Remembering New Bedford Radio Icon Terry Powell
For me, working at WBSM in New Bedford was a dream come true. I arrived on Election Day in November 1973. I was 25 years old and was working with an all-star crew of radio veterans.
I had listened to most of them as a teenager, growing up in New Bedford.
The lineup was exceptionally strong: Brian Rush, Steve Smith, Stan Lipp, Jim Loomis, Dave Williford, Terry Powell, Art Dineen, Bill Brennan, Norm Rapoza and Nick Howard. All of them were special people and extremely helpful to a young broadcaster trying to keep up with his talented co-workers.
When I learned this week that Terry Powell passed on at the age of 86 after a brief illness, a lot of those memories of the mid-70s came rushing back.
When I arrived at WBSM, there was a union battle going on. As it turned out, Terry Powell and I were on the opposite sides of that battle. Despite that, he was never rude or negative.
Yes, he would check in to see if I had changed my mind, but always did so in a friendly manner. In what was a tense situation, Terry kept it professional.
As host of the evening Open Line on WBSM, Terry was a master communicator, relishing good debate with his callers. He would love to share opinions, and those opinions would fill up the phone lines.
After a long stint in New Bedford, he brought talk radio to Manchester, New Hampshire, and worked at stations in Boston, New Orleans, and Florida.
Later, he used those communication skills while working as a trainer and operator at Walt Disney World.
I hadn't seen Terry in a long time. The last time I think, was 1984 when he hosted a going-away party for me when I left WBSM to join Fall River Cable TV. I was surprised to learn he spent the last 24 years living in East Taunton.
I wish we could have connected. Terry Powell was one of the good ones.