During my college years, I was fortunate to intern for one semester at New York City's premier country radio station that was located at the base of Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan. WHN 1050 AM was a 50,000 watt powerhouse as they enjoyed a 14 year run by entertaining their audiences with traditional and classic country music plus they mixed in "crossover" artists that included Elvis Presley, The Eagles, Roy Orbison, Olivia Newton-John, Jim Croce, Buddy Holly, Rick Nelson and Vicki Lawrence, just to name a few (the list goes on and on as this extra spice of pop-A/C music was the key in keeping New Yorkers tuned in to their unique band of the format as the move resulted in top 10 numbers during ratings sweeps)

WHN's News Director, Gene Ladd was a seasoned professional in broadcasting. He was what we call in our business, a traditionalist from "the old school" as his afternoon newscasts were presented in a unique style and each local story painted a picture. He was a no-nonsense news writer who had a way with words and did not believe in embellishment when it came to focusing on a story that was included in his daily agenda. He practiced what Jack Webb preached on "Dragnet": "Just the facts, Just the facts".

I am proud to announce Gene has written a book that focuses not only on his radio career, but his life in general.as his latest literary effort is titled "Lamentations Of An Old Hillbilly". He was born in the mountains of western North Carolina as we are transported to his childhood days where he led a simple, traditional life while slowly embarking towards his ultimate goal: broadcast media. His journey also teaches us a valuable lesson that faith is rewarded as life truly presents challenges but with a little bit of help from The Good Lord we can get by some of these so-called setbacks.

Gene also focuses on his post-broadcasting days as the book includes poetry, lessons, documentations and segments about life. I am happy to say, Gene is STILL going strong at the age of 85, he has earned the moniker of "Hoss" (named after Dan Blocker's character on the classic western "Bonanza").

His dynamic prowess and dispensing of wisdom was a true asset for me personally as he took me under his wing during my time at WHN as he gave me sage advice prior to the start of my radio career. Ironically, he told me to apply at my 1st professional job at WCKL-AM in neighboring Catskill, New York and his reference to my future Program Director was instrumental in getting my radio career up and running in 1983 and that was one year after I worked side by side with him in my ol' hometown.

A BIG THANK YOU, Gene. I learned SO much about the fundamentals of broadcasting which are STILL instilled to this day. It is such a joy that Hoss will join me for a special WSBS Saturday Morning Chat immediately following the 11 o'clock news.

Tune in to 860 AM OR 94.1 FM, listen LIVE on line by going here and while you are on our web site, click the LISTEN tab and scroll down to WSBS on Alexa OR WSBS on Google Home for step-by-step instructions to enable your Smart Speaker device. Download the FREE WSBS app at your local app store OR Google Play to your tablet, Smart Phone OR mobile device and take us along wherever you GO: Remember: "WE ARE PORTABLE"

Feel free to send Gene (aka Hoss) an e-mail. He would LOVE to hear from you at any time: gene.ladd@usa.net

LOOK: Here are the best small towns to live in across America


More From WSBS 860AM