Monday, October 31, 2005


Hey! Someone is using my name on Blogspot....grrrrr

I can't set up an account using my own name...... nor retrieve any log in info...can't post....

How many rabbetts can there possibly be? Who has hijacked my name and why?

grumble grumble grumble

First Song

Bruce Anderson posted on October 23rd about the first song I played when we signed on back in 1973. I can't for the life of me remember but I am wondering if Tom Z has all the old playlist books. I bet he'd remember. Seems he remembers everything.

Someone should contact Z and see what he says or find out what happened to those books. Or maybe Stan Mingo has them...hmmmm BJ? Do you have them?

3 Swell guys

Regarding another post on the 3 Swell guys. Whomever posted did not remember Jeff "Rasputin" Morris. "Spute" was also the creator of the original WXCI 91.7 logo we all know and use and love. 3 Swell guys were myself, Dave Nanavaty and Jeff Morris. Jeff did a bulk of the production and we generally were just fooling around in production when we'd create whatever it was we used to create. Lots of psa's actually. We ran no commercials as we were commercial free.

I confess!

I lifted one of the logo emblazoned plastic Michrophone squares. I just noticed it on a shelf down in my old studio the other day collecting dust.

I should either be tarred and feathered or I should have the thing encased in lucite and send it back huh? Might make a good paperweight or entry into the future WXCI Museum. Or maybe someone should come out here and take it away from me? ;)

- who was Bob Mallory married too? can you name her? And whatever happened to her? (this part I do not know)

Bob Mallory smoked a pipe and it drove a lot of us nuts. Another WXCI Dj also smoked a pipe - can you name him? He and his wife live in Monroe, Ct. He used to room with Bob Fauble who worked in the Echo. Whatever happened to Bob? He always hung around with us in the WXCI office. (this I do not know either - just asking)

By the way Les Andrews, our GM from way back when lives on O'ahu and works downtown as a financial planner. I used to run into him every once in a while down on Bishop Street in Honolulu. Haven't seen him in a couple years.... Les suspended me one time for yelling at and throwing one of our "newsmen" out of the studio.

- HIS NAME WAS Steve XXXX - He shared a last name with a real former CBS famous newscaster but was no relation. He claimed to have done everything before anyone else did. I remember when he claimed he wrote and published the very first Underground Newspaper. No wonder I threw him out of the studio. (Les' girlfriend did not like him either - in fact I don't remember anyone who did.....)

- what was the name of the lady who was our College President back when the transmitter was in the Administration building attic with that cute little 10 watt double ring antennae sticking off of the roof?

- Instead of taking showers Pete Oates used what?

- Who was taller than I am and also was named Peter?

Aloha from Kailua!

Monday, October 24, 2005

It's Five o'clock Straight up!

I was strangely reminded of an expression some dj's used at the top of the hour during my time at XCI.

Sometimes you'd hear someone say: "It's 5 o'clock straight up".

I think the PD at the time (I can't remember who) suddenly thought that it had an 'off color' connotation - I guess some people have their drinks 'straight up'... or maybe there was another more obvious insinuation... hmmm....

Anyhow - I remember his or her ears would perk up every time the expression was oralized. It was a HELL of a time getting the dj's to lay off the phrase.

A sign was even erected.

Personally I may have said - "it's 5 o'clock vertical" once or twice in defiance. But the PD was pretty bent out of shape about it and I had to take it seriously, being a board member and all... now it just seems kind of silly.

When you think of all the legitimate filth that's broadcast today... innuendo seems more so adorably cute and innocent and a bit more creative - (not to be confused with re-creative).

Dead Air Nightmares

I have a question that i wanted to ask of my fellow djs...

Does anybody have nightmares about not being able to cue up records or not being able to avoid dead air?

This doesn't happen often but i do have these recurring dreams once in a while.

i thought i read about this somewhere on the blog and it happened again last night.

Rich, am i alone in this?

--Morgan Williams

Rich says: Speaking for myself - I haven't had that kind of dream happen lately... I haven't sat in front of a LIVE broadcast microphone in 3 to 5 years, either. But years ago on WLAD - I lost about 20 seconds of precious broadcast time (an ETERNITY... go on count them off) when I went to the bathroom during a Sox or Giants game... I think it was a Sox game, it was the top of the inning, and I had no idea they were going to do a pitching change... So, I casually walk back into the studios and my blood runs cold as I can hear all the all the alarms going off. I start running and throw a CART in and press the button as the dreaded phone was ringing with Mr. Irv on the other line. It was my first chance to talk to him - since I'd gotten the job with the help of Bart Busterna and Louis Wahl. Ahhh well.. For me it was NO nightmare, it was the real terrifying deal. Even after that moment, I could have made much more of my short time at LAD - I regret that I never did.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A message from Bruce Anderson

I was allerted to this project by Evans "ET" Travis. I love what you're doing here and thought I'd throw in my 3 cents.

Been pretty busy since we all last met (has it been 8 years already?). Life's been good; life's been bad but we're all hanging in there. I've got a total of 29 years at the old PO and am eligible to retire next November. I was just reelected to my second term as Secretary for Branch 147 of the National Association of Letter Carriers and I write for and coedit (along with Brian Burgess) our union newsletter "The Owl." So, I may stick around for a while.

I loved the discussion on the first song Rabbet played in '73. I'll bet it something by the Eagles. I had just gotten out of "Intro to Critical Methods" and was headed from White Hall to the Student Union for some lunch when Pete Ochs and ET flew by with news of The Telegram. After that I don't remember if I was in the control room or the outer office when Rabb signed on. There was a lot of excitement in the air. I was the last of the regular air staff to do a shift and I signed on with Moby Grape's "Omaha." (The first receord I ever played on WSCT was Eric Clapton's "Let it Rain" in the fall of 1970).

I was only on the FM dial for a couple of months but I enjoyed my days at XCI. It was a great place to hang out and listen to some good music.

Bruce Anderson
Life Member 1973

P.S. Bob Mallery was in the Air Force

Message from Bill Baker

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I JUST got out of prison and YOUR e-mail was my first priority.

I have really enjoyed looking at the WXCI blog. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

Some random comments:

1. Thank you Pam Meister, Rich and Randy Frongillo for the nice compliments. I too was a big fan of me and to this day I have never heard anyone quite like me.

2. To the person who spilled coffee because of me: I wish I knew your name so I could apologize more personally. I have NO recollection of that incident whatsoever, but I have to say - when you play with fire, sometimes you get burned. Hot beverages and walking: They did not mix well in the 80s and they are still a dangerous game here in the 21st century. (It appears that the Internet can not solve ALL our problems.)

3. Rich - I remember the McDLT prediction. Boy - that sure was prescient on my part. If only I had put my money where my mouth was and shorted McDonald's stock. Fourteen years later the bubble burst, the market tanked and I could be living on my private island.

4. The song debut I DO remember, but it was not Skinny Puppy (after my time) or Sonic Youth. It was actually The Jesus and Mary Chain and it was the vacuum cleaner. GOD I hated that band.

5. Randy - you stiffed me on the secret Santa thing when we were working together at WINE, not WXCI, so I hardly think that THIS is the proper forum for dredging up your anti-Semitic feelings toward me.

6. Hey Hugh - if you insist of sending around photos of me with long hair and aviator frame glasses, keep in mind I still have the negatives from the1983 CMJ convention when you and your buddy Johnny Walker stumbled your way through a night of debauchery in the West Village, back when the West Village was the West Village and long before it was poisoned with red-state testosterone from people like Russell Crowe and Rupert Murdoch.

I hope this finds everyone well.



Friday, October 21, 2005

Can anyone play this???

FIDELIPAC™ - 40 SEC at 7.5 IPS 25 FT - NAB Type AA Cartridge

If I remember correctly, it's got the intro music bed for a late night news update... probably John Williams' theme from "Space Camp". I don't know why I kept a few of these... No earthly idea...

Small WXCI Sticker

Morning Sickness premiers new song!

I'm reminded, this morning of a classic "Morning Sickness" moment in '85 or '86 when Bill Baker announced that he was about to premier a new song by either Skinny Puppy or Sonic Youth and then put a hairdryer up to the microphone for a few seconds.

In the words of Steve Martin, "comedy is not pretty". Thankfully, I don't think I was driving at the time.

He also predicted that a new McDonald's sandwich - "the McDLT" one that kept the hot side hot and the cold side cold in a large styrofoam container would be a big flop - "because the container was too big to fit under your carseat when you were done."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

XCI moments

Since leaving it's sphere of influence, "XCI moments" are a bit rare for me. But today, as I was driving home, I had one... Yup, in its own little way it brought me back.

Thanks to the Texas Radio Theatre - I've met a number of people in Dallas / Fort Worth radio... while I was switching stations and heard a voice I recognized. We'd worked together on a few audio plays - and there he was doing the traffic report.

OK, for those who still work in broadcasting - I suppose this isn't a big deal - but for me it brought back memories of when I could turn on the radio - and 88% of the time, it would be someone I knew.

It was even a better feeling when I was away for a while. When I came back from a trip to New York or Long Island, I'd be on 684... I don't remember where it was... but there was a small hill that once I drove over - XCI would come in clear as a bell. I'd tune it in - turn it up and I'd already be that much closer to home. Coming the other direction on 84 - I think there was a hill just outside of Waterbury that XCI's signal used to reach to. I should think these days, with 3000 watts it'll go a bit farther.

In August of '91 I moved to Texas - but I remember still getting echos of that feeling whenever I visited for a couple of years... and even though I'm a stranger to 99.44% of the folks at the station... I still have an urge to tune in 91.7 once every year or so when I'm driving up 684.


WXCI stickers on the WMRQ van...

Back in 1997 a Hartford based "Modern Rock" station known as "Radio 104" (which is now a hip-hop station) came to WestConn and setup their Promotions Van right outside WXCI's White Hall studio. Myself and several other DJ's were rather ticked about this. They were playing their music and giving out station swag literally right outside our door!

The nerve!

Our plan was to let WMRQ know that we weren't exactly thrilled about this. We setup our mobile unit speakers right outside the studio and began our our impromptu remote broadcast.

I can't remember exactly who took this next step; but one of our WXCI staffers had the awesome idea of sneaking up behind the Radio 104 van and putting WXCI stickers on it.

A couple of WXCI stickers were placed on the Radio 104 van; and some pictures were quickly taken. One of those pictures is still in the WXCI studio to this day.

When it was all over we were packing up our stuff and we could hear the Radio 104 people all ticked off because they couldn't get the XCI stickers off. They drove away with our stickers on their van. Serves 'em right for setting up right outside our studio.

In the long run WXCI has been playing awesome music since 1973. WMRQ no longer exists. When "Modern Rock" wasn't getting ratings anymore Radio 104 morphed into Power 104... a hip-hop station.

Don't mess with college radio suckers!

-- Jesse

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I've still got a few. More than a few. The only trouble is - they're all me and my own shows.

I wish I had a chance to tape some of the other DJs who were on the air during my time at XCI - I listened to the station a bunch, too (I knew some DJs who never listened to XCI... they just did their show and left) - I listened to the station whenever it was on, but as far as recording it - I was selfish.

Each week in between shifts, I'd listen to the cassette and try to remember what worked and what stunk... I guess I was trying to improve. I don't know how good it worked, and it still boggles my mind how I ended up with a 2'x2' box of 'em, (or more) 18 hundred years later...

And then there's the big question of how a college student, working part time at the Ethan Allen Inn or B Dalton Booksellers or the Ruth Haas Library (and various other menial jobs) could I afford to buy so many freakin' cassettes??

Ponderous... freakin' ponderous.

Hey... I wonder what airchecks are on now-a-days... can you plug an ipod or minidisc recorder into the board mix now? Can you capture an mp3 and put it on a memory stick or just burn a CD when the show's over? I guess the possibilites are endless.

TKs = The Bushwacker

Morgan reminds me that earlier XCI folks might know TK's as the Bushwacker!

Gotta keep these things in perspective. And I'm not sure if it was TKs then or not... for all I know it might have been the Bushwacker at the time.

Which reminds me... (this question is for those who are still in the Danbury area) Is Tuxedo Junction still there? How about Tortila Flats? JK's Texas Red Hots? How about Promises/City Limits... is there a club there now?

I remember a few loosely affiliated XCI events at that place. At least a new music night. Ah City Limits... until I went there I never knew that Gin and Tonics could glow in the dark.

That was back in the day when bars actually had pretzels and bar snacks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The TKs remote for "On and Off the Field"

Tales of a chief engineer
Part 5402: The TK's remote emergency.

The sports dept had been doing a live remote from TKs (a bar down the road on White Street) for a while, and we were getting ready to do a remote test, when we got a call.

"The Marantz isn't powering up!"

I asked them to check a few things... plug... switch... outlet... there's a black button on the back... twist it off and look inside.

"It looks like a fuse", he said.

"Ok... is the wire inside broken?"


"I'll be right there." And in a flash, I was tearing down the road in my 1976 forest green Plymouth Volare.
I ran inside and looked at the Marantz remote transmitter. The fuse was bad alright... but for some reason, my parts box didn't have the right kind of fuses. None of them would fit.

"We go on in 5 minutes, can you fix it?" he asked.

"I'll see what I can do". and I ran out to my car, holding the busted fuse.

I didn't have time to run to RatShack... On gut instinct, I ripped open the fuse panel to the Volare. Just my luck, the fuses were identical in shape (that's all I cared about at that point).

I tried to figure out what electrical system I least cared about... I think I took the blower fuse or the dashboard light fuse... and I ran back in. The little remote transmitter blinked back on with one minute to go... and the remote was saved.

Incidentally, my next car - a Dodge Colt did not have the same kind of fuses... so if that happened later on... I would have had to wrap tin foil around the busted fuse to make the contact.

By the way... bypassing fuses with tin foil is not a 'best practices' approach to electrical troubleshooting. I just thought I'd put that disclaimer in there... but you gotta do what you gotta to sometimes... and do the right repair after the broadcast... or after you see smoke... whichever comes first.


Fixing it on the fly...

Tales of a chief engineer.
Part 181: The lightswitch.

One day the switch for the studio overhead lights broke. The DJs had limped along using the light from the window most of the day - and for some reason, the student center maintenance guy was unavailable, and would be for some time.

So the call went out to find me... the Chief Engineer. Most of the time, I'd be the one to grab a soldering gun, or a bunch of patch cords... but today then needed me to play with line voltage.

A light switch, I thought... that's nothing. I'd been helping my uncle on general contracting work in NYC for the past 5 summers and tackled far worse things than a light switch.

Rudi, XCI's business manager, and I ran out to a local hardware store, (it might have been the one with the 5 cent cokes across from the RR station) and got a replacement dimmer switch. When we got back, we took the cover off, pulled the old dimmer switch out a bit... and then I realized, "Hey... This is a potentially live circuit."

One of the wires was live, and a finger across the two would close the connection.
"Does anyone know where the breakers are in the student union? Anyone? Anyone?... No?... anyone?"

Even if we did... do we know which one was connected to the overhead lights? Well, I knew a quick way to find out (with a heavy duty screw driver) - but there was a chance, it could have turned off the whole studio.


It was inconceivable to sign off, just to change a light switch - I mean... XCI was on the air for cryin out loud... wasn't that the most important thing in the universe???

Alrighty then. So... carefully... making sure to hold all the tools by their plastic insulating material, I disconnected the old switch, and connected the new one... without letting XCI miss a beat.

I think I might have missed a beat myself once or twice when my screwdriver slipped a bit, but otherwise the proceedure worked (and I'm here to tell about it).

I have to say, that's the closest I ever came to inflight-refueling, or performing open heart surgery. I lost my regulator on an80 foot dive once while my mask was filling with water... it was kind of like that. Not much different than hearing a song end, when you have nothing cued up.... except for the life threatening aspect or finger smoking potential, of course.

Good times.

Spaghetti Splash a WINNER!

Spaghetti Splash was definately a winner (in making people believe the radio station personel were freaks!)

However, turnout was good and the event went over very well! Dan Clarke was the MC. Where is Dan Clarke??and i think Scott Ventrella was on the air.

Skippy Ventrella! Where is Skippy?

Scott Brunjes and John McGuiness were huge forces in making that event a sucess.

--Morgan Williams

Rotation and post 1000

The following has been "elevated" from the comments section of a previous post

I find this quite amusing:

"I was going to see if I have any old play-list from back then to see what the heavy rotation songs and any old production to play on the air that weekend."

Heavy rotation songs? When we were doing rock shows back in the mid-70s -- particularly "Night Rock" every night from 11 to 2 -- the only thing "heavy rotation" meant was that the record on the turntable weighed a bit more than others.

We played whatever came to mind -- often only seconds before a song ended. And the only playlists were the handwritten logs we kept of what we played. (Unfortunately, mine all vanished 20 years ago; now they're just in my head.) What made each DJ's show unique was often the records we brought in from our personal LP collections. It was exciting, seat-of-your-pants radio... too bad nobody could hear it more than about a block from campus!

-- Jeffrey Morris

PS: I just want you to know that I just personally pushed the counter to 1000. I was going to post a comment to that effect, but I can't figure out any way to post a new entry -- even though I did last week -- I can only figure out how to add a comment to an existing post.

NOTE: That's because I'm moving (or reposting) some of the comments to the main message area. If you want something on the blog - one easy way is to email me or BJ. -rf

Spaghetti Splash and the Trike thing

The following is a composite email converstation between Randy and myself

Randy asks:

By the way ...Anybody got pictures of the Spaghetti Splash? Took me three days to get the oil and smell off of me! What a mess that was!

Rich says:

Hey, yeah... I remember the Spaghetti Splash. I think...

Randy says:

The Spaghetti Splash was fun but kind of a dud. I don't remember who came up with the idea, but it sounded good to me. We filled a Kiddie Pool with a couple hundred pounds of Spaghetti and a few gallons of vegetable oil (I remember JR in the school kitchen stirring up the vat of pasta) and have people jump in and wrestle around. It took place one night outside the studio window (in front of where the Cop Shop was).

Contestants would jumpin, 2 at a time, searching through the gooey mess looking for poker chips with numbers on them. That meant a prize of some sort. We talked it up on the air and encouraged people to show up in their best Splash attire, but nobody really knew what that meant.

A few had scuba gear but most were in shorts & a t-shirt. This would've probably been around '85 and mudwrestling was big back then. The Splash was a variation on that theme.

As it turned out, only a few people jumped in ...mostly XCI staff and listeners. There were a bunch of spectators, but they all thought we were a bunch of freaks anyway, and really didn't want much to do with us in the first place. They just looked on... certain that we indeed were a bunch of freaks.

Clean-up was a bitch.

Rich says:

Yeah, I think I was on the staff of the Echo at the time. We saw lots of stuff go by our door. I also rememeber a reoccuring event about drunk driving that we did with the campus police... a tricycle was involved and cones. I also remember the days when we used to do a remote during registration. That was in the days when it was in the gym, and it looked like the floor of the stock market, with everyone clammering for classes. I think that whole thing petered out the last semester I was there, when everything started going electronic.

Randy says:

Oh jeeze. The Trike thing. Yeah, that was me actually. Captn. Morgan & Coke. I remember the headline in the Echo... DJ Trikes Drunk. I managed to hit every cone and rolled the trike. I think I still have the newspaper article.

Rich says:

I remember XCI did that a few times while I was there. It had to be some kind of event to discourage drunk driving.

Randy closes:

I didn't know the trike thing was recurring tho'. I only did it once. Worst hang over I ever had. Last time I had a Capt. Morgan & Coke too.

Long distance participation

I asked XCI's GM, Joe Mariano, about the possibility of far flung XCI alums particpating in the WXCI Birthday event.

I thought that those who have the technology available to them, could send a CD or two. He said:

Pre-recorded stuff is not problem, my only request is that it be mailed and to the station by mid January so we can test it on the station to make sure station IDs and other automation work correctly with the production this will also allow plenty of time if any pre-recorded stuff needs to be fixed or re-formatted for automation. When recording it please keep in mind to use an mp3 or wav format. Those work best with automation.

Since I'm in Texas (with a wife, three kids and mounting debt) a recording might be my only option, in February... but I'm holding out hope. I'd also be glad to offer whatever help I can to any who need it (encoding and stuff).

Meanwhile, I dusted off my turntable last night and put a few albums on.


A warning to you all... this can be a "time sucker"... once I started listening to one song, I was reminded of another... then I kept putting on record after record... Mid-way though my journey back in time - I used my brain and actually encoded a few onto my computer. Perhaps it can be a little show prep for my possible CD...

Still... be careful if you do this - personally, I never meant to stay up until 3am.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Message from Current WXCI GM

My name is Joe Mariano I'm the current GM of WXCI, first off I'd like to say thank you to you and all of the WXCI alum I've never met for really blazing the trail for myself and all the current student DJs we have on the air. I went to the WXCI 80's website and found the conversation Rich had between himself and someone else trying to explain what a cart is, pretty ironic given that now we are starting to go digital with the music. I think I've had the same conversation about a hundred times in the last year in regards to automation.

I'm e-mailing you today in regards to WXCI 33rd birthday in February. What I would really love to do is that Saturday February 26th pretty much turn the station over to the alumni and let them spin all day on Saturday. I was going to see if I have any old play-list from back then to see what the heavy rotation songs and any old production to play on the air that weekend.

Also the new should be up in about 2 weeks, unfortunately things have been so crazy (surprise, surprise) I haven't had a chance to work on it. Please let the alum know that if they want to keep up to date with station activities to check out we currently have a page there and if they wish to be put on the WXCI News & Notes e-mail list please let them know to e-mail the request to be added to mailing list. Furthermore our web broadcast should be up and running again by days end.

Finally I would like to extend an invitation to all alum to stop down at the station during our staff meetings on Wednesday nights at 8pm and tell their stories about the station in the 70' and 80's and early 90's and what they have been up to. Also DON'T FORGET!!! WXCI is throwing our Halloween Bash at The Monkey Bar in Danbury, CT on Oct. 29th and we would love to see some alums there.

Again please extend my thanks to all alum. I'm a big believer in knowing where you came from and would love to hear some of the experiences you guys had. If my staff or I can help with anything please feel free to contact me.

Our Staff Meeting Scheadule for the rest of the semster is as followed:

October 26
November 9
November 30
December 7
December 14

Thank you,

Joe Mariano

General Manager 91.7 WXCI

Job opening at WLAD/DAQ

Randy says he saw this ad on this morning for a Production Director at Berkshire (WLAD/DAQ Etc).


Three station Northeast group needs a pro for commercial production and station imaging. Formats: Hot A/C, Full Service and Oldies. Some on-air shift work. Rush your resume and stuff to the e-mail address below or to Production Director, WDAQ/WLAD/WREF, 198 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810.
Regional candidates encouraged.
The Berkshire Broadcasting Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
wlad, 10/12/2005 10:47:35 AM,

Message #170680

Thursday, October 13, 2005

T-shirt 1990

During my time at WXCI, I saw four or five T-shirt designs... I've seen a few after too... but this is the first one I was able to get for myself. This was the winner of a listener contest. Full color design too! We even had STAFF shirts, hot stuff... huh?

WXCI Bumpersticker in Texas

The Texas sun kind of adds character to the average WXCI bumpersticker.

Still... they hold up pretty well, huh?

The very first song

In one of the comments, Randy asked if anyone knew the first song played on WXCI. Since Rabbett was the first voice on the station, I thought he might remember, so I shot him a quick email.


He said Tom Z. might know, or have access to some of the original logs - but the chances are slim.

Anyone want to create some guesses or rumors? How about Sly and the Family Stone? Something off Let it Be?


And what a bargain that Volare was Randy! You had the wagon version of my car, but you didn't have the deluxe white vinyl (looks like real leather) interior (that is, until you bought it).

You know, it was "Frequency Man" and your other spots that gave me the "push" to do my own production work. After you left, I attempted to do my version of NuMusic Frequency Man in '90 or '91 as a tribute.

Christa (who was PD at the time) listened to it carefully. She wasn't sure. I tried my best to live up to the original. I took it in a different direction, but she was cautious. After some hesitation, it was approved, but even though mine got on the air - your two versions were the best.

You showed me how much fun I could have at the station. You introduced me to Pete, which was helpful when I became engineer... not only that, but hanging out with Pete was inspiring in its own way... his basement was NUTS!

From one RF to another - right back attcha, you old space wanderer, you...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

SuperStereoPhonicWXCI NewMusicFrequencyMan

Nice job on the site Rich! I Love It! I’ve been thinking a lot about the old days lately… then Morgan sends me this hideous pic of a bunch of us at an XCI picnic.
I recognize Pam & JR. Can’t tell who that is next to me…or the guy on the end. Ed perhaps? Anyway, Morgan reminded me of “SuperStereoPhonicWXCI NewMusicFrequencyMan”…I’ve got a tape of that somewhere! Quite possibly the original master. I hope it hasn’t fallen apart. I’ll see if I can salvage it and get a copy out for all to enjoy!

I’ve never given it much thought over the years, but XCI was one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life! It is the reason I stayed in school when I was having doubts (then again, all that time spent in the Prod Room almost made me flunk out!), and without ever making a conscious career choice, it led to a job (in fact it was Bruce Goldsen that gave me my first shot on-air job)…that led to another, and another etc. Here it is over 20 years later and I’m writing this from a Production Room over-looking Invesco Field, the Pepsi Center and Coors Field. I spent some time in the “Upper Dial” playing that “evil icky drippy pop music”, but it really didn’t hurt.

I miss everybody…

Bill (I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything when I was your secret Santa…I still owe you) Baker…
Pete (the Mad Scientist with the “Pirate Station” in his basement made from spare parts that meant the old lady down the street could pick up the Sex Pistols on her toaster) Partenio…
Darryl (taught me to pronounce “W” – doub LL you) Ohrt…
Kandi (I’m sorry I played Donovan…I won’t do it again) Wilkins…
Scott (talked me into joining XCI in the first place) Brunjes…
Ed the Frat Guy (with whom I co hosted the Zappa show)…
Morgan (nice legs fella) Williams…
Kirk (You and Morgan - Wednesday Nights at Promise’s Nu Music Nights were the best night out in town) Michaels…
Boy Troy (who mooned me in the middle of my very first on-air newscast and made me laugh out-of-control during a story about a doctor performing abortions on women he knew were not pregnant) Smith…
Robin (I can’t believe the mic was on when you called yourself a “Fucking idiot” on WINE) Blake
Christa (the coolest girl I ever knew) Sarracco
Anne (-archy) Corey
Greg (will you please play “My Pal Foot Foot?) Vegas
Hugh (I can graduate?) McCarney
The guy who hosted “Doors” who got me a good lawyer when I needed one.
JR, RobRadio, Dave Rinelli, Pam Meister, Bill Walsh, Greg Higgins…and all the rest I couldn’t quite remember…

Oh, and OUR HOST…Rich (want to buy a Volare?) Frohlich!

Thank you all for the memories!

Randy Frongillo
KLZ - Z560 ESPN Radio
2150 W. 29th Avenue, suite 300
Denver, CO 80211
303-801-0435 direct


I remember hearing rumors about "The Clambake".

I wasn't a member of XCI in those days... but it was so notorious that echos of the event continued long into my tenure at the station. What's it all about? (at least the things that can be said on line)...


Morgan sends this photo:A kodak moment from the early hours of "The Clambake"....before things got ugly.
left to right:
Boy Troy, Randy "Waters" Frongillo (Chuck Concord Handgun Man), Alan Wolfe, JR, Jeanette Walsh, Tony "Super Stereophonic New Music Frquency Man" Lentini

photo courtesy of Boy Troy (who has plenty warned!)

Hey... BJ's got top billing!

Thanks to alpha numeric sorting... BJ has the first slot on the contributor list.

Hmmmmmm... Perhaps my future screen name should be Aalvin Aardvark. Rod may have been a bad choice.

Glad to have you aboard BJ.

Who's next?


I made it

Hi gang, BJ here. Just followed a few simple steps in order to get registered on Rich's little project here. If a non-techno-luddite like me can do it, so can you. Rich has no idea how great a thing he's done by creating this site, but I'm sure we'll all let him know, right?

Hi to Evans, Rabb, Jeff, Dood, Greg, and anyone else I knew from way back when. Also hi to all the folks I met during the 25th anniversary party whom I've already forgotten. That weekend was great, but I'm not sure if I was blinded by the brilliance of it all, or whether that was the glare coming off of Stan 's head (just kidding, ol' buddy).

WXCI was, and continues to be a noble experiment in pushing the boundaries of radio. You don't have to have been a Life Member in order to have made a significant contribution to the station. I agree with Bruce Anderson that it is a shameful oversight that Evans Travis never was elected a Life Member. I'm sure there may be others too.

Ok, enough of my blather. Thanks again Rich, and long live WXCI!

BJ's Random Musings

It's ok for you to give out my e-mail address.

I doubt Hugh has mine, as I didn't have a computer back when we had the 25th anniversary. I'd be happy to hear from any old XCIers, unless they're process servers now, or want to question me about that rather ugly incident in the production room circa 1972 (just kidding...we got the blood stains cleaned up and the bodies disposed of)......... just kidding again!

Tried to get in touch with Stan Mingo, and haven't heard back from him yet. Stan joined the station right after me, so we're just about the oldest veterans you got. Stan's in Jacksonville Fl, and seems to be a very happy grandparent.

I'd really like to get in touch with Bob Wilson (founder and mythological Yoda figure), but a google search only comes up with several zillion possibilities. I'd really be interested to hear his thoughts on what his baby has become.


BeeJayBurg at

(I'll still post your email this way so the robots can't get it easily... blast those robots and the phone police -RF_

Now anyone can comment

Holy Christmas... I didn't realize I could do this.

I'm sorry I required several brave folks to go out and get a Blogger Account, when they had no earthly intention of ever blogging themselves.

Now any reader should be able to comment freely on any post.

Remember, if you want to allow people to contact you, either send me your email - or include it with your comment. I'm trying to keep a current email list of WXCI allums.


Message from Skid Rowe

(from a Comment in a previous post)

Skid Rowe said...

Greetings! Hope all is well with all of you.

Great to have this blog so we can continue the legacy, legend & heritage that is WXCI, the number 1 collegiate radio station in the USA (according to Rolling Stone).

Since graduating in '80, landed a gig at Merv Griffins' now-defunct "Magic104-Waterbury/Hartford". Was there until '86, when I then went to WACKY102-Rock102/Springfield MA, & then jumped to I-95. In '88 stepped onto WCCC/Hartford until '96, where one of the best PDs' I ever had, Ted Sellers, says "Your name is no longer Jack Allen - it is now the Grim Reaper". Whatever you say, boss. Looks like Fred Norris was in the right place at the right time. Don't know how he attended WesConn & did the graveyard shift at 'CCC 65 mi. away in Hartford! You can see that story if you view Howard Sterns' "Private Parts" movie. Saw Fred awhile ago - he's a great guy. Went to 99Rock/New Haven in '96 until '04.

All this time (24 yrs.) I've been working in Communications at the phone company AT&T, where I've worked in CT, NJ, MA, FL & now in Charlotte NC. The weather & people are both nice here. Have received positive responses from PDs' here, & am doing traffic on the "Collosus of the South" - the legendary, heritage NewsTalk-1110/WBT - a station that can be heard from Cuba to Canada. I'm Jack Allen - NewsTalk - 1110/WBT TimeSaver Traffic. Most of the stations here are 100KW flamethrowing blowtorches.

Also enjoy fishing in the boat with my Boxer dog & girlfriend (not necessarily in that order).

Stay in touch with Mike Grady frequently - he lives in VT. Stay in touch with Dood, also. Saw Doods' brother, John, at the airport this past weekend. I also work at USAirways - will be flying to Hawai'i again - make sure you surf over to & click on Rabbetts' website "Internet Radio Hawaii" - daily!

Best Regards,


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Alumni Emails

I've been asked about a list of current emails.

That's tricky. I would love to post them here, but I'm afraid that spam robots will get ahold of the information and use it for evil. So I'll give a list of people who have sent messages to me, and if you want their emails, I'll be happy to send them to you (if you can prove you're not a spam robot)

The list (in no particular order or accuracy):

Rabbett, Kirk Michaels, Paul Yurt, Randy Frongillo, Evan Travis, Lori Mott, Jeffrey Morris, Morgan Williams, Troy smith, Carey Hewitt, Brian BJ Burgess, Rudi Hauser, Pam Meister, Louis Wahl, Jesse Gosselin, Gregory Wencek, Ed Struski, Adrienne Lalla, Bruce Goldsen, Phil Cyrulik, Jackie Quinn, Hugh McCarney, Patty Grannan and Micheal Wright.

I've found allegedly good locations or emails for folks like Pete Partenio, Bill Baker and others, but since they haven't written me back, I can't be certain.

That's the story so far.

PS: Hugh might have a larger list - The Alumni site has a few too. Again, I wrote to a lot of people about this blog - we have a lot of traffic, so I can assume that a few XCI allumni are checking it out, but not checking in or posting.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bid on a piece of history!

Ok, it's not really for sale.
Just a photo-shopped facsimile.

The photo of the item you see is one that was rescued from a disused storeroom in the old student center by a rather notorious "aquisitions officer"... and collector of odd electronic things. They needed the space cleared out so they could remove asbestos and put in an elevator.
It wasn't until recently that I discovered it might be a relic.

Annual WXCI event

I just heard from Hugh. The response from WXCI's E-board has been favorable about holding an ANNUAL allumni-style event on February 28th.

Mark your calenders because something WILL happen both for people in the Danbury area, and those allums who can't travel so far.

Stay tuned.

Anyone have thoughts, comments, questions about what they'd like to see happen for an annual WXCI DAY (rough title) event?

Whatever happened to?

Two words: Trudy Kucera

-Jeffrey Morris

Hugh sends photo of studio in the 80's

I forget who sent this around, maybe Scott Brunjes, but it's Bill Baker in the old studio.


Message from Morgan Williams

Like Ed Struski, i too have to shake the cob webs out of my mind before i can really post anything.

So many stories, so much to say...too much to say.

I like the one common thread from the old days though, "hanging out in the front office." Alot of time was spent there and I can still here the familiar sound of the door opening and closing.

So anyway... right now , just a note to say "yo".

I got the site from Boy Troy.... and will pass it on to Kirk Michaels and a few others.... get this.... a new guy started in our office a few months ago. I walked in his studio because i saw he had a screen saver of Depeche Mode pictures on his monitor. I asked what is was because they were moving in a random pattern slide show. He told me, " they're pictures of this band called Depeche Mode. ever heard of 'em?"

more later.

MorganWilliamsDJ at

RF: I forgot about the door sounds. I'll bet I have a video somewhere with the two tell-tale sounds of each one... the studio door's 'creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek' and the front door's 'dannnnnnngg clink' Funny how those sounds stay in your mind... think about it, and you can still hear the stairwell door open and close too.

MORGAN: you're freaking me out with the stairwell sounds dude. sure. post that stuff. who knows when i'll get around to writing a whole paragraph or two. i honestly will though. I love the site!

RF: You hear a lot of things when you do sign-off... that was my favorite shift

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Rasputin sighting in comments

As I was updating the blog today, I noticed that there were some comments on a few posts. They were by Rasputin (I'm sure the title already gave this away). As far as I can tell, he's got himself a blogging account, but not much more yet.

If you have, or if you start your own blog - let me know (via the convienient and boldly posted email address on the right column). I can provide a link to it if you like.

Also, as you read the posts and review old ones, do not forget to check the bottom for newly posted COMMENTS. They sneak up on you, but are usually fun to read (if they're not advertisments for used car enlargments).

Message from Boy Troy

Hey man - I was JUST thinking of the old XCI days this week - I found some cassettes of COMPLETE countdown shows from 83, 85 and 86!

Absolutely yes, you should make it possible for us to blog or post. GREAT communication tool. In fact, I'm trying to track down the XCI gang from 82-86 to see if they have pictures from those days. I've got a ton and am making a DVD of all the photos I can get with music from the day behind - a nice keepsake for anyone there during that time and I'll do it for free.

I'm cc'ing Morgan Williams and John Ryan this email.....they're in touch with some folks from that era as well.

Boy Troy
XCI 1982-1985

Message from Carey Hewitt

Got the link from Dood Its Carey Hewitt (check your spelling) Lifer 1979. I love the website
Brings back a lot of flashbacks (all good ones) must be the air at Newbury Hall or the game room.

When is the next reunion?

Great to see WIXY( as we called it) is still up and running.

How do i "post a blog"??

Hope eveyone is well.

PS Hi Rabbett , Ed Struski and Dood

Carey Hewitt
Lifer 1979

Don't feel left out, my name is spelled wrong on the Life Member plaque as well. -RF

Sudden Afterthoughts...

The following is a paraphrased conversation in email between BJ and myself after he sent me the previously posted history.

RF: The new student center is a complete redesign. To imagine where the XCI studios once were, you'd have to start at the elevator on the Roberts avenue side, go to the top floor and walk towards OLD MAIN. The elevator is roughly at the same part of the building where the old stairwell was.

BJ: We didn't have an elevator back in my day. The closest thing we had was a dumbwaiter which was down the hall in another room.

RF: The elevator was installed around 1991, my last year at WestConn

BJ: If you say the elevator was in the same location as the stairwell, then it's close. That stairwell had a lot of memories attached to it as well. Remember that there was no bathroom on the second floor, and a jock had to go down those stairs and down another hall, do his or her thing, and race back before a song ran out. Fortunately we had bands like Led Zepplin, Marshall Tucker, The Allman Brothers , or Yes who recorded nice 12-minute songs.

RF: We had the same situation in the 80's. We had a couple of songs of amazing length - Sisters of Mercy and Madness - "Yesterday's Men" come to mind.

BJ: If you remember the same basic layout of the Union as I, The Echo had their offices right across the hall from WXCI. Our original broom closet was lastly used as the Echo's darkroom. It wasn't until my last year or so that we punched through the wall to add more office space and change our main entrance to that little hallway off the game room.

RF: I used to LIVE in that student center. I think I remember seeing the dumbwaiter once. I was in the ECHO's darkroom a few times too. So I actually stepped on "hallowed ground".

BJ: Hey, maybe the alumni office has a blueprint of the old floor plan of Memorial Hall. That could eliminate a lot of the guesswork and conjecture. Some computer whiz could do an overlay of the new floor plan over the old one and pinpoint exactly where we used to be. Then we'd know how we could be in two places at once (when we're not anywhere at all).

RF: But then everything we know would be wrong anyway...

BJ: Glad you liked the narrative. I felt a little better about it after the rewrite, but I'm sure as time passes there will be parts I think need fixing. I just hope it spurs some other folks to share their version of things. If it triggers some happy memories, that's even better.
I was chuckling at some of the pictures on your site. The election night photos show a guy you call Jeff Rasputin. His real name is Jeff Morris and his air name was Rasputin. He's still local (In South Salem NY) and I'm going to e-mail him about your site. He, Rabbett, and another guy, Dave Nanavaty were known around the station as "Three swell guys". They produced some absolutely amazing stuff during their tenure at WXCI, some of which made it on the 25th anniversary CD. They were our answer to the Firesign Theatre. Even today, they're all still nuts.

See? I knew this would happen. I already remembered a couple more people I left off the membership list at the end of the story. John Forguites and Pam Mc Clusky. There was another guy named Joe, but for the life of me, I can't remember his name ( and nobody else can either). All the more reason to get folks blogging you!
Anyway, thanks for providing the forum, and I hope my little contribution helps.

RF: My pleasure... this is "funner" than posting crap about what I had for breakfast (the extent of most blogs you might read).

(By the way, it was an omlete with mushrooms, peppers, ham, cheddar cheese and a few sprouts)

WXCI-FM - a history of sorts (1968-1973)

by Brian J. "BJ" Burgess

Introduction/ Warning

This story is my own personal recollection of events that led up to the advent of WXCI-FM. As such, it is subject to my own memory, which admittedly has a few holes in it after all these years. It should not be considered as definitive, although I have tried to be as factual as possible. I was aided in my research by some old Echo articles, some notes I made over the years when I was associated with the station, as well as some fellow alumni I still maintain contact with. If I messed up a sequence of events, or omitted a pivotal name somewhere I beg forgiveness.
I originally wrote this in 1998 in preparation for WXCI’s 25th anniversary celebration, based on a rough draft I had written in 1993. Hopefully, this third draft will be the last time I have to do this much typing. I always think I could do a better job of presenting the story, but at some point you just have to let it go as it is.
Names and language were not changed to protect the innocent. Things happened and stuff was said. If anyone finds any of this material offensive, please stop reading and return to the Disney Channel. This ain’t no party; this ain’t no disco…I refer to Western Connecticut State as Wesconn. It wasn’t part of the Connecticut University system back then and that’s what we called it. I understand its "Westconn" now.
Tough. I deliberately omitted how cliques and power trips affected the internal politics of the membership at various points. Like any family, we all didn’t get along all the time, but to get involved in these issues would be too much of a digression. This is supposed to be a celebration of the founders of WXCI.
Lastly, I would ask that anyone feel free to add their version of events, as well as provide a list of member names if they can remember them. I’ve included a partial list at the end of this story, but feel it is inadequate. There were a lot of people who came through our doors, and many of them either did not graduate or have been lost over the fog of time. All of them however were part of a vast conspiracy to bring a unique form of quality radio to the campus of Wesconn, and the world beyond. They deserve to be remembered, and thanked.

Brian J. "BJ" Burgess
October 2005
Life Member, 1973

In the beginning…
It was 1968. The Republicans were about to take over in the form of Richard Nixon. The planet was in turmoil, and on the campus of Western Connecticut State College things were no different. Students had pretty much adjusted to the fact that they no longer attended Danbury State College, but they felt the need for change extended beyond just replacing their bumper stickers. It was the sixties, man, and the times they were a-changing, whether you liked it or not.
It was in this heady, electric atmosphere that a small group of interested students came together to form a radio club on campus, with the ultimate goal being an actual radio station at Wesconn. Led by Bob Wilson, they soon enlisted the support of Dr Harvey Henderson as faculty advisor, and The Campus Broadcast Association was born.
They managed to acquire the princely sum of $150.00 to get things started.
Bob Wilson, a sophomore Education major and part-time DJ at local radio station WLAD, may have been the only student to take this concept seriously, because by the end of the school year in 1969, he was the only member left. Undeterred, he set about borrowing equipment from the Wesconn A/V Department. He formulated a three-phase plan for the future. First he would scrabble to get the station, which he dubbed WSCT, operational, by which he meant airing over the PA system in Memorial Hall. Phase two would expand operations to a carrier current AM system that would serve the dormitories on and off campus (Beaver Brook dormitory was about a mile down the road). The third and final phase would be to go FM.
A hundred fifty bucks, even back then, wasn’t much to start with. Bob began a tradition that would serve the station well over the next few years; he would scrounge what he could wherever he could. The A/V Department took the brunt of his foraging, securing us a 4-channel Bogen PA amplifier, a microphone, and a Wollensak 7" reel-to-reel tape deck. At least one of the turntables (both of them Garrard T-50 semiautomatic models) came from a box in a friend’s basement. The monitor speaker was the same 6" intercom speaker found in every school classroom this side of the Berlin Wall. This was not pro audio equipment. The turntables had to be retrofitted with matchbook covers to keep them from automatically rejecting themselves from an album if the "start" switch was pushed just a hair too far.
The executive office and studio of WSCT was on the second floor of the Student Union, in a 7’ x 15 broom closet right next to what was then the formal faculty reception lounge. The extensive remodeling of Memorial Hall in the 1990’s has made the station’s original location (as well as subsequent relocations) impossible to pinpoint. The room had a desk, a large sink, and two non-functioning ventilator switches.
The entire system was hooked up to the master PA console on the first floor of the building. From there, it could be switched on or off to any of the rooms in Memorial Hall.

September 1969

On my second day of freshman orientation I was wandering around the Student Union and saw some mimeographed fliers inviting people to join WSCT, Wesconn’s new radio club. I’d done some theater in high school, and was fascinated by the medium, so I went to check it out. I was signed up before I knew what hit me. My "training" consisted of standing behind Bob while he did the first two "broadcasts" of WSCT on September 10th 1969. On September 11th, I became the first non-Bob broadcaster when he let me do the lunchtime airshift, the third in station history.
WSCT had limited hours of operation. To maximize our audience, we were switched on in Memorial Hall twice a day, during lunch and dinner, from 11:15am to 12:30 pm, and from 5:15 to 6:15 in the evening. Our captive audience consisted of the halls, the cafeteria, and the game room. Sometimes we were on in some of the lounges.
We had program logs, but no record library to speak of. Bob was able to "liberate" some records from WLAD, but for the most part announcers had to bring their own records from home. As our staff grew, anything that got left behind was considered a "donation". With more people joining up every day, Bob had to schedule announcers to half-hour shifts. It was getting crowded in there! A lot of us hung around after our shifts anyway. It was a lot more fun than eating, sleeping, or even going to classes.
Despite this enthusiasm there were subtle hints that the collegiate community did not share our newfound comraderie. One day a bunch of us showed up at the station to find the hallway door open and a reception going on in the faculty lounge next door. Our sink was piled with dirty dishes and the turntables were being used as lazy susans for leftover dip. This indignity led to on-air culinary reviews of the food service’s menus, which generated the inevitable response from the food service people. It appeared that a major confrontation was imminent, but Bob, ever the diplomat, got the critiques stopped after the food service people agreed to stop using our studios as a pantry.
It was also not uncommon to find the station broadcasting only to itself. If someone didn’t like the music, or if a ball game was on, it was relatively easy to slip in and shut us off. We obviously needed more control over the situation, and as membership continued to grow, we needed more space. People clacking away at the typewriter didn’t always stop when the microphone went live. After only a couple of months we had already outgrown our space.
Bob was able to get us a new room, a slightly larger storeroom on the first floor next to the room that housed the master PA console. By November we were in our new digs, but things remained far from tranquil.
The air staff operated with liberal, if not unspoken guidelines about the kind of music they played. The amount of available music was already limited, but we all operated on an honor system not to play anything truly tasteless or obscene. One day a student complained to Bob about a record that had been played during a lunch show. The record was Eric Burden’s Sky Pilot, an anti-war song that featured a middle break consisting of bagpipes and the sounds of carnage. The student said the food in the cafeteria was hard enough to stomach without having to hear this song. Bob politely asked us to refrain from playing the record. Demonstrating our maturity and discretion, most of us played it as a "special request" every chance we got, at least until Bob put the record in his briefcase and took it home.

December 1969

Winter Weekend was rapidly approaching. Freshman Alphonse Ranaudo, a gifted artist musician, and WSCT dj had designed a beautiful poster advertising the upcoming campus activities. The posters were disappearing off the walls almost as fast as they could be put up, showing up in dorm rooms and apartments all over town. The Winter Weekend committee was not pleased and neither was Alphonse.
During the supper show on December 19th, a dj named "Icy" was on the air pleading vehemently to the student body to leave the posters up at least until the weekend was over. In the station with him were Alphonse and another member, Jim "Hatch" Hathaway. As Icy’s rant drew to a close, the three chose to punctuate it with a three-part harmonized "You Motherfuckers!"
I was in the cafeteria at the time and the place fell so quiet you could hear the gravy congeal. We hadn’t thought folks paid that much attention to our broadcasts, but it seemed like everyone heard that. Within moments, Student Union night manager Guido Tino raced downstairs and shut WSCT off. And off we would stay.

Sitting In Limbo

The administration at Wesconn in those days was a pretty conservative lot. It became pretty clear in the next few days that the administration was more than willing to pull the plug permanently on this upstart bunch of radio hoodlums. Once again it fell to Bob to play the diplomat. Along with Dr. Henderson he begged and pleaded to give us another chance. The negotiations took over a month, during which WSCT remained off the air. The powers at Old Main finally relented, but only after laying out some rather severe conditions that Bob had no choice but to accept.
First, the three students involved were booted from the club. Secondly, every remaining member had to sign an agreement that if anything like this were to happen again, they could be thrown out of Wesconn entirely. The third condition was that the station was to remain off the air until prospective announcers obtained a third-class radiotelephone license from the FCC, making them subject to 5 years in jail and a $2000 fine if they tried anything funny ever again. The fourth condition was that the station was to be exiled from Memorial Hall and moved to Berkshire Hall, where the Speech & Theater Department could provide oversight.
The silver lining in all this was that our new facilities now consisted of two rooms. We now had an office AND a studio. By late January 1970, we were all moved in, but since Bob was the only one with a license, WSCT remained silent. People trickled down to New York City to take the test, and Bob was not about to let the downtime go to waste. Since the administration could change it’s mind and disband the CBA altogether, he decided to spend the rest of our second year’s budget (a whopping $1750.00) on new equipment. Still a resourceful scrounger, he convinced WNHC in New Haven to sell us an old Gates professional broadcast console to replace the Bogen PA amp. The chief engineer of WLAD got it working, and Bob went out and got a Spotmaster tape cartridge machine and a new Sparta professional turntable to add to our list of goodies.
My dedication to the cause (or was it that I just was hanging around a lot?) finally paid off as I was chosen the first Music Director of WSCT. This involved sitting down with Bob and starting a letter writing campaign to various record companies in order to get promotional copies of albums.
The music business was very different back in those days from what it is now. Some labels provided free copies of records to college stations, and others charged fees. Since we had no operating budget for music, Bob and I concentrated on the freebies.
Columbia Records was the first company to come through for us, along with their subsidiary Epic. They were followed a short time later by the Atlantic Records group, which included the Atco and Asylum labels. Now we could play Dylan AND Aretha! Although our record library started to grow, most air jocks still had to bring in records from home to broaden their play lists.
In March, with very little fanfare, WSCT came back on the air. We were still on only during lunch and supper, and we were very much on probation. Everyone knew that one screw-up and the game was over, so we all minded our manners. One major difference was that our sound was a lot more polished. We’d been practicing with the new equipment.
There was another major difference. For the first time, WXCI ran commercials! We’d managed to score an account with MacDonalds, as well as The Fore’N" Aft, a popular Brewster NY bar. All the money we got went into getting more equipment, and we soon added another new professional turntable.
Broadcasting from Berkshire Hall wasn’t easy. We initially had no monitor line running from Memorial Hall, so we’d have to physically run over there to see if we were on or not. We had no access to the master PA console anymore, but fortunately, most of the managers in the student union were supportive.
The fifteen or so members of WXCI became cautiously optimistic about the future. We’d survived a near-fatal blow and were becoming a pretty tight bunch. Rather than become complacent, we charged on to phase 2 of Bob’s master plan: expanding to carrier current.

Welcome to the Machine

I never was much good at technical things, but as I understood it, the carrier current system involved taking the station’s output, running it through phone lines to the dormitories, and running it into a gizmo that converts the signal and runs it into the electrical wiring of the building at a specific frequency (in our case 540mhz). Plug an AM radio in and tune it to 540 and there we were.
As the spring semester of 1970 drew to a close, it became apparent that we’d have to move again in order to grow. Berkshire Hall was spacious, and even though we were just across the street, we felt too isolated from where the action was; Memorial Hall. As luck would have it, The Echo was also looking for new digs, and we were able to score their old offices, right next door to our original broom closet.
It was budget time at the Student Government Association, and Bob submitted a request for $10,000, which would cover the cost of building new studios, buying the carrier current equipment, and even having a few bucks left over for records. The SGA had other plans however, and we received only $5300.00 for 1970-71. At the station a lot of us felt that the student government had given us the collective finger. Instead of having pros come in and design & build our new home, we’d have to do it ourselves.

On The Road Again

Construction began over the summer break. WSCT staffers from the area and their friends began cutting lumber, running wires, and stuffing insulation in a building that was basically shut down. It was a typical Danbury summer, and I still itch when I think of those days. The only work done by pros was the windows between studios, tilted slightly to eliminate glare. By the end of the summer, the Campus Broadcast Association had an air studio, a news booth, a production room, and an office big enough for two desks. We also had enough money to get the carrier current equipment. With a little help from the engineers at both WLAD and WINE, the new system was up and running just in time for the fall term.

Hi Bob, Part II

The fall semester began on a high note. With the new carrier current system operational, we had a larger audience, and consequently were able to attract more new members. Membership grew to almost thirty people. Among the new recruits was a transfer student named Bob Mallery. Bob was a Navy vet with an extensive background in electronics. He would become our first in-house engineer, and would prove to be invaluable in the years to come. Although he initially did a few shows, his main interests seemed to be outside the realm of on-air talent. He seemed happiest with a cup of coffee and a schematic of a piece of equipment; always able to coax just a little more out of a machine that should have stopped working years ago.
With more people eager to do air slots, the station expanded its hours of operation. We were now on from 10:00am to 10:00pm. The record library had grown to a point where people could specialize in the types of music they liked. Folks still brought in their own records, but WSCT now had shows specifically devoted to rock, jazz, classical, show tunes, top 40, R&B (back then it was called "soul music") and just about everything in between. Those people who had little desire to be music jocks became the News department, and they started producing their own programs and public affairs broadcasts.
The station added an AP teletype machine (one of those big, clacky monsters). The production capabilities mushroomed with the addition of a Studer-Revox tape deck. WSCT looked and sounded like a real radio station in every sense of the word, with the exception that nobody outside the college walls could hear us.
WSCT had grown exponentially in every year of it’s existence. The staff felt there was nowhere to go but up. Phase two of Bob’s master plan was complete. With another budget increase, the dream of FM couldn’t be that far away, could it?

Money (That’s what I want)

As it turned out, yes, it would be a while. 1971 saw the State of Connecticut enter a recession, and with it, Governor Thomas Meskill put a freeze on all funding to Connecticut State colleges. This hit Wesconn especially hard, and for a while the proposed Westside campus plans were in jeopardy. Dr Ruth Haas saved that project, but there still wasn’t enough money to go around. When the time came to secure funding for the next year, all the campus organizations had to bite their share of the bullet. WSCT found their budget slashed to $3700.00 for the 1971-72 school year.
Another major development took place at semester’s end when elections were held for next year’s officers. When the votes were tallied, Bob Wilson was no longer General Manager of the Campus Broadcast Association. In his place were Les Andrews and Ed Westby. Why Bob stepped aside is open for discussion. Maybe he wanted to concentrate on finishing his degree. Perhaps he felt he had guided WSCT as far as he could, and it was time for new blood. Whatever the reasoning, he left behind a solid organization, and in appreciation of his efforts and commitment, Bob Wilson was elected the first Life Member of WSCT.

It’s A Brand New Day

The fall semester commenced with another upsurge in membership. Along with being one of the campus’ most active organizations, WSCT was now one of the largest. The station expanded their hours of operation yet again. We now broadcast from 7:00am to 11:00pm weekdays, and from 8:00am-11:00pm on weekends. 11:00pm was when the Student Union closed for the night.
On the air, specialty shops were organized so you could know when to hear a particular kind of music. Top 40 was popular during "dinner drive time" and classical music went over well on Sunday mornings. Les and Ed did try at one point to institute a format, so that the sound of the station could be a little more homogenized during the rest of the time, but given the free-spirit nature of most of the air staff, it was doomed to failure. WSCT had access to Wesconn’s own weather station (run by Dr Mel Goldstein), so our forecasts were better than those coming over the AP wire. Despite our high morale, and our faith in ourselves, we still had to prove our worth to the student body in general. To quote Rodney Dangerfield, we still "didn’t get no respect", but that was about to change.
In February of 1972, Ralph Nader was scheduled to speak at Ives auditorium. The event sold out quickly (this was back when folks were actually interested in what Ralph had to say), and a large group of people had to be turned away. Bob Mallery had run a phone line over to Ives Hall earlier (to broadcast a music concert), and the station was able to invite the overflow crowd to come listen to Ralph’s speech from the lounges of Memorial Hall. It was a huge success, and WSCT won over a lot of people who finally saw a useful purpose for the station.
Later that semester, during Spring Weekend, WSCT sponsored a 1950’s-style "sock hop" in the snack bar. Tom "Z" Zarecki spun 45’s and emceed, while a ragtag bunch of WSCT-ers played a live set of songs. "Danny & the Distributor Caps consisted of Bruce Anderson, Pete Ochs, Dave Szemczek, Bob Faubel & yours truly. After our four song set, Danny & the DC’s rocketed to obscurity.
Another side project of the station was the formation of a softball team. The WSCT Mudsharks (named in honor of a Frank Zappa song) took any and all comers for a game of charity softball. We probably raised more welts than money, and after a few good thrashings, we decided our place was behind the microphone, not home plate.
While all these fun and games were going on, Ed & Les were back at the ranch quietly navigating the bureaucratic maze of running the station and trying to secure funding for the push to FM. It was obvious that SGA funding alone wouldn’t get the job done, and those damn Mudsharks weren’t going to be much help. They came up with an idea that was both daring and brilliant. They proposed a campus referendum whereby a $3.00 per student/per semester surcharge would fund the push for FM. To our amazement, the administration agreed to it, and on April 7th, the referendum was held. Had the station generated enough good will, and proved their worth to make it work?
When the votes were tallied, the answer was a resounding "Yes". Coupled with an SGA allocation of $4160.00, it was on to Phase Three.
At the end of the school year, both Ed Westby and Bob Wilson graduated. Ed was elected the second Life member, and Les took over the entire GM duties. The station shut down operations over the summer, but there was a lot of work that needed to be done.

So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star

On June 12th, 1972, WSCT filed its application with the FCC for a construction permit to build a 10-watt FM station on the Wesconn campus. Les and Bob Mallery had gone over the reams of paperwork involved, making sure all the I’s were dotted and the t’s crossed. Anyone who has ever dealt with a federal bureaucracy knows the headaches involved with such processes.
The station continued to upgrade itself. Before classes commenced, some walls were shifted around to make better use of space, the AP teletype was enclosed to cut down on it’s noise, and a new control board was installed in the main studio. We added another new turntable and another cart machine. The old air board was exiled to the production room, but not before Bob Mallery completely gutted it and rebuilt it by hand.
As the fall term started, membership grew to almost 50 people. The station started to broadcast home football and basketball games. We may still have been a dinky carrier current radio club, but we had the look, feel, and sound that we felt could match up with anyone, including our "competition", UB station WPKN. Everyone felt that FM was close, and our esprit could not have been higher.
On November 17th, we got the word that our construction permit was approved, so Bob and Les started to order equipment. As each piece came in, Bob spent many hours in the attic of Old Main getting it hooked up and calibrated, sometimes in the wee hours (much to the chagrin of campus security).
In December WSCT was chosen by the Associated Press to provide audio feeds of the Apollo 17 moon mission to other stations in Connecticut. It was a great honor, and only a few minor glitches occurred , due mostly with scheduling people and the fact that anything that happened after 11:00 pm had to wait until Memorial Hall opened in the morning.

You Know My Name (look up the number)

Part of the juggernaut in going FM was dealing with all the federal regulations. One of those regulations stipulated that we had to notify every other radio station within a 35-mile radius of our intentions, providing them with a chance to voice any objections to our application. As it turned out, Stamford CT radio station WSTC had a problem with our call letters. Even though we had nothing in common with that station, and probably wouldn’t steal any listeners, WSCT was a little too close for their comfort.
Fortunately we had already prepared a list of alternatives. Among the considerations were WXCI, WCSU, WDBY, and WDNB. I believe it was Evans Travis who came up with WXCI, it being the roman numerals for 91 (our proposed frequency being 91.7). Nobody had any objections to that, and immediately we became WXCI, making all that old WSCT letterhead a collector’s item.

Hello, It’s Me

February 28th, 1973 was a day like most others. Rob Abbett (aka Rabbett) was doing his midday show, and a few people were hanging out I the front office (the station was always a good place to hang out). The phone rang a little before noon; it was Western Union saying they had a telegram for us from Washington DC. Pete Oths and Evans Travis grabbed their coats and ran for the door. Word spread like jelly on a hot sandwich, and by the time they returned, most of the staff had assembled in the office. Bob Mallery waded through the eager mob and began warming up the equipment. Before the last switch was thrown he went over to Old Main to be at the transmitter "just in case". Tom Zarecki made the final click and at 12:30 pm, Rabbett announced," Good afternoon. This is radio station WXCI beginning its first broadcast day."
There was hugging, there was kissing, there was all kinds of behavior going on in the place. Once Rob had ushered us into FM reality, several people took off to drive around town to see how we sounded. Those of us who didn’t have cars just hung around, savoring the moment. It had taken three and a half years, countless hours, and dozens of people to make this day a reality. I hoped Bob Wilson, wherever he was, was listening.

And The Beat Goes On

There were a couple of pieces of unfinished business to account for. At the end of the 1973 school year the SGA allocated WXCI a budget of $7,130.00, partially due to the fact that several members of the station got themselves elected to the SGA. (If ya can’t beat ‘em….) The station continued to upgrade its facilities and equipment.
Dr Michael Erlich replaced Dr Henderson as faculty advisor. Dr Erlich continued the "lessez-faire" policy of Dr Henderson, for which everyone was grateful.


The following is a partial list of WSCT/WXCI members from 1969-73 in absolutely no particular order. If a name is misspelled, I’m sorry, but you know who you are. There are probably dozens of people I can’t recall, and I hope they speak up and get their due.

Bob Wilson, Gail Doyle, Sandy Brown,
Tom Taradine, Gloria Marisciullo, Steve Brooks,
Sally Hyatt, John Hudson, Peter Oths (Ochs)
Ron Guertler, Chris Sadowski, Dave Syzemczek
Sandy Fleig, Bob Mallery, Evans Travis
Stan Mingo, Mimi Mallery, Al Carty
Roberta Flagg, Sharon Balcolm, Kevin Hogan
Alphonse Ranaudo, Jim Williams, Tom Zarecki
Kevin Cleary, Rich Doepper, Kathi Van Arts Dalen
Al Leonard, Mike Levesque, MaryBeth Marcinkoski
Laurie Mc Callum, Ed Westby, Sue O’Brien
Al Bruhn, Karen Kalenauskas, Greg Loehr
Carl Weitz, Donovan Quarmby, Reif Andersen
John Roberson, Larry Tuttle, Tony Toscano
Jim Hathaway, Al Blackman, Lou Santostephano
Les Andrews, Lynn Roth, Joel Rabinowitz
Al Gervais, Darlene Lewis, Dennis Martin
Chris Langrock, Rob Abbett, Don Kappell
"Icy"?, Dennis Boskello, Pam Ballwig
Cindy Pesente, Bruce Anderson, Peter Faass
Steve Kalb, Mark Williams, Jan Jagush
Dr Harvey Henderson, Dr Michael Erlich
The Credits

My thanks to: Bruce Anderson, who jogged my memory on more than one occasion, my wife Betsy, Helen Masterson & Cindy Sturm, who inspired me to get this whole mess into a cohesive story, and the members past, present, and future of WXCI.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


(recently asked questions and comments)

From Lori Mott:

I love reading all these messages - how do I post my own up

You have two options, and it depends on how much you want to say. You can either send the message to me by email. Or, if you have a lot to say and you don't want to wait for me to put it on line, you can be put on the 'blogging team'. I'm not completely sure what that means, but I'll look into it.

Also, anyone with a blogger account (you don't need a blog to have one) can post messages in the comments section. Any viewer can post or read the COMMENTS by clicking that link after each post.

From BJ:

I like the pictures Hugh posted, but did we really need to see the one looking down at his feet? I thought I was the only one who managed to take such pictures.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Drop ins 88-90

I was looking over the 25th anniversary CD, and I found a few tracks that weren't properly attributed to... well me.

NOTE: The files are linked to a tiny geocities account - as I was checking them tonight - the site went dead because of too much traffic - if the links don't work, try again in one hour. Thank you.

In a conversation, a DJ in training told me how she could sound just like the directory assistance on the phone. That gave me an idea. I put her on the phone and recorded her saying a few lines into the speaker phone, and then I spent a half hour calling as many bad numbers as I could with the tape running. A few hours later - and the addition of a Kraftwerk song about telephones (don't remember, the record disappeared shortly afterwards)... and this is what you hear.

It was 1989. WXCI at 91.7fm, was technically the first station in the 90MHz range on your radio dial in Danbury. Many people could get stations lower on the dial... maybe even closer to 90... but despite the stretch I went with it. We recorded three or four of these 90's drops. I wanted to do some cool things in the 'year of XCI' 1991, but nobody else at the station was impressed with the coincidence, plus the first semester of 1991 was my last at WESTCONN, so I didn't really press it.

There's nothing much to say about this short and sweet drop that I did with Mike Wright. For me both statments were true. WXCI was better than any drug... and it was cheaper than beer. Ok, it sucked time like a room full of video games... but that's another story. This is probably one of the last pieces of production I did before I left for Texas (on my World tour... didn't get too far, did I?)

The three previous drops didn't have my name by them because a lot of times I wrote and produced things without my own voice - one exception is "The Temple of New Music". However, unlike the copy that was put on the anniversary CD, transferred from our MONO Carts... the original recording was produced in stereo. I went back to the master tape to bring you this:


A few things about the recording of "Temple". First, it was an outdoor recording. I think it was one of a handfull that I recorded outside the studio. Another I remember was assembled from a week's worth of micro-cassette recordings called:


For "Temple", I had better equipment: A brand new Tascam 4 track Portastudio that ran on four D-cells. Jay and I each had an EV635 hand held microphone WITHOUT pop screens. It was probably November 1990 - so it was pretty cold. We recorded this in one take standing in a pile of leaves outside the Roberts Ave School. The leaves in the beginning are us walking through them. I took it back to the studio, added the music on track 4 and recorded the two tag lines - Jay's with an echo - and then the guru's last lines back in the production room. And I was done. Crazy how I can remember all that from - gasp - 13 or so years ago.

Then there was one cut on the CD that wasn't mine at all. Track 45 - Peer Pressure was probably Gregg Vegas and a guy who I can see in my minds eye - but can't think of his name. I want to say he was one of three guys named Rob who were at the station... but he also could have been one of two Dan's... hmmm... this is no help... good night.

If you have production you want to link to, or have posted here... just drop me a line.


Old WXCI Floorplan

This is the floor plan of WXCI at the time I was at WestConn from 1985 to 1991. I don't remember when the station was unfortunately moved from this location to the basement of WhiteHall. I think it was after 1994, but that was the last time these rooms were used.

I was wondering how far back in time this floorplan went and where WXCI was before then?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

WXCI Production Room

Photo by Hugh McCarney

WXCI Studio

Photo by Hugh McCarney

WXCI Office

Photo by Hugh McCarney

WXCI website

Hugh says a new update is scheduled for the WXCI website. It'd be great to see a what happened since the last news update (October 2003).

On a positive note, at least WXCI HAS a website. I tried a month ago, and I just tried today, but I can't find any information on THE ECHO. Nothing. Nowhere. No how. I had some good times over at that rag, fond memories of pizza at our meetings (thanks to Rudi)... rubber band fights... and late night paste up... oh yeah and writing stories too... there was some of that every now and then. I'd think a group like the ECHO would have an easy job at putting together a quick website... but I guess not.

Hugh also tried to send me some Life Member updates, as well as some new photos, but the files wouldn't open for me. Apparently, they transferred ok... they're on my harddrive.... they're big too... they just won't open.

Message from Rabbett

Hey all!

I am alive and well and still here in Hawai'i. Since 1979. What a long strange trip it has been.

I am currently into my 12th year broadcasting Hawaiian Music on Internet Radio Hawai`i at out of the house. The tiny house got bigger in '03 when we tore down the old garage and built a 2 story addition where up top I have my beeg room. It has a pretty nice view of the Ko'olau Mountains and sunsets and sunrises are pretty cool.

Besides Hawaiian music I also run 3 webcams out of the windows up here for my listeners enjoyment. It is as virtual as I can get so far. Still working on smells ;)

Here are some recent images from the cams.

I still have a day job selling window renovations - 15 years now. It's a real people job and I have met some really neat folks and learned a lot about life, Hawai`i and have heard stories about the attack on Pearl Harbor that you'll never read about in history books anywhere.

I've been working a lot lately on upgrading windows and overhauling parts of the original house.

My latest project was to put new windows in the old living room which is next in line for a paint job and a new floor.

Here are some photos of my 2 weekend window renovation

Yes, I'm trying to class up the old joint. The original house was built in 1956 and was a whopping 840 square feet. We're now up to 2032 square feet and amazingly this old/new house is now worth almost 3/4 of a mill. Hawai'i housing prices are pretty nuts.

IRH has gone through some changes too. The whole station runs out of a box built in over the stairwell.

This photo was taken a day after I cleaned out the old sony carousels and a bunch of other equipment no longer being used after I tore everything apart to find something that smelled bad.

You know - that awful smell of too much ozone. My first suspect was the power module in the Mackie Mixer. I had had one burn up one time down stairs. Thank god they make the power modules encased in steel. That made the room downstairs smell real bad but the fire was contained in the module. This time after I sniffed every plug and every wall wart and every electrical connection and finally I found it. The culprit turned out to be a power adapter for a LaCie firewire drive. Glad I found it as the housing for this turd is plastic and it could have burned down the house.

IRH now runs playing apple lossless copies of my cd library. After almost ten years of running sony carousels and playing live cds I was forced to change to a hard drive system after the author of Titletrack sold it to some bozos and they screwed it up so bad that records kept crashing into each other. So now I use MegaSeg for the station software. It is about the best radio station software I have ever seen and I only really use a few of its amazing features. I am still primarily a mac guy and only have the one windows machine which encodes the station into a windows media stream. The little 12" iBook on the right encodes an mp3 stream but hardly any of my listeners use it because they all trust Bill Gates and rely on Windows Media Player. I guess because its easy for them.

I've become a real dweeb over the years. I run all my own servers, web, ftp and mail and I run my own dns too.

I love the capabilities and the fact that all this stuff seems to keep the gray matter young and well oiled.

I take a lot of photos of my travels around the island and from around Kailua ( our home town) and you'll see a lot of them on the irh live page and special sections I build from time to time.

Rich wrote me tonight and I caught his email in my spamfire spam filter. What luck that I looked at the trapped message and had a chance to see that he's blogged WXCI memories into life once more. Nicely done!

I hope everyone is still well and happy and if anyone gets a chance drop me a line. Would love to hear from folks and catch up.

Hugh and his wife were in the islands this summer for vacation. I had a chance to have lunch with them at the Big City Diner in Kaimuki and we did a lot of catching up. What's up with Hugh? He never seems to get older?

Our daughter is now 19 and a sophomore at Penn State. Our latest German Shepherd Angel is almost 2 years old and I ride a bike and workout on my bowflex a lot to keep the weight off and do lots of crunches to keep my lower back in check. Other than that, me and Mrs. Rabbett are doing fine.

We recently had 3 hurricanes bearing down on the islands and for the 1st time I took it pretty seriously and put a Hurricane preparedness kit together. ( Our last major storm was Iniki in 1992 - it wiped out a lot of Kaua`i.) We've got 8 cases of Costco water, several cases of corned beef, spam, ramen, noodle soups, canned veggies, mucho paper towels and toilet paper, a new coleman 2 burner propane stove and today I picked up a 3000 watt Honda Generator just in case. I hate the idea of having the fridge get all stinky and having no lights. (- Oh and all 3 Hurricane dissolved so I guess I am now officially over prepared ;)

Such is life. At least now we can make it through any storm that may wander through.
Hope you all have a good winter and I'll make sure to raise a glass of something special your way when Xmas and New Years roll around again.

Aloha for now!