Sir Bernard -
Knight of the Turntable
1971 - WOHO Toledo, Ohio
Located in the southwest corner of Lake Erie,
Toledo is one of the busiest ports in America, almost all the
imported cars enter through this very industrialised city. WOHO
was was part of the Midwestern
Broadcasting Group, owned and operated by Lou Dickey (Senior)
Lou was one of the most dynamic businessmen I've ever met, a
trait which has passed on to his sons who now, it seems, run
most of the radio stations in America.
Armstrong wanted to repeat the phenomena of my arrival in
Knoxville and I did all the same sort of promotions but was now
beginning to feel a little jaded and believe it or not, a little
old for the hard driving top 40 format. Lou Dickey was
very quick to recognise the changing patterns of listening
habits. Most of the power house stations were on AM but
music sounded so much better on FM. Lou purchased a
failing FM station and renamed it WXEZ.
With the American
pronunciation of zee not the British zed, it was EZ (easy)
Listening for Toledo and became very successful. Ronnie Aldrich
had released a double album and the cover had numerous
photographs of the Isle of Man. I was so pleased to see
this and made sure that plenty of his music was featured on wxez.
Once again, Lou Dickey showed great foresight and made the
station into one of the very first fully automated stations that
used a simple computer to drive the tape decks and cartridge
machines. With the installation came a change of
format. I suppose it could be called soft rock, the call
letters didn't change but it was referred to on air as Z-105
(zee) I took over the programming for this new station,
which was housed in the same building as WOHO,
but it meant that once I had fed all the data into the computer
for the day, a one hour job, I had nothing else to do. That's
when I got involved in our talk
you'll see on the billboard, they were given the name of
Rap, a long time before rap music hit the scene.
That's an image of me on the left of the bill boardThere
were five different hosts covering 7 pm to 6 am and I
was given the task of finding guests and topics.
One of the more sensational guests was Uri Geller
(right) who was just starting the "showbiz"
side to his new found fame. Here's a 60 second promo
that went on the Rap programme:
| I was tipped
off about Uri by a previous guest, astronaut Edgar Mitchell who had worked
with Uri conducting scientific research. Producing and often hosting
the late night talk shows was an incredible experience, another memorable
guest was Jane Fonda, who had acquired the nickname of Hanoi Hannah
because of her anti war stance, my problem was that when looking at her,
it was hard to see her in this role, I could only see Barbarella!
By the end of the seventies, I was really
homesick, I hadn't seen my parents in 8 years. An opportunity opened
at Manx Radio so decided to return home. Fellow presenter, Mike
Moran, telephoned me on my last day, and the following is a recording of
That takes me to the present - see 1989 - 2007