On Air

Ron Arlen

Back in the 50’s, when I was a kid, my dad won’t allow rock and roll to be played in the house. My older brother
had a radio hidden in his room and once in a while I was able to listen in. That’s how it all began. A few years later,
with the help of a small transistor radio, I listened not only to the music but to the announcers on my favorite station.
I love the music of the 60’s and 70’s and I thought the on air personalities made listening to the radio fun and
exciting. It was something I wanted to be a part of.
I got my first paying job in radio in 1973. I worked at a station in a small, southern New Hampshire town doing the
6 to midnight shift.
In 1974, I moved to Franklin, PA. I again worked 6 PM to midnight. There, not only did I get the opportunity to play
the most popular music of the day, I learned to write bits, experimented with ideas, tried to emulate my favorite
announcers and honed my vocal talent. In those days, small market radio was the best place to learn and grow.
Unfortunately, the people coming up today don't always have the luxury of an open, creative environment where
they can really discover their strengths and develop their talents.
Jamestown, New York was my next stop. I'm originally from Buffalo, being so close to home was great. My stay in
Chautauqua County lasted 13 months.
January, 1977, I moved back to Buffalo. I landed a position on WKBW, a legendary top 40 station with 50,000 watts
of power. It was a real thrill to work for the station that I grew up listening to.
October, 1979, Tom Barney hired me to work as the midday announcer on WJET, when it was still an AM station. I
became one of the "Music People" on Jet 14. That’s where I met Johnny Holiday. Erie became home for my wife
Lyn and me for the next 38 years.
I jumped over to WCCK late in 1984. I was at K-104, for a little over two years.
My next stop was WXKC. When they hired me at Classy 100, in September 1987, I said that it would be my last
radio job. It almost was. Nat the Hat was there at the beginning…so was Terri Bohen and Captain Dan. My stay at
WXKC lasted thirty years. I retired from radio in 2017. My retirement only lasted 7 years. The music of the 60’s,
70’s and 80’s drew me back. To be back on the air in Erie, was also a part of the draw. It just felt right…a natural fit.
Thanks Lecom.

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