Another excellent post from Flint's past. I was related to the late Dick Petty who was a WTAC disc jockey in the early to mid 1960's. I also met the late Jack Hood on several occasions and he was a really nice man...I for one miss the good old days of live AM radio, just like WTAC, WTRX, WFDF to name a few. The Jones Boys, Dan Hunter, Les Root, Ed Berryman...I could go on and on...
One of my favorite playlists on my ipod is titled WTAC. When I was in about the 5th grade, I was invited to make a radio commercial for a YWCA fundraiser that I did every year (swim-a-thon). I felt like a rock star in that little studio, and they were great at coaching me through my many mistakes. Good times.
Somewhere at my parents' place I still have a WTAC top 40 playlist from 1975 with songs from Hot Chocolate (probably "You Sexy Thing")and KISS ("Detroit Rock City") on it. Might be an Aerosmith song on it, too, most likely "Walk This Way," probably also from Sweet ("Fox on the Run"), David Bowie ("Golden Years"), and I'm sure there was something from Isley Brothers on it, too. I picked it up on a trip to Grapevine Records on Clio Rd. after conning my dad into driving me over there to "look around." A poster of Ace Frehley on a motorcycle & one of Led Zeppelin were the two results of that trip, much to my mother's dismay.
I remember buying a B-52's album at Grapevine.
Is that the one with "Rock Lobster" on it? I bought that same album at Grapevine, in fact I bought two albums that day, the other one from the Clash. Why is it I can remember exactly where I bought which music 25-30 years ago, but I can't remember what I was supposed to do yesterday?
GORDON !!!!- WHERE DO YOU GET THESE THINGS???????Seriously.... every time you post something it is a major blast from the past!!
Hey, I have a couple of those (or maybe they're from WTRX) but they're in a box, under my bed!Grapevine Records, what a memory. But was it on Clio Rd.? I don't remember it being on Clio Rd.
Hatfield's Records on Saginaw was the best record shop. That's where I got my tickets to the Jimi Hendrix show at the IMA that occurred on 3/26/68.
I remember Grapevine (yes, on Clio Rd) - there I bought Gary Numan & Tubeway Army's album with Are Friends Electric? on it. I still have -and listen to- that album! I also remember the last day of WTAC as a rock/pop station... those last weeks with tons of In the Air Tonight and I Got You (Split Enz)... which brings up another question: Who remembers the movie station (was it channel 50?) that used the instrumental from Split Enz's True Colors LP for its movie time theme?
Boy, THIS brought back memories! That is the month I graduated from Clio High and life was only beginning. That September I hired in at AC Spark Plug on Industrial Avenue. Remember when anybody in Genesee County could hire in at the shops after high school?I just spent several minutes reading the top 40 in detail and going over the songs in my mind.Footnote: The "Summer Of '67" was NOT called, "The Summer of Love" until someone cooked that up about 20 years later.
Of all the stations I've worked WTAC "The Big 6!" was the best. I had a great time running the oldies. I wish the owners had never sold out to a religious format. Too bad. Tom Crown, announcer, circa 1987-89.
I've got every WTAC playlist sheet from 1976 through 1978, plus a few from WFDF. They are a ton of fun to look at.
ceedeepee, do you have a scanner?
There's a website that is looking for any and all local radio surveys, ceedeepee. I think the website ishttp://www.las-solanas.com/arsa//index.phpYou can send copies if you can't part with them. I would like to see complete survey collections for WTAC, WFDF, and WTRX like they have for WKNR and CKLW.I think Pete and Darrell at Musical Memories have some.
Great posts -- thanks! Grapevine was definitely on Clio Rd, between Pierson and Carpenter near Woolco. I was at the grand opening in either 1976 or 1977 -- interviewed the manager for the Northern HS paper! They gave away a 4-song Burton Cummings EP to everyone who showed up ("My Own Way to Rock"). Grapevine was Flint's first big record store, a' la Harmony House. A good place, though Rock-A-Rolla Records was still my fave. Lots of great memories of WTAC -- staying up late on New Years Eve to listen to the year's top 100 was always cool. And Gary Raymond was the DJ at my sister's wedding in 1973 -- a real brush with greatness for a 13 year old!
Daniel, good to hear that Grapevine got the press coverage it was looking for at the grand opening.
I am looking for any info on the band The Jayhwkers who had a record played on WTAC in 1967 called Love Have Mercy.
Hey Bach, I remember the Jayhawkers. They were led by a guy named Jay Walker who I think was a DJ at a Saginaw radio station. In the mid sixties they played venues like Mt. Holly, Daniel's Den in Saginaw and Band Canyon in Bay City.
How you can spin off on these posts. " The Early Bird " Dan Hunter, a man with real class and talent. We worked the Buick Open together in the sixties. He was a pro himself, and was always willing to help with your game. He was an icon in Flint broadcasting. I'm a better man for knowing him. R.I.P. unclebuck
JBING50: Thanks, I forgot his last name. Our band played with them a couple times at the Blue Light in Midland. I am trying to get some info on there song or a copy. Also, trying to get info on Mid Michigan bands 1965-1970. ie: Count and the Colony, The Bonnivilles, etc.
JBING50: Thanks, I forgot his last name. Our band played with them a couple times at the Blue Light in Midland. I am trying to get some info on there song or a copy. Also, trying to get info on Mid Michigan bands 1965-1970. ie: Count and the Colony, The Bonnivilles, etc.August 21, 2009 11:25 AM
I'm not a Flint ex-patriate, but I came across this post in a Google search and was delighted to find it. WTAC was a great station and I'm glad to see it remembered. What I wouldn't give for some tapes of the station in its heyday. I wonder if any exist.
Speaking of WTAC Wee-TAC 600, brings back a memory. I was fortunate to be at the old station some years ago when they were remodeling an interior studio. I bought two Gates-Inter-type turntables that were being replaced. I was told by the engineer that these were the main turntables that were used by all the DJ's, especially Bob Dell, to spin the records and, in some cases, make instant hits for unknown artists or groups. These turntables are large, heavy monsters that sat in a countertop, one on each side of the DJ. I showed these to the late Ed Berryman when he was employed at St. Joesph Hospital in Flint (after his WTAC days) and he confirmed that these were, indeed, the two original turntables used the most to spin out thousands of records on WTAC. I still have them and might donate them to the Flint museum since they are so rich in musical top 40 history. Fred S.
Grapevine Records opened in the old Robert Hall Clothing store on the west side of Clio Road, just 1/2 mile north of Pierson Road. I obtained a near life sized cardboard stand-up of the rock band POLICE, when visiting the store in 1980 and finding out that they threw most of those in the dumpster when changing record campaigns. My first recollection of a Flint record store in the early 1960's was Brice Sales on Saginaw Street where you could rent the top 40 for 10 bucks, play them at the school sock hop on Saturday night and return them to the store Monday morning and get 5 bucks refund if no records were broken or missing. Also, when the radio DJ's did a gig, they usually had a stack of "promo only" 45's to give away, promoting a new, unknown artist or group. These were furnished by the record labels and were stamped "Promo only - not for sale." I still have some of these in my dusty collection. Fred S.
Someone wished that there were tapes of the old WTAC in existence. When I was in the Army, mid-1960's, my parents recorded Wee-Tac on an old reel-to-reel AMPEX recorder and would sent them to me overseas so I could hear the familiar sounds of the Big Six DJ's and a little bit of entertainment from the good old Flint, Michigan radio music scene. For my part, I recorded Pirate radio programs on Radio Caroline (ship in the North Sea broadcasting into England, France & Germany the "illegal" top forty format)and sent them back home. I still have these reels but with their age, 50 years old, the condition of the tape would be questionable. Fred S.
Here is a link to a WTRX survey with a Jayhawkers song, but not the one you are looking for. There's also some WERX Wyoming Grand Rapids surveys for still another song by the group. http://las-solanas.com/arsa/surveys_item.php?svid=5445It's been said before, we need more complete station surveys for Flint online.Those of you who are hoarding surveys can simply transcribe the information or send a copy and retain your survey.Or we could get together and have a website with the local surveys.There's still only a handful of surveys for Flint stations on ARSA.
"Love Have Mercy" is number 38 on the chart pictured above, in case you didn't see it, BACH. I know it's hard to see, but I zoomed in and saw it. It is one of the few I don't know off hand.The above chart is not on ARSA.
I grew up across the street from Charlie Speights, the general manager for many years of WTAC. I was very close friends with his children and I'm still in contact with Charlie and his kids today. I love seeing all this memorabilia and have forwarded it on to all of them. I'm sure they will love it as much or more as the rest of us do. Thanks so much for sharing.
Laurie White (Berryman) here.... Dad, Ed Berryman, would have been 90 years old today, March 31, 2011. Great seeing some of the memories posted here about Dad.
Laurie I just came across this post about your father. I never realized he was a DJ with WTAC. I was trying to find the information about Ferris Nickola a classmate at Indian Hill elementary School. He pasted the summer between 5th and 6th grade. He lived across the street from the radio station on Center Street. Cannot believe he passed 10 years ago.I hope you are well.BJ. Sidari (Bonnie Morrill)
Coincidentally, Dan Hunter's birthday was March 30. Maybe unclebuck knows how old Dan would have been. And Dan had a daughter Laurie too.
Daniel James Hunter, Was born in Detroit,Michigan,30 March 1923, at the age of 24 he was a radio announcer in Pittsburg, Penn. living with his parents,Vern W. Hunter and Ruth Emma Gruber-Hunter, his father was born in Kansas, mother in Maryland , He married Ruth, Oct.15, 1947, she was working as a draftsman in PittsburghHe died 14 April 1995 at the age of 72.On 20 Jan 1943 he enlisted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the Miltary when he was single
"D J" Hunter, almost as much of a self fulfilling prophecy as John Records Landecker, who worked at WTRX as "Jones Boy" Dow Jones in 1966, mainly as a fill in, late night, and Sunday evening DJ. He became famous as the evening DJ at WLS Chicago in 1972, and is the father of actress Amy Landecker. He released an autobiography earlier this year, called "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", which reportedly mentions his time at WTRX. There are at least 6 other DJs who worked in Flint who have published autobiographies and other books. Bill Lamb has one called "Buick, The Factory Whistle, and Me", and of course "Local DJ" by Peter C. Cavanaugh.
Ref. Anonymous...Dan Would have been 88 this year. Saw a very dapper Dan picture of him once in uniform - (US Army Air Force officer) next to his lovely wife and they both looked like movie stars. He was from Pottstown,Pa. I think he was a graduate of Slippery Rock State Teachers College or was that Charley Russion? They were a pair of great guys in my life. Dan had a son too but, I forgot his name..he went to Southwestern.
What was the record store that was across from the Genesee Valley Mall in the early 1970's?? I recall going there but can't remember the name.
If you're talking about the head shop that also sold a few records, you're thinking of Rock A Rolla. They had locations on Dort Hwy and in Saginaw as well. The Miller Rd. location closed in the late 80s.
Was Rock A Rolla the little one stop on the east side of Dort between Hemphill and Atherton?
That would be Rock A Rolla Records, Anonymous. I seem to remember some controversy surrounding it, but can't remember the details.There's another record store nearby on Corunna Rd. called Wyatt Earp Records, actually owned by the Earp family.
To be fair, there were a lot of head shops posing as record stores. In Western Michigan, there used to be a chain of "record stores" called "Believe In Music". Some of my friends called it "Believe In Paraphernalia". To be fair, they did have a lot of records, and quite a bit of paraphernalia. I think what closed them down was when it became illegal under state law to sell paraphernalia. Without the high profits on the "equipment", it probably wasn't that profitable. Kind of like restaurants that have folded without liquor licenses.
Sadly, Wyatt Earp Records closed this year. This leaves Flint with no new local record stores in the city or surrounding suburbs.
Do you remember it having a dirt or gravel parking lot? I don't think it was paved. That was back in the 1975 era so my memories are not really that clear. (MarkA, formerly "anonymous")
Wyatt Earp closed at the end of last year. Doug Earp owned and operated it until his passing in 2004 or so. Long-time employee Al Steele took over the reins and kept it open for the past 7 or 8 years.
I didn't realize that Doug Earp had also passed away in 2004. I took a community education class with him when I was young, and I remember spending an evening with the Earp family during that same time on Ketzler Dr. as I recall. Sorry to hear all this. Kids were calling Doug Earp "Wyatt" even then.
Your posts bring back some memories...Back in 1985 I worked two radio engineering jobs, one at WCRZ-FM "CARS108" / WKMF-AM, and the other at WFDF-AM. At WFDF I got to know Dan Hunter and once went on a remote broadcast with Dan at an appliance store on Miller Road where he did some live breaks with Gene Riley who worked at WNEM TV5. Also at that time WFDF aired a daily show ("Factory Whistle Stop" or something) hosted and recorded by a guy named Bill Lamb. Bill would feed the show earlier in the day to the WFDF studio via phone line where the staff would record it on reel-to-reel for afternoon playback. And I remember the Rock A Rolla stores...used to buy CD's there when they first came out.
I worked as a antenna/transmitter and production engineer in my early college days 1971-1975;Bill Lambś show The Factory Whistle was carried on my station WKMF-AM (1470), daily, at 1-3pm. Bill had a Marti STL which he sent his shown from home in Grand Blanc to us; as i recall we taped most/all of them on an Ampex AG350 or 440 on 10-inch reels for delayed broadcast. Maybe the WFDF deal came later. HTH...Chris Peeters, PE
Good to hear from the multitalented fellow Westgater Chris Peeters, excellent Cellist, rebuilder of the Kiln at the Flint Institute of Arts, etc. Make sure you read the thread about the Oak Grove Campus, slim chipley lives, and many others.
Does anybody remember a record store on Flushing Road near Ballenger Highway back in the 60s?
No. And I lived Near by.
Is this the one shown on the map or was it really a lot further out in the town?http://www.las-solanas.com/surveys/WTRX/WTRX_1962-09-05_2.jpg
Rocka-rolla was the victim of a government vendetta...since he sold pipes and other paraphenalia they seized all of his record stock until he was broke......then gave it back to him when it was too late.
Now that I think about it, didn't Hamady's have a record rack with the top singles and LPs?
Not only did Flint Radio give Premier 70s Chicago DJ John Landecker his first real radio job in 1966, but WTAC broke the definitive local Chicago #1 hit that wasn't that popular anywhere else, "It Could Be We're In Love" by suburban Chicago garage band, The Cryan' Shames. It's #5 on the Big Six Pick Hits Of The Week on this chart, abbreviated "It Could Be".
Nick Lowe's Labour of Lust lp looked too cool in the record racks at Diplomat Pharmacy.
Anyone out there remember a little record store, on North Saginaw, 1 or 2 blocks off Carpenter rd., back in the late 60s, very early 70s? It was on Saginaw St., across the street from Hutchinsons Drugstore, and a Bank. Think it was a Citizens Bank. Maybe the corner of Bundy st., & Saginaw? Or York, & Sag.I can remember buying "45s" in there, but can't remember the name of the place.
Does anyone remember radio talk show host Perry Wright and his show "The Phone Zone" on WTAC? He also had Jeff Tebo on board who screened the incoming calls. It was a really entertaining show. I wonder where Perry and Jeff are today.
Hey Tom Crown, Perry Wright here...I was just goofing off on the internet and came across this page/post...including your question. Thanks for remembering. I'm still alive and well....so is Jeff Tebo. Jeff and I have been very close friends for many years and are currently in business together running a WISP...wireless internet service provider serving rural communities with internet access. Jeff has always been gifted with technical skills. Jeff came up with the idea of doing this and asked me to partner up with him. We've been doing that for almost 20 years. Per your radio comments and what happened to me. I worked for some time at WTRX as the Music Director, Talk Show Producer and the Talk Show Host of "Flint Nightline". "The Phone Zone" was created by me previous to hosting "Flint Nightline" as my first venture into talk...it followed a show hosted by Pete the Cat Flanders on Sunday nights at WTRX. Pete helped me immensely by promoting my show to his very large audience every Sunday night. A great guy! I later took over hosting the Nightline show on weeknights. I hired Jeff to help produce/screen when he was only 14 and still in school. We had a very successful run there with the talk show. David Leyton, a fellow radio friend of mine..and attorney (now Genesee County Prosecutor) asked me to come over to WTAC. David's father in law had partnered with him to buy WTAC and David asked me to bring my talk show to that station and be the Operations Director. I brought back the name "Phone Zone" when I moved to WTAC. We put together an outstanding staff of really good on air talent. (Rick Archambault, Mr. Larry, Dan Richards, Tony Johnson...to name a few) The format was a hybrid of oldies(to stay in line with WTAC's fantastic heritage) mixed with News, Sports and of course Talk. There was a time when the station had now deceased talk host Dave Barber(along with his long time producer Rich Frost) and myself(along with Jeff Tebo) hosting 2 separate talk shows on each end of the day. The station had all kinds of potential, but not enough money to allow it to grow and prosper. This, along with the growing popularity of FM stations at the time was not good for WTAC's future. AM was on its way out...sadly. I decided to venture into stand up comedy and performed comedy, booked comedy shows and managed comedy clubs for around 15 years. I also wrote, produced and hosted a public television series called "People and Places with Perry" ..it was kind of a Charles Kuralt type show about Michigan. Jeff assisted with that show as well. Jeff and I both had long successful event DJ business operations. (weddings,events,etc.) I have done marketing/management consulting for a number of business owners over the years. I still keep my hand in that somewhat as the long serving Marketing Director of Nord Ride Motorsports, owned by my long time friend Mike Nord Sr. I started a humorous phone "On Hold Service" called "The On Hold Guy" and I still write and voice radio commercials...just to keep myself sort of "on the air"!! Radio, once in your blood...never leaves! I really miss it greatly. I hope that gives you an answer... I don't talk about my broadcasting past much, and hardly ever comment on stuff like this...but, I guess I was in the mood today! It was nice to hear from you...Perry Wright.
Wow. I'm so glad I found this...Perry...I doubt you'll remember me, but I spent 2 years is at TRX with you...82-84. I interned in the music library...then managed to worm my way doing some weekends. I used to work a lot with you when you produced Flint Nightline w/ John Smith. You taught me a lot...because boy, was I a complete noob back then. I remember your stand up career...my ex and I even came to see you perform one night at a venue in Holly, if I remember correctly. I stayed in the biz for a while, working at 105FM during 86, and you brought me in to do some writing and commercials while you were at TAC for a short time, before I moved back to Charlotte, NC, my hometown. Did a year and a half at WBT-AM on weekends, some free morning show sidekick work at another FM station in the market, until I got tired of playing the game and quit in 92, only to come back 20 years later to do production for a couple of years with the guy I worked with as his sidekick for a bit, Now, after all this time, I have my own internet radio station, Monkee Mania Radio, which will celebrate a year on the air in July. I finally learned some of the lessons you tried to teach me back in the very beginning. It took a long time, but things finally got through my thick skull! Glad to see you're still around! Thanks for helping me stir up some old memories!!
Hello Perry Wright,I'm a little slow on checking websites. I just read your reply from almost three years ago. I'm happy you're still doing well. Yes! I really do miss working in radio. After WTAC closed it's doors I ended up at WSMH TV Fox 66 as producer and host of a community news show. It ran from 1989 to 1993. I also worked part time at WCXI in Detroit. I moved to Peoria, Arizona in July 1993. I went back to college and earned a degree in mortuary science. I've been a funeral director for over 20 years. I'm currently the licensed director at Gate to Heaven Funeral Home in Dearborn.I tried getting back into radio when I returned home to Michigan in the fall of 2010. I was hired at US-103.1 WQUS in Burton. That's when I learned the term "tracking."I was living in Southfield and driving over 55 miles one way to record a three hour show onto a computer hard drive! Everything was completely laid out: commercials, stingers, songs. My job was to log into a computer, scroll down until I found a little red bar that read ANNOUNCER - cue card. There were a bunch of index cards with numbers on them. I had to find the number that was on the red bar. I used the mouse key to begin recording whatever was typed on the card. It was usually a plug for some kind of community event such as a Halloween contest,or a local football game. I ran through all the little red bars and after a few minutes I'd recorded a three hour show. For that I was paid $8.00!!!!! Yes!!!!! Eight dollars to insert my voice onto a computer hard drive. I usually would drive up on Friday nights and record the show. I kept hoping they'd give me a live air shift, but that never happened. I'd taken a job at Wally World to bring some shekels in until I found a full time funeral position. I worked at the Wallmart Super Center on Hall Road in Clinton Township. The signal from WQUS wasstrong enough that I could listen to the show in my car! It aired in the evenings from 9 to 11. It sounded canned. The program director didn't want anything except reading the cue cards! I was taken aback that EVERYTHING had alreadey been formatted before I even arrived at the station. There was only one big celebrity at WQUS. His name was Carl Coffee. He's now gone to that great broadcast booth in the sky! Of course he was a Detroit radio legend like Arthur Penhallow, or Dick Purtan. So, he broadcast live and of course his show sounded great! Anyone who works live radio today has to have a strong backgound in running a computer program such as SAM or Traktor, Remember "Live From The 60s" with the Real Don Steele? I met MJ Kelly who did the spot-on Rod Serling intro. He was working a local radio station in Phoenix. In 1997 I brought in one of the albums for his authograph. He showed me the station's studio even then they were already using computers! There were no carts, reel to reels or turntables in the booth!Like you I really do miss working in radio. I've set up a studio in my home and have done some phone-on-hold messages. I've also recorded an audio book titled "Ever The Patriot." Recollections of Vincent J. Riccio, World War 2 Veteran and POW for Amazon. I'm hoping I can get more gigs doing VO work.Before closing I just wanted to thank you for hiring me at WTAC. I always enjoyed your quick wit and funny personality. I'm hoping I can see you performing stand up comedy one of these days. I hope we can keep in touch.Kindest regards,Tom
Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.