REEL TOP 40 RADIO REPOSITORY

Robb on B101, 1998
Robb on B101, 1998

Rob at Big Brothers Awards Ceremony Val Sinese, Julian Zienowicz, Rob and Jim Cummings at Big Brothers of Rhode Island Awards Ceremony, 1999

Robb on the Radio
Robb on the radio.

Robb Pirraglia, 2000
Robb Pirraglia, 2000

Robb Pirraglia, 2008
Robb Pirraglia, 2008

The Robb Pirraglia Collection
SEND MAIL TO ROBB PIRRAGLIA Radio is like an escape from reality. It is an opportunity to connect with, entertain and bring enjoyment into a person's life. I love every minute of it! I am filled with passion, energy and excitement every time I crack a mic. I love people, I love music and I love to communicate.

I began collecting records at age four, my first, Hip to be Square by Huey Lewis and the News is still my favorite. By 8, I was regularly calling the Saturday night request show in my home town of Providence. I started reading books on pop culture and pop music in order to be able to request a "forgotten 45" and provide an anecdote. This way, I learned, I made for an interesting call and got on the air. Needless to say, I would patiently wait and then tape myself.

In the summer of 1993, I got an internship at B101 (The Oldies Station) and began working side by side with the jocks I admired. It was through this experience that I met my mentor and B101 PD John Morgan. From my first day, he took the time to answer my questions, teach me the art of broadcasting and assign "homework". I was asked to come in on Friday afternoons and continue my internship.

Meanwhile, I was lucky enough to have a FM CHR on my school's campus. With a little coaxing of the High School Senior whose "club" it was, I got on the air at age nine. I began voicing spots at B101 in 1995 at age 13 . Eventually I would serve as Assistant Production Director.

On one particular afternoon, the scheduled jock was running late. I asked John if I could sit in while he filled in. Then he said, "Robb, why don't you do it?" I was pretty good....I got a weekend shift and continued coming in periodically during the week for production.

Shortly thereafter, John left for Oldies 103.3 in Boston. I tried every shift at the B, but I was itching to jock CHR. I got my shot at two of New England's finest, Q105 New London and then FUN 107 New Bedford/Providence.

Early in 2000, I was hired to work at Oldies 103.3 in Boston as host of The Good Time Saturday Night Request Party. I had the pleasure of working not only with John Morgan and Paul Perry from Providence, but industry greats like Jim Sands, Brian Murphy and Little Walter.

In June of 2001, I became the night jock at 92-PRO-FM in Providence, RI. My air name was Robby Bridges. In June 2002, I worked late nights/weekends at WHTZ/Z-100, New York, New York. I went on to swing at WIOQ in Philadelphia, and I made the return to Boston and Mix 98.5 WBMX in 2003. While there I formed my own production company BBOR and began doing commercial and radio station voiceovers. Shortly thereafter, while still weekending in Boston, I signed on in Providence at country/top 40 hybrid WCTK, first at night and then PM drive, where I was part of a staff that took the station from 6th to 1st in the ratings war. During my 5 years there I also worked as a TV host on Rhode Island PBS, appeared in the movie "You Must Be This Tall" and became a columnist for FMQB Magazine. In addition to voicework, I also got to do a guest shot on Chicago's True Oldies WLS-FM. In 2008 I made the move to Connecticut's legendary AC WEBE 108-FM where I hosted PM drive and a Sunday late night talk show. In 2012, I am programming WFAS in Westchester New York and doing weekends at WPLJ/New York. I'm also on the national True Oldies network.

Radio is my passion and I look forward to the future.

The Repository thanks Robb Pirraglia for sharing!

[Descriptions by Robb Pirraglia]

 
REELRADIO HOLIDAY SPECIAL
Christmas Lights
This exhibit was available in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 as a special Holiday presentation.
G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16Khz)
A Christmas Carol, WNBC New York, December 1973 (25:21)

. . . I am the ghost of Christmas Present - look upon my bad self . . .

THE PLAYERS
Ebeneezer Scrooge: Don Imus
Ghost of Christmas Past: Big Wilson
Ghost of Christmas Present: Wolfman Jack
Ghost of Christmas Future: Pat Whitley
Bob Cratchit: Murray The K
Jacob Marley: Gordon Hammet
Tiny Tim: Donna Patrone
Produced and Directed by Jim Sands
Narrated by Tony Taylor
I had the pleasure of working with the Famous One, Jim Sands, and he passed this reel to me (complete with a WNBC Radio 66 production sticker!)

Jim, Production Director at "30 Rock" in December 1973, is heard introducing the presentation.

The wealth of talent shows what a great station WNBC was in the early 70's.

Although it is well written and dramatically produced, you can't help but chuckle at Don Imus as the grouchy Scrooge, and Wolfman Jack doing Charles Dickens.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16Khz)
WPRO-FM Providence Rhode Island, Composite, 1977 (15:48)

. . . your money and music station, Stereo Ninety Two, PRO-FM . . .

While many greats like WABC, WFIL and KHJ have long since changed formats, I can only say that I'm proud it's still like this in little Rhody. PRO-FM enjoys consistently high ratings, terrific familiarity in the market and a 27 year heritage in Contemporary Hit Radio.

This comes from a skimmer reel of a broadcast day during the dog days of the summer of '77. Having worked with Big John Bina and growing up with this station, it's really special to travel back in time and listen AM to PM.

Featured are Big John in the Morning, PD Gary Berkowitz on the midday, Boogie Man in afternoon drive and the legendary Howard Hoffman workin' nights. This station really cooks! Reverb, powerful jingles, high energy jocks, localism, fantastic music variety, phone bits, and a slew of contests. After listening to this, don't be surprised to find yourself wondering where you "PRO-FM".

Enjoy!

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32.0Kbps (16Khz)
Dale Dorman, WXKS KISS 108 FM Boston 1982 (4:31)

Dale Dorman, 2000
Dale Dorman, 2000
. . . I'm not even gonna comment on what I just said . . .

It has long been self assigned homework for me to catch a few breaks of "Uncle Dale" (Dale Dorman) every afternoon to this day. He is terrific. This sample is Dale at his best. He's funny, witty, energentic, tight, wild. I love it. Heard briefly at the start is then midday talent JJ Wright. The break that follows just makes me tingle! You have got to check this one out...

Dale Dorman left WXKS-FM on August 12, 2003, after 23 years at KISS-108. He passed away on October 25, 2014 following a long illness. He was 71.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 44.1Kbps (20Khz)
Bobby Valentine, WWPR New York, 1988 (6:31)

. . . sounds like somethin' Grandma Valentine would say! . . .

"Bobby Valentine" first became known to NYC CHR aficionados in 1983, when, as "Danny Hernandez," he was part of Z-100's original airstaff, doing swing and fill-ins.

October 14, 2001: Several stops later, under his real name of Ray Rossi (leader of the Rossi Posse!), he's still on the air in New York City -- as morning man and production director of the "new" WYNY, New Country Y-107.

{Thanks to Anita Bonita)

ABC briefly dropped the legendary WPLJ calls for WWPR in the late '80's to strengthen the adult Top 40 Power 95 FM moniker. I have always thought 'PLJ was a great radio station. They are very New York, always have cool promotions and have always stood for music variety; this tradition continues.

Although it seems silly to have gone WWPR in retrospect, the station had a lot of Power. The sonovox "Free Money Man" production bed is a knock out. The music flows well. There are plenty of mentions of local happenings and listeners. Bobby Valentine is an excellent talent, he feels the music and displays a lot of smile. I like his style a lot. He has a great personality and sense of humor but keeps it brief and in forward motion. Plug into the "Power" and crank it up!

[Aircheck by California Aircheck]

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G2/5.0 compatible STEREO TOP STREAM 44.1Kbps (16Khz RA8 STEREO)
Robby Bridges, WHTZ (Z100) New York, May 2002 (8:22)

. . . Double Entendre Alert! . . .

[Description by Robb Pirraglia]

When I figured out I wanted to be a DJ, I wanted to be just like my hometown idol Cruisin' Bruce. In fact my first radio work of any kind was to become his producer. I worked with him doing oldies, which were and still are, my favorite songs. My mentor and first PD John Morgan sat me down very early on and explained to me that there was more to being a jock than emulating Bruce. He introduced me to Joe Niagra on WIBG, Dan Ingram on WABC, Jay Thomas at 99X and what is to this day my prized radio possession, the Programmer's Digest composite of WFIL from 1972, with Dr. Don Rose, Jim O'Brien, Dan Donovan and the greatest of all rock and roll jocks (in my humble assesment) George Michael. Nobody talked up a record like George. And man, did Ingram have wit — and Niagra related to his audience so well.

All this early listening was supplemented by learning radio old school, it was 1993 and I was trained on cueing records, bulking carts and splicing reels. I knew that I wanted to be like Big Dan and George and do my thing in NYC one day and since WABC was no more, I soon discovered Z100. My parents used to drive me down into Connecticut from time to time so I could hear it. I remember how incredible Serving the Universe and all the other trademark Z100 formatics sounded. I listened to my share of Kiss in Boston and PRO-FM in Rhode Island and learned top 40 radio from the oldies guys who'd done it and through old airchecks here at REELRADIO, and listening to what was going on in the business presently. Kid Kelly, who did nights for many years on Z100 became an adjunct coach of mine. I always wanted to be in New York, I always imagined it and I always believed if I never gave up, it would happen. It did.

I'll never forget getting the phone call. Scott Shannon talked with me and gave me advice on what to focus on. It was incredible to do those classic Z100 formatics I always dreamed of. Was I nervous? Yes.. but the people there are such pros, the atmosphere is so creative and energetic, thatI have to admit after the first couple of shows I felt totally comfortable and really had a ball. It is always very humbling to me to be in that building and to look out the window at Manhattan and think "Oh man, this is market number one and I'm 19".

I just always keep the heritage of the station in mind. I did the same at PRO-FM. There is a legacy to live up to at Z100 and I feel more aware of that than anything and how or what I can do here to make my own little mark on Z100 history. I think I have always been a jock that does three shifts at a time. You take me at face value, you can listen intently and catch all my subtle shananagins or you can be a radio geek and catch me making references to "Not Chuck Dunaway" and the defunct WAPP. I try to be the best of the old school and relevant to the new school of CHR (not TOP 40) jocks. Personality wins any way you look at it, and it comes out when you love what you're doing!

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Additional Exhibits in The Robb Pirraglia Collection...
Z100 WHTZ New York Twentieth Birthday Bits, 1983-2003

The Robb Pirraglia Collection has been part of REELRADIO since December 17, 2000.

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