Playing the Hits

Gene Chenault died.

There is no reason most of you should have ever heard of him.   But if you listened to radio in the 60s and 70s, you heard his work.  In just about every city and town, there was a radio station that programmed the Drake-Chenault format.

My first full-time job was at one of those stations.  WAVZ in New Haven was known as The Lucky 13 (13 on your AM dial) and The New Waves.  I was on the “New Waves Eyewitness News” staff.  And yes, it was an actual staff, at a time every radio station was as competitive in news as it was in music.  (Another story for another time.)

The stories we did had to be short and to the point.  And they had to be written and delivered to make sure you didn’t “touch that dial,” because on the other side of the news would be the boss jock with more music! including  3 in a row!: Chevy Van, Kung Fu Fighting, and The Hustle.

I remember the outcue as if it was yesterday.  I’m Gerry Brooks, New Waves Eyewitness News.  Now, Pete Stone, New Waves music!

The experts say everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten.  Looking back, everything I needed to know to get ready for this 36-year-and-counting journey I learned at WAVZ.

Thank you, Gene Chenault.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in It's all about me, Living in the Past, Media, Noticed, People and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Playing the Hits

  1. I worked at WBPM FM in Kingston, NY…Drake/Chenault top 40 in the late 1970’s..the sign in the main studio…


    And one other odd memo….


  2. Kathryn D. says:

    1975 – I remember that time well. Two stations on my AM dial 13 WAVZ and 960 WELI!

  3. Bill says:

    Practically every music station had a news department back then. Now “news-talk” stations like WELI import their local headlines from places like upstate New York. The only New Haven station with a news department is Quinnipiac University’s WQUN.

  4. Gerry…great blog (or whatever you call this site) I just stumbled upon it and felt like…this is the kind of news I like! 😉

    You’re pretty darn funny! 🙂 And I had to laugh when I realized that was you in the pic…Ya look a mite different (in a good way) when you’re relaxed! 🙂

    FYI…check out:

    I’m trying to pull together a rally…please read and since you’re big man on campus…join us if you would like and spread the word.

    To to end this..I never have time to read up on feeds etc…I pressed the button…bottom line…I’d love to read your blog all the time. Clue me in if I was didn’t hook up the right way! :)~

    What can I say…I’m into people…though I certainly need to learn how to connect effectively on line!

    Peace & 🙂

    Marie Tyler Wiley

    Vote # ! Wedding Officiant in CT for 4 yrs in a row! 🙂

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