I would like to thank Gary(Corey)Russell for this article. He has been & continues to be a real help in embellishing the WWDJ web page with different facts. A genuinely nice guy, still doing the Red Neckerson commentaries he started in 1979, living on a horse farm & enjoying the good life(something well deserved!)
GARY RUSSELL LOOKS BACK
Over the years, I have often thought about WWDJ, our triumphs and failures and all the great people I worked with, both male and female and wondered where they are now and what they are doing. I am sad to learn that some are no longer with us, but glad to know that many have gone on to achieve great success. I have a recurring nightmare of being on the air in an obscure radio station, frantically looking for the records which are missing, or searching for news copy while the dreaded sin of dead prevails, and the hot-line is ringing, signaling a furious call from a Program Director. I finally recalled what causes the dream. While working at both 97-DJ and WPAT rushed from Clifton, NJ studios to Hackensack one night, barely in time to begin the midnight-6AM shift with a 15 minute newscast. I arrived barely two minutes before air-time to discover that the departing News Person had thrown out all the copy except a few headlines and farm news. I went on mike, slowly reading, stretching my words to kill time. As I sweated my way through the news, the hot-line rang constantly The Program Director was listening, and he thought I was drunk, stoned or dying. I explained the situation to him after I finished the news, but let it suffice that it did nothing to endear me to him. Thankfully, most of my memories of the station are good. I always enjoyed DJ work. I grew up in Illinois, listening to St Louis and Chicago radio and always wanted to be on the air. I attended Southern Illinois Univ. and worked my way through college at a local station. My first big job was at WCPO, which became WUBE in Cincinnati. Bwana Johnny, Nick Anthony and Al Brady aIl worked there. I went to WQXI, a rock and roll giant in it's day as Program Director and then to WWDJ. I returned to WQXI after the demise of 97-DJ and became PD again for 2-3 years. I then was moved into Promotion and Dj positions, leaving for a Country Station, Y-106 in 1986. Now, I run my syndicated character out of a home studio and write a newspaper column, and also am involved in a store surveillance-video business.
I have been happily married for over 40 years and have 3 grown children, 2 young grandsons. The family is all in this area and we remain close. While in NJ, I lived in Sussex about 50 miles from the station on a horse farm. I still have Arabian horses on a small farm near Atlanta where we now live. We spent many fun times when Nick, Bwana, Mike Phillips or some of the other guys would come out to ride, cook out and enjoy the country life(I 'm still enjoying it).
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