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Tales to Tell

Tales, part 1
Tales, part 2
Tales about the site

Tales, Part Three

"Walker and Squat" - that's how Willard would often refer to their WRC show. Following my third firing by WMAL in 1975 (I hold the record there), I couldn't get arrested on radio. I have left more stations than AMTRAK! I became V.P. of advertising for one of the great design firms in DC. We had the WRC account, and WRC wanted a full page in the Washington Post featuring Willard Scott.

Willard in Get Stuffed shirt I called him to set up the photo shoot. What I remember most is his question to me just before we hung up: "Do you want me with hair, or without?" I said that it was up to him. He showed up without... he actually removed the piece to do the shoot, then reattached it for the late news show. It's typical of the man, outgoing, audacious, blustery, but underneath a pussycat of the first order. Somewhere in my archives I have the photo that I took, that ran full page in the Post, with Willard wearing a tee shirt touting the then all-news format of WRC, with the legend: "Get Stuffed." I don't think I've never met two more genuine people in this crazy business, than Walker 'n Squat. - Jim Evans (Fredericksburg, VA)

Another visitor saw Jim's note and provided us with the photo. Click it for a larger view. -BB

Saw some of your updates and started laughing when the name Charlie Nemo was mentioned. On the old consoles at WRC there was a pot (A BIG KNOB) and under it were engraved the letters NEMO. Guess where Willard got the name! BTW: NEMO stood for Not Emanating from Main Office. The pot could bring in a remote broadcast from any one of 10 keys. - Skip McCloskey

The boards had the capability of taking in 10 sources from outside the studios. These were called "jobs." The (red) radio network was job 10. A backup was always available as job 9. The White house main loop was job 1. All others were shuffled by transmission each day as news gathering required. There were 10 job keys on the boards to select from these feeds. The output of the selection fed to the NEMO fader.

I believe earlier usage referred to a complete show coming from a remote source. In this case, the NEMO would be an input to the channel switching just like a studio. There is some discussion about it on Rich Samuel's excellent Chicago page. - Mike Berry

Mike and Skip, it's always a pleasure to hear from two guys who actually worked with this stuff at WRC. Thanks! -BB

I'm a former resident of the Washington DC area, having lived mostly in Hyattsville and College Park during the 1950's to 1972. I was an avid listener to the Joy Boys and taped a goodly number of those programs off the radio, using an old Webcore open-reel recorder and a mike held next to the radio speaker.

So, I can get CD's of your old programs? Wow! I would especially want their story of how Santa and Mrs. Claus each got a Christmas present and their story of New Year's Eve in the colonial days. What good stuff! Do you have those two programs? - Duncan Holmes

Duncan was kind enough to loan us his Joy Boys tape, with some One A Day Radio shows from 1962-63. These are now part of our CD #JB112. Visit our History page for more about One A Day Radio. We don't yet have the shows Duncan asked about... does anyone out there have copies of those shows?

In the late 1960's, my Dad started listening to Harden and Weaver in the morning on WMAL, and to the Joy Boys on WRC in the evening. My Dad was a big fan of the pre-Top 40 WRC; he also listened to the Al Ross show and to Monitor on the weekends.Shortly afterwards, I started listening to Ed and Willard, too. (I believe I was in 7th or 8th grade at the time). I just loved the show, and I used to listen every evening. When the Joy Boys moved to afternoons in the early '70's, I followed them there, and I also listend to the show all the way through the final days at WWDC.

As time has gone by, I've found myself missing the good old days of radio like the Joy Boys and Harden and Weaver and Bill Trumbull all the more. When I discovered your website, it was like finding buried treasure. I guess radio will probably never be like it used to be, but at least I can pop in the CDs, sit back and close my eyes, and drift back to a simpler, happier time as I listen once again to Ed and Willard, the Sodbuster, Arthur Codfish, the Loan Arranger, and the rest of the magical creations of the Joy Boys, as they "chase those electrons to and fro." - Paul Riordan

Wow. Got your CD's today... Quite a trip (to use a 60's phrase). Ed and Willard have more talent than anyone else in radio, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Of course it dates me, and it hurts that I'm trapped in the 50's and 60's when it comes to radio and music.

In 1960 I got my first radio, tortured my parents into submission, a 5-tube "all American" (made in Japan). I listened mostly to WQMR (all mood music) and only listened to 980-WRC infrequently until I was a little older, then tuned in to hear the Joy Boys when I could. I always thought of their show as something that would always be around. Just like I thought the Washington Star would always be around, but that's another story. - Bill Halvorsen

Bill's tribute to Percy Faith is now listed on our links page, as is his email address. If you have any 1959 - 1966 tapes of WGAY/WQMR, please let Bill know.

I was born and raised in DC. I listened to the Joy Boys when I was delivering the Evening Star newspaper and also while collecting my money at the end of the month from my customers. I broke many a radio while I was delivering the paper and listening to them. I would accidentally drop them, plus during the rain and winter weather many got wet and gave out on me. We are talking a time span from 1957 to 1963. After that I was away at school and the military until 1969. I met Ed when I was a police officer at the Union Train Station when he was making a weekly trip up to Baltimore on business around 1980. I walked with him to his train a few times.

The best to you and the site. - Gregory Sheppard, Rockville MD

I worked with both of the Joy Boys for quite a few years. They were a great team and truly Boys of Joy. Willard Scott was a fuzzy faced teenager working part time when I started in radio in 1945 at WINX, owned then by the Washington Post before they bought WTOP. Willard was a big boy then with hair... I spent 17 years at WWDC, and a total of 45 years in Washington radio and TV. I marched in President Roosevelt's inaugural parade in the naval reserve; did Harry Truman's inaugural parade and President Kennedy's inaugural from the East steps of the Capitol; and was PA announcer for the Washington Senators at old Griffith Stadium. Now, at 87, I am enjoying my active old age. - Jack Rowzie, Middleboro MA

Ed Walker and I graduated from American U. together in the class of l954, majoring in Radio and TV, and "Scotty," (Willard) was just a couple of years behind us. I've been chuckling and chortling over the Joy Boys for many a year and am pleased to have been part of that same radio fraternity. I was program director and a Sunday DJ at the now-defunct WARL-AM, 780 on the dial in Arlington, VA. My Sunday show of country music was called "Outside John, Sitting In." Glad Ed put me on to this site. - John Galloway

My sister found your site mentioned in the Washington Post and sent me a note to check it out. She is in her thirties, but remembers me talking about this show! I was born in 1956 in Arlington, Virginia and grew up listening to this show riding in the car with my mom going to pick up my dad at work in DC. Mom would turn the radio down when dad got in the car, but I would lean over in the back seat and put my ear to the speaker so I could keep listening (this was before seat belts!). They were great! I remember laughing until my sides hurt. Thank you for this, these are great memories. - Jay Langan, Tampa FL

Jay, thanks for letting us know about the Washington Post item. This was an online discussion held March 20 at the Post's website, and you can read the text here in their archive.

Just visited the site for the first time after hearing Mr. Walker mention it on the Big Broadcast. Great work! I had no idea it would be this good. I was born in January of 1972, and didn't know the show existed until recent years. Look forward to many downloads! - Bryan Gadow

Bryan, I feel old, knowing that you were born during my junior year of high school... but I'm glad that the Joy Boys and the Big Broadcast have some younger listeners. Do stay in touch. -BB

I have a tape of the last two hours of a Harden and Weaver show when Ed Walker, Willard Scott and Johnny Holliday sat in for Frank and Jack during one of their absences. This tape has been rattling around in a desk drawer here at work for years now. The sound is portable cassette recorder quality, but it's not bad. Just listening to it now for a few minutes (to make sure I hadn't taped over it) and found Ed doing about three characters in one minute's time. What a talent. - Chris Atwell

Thanks, Chris. By eliminating the news and Paul Harvey, I've condensed this two-hour tape into one very full CD, and it's available as our disc #JB110. There are two MP3 files available for online listening. -BB

A package is on its way... What you are getting are 3 CD's of the last show; remember there was no way to do a great recording of WRC 980 and there is interference at times, and this is not the "director's cut." Still, it's listenable. I think it was from a 1970 Sony tuner, can't remember the model, when AM was just a joke quality-wise. Also I reprinted an article I found -- getting really yellow -- from the Washington Star. - Bill Halvorsen

I've posted the Star article on our History page. And I know our CDs of the last show (JB106, 107, 108) are missing some pieces, so hopefully your CDs will fill in the gaps! I'll compare them and find out. Thanks, Bill. -BB

It's time to warp the kids with the great humor of the Joy Boys. Add to that the unlocking of wonderful 30 year old memories. Working at WRC was a dream come true for me (I started there as a radio engineer when I was 19 years old!) and working with Ed and Willard was the icing on the cake. A friend and I had sent them one of our own "humorous" audio tapes when we were 8th-graders and they pronounced us Joy Boys Junior. I definitely look forward to more CDs. - Jeffrey Blair

I grew up in Washington, listening to the Joy Boys from the late 50s to the end. I used to take a small radio and earphone with me so I could hear them on the bus as I commuted home from work in the early 1970s. I credit the Joy Boys and Mad Magazine for totally rotting my brain. I needed that balance to permit me to shelve a lot of the serious drivel that I had to confront. Remember, in those days, World War II was still fresh in everyone's minds, the Atom and Hydrogen bombs were real threats, the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy assassination, and other world events, forced us to seek other releases for pleasure and enjoyment. The irreverent approaches of these two sources helped maintain what little sanity I managed to retain.

Thank you for taking the time to develop this site. When all is said and done, our memories are really all we have left to reflect on. You have done a splendid job of helping me with mine - from an earlier and happier time. Good luck, Bob. - CJ (Charles Jekofsky)

Thanks, CJ. Hope to hear from you again after you get moved and settled. -BB

piles of tapes February 28, update on The Carpenter Tapes: As you may have read earlier on this site, Bob Carpenter recorded a lot of Joy Boys shows during 1960 and '61. Bob set his timer to fire up the reel-to-reel recorder each night from 7:05 to 7:30 PM, and the shows came from WRC-FM so the sound quality is nearly perfect, even after 40 years!

Bob shipped these tapes to us, nineteen 7" reels of tape, which (if all the tapes are intact) should yield about 175 half-hour shows, or 60 to 70 full CDs worth of audio. This is an incredible find.

Saxitone tape box Even more impressive is that Bob catalogued the contents of each tape, writing the dates on each box. Click on this picture for a larger view. (Anybody else remember Saxitone, Irish, and Lafayette recording tapes? All of these great names are on the boxes.)

We've already completed transferring several of these shows to CD. It will take several months to convert the rest of them. But it will be worth the effort. And as each CD is completed, it will show up in our audio pages. Keep watching these pages for your favorite Joy Boys skits and characters, and for more clips which you can hear on-line. Like this one (MP3 file, 377K) which is from our disc #JB202. Have you ever heard so many characters in one skit?

Enjoy! - Bob Bybee

Just had a chance to view your page on the great, late Will Heagy. He was the consummate gentleman and an absolute master behind a control console. As I recall, Eddie and Willard always referred to him as "Wild Will Heagy" (especially during the closing show credits). - Kap (from Kaptain Kidshow)

Thanks, Kap. We've updated the Will Heagy story with more comments from those who knew him well. -BB

I have recordings of two Joy Boys skits: "SuperDuperMan" and "The New Scream." In the first, Ed Walker (as the superhero) has a devil of a time getting off the ground. The second is a take-off on WEAM radio, a sixties DC area rocker. I remember making these recordings in what I recall was Fall 1969 when I was in high school. I used a Sony Model 355 tape deck and a KLH Model 20 receiver. I recorded in my bedroom what was then WRC-FM 93.9 MHz, a simulcast of WRC 980 KHz.

At the time, when I was a teenager, I had no budget for blank tapes. So the same tapes were used repeatedly. Anything I wanted to save had to be physically removed to another reel and the main tape spliced together. In fact, I did splice together these two skits and put them on a separate reel so I could take it with me to high school to play for my friends. That that reel survived 33 years to end up with us today is serendipity. - Mark Rockman

Mark sent us several clips which will be available here on a future CD. For now, here's the Superman clip (MP3, 458K) for your enjoyment. -BB

Wow! This is great! I've been looking for something pertaining to the Joy Boys on the internet for months, to no avail. Until now, that is. Thanks for your efforts in putting this together. I loved the Joy Boys show, and I still listen to the great Ed Walker on Sunday nights here in the DC area. With radio getting more and more "canned" and less and less civil, I find myself missing quality shows like the Joy Boys all the more. - Paul Riordan

Thank you for setting up the new Joy Boys website! What a treat! One of the best times in my radio career was when I had the priviledge of being Ed Walker's newsman during his mid-afternoon 'standards' music show on WAMU-FM. For a while, the management used to let Ed chit-chat with me about one thing or another, and he used to crack me up so bad! ...they eventually told us to cool it, and there went the fun. Before I actually got to work with Ed, I remember meeting him and Willard for the first time when they moved to WWDC's afternoon drive. They were doing a fund-raiser for Children's Hospital, and I drove out to the station on harrowing Brookville Road in Silver Spring to donate some money just so I could meet them.

One more memory: some of my friends from WMUC Radio at the University of Maryland are big fans of Walker and Scott. So much so, that in the weeks leading up to WRC's format change to Top 40, they went to the Nebraska Ave. studios to sit in on the show, and W&S played on the air a WMUC-produced parody of "As The Worm Turns," called "As the Turtle Squirms," or something like that (from the fact that Maryland's mascot is Testudo, the Diamondback Turtle). All of us played little bit parts in "Turtle," and my friends Mike Collins (WASH, WMAL, now in Charlotte, NC); and Jay Kernis (creator of NPR's Morning Edition, now at CBS '60 Minutes') were the talent/writers/producers for the show, which we did for a couple of months on WMUC. So much fun, and I learned a lot about production from helping to do that show! - Max Cacas

My son and I began visiting the Joy Boys in their studio in 1968. We were listening to them at home one evening and I called to request a song as a birthday dedication for Bob, who had become a teenager that day. Willard answered the phone, and at the end of our conversation, he invited us to come out to WRC on Nebraska Avenue. That was the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship. We visited regularly about once a week after that. I was amazed on our first visit to find that the entire show, ad libs and all, was done without any kind of script. I remember when they did their soap opera sketch, "As the Worm Turns," without any pre-discussion Willard went into the intro and Ed picked it up from there. The two seemed to have a mental connection, a gift of coming back to an ad lib with another and often better ad lib.

Those were the days of protests and the flower children, and on our way back home we would see many young people on the Georgetown streets, either doped out or pretending to be -- we never knew for sure. This was also the time of the "generation gap" between parents and their children. That is one problem that Bob and I never had, and I give at least partial credit to those visits to the Joy Boys' studio and to the friendship of Ed and Willard. I believe it helped to build a bond between us which has lasted all these years. Or, as Willard might say, "Even as we speak." Best of luck with the web site. - Charlie Bybee

I LOVE THIS SITE ALREADY! Good luck with it. I'm not only a fan of the Joyboys, but also a fan and friend of the individual Joyboys. The main reason I'm in Radio today is because of the encouragement, guidance and example of Ed Walker. And there are, I'm sure, many others who can say the same. I've been lucky enough to work with Ed at WRC and WAMU. And there are, I'm sure, many others... I also worked with Willard at WRC. I bought eggs from him; my son had his 5th birthday party at Willard's farm In Virginia. But the BIGGEST thrill of all was the opportunity to work with the Joyboys as their engineer in the summer of 1966. I might even have some tapes and pictures. I definitely have many stories. If there is anything I can do to help you make this Web site a success, please let me know. - Bill Stabler

Thanks, Bill. Any stories, photos or tapes you'd like to share, will be enjoyed here by many other fans. -BB

I was one of probably zillions who visited perhaps in the late 60's when I was 17 or so and my fondest memory (besides seeing a real radio show done with humor and good taste) was having Williard kick his famous trash can into my shin. Wham! I kept silent like a good silent guest on the sofa, but at the next commercial break Willard said "are you OK?" I was all smiles, at having come in personal contact with THE trash can that sounded so much like - a trash can on the air! The tape cart trees full of sound effects and all the "toys" Ed Walker had - wow, how I miss those days. Radio with local ties... live... and now we have corporate nothingness and shock jocks. As your site progresses I hope to see someone pop up with a whole last day's broadcast (along with some typical ones - it would be so good to hear the "As The Worm Turns" and "Robin Hood of Rock Creek Park" broadcasts! Regards, Bill (website devoted to Percy Faith and popular music for orchestra, thinking of adding radio nostalgia and a WQMR/WGAY "memorial" as well... http://www.radix.net/~billh) - Bill Halvorsen

Bill, thanks for sharing your memories. We have "most" of the last day's broadcast available on our audio page, and with a little help from other collectors we will be able to complete the missing minutes. We do have several episodes of Robin Hood and The Worm. -BB

I have many reels of Joy Boys tapes at 3.75 ips from the early 1960s. These were copied from 1-7/8, so the quality isn't perfect. I'd be willing to lend them for copying. I'm sure that some of the shows are incomplete, and some were split between tapes in the copying from 1-7/8. A few include Bryson Rash newscasts - curios in themselves. One newscast reports Kennedy's first press conference. - Bob Carpenter

Bob, thanks so much. We will gratefully borrow your tapes and make copies available on this site. -BB

Tales, part 1
Tales, part 2
Tales about the site

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