WTIC Alumni Site

      In Memory of and Designed by Bill Clede


Bill Turkington

I was hired at 16, the year was 1958 and worked at WTIC until 1961. I worked daily part-time after school, bussing in from Manchester. On weekends, I handled the switchboard for an 8 hour run. I operated the MultiLith Printing machine, a rather large, inky giant of belts and wheels, running off copies of the AM log, the FM log, and the TV log. I spent hours at the station every Saturday afternoon, with permission from Ross Miller and engineer Charlie Fitzgerald while only 14 and 15. I remember the day the TV cameras arrived. During the summers, I worked full time. Ate my bag lunch in the projection room watching I Love Lucy in syndication (16 mm). On a regular basis, I was dispatched to Bradley Airport to pick up hot news film flown in from CBS in NYC.

After studies in Boston, I was hired at WNAV AM FM, a powerful station in Annapolis, Maryland......moved later to Washington, DC as news director for a major station there.

Then on to NBC TV in D.C. where I co-produced and hosted a public affairs program while doing music, news and talk at nearby WEZR FM. I was hired west to L.A. by the city's #1 music outlet as air personality, then years later on to Music of Your Life, live, coast to coast, with Dick Clark and me. Anchored CBS radio news out of Hollywood and then on to KWXY AM FM here in Palm Springs. Many TV commercials along the way. Became TV spokesman for Universal Pictures in the 90s. It all started with hanging around WTIC on Saturday afternoons. Top three songs were Lisbon Antiqua, Poor People of Paris, and the 4-lads doing Standing on the Corner. I knew Dick Bertel, Bruce Kern, and so many more whose names I forget. Bob Steele just called me The Turk. We all had a "family" going there on the 6th floor. TV was new. Ross and Betty Miller did a 30-second commercial sitting in living room chairs staged in front of the camera. It was put to video tape. We had two mammoth AMPEX VCRs. What a roar they made. But that was the most imaginative way to make a commercial in those days. Sit in a chair. Roll tape. Our TV booth announcers were live, sat in a tiny booth across a hall from the master control and maintained a log. Then there was the FM. Constantly the records turned. No one thought about "selling time." It was too early for that. Today, I own a busy recording studio in Palm Springs, the only one here. SOUNDSGREAT! Inc. produces radio vignettes for syndication, and also pumps out hundreds of labeled CDs hourly for clients.

His name slips my mind for the moment; but we had a popular DJ/host who did his music show from a piano in the studio across the hall from master control. Between songs, he'd play a few measures and chat.

Some of the celebrities I met while in my "visiting years" of 1955 thru 57....the great names who visited Ross "The Musical" Miller (as the choral group would sing it) were The Ames Brothers, The Four Lads, Lauren Bacall (I rode down the elevator with her. Mrs. Humphrey Bogart.) and I know I'll think of some others.

I became quite well known on KJOI FM 75,000 Watts (towered in Beverly Hills) and met virtually everyone famous and near-famous. I introduced so many on stage or TV...I was the veritable "announcer" ('TIC bred). At the Pantages, our station hosted a nostalgia evening and brought in Les Brown and his Band of Renowned. Les "only had one drink" but still couldn't get my last name right all evening. I intro'd the last surviving Andrews Sister (whose name now slips my mind, imagine.) Before we went on, I visited her dressing room and introduced myself. This was 1987. I told her that when I was a teen, I remember she and her sisters being interviewed by Ross Miller in 1955. That brought tears to her eyes. Mine, too, because she remembered THAT RADIO VISIT. She said it was the only Hartford interview they had ever done.

I better stop, I could go volumes. Bob Ellsworth played piano live from studio A. Each studio had its corresponding control room engineer. I remember a gargantuan studio which held a sizeable audience. Musical instruments adorned the empty stage. Must have been live shows at the time. There was a RADIO AROMA that hung in the air, a good smell I have not smelled since. Those were real radio days

Bill Turkington...........



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