Reprinted from the Sunday Oakland Press, July 16, 2006
By: Art Vuolo
The big “Remember the Motor City Reunion” is finally here — July 19-22 in downtown Detroit. Eileen Trombley-Glick, a former Detroiter and 1966 grad of Regina High School, is orchestrating this huge reunion for next week. She truly echoes that line from Martha and the Vandellas’ hit song “Dancin’ in the Street” — can’t forget the Motor City!
You’ll be amazed at the number of activities and the big names expected to be on hand for this nostalgic gathering throughout downtown Detroit. A few of the names scheduled to be here include: Robin Seymour, Lee Alan, Paul Cannon, Johnny Ginger, Marv Welch, Irv (Ricky the Clown) Roming, Art (Bozo) Cervi and Detroit historian Stewart McMillin.
As one who has worked on putting together three Detroit Radio Reunions, I know firsthand what a huge undertaking it is. And, that’s a good word to use, because it nearly killed me, and most of our committee.
You can learn more by visiting www.detroitmemories.com/reunion.html. If you don’t have Internet access, you can call for more information at (480) 785-4616 or toll-free at (866) 633-7737. If you can’t wait for the Woodward Dream Cruise on Aug. 19, this sounds like the perfect fix to please anyone who grew up in the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s in Southeast Michigan. There will certainly be a strong presence of legendary radio — and TV — personalities at this reunion.
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A couple of weeks ago, as I lay in a hospital bed in Ohio, I thought how good it would be if only I had brought my laptop computer. With a computer you can spend hours — if not days — checking out a seemingly endless number of Web sites that cater to those of us still in love with radio. One of my closest friends, now working for XM’s classic country channel 10, is Country Dan Dixon. He even worked locally at the old WDEE-AM (1500) and WCXI-AM (1130) now WDFN-AM. Dan tipped me off to a Web site that was a major flashback for those of us who as kids treasured our transistor radios. Check out www.transistor.org/collection/collection.html and you can spend hours clicking all over the pages of classic transistor radios — one of which is probably just like one you once owned.
If you like to wear radio station apparel, like I do, than the site for you is unquestionably www.radiologoland.com. It is incredible how many shirts, hats, coffee mugs and the like can be had with the original logo of your favorite station from yesteryear. Last Christmas, a radio pal in San Diego gave me a brand new high-quality sweatshirt with the first-ever logo for WKNR-Keener 13. Very cool, indeed.
Mike Austerman’s site, www.michiguide.com, features not only past postings of this column, but also an entire listing of Web links with ties to radio enthusiasts, including station histories and the meanings of call letters. And my site, www.vuolovideo.com, is being heavily referenced by people nationwide looking for audio and video recordings of great radio stations from around the country.
A couple of other sites that will thrill anyone with a passion for radio include: the Classic CKLW Page (www.thebig8.net), and the WKNR site (www.keener13.com). And there is a lot of Detroit radio memorabilia at www.detroitradioflashbacks.net, and to actually hear old radio broadcasts, including my 1971 “History of Detroit Radio” documentary, check out www.putmeontheair.com. Make sure you have a lot of time before you do.
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Quick Hits: Gregg Henson, the always colorful one time co-host of Motor City Middays on hot talk WKRK-FM (97.1) is not returning to Detroit. The former sports guru from both WXYT-AM (1270) and WDFN has landed a sweet job as program director of Philadelphia’s newest all-sports station WPEN-AM (950), owned by Greater Media, which also owns classic rocker WCSX-FM (94.7), where Henson had his first job many moons ago.
Set your dial for more of that great Wurlitzer organ music from Don Thompson on Tom Wilson’s “Somewhere in Time” program at 6 p.m. today on WMUZ-FM (103.5).
My colleague Mike Austerman who pens this column on alternate weekends, is on a well-deserved family vacation, and will return.
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Art Vuolo has published the Radio Guide for more than 30 years and runs Vuolovideo.com.