configuration. Using Miles Davis' famous Birth of the Cool band as a springboard for inspiration, Jim launched the New York Nonet.

     The ensemble's collective resume reads like a who's-who of modern jazz, classical, and pop music. NYN members have worked with everyone from Toshiko Akiyoshi to the Four Tops; from Leonard Bernstein to Clark Terry. The instrumentation includes two trumpeters, three reed players plus trombone, guitar, bass and drums. That's right… no piano. Pete McCann, the band's guitarist, helps give the NYN a sound all its own; he leads a session due out soon on the Palmetto label.

     And speaking of new releases, the Jim Cifelli New York Nonet will be issuing their second recording early next year. WWUH has been given permission to allow our listeners a sneak preview of the forthcoming So You Say. Be listening to our jazz programs throughout November for pieces from the upcoming CD. Featured tracks will include arrangements of Joe Henderson's "Recordame" and Gerry Mulligan's "Night Lights" as well as exciting new nonet originals.

Some of the headlines in1998 included:  Serbs battle ethnic Albanians in Kosovo; NATO, on verge of air strikes, reaches settlement with Milosevic on Kosovo (Oct. 12); Europeans agree on single currency, the euro (May 3); India conducts three atomic tests despite worldwide disapproval (May 11, 13). Pakistan stages five nuclear tests in response (May 29, 30); Iraq ends cooperation with UN arms inspectors (Aug. 5). Clinton orders air strikes (Dec. 16–19); US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed (Aug. 7). US cruise missiles hit suspected terrorist bases in Sudan and Afghanistan (Aug. 20); Life sentence meted out to Terry Nichols, convicted in Oklahoma City bombing fatal to 168 (June 4); House impeaches President Clinton along party lines on two charges, perjury and obstruction of justice. (Dec. 19).

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