Sunday, September 14, 2008

Uncle Dale signs off mornings at Oldies 103

Come tomorrow(9/15), for the first time in 40 years, Boston radio listeners will no longer be able to hear one of the local airwaves’ most recognizable performers on their daily commutes. Dale Dorman, one of Boston's most popular and long-lasting DJs, has played his last tune and did his last bit in the morning drive at Oldies 103.3FM this past Friday(9/12).

Dorman, 65, who last month marked a 40-year anniversary in Boston radio is best known for over two decades of doing afternoons at the Top 40 megagiant Kiss 108 from 1980 to 2003. Dorman arrived on the Boston radio scene in August 1968 with a morning gig at WRKO AM 680 which at the time was a Top40 outlet. He worked at WRKO from 1968 to 1978. After WRKO said goodbye to Dorman in 1978, he wentto work for WVBF 105.7FM(now WROR 105.7FM) where he stayed for two years. After parting ways with 'VBF in June 1980, Dorman was determined to get a job with at-the-time the hottest new station in town – Kiss 108. After few months of try-out's and fill-in's, persistent Dorman finally landed a permanent afternoon shift at Kiss on October 13, 1980. Five years ago(August 2003), Dorman’s contract at Kiss didn’t get renewed. In September 2003, he quickly landed in the mornings at Oldies 103.3 taking over for Paul Perry(now afternoons at WROR 105.7FM).

From 1969 to 1991, Dorman also was the voice for the morning and afternoon kids block cartoons(mornings and afternoons), on Channel 56/WLVI-TV and that's how he got to be known "Uncle Dale".

Dorman's departure from Oldies 103.3 is, according to very reliable sources, was made by his own desire to cut down on the workload and grueling early morning hours. Whether he’ll remain at Oldies in any kind of part-time/fill-in/weekend capacity is not yet known. CBS Radio Boston hasn't yet made any official announcement about him leaving. No word on who’ll replace him in the morning drive at Oldies 103.3.

BRW Notebook :

Power boost : After a long 12-year process of getting a power increase, WKOX AM 1200 will finally be able to boost its power to 50,000watts later this fall. WKOX is now transmitting from new site in Newton and has been most of last week. It is still at low power and will remain that way for some time. The station's format Latin musci forma "Rumba" is expected to stay the same.


Anonymous said...

It is Dale that has earned the right to be in the Radio Hall of Fame, not Howard Lawrence Caaaaah.

I hope he still pulls a weekend shift. It would be a sin for such a talent to go away. Wouldn't you like to sit down with him over a beer and hear 40 years of Boston radio history from his point of view? I would.

Anonymous said...

Did he "sign off"? Kind of quietly? I didn't hear it. WOnder if a soundbyte will surface. WODS seems to be downplaying it totally, no announcement, etc. I know at one point waaaay back Spring-ish, Paula Street or someone, if I remember right, announced in passing they were going to do this big "thing" for his 40th year in radio "in the Fall" at the Hard Rock or something. Well, I guess not. He is an institution for sure and I grew up with him! I remember him when he was basically a 20 to 30 year old hippie with looong hair, wearing a trenchcoat and announcing a King Kong puzzle contest on Channel 56 during the kid's programming in the 70's he hosted. Those were the days.

He also seemed to downplay his days at Channel 56, kind of dissuading callers who mentioned it, and he declined to comment to someone I know doing a retro article about CREATURE DOUBLE FEATURE -he did v/o's for it in the 70's and early 80's. He also used to "host" the old WRKO/7 Saturday show "RKO ROK" in the mid 70's which was sort of a 1pm low-rent local American Bandstand with only records being played and kids dancing. I can't believe I just remembered that.

He also was off air, if anyone remembers for a chunk of this past summer with an undisclosed health issue-no one was sure when he would be back so they were juggling DJs for the morning ride show, week to week. Perhaps, as is said, the grueling hours were too much and it could be related.

He went on WODS, 5 years ago this week, with alot of publicity and coverage with even Mitt Romney calling in. They "auditioned" him with a big on-air deal during JJ Wright's afternoon drive, in AUgust 2003 and he was his funny self doing "Hi ma's" several times in the hour. He quieted down alot and seemed more conservative and less energetic in the last two years. Oldies had a big layoff with Jimmy Del Ponte-who did all the weird characters for the morning show-being one of the first to go, again with no announcement. Patrick Callahan who was quite good with his countdown on Thursday, also departed suddenly.

I guess whether we like it or not times change. It does seem a shame it was so quiet, and his face has just disappeared from the WODS site entirely-after briefly reappearing on the "Weekend Crew".
I'd heard he's quite the private person and tends to not look back alot, despite for some of us, those were fun days.

Anonymous said...

Unless your very reliable source regarding Dale's departure is from Dale himself I wouldn't put much stock in it.

Even if it was Dale that told you he's a pro and unlikely to trashtalk. Just my $.02

Anonymous said...

Read a Howie Carr thread that said basically CBS didn't renew his contract, the long and short of it. No details of course...but it's no secret that CBS has been having some money issues.

Anonymous said...

CBS and AFTRA are talking about voice-tracking all but AM and PM drive slots at stations. And--Metro has canned Mauzy, Joe Stapleton and Bob MacNeil.

Eric, the New England travel writer said...

There may be low wattage radio stations that sign off at the end of the day, but, in reality, the whole industry has continued to sign off 24/7 as we lose unique, quality personalities like Dale Dorman, and move, in general, to voice tracking and interchangeable announcers. Yes, Dale did leave Oldies 103.3 at a retirement age, but where is the next generation of interesting, unique, distinctive personalities to keep the industry thriving -- for the listener, that is?

I'll miss Dale Dorman greatly. The legendary days at WRKO, the voice-overs at Channel 56, and his storied stint at Kiss 108 are to be commended for true excellence in broadcasting. I hope he shows up at another station and that more "new generation radio personalities" find their way to this once great medium.

Thank-you for all the great years, Mr. Dorman. What you gave the listener is something that can never be taken away from our radio hearts and minds.

Anonymous said...

Dorman is a great,a legend. I remember his days at Ch 56 well-hosting v/os for Speed Racer, Lost In Space, The Flintstones and of course, Gilligan's Island. Even those old shows are all relegated to DVD now-Dale made it seem like a collective clubhouse in your living room. It's just not the same.

JJ Wright ended the morning show in the funniest way-he said "Well, we WILL be back tommorrow. I guess.." and faded off with his trademarked laugh.

I'd heard Dorman simply ended his Friday show with something edgy like: "That's it folks, thanks. We won't be back Monday. Paula is next". As if he had a proverbial gun to his head (or security guards around him?) Seemed like he just wanted to end it with no ceremony.

AP75021 said...

I grew up hearing Dale on the Big was Dale and Jack Armstring who inspired me to get into radio to begin with (Scoitt Shannon was another big factor for me too). Truly a legend and a joy to listen to...thanks Dale for all the years of great music and laughter!

Anonymous said...

Hi to Dale from all your friends and fans from Medford Dental Associates. We all wish you the best in your retirement.

With fondness your friends at MDA Associates.

Anonymous said...

I met Dale when I was 12 years old at CH 56 during their "Search For Groucho" contest in the early-mid Seventies.