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Springfield's Radio Days Remembered By Historical Society

Clark County Historical Society/Wayne Baker

The local radio stations that once flourished in Clark County have been gone for twenty-five or more, but they have not been forgotten. The Clark County Historical Society recently hosted an event that took a look back.

Cox media journalist Darryl Bauer emceed the event that covered Springfield's radio heydey - the 1920s through the 1990s. Five stations; dominated the airwaves playing everything from Christian programming to soul music.

Credit Wayne Baker
A panel of former radio personalities discussed the heydey of broadcasting in Clark County.

Former radio personalities were on hand to share with the audience stories about Jonathan Winters and Rod Serling, who both were behind the mike in Springfield. Dick Hatfield was one of the top DJs in the 1960s. He played a few audio clips from that era.

Hatfield also discussed Robert Yontz, known as Smilin' Bob. He says Yontz was one of the most popular personalities on the air - known for using funny phrases to entertain kids. He referred to his young listeners as "hinky dinks."

"He has, this is the honest to God's truth, on his tombstone at Calvary (Cemetery), raised letters across the bottom, 'see you later alligator.' That's no kidding," Hatfield said.

There are no stations operating in Springfield now. WEEC still calls Springfield home, but the station moved its operations to Xenia after merging with Dayton's WFCJ.

Hatfield couldn't resist giving a sign off for old time's sake.

"WBLY concluding another day of broadcast activity.  If you go out this evening, take a bath and wear clean underwear, you might get hit by a car," he said.