John Nadeau

  • Years at WGBH: 1955-57
  • Position: Staff announcer

From John Nadeau — 12/2006

As a freelancer, I worked about 15 to 20 hours a week as a staff announcer at WGBH-FM-TV from the summer of 1955 to the summer of 1957. I was at the “old, old” facility at 84 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, opposite M.I.T. (Actually, I first auditioned at the “old, old, old” facility, a makeshift studio for radio-only in Symphony Hall.)

My assignment was mostly weekends and usually for the FM station, where I announced program continuity through the broadcast day, news, and the Boston Symphony Tanglewood concerts via tape delay during the summer months. During the academic year, I also did the New England Conservatory of Music concerts from Jordan Hall one or two evenings a week.

The people in charge were Parker Wheatley, until Ralph Lowell fired him and replaced him with Hartford Gunn, Bob Larsen, who was, I believe the program director, and Jordan Whitelaw, who produced the Symphony broadcasts. I reported directly to Bill Pierce, the chief announcer, who went on to do all the Symphony broadcasts when they became syndicated for national distribution. (It seemed as if he did them forever.) All these people are, of course, no longer with us.

Not a very long career, but I remember the WGBH association fondly. I sometimes regret that the station never found full-time employment for me. Even in its horse-and-buggy days, everything was done to the very highest standards.

From John Nadeau—3/2007

I went on the announce for the Concert Network, a going concern at the time. It broadcast classical music into the ’60s for most of New England and New York City and included WBCN and WNCN, both still around. I also taught English to high school and college students for several years, including a Fulbright year in England. Most of my career was in marketing communications for financial services organizations.

There was another Nadeau who held forth on the FM station for many years, Roland Nadeau, who had a nice program called, I believe, “Notes on Music.” No relation. When I was living in Boston, I occasionally got a phone call meant for him, usually a request for information about piano lessons. (If the caller sounded like an attractive young lady, I tried to keep her on the line.)

I do have my Boston memories.

  • [intlink id=”1054″ type=”post”]Essay: In a World All Its Own (1955)[/intlink]

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