For the blog's latest installment, we remain in Youngstown, but move across town from WFMJ to its onetime rival, WHOT 1330. Jolly Rodger (a.k.a. Rodger Skinner) is featured in this aircheck from June of 1964. While WHOT would successfully move its Top 40 format to FM in the 1980's, this recording dates from a period when 1330 was the undisputed king of the market.
Skinner came to WHOT after previous stints at WBLF and WPIC in Pennsylvania. At 1330 he was a part-time on-air personality, a position he held until midway through 1966, when he was fired for playing Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 and #35" for four hours straight, sans commercials and news. Skinner then briefly held down mornings at WEEP in Pittsburgh as "Johnny Breit" before moving on to evening gigs at WIRK in West Palm Beach, Florida and WQAM in Miami in 1968. He used the on-air name John Paul Roberts in the latter stop. According to a message posted by Skinner on 440int.com, he retired in 2000 after selling his low-power television stations and other businesses in Florida.
Special thanks to Ed Woodward of Williamsburg, Virginia for contributing this aircheck, which includes some recent comments interjected by Skinner himself near its conclusion. Additional material from this period of WHOT, including news coverage of the riot at Geneva-On-The-Lake mentioned by Skinner, will be featured in future posts.
Editor's note: Jolly Rodger should not be confused with another Youngstown area radio veteran who used a similar name. "Jolly Roger" (a.k.a. Roger Luscombe) was the longtime program director of WSOM/600 and WSOM/105.1, the latter now known as country powerhouse WQXK/"K-105". After coming out of retirement, he became Johnny Kay's successor at WSOM/600 in 2007. Luscombe's position was one of several that later fell victim to budget cuts implemented by the stations' current owner, Cumulus Broadcasting.