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Big Ange, WJAR Providence, January 2, 1975 (12:26)
. . . this reminder here from the Big Ange - we are frequently compensated for our appearances . . .
Description by Uncle Ricky
I suspect that Big Ange (Andy Jackson, real name John Manzi) did a bit better as a result of his "frequently compensated personal appearances" than he did as an employee of WJAR (920) Providence, or before that, as the long-time nighttime jock at rival WPRO (630).
Program Director Dave Hedrick convinced Ange to leave his legacy position at WPRO (a Top 40 legend) and join WJAR (an "Oldies/Personality" hybrid consulted by the late Tom McMurray.) By the time Andy joined "Superstar J-A-R", most of the old-line Outlet Company Channel 10 TV and Department Store employees had become accustomed to the strange, noisy new crew that had invaded the radio studios.
This recording, made public for the first time here, also includes production supertalent Jeff Mathieu (Beatles P.I.) and the late Mike Sands (Prevention Magazine P.I.) as well as a few seconds of long-time New England radio pro Charlie Jefferds (Mount Hope Marina House) who was morning drive host at the time of this aircheck. Ron Bradbury and Dave Layman (WJAR News) are also featured. The radio station shared the 5th floor of the Outlet building on Weybosset Street in Providence with WJAR-TV; there were always news people around and Ange loved to tease them. (The Layman and Bradbury segments are from December of 1974).
Big Ange was one-of-a-kind. He was a genuine local radio star, and he did it the hard way - by years of going from club to club, glad-handing the bouncers and bartenders and meeting the people of Providence. At the time, I cringed at his uneven board work and seemingly disoriented presentation. But, in listening to this a quarter-century later, I realize how fortunate I was to have known Big Ange and how much fun it is to hear him again.
John Manzi passed away July 17th, 2010, in Providence, R.I. He was 67.
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