Only in York County

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Mail call: Lots of radio memories from George Trout Sr.

Today’s letter is from someone well-known in many local circles, George M. Trout Sr. of Springettsbury Township.

You’ve heard George – who was also a former York County Commissioner – mentioned before in some of our many posts on radio-station memories. George knew well both “Doc” Daugherty and also current commenter John Loeper, both local radio personalities as well, and wrote to share his own recollections.

George Trout displays one of his many signed baseballs from the York White Roses in this 2007 photo. Trout was a 24-year-old public address announcer for the White Roses in 1955. Flustered when he couldn't find anyone who knew the Roses' newest player - a 'B. Robinson' - Trout mistakenly announced 'Bob Robinson' as the Roses' late-game substitution. Brooks Robinson later said he didn't mind the gaffe.
Among his notes? He writes, “Harold ‘Doc’ Daugherty was on from 12 to 1:30 with ‘Spotlight on Rhythm.’ At the time he was the DJ in York, playing music he selected. Just weeks before I went on WORK ‘Doc’ became program director of WNOW, owned by a local construction company, H.J. Williams, and located on Duke Street across the street from Yorktowne Hotel. The building was eventually torn down and the station moved to the Pleasureville area.”

George also sheds even more light on the Gregory Gift Program. He says, “It was sponsored by radio-sponsor-pioneer Marshall Gregory and the original host was station manager Harold Miller sometime in the late 30s or early 40s. Probably 1936 to 1938. One year after I joined WORK in 1948, Harold Miller was transferred to Lancaster to manage WGAL-TV, originally Channel 4 then changed to Channel 8. I was given the gift program. WORK went on the air March 21st, 1932. Everything was live. There were no network feeds like CBS or NBC. There were no newsmachines like Associated Press or United Press.”

George continues, later in his letter, to explain more about the stations that joined WORK later in York. He says, “WORK had no local competition until ten years later in September 1942. Otis Morse moved from announcing on WORK to be program director of WSBA, on that opening date. York now had two radio stations, and a third, WNOW, hit the airwaves on June 22, 1948. … In the fall of 1948 a fourth York station went on the air and very few people remember. September of 1948 on a bright pleasant Sunday afternoon the all-FM station WRZE-FM opened, under the ownership of the then morning newspaper, the Gazette & Daily, predecessor of the York Daily Record. … There were, guessing, only a few hundred FM sets in York County and WRZE-FM failed to pay for itself, leaving the air in about 2 years.”

Read George’s full letter here for some WONDERFUL details on the history of York’s radio, including some about WGCB out of Red Lion and a Supreme Court case of much note. George put so much effort into documenting all of it, and I hope you’ll take a look. It’s incredibly detailed and filled with a lot of names you’re sure to remember.

He concludes, “From my first airwork in 1949 as M.C. of the ‘Frankie Moore Log Cabin Boys’ from 6 to 7 a.m., ‘The Best in AM Country Music,’ until the day I left WORK in January 1977 to become Personnel Director at Memorial Hospital for 15 years, followed by 2 terms as York County Commissioner, my best years were on WORK Radio, where I learned the English language, to work in front of crowds under difficult circumstances, and to control my emotions. Radio is the ultimate teacher! … I think I am the last remaining piece of radio history living in the area. There are still a few John Loepers and Al Gregsons and they are good fellows – but – they came later in the game.”

Deepest thanks to George for sharing all these details!

Previous radio memory posts
Aug. 13, 2010: Calling all stations: A starting look at radio history in York County
Oct. 1, 2010: Radio in York County: Memories of Q-106
Dec. 28, 2010: More on York County’s radio history
Feb. 11, 2011: Radio history intertwined with one family’s personal history
Feb. 15, 2011: A blast from the past: A 1970 photo of one of our readers

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