Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We Bring Back Yesterday

Taken from a newspaper ad in February or March of 1971. Click on the image twice and you can enlarge it enough to ready it.

Great line up. Denny Erwin in the morning, who made a fortune later in life as a Burger King franchise owner in Central Ohio. Denny must have replaced Hugh Strider who made an appearance many times as a BBY personality before becoming widely known when the station took on jazz as Zoot Strider. Rick Seiler doing mid-days. Rick would later join future WBBY hosts Jay Wayne and bob Shaw(?)starting up WWWJ in nearby Johnstown.

What more can be said about Dianne Townsley. A young Westerville High School grad who had hosting a radio program as a career goal at a time when women platter spinners were a virtual unknown commodity. Her Sunday request show, Date with Dianne was a popular staple on the station.

Rounding out the broadcast day was a fellow I never heard of. Chris Ward. Maybe someone will clue me in as to who he is. My first recollection of an evening radio host was when Joe Gallagher hosted the show.

WBBY was also unique (or for the time, maybe not so unique)for carrying Ohio State Football. That was prior to the University bidding carriage of the games to the hightest bidder. Prior to that happeing, WBBY aired the games as well as WBNS, WRFD, WMNI AM&FM and WSPO.

The Big 104 was a unique station. A key daypart female host. One of the early stereo broadcasters in the area. An active player trying to find an audience niche when FM had yet to break free as the band to listen to. And a fun place to work.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bob O'Brian

Usually, I've spent time writing about people who were part of growing up listening to or working in radio.

Bob O'Brian was different. I was already an adult when he happened on the Columbus radio scene and working weekends at WTVN.

O'Brian arrived in October of 1977 to host afternoons at WBNS-AM. He would replace Jack Evans and Dick Zipf who were moving to mornings at the station(for the long term this time) from the afternoon drive shift.

I'm not sure what was compelling about Bob except I enjoyed listening to his show. Does there have to be a reason?

Bob also "broke" for Columbus audiences a song still remembered by many "Franklin County Woman" performed by local band Rainbow Canyon CD. You can see Bob and two members of the group in the photo in the WBNS studios when it was located at 62 East Broad Street across from the statehouse.

Bob was only around for a few years. He left in April of 1981 to return to family in the Phoenix area. He was replaced by Dennis Carter earlier in his career in the afternoon slot. When he left the station for good, he was hosting mid-days and responsible for on air production.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yeh Boy II

Sometime during the late 70's, WBNS did an advertising promotion using Dick Zipf's popular phrase YEH BOY!

I remember billboards with the phrase papered all over town. In the back of my mind, I thought it was also used in the print media. However a scan through the periodicals of the time reveal no printings of it except for a car dealer who was cross promoting with the station.

Below is some of the copy from an advertisement in the Citizen Journal from April of 1978.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Gap

Earlier, I wrote of our journey to Duffield, Va to see the Natural Tunnel. To add to an already ambitious trip, it was decided to include a visit to the nearby Cumberland Gap.

The Gap was strategic in the early days of settling beyond the original colonies. It allowed passage between Virginia into what later became Kentucky and on to the Ohio River at the Falls of the Ohio and what later became Louisville. It was an important southern entrance to that region of the continent.

Originally it was thought a necessary piece of real estate in the Civil War. It changed hands three or four times before General Grant decided the condition of the roadways made it non -strategic to the Confederacy.

Certainly one of the problems of doing trips as we do is that we only get to see the highlights of the attraction and spend little time in getting a better feel for the area. But as the old saying goes, the only thing standing in our way is time and money. And at least seeing the highlights lets us determine as time and money permits what places we will return to in the future.

Below are some of the pics to share.

Natural Tunnel

We enjoy so much taking our day trips.

Yesterday we got, shall we same very adventuresome. We traveled to western Virginia to see the Natural Tunnel. The Natural Tunnel, dubbed by William Jennings Bryant as the eight wonder of the world, is a naturally formed cave. A cave so large that a railroad bed was built through it. It is said to be over 200 feet wide in places and up to 80 feet tall. All naturally formed.

Although since the tunnel is an active working rail road site and visitors are not allowed actually inside of it unless escorted under special conditions, the tunnel is said to be a trove of fossils and other prehistoric evidence on the floor and walls.

It is said Daniel Boone was the first white man to see the tunnel.

The railroad first saw uses for it in the late 1800's building a rail bed in 1893. Service began in 1894, and it was largely used for passenger service. Today, it's only used to haul coal.

Although the site is primarily known for the tunnel and the beautiful state parkland that surrounds it, the area is also known for one of the great legends of men and women relationships. It is the real Lovers Leap

Tradition holds that Cherokee maiden and a Shawnee brave fell in love after they met at nearby hunting grounds. While the Indian nations were often at war, the grounds were mutually used without interference by crude treaty. The treat however still forbade intermarriage between the tribes. It is said the two lovers jumped to their deaths hoping to meet in harmony in the after life. The assumed place of their leap which is the pinnacle of the wall to the basin below is known as Lovers Leap.

Finally, we had a wonderful lunch provided by the Scott County (Virginia) Telephone Company. They were having a customer appreciation picnic, but everyone who came to the park was invited. We were among the few, and probably only if you went by the accent of those who spoke, Yankees there.

One of the more amusing moments was when a pre-teen boy who had a helium balloon was sucking in the air to make his voice sound funny. With the deep southern twang he already had, it sound was unbelievably funny.

More photos from this beautiful area are below.