My Radio Bug

By: Brian Casey, On-Air Personality on WLBC and MAX, and Production Director

I got the radio bug at a very early age in my hometown of Anderson, Indiana.

I was a big fan of legendary Indianapolis rocker WNAP (The Buzzard). Some of my radio heroes included Buster Bodine and Adam Smasher because they both seemed to have A LOT of fun, and their personalities were addicting. I would record songs off of the radio and leave little gaps in between songs so I could pretend to be on the radio too. I knew this was going to be my career by the age of 12.

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Fast forward to 1983 when my father, Rick Bramwell, who has had a weekly column since 1972 in the Anderson Herald Bulletin called The Hoosier Sportsman, would be a guest on future Woof Boom station 1240 AM WHBU in Anderson to talk hunting and fishing.

This was my opportunity to get my foot in the door. I started hanging out at the radio station and the night guy let me run the board for the Cincinnati Reds games. It didn’t take too long for the late Rod Brooks to offer me my first radio job. I was elated at the chance and I ran with it.

I eventually moved on from WHBU and landed at WMDH when Steve Brown (aka Brownie in the Morning on WERK-FM, whom I now work with every day) hired me to work at his powerful country station part-time. I left there to work my first full-time job as afternoon drive host at 96.7 WAXT (now Blake FM).

I worked in Kokomo, Richmond, and Lafayette before landing at WLBC. I was hired to do weekends on the FM and nights on the Big Band AM station which is now WXFN. I eventually was promoted to nights on the FM by Tony Giltner. Back then, the WLBC format was all over the place and we would play AC/DC, Whitney Houston, and even The Grateful Dead. I was the night guy when Steve Lindell and Kim Morris were hired.

I actually trained Kim Morris and told the overnight guy at the time “she won’t be part-time long”.

I left WLBC in 1994 to break into the Indianapolis market when I was hired by Oldies 93 WKLR. Six weeks after I was hired, Emmis Communications changed the format and brought back the station that gave me the radio bug, 93.1 WNAP! I was pinching myself, asking, “is this real?” I had goosebumps on top of goosebumps! I was now working for The Buzzard, and within 6 months, I was named morning show producer for one of my radio idols from when I was an aspiring 11-year-old, Adam Smasher! The Smash was also an MTV VJ (oh the stories he would tell about Martha Quinn). Here I was directing the guy who was most responsible for my radio bug!

I learned A LOT from Smash, especially how far you could tow that line before being smacked on the nose by a newspaper! I would eventually host my own morning show as well as an afternoon show on WNAP.

But, all good things come to an end as Emmis Communications changed WNAP to Radio Now in March 2000 and six weeks later, I was hired to host the mid-day show on 92.3 The Fort, Ft. Wayne’s Classic Rock Station.

I eventually landed on my feet at Q95, a station I had always dreamed of working for. I was the traffic guy for The Bob and Tom Show, backup morning jock on X-103, and had my own show on Q95. I was again working with more of my radio idols, the crew from The Bob and Tom Show. I was pinching myself once again. I learned how to write comedy and penned a popular Bob & Tom bit “Effinghouse Family Restaurant” (home of the big effing deal) which is on the Happy Hour CD. I worked at Q95 until 2011, at which time the parent company, Clear Channel, made a round of budget cuts.

Fast forward to 2013. I was looking for another landing spot and thought I would visit Steve Lindell who was doing a Live Action Broadcast at the John Deere dealership in Muncie. I drove to Muncie to catch him at the broadcast and break the ice from 19 years of separation. I interviewed a month or so later and was elated when I received the phone call that, as Steve put it, “I was coming back home”. It felt like home and I was thrilled to be back. This area has a special place in my heart being a native of Anderson. When I communicate on air, I feel a special connection to the people who grew up in this area just as I did.

The station looked almost the same as it did when I left 19 years prior, including the CD rack in WLBC’s “Master Command” which is still loaded with the same music I had played when I left in 1994. The difference between now and when I was a member of the WLBC air force years ago is that this is a tight run ship, and really connected to the community. The station was all over the place before.

On a personal note, I am a huge dog lover, but I lost all three of my dogCooper Yellow Lab and Tucker Black Labs, due to a variety of health issues, my first six months back at WLBC (two within a month). I then adopted my two fur babies: Cooper (a Yellow Lab) and Tucker (a Black Lab mix) from The Muncie Animal Shelter. I enjoy spending my spare time with them, and would eventually like to train dogs as a hobby. My friends and family are impressed at my ability to communicate with animals. In my spare time, I like to entertain friends and relax in my backyard pool.

MAX CoozieI feel very fortunate to contribute to two Drive Time shows and the opportunity Woof Boom extended me to rock the MAX Rock Nation every morning, on 93.5 Max “Maximum Classic Rock”. I absolutely love it; I love connecting, entertaining, and informing the loyal listeners of The WLBC Live Drive Home Show. I also enjoy interacting with clients who come in for a recording session and helping the Account Executives produce a quality and creative message for their clients as Production Director. Thanks, Woof Boom for giving me an outlet for my creativity! I love radio now, just as much as I did as a 12-year-old with a dream!