Dave Moran - Broadcaster
It was 1958 and Dave Moran was 15 when he started his broadcast career at WBLU in Salem, Virginia. Moran knew the music young people wanted to hear. It was modern popular music and he played it daily from 1 to 4. On Saturdays Dave and his brother Dick would handle "Wolverine Turntable" a teen originated program with students from Andrew Lewis High School.
The next forty years Moran worked at numerous stations and became the owner of radio stations in Virginia and North Carolina and currently owns WKBA in Vinton and WKPA in Lynchburg. His friends referred to him as the "music man" with over 100,000 songs in his collection. In 1974 Dave formed "Beach Patrol". The format was what listeners of stations wanted to hear. The weather forecast, tide times, water temperature, and what group would be appearing at the beach. "Beach Patrol" was heard on stations in Alabama, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Tennessee.
According to Moran the station he enjoyed the most was WROV. "If you were a resident of Roanoke in sixties days, I don't have to tell you how WROV absolutely ruled the airways. The station used to run an announcement once an hour which said "WROV has more listeners than all other stations combined." And the amazing thing to me was, it wasn't just kids. Teenagers, men, women, geezers - I was constantly approached by people who wanted me to know they heard me on WROV and were regular listeners."
"But the "local star" status was only part of it. I had the opportunity to work with and hang out with guys like Fred Frelantz and Jack Fisher who were just as much fun off the air as they were on the air. Let me share with you just a few examples of how good it was."
"Fred and I were invited to an after-concert party one night at the Lakeview Motor Lodge. After the party, there were only four of us left, so we hung around and partied and shot the breeze until 3 am. Who were the four? Me, Fred, Andy Williams and Roger Miller."
"Another night, right in the middle of my air shift, promoter Pete Apostolou walked in unannounced with a guy he wanted me to interview. This was apparently about the time Little Richard started saying "shut up" to everything, but I got through the interview OK and he even remembered me when I saw him several years later."
"About a month after Little Richard, here comes Apostolou again with James Brown, "The Hardest Working Man In Show Business." (James had not yet been ordained "The Godfather of Soul"). I introduced James on the air by saying "and now, ladies and gentlemen, it is 'Star Time,' are you ready for "Star Time?" then went on, word for word, with the entire introduction from his 'Live at the Apollo' album. He was blown away that I could (and would) do this and even had me do it again for him before he left."
"Then there was August 5, 1965. It was my twenty-second birthday and Tom Jones (the biggest act in the world that summer) was in town for a concert and I had free tickets. But Fred and Jack were the emcees and somebody's got to work at the radio station, right, so guess who? After the concert, the station hot line rings and there's Fred and Jack and Tom Jones. They made him sing "Happy Birthday" to me over the air and then he wound up interviewing me! Asked me all about myself and acted genuinely interested!"
"And that's what working at WROV was like. It was the only radio station I know of where guys would leave bigger markets and higher pay just to work there. With over forty years in the broadcasting business behind me now, WROV was still the most "fun" place I ever worked."
In addition to broadcasting Dave was the longest serving captain of the Virginia Dare. "Running big boats is challenging and fun," Moran said, "and the lake has many faces you never tire of seeing. I really enjoyed my Dare experience, but decided to retire after 11 years at the helm so I'd have summer weekends free to enjoy the lake with family and friends."