Much more importantly, Dick Summer was a step ahead of most in discovering and introducing new artists to his rather surprisingly large late night audience. The audience wasn’t confined to the Boston Area. His station, WBZ, was a clear channel station with 50,000 watts. That meant at night almost half the country could hear his show. In Scranton, PA I listened for hours to him and often went to school the next day in a semi coma state from lack of sleep. It was more than worth it. It was the first place I heard Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and even The Beatles. Long before a format was created that played these artists on a regular basis, Dick Summer was filling the airwaves with the music that eventually would dominate radio.
I searched the internet and found an old air check from his days at WBZ. Check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GPpzKacu74
While it may not be the best sample of his work, it gives you the idea that Dick wasn’t the typical screaming DJ of the period.
Another thing that Dick always did was link the songs together with his introduction or back sell (talk after the song). He would often tell a story and the punch line would be the first line of a song. OK, he could be corny, but he still made you laugh. He was never off color or critical of other people or artists.
The voice of Dick Summer is very friendly and comforting. It gives the listener the feeling that you can trust what he has to say. For that reason Dick not only got a job with NBC in New York City, but many sponsors wanted his voice on their commercials. So much so, that the voice of Dick Summer was soon heard on many national spots giving him a great source of income. Much more than he earned doing overnights in Boston.
In preparing for the writing of my book, I reached out to Dick. I was very surprised to learn that Since Dick retired from radio he is living in the Philadelphia area. I wasn’t surprised that he was very friendly to me. When I was a young fan I had written him a letter and he wrote back to me along with an autographed picture (as seen).
Now, Instead of doing a nightly show, he is doing a lot of writing. His books sell very well. In addition, Dick also has a weekly podcast on his website www.dicksummer.com. Since he was always a great story teller, telling stories through his podcasts is a natural. There are some great interviews where Summer talks about his latest book “Staying, Happy, Heathy and Hot” and a lot more.