HARTFORD RADIO HISTORY
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WWUH In Memoriam
Tributes to Members Who Are No Longer With Us

    This page will serve as a tribute to those WWUH volunteers who are no longer with us. It is currently under construction.


Frank Butash, 1923 - 2007 
        
Frank volunteered at WWUH for nearly a decade.  He produced the Refrigerator Club, a program about “Technology and People” which were 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 invited 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.

Above:   Justin Campeau was with us for such a short period of time.  His sudden illness took us all by surprise, and everyone expected that it would only be a matter of time before he would be back on the air. Unfortunately, we were all wrong. Upon learning of his death, I tried a number of times to write a fitting eulogy, but I simply couldn’t find the words.  Synthesis host Joan Holiday offered to write one, and while I wasn’t comfortable at first shirking what I thought was my responsibility, as soon as I read the beautiful eulogy that Joan had written, I know that I would never be able to match it.” -John Ramsey


Matt Charnas was with WWUH for about two years, and as a student volunteer he put his heart and soul to the jazz programs he did on WWUH.  He was respected by the station’s jazz staff and a friend of many.  After graduating from UH and leaving WWUH he did a popular jazz show on WRTC at Trinity College .

 

John Ramsey

June 12, 2008

Above:  Al Dzikas (center), the host of “Tevynes Garsai”, the Lithuanian Radio Show, passed away on Sunday, October 12, 2008 after a short illness.  The show had started on WNBC (now WPOP) in New Britain in 1957, 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.


Above: Bill Domler:  "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."  Ed McKeon.

Above:  George Michael Evica was one of a kind, the real deal.  He was dedicated to WWUH and extremely helpful to me personally in a numerous ways.  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.  -John Ramsey, June 16, 2008.




Above: Mort Fega was a legend in the Jazz world, and we were fortunate to have him as part of the WWUH family.

(No photo available)

Luis Feliciano
was the host of Super Sabado and passed away in 2003.

Above:  Drew Glackin was one of the most incredibly gifted and versatile musicians you're ever likely to hear. Sadly, his untimely death has left his friends and legions of fans in shock and grief, but his music lives on. Recording and performing with more bands than we can name, Drew was a master of the lap steel, bass and mandolin, and he could even carry a tune. There was no one else quite like Drew. Words like irreplaceable, unique, hilarious and irrepressible come to mind, but that just scratches the surface. Listen and you will believe. Jack Grace Band the Silos Tandy.


Above: 

Ken Kalish:  I didn’t know Ken very well and never had a chance to work with him 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 you 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 leadership early on.



Above:  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.”



Above: Gene Solon, 1925 – 2008, 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.




Above: Terry Weichand. 

        Longtime Friday morning jazz host Terry Weichand passed away in 2007 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

 



Randy Mayer 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 rehabilitating 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.

Paul Payton wrote:

     “Randy survived a bad auto accident in the early 1970s prior to his hiring me (in November, 1971 - no, the two incidents were not related!) but was less lucky when a private plane he was piloting crashed in California, killing him and his passenger later in the 1970s. (I have been unable to find more details on this; I'm citing when I remember from the time.) 
    “Randy was a quiet guy when I knew him and a very creative engineer. He was also very generous when I moved to Hartford, allowing me to stay with him and Barbara Magora (his significant other) until I found a place to live for myself.”



Mel Peppers, no photo available.

Louis K. Roth:  WWUH, the Public Alternative Radio station at the University of Hartford of 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 of 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."




Dave Zaluda 1956 - 2006
    Dave was with WWUH for close to two decades.  In addition to doing shows (both a Gothics or a Synthesis) pretty much the entire time he served as the stations Music Director for a number of years.  The record reps said repeadedly 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 lend a help others in need. 


 

 
Most listeners will remember that Dean hosted Monday Morning Jazz for close to six years.  He also served as station librarian and his dedication to Jazz and to WWUH was second to none.

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