WFEA Winner's Circle 1961 WFEA logo WFEA jock schedule - December 4, 1966

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ad for WFEA's Jack Patrick - October 1, 1961

newspaper article on WFEA's Jim Camilli - February 16, 1964

 

As WFEA began the 1960s, it leaned heavily on the Top 40 music that was sweeping America. While providing news and public affairs programming, the thrust was primarily rock and roll.

Under Bill Malo and Frank Pellegrin's WFEA Broadcasting Corp., the station developed a reputation for being something of a revolving door for young disc jockeys. On-air stays were often short. Sometimes individuals left and came back; for example Jack Miller sat out parts of 1962-63 while he served his military obligation.

There were at least three Jim Longs at WFEA (Don Davis and Pete Morrison were two of them).

From 1960-65, programming was under the direction of Jim Camilli, a fast talking DJ who came from upstate New York. He employed whatever slick promotional ideas were sweeping the industry at the moment.

Management wasn't above raiding the competition. In late 1964 WFEA stole WKBR's popular French-language music host, Joe Maltais.

Joe Maltais joins WFEA - October 8, 1964

WFEA logo

In 1965 Charlie Shoe replaced Jim Camilli as program director, but he was stolen by WKBR program director Eddie B. Baker (another ex-WFEA DJ) in mid 1966.

Many people found themselves in WFEA's driver's seat during the 1960s. It's unclear which of them made the decision to depart with continuous Top 40 music in October 1966. Gene LaVerne was associated with the station for 20 years off and on, starting as a singing cowboy and later spinning pop hits. Suddenly the Top 40 format was interrupted by country and western music every weeknight from 7PM-midnight.

VOICES OF THE 1960s

Chuck O'Neil
Gene LaVerne
Jack McPadden
Jack Miller
Ron Raven
Jack Patrick
Jim Long
Bobby Baker
Jim Camilli
Eddie B. Baker
Don Bruton
Leo Cloutier
Tom Shovan
Sandy Beach
Don Elliott
Tom Scott
Bob Wood
Art James
Frank Haley
Pete Morrison
Art Jones
Steve Marcus
Joe Maltais
George Stevens
Bill Gaye
Johnny Gardner
Charlie Shoe
Juicy Brucie
Jim Morgan
Phil Christie
Alan Paige
Brother Dave
Johnny Long
Jim Demetry
Bill Lawrence
Marty Sidman
John J. Stevens
Dick Blanchard
Dick Brown
Johnny Karr
Pete Steady
Pete Fasciano
Nic Howard
Bill Parkhurst
Chuck Avia
Ron Christopher
Bob Zee
Rick Davis
John Halden
Granny Goose
Johnny Tripp
Jeff Truehart
Jason B. Goode
Ray Alexander
Richard Scott Holliday
R.W. Churchill

WFEA adds country music at night - October 1, 1966

In February 1967 Mark Century, Inc., a New York company that provided jingles, commercials and comedy drop-ins for more than 500 stations, announced it would buy WFEA. The $280,000 sale was completed May 16th.

The new owners of Century Broadcasting Group, Inc. were music world heavyweights. The principals were composer Mitch Leigh, best known for Man of La Mancha, Virginia attorney Milton Herson and singer Steve Lawrence. There were at least eight minority stockholders.

Century installed Ansel S. Chaney as general manager; he came from WXHR in Cambridge, MA and had previously managed stations in the Carolinas.

 

Dick Brown was named program director; he was a veteran on-air and programming man who had done time at WHDH and WCOP in Boston, KDKA in Pittsburgh and WIND in Chicago.

George Stevens was named news director; he formerly worked at WGIR in Manchester.

WFEA owner Mitch Leigh
Mitch Leigh

WFEA owner Milton Herson
Milton Herson

WFEA owner Steve Lawrence with wife Eydie Gorme
Steve & Eydie

WFEA general manager Ansel S. Chaney
Ansel S. Chaney

 

They modified the hard Top 40 sound with middle of the road hits in a format dubbed The Sound of the Good Life.

One of the first things Century did was convince Mitch Leigh to compose "Song of New Hampshire" (listeners were invited to send for free records of it). Former WFEA deejay Steve Marcus refocused his career toward public affairs by hosting the nightly Impact phone-in show from 9-11PM.

The deejay staff, formerly called The Swinging Guys, were renamed The Unknockables.

WFEA program director Dick Brown
Dick Brown

WFEA news director George Stevens
George Stevens

WFEA's Jim Demetry

Jim Demetry

WFEA's Dick Blanchard
Dick Blanchard
WFEA's Johnny Tripp
Johnny Tripp

WFEA's Bill Lawrence

Bill Lawrence

 

In April, 1968, Rudolph S. Nelson, Jr., replaced Ansel Chaney as general manager; he soon signed WFEA to a two year contract with the ABC Contemporary Network. A year later Rudy Nelson was promoted to vice president of Century Broadcasting Group, Inc.

Since parent company Mark Century was a leading provider of radio station jingle packages, WFEA was soon airing The Young Americans series, and the deejays had a new name.

WFEA Action Line News cars
WFEA beefed up its community presence with a pair of Action Line news vehicles and an orange and white mobile studio called the WFEA Band Wagon.
WFEA Band Wagon
ads for WFEA's Granny Goose - September 5, 1969

General manager Rudy Nelson had an apparent fondness for goofy on-air names. When he appeared on WFEA, he called himself Jeff Truehart.

As the decade ended, listeners tuned in to such improbable deejays as Al Carp (Al Carter), Johnny Tripp (Tom Coughlin), Granny Goose (Bob Leonardi), Jason B. Goode (Dick Stonner) and R.W. Churchill (Bob Cohen). The list continued into the 1970s.

1969 WFEA logoc
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