Big Time Radio
Under the ownership of Joe Amaturo and the energy and imagination of Program Director,
Michael O’Shea, Full-Service Adult Contemporary WFTL was the ultimate radio experience.
Thumper and Saps
On Charlie Warren’s popular Afternoon Drive Time show, with the help of his talented wife,
Linda, he produced daily comedy sketches like “Thumper The Swamp Beast” and recorded
songs such as “The One And Only Howard Hughes Will” and “Don’t Recall Us, We’ll Recall You”
about Lauderdhill’s mayor and city council (coverage: The Ft. Lauderdale News).
In reaction to a new device being installed on some government flagpoles to automate the
raising and lowering of flags, he formed his “Society Against Photosensitive Flag Poles” or
Charlie’s Halloween series about people’s experiences with the supernatural, “Some of My Best
Friends Are Haunted,” was nominated for “Entertainment Special of the Year” in the annual
Billboard Magazine Radio Awards.
Johnny Carson and Bob Hope
It was backstage at the Sunrise Musical Theater that Charlie met Johnny Carson prior to his
rare standup comedy show. And it was at WFTL that Charlie first met Bob Hope. Bob had a
habit of making impromptu promotional calls to radio stations prior to his on-stage
appearances. One day during Charlie's show, Program Director O’Shea stuck his head in the
studio door and said, “You wanna talk to Bob Hope?” Charlie’s reaction? “Huh? Ahhh….
sure!” Charlie and Bob had a great off the cuff conversation and eventually met in person.
The News That Shocked the World
Charlie was on the air on the afternoon of August 16, 1977 when we were all stunned by the
news of Elvis Presley’s death. Among the songs and remembrances that Charlie broadcast
was a surprise phone call from a listener who had lived next door to Elvis’ family in Memphis.
She told moving stories about the struggles of the Presley family and Elvis’ personal campaign
to rescue them from poverty.
The Station of The Year
In addition to Charlie, with Morning Man John Lupton, Midday Personalities O’Shea and Chuck
Parmalee, and Evening Talk Host John Stupak, WFTL became the most popular station in
Broward County and surrounding communities. The station was subsequently honored by the
radio industry as “Radio Station of The Year” in the Billboard Magazine Awards.
The Most Daring Northern Migration
Now, imagine leaving all of this in the comfort of Florida and heading north to the snow belt in
the dead of winter! Some people are just crazy enough; count Charlie among them.
Let's go to Buffalo!
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Copyright Charlie Warren
The British Navy flew the press, including Charlie Warren, out to
this carrier by helicopter, then docked in Ft. Lauderdale.