From my earliest memories, there was music in our home. I’ve mentioned before that my sisters were fifteen and sixteen when I was born. So I was familiar with rock and roll from a very young age.
I recall attending an Elvis movie with my mom and sister, Rose, when I was still young enough that I wanted to take my doll baby with me. Rose was horrified, but mom convinced her that having your little sister take a doll to an Elvis movie was not the end of the world.
Looking back, I really don’t think I discovered music when I became a teenager, as most young people do. I just gradually “morphed” from my sisters’ music (Elvis, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Gene Pitney) to MY music (The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Grass Roots, Neil Diamond, Creedence).
The radio station that EVERYONE listened to in our area was 1310-AM WGH (World’s Greatest Harbor). The station first signed on in 1928, thus the three call letters as opposed to the four now required. In the 1950’s, WGH began playing Top 40 music. Of course, when evenings came, the signal diminished to the point that we couldn’t pick up it up in our rural area. Then we’d have to switch to an out-of-state station to listen to our music.
For Christmas one year when I was a young teen, I received a transistor radio. I’m sure my mom tired of buying batteries for it. But what a joy it was to carry my music with me, and especially to listen to one of those out-of-state stations at night on that little radio stashed under my pillow.
During the Thanksgiving season, the station held a contest: when you heard the sound of the turkey gobble, you called the station. If you were the correct number caller, you would win a prize. One year (after I was out of school and working at my first job), I won a Paul Anka record album. I was thrilled, especially since he had previously written and recorded the song, Diana. And I forgave him for the misspelling. (Just kidding: for those of you reading my blog for the first time, my name is spelled Dianna.)
I’m not really sure when WGH changed its format, but at some point, we began listening to other radio stations.
For a while, there was a station that would play the “oldies”: the music we listened to during our teen years. But in recent years, we had to be content with a few of those mixed in among current songs. I’ve admitted here before that I’m a music snob: preferring that from the 50’s, 60’s, and the first few years of the 70’s.
Last Friday morning, I logged onto Facebook, and discovered to my delight that WGH had changed its format and was once again playing the music I loved. What a surprise: our beloved WGH is back.
Driving is fun again because the “music of my life” is on the radios in our vehicles. There’s also a live stream, so I can listen on the computers at our shop AND at home. That means there’s no problem when the sun goes down and the signal weakens. My son, Marshall, (also a
music snob fan of the oldies) commented last weekend that he can’t remember the last time we actually looked forward to the next song on the radio.
On Monday afternoon, a small group of followers of the WGH Facebook page met in the parking lot at the site of the station’s studios “back in the day”. Motor Man and I attended. Someone brought a boom box, and we all played a very informal game of “Name That Tune”.
At the current time, there are no deejays, but we’re told that will come in the future. There are already over 1,000 songs in their treasury, also with more to come.
And if you’re a fan of “my” kinda music, here’s the link to the live stream, so you can enjoy it too:
In addition to that wonderful music, there are also vintage commercials and WGH jingles. We’re all teenagers again!
I just may have to find a vintage transistor radio. Wonder if Motor Man would mind one under my pillow?
~These Days Of Mine~
As we get older it’s increasingly more fun to “revisit” some of our treasured memories of the past including “our” music. We have a transistor radio that we always listen to on Sunday nights with the old time radio programs like “Gunsmoke” and “Johnny Dollar”, etc. It’s great that your radio station is back up and the music so many of us loved THEN and NOW.
I remember WGH well and DJs Dick Lamb, Gene Loving and Bob Calvert. They came to the Smithfield Community Hall and DJd for dances there.
If Motor Man can put a (jet engine, carbeurator?) under your bed I think you can put a transistor radio under your pillow.
This brings back similar memories. Being born in the 40’s I was probably closer to your sisters age and I had a 2 sisters 6 & 14 years younger than me so they listened to “my” music like you did! The 60’s music is still my favorite and I love to sing along. Isn’t it funny how you remember all the words? My youngest son and I had a bedtime game that involved the oldies station. If I didn’t know the next song coming on, he could stay up longer. Well that never happened! I will have to check out “your” oldies station. I don’t remember what mine was but living close to Philadelphia, it was a good one! BTW…Stevie Wonder and I are the same age! I still love his music.
Oh my gosh, I LOVE this post! Growing up similar to you with older sisters, I know the songs of the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s better than any other eras. Like you, music was always being played in my home and I would awaken each day to the radio (KDKA, the very first commercial radio station begun in 1920) playing in the kitchen as my mother prepared breakfast. I too had a transistor radio that I carried everywhere or attached to my bike handlebars. Such good memories and so often listening to those oldies brings it all back, doesn’t it? So happy for you that you have this radio station back on the air! ♥
It’s really cool..
This is music that regular radio forgot..
probably because IHeartMedia has bought everything..
Bravo, WGH – I’m tuned in right now !
Loved this! Adorable photo of the Elvis movie/ doll era, and I can just imagine the mood your sister must have been as a teen mortified by her sister bringing a baby doll to a cool Elvis movie. I’m listening to the station link live stream now and thoroughly enjoying the mood. Don’t like contemporary music as much, and even though I grew up with a jazz loving and piano playing dad and classical music loving mom, I loved the feel that those ‘oldies’ bring.. even if they’re before my time. 🙂 It just feels happier, somehow, the sound, even when the songs are bluesy and about broken hearts!
WGH, transistor radio, and the oldies are wonderful memories for me also, So happy it’s back.
How did I miss this!! I did not know what WGH stood for, how cute you won that album, and I remember those nighttime stations as I l9ved them! My favorite was WOWO, and once in a while I will rum into someone that remember. Wonderful blog of days gone by and happily here again!
WGH was the sound track of my life between 1964 and 1975. It was one of a kind .So many personalities who went through those doors made such an impact on my life. I will never forget George Crawford, Bob Calvert, Dick Lamb, Gene Loving, Dale Parsons, Jeff Davis The Real Neal Steel and so many others. The music, the contests, and the personalities all fit together perfectly. I left Hampton for college in 1975, eventually got into broadcasting and. WGH was my model. At night I would also listen to the Big AM stations like WOWO, WABC and Jeff Davis on WLS in Chicago., The same Jeff who worked at The World’s Greatest Harbor. Kudos to Dick Lamb, Gene Loving, and all the others who were instrumental in putting WGH 1310 back on the air. Also former WGH personality Dale Parsons doing the station liners. I’m far away from Tidewater these days, but thanks to streaming I can still enjoy WGH Music 131.
Beautiful memories to treasure.
What a wonderful post! There’s nothing like our old tunes to take us back to the good old days!
I was THRILLED when you told me that WGH was back! I, too, remember listening to it on my pink transistor radio. I was especially fond of the sign off that one of the DJs used – can’t remember his name at the moment. He would sign off saying: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” AHH – the Good Ole Days! I’ll sure enjoy listening to it again.