Sunday, December 19, 2010

WBZ AM 1030 Boston As An Adult Contemporary Music Station

WBZ AM radio 1030 in Boston, Mass., has a stellar reputation as a news and talk station today, but how many of you remember the legendary adult contemporary music format that livened the airwaves during the 1960s, 70s and 80s?

Yes, WBZ still had a good dose of news, weather and sports and nighttime talk shows, but the music format and its personalities were for the memories books, too.  What I remember: the day started out with Dave Maynard with his "Maynard in the Morning" show, followed by Carl DeSuze mid-mornings, and Larry Justice and the "Halls of Justice" in the afternoon. Each personality had a distinct delivery. Maynard was like your favorite uncle, able to connect with staff and audience. He wasn't loud like some of his contemporaries, and didn't need to be. He was clever without having to rely on a gimmick. It was almost like he was broadcasting from his living room. 

DeSuze had a flawless veteran radio presence that combined a measured formality with, more prominently, a warm, unique, comforting broadcasting style of his own.  Everyone around here knew the name DeSuze and seemed to love his classic one-for-the-ages radio voice.  Justice had a twinkle in his voice, a great sense of humor, an innate sense of when to talk over the music and a mid-tempo delivery that was good enough to liven up the afternoon drive-time.  I remember him introducing a Carpenters song, "Close to You," as memorable as the Burt Bacharach song itself! 

I seem to remember a block of news before Guy Manilla took over the 6 p.m. hour with his thoughtful, almost intellectual sports radio show. The quality of callers was just amazing, no doubt encouraged by Manilla's knowledge of sports and command of the English language.  The live wire, unforgettable Jerry Williams had a nighttime talk show that entertained, educated and sometimes inflamed local listeners with his controversial subject matters. He was no doubt a precursor to many of the opinionated talk show hosts of today.  

The humorous Larry Glick held the graveyard shift and became a legend with his easygoing style and "Glick University" personal encyclopedic knowledge. I loved it when a caller asked Larry "How are you doing?" and he then tapped on the table and said, "Wait a minute, let me check!"

I know WBZ featured some other great personalities through the years like Norm Nathan (a personal favorite, a dear person and one I recall best from WHDH and WEEI), Bruce Bradley (often regarded as one of the best local radio personalities of all-time), Dick Summers, Jefferson Kaye and Paul Perry, but this is the lineup I remember best.  How about you?

4 comments:

  1. Hey out there ... for whoever might be reading this ... my wife gave me a paperback book about Boston radio for father's day ....many of the above names mentioned here, along with one of my favorites, David Brudnoy, were in this book .... the one name, information and picture that was missing in this book, was another one of my very favorites, Guy Manilla. As pointed out, Guy began with a sports talk show on BZ ... he was kind of the older version of Bill Littlefield (WBUR). As pointed out, Guy was not of the present, yelling idiots on the radio of today. He was intelligent, well spoken, was an informed person of sports, was able to listen to the callers, and also saw sports as not the pinnacle of life. When Jerry Williams left (he had been a liberal at the start), Guy then took over that show, and left sports behind. I have wondered many times was has happened to him. He was indeed one of my very favorites for the the above reasons, and more. I had heard some time ago that he had moved to New Hampshire ... but that is all. So where is he, what can anyone tell me? .... Thanks ... Erik

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  2. Where is Guy Manilla these days? I knew him about 50 years ago in Milwaukee, before he moved to Boston, and regrettably have lost all touch. tm

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  3. If I remember correctly, DeSuze used to be the morning man, and Maynard was on in the afternoon. When DeSuze retired, Maynard became Maynard In the Morning, and Juicy Brucy Bradley returned to take the afternoon drive-time slot.

    Interestingly, both Maynard and DeSuze were called upon to narrate the Concord Bridge battle reenactments around Patriots' Day.

    The Spirit Of New England, WBZ, Radio 103!

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  4. And, as far as I know, WBZ pioneered the round-the-clock Christmas music concept. But the only did it 5pm Christmas Eve until 8pm Christmas night. Before then, from the day after Thanksgiving, they played a mix of regular music and Christmas music, starting with about 1 Christmas song in 4or 5, until, by Christmas week, the much ad gradually flipped to 4/5.

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