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Washington Comes of Age; '60s Radio Days: A Sillier, Simpler Time Series: THE CENTURY; OCC.
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Century in review; Radio programming; Series & special reports
Author: Fisher, Marc
Date: Sep 13, 1999
Start Page: A.01
Section: A SECTION

" . . . Owieeeeee!" Ed Walker squeals as a hammer nails him hard and the Joy Boys wrap up another loony evening of sweet parody and good cheer.

Walker and Scott, radio playmates who frolicked on the airwaves of WRC each weekday evening from 1955 to 1972, aimed only to live up to their goofy signature theme song: "We are the Joy Boys of radio, we chase electrons to and fro." By 1965, they -- along with their morning counterparts, Frank Harden and Jackson Weaver on WMAL -- dominated Washington, providing entertainment, companionship and community to a city on the verge of powerful change.

From the NBC studios on Nebraska Avenue NW, they presided over a cavalcade of characters who poked gentle fun at the city's foibles. Robin Hood of Rock Creek Park took pleasure in piercing the illusions and picking the pockets of the city's self-important. The Washer- Dryer Report spoofed TV's Huntley and Brinkley. And organist Sleepy Hammond parodied the calcifying pop culture that was then being swept away by the rock revolution, the hippies and the black power movement. The roughest language to be heard on the Joy Boys show was a sneering use of the slur "fink."

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