Hey kids, it’s me! Bobby Katzen. I’m at the age where the first thing in the morning I read are obituaries. If I don’t see my name listed, I get out of bed and start the day. (Insert rim shot here).
I’m a proud and loyal Baby Boomer through and through. I loved growing up in the 50s, 60s and 70s. My household consisted of Mom and Dad, me, my two older brothers and Bootsie, the best dog in the whole wide world. The TV show “The Wonder Years” in many ways depicted my life growing up on the “mean streets” of Marblehead, Massachusetts. I love hosting my show that brings back great memories of those special decades for Boomers and Gen Xers.
My first business was at age 10 when I invented the very, very small startup business “The Bagel Boys,” a Sunday morning bagel route. My brother and I delivered bagels door-to-door in my little Radio Flyer wagon. We charged five cents per bagel (discounted to 50 cents for a dozen) plus a 10-cent delivery charge. I was light years ahead of Johnny-come-latelies like Grubhub and DoorDash. I also had a paper route at the same time. By the way, Mrs. (redacted for legal reasons) you still owe me $22.15 (plus 50+ years of interest) that you never paid me for delivering the Boston Evening Globe (there were several editions of the Globe each day in those days) to your doorstep every day for years until I finally cut you off for non-payment.
Another business venture in my early years was a sidewalk candy store. We bought the candy wholesale from a family friend in the candy business and sold it at retail. Can you say wax lips, fireballs and pixie sticks?
My next-door neighbor Laurie Schwartz and I started Law-Kat Detectives, a (very) fledgling detective agency when we were in our early teens. We obviously watched too many detective shows on TV. We took on one case and then closed up shop. We were suspicious that a neighbor who lived on the next street over had shades on his garage windows and no one could see what was in his garage. We figured it was something nefarious. After some sleuthing, we couldn’t crack the case, so we rang his doorbell and simply asked him why he had the shades. He said it was to keep the sun off of his car. Case closed. Move over, Perry Mason.
When I was 14 and in junior high school, I won a record from Phil Durkin, the disc jockey who deejayed our 8th grade school graduation dance. I had to go to his radio station, WMLO in Danvers, in person to pick up the 45, and once I saw my first radio studio, I was hooked on the idea of being on the radio myself. The usual story: I hung around, swept the floor, emptied the baskets and gophered for the DJs. One day the news guy didn’t show up and I filled in, and that became my big opportunity — my first time on the air! I eventually got my own Saturday morning music show and I adopted the radio moniker “Bob the K” since it was really cool to have a radio name at the tender age of 15. I then started a mobile disc jockey business, playing at thousands of bar and bas mitzvahs, birthdays, weddings, graduations, pool parties and a bris or two (OK, I made the part up about the bris.)
Eventually, I went to college at American University in Washington, D.C. at the height of the pro-drug, anti-Vietnam War revolution and we were at all the marches, parades, rallies and anti-war demonstrations. I don’t remember a lot of the details. You know what they say, “If you remember the 60s, you are lying, and you weren’t there.” (Wink, wink).
Later, I moved back to Boston and did my final two-year “sentence” at BU where I majored in political science. I worked in politics for several years for a congressman on the North Shore and on many political campaigns. In 1975, I started a company I still own today: Beacon Hill Roll Call. We provide more than 200 newspapers across Massachusetts with a weekly report of what’s going on in state government up on Beacon Hill, including how their local state representatives and senators are voting on the important issues of the day.
In 2018, I was honored to be nominated and voted in as a member of the prestigious New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA) Hall of Fame. NENPA is the professional trade organization for 450 daily, weekly and specialty newspapers in New England. When you get old, you get considered for stuff like this.
I also did several more talk radio stints in Boston on WRKO, WMRE and WITS. I co-wrote and produced “Don’t Touch that Dial”—a live stage show at Nick’s Comedy Stop, spoofing 50 years of TV shows.
I love life (every day is a gift), the Red Sox (I have season tickets and bought a set of actual green seats when the Sox ripped them out and installed new ones), humor, music, debates, and 24-hour news.
My life often resembles a Seinfeld episode, and I just love that show. Other “faves” include Andy Griffith, (Did you know that Andy’s aunt’s name was spelled Aunt Bee — with two E’s?) Add a dash of Dick Van Dyke, Leave it to Beaver, Me-TV and “Airplane” (the movie) and you have a delish recipe. “Surely you’re kidding. No, I’m not kidding and don’t call me Shirley.”
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Never, never, never give up.”
– Winston Churchill
“Be ashamed to die before you have won some battle for humanity.”
– Horace Mann
“What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it’s all about?”
– From a bumper sticker
Blah, blah, blah. Enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do YOU think about ME? Haha!
show debut: June 6, 2020
Hey everyone, I'm George and I am the producer the Bob Katzen Baby Boomer and Gen X (Radio) Show. You might hear me on a segment called "George's Pop Culture Potpourri" where I discuss a random topic pertaining to the music, television shows, films, literature, celebrity & historic figures, or products defined and associated with the Baby Boomer and / or Gen X eras.
show debut: January 24, 2021
Information to Come.
Information to Come
show debut: 2021
Information to Come.
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show debut: June 13, 2020
Benny Rabi is a producer on the Bob Katzen Baby Boomer Gen-x Variety Show.
Ben was the original WMEX Board operator and liazon who helped launch what is now being hailed as the show of the millennium. Ben is not as funny as Bob Kat but he likes to try!
You never know when Ben will pop up but its always fun to have him on the Katzen Crew.
guest appearance: October 25, 2020
I’ve been playing and writing music ever since I can remember. Born in upstate New York, I began playing in bands by the time I was 13. I even played at the New York World’s Fair in both 1964 and 1965.
show debut: June 27, 2020
Born and raised a Michigan farm boy, I moved to Boston after college close to 40 years ago. I am a graduate of Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, where I studied music composition. Naturally, I have done little with that degree. I do remember riding my bike around the Tuscola county countryside as a pre-teen, composing movie soundtracks in my mind to films that had yet to be imagined. TMI? I have been an elementary school teacher, a law office manager, a music store clerk and a cheese monger, of sorts.
show debut: August 1, 2020
Hello channel surfers. I'm the sharp witted retro-TV reviewer for the Bob Katzen show. I enjoy watching reruns of old TV shows as a living window into the past. I've always felt the characters' dialog, fashion, expressions, and day-to-day problems have been a fascinating look back at human history. Analyzing the writing of the old shows, the politics behind them, and pointing out things that were innovative (good or bad) for their time are things I love looking for when watching old TV shows.
show debut: August 23, 2020
I was a fan of pop music from the time I could put a 45 rpm record on my little RCA Victor record player. As I recall, the first record I would play was “Personality” by Lloyd Price, and I would sing along until my mom would stop me from playing it over and over. That was in 1960.
show debut: September 13, 2020
A quintessential child of the ‘60s and ‘70s, I was born in Boston, raised in Milton, and went to high school in Norwood.
show debut: January 24, 2021
I am a Baby Boomer through and through. Rumors I was born in a log Cabin or a manger are not true. In truth, I spent my first months above my dad’s doctor’s office in South Boston where we lived. Well, to be more accurate I was born in Saint Margaret’s Hospital in Dorchester because I wanted to be close to my mother… (insert rim shot here).
Soon after we moved to Quincy where I spent my “Leave it to Beaver”- type childhood. I was even the younger brother just like the Beav. My brother actually had a friend who I swear was the model for Eddie Haskell even though he was a double for Paul Newman.
Even though our Quincy home was in a suburban area there was a huge open field next to it. The owner of the land let the grass grow into hay and by late July or early August he would bring in large baling equipment to bale the hay into bundles. I can still smell the fresh cut hay. It was an ideal childhood as if I grew up on a farm. Actually, my family home was built on land once owned by John Adams and neighbored Peace Field, the National Historic site and home of both John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. I think that proximity piqued my interest in history and politics at an early age.
My early education began at a local parochial school, the Quincy Public Schools and then Thayer Academy in Braintree. Thayer is famous for many reasons but it is known as the school John Cheever, the famous author, spent his formative years even though he was expelled for smoking in the basement.
From Thayer it was on to UMass where I doubled majored in political science and English. I also attended Suffolk University Law School until Uncle Sam had other ideas.
After a few twists and turns and a tedious stay as a trust administrator at the Old Colony Trust Division of the First National Bank of Boston, I headed in the direction I always intended – broadcasting and the media.
Because my ancestors did not arrive on the Mayflower, my trust-banking career had an immediate crimp. The fact that my grandfather Domenico, was sent to Boston from New York City to open a bank by his friend Amedeo Peter Giannini who started The Bank of America, was irrelevant in that old Yankee bastion that was The First National Bank of Boston.
Soon thereafter I used my English lit background to begin my media broadcasting career as an advertising copywriter for several Boston radio stations. By pure serendipity that put me in contact with Jerry Williams who when he was in the process of returning to Boston from Miami asked me to become his executive producer of his six days a-week, four hours a-day-talk show on WRKO Radio. It was an experience of a lifetime.
Later when the opportunity arose in 1986, I was hired by WMRE Radio 1510 to host my own evening talk show on that station. It was located in the original old WMEX studio in the Fenway location with the same old broadcasting equipment from the 1950s. Even though that station would soon fall into bankruptcy the experience made me realize even before the station went off the air that I enjoyed working behind the scene more than in front of the microphone… but still do not put a microphone in front of me because I am still a talker.
From there I went to teach speech and media studies at the college level and finally took several positions as the Director of Communications for several not-for-profit organizations.
In the past year, I completed and published my first novel, “Portals,” which is a novel of historical fiction that brings to life the critical nine months between the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22,1963 and the alleged Gulf of Tonkin Incident on August 2, 1964 which precipitated the United States’ accelerated entry into the War in Vietnam.
Now I am a happy contributor of my “Do You Remember” segment to the Bobby Katzen Baby Boomer and Gen X Show on the new WMEX. Each time I’m on the show, we take a trip down Memory Lane and I will tell you the fun and nostalgic history of things like the hula hoop, 45 records, The Hilltop Steakhouse, Howard Johnson’s, Adventure Car Hop and more!
“See you” on the radio…
show debut: September 20, 2020
most recent appearance: January 10, 2021
Hey! I'm the new kid in town here at the Bob Katzen show. I am a recent grad of Curry College where I finished with a degree in television production, ironic isn't it? My goal is to use my old soul to egg on a younger generation of radio listeners and get them to appreciate music, film, and pop culture from the 50's, 60's, and 70's just as much as I do.
At WMEX, I am a producer for the Joe McMilian show every weekday from 2-6 so tune in! On the Bob Katzen Show, I am an assistant producer and also manage the phones. You can hear my segment “Where are they Now” where I take a deep dive on the stars of the past and check up on what they are up to nowadays.
Outside of radio, I enjoy watching soccer (go Liverpool!), collecting and listening to records, and nerding out about films to whoever will listen. I hope to stay in the media production industry, radio or TV, and learn as much as I can. Maybe one day I'll have my own show!
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