Damon Launches WHAV Morning Show, ‘Win for Breakfast’

Win Damon, the dean of Merrimack Valley radio, now delivers a live morning show over Haverhill-based 97.9 WHAV FM. The live 6-9 a.m., weekday, program provides listeners with everything they need to know to start their days—local news, weather, sports, traffic, prizes and more. Getting up early and informing Merrimack Valley listeners is nothing new for Damon. He’s been doing it for nearly 30 years. Damon, of Newburyport, and his father Henry bought Newburyport’s WNBP in 1989.

Radio Drama This Week: Johnny Dollar and the Private Space Industry of 1960

During the 1960s and 1970s, every U.S. rocket watch was must watching on television. Anyone old enough certainly remembers CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite using models to show rockets and capsules and what to expect after launch. So too on radio. The only regularly scheduled dramatic shows on radio by 1960 were on CBS. Without models to display, characters like Johnny Dollar acted on adventures around the emerging space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Veterans’ Secretary Urena Visiting Haverhill Friday in Support of Mill Brook Park

Haverhill’s Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Ad Hoc Commission is gearing up for a big visitor to Mill Brook Park this Friday: State secretary Francisco A. Urena. The secretary of the Department of Veterans' Services, Urena is in town to meet with the commission and evaluate the city’s plans to update Mill Brook Park, the new home of Haverhill’s Vietnam War Memorial. According to Commission Chair Ralph Basiliere—who guest hosted this week’s WHAV Open Mic Show with Bill Macek—Urena will stop by Friday morning in an effort to drum up state support for the project, currently in the fundraising phase. “It’s in a really good spot. You’ve got a lot of traffic and it’s at the entrance to Plug Pond.

Radio Drama This Week: Before TV Selling, Betty Furness Went Uncredited on Radio

This weekend brings to a close two dramatic programs first heard over WHAV during the late 1940s. The “Haunting Hour” and “Box 13” were brought out of the sound vault in time for the 70th anniversary of WHAV in Haverhill and the dedication of the new 97.9 WHAV FM. When WHAV AM signed on in 1947, it was too small and too late to attract a major national broadcasting network like NBC, CBS, ABC or Mutual. WHAV, however, did the next best thing—buying pre-recorded radio shows on the syndicated market. “Haunting Hour” was produced by NBC and heard in 1945 before going into syndication.

Legendary News Anchor Gary LaPierre, Who Began at WHAV in 1961, Dies at 76

At WHAV’s 2016 “Reunion of the Radio Stars,” Gary LaPierre, far right, chats with other WHAV honorees Mr. and Mrs. Joe Clementi, Pat Johnson and LaPierre’s wife Peg. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Legendary WBZ morning news anchor Gary LaPierre, whose broadcasting career began at WHAV in 1961, died Monday of leukemia at age 76. Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Famer LaPierre had been a supporter of WHAV’s new FM station, first appearing alongside Tom Bergeron for WHAV’s 60th anniversary in 2007; then for the station’s “Reunion of the Radio Stars” in 2016 in downtown Haverhill; and, more recently, lending his voice for membership appeals. At WHAV’s “Reunion of the Radio Stars,” LaPierre joked about how he lost his WHAV job after only two months. “This guy calls me one morning and gave me this man’s obituary and I’m writing notes feverishly, took down the information and I got my first lesson on checking your sources.

Radio Drama This Week: A Cold War Christmas from Outer Space

The original dog in space was Laika, as seen on this vintage postage stamp from the Emirate of Ajman. A Christmas story is not something one expects to hear in February and a Christmas story that starts in outer space is not expected even in season. Stranger still, Thursday night’s “Suspense” was Cold War-inspired and seemingly aimed at ridiculing the Soviet Union for sending a dog to its death Nov. 3, 1957. That’s when the Russians launched Laika, a husky-related mixed dog breed, aboard the second Sputnik.

Radio Drama This Week: Alan Ladd is Dan Holiday on ‘Box 13’

Alan Ladd stars in “Box 13,” one of two old-time radio series currently heard over WHAV that were also broadcast on the station shortly after WHAV’s 1947 founding. “Box 13” airs Sunday nights at 10:30 p.m. with an encore performance at 1:30 a.m. (Publicity photograph.)
Tonight, Saturday, Jan. 26
Gunsmoke: “Print Asper;” Haunting Hour: “A Corpse There Was,” Saturday, 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Sunday
Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: “Man Who Waits Matter;” Box 13: “The Professor and the Puzzle,” Sunday, 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Monday
Suspense (new series): “'Jinx of the Jellicoe Jasper;” Suspense (classic): “The Country of the Blind,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Tuesday
Dimension X: “No Contact;” Suspense (classic): “Firing Run,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Wednesday
Great Gildersleeve: Rivals Leila and Grace Meet At Peavy’s; Suspense (classic): “The Pit and the Pendulum,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Thursday
Our Miss Brooks: The Dinner Party; Suspense (classic): “The City That Was,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Friday
Couple Next Door: Aunt Martha to Arrive; Suspense (classic): “The Star of Thessaly,” 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2
Gunsmoke: “Fall Semester;” Haunting Hour: “If the Shoe Fits,” Saturday, 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Sunday
Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: “Canned Canary Matter;” Box 13: “The Dowager and Dan Holiday,” Sunday, 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

This Week’s Radio Drama: ‘Sorry, Wrong Number,’ Among Genre’s Most Famous

Agnes Moorehead in the CBS radio studios with a sound effects artist. (Publicity photograph.)

One of radio’s most famous plays, Suspense’s “Sorry, Wrong Number,” comes to 97.9 WHAV FM next Friday night. The play, starring Agnes Moorehead, tells the story of an invalid woman who listens in on a telephone conversation and learns of a murder plot. The story first aired May 25, 1943. Always popular, it would be recreated six more times on radio between 1943 and 1960—each time starring Moorehead—and spawn a Hollywood movie and three television versions.