|The Rock Of Harrisburg
. . .
Changes and the Lou Raymond
Story . . .
1973 brought the following
staff changes: Jim Roberts departed afternoon drive, opening up the shift
for the legendary John St. John.
Roberts was to return less than
six months later to fill the 6 pm - mid shift when John Summers departed
for Florida. Big Jim was among the first of many jocks who was to return
to WKBO. He reigned as KBO's night jock until he departed for Providence
and 92 PRO FM in April of 1979.
||John St. John Jingles
Overnight man Lou Raymond got
the career break of a lifetime when he was hired to be night jock on Washington's
WPGC. Here's Lou (Dan Steele), in his own words, on how he started running
Sunday morning tapes on WKBO and ended up at WPGC:
||Jim Roberts Jingles
Rick Shockley took over Midnight
to 6 when Dan left.
|"I grew up in Trenton NJ
and listened to WABC, WIBG, and WFIL when they came along. I wanted to
get into Radio when I got out of the service and I took a correspondence
course from Career Academy. I would send them tapes and get great feedback
from them. However when I compared my tapes to what I heard on the radio,
there was no comparison. The jocks at the stations I listened to where
much better than me. So I gave up and went to work for the Southland Corporation
(7-11 Stores) I worked my way up to store manager in a short period of
time and did that for a couple of years. Some friends of ours bought a
home in Dillsburg and we came out to Central Pa to help them move. While
I was out here over a weekend, we stopped at a 7-11 store on Simpson Ferry
Rd. in Mechanicsburg. I found out the store was available for franchise
and my wife and I decided to buy it and move out here. Once I moved out
here I started listening to WFEC which at the time was the top station
in the area. After listening for a short time I realized there was a BIG
difference between the Harrisburg Stations and the New York and Philly
stations I grew up listening to. I thought back to the tapes I had made
for Career Academy and realized it was comparable to what I was hearing
on the radio in Harrisburg and decided to try and get into broadcasting
out here on a part time basis. I met Doug McKay who was doing afternoons
on WKBO and he recommended I go back to broadcasting school and get my
I commuted to The American Academy of Broadcasting in Philadelphia a couple
of nights a week, graduated got my license and a part time job at WKBO
running tapes on Sunday mornings for $1.60 AN HOUR, BUT HEY ... I WAS IN
RADIO! Bob Alexander took the station top 40 overnight as I remember it.
He thought WFEC was vulnerable and decided to change WKBO to "The Rock
of Harrisburg". I was working part time when it happened and then was offered
the overnight show. I think that was around August of 72, anyway I did
overnights for a couple of months and then was offered 6 - 12 midnight.
At the time my son was 3 years old and my wife was a nurse in the emergency
room at Holy Spirit Hospital working the 3 - 11 shift. I would watch our
son until she came home from work and then I would leave to do overnights.
We would have needed to pay a baby-sitter if I had taken the new shift
so I turned it down because of economic reasons and stayed on the overnight
shift. I was content to work the all night shift and learn as much as I
could from Bob Alexander. I used to get off the air at 6 am and then pick
Alexander's brain all morning long while he was on the air about production
and just about any radio questions I could think of. Most days I stayed
at the station till almost 10 am before going home to rest. Back then I
needed to get up at 2:30 in the afternoon to watch my son while my wife
went to work. In February of 73 a guy who did nights at WFEC got a gig
at CKLW and it blew me away. I thought I'm as good as he was so I decided
to send airchecks to every major station I could think of. Well low and
behold, Harv Moore called me from WPGC and invited me to come down to Washington
for an audition. I went down did some production for them and a pretend
show in their production room. Interviewed with Harv and the GM Bob Howard
and they offered me the 6-10 pm show for twice the amount of money I was
making in Harrisburg. I was on my way to the major market after only 6
months full time."
WKBO also moved the tower and
transmitter in 1973. The Penn Harris Hotel, condemned in late 1972 and
designated for demolition, was set to come down mid 1973. The only problem
was that WKBO was still broadcasting from its rooftop. Word is that Al
dame had to get an injunction to prevent the demolition until the tower
could be relocated. Al was finally able to move the transmitter and tower
to Harrisburg's City Island. This move greatly increased the station's
signal. The superior conductivity of the riverbed, however, forced a cut
back in operating power from 1000 watts day/250 night to 702 watts day/170
watts to protect WITH Baltimore. This sight was far superior to the former
Hotel rooftop and KBO remained on the Island until the late 1990s, when
Mayor Stephen Reed wanted to develop it into an entertainment complex called
"Kahounaville". The tower was moved to a sight on Progress Avenue, behind
the State Farm Show Complex and it remains there to this day. Kahounaville
||Rick Shockley Jingles
WKBO's Hitline number
was always easy to remember.
The last 4 digits were the year.
Through the years they were as follows: 232-1972, 232-1973, 232-1974, then
232-1975. During the Bicentennial, there were two numbers promoted: 561-1976
and 561-1776. In 1977, the request line was changed to the frequency: 561-1230.
|1973 also was the beginning
of Harrisburg's first airborne traffic reports. "Airwatch One" took to
the air in February 1973 with Bob Abernathy providing reports in Morning
and Bob Alexander in Afternoon Drive. Captain Edwards took over the reports
a short time later. Dave always ended his reports with "Captain Dave, Airwatch
One, clear". On the days when they couldn't put the plane up, Captain Dave
was in "Ground Control".
Up: The Shock goes and comes and the Rock leaves Downtown!