Tag Archives: Charles Laquidara

Three Best DJ Voices

This is a slight update to a posting from March 22, 2009 on the old blog.

When I first started listening to radio it was on the BBC Light Program, they didn’t have DJ’s in those days. Just variety shows, comedy shows and the news.
Later I started listening to Radio Luxembourg, but usually only on Sunday nights, they would have the current pop music with vague DJ’s.
In fact DJ’s in England were pretty much not there. When they first started in the 60’s they were still not memorable. John Peel on Radio London (Big L a pirate station) and later on the beeb was probably the most notable, but for his knowledge not his voice.

Probably the most distinctive DJ voice would have to be Wolfman Jack, but I have only seen him in movies. I never lived anywhere where he actually was on the radio. So here is my choice of the best three DJ’s I have listened to. The sequence is not relevant to talent, but just to the sequence in which I listened to them.
Though I did actually hear “Big Daddy” first it doesn’t really count in the sequence because I heard him on a trip to the Detroit area a few years before I emigrated here. But it does give lead to a funny story, this was my first trip to the States and I was fascinated by the whole radio scene here. I ended up making 3 or 4 cassette tape straight from the radio, with DJ patter and commercials, traffic, weather the whole bit. And I was playing one of them one time in my car going to work in Norway, and I friend who was getting a ride into work with us commented that “the car must have a great radio system to be able to pick up an American radio station”.

Massachusetts

Anyhow, lets start in Boston where I moved to in 1983, and my favorite DJ there was Charles Laquidara, I never met him but did win tickets from him to see Stevie Ray Vaughn in a small club on the Boston waterfront. At the time I didn’t really know much about Stevie Ray, but liked what I had heard. The performance in this small club was electric, especially as I was standing so close, to a low stage, that I could have reached out and touched his guitar.

A really small club.

Charles Laquidara (born 1938) is an American radio disc jockey whose show, The Big Mattress was broadcast in the Boston, Massachusetts area for nearly 30 years (1969–1995) on WBCN. He spent four years doing The Charles Laquidara Radio Hour on WZLX.
In 1969, he was offered an airshift at WBCN in Boston, to replace DJ Peter Wolf, who was leaving to join the newly formed J. Geils Band. In 1972, Laquidara took over the morning shift on WBCN — dubbed the show “The Big Mattress” — and stayed there for almost 25 years, before moving to WBCN sister station WZLX in 1995. He drew national attention in 1988 for leading anti-Apartheid protests and a boycott of Shell Oil. After his retirement in August of 2000, Laquidara moved to Hawaii. In 2003, Laquidara sold his home in upcountry Maui for over $2 million to Oprah Winfrey, whose magazine referred to it as a “fixer-upper”.
During the first half of 2006, Laquidara did a show live from his home in Hawaii that aired on Boston radio station 92.9 WBOS called “WBOS Backspin”. The show was short-lived, however. Laquidara resigned shortly after being chastised for playing Neil Young’s song, “Impeach the President” during the height of the Iraq War.
Laquidara had a profane alter ego, Duane Ingalls Glasscock, who had a vulgar catchphrase. When he was told not to utter the phrase on the air any more, he “cleaned it up” into the similar-sounding “Have you even been phoned in Upton, Mass. for being a lucky wise guy?” Duane would begin his broadcasts with the phrase “Hello, Rangoon!”

Michigan

I frequently visited the Detroit area when I lived in Fort Wayne, and eventually moved to Canton, Michigan and all of the time I would listen to the WRIF.
I did manage to meet Arthur Penhallow, we went out limo surfing down Eight Mile, a fun night indeed.

Arthur Penhallow (born 1943) is a radio presenter in Detroit, Michigan . He has hosted on radio station 101.1 WRIF in the same time slot since 1970.
Penhallow was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Before beginning his long tenure with WRIF, Art had toured with a band that played with the Mamas and the Papas, among others. Under the name “Cicero Grimes,” he worked at WNRZ in Ann Arbor in 1970, and then moved to WRIF’s predecessor, WXYZ-FM, which at the time was airing a syndicated progressive-rock format distributed by ABC called “Love.” Penhallow was one of the “Love” format’s local announcers and stayed on as WXYZ-FM transitioned to an all-local air staff and moved from progressive rock to the then-new “album oriented rock” format as WRIF.
Penhallow’s trademark is the saying of his name as “Arthur Penhallow, BABY”, and the cry is one of WRIF’s most popular bumper sticker slogans. When Howard Stern was a D.J. briefly at Detroit station WWWW, he mocked Penhallow’s “BABY!” by announcing, “This is WWWW in Detroit, MAMMY!”
Penhallow regularly referred to himself as “Big Daddy Arthur P” or simply, “Big Daddy” As did others on the station.

Aircheck of WRIF “the Riff” during afternoon drive with Arthur Penhallow, featuring full commercial breaks and a segment of “5 O’Clock Funnies”.

California

Back in 1996 we moved to California I had my radio stuck on KFOG, and my favorite DJ with the great voice ran the morning show until 2008. We missed Dave, but the morning show went on without him and there was still Ten at Ten, until the station got sold to some conglomerate.

Dave Morey (born 1951?) is one of the best radio voices in the nation. Dave Morey was at the mic when KFOG went from an easy listening to a rock format in 1982, he was the one pushing the button that kicked off the change to play the Stray Cats’ “Rock this Town.” Fresh from a string of typical DJ jobs that had led him around the country from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Charleston, S.C., Morey had wound up in San Francisco two years earlier with a job at the now-defunct KSFX. Perhaps his most loved feature was the “10 at 10,” which packaged 10 songs from a certain year with news radio clips and an introduction by SNL announcer Don Pardo. The feature is a twice-daily (10 a.m. and 10 p.m.) music feature involving “10 great songs from one great year,” with bits of newscasts woven throughout. Listeners vote on “best of set.” Dave Morey retired on 19 December, 2008 his voice will be missed by many.

KFOG’s Dave Morey retires after 26 years at 104.5. The Michigan native is returning home, but will continue producing the 10 at 10 show.  Dave was elected to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2010.

Florida

There is no radio here, well there are stations but they all belong to conglomerates and they just pump out the same old pap based on the stations format.  Pop, Country, Pop, Country, there may  be a classical one somewhere, Pop, Country.  Not one notable DJ voice anywhere.  There are no more DJ’s.  Sad.