The New Jersey Radio Museum

Preserving New Jersey Radio History

Archive for the ‘NJRM’ Category

Posted by njrm on August 2, 2020

All of us are living in a new Covid-19 dominated environment.  As everyone masks-up, live radio and TV are being originated from  living rooms, recreation rooms, perhaps even bathrooms!

This is also a challenge for radio as we know it – a challenge to do better and return to service in the public interest, convenience and necessity.  For some stations, especially local ones, it is a matter of survival and re-defining themselves for the audience they were meant to serve.  Before Covid-19, the overall radio climate and perception of competition did a “180.”  It used to be that we never, ever mentioned another radio station’s call letters or talked about their programming, competition was so stiff for the listeners’ ears.  That 180 change has been necessitated by fierce competition from other media, including the internet, on-line radio, and endless permutations of Facebook, Twitter and sub-sets of the main genres.  We are now realizing the need to promote each other on the busy, busy shared radio dial, giving equal weight to the biggest of the big sharing space with local stations running lower power and concentrating on their own audiences.

Through the kind courtesy of WCBS-AM (880) Anchor Wayne Cabot, here is a unique story, where the biggest of the big – possibly one of the most consistently successful radio stations in the NYC market has reached out with an incredible story that originated from a local New Jersey station licensed to Hackettstown.  Listen carefully – this story has heart – REAL heart to make you believe.  Thank you, fellow New Jerseyan, Wayne Cabot and WCBS NewsRadio 880 for a wonderful story.  Now, this is what radio is all about!

Click here:  WCBS report

Rich Phoenix, RMC
New Jersey Radio Museum President

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Herbert W. Hobler, WHWH radio

Posted by njrm on August 16, 2019

We have been made aware of the passing of a New Jersey Radio pioneer, Herbert W. Hobler, co-founder of WHWH radio in Princeton, and former owner of  WPST Trenton.

In 2011, Big Jay Sorensen had the pleasure of interviewing him. That interview is available: Interview with Herbert Hobler, WHWH and WPST Station History

Rest in Peace, Herb.


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R.I.P. Charles Blanding (12/11/1947-04/22/2018)

Posted by njrm on April 25, 2018

This week, we lost a local radio broadcaster, a founder of the NJ Radio Museum, and a friend of many of us: Charles Blanding died after suffering a medical emergency at the  Radio Technology Museum in Wall Township, New Jersey where he regularly served as a docent.

Charles was the Chief Engineer for News 12 New Jersey from 2007 until his retirement several years ago. Prior to that, he engineered at USA Network and served as Chief Engineer at Lunar video. He also worked in New Jersey radio as an engineer and a disc jockey at WJDM and WPAT in the sixties and seventies. He lived in Cranford, New Jersey, graduated from Cranford High School in 1965 and received an Associates Degree in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from RCA Institute New York in 1970.

In his retirement, Charles was an enthusiastic collector and restorer of vintage electronics, specializing in early transistor radios. He made several informative and entertaining technical presentations to the club since becoming a member a few years ago. He also curated a large collection of radio station airchecks dating back to the early 1960s and the dawn of the golden age of FM radio in the New York area.

A memorial service is planned for the end of May.

You can also hear some airchecks from his collection that feature Charles back in his radio DJ days:

Posted in NJRM | 1 Comment »

Carl Van Orden, NJRM Co-Founder

Posted by njrm on June 24, 2015

Dear Museos:
I am deeply saddened to advise of the passing, yesterday, of NJRM Co-Founder and Chairman Carl Van Orden at his home in the Poconos, as reported to me by his wife, Joyce Van Orden. It was Carl who was amongst the first with the vision that there should be a museum in tribute to New Jersey Radio, its inventors, innovators, talents and what it took to successfully compete with radio reaching the Garden State from the NYC and Philadelphia radio markets.
Carl deserves credit for not only his pioneering spirit in the founding of New Jersey Radio Museum, but in assuring that NJRM would continue in an upward trajectory as membership grew, the collection matured and permanent museum space was secured to help us all tell the story of NJ radio history. For years, we have maintained a vibrant website and served as an expert voice when approached for historic NJ radio facts or for a seminar or lecture about the Garden State’s remarkable radio history which has not only touched but influenced the medium and the entire world around us.
At present, details regarding any memorial activities for Carl are unavailable, although we are told by Joyce that our co-founder, Carl, was coherent and thoughtful as the end approached, and he wished most sincerely and deeply that it would not be an overly mournful occasion.
As NJ Radio Museum President, I am hoping that we all join together in redoubling our efforts to move Carl’s dream forward to not only increase its on-line presence but secure permanent display space for not only our collection but functional interactive demonstration of what has made New Jersey radio unique over its 100-year history. Please join me in prayers for Carl’s widow and family.
Your faithful servant,
Richard K. Phoenix, RMC
New Jersey Radio Museum President

Posted in NJRM | 3 Comments »

Posted by njrm on January 30, 2015

For all of you kind friends of the NJ Radio Museum who have dialed up, I must say that you were treated to a couple of hours of a fellow AlbumZone Programme Presenter entertaining you in my stead. As I alluded above, on-line international radio which makes very pleasant listening presents its own logistical challenge, and is often a juggling act. In this case, my producer, friend, AlbumZone Founder and “Guvnah,” Johnny Reece encountered transmission problems between New Jersey and London in our efforts to produce a new and exciting “Flight of the Phoenix” for our mutual listening pleasure. What with the 5-hour time difference between NJ and the UK, we were further hampered in making the deadline for tonight’s webcast. You are being treated to the voice of Johnny Reece, himself, who was my entre to the wonderful world of AlbumZone better than 15 years ago. Johnny is an air personality of exceedingly deep musical knowledge of many genres and has communication skills the likes of which are rarely experienced elsewhere on the web or in terrestrial radio of the 21st century. My first experience in hearing Johnny Reece on the radio pre-dated web radio when the BBC and Merlin Network One in the UK sub-contracted him and AlbumZone to supply programming to the BBC shortwave transmitters girdling the globe. Through the crackling and selective fading which frequently plagues shortwave broadcasting, the voice of Johnny Reece and the AlbumZone rang true for me, a radio aficionado who felt that he had heard it all until that moment some 17 years ago, when a great talent presented himself to this New Jersey-based shortwave listener. They were “live” from London with multiple megawatts of terrestrial radio power – wow! Next step was a transatlantic phone call from our front porch, for it was a warm weather time of year – a lovely New Jersey evening. An immediate friendship was formed, I sent an aircheck of a 1971-vintage Flight of the Phoenix, and was invited to join the remarkable individuals comprising That’s where to go if you wish further information on our unique radio enterprise. The AlbumZone podcast may be found at if you would wish to experience some historic programming of the past few years, including a good sampling of several AlbumZone talents, myself included as well as a selection of several ground-breaking “live” shows that cut through the 5-hour time differential and, via Skype, linked us all in a roundtable music fest and mutual music trivia contest. Radio Caroline is our very latest 21st century affiliate of the AlbumZone. They have been pioneering alternative free radio for over 50 years, now, going back to several incarnations of shipboard, offshore radio. In the meanwhile, enjoy and thanks for listening! … Rock ON! Rich Phoenix, RMC – NJRM President.

Posted in NJRM | 3 Comments »


Posted by njrm on January 30, 2015

I’m pleased to report that your NJRM President, Rich Phoenix, will be heard as an AlbumZone Programme Presenter at at 9:00 p.m. eastern time on Friday evening, 30 January 2015.

This is the renowned England-based Radio Caroline on which the popular feature film “The Boat that Rocked” also known as “Pirate Radio” was based. Caroline was named by its founders after Caroline Kennedy to represent free radio for the new generation of the mid-’60s when most British radio eschewed the music of the popular “Invasion” groups that dominated the Stateside airwaves of the time.

Caroline was amongst a group of “pirate stations” that set up shipboard radio operations in international waters and aimed and tailored their programming at the British Isles and the Continent. British lawmakers developed legislation meant to sink the “pirates,” Caroline included, but the operators of Caroline and many other such stations resourcefully found their way around the regulations and continued broadcasting for years.

This generation of Caroline consists of many of the original shipboard air personalities from those times, and broadcasts are originated ‘round the clock in full stereo via the internet. Of the many on-line webcasters, Caroline maintains multiple robust streams receivable on many devices via a wide range of internet connections, from dial-up to all broadband services.

Rich Phoenix, NJRM President, has been a fan of free radio for years, and originally signed on years ago with The AlbumZone, an on-line programme supplier/station operated by Johnny Reece from studios in London. AlbumZone has enjoyed a colourful history, originating broadcasts heard via stations in the US, France, Slovakia and Radio Caroline, itself, amongst others.

AlbumZone’s recent history has included live on-line webcasts featuring programme hosts from the UK, Scandinavia and New Jersey with Phoenix, himself, serving as a Programme Host, live from New Jersey. These unique live on-line programmes have been met with great enthusiasm from the four corners of the world.

Phoenix, NJRM President, maintains that these special live broadcasts represent 21st century radio at its logical next incarnation, involving an international audience tuned in simultaneously to multiple internet platforms and servers, including the popular which carries countless independent, “free” and government-operated radio stations as diverse as many terrestrial American stations, the BBC, the Voice of Russia (now known as Sputnik Radio) and Radio Caroline itself. TuneIn is accessible via home computers, iPhones and SmartPhones worldwide. AlbumZone also maintains its own website: by which its archive server can be accessed ‘round the clock and a separate podcast site:

Following Friday’s pioneering Radio Caroline webcast, the broadcast will be available on demand at the Mixcloud website. Happy listening, all – and thanks to AlbumZone and Radio Caroline for your belief in a Yank from New Jersey and the New Jersey Radio Museum!

Rock On!

Rich Phoenix, RMC
NJRM President

Posted in NJRM | 2 Comments »

NJRM co-founder and General Secretary George Laurie

Posted by njrm on September 20, 2014

We are greatly saddened to report on the death of NJRM co-founder and General Secretary George Laurie.

George C. Laurie passed away in Dover on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. He was 69 years old.George is survived by his wife of 31 years, Lynn E. (Acker) Laurie of Dover, NJ. He is also survived by his children, Sean Conrad Laurie of Dover, and Blair Alyssa Laurie of NY City. His brothers, Frank Laurie of Lake Hopatcong, and Robert Laurie of Randolph also survive him.Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 at 10 a.m. at Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Ave, Denville, NJ 07834. Interment will follow at Restland Memorial Park in East Hanover. Friends may visit at the funeral home on Monday from 2 to 4 & 7 to 9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dover Area Historical Society, P.O.Box 609 Dover, NJ 07802. Please light a candle in his memory at

This website is dedicated to George and the sidebars have gone black in his honor.  Our heartfelt prayers to George’s family and friends.

Posted in NJRM | 1 Comment »


Posted by njrm on August 30, 2013


Vintage photographs and stories of

New Jersey Radio!


Do you have archives of old photographs or vintage postcards? Are you knowledgeable about this unique aspect of New Jersey’s history? Would you like to help preserve your state’s fascinating history?

State resident Rich Phoenix and President of the New Jersey Radio Museum is currently compiling a photographic history of New Jersey Radio and is looking for your help!

He is assembling historic images of New Jersey Radio’s history and the stories that go with them to include in an upcoming book to be published by Arcadia Publishing, the nation’s leading publisher of local and regional history.

To share your photographs and stories, please contact Rich Phoenix at by December 15, 2013.

Help keep local history alive!

Posted in NJRM | 2 Comments »

Passing of Minnie Phoenix, NJRM President’s Mother

Posted by njrm on March 26, 2013

I’m greatly saddened to report the passing of my Mom, Minnie Phoenix who joined my Dad in Heaven this morning (25 March) at 10:15 a.m. Mother lived in Watchung, New Jersey, a town neighbouring North Plainfield where I’m the Borough Clerk. My Dad passed in 2002. Carla and I moved Mother to North Plainfield in 2003. Arrangements will be local and are pending. We anticipate placing her obituary in The Star Ledger and the Courier-News. Your prayers for us will be greatly appreciated. Pictures, here, including both my Mom and Dad, were chosen on purpose as, in life, they were so loving and inseparable. Thanks in advance for your caring and support – Rich Phoenix, NJRM President
Photo: I'm greatly saddened to report the passing of my Mom, Minnie Phoenix who joined my Dad in Heaven this morning at 10:15 a.m.  Mother lived in Watchung, New Jersey, a town neighbouring North Plainfield where I'm the Borough Clerk.  My Dad passed in 2002.  Carla and I moved Mother to North Plainfield in 2003.  Arrangements will be local and are pending.  We anticipate placing her obituary in The Star Ledger and the Courier-News.  Your prayers for us will be greatly appreciated.  Pictures, here, including both my Mom and Dad, were chosen on purpose as, in life, they were so loving and inseparable.  Thanks in advance for your caring and support.
[NJRM sends our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to our president and friend Rich and his family]

Posted in NJRM | 4 Comments »

Dick Miller

Posted by njrm on January 31, 2013

I am greatly saddened to share the passing of a great New Jersey broadcaster who graced the airwaves of WMTR and WRAN as well as many other stations and media over the years.  

Dick Miller was a tremendously talented and engaging writer and raconteur with a joke to fit positively any situation.  I am certain that as I write, Dick has the angels falling off the clouds with laughter.  I will never forget our hours of “black line fever” on the phone trying to out-do each other, and his deep encouragement for NJRM and my continued internet radio ventures.  I will never forget his unstoppable laughter at our NJRM benefit show featuring Uncle Floyd.  Dick will be sadly missed by all broadcasters appreciative of real talent and, most of all, by his wonderful family.  For all wishing further details about our great, talented friend, please go to: 

Rich Phoenix, RMC
President, NJ Radio Museum

Posted in NJRM | 3 Comments »