Thursday, January 1, 2009

Old School (in a Good Way)

Ed Henry has been a mainstay on Middletown radio for...are you ready...59 years. Despite working at Standard-Knapp in Portland, Henry loved to be on the radio. He started working at WCNX-AM 1150 when the station was on Main Street(near the corner of Washington Street, on the second floor.) He hosted the "Top 30 Show" on Saturday from 9 a.m - 12noon as well as "The Polish Melodies Show."

The latter show celebrates its 59th anniversary this Sunday morning (January 4) at 10 a.m. Despite several changes of ownership and new call letters (WMRD), the program has been a constant in the County. One can be assured of hearing the best polkas, obereks and waltzes, birthday greetings (sung in both Polish and English) and announcements about dances and concerts. Henry mixes new recordings with old favorites, celebrates the major holidays in song, and always with a big smile (you can really hear it in his voice.) He has listeners from throughout the state who shower him with cards, letters, faxes and emails, asking for requests or birthday mentions or just to say "Thank You" for being there.

Even if Jimmy Sturr or Lenny Gomulka or Brave Combo doesn't excite you, one has to admire Henry's longevity and his undying love for his part-time job. The man is 81 (82 in March) and he rarely, if ever, misses a show. You can hear him "live and in living color" from 10 - 11 a.m. Sundays on both WMRD and WLIS-1420AM Old Saybrook. "Stolat!"

Speaking of old school, The Buttonwood Tree presents Moses Randolph & Love Explosion Saturday January 3 at 8 p.m. I believe that one or more of the Moses Brothers (who were a big part of the Middletown music scene in the 1960s and again in the 1990s) is involved with the group and that's good news for lovers of "real" soul music and "R'n'B." For more information, call 347-4957.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have grown up listening to his polkas on Sundays, and watching my mother enjoy reliving the past through those songs, and it is so wonderful for me to finally learn more about the man behind the songs. I feel like I know you.

Thank you, Ed. And may God bless you with many more years on the air. An era will end when you stop playing polkas. Yes, STOLAT--may it be 100 more years!

And thank you CultureCreature for featuring this corner of our community. This is just exactly what I hope the Eye will do more of as it matures.