Dave at WYCL, 1966
Dave at WYCL,
York, S.C., 1966

Dave at WJAR, 1974
'Brother Dave' at WJAR,
Providence, R.I., 1974

Dave Hedrick in 2002
Dave Hedrick, 2002

The Dave Hedrick Collection

[by 'Brother Dave' Hedrick]

Radio captivated me almost from birth. As a child in the early forties I used to play in front of the big Philco console in our living room, totally absorbed by "The Lone Ranger" & "The FBI in Peace & War". My grandfather was a Methodist preacher, and I used to ride with him a lot, including his regular visits to several area radio stations in North Carolina, where he would render 10-15 minute devotionals. There was something magical about a radio station — even the smell was distinctive. My first exposure to promotion was when I won a bicycle at age 7 in a nationwide Wheaties radio contest.

An uncle was the circulation manager for the High Point (NC) Enterprise newspaper, and I worked for him in the summer throwing papers off the back of his pickup. One day around 1951, while waiting for the press run, I wandered upstairs in the newspaper building to find "WHPE" behind a frosted glass door. I am sure I wore out my welcome that summer! As a high school freshman in 1956, I was given an old "Broadcasting" yearbook by an engineer at WMAP, my hometown station in Monroe, NC. It became my bible. Subsequently, while on vacation in South Florida, I discovered that the radio stations there sounded radically different from those in Carolina. By the time I graduated I had developed an affinity for the larger-than-life sounds of WQAM, WFUN, WNOE, WTIX, WQXI & etc. Upon going fulltime in radio in 1961, I embarked upon a 40 year odyssey from announcer to owner and everything in between. Most of my stops were great; a few were not. I always tried to never move unless I felt I was going to learn something new — occasionally the lesson was painful. Many times over the years though I was fortunate enough to put together a station that had such special magic you could actually taste it. I had the good luck to get to know and work with some great talent. I miss them all — the people & the stations.

In thinking about radio in general, two quotes come to mind, both from longtime engineer friends:

From Don Jones, on the way radio used to be:

"When I see somebody in radio that I haven't seen in a while, he's always got a new wife and a worse car!"

From Dave Hultsman, on today's radio:

"One of these days, that fancy hard drive is going to be hit by lightning, and when the guy can't fix it, he's going to sit down at the board and open the mic and say 'Well, that was a heck of a storm, huh — but it looks like it's over. I reckon it will be a while before we get back to normal with our programming system. In the meantime here's a song from this CD over here.' In a few minutes the phone rings and a listener says 'Hey, I kinda like this... say, could you play...'"

In 2000, at 59 and disappointed in where I saw radio going, I sold my last station & tried to retire. In 2001, I started a shopper type newspaper which covered eight middle Georgia counties. In January of 2003 I also started brokering radio stations, with Ted Gray out of NC. We have a website called "Broadcaststations4sale.com", focusing primarily on stations in the Southeast. It does my heart good when I see that gleam in the eye of a prospective new owner! As of 2005, I also have an ownership interest in and manage a station in Gadsden, AL.

In addition to my current two careers, I maintain a huge "radio repository" of my own, with thousands of tapes and files from 1960 to 2000, and a large collection of antique radios. In recent years I have collected a cabinet full of radio memorabilia from Ebay. (It has all been willed to Uncle Ricky!)

The Repository thanks Brother Dave for sharing!

[Descriptions by Dave Hedrick unless otherwise indicated]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (8.5 Khz)
Russ Wheeler, WEAM Washington, D.C. October 1966 (7:35)

. . . WEAM, the Lively One! . . .

Description by contributor Brother Dave Hedrick

The jock is Russ Wheeler on WEAM, Washington D.C. (Arlington, VA.) from Halloween, 1966. On line reverb, a time tone and PAMS Series 29 "Go-Go" jingles reflect the standard of the day.

WEAM (5kw fulltime at 1390) was DC's first "big signal" Top 40. It was one of the Harold Thoms' station group, which included WAYS/Charlotte (before he sold it to Stan and Sis Kaplan), WISE/Asheville, WCOG/Greensboro, and WKLM/Wilmington.

Strikes me after listening to this 'check that I don't remember any of the rest of the Thoms group in the '60's sounding as good as WEAM does here.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (8.5 Khz)
John Drake, WFOM Marietta GA. 1967 (59:11)

. . . Survey-Rated Number One in Cobb County . . .

Description by contributor Brother Dave Hedrick

WFOM, Marietta (Georgia) was an Atlanta wannabe, and this aircheck is from Easter, 1967. Yes, WQXI had a competitor after WAKE and WPLO bailed from the Top 40 format. "Radio 1-2-3-0" was a Class IV covering about half of Atlanta in the daytime, and at least six square blocks at night.
play This Exhibit 'SCOPED (28:31)
Musicless! For those who prefer hearing just the jings and the jock (and the promos and the news and the spots) we present this 'scoped version.

Over the years, many independent record promoters loved this station, and used it to encourage Quixie to add records. A lot of good talent worked the mike here, including "Baby" Hugh Jarrett. Jarrett's All American Girl is featured on the unscoped version of this exhibit.

This was a hot little station in its day. Note the accent reverb, filter mike, time tone & news bugs in the "20-20" newscasts, also delivered by overnight jock John Drake. There are lots of borrowed bits: Silver Dollar Survey, Boss Radio, Wax to Watch, etc. The Pepper-Tanner Happy Heart jingles are featured here.

Some of the best surprises are the great old commercials: A Motorola jingle, Petula Clark for Coke, A&P, and a local spot offering men's suits at $17.50 and up! And, check out the news story about the pregnant bank robber...

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (8.5 Khz)
Hal Martin, KLIF Dallas, February 13, 1968 (30:09)

. . . I was supposed to record one, it was going to be sent overseas, but it didn't quite make it - someone just took it down to the sea and tossed it in . . .
play This Exhibit 'SCOPED (13:25)
No music for you! Tunes on airchecks of this vintage do *not* sound like CDs or FM, and you can hear the music from many sources now. For those who prefer hearing just the jings and the jock (and the promos and the news and the spots) we present this 'scoped version.

Description by contributor Brother Dave Hedrick

After listening to a bunch of tapes, it's a real rush to sit back and enjoy this example of the granddaddy of them all in its prime. Gordon McLendon always said that "The on-air product comes first... if you do that right, the rest will follow." Hal Martin does the KLIF night shift and demonstrates why the Mighty 1190 owned Dallas. (Martin, who went on to KFRC, was later known as Michael Spears at KHJ.)

The real big, clean pro sound jumps out at you, complete with reverb and hot PAMS 34 "Music Power" jingles. Something notably absent from most Top 40 stations is the heavy informational content — lots of LOCAL weather, time chex, and when was the last time you heard a LIVE LOCAL NEWSCAST (Malcolm Landis, K--L--I--F-- Twenty--Twenty--News) on Top 40 radio at 10:20 at night? My favorite bit: Martin's walkup on The Tremeloes, in fact, the whole damn tape brings tears to my eyes!

[Note from the Curator: Michael Spears (aka Hal Martin) passed away of cancer on October 25, 2005.]

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44 Kbps (13 Khz)
Gwinsound Series 5 & 9 for WIXE, Monroe N.C. 1969 (05:15)

. . . It's Brother Dave! . . .

Description by Uncle Ricky

Well, here is another exhibit in The Dave Hedrick Collection not contributed by Dave Hedrick. I copied it in his production room at WIXE in Monroe, North Carolina, sometime in 1969. So, I've just returned it to the proper owner.

Tommy Gwin (d. June 30, 2006) did the best PAMS sound-a-like jingles in the Dallas jingle business at the time, and when I walked into the all-new WIXE in Monroe, these were the jingles in the rack - Gwinsound Series 5 & 9. Boss Man Brother Dave put them there. They were unbelievably awesome. I was 18 years old, and I could play any of these carted jingles in any one of four ATC Criterion cartridge machines through the Gates Diplomat console. I was in Radio Heaven. Of course, even then, I knew all radio stations were not like this.

Over the years, the "Wonderful" logo has remained a favorite of mine. And by the way - this was archived the night of publication from the original ACETATE 7.5 ips full-track tape, one generation off the master tape. Don't let anyone tell you that "old tape" sounds bad... I hear these jingles and I want nothing more than to be back at WIXE in 1969. Thank you, Brother Dave!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0 Kbps (8.5 Khz)
WZOO Asheboro N.C. Composite, 1972 (06:48)

. . . Stand back! Stand back! I think it's a virus, I'm not sure . . .

Description by Uncle Ricky

Unlike the other exhibits in this Collection, this one was not contributed by Dave Hedrick. It is, however, a (scoped) composite featuring Brother Dave Hedrick, Casey Jones and Rich Wood on Super 7 WZOO in Asheboro, N.C., in the Fall of 1972. This is an excerpt from a published feature in Volume I, Issue 8 of Programmer's Digest, November 20, 1972.

Dave was WZOO Program Director at this time, and was involved in putting this station (710 Khz) on the air. The "ZOO" call letters were in anticipation of a plan to locate the North Carolina State Zoo in Asheboro, but Dave moved to Providence R.I. as P.D. of WJAR, consulted by WBT's Tom McMurray, before the State Zoo opened in 1976.

As of 2008, WZOO-AM in Asheboro is a Christian Format. WZOO-FM is in Ohio.

This is a good old-fashioned highly-compressed, clean 'scoped composite right off the air monitor - but this copy came from the Programmer's Digest vinyl, so it's not really high fidelity. It is a Top 40 radio station in the classic east coast tradition. Call Letters are no longer very important, but this "ZOO" was a great idea for a community-specific radio station, long before "The Zoo" in New York took on a completely different meaning.

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More to Come from The Dave Hedrick Collection!
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