WTIC Alumni Site

      In Memory of and Designed by Bill Clede



Comments & Air Checks courtesy of Rick Kelly of Northeast Air Checks

 On Friday, December 6, 2002 longtime WTIC morning man and Connecticut radio legend Bob Steele died at the age of 91.  For those of you not familiar with Steele, he worked at one radio station – WTIC – for his entire radio career.  He started at WTIC in 1936 – and continued working there (very part time) until November of 2002.  Incredibly, his radio career spanned seven decades.  In addition, he did mornings six days a week… even when he was in his late seventies!

Steele’s show was filled with elements that might not have been unusual in the 1940 and ‘50s, but certainly extraordinary for late 20th century radio.  The show regularly featured musical selections like Sousa marches, short classical pieces, and novelty records.  Other features included Steele’s “Word of the Day”, poetry readings, and corny jokes.  Throughout the years and WTIC’s migration from old style Middle of the road to a more adult contemporary approach in the late 1970’s, and toward news/talk in the 90’s, Steele’s show remained the same. 

program saluting Steele was broadcast the morning of December 7, hosted by WTIC’s long standing sports announcer Arnold Dean; Dean himself started at WTIC in 1965.  Glen Colligan co-hosted, Colligan was the producer of Steele’s once monthly Saturday morning show.  I managed to air check many segments of the program, where many of Steele’s faithful listeners phoned in their remembrances: (Listener 1), (Listener 2), (Listener 3). 

Dean and Colligan did several segments on personal remembrances. 

Scott Gray did some outstanding and touching pieces  (1), (2) on his professional and personal relationship with Steele. 

One of my favorite segments of Steele’s program was his announce of WTIC’s change of directional signal pattern every morning, which he called the “Antenna Switch”. 

WTIC’s news department did segments on Steele all morning long (1), (2); (1) features a brief air check of Steele’s last show in November of 2002.

Two poetry readings were featured; you can hear “Albert and the Lion” and “The Return of Albert”.

Steele even did “bits” occasionally on the show: two are featured here – one is Steele’s “audition” to do baseball play by play, and once weekly, Steele read mail he received from his listeners. 

Arnold Dean tells one of Steele's favorite jokes. Steele’s favorite records got played as well; “Two Buffaloes” by Rolf Harris and “Angelina” by Louie Prima both got airplay on WTIC’s salute to Steele. 

The salute ended with a Sousa March, and a great moment where WTIC actually dropped their 50,000 watt signal for 20 seconds marking the passing of Bob Steele.  As Arnold Dean states at the end of the broadcast... "Thanks, Bob." 
[Webmaster's correction: This is actually "The Second Connecticut Regiment March" by David W. Reeves, and most likely performed by "The Second Company Governor's Footguard Band". Thanks to a web viewer for the correction, with corroboration by Phil Steele!]

...Rick Kelly  


Main  History   Reports   Events   Museum   Personalities   Technicians   Support  Listener Memories  Lost Alumni  Audio/Video