MEET THE VOICES OF WYAR:
GARY KING is the founder, Chief Operator, and Station Manager of WYAR. During his long broadcasting career, Gary was an announcer on Maine radio, worked as a television engineer, and then as a television director, spent many years at Portland-based WMTW, Channel 8, and later with what is now Maine Public Broadcasting. Gary hosts repeats of Music Like it Was and produced the majority of other programming until 2013, when ill heath unfortunately obliged him to cut back on daily involvement with the station.
PETER MEZOIAN is one of America’s leading banjoists. Making his home in South Portland, he makes his living touring around the world. When in town between tours, he plays regional venues and hosts Banjo Perspectives on WYAR, which started airing in 2008. He specializes in Plectrum Banjo, featuring music from Pops to the Classics and has released two commercial album projects.
WAYNE NEWLAND is producer and host of WYAR’s The Community Microphone, a public service program. A self-described “child of the fifties”, Wayne had never seen TV until his family moved from West Virginia to Baltimore when he was nine. He fondly remembers “real radio” and was drawn to WYAR during its first year in operation (1998) by the “golden oldies” being played, and by the desire of Gary King to be of service to Yarmouth and the surrounding communities. So, shortly after retirement from a 25-year career as an educator in New Jersey and a decade as an administrator of non-profit associations in Augusta, he became the very first volunteer for this unique radio station, and has remained with us ever since. Wayne became a member of the WYAR Board of Directors in 2014.
JIM BROWN started in 2005 as co-host of Retro Radio Show, and is now Assistant Station Manager at WYAR and co-host of “The Big Show” with Mark Persky. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and an SBE Certified Radio Operator. A Controls Engineer for industrial equipment for many years, he holds down a day job (which is really a night job) in the Operations Engineering group at Idexx Laboratories, Inc., to support his radio-station habit at WYAR. He has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2007, and was elected Chairman in 2014.
LAURA HOUCK, hostess of Tuesday Afternoon with Laura since 2011, was born on a mountaintop in Tennessee—wait, no, that was Davy Crockett… she has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Laura blames her folks for her love of the big band sound. Her grandparents were musicians, and her father grew up wandering the backstage of many venues. Her childhood was filled with everything from Tex Beneke and Tommy Dorsey, to Glenn Miller and the Mills Brothers. Laura is a professional actor and singer, transplanted to Falmouth with her menagerie of people and pets from New York City. She has worked on stage and television, and now adds radio to her ultimate goal of having worked in all media. She is thrilled to be part of WYAR, where she can talk and listen to great music, two of her favorite things, and for the opportunity to keep the Great American Songbook alive and well. She was elected a member of the Board of Directors in 2016.
MARK PERSKY, 30+ year veteran of radio in greater Portland, often surprises people when they discover that he is a serious musicologist with omnivorous tastes, equally at ease discussing vaudeville, 1920’s jazz, mid-century show-tunes, folk music, and ethnic music as he is Led Zeppelin, Doctor Demento, and Weird Al. Which, of course, makes him a perfect adjunct to the group at Heritage Radio. Monday he breezes out to Cousins Island for “The Big Show”, the arts calendar and listener request hour, throws everything into uproar and confusion, and then just as quickly breezes out en-route to his next volunteer gig—maybe at the Animal Park in Gray or the Children’s Ward at a local hospital —and we love him for it. Mark is that unique and priceless blend of gregarious generosity coupled with abject zany-ness that can make magic (and sometimes mortification) happen!
RUSS NAUGHTON, host of The Jazz Oasis, lived in Brooklyn NY while working his way through a BFA from Pratt Institute in the 1970’s. Frequenting famous venues like the Bottom Line, the Village Vanguard, and the Village Gate immersed him in the New York Jazz scene that was “happening” at the time, which comes back to us now at 8:00PM Friday evenings. He repeatedly saw, and often met, many of the musicians he spins in his hour of smooth jazz and fusion, with frequent forays into funk. Many of these artists are still working, and Russ also loves catching us up on what projects they have been involved with more recently.
VOICES FROM OUR PAST YOU STILL HEAR REGULARLY:
JEANNIE EVANS was host of Afternoon Remedy, still in repeats Wednesday afternoons. Jeannie graduated from Yarmouth High School in 2009 and George Washington University in 2013, majoring in International Development and DJ’ing at GWU’s station, WRGW. In 2014 Jeannie moved back to Maine and contacted her childhood favorite radio station, WYAR, where she created a remarkable set of programs that range through blues, bluegrass, jazz, and even foray into folk rock, showing how it all connects (She originally coined our tagline “...where we put the music you love into context”). She left for a work opportunity in southeast Asia in 2015.
CARL BRADFORD was WYAR’s resident Jazz expert for many years. In addition to his jazz show on WYAR, Carl was also the leader of the Port City Jazz Sextet and the Port City Four, both of which featured the jazz side of the Great American Songbook. Carl grew up in Detroit, Michigan, a hotbed of jazz during the 1940’s and ‘50’s. In 2001, Carl approached WYAR, with the outline of what would become Jazz At Y-A-R. Carl retired and recorded the final installment of his program in 2007.
KEITH GREEN came to WYAR from across the pond. Born and raised in England, Keith now retired, still lives in Maine. The Keith Green Show featured the music he loves from the Great American Songbook with anecdotal information about the performers and his own adventures. Although he recorded his last program in 2004, he lives on in repeat broadcasts because we get loads of hate mail if we try to stop running it.
SCOTT SCROGGINS was co-host of Retro Radio Show, which was active from 2005 to 2010. Scott grew up in Woolwich. In Scott’s words, “When I was about twelve, I was going to yard sales with my grandfather. At one of them I spied a box of a hundred records for five bucks. My grandfather tried to explain that these were 78's and there would be nothing on them to interest me. I was insistent, and, when I got my box of treasures home, came across a recording of Blue Skies by Benny Goodman. I liked it...a lot. I looked for more records by this "Benny Goodman" guy, and it just sort of grew from there.” Although no longer an on-air personality, Scott remains a member of WYAR’s Board of Directors and active in management.
HERITAGE RADIO SOCIETY, INC