Arthur Hoiles, one of six children of businessman Frank A. Hoiles, used his father's initials to name and start radio station WFAH in Alliance, Ohio in 1947. Initially, the station, located in the former family residence at the corner of S. Union Ave. and Milton St., was heard on the FM dial only; a sister AM operation was added in 1953.
A number of years later, WFAH moved to Smythe Ave. (near the northern edge of Alliance).
As part of its programming through the decades, WFAH offered a varied selection of recorded music, including big bands, from its LP library.
Given their own room in the Smythe Ave. building, discs were filed by a simple numbering system [ ex: LP 3197 Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra featuring Jimmy Dorsey, "Sentimental and Swinging," Columbia CL 1240 ]. Access to them was mostly by two types of index cards: one filed alphabetically under the artist's name with complete contents of the LP, and the other by individual song title.
Eventually, the records numbered over 12,000, but as music offerings changed, they became little-used. Small quantities were donated to a few local charities to sell at benefits, then, prompted by remodeling plans around 1983, the remainder were sold.
A special element of the WFAH LP Collection were the pre-printed cards which came during 1957-58 from RCA Victor. Besides artist and song titles, the cards gave publisher, licensing information, and song timings, and, on the reverse side, indicated two "plug" tunes (that is, ones which RCA recommended that disc jockeys feature) and provided a general description of the album. Examples are shown below:
LP 2623 Glenn Miller, "The Glenn Miller Carnegie Hall Concert," RCA Victor LPM-1506 LP 2667 Artie Shaw, "Any Old Time," RCA Victor LPM-1570 LP 2836 The New Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Ray McKinley, "Something Old,
Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue," RCA Victor LPM-1678
LP 2967 Glenn Miller, "Marvelous Miller Medleys," RCA Victor LOP-1005 LP 2989 Vaughn Monroe, "There I Sing/Swing It Again," RCA Victor LPM-1799
"FEEDBACK AND FOLLOW-UP"
I heard from Bob Ballantine, a former United States Coast Guard member and retiree from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, who sent a recollection of WFAH in 1955 when it was on S. Union Ave., then and now one of
the city's main streets:
" . . . I spent one summer in Alliance as a boy with my aunt
and uncle and going past the station daily is a memory I
cherish still today, that building was amazingly well kept
and I could see personnel from the windows from the street
busily doing their duties . . . "
- Bob Ballantine
WFAH is still in operation, but with different programming and call letters. It's now WDPN.
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