In 1994 I got a digital audio workstation and began compiling recordings made between the ages of eleven and sixteen.  I have never seen a therapist, but the listening process was itself, an odd sort of therapy.  It was not just the past via recollections, but actual (sometimes painful) reminders of those typically awkward early-teen years.  Aside from transferring the tapes to DAT, I experimented with a narrative introduction, but never completed the project. 

The entire file is in the REAL AUDIO format.  There are two options to get there:

 Click either this Real Audio link to the file OR  the actual Real Audio file

 Click HERE, if you only want to hear the NBC Saturday Night at the Movies file.


Eddie Ciletti

 The Ciletti Family circa 1963.  I'm the oldest!
 A roughly hewn transcript follws...

Beginning of voice-over 


My name is Eddie Ciletti. I am a self-professed junk collector.  Well, it’s really just that I hate to throw things away.  Like this box of audio tapes recorded between 1966 and 1973.  How could I possibly trash the stuff without listening to it?  Time has a way of making even junk more valuable. But who besides me would be interested? 

This first clip is of the family cat, Samantha, and her kittens. I held a bowl of food above them until they all meowed in unison. It’s a family favorite! 

· kittens 

Then there was the time the local radio station called my neighbor to see if he knew how much money was their jackpot. He didn’t, but suggested they called my mom. She didn’t know either. OK, Maybe you do have better things to do... 

· wip/venuto 

We only remember significant events of years past. But my inability to part with "past treasures" makes me curator to the Museum of The Day-To-Day World. Like the kind of stuff that archaeologists dig, what was once disposable audio wallpaper may now be of more interest… 

end of recorded voice over… 




The radio personality heard on the second clip is "Wee Willie" Weber. At the time, he was at WIP (an AM station at 610 kHz that is now all-sports with different call letters). I was born in 1955 and remember he had an early morning TV show that was more or less for kids. He is still working on another local station, WPEN-am, a source for some of the later clips.

Bill Weber through the ages...
What’s funny about the first clip is the amount of prize money. Every time someone guessed the jackpot, the amount was reset to a number related to the station’s location on the dial. Sixty-one dollars and sixty-one cents seems like a paltry amount compared to nineties prize fare.

Here is an overview of other clips:

( The following are from WPEN)

· WPEN theme (of stylistic interest)

· list of highway deaths (Chuck Doherty, announcer)

· News with Frank Carter (still active) includes: racial dispute, cost of living, minority employment, fighting in Laos

· commercial from TV’s "Hazel" (Burst)

· music (theme from M.A.S.H.)

· Chuck Connors (heart fund)

When I graduated from grade school in 1969, my parents gave me a stereo tape recorder that recorded at three speeds. I often used the slowest speed to record TV sound tracks and radio shows. Remember, this is before video cassette recorders even existed. A Beatles fan, I recorded the soundtrack of the movie, "HELP!" I must have played that tape hundreds of times. Me and my best friend knew every line and it was our running joke for what seemed like years.

· NBC Saturday night at the movies theme and intro to…

· "HELP" starring the Beatles

· music: sitar (From album. Will be used for VO)

· music: HELP segues into… VO HELP is slightly out of chronological sequence for artistic license. You’ll hear why in a moment.

FIELD TRIP Our grade school class took a field trip to New York City. I was too claustrophobic to climb the narrow circular staircase to the top of the Statue of Liberty, but I did make it to the ESB. I was a sound-hound from the age of three and on that 96th floor, more important than the view, the useless trinkets and the photo booth was a machine that made high-altitude 45 RPM recordings. I convinced two friends, Jim Martin and Jerry Wesner to join me.

On the record, I get slammed right away for my lame intro, "We’re high atop the Empire State building…" Jim dedicates a song to our home room teacher, Sister Anne Benedict. Compared to the other nuns, "Benny," as we called her, was pretty cool. Not only did we get to go on this field trip, but we also got to listen to, and analyze the lyrics of the Beatles and Bob Dylan and the harmonies of the Beach Boys. Jim and Jerry start slamming the rival gangs — Ma Brown’s, Ramblers, Jeans and Wissinoming — which were named after nearby luncheonettes, parks and greasy-spoon hang-outs. (The "cool" kids hung out on street corners. My mom never let me "hang out.")

From the booth, my two partners spotted Lou Dellucia — an obvious Italian — and this inspired them to burst into the song, "Top Wop." The melody came from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon "Top Cat." Forget Black and White, my grandparents were of grade school age when they came to Philadelphia from Italy around 1906. My parents were born in America. I was born in America. I can’t ever remember being told that I was Italian. Sure, we ate spaghetti and meatballs a few times a week, but there was never any ethnic slant — positive or negative — in our house. My two brothers and I grew up in the "lily-white" Northeast, a postwar, row-house community that was halfway between the suburbs and "Center City." (Similar to the relationship of Queens to Manhattan and Long Island.)

South Philly is where my parents came from and where my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins lived. Northeast Philly was a good half-hour ride from there. Philadelphia had its neighborhoods — Blacks in North and West Philly, Jews to the west of Roosevelt Boulevard (route 1), Christians to the East. I went to a Catholic School filled with American-born kids who were mostly of Irish decent. Somehow, the Irish kids knew of my Italian heritage before I did. They called us "grease-ball," "dago," and "WOP." Kids have always been pretty rough on each other. That’s why "HELP" is placed before the very scratchy recording made on the 96th floor of the Empire State Building…. The closing song, "HAIR" (by the Cowsils ) helps to date the ESB recording.

The rest of the radio recording collage will be under a voice over that introduces the last piece. It’s about discovering someone on a recording made in high school that I didn’t meet until college. Just before I made the switch from AM top forty to underground FM radio, I became a Joey Reynolds groupie. He played a mix of top forty, R&B and lots of MAD magazine-style humor… I recorded hours of his show.

JR had a club called "the royal order of the night people." Lots of kids called, including this guy, Ron Barron. I met Ron in college at Penn State’s Ogontz campus. Ron was even heavier into audio recording than I was, but I didn’t make the connection that he was a JR fan until twelve years later, when I started listening to my tape collection (in the late-eighties).

In the early nineties I became a public radio listener and eventually, a member. One show, Fresh Air, originated from WHYY in Philly. It was at the end of the program, during the credits, that I heard the name, "Ron Barron." I called and it was him! The guy from college. I told him I had this radio recording from high school. I still haven’t sent it…

Hi Eddie,

This is Jerry Wesner.  I was tooling around on the web and came across your website.  I really enjoyed reading about your career.  Your life so far has been quite interesting and very adventuresome. 

The trip down memory lane that you provided on the Radioretro was great.  I remember that trip to New York City very well.  I recall that you were the "D.J." who provided the entertainment on the bus ride.  I remember the recording booths on the top of the E.S.B. but I can't say I actually remember making that recording, although after listening to it, I have no doubt that it was me on the 
record.(I recall the "Top Wap" business) 

I remember that a few of the girls (can't remember their names) also made a recording up there and Joe Rossi (Bonzo) grabbed it out of one of their hands and tossed it of the 86th floor (between the bars).

Sorry about the Italian ethnic slurs and all that other nonsense. When I look back on those days I think that I kind of put up a protective shield by developing a "best defense is a good offense" philosophy.  I have a 3 year old son now ( I'm a late starter in that department, most of my friends have kids who are in high school and college) and I  hope that I can use some of my experiences from those days to teach him how to handle peer pressure.

I have kept in touch with a few of the St. Matt's class of '69.  Last weekend I attended the wedding of Joe Corcoran. Mike Beck and Ron Cupich were also there.

I have been living for the last 12 years in Glen Mills, Pa. It is between Media and West Chester if you are familiar with that area.

Anyway, once again, I really enjoyed reading about your travels and experiences.  Maybe we will run into each other at a reunion someday.  Good luck with the business in St. Paul.

Jerry Wesner 

(return to FIELD TRIP?)

The End