|Welcome to WTIT Tape Radio. The Nation’s first & longest running Tape
Radio Station. We know that your first question is: What the hell is a Tape
Radio station? Like many young people, WTIT founder, Bud Weiser had a
strong desire to become a radio disc jockey. In the sixties, a majority of
DJ’s had names like "Sonny Shores" “Rusty Potts”, “Sandy Beach” and
“Rusty Nails”. Our founder thought “Bud Weiser” was the perfect radio
name. The irony is, that while Bud spent years working in radio (See:
“Radio Daze”), he was never known as Bud Weiser.
Now while playing music and jingles was always a part of WTIT, the
main ingredient was comedy. While the jocks played the rock songs of the
era (See: WTIT Top 100 Play lists), the guys would create whatever
comedy bit seemed to fit their fancy. At times WTIT would perform spoofs
of commercials, TV shows, movies & the News. In addition, the WTIT DJs
would talk and joke about their lives at that time, debated politics and
moaned about girlfriends, wives and later… divorces, remarriages, kids and
jobs. WTIT became a journal of the lives of a group of friends. These guys
always were very close friends. The first tape was recorded in May of
1967. All tapes still exist (now in digital, some with the music remastered)
and there aren’t any “lost” tapes and the recordings span from 1967 to
The difference between the creation of WTIT and other kids who tried or
just played radio is that WTIT “Tape Radio” never ended. It morphed.
While friends changed over time with all of us, during the over fifty years of
WTIT, new jocks replaced the old. There were even brief periods that the
taping paused. At times, WTIT seemed to be toast, only to have the whole
Tape Radio thing start up again. A good example of this was in 1982. It
had been a couple of years between tapes. The group decided to have a
"WTIT 15th Anniversary Show". The tape number was 137. Within a
short period of time, the process started up all over again, but since the last
show included members flying in from across the country, new members
were recruited. There are over 600 tapes as of now, so far, into 2017.
Along with Bud, the “founding fathers” include Galloping Gary and Bouncing
Billy, “the Original Barefoot Boy”. We were 15-year-old kids. While at first a
lot of other DJs contributed (See: “WTIT DJs”), by 1968 the five main seats
were filled. With Bud, Gary & Bill, it would be Gyspy and Johnnie Walker
that would complete the first “starring” DJ staff. This lineup would last six
years. Bud graduated from Emerson College and was on the air for years.
Gary had finished college in Washington, D.C. and remained in the Capitol
area. Gary returned quite a bit and taped through the 15th Anniversary
show in 1982. Gypsy, already married, became a famous PGA caddy and is
now retired. Gypsy’s last tape was in 1974. (Although he appeared by
phone for the WTIT 45th Anniversary Show in 2012.) Johnnie & Billy
decided to tour the country in 1973. Billy would return, but Johnnie stayed
in Colorado where he taught skiing. It would be there that Johnnie met his
ex-wife who both would return to Connecticut to raise kids.
By 1974, Gyspy had left and replaced by Gregarious Greg. Many Miles took
Johnnie Walker’s seat, although ironically Miles would leave by 1976 only to
be replaced by Johnnie Walker who had returned with his now ex-wife to
Connecticut. Johnnie did not give up his chair until 2015, after over 40
years of recordings. Meanwhile, Johnnie & Bud Weiser would navigate all the
changes to come. In 1976, WTIT held their 10th Birthday Party (along
with former jocks & gals of the group) and the staff was Bud Weiser,
Johnnie Walker, Bouncing Billy, Galloping Gary, Gregarious Greg, Ken Kolt
and notably Teddy Q (see Kingswood Connection) hopped in for the
No changes in staff would occur until 1985. The Infamous 1982 “15th
Anniversary Party” would star Bud, Johnnie, Gary, Greg and Ken. It would
be Ken's final tape. Gary and his family were firmly settled in D.C. Gary is
still in touch and has appeared twice since on WTIT and in other years in
DJ Staff pictures when attending parties and ceremonies. Most recently
Gary attended 2017's 50 Anniversary Show.
In 1985, WTIT returned to taping on a weekly basis. There were a lot of
empty chairs. Bud Weiser and Johnnie Walker were the only two remaining
and new recruiting was in order. In the meantime, Bud contacted Bouncing
Billy, because Billy still remained in the area as a detective for a local police
department. Billy returned to help out (i.e. train the new jock,) in what we all
assumed to be his last tape, with Bud and Johnnie, and the new rookie, the
Cosmic Commando, who would replace Bill. Before 1985 ended, Bob
Smirnoff would grab Gary’s vacant chair. The empty chair, which once sat
Gypsy, and then Gregarious Greg, would remain empty until 1986. In
January of 1986, B.B. Bacardi would join the group. This line-up, of Bud,
Johnnie, Cos, Bob & B.B. would be both responsible for a great deal of
comedy because of the frequency of the sessions which were recorded
1987 was a huge year for WTIT. It was the 20th Anniversary and the
group hit Tape 200. In January of 1987, a 20th Anniversary/Tape 200
party was held. Along with the current staff of Bud, Johnnie, Cos, Bob and
B.B., Gregarious Greg and two contributors from Kingswood in the sixties,
Carter B. and Teddy Q would spend a memorable night with a guest,
Moonbeam. What was not known at the time, was that while recording
Tape 200; Bob Smirnoff would announce his intention to quit. Bob was
changing jobs and travel was involved. Something had to give, and it
turned out to be WTIT. Bob would come back to do a couple of surprise
visits in 1987 & 1988, but was done. He has not heard from since then.
Before sessions in 1987 finished, Rock Rolling took Bob’s place. Rock had
worked with Johnnie and played poker with us with a group that upon its
demise helped restart WTIT. Rock's brother, The Midnight Playboy would
become a contributor in 1988. In 1988, B.B. literally vanished. No one at
WTIT has heard from him since, and to this day it is unknown what became
of him. While there was a big push for Midnight to become a regular, his
commitments to a popular local Hartford rock band prohibited it. A
business partner of Rock’s, Mic Dry, took B.B.’s place. It would not be long
though, before WTIT lost an important member. The Cosmic Commando
would be promoted in his job and move.
By 1990, Mic left both WTIT and Rock’s business. Mic was another DJ who
literally vanished, although this time we knew the reason, which was Rock's
business. A friend of the Midnight Plowboy’s, Captain Morgan, would replace
Cos. B.B.’s chair was another story. As fate would have it, Midnight left his
band and became full time. Harvey Wallbanger would join in 1993, and for
the first time WTIT carried six members. Harvey, still a very close friend of
Bud’s, would move to Atlanta in 1995. Harvey got involved with Bud on the
WTIT Blog from 2008 to 2009. In 2011, Harvey would join Bud to record
WTIT’s last recording from The Gatewood Studio and joined us again in
In 1997 a 30th Anniversary Party would be held. Ironically, it would be the
last tape from what was known as The Turnbull Studio, because Bud got
divorced again. The line-up on the 30th Anniversary Show was Bud Weiser,
Johnnie Walker, Rock Rolling and Gregarious GregThe Cosmic Commando, .
It would be Cos' last recording session until our 50th and Cos appeared in
DJ staff pics in both 2011 & 2012 and of course in the 50th pictures.
The next big milestone happened in 2007. WTIT had reached the 40 year
milestone. The DJ staff that night in August was: Bud Weiser, Johnnie
Walker, Rock Rolling and Gregarious Greg. From 2006-2017 the WTIT
Comedy had reached a whole new audience through our blog. WTIT: The
Blog won multiple awards for its comedy. Bud Weiser hosts the site. By
2009 the blog had reached 1000 posts, averaged hundreds of hits a day
and had been visited by over 150,000 people. It is because of Bud's impact
on the bloggers of the world that WTIT has so many "likes" on Facebook.
Obviously, WTIT: The Blog reached a huge audience that the Tape Radio
station could not. Of course when you have a radio station that you have
to be in the WTIT Studio to hear, it limits your audience.
From 2006 to 2012 WTIT was a trio. Bud Weiser, Johnnie Walker & Rock
Rolling did most of the recording sessions. The chairs that started with
Bouncing Billy and Gypsy Joe in 2012, after a 17-year absence, we would
see the return of The Midnight Plowboy for WTIT’s 45th Anniversary Party
and Bud's stag. Bud was to try marriage for a third time. Midnight
announced his intention to return to the group and recorded with us since
the end of 2013.
But as much as a surprise that it was, the next addition came as a compete
shock. Bud Weiser and Bouncing Bill decided to meet for a drink. They had
not spoken (no drama, just changed as things often do) since Billy’s last
recording session in 1985. In 2013 Bouncing Billy would return to WTIT
after nearly thirty years. His first recording would bring Gregarious Greg
back for a night.
Coming as a total surprise and for the first time since 1982, another of our
Original 5 returned. Galloping Gary lives in D.C. & visited his dad (since
deceased) occasionally in town. Without warning in July of 2014 he
showed up. He simply said, "We're recording tonight, right?" So the
Galloping Gary Garage Show returned for one night. The month before we
got together with Gypsy. It's a full circle thing, we guess.
On May 15th - 16th the last Johnnie Walker Wing Ding was recorded.
Johnnie arrived back in Colorado in early June 2015. It is rather fitting that
Gregarious Greg accepted the invitation to return full time of taking over for
Johnnie. In late 2015 Harvey Wallbanger, who came to town to visit Bud,
recorded another session.
On April 29, 2017 WTIT's 50th Anniversary Show and party was held. Four
of the original 5 were there: Bud, Johnnie, Gary & Billy. Greg, who was the
first guy to replace an original DJ, Gypsy, (in 1974) was there. Of the guys
who joined us after the 1985 reboot, Rock, Midnight, Cos and Captain
attended. We had 9 DJs recording, the most ever. (The only significant DJ
missing was Gypsy due to his health. Harvey backed out for the same
reason as Gyps.) The tape number was 600.
Today the lineup is Bud, Rock, Billy and Greg, as of this writing. But since
change is a constant at WTIT, you never know who will record at the next
session. WTIT currently records every other month.
Please sign our guest book (connect through our home page) --> and
check the rest of our updated site and Facebook page! Enjoy your time
here. (The collage of present and past DJs of WTIT was created by James
Austin © 2006-18.)