Personalities

WISL HALL OF FAME: Bernie Romanoski

  • October 7, 2016
WISL HALL OF FAME: Bernie Romanoski

The Anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania has produced some of the finest athletes our country has known. In high school football, our schools are frequent winners of regional and state championships and nobody knew those teams and their coaches better than Bernie Romanoski. No WISL Hall of Fame entry would be complete without a little background history. Bernie was born on August 25th 1922, was a 1941 graduate of Coal Township High School and was a lifelong resident of the Shamokin-Coal Township area. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and reached the rank of Sergeant. He served in both...

Read more

Tom Kutza Interviews Clarke Ingram January 30th 1992 ***RARE VIDEO***

  • June 28, 2016

One of the things we love here at WISLRadioHistory.com is finding a long forgotten tape of WISL when it was live and local. Hearing the disc jockey banter, the voices of the callers, the subject matter and advertisers gives us an incredible look into not only how the radio station sounded, but also the community that it served. Today, however, we have a very special opportunity, the chance to actually watch WISL Radio in action! The date was January 30th 1992 and Tom Kutza has a special guest on his daily talk show. On this program Tom welcomes Clarke Ingram, veteran radio personality to the WISL...

Read more

Annie and Willie’s Prayer

  • December 25, 2014

Tom Kutza has always loved the Christmas season, and being on the air at WISL he had the opportunity to share with his listeners the sentimental side of the holiday. Each year you would be guaranteed to hear songs such as Johnny Cash's "The Christmas Guest", Kate Smith's "Happy Birthday, Dear Christ Child" and many others. There were also spoken word pieces such as John Facenda's reading of "The Nativity" and "The Story of Small One" but the Christmas tradition that was most dear to Kutza, came from his own heart; his own reading of "Annie and Willie's Prayer." This poem was written by Sophia...

Read more

The Story of “Letters To Santa”

  • December 22, 2014
The Story of “Letters To Santa”

  Growing up in the Shamokin and Mount Carmel area, it's likely that when you hear someone say "Letters To Santa" it brings a warm feeling to your heart. It may bring back memories of preparing your letter for Santa, probably with the help of your Mother or Father, and then either mailing it to WISL Radio (a.k.a. The North Pole) or going with Mom or Dad to drop it off at a local business, who would make sure it would get to Santa, then racing home from school, or maybe waking up extra early to hear Santa Clause read your letter live on WISL Radio. The program was "Letters To Santa"...

Read more

“Dialing the DJ’s with TJ” Teen Life with Kutza and Flynn

  • November 19, 2014
“Dialing the DJ’s with TJ” Teen Life with Kutza and Flynn

In August of 1964, WISL radio and Shamokin were catching their piece of the national spotlight, (well at least on some level), in the pages of a well known teen magazine. That summer Teen Life Magazine brought their traveling record hop parade to town, just in time for Shamokin's 150th anniversary celebration. Teen Life Magazine had their own DJ, "cleverly" named T.J. who traveled from town to town across the United States hosting record hops, many times bringing a music star or two with him. This time, it was Shamokin's turn. Along with SMASH Records A&R man Doug Moody, T.J. met T.K,...

Read more

WISL HALL OF FAME: Tom Kalinowski a.k.a. Tom Kollins

  • November 7, 2014
WISL HALL OF FAME: Tom Kalinowski a.k.a. Tom Kollins

A couple months ago we were introduced to Tom Kollins and had the pleasure of spending some time on the phone reminiscing about his days at WISL. Tom provided a wealth of knowledge, some fascinating recordings and just plain good conversation. We are honored to present to you the Tom Kalinowski story. Thomas Kalinowski's involvement with WISL radio goes back farther than anyone we have been able to interview for the WISL Hall of Fame. He was only 12 years old in 1948 when he auditioned with the Kelly Bogetti Orchestra for a live music spot at the station. Tom says that Kelly Bogetti billed...

Read more

A Big Mac Contest on WISL

  • October 1, 2014
A Big Mac Contest on WISL

This is how McDonald's was getting the Big Mac sandwich into the minds of millions of customers in the Mid 1970's. The original concept, "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions - on a sesame seed bun" began as a simple single word heading designed for college newspapers, but quickly grew into a song, a television advertisement and a promotion that had radio listeners trying to say the ingredients as fast as they could for a chance to win prizes. While many still remember the slogan today, the original campaign was ended in 1976, after a mere year and a half run. The...

Read more

The Badlees Interviewed on WISL-FM May 4th 1994

  • August 27, 2014
The Badlees Interviewed on WISL-FM May 4th 1994

The Badlees were perhaps one of the most successful rock bands to come from Central Pennsylvania in the early to mid 1990's. The band officially formed in 1990. Their debut EP "It Ain't For You" had received critical acclaim in Billboard Magazine and The Album Network. The positive response to their initial commercial offering awarded them a chance to open for the Band Firehouse at an appearance in Harrisburg. In 1992 the bands first full length album was released entitled "Diamonds in the Coal." Their commercial peak came in 1995 when the band signed with A&M Record's Polydor/Atlas label....

Read more

If You’re Going to Shamokin – a sonnet by Pete Wambach

  • July 4, 2014
If You’re Going to Shamokin – a sonnet by Pete Wambach

For Shamokin's 125th Anniversary celebration, Pete Wambach was brought to town by WISL's Tom Kutza to do what he did best, talk. For this special occasion, Pete chose to write a sonnet encompassing everything it meant live, breathe, eat and die in Shamokin. The sonnet was delivered by Pete at the 125th Anniversary Banquet on Friday August 25th 1989 and printed in the News-Item that weekend. 25 years later, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of our city, it's appropriate to bring back Pete's wonderful words. A special thanks to Rose Broscius for locating and scanning these old newspaper...

Read more

It’s a Beautiful Day in “The Region” with Pete Wambach

  • July 2, 2014
It’s a Beautiful Day in “The Region” with Pete Wambach

If you grew up in Pennsylvania in the 1970's and 80's, and found yourself anywhere near a radio, it's a good bet that you have heard this man's voice. From 1969 through 1985 the words "It's a Beautiful Day In Pennsylvania" were delivered through the gravelly vocal chords of one Pete Wambach. During it's run, the radio feature program officially titled "This is Pennsylvania," was broadcast on more than 100 Pennsylvania radio stations. The idea was simple, each day Pete presented a little known fact about the state's history, some local trivia from a long forgotten corner of the state or a highlight...

Read more