HARTFORD RADIO HISTORY
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WHCN (W1XPW) Memories


WHCN's Larry Titus in his lab, 2009.




This page is for former WHCN staff and listeners to share their memories about the station.


(See also main WHCN section at left)

Dan Hayden

1977-1987

 

In late 1977 – not long before the Civic Center roof collapsed – I went to work at WHCN. I was hired by Jay Mitchell, but on the day I showed up to fill out my new employee paperwork I learned that Jay had left the building and Michael Picozzi was the new PD. Michael and I had worked together in Massachusetts and since we were both from the Hartford area grew up listening to Hartford radio. We knew how cool it was to be at WHCN – especially at a time when the tide was rising fast for FM radio.

 

In early 1979 I became Program Director. Over the next 8 years an amazing group of talented people came through the station. During those years WHCN impacted rock culture in the state, earned industry recognition, and saw impressive ratings growth. We sometimes underestimated the appeal and power of the station. Our free concert at Hammonasset Beach in 1982 was a clear example of just that.

 

Sales Manager Don Ambrose and I pitched the idea of a free concert at Hammonasset to DEP officials. When they asked how many people might attend, Don said 1500. I thought it might be more but didn’t disagree. After all, it would be happening on a weekday. Three local bands were scheduled to perform: Cryer, Thunder Road, and Max Creek. It tuned out to be a wild day with far more than 1500 people attending. According to estimates in the Hartford Courant and Middletown Press, the size of the crowd was placed between 30,000 and 35,000 people. A local hot dog vendor claimed to have sold 50,000 hot dogs. News Radio WPOP reported the closing of roads leading to the park. I don’t think they’ve done a beach concert since.

 

Other highlights stand out from that era – like broadcasting live over a telephone from inside the Civic Center when the Rolling Stones took the stage in 1981 (I’ve got that tape and it’s still exciting to hear). We produced a couple of local music albums, presented the Clash at the Agora on their Combat Rock tour; there was Elvis Costello at the Shaboo, Talking Heads and Ramones at the Agora and so many more. 

 

By 1986 I was doing more and more programming consulting for other Beck-Ross stations and in 1987 left WHCN to start Pathfinder Consulting & Research which continues to this day.

 

Here is a list of the programming people that were part of the show during the years I was there. I probably left out a few names (and misspelled others), so my apologies in advance.

Kim Alexander, Tom Bass, Jeff Berlin, Bob Bittens, George DeAngeles, Kathy Gallant, Andy Geller, Irv Goldfarb, Lauri Gypson, Paul Harris, Eddie Haskell, Gary Lee Horn, Diana Kelly, Phil Kirzyc, Susie Lee, Bob London, Ross MacDonald, Teri Milling, Amy Montgomery,

Ed O’Connell, Marianne O’Hare, Phyllis Paryzek, Michael Picozzi, Joe Simpson, Bob Smith, John Stanizzi, Chip Triest, Tom Watts.


Ron Berger

I spent alot of great time on Meriden Mountain. We first went live in Sept. of '69, and the trek up the mountain was one I looked forward to every day. I remember having to park my car at the base of the mountain during a snowstorm, and relieve a tired and very thankful Larry Titus who had been on the air for an eternity. Before he left, he showed me the hotplate and some frozen food in the fridge.....many sides of albums were played overnight.....including some dead air while trying to get some rest!!! After 18-20 hours or so, someone finally came to relieve me, and after a 2 hour stroll down the mountain in knee deep snow, I was able to dig my car out and make it back to Hartford and finally get some rest!!!!



John Ramsey

I worked at WHCN as an engineer from 1984 to 1999.  It was an exciting time with lots of great programming, exciting remotes, contests, etc. 






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