Dick Summer, WBZ 1030 Boston | August, 1964

Dick Summer, WBZ 1030 Boston | August, 1964

Dick SummerOften times, we obtain an aircheck and then the person featured sends in a better copy.  Such was the case with this.  The original copy was sent in way back in the first year of this website’s existence.  Then Dick Summer himself sent this much better quality recording in a few years later.  So, here it is.  Dick Summer’s legendary night show on mid-60s WBZ!

The history of WBZ is a long, storied one reaching back to the beginnings of commercial broadcasting. Legend has it that WBZ was the second radio station officially licenced specifically for broadcasting in the United States, a statistic which has been challenged over the years.  Radio historian Donna Halper maintains that WGI Medford Hillside (a suburb of Boston) was the first, followed by KDKA Pittsburgh.  Whatever its true origins and whether or not WBZ was first, probably doesn’t mean much in the context of the station’s Top 40 radio format years.

WBZ in the early and mid-1960s was a mass-appeal station, first in the golden age of radio (pop in the respect that it ran the popular programs and music of the day, having been a part of the NBC ‘Red’ network in the 40s), and later, as Boston’s second top 40 station, lasting until 1966.  The first?  WCOP in 1959!

WBZ, during the 1960s, had an all-star cast of personalities.  Carl DeSuze had the morning show.  Carl at one point had a TV show on WBZ-TV 4, but nothing as popular as afternoon man Dave Maynard.  Maynard’s “Community Auditions” ruled Channel 4 for two decades!.  Then, there was “Juicy” Bruce Bradley.  Bradley worked in Baltimore and some station in North Carolina and he was one of WBZ’s most popular personalities.  But none were as memorable or lovable as Dick Summer. Summer ruled the nighttime airwaves in Boston and all up and down the eastern seaboard until the station shifted to nighttime talk in the late 60s.

Dick Summer’s ‘Nightlife’ show was a mix of music and mystique, as you’ll hear in this aircheck. There were, of course, the top hits of the day with a generous dose of ‘oldies’ from the 50s and earlier in the 60s decade, but Summer adds in some strange radio dramas and talks about men from Mars… the stuff that certainly would fit “Coast to Coast AM with George Noory” ((C) Premiere Radio Networks).

There are very few WBZ jingles, although check out the “wonderful weather” jingle… WBZ never aired the kind of PAMS or Anita Kerr jingles made so popular on other top 40 stations like WABC and KHJ… this is the pre-Drake sound (Drake’s influence would be heard at the end of the decade in Boston, at WRKO), Also, there are very few commercials, but one frequent Public Service Announcement for Systic Fibrosis. This show, at least on this tape, is very much just Dick Summer and a stack of records. It’s a very unique, one-of-a-kind aircheck from a radio station that held on to the number one position for nearly 3 decades!

1030 Boston WBZ




  1. Bill Diehl

    I worked with Dick Summer in the late 60’s when we
    were both at WNEW in New York. Nice guy…quite
    unique air sound.
    Glad to hear him again on this WBZ aircheck. Would
    love to hear some others from the 60’s era on WBZ.
    How about some Bruce Bradley?
    Bill Diehl
    ABC News Radio
    New York

    • Hey Bill, How have you been? I’m thankfully out of the business. Living just west of Philly. Doing freelance communications… a weekly blog/podcast at //www.dicksummer.com, flying my plane, and chasing Barb. How about you ? Dick

      • Richard Crenshaw

        I listened to the Summertime radio cast from Merrill’s Highdecker in Indianapolis, IN during the late 60’s. I loved the music and the talk but, most of all, I loved hearing Dick Summer read or recite the poems and short stories. Is there a way I can purchase those readings? My favorites were “Wear The Golden Cap” (Hat?); The story of the man who saw a beautiful girl through a window of a bus; The man who captured the invisible being which died because he didn’t know what to feed it; and any other poems or stories read by Dick Summer.

  2. Hello Bill –

    I’ve been trying for many years to get more WBZ airchecks, unfortunately there aren’t many around. There is one person who may be able to help you, and it just occurred to me as I write this. Aaron Mintz. He’s an aircheck trader/collector based in Deerfield (I think) Massachusetts. I know a few years ago he had a pretty impressive collection of WBZ recordings, but I couldn’t pry any out of his hands. 🙂 I think he has a website, so check around.

    Bruce Bradley was also one of my favorites, but I’d love to get my hands on the Larry Justice show from sometime in the early 70s. Larry held down the afternoon drive slot during the years that WBZ experimented with a one, then two hour news block starting first at 6pm, then at 5…. something they would toy with over the next 10 years. Justice made such an impression on me at a very early age, as mom ONLY listened to WBZ… and every day we picked my dad up from work at 5pm as Larry Justice’s show was just ending. I woulda been 7 or 8 years old, and I trace my getting the radio bug to this.

    Strange how these airchecks evoke memories. Thanks for your comments, Bill!

  3. John Perin/Cincinnati, Ohio

    Nice to hear a disc-jockey from that period without the use of echos, jingles, and the other sounds that marked that period. He just uses what is a very nice voice.

  4. carleton d. libbey

    Dick…You are the hot dog man. I had forgotten about you, my apologies,but back in 64 when I was 22 I did the late evening show on WWNH in Rochester,N.H. After sine off at midnight myself and my friend Johnny Chick went out fot hot dogs at a little stand next to a laundromat in Somersworth,N.h..and….of course, we has ‘BZ on the radio. I can’t begin to tell you how many hot dogs we consumed while listening to you.And since we were young DJ’s, we marvelled at how great it would be to be as good as you….and someday work at WBZ…with the likes of Carl Desuze…Dave Maynard
    …Alan Dary…Norm Prescott and so many others. My time frames may be off a little bit but the aforementioned guys were legends at 1030.

  5. carleton d. libbey

    To Bill Diehl;
    IN THE 80’s i worked a a little station in BIDDEFORD, Maine…WIDE…and we took the ABC Entertaiment feed in the afternoon.
    Backed time the music listened for the “chirp” and you were on the air with a two minute report.I think one min for you and one for spots.
    This was back in the day when Joe Templeton was anchoring the morning news on ABC Information NET.
    In the grand scheme of things, to be trite, it was a great time in radio…especially with the great material coming from the various ABC Net feeds including, of course….Paul Harvey.

  6. Bertolucci

    WBZ radio was always number one in my mind. I would love to find airchecks of Alan Dary, and Norm Prescott from WORL or WBZ. They were very special to me, a big reason I got into broadcasting as a career.

  7. Rick Carroll

    Didn’t Dick Summer leave WBZ and go to another radio station in Boston in the late 60’s, where he had a show called “The Lovin Touch”.?

  8. Chuck

    A list of when Dick was where is at


    (scroll down to Dick Summer), although it leaves out his overnight stint at WZLX/Boston in the late ’80’s/early ’90’s. He did a lot of creative things in the night slots, including something like “Lovin’ Touch” on ZLX, but my recollection it was more relaxation and motivational than the more lyrical “Lovin’ Touch”.

    He also has a website at


  9. Paul Power

    There’s a Bruce Bradley/WBZ aircheck on another site called ReelRadioairchecks.com

  10. Denny

    Thanks for the aircheck.

    I also remember Dick for his amazing “Subway” show, Sunday evenings about 6pm to 8pm in about 1966-67 as I recall. One of the very first album rock programs. He played The Mothers Of Invention’s “Freak Out” album, Blues Project, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, many early greats. This was quite a while before WBCN. And all this on a 50,000 watt, clear-channel station blasting all over half the country certain times of the year. Zappa’s “Help, I’m A Rock” on a 50,000 watt AM!

    By the way, Dick did return to Boston in 1969 as Program Director and evening guy on the legendary
    WMEX. He loosened up the playlist, and hipped up the station. Then, suddenly, he was gone.

  11. Don

    I was a college student in Boston in the mid-6o’s and listened to Dick Summer every evening. We even began calling our sandwiches “shrewsbury’s” to support his campaign. Remember?

    I returned to the NY-Long Island area after graduation and was lucky enough to catch him again on WNEW-FM. The good old days of Bruce (no longer ‘cousin’) Morrow, Allison Steele, Roscoe, etc.

  12. Barb K.

    Dick Summer ruined several years of high school for me! My parents were very permissive(old-fashioned word)and my sister and I were allowed to stay up all night listening to the show. None of my friends were and on the days I actually made it to school, his show was all I talked about. We were was obsessed with The Shrewsbury Campaign, the nightlite spring, possibly Nick Danger??? and all the other fabulous silliness. In addition to the crazy, original nonsence he talked was the music. I was about 13 or 14, and of course I loved the Beatles but he played so much more. I’ll never forget the night he played Tom Rush’s The Urge for Going, a song he introduced as written by a sixteen-year old girl from Canada. I heard those very unique opening chords, got a chill, and went and woke up my sister. She slept a little more than me. Tom Rush, Joni Mitchell, folk music-it was love. I still love the music he played. Dick Summer was one of the biggest formulative influences on me in my teens-maybe ever. Its so great to hear this show–the greatness of the internet–after so many years.
    Thanks Dick Summer

  13. Ann Pecoraro

    Wasn’t Dick responsible for “One hen, 2 ducks, 3 squawking geese”, and on and on. I can still recite the entire thing from memory. We all loved him back in those days….

    • I remember that Irving the 2nd, Venus Flytrap Supreme..SUPERPLANT password was ….”one hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four limerick oysters, five corpulent porpoises,six pairs of Don Albartos sneakers, seven thousand masadonians in full battle array, eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacreat crypts of Egypt, nine apathetic sympathetic diabolical men on roller skates with a marked propensity, procrastination and sloth….ten lyrical spherical diabolical denizens of the deep who all stall around the quo of the quay of queasy at the very same time….” heck…I think I’ve screwed up the last part..
      help me remember!!!

      • Janet-marie

        Norm, you got most of it right. 7,000 macedonians…9 apathetic, sympathetic, DIABETICAL men on rollerskatesw with a marked propensity FOR procrastination and sloth. 10 lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who all stall around THE CORNER on the quo of the quay and the queasy at the very same time. (toot, toot)

        You don’t know how often I stop and remember that song.

        • John

          My life is complete. I couldn’t remember any of that except the macedonians and the ‘lyrical, spherical’ part. I couldn’t remember the significance of it, and I have wracked my brain (and computer) trying to figure out where to find some reference to it.

          My favorite, though, was when Dick recited Alfred Noyes’ ‘the Highwayman.’

          • Nancy

            I remember “The Highwayman” he read on the radio! Thanks for the fond memory!

  14. bill chartier

    dick summer was as cool as the other side of the pillow. as a teen in nh, bz was on all the time,and listening to dick summers night lite show on my little transistor radio was a nightly routine. bz had some great jocks—bruce bradley and jefferson kaye come to mind–but summer was the best. ty dick—for the fun and for your voice.

  15. Stanley White

    Dick Summer,

    He had, and still has,(listen to the Binder & Binder ad on TV and tell me it’s not that voice), the most singular voice. It somehow conveyed warmth, honesty and intelligence in equal parts and at the same time. But 1) The WBZ show was called the ‘Nite Lite Show’, NOT NightLife. 2) No one mentioned the Nite Lite Instant Swamp, 3) or the Grape Aid Society, (it’s a GAS!), or that 4), he had Jose Feliciano live in the studio, on his show when he was in Boston playing The Unicorn, or other Boston coffeehouses; years before Jose had any kind of fame or hit records, or Summer’s reading of ‘The Telltale Heart’ on Halloween, and on Nite Lite Night, the shows anniversary in February. I was a 14 year old who wrote him as “Elwood Elephant” and was invited in to see the station. It was hard to convince my mother, but worth it, and the biggest thing that had ever happened until then in my life. He was extraordinary, and I have not seen his like since then.

    • Hal Goodwin

      How well I remember the Instant Swamp, One Hen, etc., and Irving.I’m a bit older and listened to Dick while working the midnite to *am shift in the Sylvania computer center in Needham, MA. There is no equal today…….. these kids don’t know what they have missed.

  16. Stanley White

    One correction, or explanation. When I met Dick Summer, as I said, I was a kid, in 8th grade I think; but he was as warm and friendly and as nice a guy as he sounded like on the radio. He was a true gentleman who showed real interest in a radio-struck little kid, he toured me through WBZ, or the studio I guess, and let me watch him begin his show, and then mentioned my name on the air which my mom and I heard as we drove home. He was not just a great radio DJ, he was a remarkable person.

  17. gene ehlert

    I remember when Dick Summer had a rant about the woman who was beaten to death (in New York City I think, Kitty Genovese?)in front of many people while they watched without interfering. Summer wanted everybody to wear a dime on a string around their necks to make a pay phone call in case they came across someone in a similar situation.

    • Michele Walker

      I remember very well Dick Summer’s campaign to ‘wear a dime – be a nag’… I’ve forgotten now waht the NAG stood for! But you bet I sent into the station for my free little plastic ‘dime holder’ that fit on a chain andI wore it faithfully – just in case I might need to call for someone in trouble.

      WBZ was the best. My 3 friends and I used to go all the way to Harvard Square to hang out around the station. We got to be friends with Bruce Bradley (whose show came before Dick Summer’s) and disovered that he lived in the same town as we did. We ended up taking a huge stack of letters home to match up with an equally huge bunch of mail from England. Our job was to match up US/UK penpals. Does anybody remember getting a UK penpal that way?

      There will never be a pop music radio era to equal those truly ‘wonder’ years.

  18. Tom S

    Dick Summer still lives on (Binder and Binder ad)with his unique voice. He was a big hit in the 60’s in Boston, and did a show called the “lovin thing” if memory serves. Quite a legend.

  19. greg

    had the pleasure of speaking to dick on the phone recently…a first class guy and a big help to someone who needed a bit of assistance…i used to listen to his show on my front lawn in the early sixties in new york..one of the very best.

  20. MarkB

    Dick Summer was “FM radio” in Boston before there was “FM radio.” He was the first I remember to play non-Top 40 music. I believe he was the first to play Circus Maximus song “The Wind,” which is now considered a classic of the era. I was a kid – probably junior high school – but he made me feel like I was figuring out what “cool” was. I believe he was also the one who told us to change the station and listen to a John Lennon interview on another station, and then come back. How often does that happen?

  21. rick

    funny dick was a legend thats for sure remember nightlighters against gutlessness dime around the neck for the phone call but he sold out hes doing talk for crap lawyers binder and binder how have the mightey have fallen

  22. Dick J

    Dick Summer was THE night-time Dj in Indianapolis, and broadcast from a little booth on top of Merrill’s HighDecker, across from the state fairgrounds on 38th St. His voice was soft and smoooth and he created the most romantic moods for those of us cruising around on a date in Indy. He always closed his show with the tune Summertime.

  23. Back in the early 60’s I was a student at UNH in Durham, NH. I started my radio career at the student FM station, WUNH, which had all of 10 watts of power. WBZ was, of course, the top station we all listened to and that included Dick Summer. I remember so well those many late nights when my radio friends listened to his show. I also remember fondly his reading of a Lord North poem (at this moment I can’t for the life of me remember) that was so well done that I can still hear Dick’s voice telling the tale. After I moved on to commercial radio in the Durham area, I sort of tried to imitate Dick’s format, with not much success. After all, there could only be “one”! If you ever read this Dick, thanks for the memories! You are truly one of America’s great radio personalities.

  24. Yow this triggers memories. I’d lay awake at night in my little bedroom on Barnesdale Rd in Natick, reading my collection of old Grossett & Dunlap series books under the covers w/ a flashlight, listening to Dick Summer on ‘BZ.

    One memory esp, beyond the Sandwich/Shrewsbury campaign and ads for amber turn signal inserts: Sometime in the late autumn of ’63, a coupla months before their Ed Sullivan appearance, Dick played a Beatles song. I think it was “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, but I’m not sure. The interesting thing was his lead-in to the song. Something like this: “And now a new song from over in England. Some group called The Cockroaches. The Mosquitoes. No, actually, they’re the Beatles. Chortle chortle snicker snicker.” May have been the first Boston airplay of the Fab Four, group name sarcasm aside.

    Thansk so much for posting this. Yep, the memories flood back.

    — stan

  25. John from Boston

    “Wear a dime and be a NAG… a Niteliter Against Gutlessness.”

    • ernie

      I believe this was in response to a Phil Ochs’song “A small circle of friends” that Dick played occasionally

  26. cambridgejohnny

    Hi Stanley,
    Actually, it’s my understanding that only three Beatles songs could actually have ever been played in Autumn ’63 on ‘BZ: She Loves You, Please Please Me, and From Me To You. I don’t thing “Hand” became available until late December, and wasn’t released, generally till early January of ’64. But the Beatles were played on WBZ as early as the Spring of 1963 because people in the Boston area, and around the country remembering hearing about this “strange group.” Of course at the time, no one had the foggiest idea that they’d grow into a global phenomenon and that people would be listening to and talking about them for decades. Johnny

  27. IPAX

    I was a 7th grader in Chicago when I first picked up WBZ and Dick Summer on September 16, 1964. I listened to his show almost nightly until Dave Michaels (who I also liked) took over in late 1967.

    Way out here in the Midwest, reception was problematic. WBZ is at 1030 on the AM dial. When its signal drifted out, either KDKA (1020) in Pittsburgh or WHO (1040) in Des Moines would drift in. All three were 50-KW stations.

    In the winter at sunset I could pick up the tail end of the Jefferson Kaye show (or later Ron Landry). Following him was “Contact” with Bob Kennedy, the Bruce Bradley show, then Dick Summer. A few times I even picked up a bit of Carl de Suze right at dawn.

    Dick Summer was very big on folkies like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Phil Ochs and Tom Rush. (He was the only host to play Rush’s version of “The Urge for Going.”)

    Anyway, it was a real pleasure to hear this aircheck.

    P.S.: The show was called “Nightlight.”

  28. JohnC

    This brings back so many memories. The Kitty Genovese comment relates to a song done by Phil Ochs, Outside a Small Circle of Friends, which I believe Dick first introduced me to.

    Dick Summer was a pioneer. Playing Ken Nordine’s Word Jazz, performing his own poetry productions, and then introducing the “Boston Sound” which began to gain some traction from about 66 – 67. What a pleasure to find this site. I hope thru this site he becomes aware of how much he was appreciated at BZ and elsewhere.

  29. Mark P

    Dick Summers… man this guy was great, i listened to him when i worked the overnight shift at a mobil gas station in Andover,Ma with a good friend, we used to laugh are asses off while he did his thing, we couldnt turn him off and would listen to the whole show even called in a few time, he had this bit where he called himself Rumplestilsken Farfignugen..lol Dick Summer’s evil twin..lol man good times, thankx Mr Summer you are the greatest!!!

  30. bill

    I remember riding around with a friend of mine and listing to Dick late at night in the early 60s. One thing I remember that has stuck with me is when he told everyone to paint on their screens in the winter. A little water with food coloring mixed in and freezing temps and you could paint a picture in winter.

  31. David

    Dick Summers frequently played a song from the Fantasticks performed by the Great Serafin, who I believe was a street singer in Boston. I seem to remmeber that he loved the passion of this singer.
    Listeners to Boston radio in the 60s were very fortunate to have many outstanding personalities.

  32. Dave Cantor

    Shouldn’t the title on the Dick Summer article have the word (or phrase) “Night Light” and not “NightLife”?

    Dave C.
    Groton, CT

    • Walter Marshall

      Yes, you are right, it was called the night lite show.

  33. Tom Burke

    Dick was a “radio hero” of mine in the early ’60’s on WBZ. There really was nobody like him. I vividly recall his remotes at Paragon Park, Natasket Beach, in Hull, MA……he was in a trailer in the middle of an amusement park, playing current Top-40 rock…..in the Summer…….how can you get any better than that???

    His nightime gigs on WBZ, later in the ’60’s were also great. He had the ability to create an atmosphere that just fit, in terms of the time of night and the times in which he broadcast.

    It probably was Dick that caused me to think about braodcasting as a career, as I was intrigued by radio voices. Dick’s voice is one-of-a-kind, and his voiceovers are legendary and seemingly forever…..

    I chatted by phone with Dick a few years ago……far more of a thrill for me than for him, because I was able to talk to a true hero of my teen days.

    -Tom Burke
    Mobile, AL

  34. Austin Wertheimer

    All these people must be my age . . . Yes – 8th grade under the covers in Painesville, Ohio, 30 miles east of Cleveland. Dick Summer and the Nite Lite show, WBZ Boston, 50 thousand watts. Only on the nights when the atmosphere promoted good reception. I had a pencil mark on the radio dial to line up the needle at the same spot each time. And it had to be right on, or, like my buddy said above, you would get other stations transmitting from who knows where. I loved his subtle, sophisticated voice. It was my first exposure to the East Coast, and I vowed I would live in Boston some day. (Fortunately, my wish came through.) I just recently thought of you again, Dick, and found this great site. In homage to you and the cultural shifts you introduced , thanks.

    • Harold Jackson

      Inquiring as a favor of possibly an old friend of yours when you were a child. Did you have a brother named Allen? The person that mentioned you and your family worked for your parents. Her name, partly, is Johnnie Mc…..

      I talk with her as much as I can, she is my Godmother and she is a great person in my life. Just thought I would reach out for her.

      Hope this works. Have a good day.

  35. These letters put me on the floor. Thank you. I was just taking down our Christmas tree, when a friend of mine sent me a note suggesting I look here. It was like a present I almost missed left under the tree. My e-mail is Dick@DickSummer.com if anybody would like to write. The website is //www.dicksummer.com. It has a (free) weekly blog and podcast. I don’t do the web for business…it’s just a way to keep in touch with some good folks.

    Happy 2010.

    Dick Summer

    • Bill Ruggieri

      In mid 60’s as a teenager I faithfully listened to Night Light Show and Subway as a religious experience. Parents thought I was asleep,but I had a 2 transistor radio in my bed, with an earphone so they wouldn’t know. Woke up for school many morns with a dead battery and the cord wrapped around my neck. Shrewsburies, and the PASSWORD, and Iving the Venus FLYTRAP were all part of my life. But the MUSIC…Tom Rush, Phil Ochs, Circus Maximus, The Blues Project, Jose Feliciano, would forever burn in my soul. I’m a musician today, and I say without hesitation that you had more influence on me than any artist or super-group. I owe you a GREAT debt, Sir, as do many others. God Bless You, Mister Summers!!

  36. Fat Paulie

    An honer to post after THE MAN himself. A heartfelt Thank You for creating the soundtrack of my youth. This clip brings back so many fond memories that I cant begin to note. I will say that Dick was a pioneer in radio at a time when bland was the order of the day. The exposure to the folk-blues scene,’The Boston Sound’ and assorted esoterica like Frank Zappa were miles away from anything Boston had to offer until WBCN hit the air.
    I still remember having to turn the radio station back to WMEX because my older brother thought it was his radio and it had to be set to Arnie ‘Woo-Woo’ Ginzberg and the Night-Train Show.
    Not that Arnie wasn’t great in his own way…But thanks again Dick for saving me.

  37. martha thomas

    I remember WBZ so well in the sixties. Juicy Brucey and of course Dick Summer. I would put my transister radio under my pillow and listen to Dick Summer. One night I heard a ghost story or something.I was scared to death. WBZ was the station to listen to in those days. So boring today with all news all the time. Remember the lineup-Carl deSuze, Jay Dunne( I was his hygienist once) Jefferson Kaye Contact, Bruce Bradley and Dick Summer. Thanks guys, you made my summers, as I walked the beach at Wells looking for boys, ya ya boys. why did Ringo sing that?

  38. Eric Roth

    I listened to “WBZ, Radio 103, A Group Westinghouse Station” in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in the ’60s and loved catching the Dick Summers Nightlife show, (although up until this posting I thought it was the “nightlight” show)
    The reading of Alfred Noyes’ “The Highwayman” and Dick’s attempts to change the Sandwich to the Shewsbury, the Venus Flytrap bit, his very serious and ligitmate attack on “apathy” and his referral to it as “gutlessness”, telling about Phil Ochs playing at the Unicorn Coffee house, not to mention all the great tunes. We had great radio in Windsor in those days, “CKLW, THE BIG 8” was the big boy on the block, but at 10:30 every night I’d tune into WBZ because they always got the latest British Invasion tunes a few days earlier than the midwest, and as a 14, 15 year old, I always had the “scoop” on the latest tunes. My radio was on all night even after falling asleep. I was listening to Dick’s show the night Winston Churchill died and I seemed to awaken just a few seconds before his announcing Sir Winston’s death. In 1966 my dad and I went to Steamtown in Vermont and my dad suggested we go into Boston and look up the radio station and see if I could meet Bruce Bradley and Dick Summers, but as a young teen ager (16), for some crazy, unknown reason I didn’t want to do it. I wished my dad had kicked my proverbial arse and made me go. I also missed going to Fenway Park for the same reason. Hindsight being 20/20, I would have loved going to see if I could have met these great pair of DJ’s as they had a pretty important role in presenting the new and exciting music of the day.
    I miss those radio days but they were exciting, fun times.
    Thanks Dick. You were wonderful.
    Eric Roth

  39. Hank hofmann

    Another Canadian – I lived in eastern Ontario about 60 minutes south of Ottawa – who grew up in the mid-60s with Dick (Summer) and Bruce (Bradley).

    What a great station WBZ was and what great personalities, including also Jeff Kaye, Carl De Suze, Jay Dunn and Dave Maynard.

    I can still remember Bruce Bradley introducing the Rolling Stones when they first had hits in North America (1965) as “the five uglies”. And he used to love to insert the “oh-oh-oh-oh yah, muh!” line from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins version of I Put A Spell On You.

    Does anyone know if Bruce is still on the air somewhere?

    • Paco

      Yes I distinctly remember “Juicy Brucey” Bradley inserting the “Mwah!” line and especially the “A-h don’t cay-ah if you don’t wo-nt me, a-hm yo-ahs!!!” line at the most opportune times. It was really effective and comical, out of context like that, and no one really knew where it came from, since the song was from 1956 and they never played it on AM radio in the ’60s. When I later heard the entire song, on ‘BCN I think, I was blown away, both because now I had finally heard the song it came from, and the song itself was so great. I’m very happy I came across this thread.

    • Paco

      BTW here’s the original Screamin’ Jay Hawkins “I Put a Spell on You” that Bruce got the clips from. Listen for yourself. It doesn’t get any better than this.

  40. Jacki Joy ponsart

    Wow, you just took me down a memory that is always good to remember—being young and in love. Thank you so much for all the poems, yours and the ones you made yours. I would lov to hear The Highwayman again—You read it out loud, like I heard it in my head. Do it for all of us again? LOL. If you do—let us know. I told my hubby about your poems, and I think he needs to hear some. I am older, but still a big romantic kid—like you! Thank You So MucH! Peace, Jacki

  41. Barb

    OMG – listening to this was like being 11 years old again. Memories that have been sitting right on the surface. August of 1964 was the summer of A Hard Days’s Night and I was Beatle Crazy. There was Dick Summer and “Nightlife” . I would listen, waking up in the middle of the night with my head on my 9V transistor radio. I agree with Jacki – would also love to hear The Highwayman.

    Paulie – you are also right – Dick Summer and “Nightlife” exposed me to and gave me an appreciation for different forms of music, comedy, even history. Summer’s calm voice and the show became an island and soft spot away from a life of abuse and childhood trauma, a kind “friend” to hang with at night. I will eternally be grateful to him.

  42. jeffers

    Saw Tom Rush last night 9/12/10, in Ogunquit, Maine. During the set he mentioned WBZ and Dick and Jefferson Kaye. At intermission I told Tom how I listened to Dick back then and first heard Urge For Going on that show, around midnight, driving north on 95. Pulled off the road by the Alfalfa Farm to listen. Changed completely what I thought I knew about lyrics and music, and how good radio can be.

  43. Michael Tearson

    i was a kid in Baltimore listening to clear channel WBZ in the depths of night and Dick Summer thoroughly fired my imagination about how to put more dimension into radio. i was just commenting on today’s rallies supporting Union workers under siege in Wisconsin and remarked about “fighting the forces of B.U.G., the Big Ugly Guys,” a reference to the adventures of Irving II Superplant, a Venus Flytrap. this was one of the seminal influences that led to my own career in radio these last 43 years. that and especially the Sunday show Dick did after Jefferson Kaye left and he made over the folk show to something new and wild. i’ve been meaning to try to contact Dick as he lives not terribly far from me in South Jersey, and i think i will try to do that this week. life’s too short NOT to try.

  44. DD

    I can’t believe I found this. I regularly listened to Summer’s Nightlight show on my 6-transistor radio by my pillow late at night in Wisconsin. He still sounds fresh and funny, and played great music. And if a speaking voice can be charismatic, Summer’s is. What prompted me to check him out online was hearing some reference somewhere about a Venus flytrap. That bit plus the Earl of Shrewsbury are classics. This is a treasure.

  45. Susan Rose

    Wow….listening to this and reading these posts brought back so many memories of things I had totally forgotten about. I, too, as a teenager had my transistor radio under my pillow with my ear piece listening to Dick Summer every night. All the great music I hear on his show. One of my favorites was Bob Lind singing White Snow. How I loved that song. And Phil Ochs, Ian and Sylvia, Tom Rush, the Blues Project…I could go on and on. And the Boston Sound. Somewhere upstairs I still have my Ultimate Spinach album..thanks Dick for enhancing my childhood and expanding my musical knowledge. P.S. I saw Tom Rush in Green Lake, WI last night and started thinking about Dick Summer.

  46. Susan Rose

    Oh and thanks for reminding me about The Highwayman. I recently found my copy of the poem I had written out…….

  47. al thornburg

    I remember listening when you were in Indianapolis. Canned talk politics has ruined the entire spectrum of radio. The mid-50’s to the mid-60’s were indeed the greatest years for AM radio.

  48. Desiree Passantino

    I love Dick Summer’s voice. This man can read the phone book and command an audience. I remember I spoke with him on-air when he was a DJ in the 1980s; first time we talked, I had won a contest (Tina Turner’s comeback album). The following week I heard him stating on-air about the name (my name) Desiree. He said, “I’d like to meet a Desiree. What a name. I wonder who is named Desiree..” WELL, I just HAD to call him and tell him that that was MY name! I think he felt he had a stalker! Maybe I was a little too excited to talk to him. Haha. Where are you now Dick Summer? The radio needs people like you.

  49. Bill Thrasher

    When I first got into radio in the early 60’s, I listened to Dick way down in deep south GA. I used to have to move my little transistor radio around by my bed to keep the WBZ signal coming in. It was worth it. I actually got permission from Dick to run his “Down with the sandwich, up with the shrewsbury” campaign on a little 250 watt daytimer in Quitman, GA. Everybody loved it…Yes, he had that kind of impact that far away.

  50. Dan Sainato

    Dear Mr Summer.
    You gave us all so much in Boston. But at midnight, on my stolen phone company headphones hooked up to a radio i listened at the age of 14 or so, The Bickersons. This letter is to say a very broad thank you.

  51. Helen Faught

    I vividly remember Dick Summer in early 60’s Indianapolis. I was 12 in 1962, when I started listening to him on WISH radio. His show became my nightly must. I remember his signature sign off song, Summertime.
    I was so sad when, in January of ’63, he announced that he was leaving for Boston and would be on WBZ. Not long after, and to my heart-pounding delight, I discovered that I could get WBZ quite clearly at night. Those were, indeed, the days!

    • Jim

      I too began listening to Dick Summer in Indianapolis in the late 1950s. First at WIBC and later at WISH. Would drive down to Merrill’s Hi Decker and play “Make It Or Break It” in the parking lot during the early years and then later over to Pam’s Drive In for the same. Dick also welcomed a lot of us to the WISH television studios for his Bandstand like dance show, the RC Cola Rhythm Carnival.

      • Jim

        Loved his rendering of “Annabel Lee” & “The Goatee’s Gotta Go” while he was in Indy.

      • What a joy it is to me, to see these comments. I’m at a time in a guy’s life when you look back and try to figure out if it mattered that you were around. These thoughts make me feel good about the way I’ve spent my life….so far.

        • C Lyman

          You appealed to me love of the exotic and comical, which introduced me to the “underground” Music, which set me up for the Psychedelic goove and to be a Prog rocker. Your humorous approach was a great introduction for me to things like Allan Sherman. which set me up to appreciate Dr Demento 12 years later. 1 hen can be found on YouTube. Back in ’66 I knew it backwards and forwards and told the sad story of the Earl of Shrewsbury

          That made you a major influence on me. not to mention what you did for Tom Rush

          You Done Good

          • Thanks “C” If you’d come over to my personal Email (Dick@DickSummer.com I’d like to send you a “Thanks for remembering” gift.

  52. Yarmouth Lew

    I remember Dick and the Nightlife Show from 1964-67 when I was stationed at New Hampshire Satellite Tracking Station in New Boston, N.H. I was an AP and worked security from 12-8 AM. I had to listen on a little transistor radio, but the show helped keep me awake. That and a lot of crappy coffee.

  53. Mike

    I remember Dick well. I also remember about his super hero the Venus Flytrap. I learned the one hen, two ducks from then.

  54. Art

    I remember Dick Summer late at night. He was the main proponent of the “Boston sound” with Ultimate Spinich and Orpheus.

    • Marie

      When I heard of Dave Maynard’s passing,it brought back so many wonderful memories of the 60’s back in Boston. Dick Summers!!Falling asleep with the radio under my pillow repeating,:on hen, two ducks, …..

      • Ken

        Your post gave me a smile and brought back similar fond memories of Dick’s mellow voice and the NightLife “Password.” Some 50 years later, it is still committed to memory.

  55. Bruce Arnold

    Thank you, Richard! There would have been no Orpheus without you!

    • Mel

      If there were more DJ’s like Dick at stations around the country, “Can’t Find The Time” would have been a #1 single.
      It was a huge hit in New England.

      I can still recall Dick playing Circus Maximus’ “The Wind” on his “Love and Touch” show. Very eclectic, but that was Dick!

      • Duncan Dewar

        I did,t realize Dick was responsible for Orpheus’ “Can’t Find The Time” (always loved the B side as well, “Leslie’s World”). How many realize in the same vein that Dave Maynard was the guy behind, Boney M’s, “Mary’s Boy Child”…which to this very day is one of the most popular & most played Xmas Songs.

    • Mark Lyon

      I remember when you and Jack were the Villagers, playing at The Carousel in Hyannis.

  56. Barb

    Tonight I saw Tom Rush. Seeing him in concert always makes me think of the first time I heard his voice. In the middle of the night on the Dick Summer Nightlife show. I hated high School, and as a way of denying that I was gonna have to go, I often stayed up all night listening. Loved it so much! One night, he talked about a young (16) songwriter from Canada and he was going to play a cover of one of her songs. The song was Joni Mitchell’s Urge For Going. Tom started with that unique intro-so compelling. I ran and got my sister and we were enthralled. Started a life-long love of this man’s work!! I think I got a lot of my ‘foundational’ music taste from Dick Summer and that wonderful radio show. Thanks, Dick!!!!!

    • alan

      I think his “No Regrets” is one of the greatest songs that nobody has ever heard. Also “A Child’s Song”. I can’t hear him sing it with out getting tears in my eyes

    • Jay

      Barb, had to respond to your post as I had some of the very same memories. I recall listening to Dick Summer during the 60s, getting him (and Bruce Bradley) all the way to Chicago at night. I certainly remember hearing Tom Rush being played frequently. I even took a road trip right after high school out to Boston, which in 1967 was the coolest place in the US, or so I imagined. As it is,in the late 80s Dick was on a station in Chicago for a bit, doing a late night into morning show. I called on my way into work one night and had a great chat with him about BZ and how much it meant to me.
      I probably wouldn’t necessarily responded to your post, but saw that it was posted on my birth-day, so felt that it was a sign to add my 2 cents. I’m glad I’m not the same one with the same memories, and that they are still fresh in peoples’ minds

    • Joe Polimer

      Haven’t been on this website for awhile. The first time I heard “Urge For Going” was that “middle of the night” on the Nightlite show. That version must have been on a tape to Dick Summer because I have never heard that version since. Very very haunting. I think it was late in ’65, which was my favorite year for music, anyway, esp. on ‘BZ. Dick Summer was THE BEST, period!!

      • Thanks Joe. It was a tape that Tom Rush gave to Jeff Kaye and me. It was re-mixed in the recording that was released, which is why you never heard that particular version again. Tom is still active and he has become the best one man show on the planet. Suggest you check him out on the internet, because he may be coming to a venue near you. And if you have the time/inclination, I do a (free) weekly podcast at //www.dicksummer.com/podcast and my latest book is available at Amazon. Happy New Year. Dick Summer

        • Joe Polimer

          Thanks for responding to my post, Dick. Wish I could get my hands on that tape version but I have the released version, which is still exceptional. I guess you can’t focus too much on the past but the music of the 60’s were the best!(My folks probably said the same thing about their generation, etc.) WBZ-103 was my salvation and music education then. There was no isolation of music genres; BZ played everything
          in pop music that was out or up and coming. The “Nightlight” show was a MUST for me every night I could listen.

      • C Lyman

        There was a YouTube vide in which Tom Rush acknowledges just that and how it started his career, I haven’t seen it for a while

        • Joe Polimer

          Thanks. I’ll check it out!

  57. Harry

    I still remember a book cover that I got from a department store in the 60s. On it were: Carl DeSuze, Dave Maynard, Jay Dunne, Jefferson Kaye, Bruce Bradley, Bob Kennedy, and Dick Summer. That was the entire WBZ roundup in those days.

  58. Deb Sampson

    Dick Summer, WBZ, Joni Mitchell, Tom Rush, Ian and Silvia, Buffy ST Marie, Dick’s Poetry (I still have 2 of his books!). His show saved me from complete misery in my high school years…yes, the transistor radio under the pillow.

    • Steve Dorman

      I live in Winchester, VA from 64 to 69 and did the same thing you did, only my transistor radio had little head-phones, much like the ear pods kids use today. Dick Summer was just the coolest guy and a great broadcaster with great radio voice. He was so natural and easy going that you thought you were listening to friend.

      • C Lyman

        I guess I was just lucky. I lived in Tiverton RI and got a good strong signal from WBZ. Dick was one of the most intelligent “DJ”‘s of the time. It is almost wrong to call him a DJ since he did so much more and I thought of his program as “underground” style radio. Imagine if he had talk show facilities on his program and the chance to interact with his listeners. It would mean that he would have to integrate that with the way he was doing things to keep ti from becoming a pure talk show if it could be done at all. The comedy was at a much higher intellectual level than most of what was going down at the time, certainly the highest level I could find: And he kept it up all night, every night. I’ve never been able to look at a slice of meat between two pieces of bread the same way since then and “The Announcer’s Test” will ALWAYS be “1 Hen”

        • I’m at a time in life when a guy looks back to see what’s chasing him, and to check on if there are any smudges he might have left in passing. These notes say I can be grateful for having been around. Thank you. Dick Summer

          • The amazing thing about Dick Summer is, he can capture a thought and bring it to life so easily. Dick, you’re a master communicator, and the warmth in your heart comes across as genuine, no matter what medium or format you speak in. Everywhere I go where people remember you whether its Boston or New York, those who remember speak so fondly of you. You’re missed ’round these parts, sir!

  59. Bob Prince

    I first heard Dick Summer on BZ when I was in college at the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 1964. He was my companion as I studied late into the night. In fact, he inspired me to get into radio at the student radio station and in 1965 I got a part time job at a local commercial station in the next town over(a 5000 watt station) and worked in radio for the next five years on weekends and summers. I have to also admit I copied some of Dick’s routines at times (sorry Dick). He will always be part of those days for me. A special time! And of course, he’s still out there on TV doing a commercial for a big national law firm. When I first heard it I knew immediately who it was. Thanks for the memories Dick!

  60. Karen Marks

    I was feeling a little blue the other day when I was suddenly transported back to my teen years (happier times, now that I’m a Senior Citizen). It was that cool voice on TV doing a voice over on a commercial for a law firm. Anyone who followed Nite Life could never forget “Girls Watching Boys”, the “Time Capsule”, “The Highwayman”, One Hen-Two Ducks-Three Squawking Geese…”. Those sultry tones had me swooning once more. I spent the summer (pun intended) of ’66 in Hull, Mass. & I camped out at the Sundeck Studio at Paragon Park. If Dickie was there, it was too late for me to be out, but it was my dearest wish to see him there with Dave Maynard, Juicy Brucie Bradley & Jefferson Kaye. But nothing beat Dick Summers lulling me to sleep each night from Soldiers’ Field all the way to my Wrentham pillowcase-hidden transister. I’m in love all over again! Hope you read this Dick. Thanks for being there for me, then and now!

  61. Alan Potts

    Irving the Second his pet Venus Flytrap.

    Trying to change the Sandwich to the Shrewsbury because the Earl of Sandwich stole the idea.
    Dick Summer’s Subway on Sunday nites (I think) playing “Underground Music”.
    My mother could never figure out why one of the buttons on the car radio was set to 1030
    The big rock and roll station in Philly (WIBG) cut their power at night and was hard to hear, but WBZ came in great

  62. I just came across this site, and I am knocked down by these comments. I loved those WBZ days and nights. I met my wife at WBZ. She was in charge of scheduling the commercials. I used to screw up intentionally sometimes just to get her to come in to the my lair…I mean the studio.

    She’s sitting on the couch across the room right now, looking prettier than ever.

    If you get a chance, check out the (free) podcasts at //www.dicksummer.com/podcast I’d love to be able to get in touch with you. My email is dick@dicksummer.com

    • Dick,

      We talked a long time ago. And you sent me some CDs containing some of your bedtime talk. Quite amazing, actually. I thought that you had sent one or two airchecks of your show on WBZ, including this one. At any rate, I am so glad you found the website. I am a big fan of your work and enjoyed listening to you on WBZ – as that was the only station my mom listened to back when you were on. You, Don Batting with news – it was so great! Later, I heard you on the old 97.1 WYNY. Such a class act.

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Steve West

    • anita sarko

      you were the BEST DJ i have EVER heard on the radio. I would listen to you late into the night, under my covers, in detroit. I’ve always used “one hen, 2 ducks” as my sound checks (i became a DJ) & the tech always looks at me dumbfounded (most recently on siriusxm). are there any recordings of your routines..especially the shrewsbury scandal? i used to know that by heart, but…alas…

  63. Nancy

    I just happened across this site. What great memories. I was watching one of the Doo Wop shows on public TV and Little Anthony was talking to Cousin Bruce, whom I didn’t know, (and I see others from other places have posted comments about him,) but it reminded me of Juicy Brucey Bradley, Dick Summer, and the gang at ‘BZ back in the 60’s. I lived in Cambridge and we listened to WBZ, WCOP and sometimes ‘MEX if we went to the beach (Revere) or at least out to Wellington Circle since it didn’t come in clearly in the city. But all night long it was Dick Summer and the NightLight show. Venus Flytrap, Theopolis Q. Waterhouse, and One Hen, Two Ducks, Three Squawking Geese… which I know entirely except for #6. Never could figure that one out. I see someone else has posted the words here, and I never would’ve guessed anything about sneakers.

    With my transistor under my pillow all night, sure used up a lot of batteries.

    My favorite poetry reading was on or around Halloween, going home on the MBTA bus, I heard Dick read “The Highwayman” the first time. Chills!

    Thanks for all these great comments!

      • alan potts


        thanks for jogging my memory as well with “The Highwayman”. Think I’ll go and make a Ham and Swiss Shrewsbury

  64. Radio will never be the same. Dick Summer, Dave, Larry Justis, Bruce Bradley, Larry Glick,
    Carl De-Whoo, Don Kent Gil Santos, Gary LaPierre, Guy? with “Calling All sports” Jerry Williams. Even Robin Young doing a female ‘loving touch’ weekend late show. I remember it all..but not enough. Thanks for this format to bring some of it back.
    BEst, XXX

    • All great jocks. Carl DeSuze did mornings from sometime in the early 60s (I don’t recall the exact year) till his retirement in 1980. Mornings were taken over by Dave Maynard, who had been doing afternoons since around 1974 when Larry Justice left. Maynard also hosted “Community Auditions”, a local Boston area talent show that pre-dated American Idol by about 40 years, on WBZ-TV 4. Calling All Sports started at 7pm at first, and then they backed it up to 6pm. The host was Guy Manella. Some years later, a guy by the name of David Brudnoy would do a call in talk show from 8 or 9 to midnight, followed by Larry Glick overnights. They called Glick “The Commander”. You gotta remember, WBZ did all this IN HOUSE. Nothing was syndicated whatsoever, with the exception of Paul Harvey News & Comment at noontime in the 1980s until his death sometime in the 90s. Westinghouse – the light bulb company – had one of the best broadcasting divisions of any corporate broadcaster out there in the 60s through the 80s. That includes RKO General. Not to take anything away from RKO, but their thing was mainly Top 40 and they had the Bill Drake connection in the early Top 40 years. Fantastic company. However, Westinghouse’s broadcast operations were mainly more MOR stations with a variety of quality programs that ranged from what you’d term Adult Contemporary these days, to news, talk and sports, and all of it with incredibly talented personalities who were encouraged to actually TALK in between records and had a free reign to talk about whatever subject they wanted with their own hand picked guests for interviews during their talk hours. WBZ Boston, KDKA Pittsburgh and a hand full of other powerful 50kw stations around the U.S. featured unique programming that was absolutely top notch for the entire time that Westinghouse Broadcasting was still its own company, before being bought out by CBS. I have to give kudos to CBS as far as it’s AMs in NYC and Boston. WCBS AM does a great job with the business side of news reporting, plus using its CBS 2 Meteorologists, especially Craig Allen. WINS is going to end up on FM at some point and CBS now has 101.9 FM where WFAN will be moving to in January. As for WBZ Boston, the same formatting concept that they used in their music days is essentially in place, with NEWS all day long, then the local talk show hosts from 6pm to 6am nightly. What a well run company and I STILL listen to WBZ quite often, especially in the morning on my way into work in Stratford, CT when I’m not listening to WCBS 880.

      You mentioned “Loving Touch”. Robin Young did that program and I think she went on to Television afterward. It really was a special program, way ahead of its time, as FM stations picked up on that concept for nighttime programming starting in the 80s (Delilah comes instantly to mind – and she made me want to puke). And never forget Dick Summer. Dick had probably the best ability to reach out and somehow personally touch his listeners. Summer was doing music at night before Guy Manella started doing Calling All Sports. Of course, Summer went on to 97.1 WYNY New York (WNBC’s FM station) and was prominent there for much of the mid to late 70s. Dick and I exchange emails from time to time. He lives in Florida and is a licensed pilot. Flies a Cessna and loves it. He sent me two custom CDs of ‘Pillow Talk’… yes, you can find them out there as he does sell those, and he’s an active voiceover talent. Dick Summer is the voice you hear on those Binder & Binder law firm TV ads. He’s a hell of a guy and I’d love to meet him in person one day.

      Bruce Bradley – yep, “Juicy Brucie” did Top 40 at WBZ in the early 60s – 1962 perhaps, and stayed for a few years before he, also, ended up in NYC. Bradley also was on WYNY for a time, before returning to WBZ for a long run mid-days in the 80s.

      Great comments about WBZ! What memories they evoke, as growing up my mom NEVER allowed the radio to be tuned to any other station, except occasionally to WSRS 96.1, which was doing Beautiful music at the time. Most AM/FM receivers at the time were pretty much deaf as a post to the FM signals, so there wasn’t much incentive for people outside of a metro area with high powered FMs to even bother tuning to the FM band. So WBZ was IT. WRKO was too directional and being 50 miles west of Boston in those days, WBZ was like a local, and WRKO was almost non existant even though both stations ran 50 KW.

      As some famous guy once said… “Thanks for the memories”.

    • I forgot to mention the news guys. Gil Santos was not only WBZ’s sportscaster, he was the broadcast voice for the New England Patriots for many years. Might still be, I don’t know since I don’t listen to NFL broadcasts on radio nor can I get WBZ-FM 98.5

      Gary LaPierre did morning news for over 30 years, the last 5 (at least 5) he did via ISDN line from Florida where he moved to retire. LaPierre had a Western Mass connection – he was from there, and WBZ tied into that in a few contests to send a lucky listener for a weekend getaway to North Adams or one of those far western Mass towns in the shadow of Mt. Greylock. WBZ’s influence was such that occasionally the weather guys, Don Kent, Bruce Schwogler, Barry Burbank or somebody would mention the snow falling in Florida, Mass (out on Rt. 2 which goes out to one of the high Berkshire mountain tops) while it was 45 degrees and raining in Boston. Another thing that really set WBZ apart from many other stations was it’s use of their TV meteorologists. In a strange twist of radio irony, WBZ talk show host Jordan Rich used to do weather reports ‘direct from the National Weather Service’ for Charlie Van Dyke in 1979 on WRKO. (You can hear an aircheck of that HERE.) I think the old WHDH Radio 85 used Harvey Leonard from WCVB TV 5 but I could be wrong on that. Nowadays its very common to not have a staff meteorologist at all except on the all-News stations, and where they do use one, its usually from a weather service, such as Accu-Weather or The Weather Channel.

  65. Peter

    Interesting I see the name Duncan Dewar above. I had an interview with him in Portsmouth NH circa 1979 when I was working breifly at WTSN Dover with Paul Leblanc. Not a pleasant place to work btw and I left to go back to WLAD Danbury

    • Bob Prince

      Peter, I worked at TSN in the 60’s while in college on the weekends for Paul LeBlanc. I know he could be hard to work for but so long as you followed his rules and showed up on time (sometimes I was late) he was cool. I learned a lot from him. Remember Dick Ring? Don’t know if he was there in 79…but he ended up in FL where I met up with him two years ago. He made it to a 50,000 watt station in Tampa. The big time. Just retired. Hope you made it.

  66. Bob Prince

    Dick Summer. Wow! I first started listening when I was in college at UNH back in the 60’s, especially when I got a spot at the student radio station, WUNH, which led to a part-time job with a local 5000 watt station in a nearby town (WTSN – somebody mentioned the program director there, Paul LeBlanc…not really a bad guy, just made sure you were a pro on the air and that made you good). I worked there on weekends through my college years and in the summer filling in when the full time guys took time off. I also worked at a station in Laconia (WEMJ) in ’66 at the time of the infamous Weirs Beach riots and made a few “beepers” for stations like KDKA and also WBZ and a few others. When KDKA called and I finished saying “this is Bob Prince in Laconia” the guy at the other end wanted to know what the hell I was doing there. At the time I didn’t know that there was another Bob Prince who was also the announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was just a kid after all. Anyway, back to Dick Summer. At the college station, a lot of us used to try and copy him in the way that he used to finish sentences with songs..I did even at the commercial stations I worked at. He was an inspiration to many of us at college stations and younger guys at small commercial stations too. I went to sleep many a night listening to his so different voice…calm as it was. Of course, WBZ was THE station back then. And, there’s been nothing like it since, I can guarantee it. The kids today don’t know what they have missed. Today’s jocks just play music and give time and temperature and play commercials. Dick had class. Nuff said.

      • Bob Prince

        Come on Duncan, you know it is! Who else could have that voice! And it Dick Summer, not Dick Summers. You know that too.

          • Hi Duncan, I have a series of spoken word cds, and a new book called, “Staying Happy, Healthy and Hot.” Please go to dicksummer.com, and pick either a CD or the book, and I’d like to send you a free copy. My email is dick@dicksummer.com

    • Thanks Bob, I appreciate your memories. Please go to //www.dicksummer.com and pick a cd or let me send you a free download copy of the new book as a very sincere “Thank you.” Dick Summer

  67. Gerry Cunningham

    I remember Dick Summer and his “Nitelight” show on WBZ live from the Unicorn Coffee House back in the mid-60’s. Listening on the skywave waay down in Louisville on a six transistor radio under the pillow! He had quite an influence on me along with Cousin Brucie on WABC and the local guys on WAKY & WKLO (which I later appeared on in the 70’s as Robert E Lee).

  68. It’s a genuine thrill to see so many comments about a time so long ago. Thank you. I just finished a new book called “Staying Happy, Healthy And Hot.” It’ll be published next week. I’ll be glad to send a free download to anybody/everybody who would like one…but it has to be before November 4th when the (revised) publishing agreement kicks in. My email is dick@dicksummer.com
    Again…thank you. Dick Summer

  69. John DeRose

    I can remember lying on the bed and listening to the show every night…Ah, the good old days!

    My fondest memory was listening to Dick recite The Highwayman.

    Does anyone have a link to a recording of it?

    I also seem to remember him playing a folk song version of Annabel Lee, but I can’t remember the artists.

    Would anyone out there be able to point me in the right direction?

    Thanks much if you can.

  70. donna pagano denny

    I was a devoted fan od Dick Summer, remembering his “Nightliter’s Against Gutlessness” campaign; and his poem readings.

  71. Mary Bauer Smith

    Growing up in Tewksbury MA, I tuned into Dick Summer @11:30pm faithfully. When one of the nuns in high school asked me why I was so tired all the time I told her that my baby brother slept in my room and kept me awake at night. True, but I was probably still awake with the radio under my pillow listening to Dick on WBZ.

    I cherished his stories – especially around Christmas. But my favorite was one started, “With six, why not just give it a number? Someone said that to me the day you were born…” Then it talks about a woman’s lonely journey through pregnancy. Beautiful!

    Dick would sometimes crave a pizza while on the air. Before long one would be dropped off at the studio. He was a proponent of 23 hour deoderant because every man needed an hour to himself.

    I recorded some of Dick’s stories on cassette. I hope I saved them. Time to dig out the childhood memory box in the basement.

    Dick was not a DJ. He was a mover of souls. His influence on my life is still powerful 45 years later…with my husband, six kids and ten grandkids. He honored all mankind. He honored me by sharing his soul.

    • Oh my God, what a beautiful note. Thank you so much Mary. My Email is dick@dicksummer.com Please drop me a personal note, because I want to send you one of my CDs or the new book, or both, as a small thank you for the big thank you that your note just gave me. Dick summer

      • David

        Oh, Dick, I remember listening to you on WNBC in the 70s, WYNY in the late 70s and early 80s and WPIX during most of the 80s. (Unless I’m mistaken, you remained at the latter when it switched to Smooth Jazz and became WQCD aka CD 101.9. My God, you did a helluva damn good job–hell, a *DAMN* **GREAT*!! job! at all of those stations as well as on WBZ in the Sixties.

  72. Thomas B. Kochheiser

    It was late at night in the early 60’s in Northwest Ohio and WBZ Boston would bang in like it was right next door. Dick Summers would be on late night and I would listen until I fell asleep. I can still remember, wonder if anyone out there can recall, the poem “Highwayman” he did. I can still recall listening to that wonderful voice, clear and crisp, reciting the poem and totally hypnotizing me. What a great time to remember. Thanks for the memories.

    • Thanks Tom. Thanks a lot. That was a long time ago. If you’ll drop me an email at dick@dicksummer.com I’ll send you a download of the poem. It was my mom’s favorite poem. I never thought of it as a poem…more like a great, romantic, ghost story. I’ve got a new book out about those days. It’s called Staying Happy, Healthy and Hot in case you’re interested. Dick Summer

      • Tom, this note just came up on my email. But there’s no address for you on it. If you send your email address to dick@dicksummer.com I’ll be glad to send you a download. Merry Christmas. Dick

  73. Jack Sullivan

    I just stumbled onto this site. I was a college student in Boston in the mid-60s and commuted frequently back home to Washington, DC. The Nightlite show was a staple for me on that all-night drive. I remember one show about how chicken cacciatory got its name. It was a long, long story about a company of chickens in the Revolutionary War. It went on and on for the whole show. When the punch line came, somewhere north of Baltimore, I laughed so loud I damned near drove off the road. Thanks for all the pleasure and smiles you brought into my young life.

  74. Jeannie M

    I lived outside of Phillie and could only hear WBZ late at night. Listened into the wee hours and was a mess in school the next day. Years later read “The Highwayman” to my children and they provided the sound effects. But I can still hear Dick Summers ‘tlot tlot’. One of my fondest 60’s memories. Thanks Dick.

  75. Fred King

    I remember so much…I used to listen to
    the Bruce Bradley/Dick Summer change over
    at 11:30pm . They were so funny !
    I chose them over Johnny Carson who my
    mother was watching in the other room.
    I worked with Paul Leblanc when I filled
    in for a summer at WTSN.
    yES, WBZ at that time was certainly
    the ‘Greatest Air Show on Earth”
    I still listen, Fred King

    • Thanks Fred. I’ll tell Bruce you said this. We’re in occasional Email touch. He has become elderly, while I remain the handsome stud I always was…well…in my mind anyway.

      If you’d like to catch up, my email is dick@dicksummer.com

  76. Paul Zinger

    In my high school years, ’63 to ’67, I was able to pick up WBZ and Dick Summer, far away in Western Pennsylvania, late nights on my transister radio. Still remember some of the Ct. Dragway jingles and bits of “7000 Masadonians in full battle”. Good memories.

  77. Space Patroller

    To be a loyal nightlifer. you had to know what the Earl of Shrewbury invented and who got the credit

    You had to be able to recite this


    It was probably Dick Summers that launched Tom Rush by playing URGE FOR GOING in the mid ’60’s

  78. John Perkins

    Was a nightly listener from 1964 till the format change. Dick your show came in really strong in Evansville, IN then. I had my Girl Watcher’s card, and my own Venus Flytrap which was a hit in my high school Biology class. I recall MOGIDY but not what it meant and MOGODITE-a microbe on the pigskin cover of a football sitting on top of a rainbow during a thunderstorm. At your behest I wore a dime taped to my shirt to promote being a N.A.G.-Nightlighter Against Gutlessness. That inspired me to do a term paper on public apathy, a real eye opener for me. I loved the on-location broadcasts during the summer at Nantasket Beach and the drawings for a Honda 50cc motorcycle. Great memories as posted above already but mostly you were the “soothing voice in the night.” Great radio, great format, it’s really missed nowadays. Thanks forever!

    • It doesn’t seem like that long ago, John. But the guy in my shaving mirror laughs when I say that. Thank you. And if you feel like doing some catch up, my personal email is dick@dicksummer.com

  79. John Perkins

    Was a nightly listener from 1964 till the format change. Dick your show came in really strong in Evansville, IN then. I had my Girl Watcher’s card, and my own Venus Flytrap which was a hit in my high school Biology class. I recall MOGIDY but not what it meant and MOGODITE-a microbe on the pigskin cover of a football sitting on top of a rainbow during a thunderstorm. At your behest I wore a dime taped to my shirt to promote being a N.A.G.-Nightlighter Against Gutlessness. That inspired me to do a term paper on public apathy, a real eye opener for me. I loved the on-location broadcasts during the summer at Nantasket Beach and the drawings for a Honda 50cc motorcycle. Great memories as posted above already but mostly you were the “soothing voice in the night.” Great radio, great format, it’s really missed nowadays. Thanks forever!

    John Perkins
    Viera, FL

    • Thanks John. Your note means a lot to me. They were wonderful days and nights for me too.I fell in love with the Continuity Girl. She’s now “My Lady Wonder Wench” in my new book, “Staying Happy Healthy And Hot” If you send me your regular Email address to Dick@DickSummer.com I’ll send you a free download. Dick Summer

    • Jeannie M

      Wow! I’d forgotten all about mogodites! Thank you for reminding me. Might come in handy one of these days.

  80. John Perkins

    BTW MOGIDY is my username on You Tube and Yahoo. Won’t ever forget that word! Will email you for the download. Looking forward to it!


  81. David

    A couple of comments brought up deejay Bruce Bradley (who, I learned, was a co-worker of Dick Summer’s on top-40 WBZ Boston in the 60s as well as adult-contemporary WYNY New York in the 80s). Sadly (and I learned this only a week ago, tops), Bruce Bradley passed away just outside St. Louis on June 22 (my birthday, by the way) at 78. (As I also learned a week ago, tops, ) He was also a radio talk-show host in St. Louis and finished his career as such.

  82. Duncan Dewar

    Remember Dick filling in for Maynard on vacation played, “Ferry ‘Cross The…” & then he had cued up “Pretty Woman” to the lyric, “Mercy” & played the rest of the song.

  83. “Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end.” Thank you for remembering. Dick Summer

  84. Space Patroller

    What is very little known is that Dick Sommer was the key catalyst in the recording career of a mid-60’s to earl ’70’s musical icon who I will let speak for himself


    I can remember this pretty well

  85. Karen Hauck

    Yes!! Dick Summer. Transistor radio under my pillow! Ultimate Spinach! One hen, two ducks! His reading of “The Highwayman”! And N.A.G. !!

    • Thanks for remembering Karen. If you send me an Email address, I’ll send you a copy of “One Hen,” and a download of my new book. Dick Summer

  86. Bob Pailler

    What ever happened to Theopolis Q Waterhouse, Dick’s pet venus fly trap?

    • Hi Bob, My Venus Fly Trap was Irving the Second, Venus Fly Trap Supreme…SUPERPLANT. Bradley’s Elephants stomptd him to death. Theopolus was my instigator.He sat on my shouder and whispered terrible puns and vicious rumors into my ear. Please send your email to dick@dicksummer.com, and I’ll send you a download of my new book. Much Merriment to you. Dick Summer

  87. Rick LaTouch

    That voice! Heard it today on AM680 in Boston selling god-knows-what as I entered my car for my commute home. MY GOD THAT WAS DICK SUMMER!!!! Got on google tonight and here I am, reliving the past – the Subway, tha Boston Sound(wear your big “S”), ultimate Spinach, Tom Rush, “the Wind” by Circus Maximus – I heard it all through my cheap transistor (yup under the pillow) as a young teen back in Salem Ma. This is priceless stuff. Right up there with Jean Shepard. Thanks Dick!

    • Space Patroller

      It was Dick Sommer who pretty much launched Tom Rush’s national career/ YouTube up “tome rush urge for going”

      As far as the “Boston Sound”, I can’t find the time to tell you

      • Hey Space Patroller (great bit) please send your email address so I can send you a download copy of my new book as a “Thanks for remembering” present.

      • Rick

        Yes Space Patroller, Dick did ring Tom Rush to many of us. Have seen him several times since over the years – always a trat; and his early blues recordings are classics too.

        As for not having the time to tell me… Well it sounds like you may be spending too much time with The Hip Death Goddess.

    • Thank YOU Rick. Those were great days/nights for me. I met my wife at WBZ. She was in charge of the program log. Every time I screwed up the program, she had to come into the studio to fix the log. I screwed up lots of times on purpose. Please send your email address so I can send you a download of my new book as a “Thanks for remembering” present.

      • Rick

        omg I am speaking to the man himself. Thank YOU so much Dick – you shaped my musical tastes which I appreciate to this very day. Underground radio was what eventually brought me to Woodstock a few years later I am certain. And it started with the Subway.

        Rblt@aol.com – thanks again!

  88. Rick LaTouch

    …. With Honorable Mention to Arnie Woo-Woo Ginsberg and Dwayne Glasscock!

  89. Maureen


    Is this site still active.

    I listened to Bruce and Dick every night. I was in New Brunswick Canada. I was so happy to listen to WBZ . I sat at my dining room table doing homework and listening for the Beatles.

    My memory of Dick was the NAG campaign . Nightliter’s against gutlessness. My friend and I wore dimes in our penny loafers so that we would always have the price of a phone call. No one would believe that in this day of cell phones! We had to explain the campaign to all our friends and I think it was even mentioned in our high school yearbook.

    Great memories

    • But of course its still active! Hi Maureen hows everything in Lennoxville? Yea, weren’t those two great?! I’m friends with Dick online and he bought his private plane here in Connecticut. Still threatens to fly it into Oxford airport and take me up there with the wife. I think he’s a great person, really hope I get to meet Dick for real!

      • Hi Steve, please tell Maureen that if she comes over to dick@dicksummer.com, I’ll send her a (free) download of my new book. And…yes I will get up to see you at Oxford. I’m just waiting for the snow to melt and the polar bears to go away.

        • I will! That made me chuckle! Dick, if lady wonder wench hasn’t had you in the backyard yet on your hands and knees planting flowers as mine did yesterday I’d be a bit surprised. Believe it or not, it has only hit 70 degrees twice this year and I promise, I haven’t seen any polar bears but I did *just* barely miss hitting a fox while driving around Lake Mattawa up in Orange Mass on Saturday. I think the last of the snow is finally gone. The last big snowbank from what came off the roof melted about 3 or 4 weeks ago so you’re safe to land the plane now.

          • Thanks Steve. Lady W.W. has me on my hands and knees quite frequently.

  90. Paul Sypek

    Didn’t Sandy Baron figure into his show on occasion? By the way, my radio wasn’t under but between my ear and the pillow with a penny stuck between the battery and the contacts. Things have improved, right?

  91. Doug

    I remember Dick playing Disney Girls by the Beach Boys on BZ

  92. The nightlite show was a big part of my teen years. On any given Friday 1964~1967 Dick’s would be the first voice I heard as I rose early and the last as I stayed up late on weekends. He played artists no one else played and told great stories, both serious and humorous. Great days.

  93. Mike Lucas (now living Orlando Florida)

    While going top East Coast Aero Tech in Lexington Mass in 1966 WBZ was THEE radio station…Dick Summer had some sort to slogan or something relating to the U2 going on at that time in 1966.. So I assembled a small desk model U2 airplane and presented to Dick in the parking lot of WBZ.. His in person real personality was just as genuine as his on air personality and wit… Dick is forever Mr. WBZ of Boss Town.

  94. Garnet Drakiotes

    Clearly Mr. Summer has a deep appreciation for how many lives he touched over the years in the depth of the night. For me it was as a teen in Keene, NH listening to WBZ and marveling at the exotic world that poured into my ear via the eight transistors housed in that cigarette pack sized red plastic case. Those late night experiences ultimately translated into 20 years as a broadcast engineer. Sadly, as the industry changed under my feet, I could no longer abide it and moved on. Those ingrained, wonderful, warm “Summer” late nights have never left me and are burned deeply in my most cherished memories. Wonderful to hear Dick Summer again!

    • Thank you Garnet. They were wonderful days/nights for me. I met the lady who has shared my life at WBZ. She was in charge of scheduling commercials. I used to screw up on purpose so she’d have to come into the studio and fix the mess. She’s been fixing my mess ever since. There’s a weekly podcast at //www.dicksummer.com/podcast if you have the time and inclination. It’s free. Would love to have you join the group. Dick Summer

  95. Garnet Drakiotes

    So you married the “traffic” lady… back when that term had a different meaning than it does today. And back when they actually cared about “adjacencies”. Now it is not uncommon to hear back to back competing auto dealership commercials. Yes, been a podcast subscriber since early Spring this year. Thanks again, G

  96. John

    Dick, I’ve been listening to your podcasts for 2 years now in reverse chronological order. I just remembered the definition of MOGIDY: it is the study of MOGODITES. Sorry I didn’t keep my girl watchers club card but so many moves over the years I just lost track of it.

    • Thanks for the memories John. I’ve got a hunch that you’ve developed better ways of watching women than hiding behind a card by now. And Thanks for catching the podcasts. I love doing them. Merry Christmas

  97. John Perkins

    Hi Dick: I just found this comment that you might enjoy seeing. It’s from the former manager of the Unicorn Coffeehouse. Do you remember Rick?

    Rick Montross • 2 years ago

    My name is Rick Montross and I was the manager of the Unicorn in 1967. A few “big” names the story missed: Odetta, The Siegal-Schwall Band and the fabulous James Cotton Blues Band.

    George’s biggest coupe: The Jefferson Airplane for 2 weeks — they wanted to work on their next album (After Bathing at Baxters) and the Unicorn was the perfect spot.

    Rick Montross

    P.S. The capacity was approximately 300 and the location was under Cramer Electronics. There was a little covered entry way about 5 feet in front of the stores and patrons went down the stairway to pay and then enter the entertainment area. The stage was about 12 ft. wide and 9 ft. deep. A Unicorn tapestry was the backdrop and the seating were old church pews.

  98. Thanks for this John. Yes I remember Rick Montrose. What great memories. John, please come over to dick@dicksummer.com so I can send you a gift down load of my Staying Happy Healthy And Hot book. Dick

  99. Beckie Grube

    When I was a young teenager living in Wisconsin, I would listen to Dick Summer on a rocket radio (on cloudy nights the skip was just right) with the antenna clip attached to my bedsprings and my ear with the one earpiece pressed to my pillow for volume control. I well remember “Down with Sandwiches, Up With Shrewsburys.” I still have the dime I wore on a chain around my neck. I remember N.A.G., the protest against gutlessness (although I can’t remember what the N stood for). I really think it’s time to revive that one, and perhaps we can save some of these young snowflakes. Thanks for the memories, AirChexx.

    • Rick

      I was researching to find Nightlighters Against Gutlessness because I remember it well. The safety pin now being worn by so many after this crazy election brought the N.A.G. and the dime immediately to mind.


      • Thanks for remembering. After all these years I’m especially proud of the NAG TAG campaign. If you have the time/inclination, please drop me a note at dick@dicksummer.com, and I’ll send you a (free)download of my book. Dick Summer

      • Beckie

        Personally, I’d be more inclined to wear a diaper pin to show my willingness to comfort whiny SJW liberals. 😉

  100. Thanks Beckie. I agree that the NAG (Nightlighters Against Gutlessness) might be a good thing to do again. Dick Summer

  101. Doug Clark

    I ended up here in the course of Googling which WBZ DJ it was that Wikipedia mentions as pivotal in getting increased airplay up and down the East Coast for Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” It apparently was “The Sounds of Silence” on their debut album, but the title got changed when Columbia Records remixed and re-released it, leading to bigger sales. I think any mystery about who the DJ was has been solved. (In looking up the song, I also saw a rather modest mention of “being beyond mainstream AM” in Dick’s book, which I found via Google Books. Page 176, I think it was.)
    Back in my teens, I spent a lot of time listening to Dick, Dave Maynard, and “Juicy Brucey” Bradley. Thanks for all the music, guys.

  102. Alan

    As a teenager in Yarmouth, ME I would tune in to Nightlite as a solitary but communal experience after the rest of the family was asleep…… Pearls Before Swine, Ultimate Spinach, Dick reading from McKuen’s Stanyon Street and other Sorrows ………
    A whole world out there, a promise of possibilities. So strange today 3/1/2017 to think of Dick Summer and fully expect to be able to immediately locate and hear his gentle and inviting voice in the ‘cloud’.

  103. Barbara Ferron

    I listened to Dick Summers in the 70/80’s (?). I had a pamphlet of things written by Dick. One about lies and walls I would like to read again to teach my grandson not to lie.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.