Monday, January 14, 2008

Virtual Communities of Radio Enthusiasts are Becoming Real

I worte this article for a newsletter titled Decalcomania.  I thought I would post it here for the benefit of my radio enthusiast friends who are not members of that club


Virtual Communities of Radio Enthusiasts Are Becoming Real

Bruce Slutsky

Flushing, NY 11354


 I sent a message to the Decalcomania Yahoo group remarking that there are very few contributions to the newsletter.  Rich Appel certainly does a fine job with Hz So Good, but the publications needs more contributions representing different aspects of our collective interest in radio broadcasting.


I remember that I first used e-mail and accessed the Internet in the fall of 1992 when I came to my current position at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  I discovered the Usenet group rec-radio that was moderated by the late Bill Pfeiffer.  Sometime in late 1992 I encountered Paul Richards who told me about Decalcomania which I joined.  In December 1993 we had a gathering at Bob Smolarek’s house in High Bridge, NJ. We traded airchecks and shot the breeze about radio. About a year later many of the same people met at Paul Richard’s home in Matawan, NJ.  There we planned the Decalcomania Convention that took place in July 1995 in East Brunswick, NJ. I remember visiting WRSU (Rutgers University) and WAWZ in Central New Jersey. The last gatherings of Decalcomaniacs that I attended was in August 1999 when Ken Hawkins invited the New York/New Jersey contingent to his sister’s home in Elizabeth, NJ.  I must congratulate George Greene who came from Ohio to all the gatherings that I have just mentioned.


America Online (AOL) had folders for enthusiasts of specific radio stations that were open only to AOL subscribers.  It was set up by Walt who grew up in New York but moved to Philadelphia.  We never had more than 6 or 8 regular posters we held gatherings in New York City in 2000, 2001, and 2003.  In our last meeting Lauren who came from Wallingford, Ct. taped the Dan Ingram show that turned out to be his last broadcast on WCBS-FM.


In June 2005 listeners were outraged at the abrupt flip of WCBS-FM to the hated Jack format.  Jeff from Union, NJ organized a rally by the Viacom building in Times Square.  I would have loved to be there, but I was on vacation in San Francisco at the time.


I arranged a gathering of oldies radio fans on June 3, 2006 the first anniversary of the dreaded format change.  It was held at Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Manhattan’s theater district where the waitresses actually sing   I originally anticipated a crowd of about 20 but over 60 came.  The guest of honor was former WCBS-FM personality Bobby Jay.


On December 3, 2005 talk radio WABC started a nostalgia show called Saturday Night Oldies hosted by Mark Simone.  In addition to the music played during WABC’s musicradio years (1960-82) the show includes interviews, old commercials, and calls from listeners.  There is also a message board affiliated with the show run by Allan Sniffen, board manager of the popular New York Radio Message Board.  A year later Frank, an avid listener, organized a one-year celebration at a deli in midtown Manhattan.  Over 60 people including Mark Simone and his producer Frank Morano came.  Photos of this event may be found at


In June 2007 WABC organized a cruise to celebrate the history of the station as both music and talk station.  Celebrities on the cruise included Cousin Bruce Morrow, Dan Ingram, Mark Simone, Curtis Sliwa, Mark Levin, Johnny Donovan, and comic Soupy Sales.  Photos from this event may found at .


Finally, the latest gathering was held on December 1, 2007 for the second anniversary of Saturday Night Oldies.  Bobby Jay who now has a gig at Sirius Satellite Radio was there.  Photos may be found at


All of these events could not have taken place without internet technologies.  Sending e-mail is a lot easier and less expensive than making phone calls.  Maybe in future issues, there will be articles about other get togethers that have taken place over the years.



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