October 2015 - WPRB History
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October 2015

WPRB in The Daily Princetonian: The Early Years

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Rob Schuman ’74 sifted through The Daily Princetonian‘s extensive archive, looking at all 8,000 unique mentions of WPRB. He’s compiled the most interesting into a series of slideshows. This post documents WPRB’s early years. Beware those kilocycle gremlins.

WPRB in the Daily Princetonian: Recruiting

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Does modulation excite you? Asking for a friend. WPRB has used all sorts of different methods over the years to lure new student DJs. This slideshow documents some of the best from the 1940s-1970s.

Rob Schuman ’74 sifted through The Daily Princetonian‘s extensive archive, looking at all 8,000 unique mentions of WPRB. He’s compiled the most interesting into this series of slideshows.

John Catlett Reflects on WPRB at 75

Here’s another great reason to support WPRB during this week’s 75th anniversary membership drive from John Catlett ’64—a man with a fascinating radio résumé that extends well beyond WPRB (as you’ll hear in the clip below.)

John further recalls his time at WPRB:

“It was that Fall [1963] as I recall that one of our students who had spent his summer in Europe came into our studios with a single record by a new singing group he said was getting a lot of attention in England. I don’t know if he had brought with him a pressing from England, so I don’t know if there’s any chance we were the first station in America to play “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” but we must have been one of the first. By the Beatles, of course.”

WPRU Bulletin + 75th Anniversary Message from Paul Dunn

Here’s the second (and final in our existing archives) WPRU Bulletin. Paul Dunn ’58 was the Bulletin’s managing editor as a Princeton Undergraduate, and continues to play an important role on WPRB’s board of trustees today. You can download the complete bulletin (.PDF) by clicking here.

Below, an important message from Paul about WPRB’s 75th Anniversary Membership Drive.


WPRB Fund Drive


It’s time for WPRB’s annual fund drive, running now through October 18. If you’ve enjoyed reading/seeing/hearing about all the amazing things that have happened at WPRB over the past 75 years, please help us keep the station going for the next 75. Make your pledge now!

In case you need any more convincing, here is a note from our current station manager:

Dear Members and Listeners,

This is the big one. 75 years of unique, challenging radio. 75 years of weird. 75 years of the best radio station in New Jersey. 75 years of WPRB.

Every year we ask you, our devoted listeners, to help us keep the lights on by donating during our Fall Membership Drive. And well, you’ve done much more than that. Thanks to your help, WPRB lives on as an independent radio station, giving our DJs the artistic freedom to create the programs they want to present to the masses. That’s right, we’re independent. Although we are housed at Princeton University, we are independently owned and operated and do not receive financial assistance from them.

That’s why our Fall Membership Drive is so important: it’s how we keep the station going. Last year, you helped us exceed our goal of $50,000. You proved that you think that WPRB is something special, and with this enormous support we’ve been able to deliver even higher quality radio to you.

But this year the stakes are even higher. To commemorate our 75th Anniversary, we’ve set an especially ambitious goal of raising $75,000 during this year’s Membership Drive. For 75 years, WPRB has served as New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s safe haven from the monotonous, corporate radio found on the rest of the dial. We want to celebrate this legacy by forcefully pushing into the next 75 years of WPRB’s history. With your help, we can continue to grow as an independent radio station of the 21st century by expanding our online capabilities to be able to engage even more with our devoted listeners. Exciting things are ahead at WPRB.

From October 11th at 7pm to October 18th at 10pm, we need your love more than ever. Join us in celebrating WPRB’s past and future 75 years.


Mitch McCloy

Station Manager

WPRB Princeton 103.3 FM

Fishbone at City Gardens

1987 was a busy year for Fishbone at WPRB. First up, here’s a promo for Fishbone’s gig at City Gardens from July of that year.

And below, a visionary excerpt from the WPRB interview conducted by Ethan Stein (aka “Eddie Mosh”) with band members Angelo and Norwood. This interview took place earlier that year (May), prior to the band’s gig with Adrenalin O.D.


The Era of the Derek

[Text: Bill Rosenblatt ’83]

WPRB is one of a very few student-run radio stations in the country with a commercial license, meaning that it can sell airtime. The station has always sold ads, but the highest level of ad sales was undoubtedly the early-mid 1980s, and the man responsible for this was Derek Berghuis ’83 – a living legend in WPRB history.

Derek – his last name is pronounced “Berg-hice” – was drawn to WPRB by his brother Brian Berghuis ’81 and Brian’s friend Ashley Ellott ’80, respectively the station’s Business Manager and Station Manager, and all alums of the same prep school in Toronto, Canada. He got on air quickly during his freshman year as a member of the news department and as the “news sidekick” on a show called WPRB Weekend, which Program Director Jason Meyer ’80 did with Ellott and Derek as a commercial-sounding “chatty morning show” on Saturday mornings. WPRB Weekend left the airwaves when Ellott and Meyer graduated.  Derek did not find his position as Mercer County News Editor very exciting, so he switched to sales.


Raising a Fist at 103.3

[Words: Jen Moyse ‘94. DJ 1990-1999. Music Director 1992-94. Image: Original “Hey You Kids” playlist]

As I sit here trying to decide how to approach getting my thoughts on WPRB to paper, I’m browsing through my iTunes library, trying to identify which in my enormous virtual collection of albums I feel like hearing right now. I glance over to the bookshelf housing my 1000+ vinyl library, and back to the living room, where I still have an embarrassing number of CDs (in sleeves now) and 7” singles stored discreetly in not-terribly-unattractive boxes for easy access.

The cassettes, including a full box of recordings of Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn!, the show I delivered weekly with Mike Lupica for many years, are stored in the closet, since I long ago disconnected my cassette player. Which, now that I think of it, is still lodged deep in the closet as well.

The external hard drive includes a stash of music I haven’t even organized yet.

This is all WPRB’s fault, and I love it. It’s been 25 years since I arrived at WPRB, and I’ve been a different person since. And not just because of this wall of music. I can genuinely say that the station has influenced my life more dramatically than just about anything else (hi, Mom and Dad!). (more…)

Friday WPRB DJ Pinup: John Weingart!

Years on air:

– Answer: About 40
– Alternate answer: Since Richard Nixon was President.
– Longer answer: Started as a grad student in February 1974 and continued for both semesters in 1974/1975. Then returned in February 1976 and forgot to leave.

Favorite bands/musicians: David Bromberg, Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, Beppe Gambetta, Dan Bern, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Randy Newman. Lacy J. Dalton, Chuck Brodsky, Bruce Hornsby.

Memorable on-air moment: When I started and had an early morning show, a woman called in and said, “Young man, do you realize you are in Princeton, New Jersey? This is not Nashville.”

Advice for current WPRB DJs: From time to time while you are alone (and preferably driving), listen to a recording of your show and make sure nothing about it annoys you and makes you think about switching the station.