If you have been a broadcaster, Herb Day says, you always have to broadcast. So after a few years away from nearly 45 years in the business, he is back at it again. On Monday the longtime local radio personality launched Herb Day Radio, an online station that can be found at www.herbdayradio.com.
“Having left radio and doing voice-overs at my home studio, I had a lot of time to think and look at other things people are doing around the country,” Day said. “I think this internet radio is a great springboard, we need local service in this area, and that’s what I’ve started.”
The station plays ’50s, ’60s and ’70s “fun oldies rock ‘n’ roll like Elvis, the Beatles, Frankie Avalon, Frankie Valli with The Four Seasons, Elton John, Rod Stewart and more, mixed with a lot of local content with local personalities who share memories of things like their favorite cars, childhood memories or favorite summer,” Day said. “I’m just trying to create a feel of that endless summer and times you’d like to go back to.”
Herb Day Radio is online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Soon, Day said, listeners will able to download an app for the station.
When he decided to run with his idea, Day said he was going to go with classic country music. “But you can get that anywhere,” he said. “My wife said, ‘Why don’t you go with old-time rock ‘n’ roll?’ I got to looking around and almost no one had it.”
Because he didn’t want to seem conceited or self-serving, Day said he originally didn’t want to call the station Herb Day Radio.
“But my wife said, ‘Wait a minute. Everyone around here knows you, so why not use that?’ It’s not that Herb Day is in love with Herb Day,” he laughed.
September will mark Day’s 45th year in the radio business. He said he always wanted to be a singer and play music, and even had those thoughts while he was in high school. But he knew the music business was tough, and that he should have a plan B. He’d grown up listening to what he called several great broadcasters on Hillsboro’s WSRW, and eventually told himself, “Man, I can do that. The more I explored it, the more I went for it.”
So he hit the road, traveling all over state looking for someone to give him a chance. After many rejections, his first break came when he stopped by WCNE FM, a little radio station operated out of Clermont Northeastern High School that he stumbled across after he’d been turned down again elsewhere. With a little bending of the rules and help from one of his teachers at Whiteoak High School — the late Bob Patton — Day got a little air time on WCNE along with funding to help obtain his broadcasting license.
He graduated from high school in May of 1975 and one month later landed a job at WCHO in Washington C.H. He was there until August that year when Willard Parr at WSRW finally gave him a chance.
“What a time it was — fun, heart-breaking, scary, all those things,” Day said. “It’s not something you get rich doing, but what a ride it’s been.”
The new station can be reached at 937-661-6110.
“I feel that with the advent of big corporate radio that the radio landscaped changed, and I wanted to return to the roots of hometown radio with a big-time feel, but without the cookie-cutter feel,” Day said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.