Bill Bradshaw at his first radio job with WNVA, Norton, Virginia.
WNVA newscaster Bill Bradshaw.
Costumed as one of his favorite clowns from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus
with written permission from the clown himself, Bill Bradshaw gives an on-air performance.
Mr. Bradshaw as WNVA’s on-the-street reporter.
WCKY radio announcer and music show host Bradshaw.
Probably a WCKY phone-in contest. If you recognize this on-air “chef,” please let us know who he is.
Ralph Ilowite, W2GKG
These are the remarks of Rick Ilowite as he remembers his father, Ralph.
After a boyhood as an “electronics freak,” Ralph Ilowite (Nov. 8, 1919–May 2, 2008) started working at WNYC Radio in the early 1940s. Among his various duties were remote broadcasts, making recordings of jazz and big-band music in the NYC area, and such things as maintaining the studio and transmission facilities.
Dad joined WABC-TV in 1948 where he remained as a Technical Director until his retirement in 1983. While at ABC, he worked on a number of game shows and soap operas, and he has a credit on IMDb for the soap opera “A Time for Us.”
In addition to his radio and TV career, he had eclectic interests ranging from Amateur (Ham) Radio, to custom electronics, carpentry (before going into radio, he and my mother had owned a store in Brooklyn where he designed and built custom furniture, and many years later he added a room to our house), photography, film-making, and sailing.
When I was growing up, our house was full of TVs, radios, tape recorders and all sorts of custom gizmos he had built himself. Our basement was a sea of electronic parts which he’d sometimes swap with Les Paul, who lived nearby.
Dad was subpoenaed to testify before the HUAC, where he refused to answer questions under his Fifth Amendment rights. Subsequently, ABC tried to fire him, but the union (NABET) vigorously defended him and ABC ultimately gave up. A few years later when his Ham license came up for renewal, the FCC asked him to sign a loyalty oath. Dad refused, whereupon the Commission suspended his license. He sued, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. Since a ruling in his favor would have made it more difficult for the FCC to similarly persecute others, the commissioners gave in and issued his renewal one day before the Court was scheduled to rule on the case. So he won, but paid the price of having to suspend his favorite hobby for a few years.
Dad invented an electronic Morse code keyer that was sold by Hammarlund in the 60s.
In 1961 he recorded the calliope in the merry-go-round at Central Park, which was issued by Folkways Records as “Music of the Carousel,” Folkways FX-6128.
In 1976 he produced and directed a documentary film about the history of Ridgewood, New Jersey for its Bicentennial celebration.
Wini and Ralph Ilowite
Dad also did countless film, video, and audio recording projects for various civic, social, and volunteer organizations; usually for free or for only the cost of materials. And he could always be counted on to fix his friends’ radios and TVs whenever asked.
Along with my mom, Wini, he was also involved in civil rights and other social causes, mentoring students, and continuing volunteer work well into his retirement until age and health issues finally slowed him down.
—Rick Ilowite, August 2008