4 11, 2019

Radio Tower 18: Dave Vieser and WGBB

By |2019-11-04T00:55:04+00:00November 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Beginning his broadcasting career in his basement as a child in Baldwin, Dave Vieser went on to learn radio at WVHC at Hofstra before landing the dream job: playing music on WGBB in Freeport. He started on weekends, then night shifts, then afternoons and finally mornings. On this episode we sit down with Dave to talk about his career in radio and beyond, from spinning records to covering high school sports to working for Nassau County’s Press Office.

Dave Vieser, former WGBB DJ, at the Freeport Memorial Library.

Dave Vieser (l) and David North of the Press Club of Long Island at the Freeport Memorial Library.

We are joined by returning guest David North of the Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) who has spent a good deal of time researching the history of WGBB. PCLI, with help from the village and the Freeport Historical Society, recently unveiled a marker to designate the site of WGBB’s studios, the site of the first commercial news broadcast on the Island.

This episode was recorded at the Freeport Public Library. Many thanks to librarian Regina Feeney and director Ken Bellafiore for the use of the space!

Links

Station Bibliography

  • WGBB 1240 AM
  • WNEW 1130 AM
  • WHLI 1100 AM
  • WVHC 88.7 FM (later WHRU)

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7 10, 2019

Radio Tower 17: Bullet Bob Ottone

By |2019-10-07T01:17:47+00:00October 7th, 2019|Radio|Comments Off on Radio Tower 17: Bullet Bob Ottone

Robert Ottone sits down with Chris Kretz and Connie Currie to discuss the life and times of his father, Bullet Bob Ottone. A DJ at WGLI and WGBB in the 1970s, Bullet Bob was known for his rapid-fire delivery. He was one of WGBB’s “Super Six”, hosting the Night Train from midnight to six am.

 

After an on-air career that introduced him to the Beatles, Barry White and Joe Frazier, Bob turned to education. He taught radio at Brentwood High School and also operated their station WXBA-FM. To top it all off, in his later years he was the PA announcer for the Long Island Ducks.

WGBB’s Super Six. Ad from the Freeport Leader, 8/31/72. (NY State Historic Newspapers database)

Many thanks to Robert for sharing these memories of his father, who passed away earlier this year. He gives us a glimpse into the life of a remarkable man who dedicated his life to bringing music and joy to Long Island.

Robert is also a true-crime podcaster and author so check out his Voices from Gilgo as well as his latest collection of short stories.

Links

Bullet Bob Ottone (Newsday 2/19/2019)

Robert Ottone Author Page (Amazon)

WXBA-FM, Brentwood HS

Press Club, Freeport dedicate marker for WGBB

Voices from Gilgo podcast

Station Bibliography:

WNBC
WGBB
WGLI
WXBA

23 09, 2019

Radio Tower 16: Jack Kratoville

By |2019-09-23T01:54:00+00:00September 23rd, 2019|Radio|Comments Off on Radio Tower 16: Jack Kratoville

Growing up in Riverhead in the 1960s, Jack Kratoville always wanted to be on the mic. He got his wish, forging a career that started with unpaid newsreads on WRCN and continued to include stints at WLNG, WWHB, WMJC and more.

These days you’ll find him on 106.7 WLTW as well as out back of his Flanders home trying to improve the reception on his vast collection of old radios. On this episode, we joined Jack after hours at WRIV – an apt setting for a conversation on radio history. The squeaky chairs were added for atmosphere.

Jack Kratoville and Chris Kretz.

Links

6 05, 2019

Radio Tower 15: Dennis Daniel on WBAB and WDRE

By |2019-05-06T02:46:58+00:00May 6th, 2019|Radio|Comments Off on Radio Tower 15: Dennis Daniel on WBAB and WDRE

Let’s go back to the 1980s when album rock ruled the airwaves, Long Island was awash in nightclubs, and Dennis Daniel was unleashing his own brand of audio madness on WBAB.

Dennis Daniel.

Dennis was a Production Director whose fertile imagination and drive camouflaged spots touting dentists and car steroes inside a theater of the absurd. With a gift for impersonation and a bottomles well of pop culture memories to draw on, Dennis forged a successful career on Long Island that included winning multiple CLIO awards for WBAB and then a move to WDRE.

More Dennis Daniel.

Hear him describe his creative process, his views on the development of the radio industry, and the one career path he dreamt of taking.

Dennis Daniel, Chris Kretz, and Connie Currie.

Links:

2 04, 2019

Radio Tower 14: Behind the Scenes with Jack Beebe

By |2019-04-04T13:47:25+00:00April 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Radio Tower 14: Behind the Scenes with Jack Beebe

Jack Beebe calls himself “Mr. Backstage” but in terms of radio and television history in New York since the 1950s, he’s had a front row seat.

He started as a teen disk jockey on WALK in East Patchouge, worked alongside Barbara Walters and the future Allison “The Nightbird” Steele at WPIX-TV, kept watch over Murray the K at WINS…and that’s not even mentioning his time broadcasting in Korea or the blood sweating hippopotamus.

Jack Beebe.

Links

Station Bibliography
NYC:
TV: WOR, WPIX;
Radio: WOR, WINS
Long Island: WALK

2 03, 2019

Radio Tower 13: Bill Edwards and Programming WALK

By |2019-03-02T14:59:36+00:00March 2nd, 2019|Radio|2 Comments

From the hills of Scranton to the shores of Patchogue Bay, Bill Edwards pursued a career in radio driven by his love of music. As program director at WALK on Long Island, he helped build the sound of the station through the 1980s and 90s.

On today’s episode he takes us through the evolving history of music programming, from gut-level decisions to precise polling data to non-stop Christmas music (for which he may or may not be responsible). We also discuss his internship days at WABC, life during Hurricane Gloria, and the state of radio history at local stations.

 

Bill Edwards.

Links

Station Bibliography
Scranton: WEJL
Ithaka: WTKO
NYC: WABC
Long Island: WGSM, WGBB, WBLI, WALK, WLIM

14 02, 2019

Radio Tower 12: David North Makes It Work

By |2019-02-14T01:50:01+00:00February 14th, 2019|Radio|Comments Off on Radio Tower 12: David North Makes It Work

If one door wouldn’t open, David North found another way in. He forged a career from the wilds of New Hampshire to the shores of Long Island, from television to radio to print and back again, with some corporate work thrown in for good measure. On today’s episode we discuss this long path as well as his time at Channel 67 in Islip and at WALK-FM, among others. We discuss the twin poles of radio that are Howard Stern and Paul Harvey, as well as David’s memorable meetings with Jack Ellsworth on Long Island and what is missing from journalism today.

29 01, 2019

Radio Tower 11: The Life of Salvatore LoCascio

By |2019-01-29T02:55:25+00:00January 29th, 2019|Radio|Comments Off on Radio Tower 11: The Life of Salvatore LoCascio

We recently received a donation of a TV repairman’s toolbox and a 1949 Zenith television. Although interesting in their own right, the true fascination comes from the people behind the donation. This was Sal LoCascio’s toolbox. He was a veteran of the Army Air Corps in World War II, an artist, and a man who could fix anything. His family, particularly Angela Inguaggiato, wanted to make sure these items went to a good home. They had similarly donated Sal’s model B-25, with its six-foot wingspan, to the Air Power Museum in Farmingdale.

Intrigued, we wanted to learn more about Sal, his family, and his life. On today’s episode, Sal’s wife Mildred and Angela relay a story that ranges from Brooklyn to the Brenner Pass, from the cockpit of the Naughty Nancy to the streets of Queens. The family, by the way, is still looking for a home for the uniforms of Mildred’s brothers, one a Navy, the other an Army veteran of World War II. If any institution is interested, please drop us an email and we’ll put you in touch.

Sal and Mildred on their wedding day. Photo courtesy of Angela Inguaggiato.

Tinted photo of Salvatore and Mildred Locascio. Photo courtesy of inguaggiato.

31 12, 2018

Radio Tower 10: I Remember Radio with John Vuolo

By |2018-12-31T14:48:14+00:00December 31st, 2018|Radio|1 Comment

John Vuolo has been collecting and restoring radios since he was a teenager. On this episode he recounts how he got interested in old radios and some highlights of his collecting career.

Music on this Episode:

13 11, 2018

Radio Tower 9: World War One and Radio

By |2018-11-13T02:41:49+00:00November 13th, 2018|Radio|Comments Off on Radio Tower 9: World War One and Radio

Listen in on what was happening at Long Island History Day on November 10th – a look back at the state of radio at the end of World War One. We had a number of friends with us – scouts from BSA Troop 184 teaching Morse Code, the Sayville Historical Society with local resources, and filmmaker Joe Sikorski previewing his newest project on the Telefunken radio station.