WWUH RADIO HISTORY
In Memoriam

This page is under construction.  We welcome comments, corrections, etc. as well as photos and recollections about the folks on this page.

This page contains tributes to WWUH volunteers who are no longer with us.
We apologize that we don't have pictures for everyone on this page.  If you can help supply a picture from your personal collection please contact us.  Note that the size of the picture is based on the photo's file size which is not something we have no control over.


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Rich Aubin
(Class of 1980)











Pete Beneski
1959 - 2002
http://preview.tinyurl.com/6fntry4

Pete was our music director in 1990 and was liked by the entire staff.  He has a great sense of humor and a wide knowledge of music.






Frank Butash
1923 - 2007
http://preview.tinyurl.com/5ruhbzt
 

            Frank volunteered at WWUH for nearly a decade.  He produced the Refrigerator Club, a program about “Technology and People”, two of his favorite things.  For a number of years he also hosted the Tuesday Morning Jazz show that preceded George Michael Evica’s “Assassination Journal” and often Frank would invite George Michael onto his show during the last half hour to talk about the upcoming show and current events.

            Frank was a tireless volunteer who was always willing to lend a hand.  He had been gone from the station for a number of years prior to his death but I would see him around town from time to time and from what I hear he “fought the good fight” up until the end. - J. Ramsey

 

 

Justin Campau
1981 - 2002
http://preview.tinyurl.com/5ranbhc

Justin was only with WWUH for a short time.  He was the host of Wednesday Evening Classics for a few short months before his illness forced him to give up the show.  It is always incredibly sad when someone dies so young - it was doubly so for those on the staff who knew Justin because he seemed so full of life.  - J. Ramsey.


 



Rich Dittman
a.k.a. "DJ Dick"
1948 - 2014

Richard “Dit” “Rit” P. Dittman IV, 66, of Hedgesville, W.Va., and Bristol, Conn., passed away on Dec. 14, 2014. He died peacefully at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Va., with his devoted son, Addison Kyle Dittman and wife, Lisa (Savage) Dittman, at his side.
Rit was born in New Britain, Conn. on Nov. 29, 1948, and raised in Bristol. He was the son of Ruth Gwillim Dittman of St. Petersburg, Fla., and the late Russell E. Dittman. He was a member of the First Congregational Church in Bristol. Rit graduated from Bristol Central High School and CCSU with a business and history degree. While in college he worked at New Departure Hyatt and stayed on at ND until the last day of operation in 1995. Rit transferred to Martinsburg, W.Va., with his wife and son and worked there until his retirement.
He was an avid music lover and wrote for a music publication for several years. Rit began trolling record shops in the 1970’s where he met and developed a longtime friendship with fellow music lovers Andy and Joanne Mitchell. He was a DJ on WWUH for several years under the name “Hillbilly Dick.” His vast record collection was put to use there and was a great source of joy.
During his life, he traveled across the USA and to many countries making lifelong friends along the way. He had great insight and understanding of history, world cultures and economics. The intricacies of his favorite sport of baseball, will be recalled with great fondness by his son, family and friends.
The family offers sincere thanks to their neighbors in West Virginia, Cheryl and Dee Young whose kindness and support have eased their sorrow. Rit’s good friend Bob Calderone, will be held in their hearts forever as he gave them a priceless gift.
Besides his wife, son and mother, Rit is survived by his younger brother, David Dittman of St. Petersburg; nephew, Russell Dittman and grandnephew, Vito of Bristol; niece, Kirsten Clark and her husband, Brad, of Largo, Fla.






Matt Charnas

Matt was with WWUH for about two years, and as a student volunteer he put his heart and soul to the jazz fill-ins he did on WWUH.  He was respected by the station’s jazz staff and a friend of many.  Prior to coming to WWUH he worked at WYBC at Yale and after graduating from UH and leaving WWUH we're told he did a popular jazz show on WRTC at Trinity College.










Dave DeMaw
1947 - 2011
http://preview.tinyurl.com/6lcdbvb


Dave joined WWUH in the mid-seventies after serving in the U.S. Air Force in Guam.  His passion was rock music and in addition to doing various shows he because Program Guide Editor and then Development Director.  Later he took over The Greatest Show From Earth from Mark Persky and held that slot for 10+ years.  In 2008 he became co-host of Ambience.  Dave's knowledge of music, his dry wit and his gentleness made the staff seek him out.   His passing in 2011 shocked the staff to it's core.



Bill Domler
1947 - 2001

"He Was A Friend of Mine"

By Ed McKeon, WWUH Folk Music Director 

My life would be considerably different if I had never met Bill Domler.
I was driving on I-84 in Farmington scanning the dials of the FM radio, searching for some interesting music.  This was 1984 after all (MTV, hair bands, and the remnants of disco) and commercial music was very dissatisfying.  Then a voice broke through the clutter singing, “Give Yourself to Love.”  The announcer, Bill Domler, said it was Kate Wolf.

I ended up at Bill’s print shop, which at the time was on New Britain Avenue in Hartford.  He was not only the Speediest Print in Town; he was the only person selling folk music recordings in the Hartford area.  I bought the Kate Wolf album that day, and had a long discussion with Bill.  The next visit I bought a Silly Wizard album.  I was hooked, Bill Domler helped me rediscover folk music, and a friendship was budding.

Over the next few years Bill convinced me to take a radio show at WWUH, and to help him at the New Harmony concerts (now Roaring Brook).      
I also learned that without Bill, folk music in Hartford might not be as prominent as it is.  He revived folk music radio at WWUH (at a time when the morning drivetime slots were filled with alternative rock music).  He started, or helped start the Sounding Board, Roaring Brook concerts, the Connecticut Audubon Concerts, the Print Shop concerts (where he gave 100% of the gate receipts to the visiting artist) and the Connecticut Family Folk Festival.  He produced a number of concerts on his own, and also produces a few timeless folk albums.        

Bill was a dyed in the wool traditionalist.  He was an advocate for preserving the old songs, but he always had an ear to the new.  Think of this, he was the first to bring the following folks to Hartford to play in tiny coffeehouses: Nanci Griffith, Stan Rogers, Dar Williams, Bok, Trickett and Muir, Oregon, Beausoleil, the Neilds, Lucy Kaplansky, Kate Wolf, David Massengill, David Mallett, Richard Shindell, Terrance Simien and the Mallet Playboys (zydeco!), Bill Staines, The Balfa Brothers, Lui Collins, John Gorka, Patty Larkin, The Washington Squares, Bill Morrissey, Uncle Bonsai, Townes van Zandt, Silly Wizard, John McCutcheon.  And this is only those I can think of off the top of my head.         

Bill was always interested to hear what you thought, though he might not agree.  He was adventurous and respectful.  He might not agree with your taste, but he would defend your right to have an opinion.  I dragged him to concerts by Billy Bragg, the Roaches, Cindy Lee Berryhill and the Pogues.  And though, in the end, he would much rather have been listening to Harry Lauder, Michael Cooney, Iris Dement, the New Black Eagle Jazz Band or Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, he always wanted to know what was new on the folk music horizon.  Just two weeks ago, he told me he had convinced his father Len to book Erin McKeown and the Tarbox Ramblers at the Sounding Board.         

Now that I consider it, Hartford would be considerably different if we had never met Bill Domler.  I’ll miss him.  I know we all will.  He was part of the folk music process, and the music will live on, because he loved it so.   I hope he’s somewhere singing. 

(Bill Domler died on April 2, 2001 of head injuries he sustained in a fall.)

 Editors note:

Bill celebrated his 20th year on WWUH in 2000, he stopped doing a regular weekly radio show shortly after that. He was a driving force for the folk world and we will surely miss him.

 

 

 

Al Dzikas
1938 - 2008


           
Al, the host of “Tevynes Garsai”, the Lithuanian Radio Show, passed away on Sunday, October 12, 2008 after a short illness.  The show started in 1597 on WNBC (now WPOP) in New Britain, moved to WRTC and then moved to WWUH in 1995 where it occupied the Sunday 5pm slot. He and his fellow producers celebrated the show’s 50th Anniversary in May, 2007 (pictured above).

 

 

George Michael Evica
Editor, writer and host of "Assassination Journal"
http://preview.tinyurl.com/66xzt86


George Michael was one of a kind.  Poet, professor, father, husband, researcher, author and radio producer.   He was dedicated to WWUH and extremely helpful to me personally in a number of ways over many years.  I know I speak for the entire staff when I say how hard it was to see the effects that his illness had on him but through it all he kept his wonderful sense of humor, his dignity and his humanity.
J. Ramsey

 

Jim Fifield

Jim Fifield a.k.a "Burrito" was the archetypal WWUHer, independent, creative and kind.  Jim was fun to be around and exceptionally talented in the field of radio production. He also knew lots and lots about alternative music.  He was the first person I had ever seen who could play four records from four turntables (hey, it was after all the seventies) on the air simultaniously and make it sound musical. In addition to doing shows, he served as the station's production director and was an inspiration to everyone who knew him.  His untimely death at such a young age shocked the entire WWUH family and he is still missed close to a quarter century later.
-J. Ramsey



Mort Fega
1921 - 2005

We were very fortunate to have an announcer of the caliber of Mort Fega on the WWUH staff in the seventies.  Both the staff and our listeners benefitted greatly from his unique and professional on-air presentation and his extensive knowledge of Jazz. Thirty years after he left WWUH listeners still remember him fondly.




Dean Hildebrandt
1933 - 2010
http://preview.tinyurl.com/68jgqty

Dean was a inspiration to us all.  His love of Jazz and his love of WWUH was contagious so when we learned of his passing on March 15, 2010 we were all shocked. Dean joined the staff in 1997 and was the host of Monday Morning Jazz for most of that time. He was also the station's librarian and was a hard worker behind the scenes. 



Ken Kalish

I didn’t know Ken very well and never had a chance to work with him (I met him after he had left WWUH) but the Ken I knew I liked a lot. He was full of life and good humor and he loved music, radio and his friends and family.  Ken was one of those people I will never forget.  His untimely passing shocked and saddened us all.

 

He served as the station’s first Station Manager at what must have been an exciting but also a very trying time and as manager he quickly gained the respect of the WWUH staff.  I think it is safe to say that WWUH is the excellent station it is today in good measure due to Kenneth’s early leadership.

 

John Ramsey

June 12, 2008



John LaBella
1949 - 2002
http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ajhju4


John LaBella, had been very active in WWUH in the early seventies.  From there he moved on to WTIC-AM where he spent close to a decade doing prime time radio. Dallas Texas came next, where John became the number one morning man in one of the largest radio markets in the country! John LaBella passed away on March 4, the victim of a tragic traffic accident in Dallas, Tx. 

Charlie Horwitz wrote:
         “Johnny was one of the first hosts of “FM on Toast” and it was there that he started honing his radio skills. While the rest of us played radio, John lived it. When I met him in 1969, all he ever wanted to do was be a disk jockey. That's not really accurate because he didn't follow the groups like the rest of us did (though he certainly where who was IN and who wasn't). John wanted to be an Air Talent very much in the Bob Steel mold. In fact in an age when no of us had a direction or a clear goal, John had already chosen his and was taking every opportunity to work on his skills. Ripping and reading news, taking transmitter log readings, doing spots, all were of keen interest to him. He wanted to be the next Bob Steel in Hartford radio. John achieved this goal and worked for a number of years at WTIC but ultimately returned to Dallas.

      “For a person like John LaBella, WWUH was the perfect place to start a life long career with broadcasting. We graduated in 1972 and he received his degree in History. Not bad for a transfer student from Renseleer Poly Tech who started out majoring in Engineering. I think he used his History skills to do his graduate work on Doo-Wop groups of the '50's. Anyway - Please pass the word around the station that one of the Old Guys has left the building.”

Dallas Morning News obituary:

LaBELLA JOHN CARL, 52, died March 4, 2002. A devoted husband and father, John also was a respected and admired radio personality. His deep passion for radio was evidenced by the energy, dedication and unshakable level of professionalism he brought to his craft. Born May 18, 1949, in New Britain, Conn., John graduated from the University of Hartford in 1972 where he also began his broadcasting career in 1968 at WWUH, the college radio station. After working at several stations in Connecticut including WHCN, John moved to Houston in 1977 where he worked for KLOL. In 1978 he moved to Dallas to work at KZEW (The Zoo) and became part of the legendary morning team of LaBella and Rody. Following working at KZEW, John fulfilled a life-long dream when he moved back to Connecticut to work at WTIC in Hartford. Drawn to Texas in 1992 by the opportunity to work at KZPS, John worked at The Arrow (KRRW), B-97.9 and spent the last several years doing the morning show on KMEO – Memories 96.7. John is survived by his beloved wife of eight years, Beth, and his adored 7-year-old daughter, Elise. He also is survived by his mother, Ruth LaBella of Middletown, Ct, his sister, Christine Sirigos of Portland, Ct., mother-and-father-in-Law, Bea and Frank Brundrett of Kemp. Texas, nephews Justin, David & Stephen Short and George Sirigos, as well as numerous other loving relatives. He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Louis LaBella and his brother, Michael.


 




Tom Kelly

Tom was a member of the station's Classical staff in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

 
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Marsha Lasker
"M"
1953 - 2011

Marsha loved WWUH almost as much as she loved life itself.  She was the host of an Afernoon Roll show for a number of yours and served as the station's Program Director and then Operations Director in the late seventies. 

NELL, Marsha K. 57, died Sunday, January 30, 2011, at her residencein Woodstock, NY. Born March 24, 1953, in Boston, MA. She was the daughter of the late Zangwell and Constance Rosen Lasker and had resided in the town of Woodstock for many years. Ms. Nell was a graduate of Mannes School of Music in NYC. She was a volunteer with Woodstock area Meals on Wheels, sang with ARS Choralis and attended the Woodstock Jewish Congregation. Surviving are her brother Jeffrey Lasker of Marlboro, MA, a sister Shelley Lasker of Meriden, CT, four step-children Miranda Nell of NYC, Gwen, Adam and Jacob Nell all of London, four uncles, Myron, Howard and Warren Rosen and Louis Lasker and cousins. Services were conducted at Woodstock Jewish Congregation
and Burial was in Woodstock Artist Cemetery, under the direction of
Lasher Funeral Home, Inc, 100 Tinker St., WOODSTOCK, NY


Randy Meyer

  

Randy was indeed a pioneer at WWUH, but equally significant, he founded WHCN as a rock station on May 12, 1969 along with Larry Titus and Neil Portnoy, taking over a moribund classical frequency. The station had been dark for about 10 weeks when Randy and others approached Concert Network, Inc. about saving the frequency by talking it progressive. For the cost of rehabiliting and building new home-made equipment plus a $60 per week salary each, they put the station back on the air, sharing 6-hour shifts and eventually bringing in other early participants like Ronnie Berger, Stu Kaufman and the late Jim Zeiner (also a WWUH programmer). The studios moved from the transmitter site on Meriden Mountain to 108 High Street in Hartford in 1969, and Randy was made General Manager in 1970.






Ted Niehay
1939 -2014





Mel Peppers

I never knew Mel but from what I understand he was a pioneer in many ways and his WWUH shows were incredibly popular.
John Ramsey


 



Louis K. Roth

WWUH, the Public Alternative Radio station at the University of Hartford is dedicated as "The Louis K. Roth Memorial Station".

Prior to 1968, Louis K. Roth, a generous Regent of the University, had told the President of the University of Hartford that he would finance the radio station. Mr. Roth passed away before we got things rolling, but his family still came to us with a check for $40,000. While serious consideration was given to changing the station’s call letters to WLKR, we instead renamed the radio station the Lewis K. Roth Memorial radio station, and by the time I graduated in 1970, we'd built a complete stereo radio station and still had $14,000 of Mr. Roth's grant left.

 


Gene Solon

1925 – 2008
http://preview.tinyurl.com/5ucf9mc

 

Eugene Solon, a scholar, artist and wordsmith at heart, died peacefully and on his terms on October 6th, 2008.  He was a past president of the Hartford Jazz Society and ultimately retired as a Grant Supervisor for the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. He MC'ed all manner of events most notably hosting the summer jazz series in Bushnell Park. Gene was also host of a weekly classical music show for WWUH for several prior to his retirement and relocation to Tucson in 1997.

 


Terry Weichand

1952 - 2007
http://preview.tinyurl.com/66t6wh9
 

Longtime Friday morning jazz host Terry Weichand died yesterday after a long illness. Like many at WWUH, he was an iconoclast, and a curmudgeon, struggling with his demons, sometimes in public. He had a passion for the kind of old jazz that rarely gets played on the radio anymore, and while he was familiar with the experimentation of bop and beyond, he preferred an era where jazz had structure, even when it was swinging wildly. We will miss Terry's non-sequitor asides at our general meetings, and his voice and musings on air.

Posted by Ed McKeon

caterwauled.blogspot.com/2007/11/terry-weichand-rip.html

November 6, 2007

 

 

 

Winn White
1948 - 1999



Maceo Woods



    Maceo helped put WWUH on the map!  His soul shows were extremely popular and he was an inspiration to the entire staff.



Dave Zaluda
1956 - 2006
http://preview.tinyurl.com/62ntb2w1956

Dave Zaluda was with WWUH for well over a decade.  In addition to doing shows (both a Gothics and a Synthesis)  he served as the stations Music Director for most of the time.  The record reps told us that they loved his dry sense of humor and his wit.  

 

Dave was an extremely reliable and dedicated volunteer and his extensive knowledge of music made staff members seek him out for advice on music.  He was eternally optimistic and always willing to help others in need. 

 

 


Jim Zeiner
1950 - 1999
We just recently learned that the late Jim Zeiner, who was with WHCN in the seventies, was also a volunteer at WWUH around the same time.  If anyone can help us pin down the dates Jim was at WWUH or any other information it would be appreciated.

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