Left to right - WPEN Sales Manager James Crawford
WPEN General Manager Edward Obrist
Frank Palumbo, a local night club owner and WPEN Sponsor
WPEN DJ Toni Spaulding
at WPEN Radio
In our archives, we have proofs from an article published in February 1950 by a national publication. Unfortunately, we don't know which magazine it was. The article said:
Night Owls in Philadelphia know about "Toni Talking" to a man - or WPEN AM-FM and sponsor, Frank Palumbo, local Ford Mercury dealer, missed a bet in their pooled campaign. One full week of fun, tricks and a few bolts of promotion lightning that would have blistered Ben Franklin's key were employed before the program's inauguration, 2-7 am, January 17.
Tony Talking is conducted by Toni Spaulding, claimed by WPEN to be the only all-night girl disc jockey in the country. Program's debut also introduced Philadelphians to the start of WPEN's 24-hour program schedule. Not only is the program soothing for the night crowds' ears but its time is sold from start to finish - Frank Palumbo Motors splits the time with a local General Electric dealer.
Working hand-in-hand, WPEN and Mr. Palumbo chalked up a series of promotional hits. The conventional use of circulars, ads and radio spots were put in play. But the spectacles which started people talking about Toni Talking, WPEN says, were these: An elephant adorned with a Toni banner stalked Quaker City streets; faster modes of transportation included a horse and buggy, a fleet of Mercurys parading through the streets, and a smoke writing airplane. Posters were tacked on 35,000 telephone poles, the name, time, station and sponsor painted on every downtown street corner and Palumbo Motors girls called homes in both the city and suburbs to suggest the show for family listening. A regular "first nighter" was held at Mr. Palumbo's night club with celebrities and radio people on hand. Results are already in. WPEN reports Miss Spaulding received thousands of cards and letters from fans in the first morning's mail.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Picture originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Francis Davis
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