Wednesday, May 4, 2016

WARB Memories

When I first moved to Covington in 1968, the entire area would tune to the local AM radio station WARB for the morning "School Calls" and "Swap Shop." The school time reminders helped parents and children know when it was time to leave for school, and the Swap Shop was an early Craigslist type of sale/barter exchange, with happy birthdays thrown in from time to time. 

The rest of the day featured country music, local news and ads. The station was well-liked and appreciated, especially for its on-site remote broadcasts of special events and parades.

I recall that Station Manager Rick Webb emceed the Parish Fair Baby Contests and Beauty Pageants each year, and for the last several years he was a mainstay at the Covington Farmers Market selling his jams and jellies.

Rick Webb

The article I wrote about WARB and its on-air personalities during the 1970's is located below. Just click on the image to enlarge it to a readable size.

Tours of the station would be given to groups of children. The window above the control panel gave a view into the soundproof studio where interviews would be conducted, along with Sunday morning church programming. 

The turntables and cart racks, with Dick Bradley at the control board

Don K. Phillips Jr.

St. Tammany Parish celebrated the American Bicentennial in 1976 with parades, ceremonies, and fireworks. 

To listen to a WARB radio broadcast of the festivities, CLICK ON THIS LINK for a YouTube audio file. The event was accompanied by several re-enactments with actors in costumes. Among the voices heard on the recording above are Rick Webb, Bill Stubbs, Pat Clanton, Rev. Baxter Pond, and Dorothy Kehoe.

For a year or two I had a daily recorded interview show on WARB. Each week, I enjoyed visiting with artists, business people, politicians, and many others to hear their personal stories, their hopes and their community concerns. Once while I was broadcasting the parish fair parade through downtown Covington, I forgot how loud high school bands were. The radio listeners didn't hear much other than the rousing music on its way to the fairgrounds. 

One of the people I interviewed was Al Albert, a Covington printer who also had a big band orchestra. CLICK HERE to hear that interview. 

WARB had a remote broadcasting booth in the Bogue Falaya Mall called "The MusicCube." Below is a photograph of that remote broadcasting booth.

The main studio was located on U.S. 190 west of Covington High School, across from the entrance to Willow Drive into River Forest Subdivision. CLICK THIS LINK to go to the Google Maps location. 

Dave Blossman was one of the owners of WARB. 

Click on the article above to see a larger, more readable version. 

See also: Rick Webb