Picture of Joe Collins, Number One
Candid Joe Collins

Picture of Joe Collins, Number Two
Introspective Joe Collins

The Joe Collins Collection

Here is a collection of some of my favorite airchecks from the 70's and 80's. I grew up in Portsmouth, VA and loved the radio ever since I can remember. I listened to WGH, WNOR, WQRK and WTAR as a kid and I have very fond memories of all of the Hampton Roads personalities from that time.

I started collecting airchecks when I was in High School and I have never stopped! After school, I went to work for WTAR and went on from there to their FM sister station, WLTY. Then it was on to Roanoke and later, back to Hampton Roads where I've worked as an announcer, PD and engineer at stations around the market. As of August 2006, I am the Operations Manager for First Media Radio in Roanoke Rapids, NC.

I am a huge fan of fun, entertaining personality radio. I have always tried to make my on air shows as fun and exciting as the great jocks I grew up listening to did. Radio, when done right, is pure magic. I hope anybody who hears these great moments in Hampton Roads radio will get as many smiles from them as I do.

The Repository thanks Joe Collins for sharing!

[Descriptions by Joe Collins]

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (12 Khz)
Phil Beckman, WQRK-FM Norfolk, VA. 1974 (03:41)

. . . Why is Cat Stevens a head? Well, he ain't got no body . . .

Phil Beckman was a part of Hampton roads radio for a good part of the 70's and 80's. Here he is in the morning at WQRK.

WQRK was Hampton Roads first Top 40 FM station. It became WNVZ 'Z-104' in the early 80's and is still a big player in the market today.

Return to the Repository

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 64 Kbps (14 Khz STEREO)
Dale Parsons and Real Neal Steele, WGH Norfolk, VA. 1975 (8:20)

. . . I know the truth hurts - and I'm sorry I said it . . .

Dale Parsons and Neal Steele were my favorite DJ's when I was a kid. They changed shifts right around my bedtime. They would invariably do some crazy stuff in the first few minutes of Dale's show on WGH. It became a sort of running bit. Here are just a few of their zany stunts.

Dale Parsons went on to be PD at WTAR across town. There is a legendary story that when Dale left WTAR to go to New York and program WNBC, Dale and Neal pulled a stunt where they played the same records at the same time on both stations for a whole shift. Dale was on at WTAR for his last show, and Neal was on at WGH. They just stayed on the phone with one another and pulled all the same records.

Return to the Repository

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32 Kbps (12 Khz)
WNOR Norfolk, VA. Composite, 1975 (09:56)

. . . WNOR is now winding the Booty Clock . . .

WNOR was never able to beat WGH in the ratings, but they certainly gave them a run for their money in the 60's and 70's. This station composite from 1975 shows them at the top of their game.

Phil Beckman came over from WQRK in late '74 and Jim Stanley did middays. He had been the morning personality on WNOR-FM in 1974. Jim Stanley would later go on to be big in the mornings at album rocker WMYK (K-94) in the late 70's and early 80's He was also on TV on the campy "Dr. Madblood's Movie" TV show that used to be on WAVY-TV 10 around the same time. Probably the wildest night time jock in Hampton Roads up until Johnny Ringo came along, Rockin' Larry Ryan held down evenings.

Dave Hale, who was doing overnights at WNOR in 1975, was the production director at WTAR/WLTY when I started there in 1989. Dave has always been one of my favorite people to listen to on the radio. He also was one of the most prolific voices in Hampton Roads in the 80's. He was not only on the radio, but was also the station voice for WVEC-TV 13 for a while. I really enjoyed working with Dave and I learned a lot from him.

Return to the Repository

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 64 Kbps (14 Khz STEREO)
Johnny Ringo, WNSY-FM Norfolk, VA. 1984 (8:39)

. . . remember, party is a necessity, everything else is an option . . .

WGH was sold in 1983 and the the call letters were changed to WNSY. The running joke was that they stood for "We're Not Sure Yet." The tradition of fun Top 40 radio continued and the calls were thankfully changed back to WGH in 1986. I guess they came to their senses!

This aircheck from 1984 features one of the most outlandish personalities to ever come to Hampton Roads radio — Johnny "Rock 'n' Roll" Ringo. He wasn't here long but there are many who still remember this crazy guy. His talk up to "Blinded Me With Science" that you'll hear at the end of this recording is a classic example of pushing the envelope! I still crack up when I hear it after all these years.

Return to the Repository

G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44 Kbps (14 Khz)
Neal Steele talks to Dale Parsons at WNBC, WGH Norfolk, VA. October 1988 (11:51)

. . . I got stirrups and the whole bit man, I could do examinations if I wanted to . . .

In 1988, WGH turned 60 years old and they had an all-day special featuring music, jingles and announcers from the past. I cut class to tape it all. Unfortunately, the original tapes got lost somewhere in a move — but this snippet survives.

Not only is it interesting to hear Neal Steele and Dale Parsons reminiscing about the old days, this also happened to be Dale's last day at WNBC, which became WFAN the very next day. Neal and Dale are both in rare form here. I remember laughing until I was crying when I heard this. It is one of the funniest things I ever heard on the radio and it is one of my most treasured recordings.

Return to the Repository

G2/5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM 64 Kbps (14 Khz STEREO)
9-1-1 Remembered, 2006 (06:36)

. . . and if you live to be a thousand years old, will that make any sense to you? . . .

[Description by contributor and producer Joe Collins]

I was asked to put together a piece for the 9/11 5th anniversary radio special we are running on two of our stations. I don't particularly like these things.... Many I hear are rather cheesy and some are just in poor taste. However, something like this can add a great deal to a documentary program if it is well done.

I wanted to do something that would put you in the moment but still offer some solace. I chose to use Samuel Barber's 'Adagio For Strings' as the background. It has been called one of the greatest works for strings ever written. It evokes deep emotions, but leaves the listener with a profound feeling of peace. I was rather surprised to find myself overwhelmed with emotion while listening to the final cut.

This my tribute to everyone who lived through 9/11. The sounds recorded that day will echo through the history of this nation for as long as it stands. I present to you just a few....

Return to the Repository

REELRADIO first presented The Joe Collins Collection on March 5, 2006
Reel Top 40 Radio Repository ©1996-2011 REELRADIO Inc.