Monday – Friday 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Jim Frey, unlike everyone else his age, wanted to be a rock star. Owing to a lack of discipline, he never learned to play an instrument, but he did manage to transform his love of music into a sideline playing records at parties, calling himself “Jungle Jim.” Enlistment in the U.S. Navy interrupted, but while he was out on the Mediterranean Sea, he got a letter from John Cameron Swayze (the “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” guy) saying he was “delighted” that Jim was interested in a career in Broadcasting. Jim didn’t know that until he got that letter. It turns out that Jim’s mother saw an ad for a broadcasting school on a matchbook, and sent it in with Jim’s Navy address.
After separating from Active Duty, Jim went South to Atlanta for his broadcasting training, which led to his first Radio job at WDNG in Anniston, Alabama, where, despite the small market, the Program Director demanded complete professionalism, even from a beginner. “I couldn’t be more grateful to Jim Knight for instilling that value in me right from the start,” says Jim.
That job came to an abrupt end when the station owner demanded that Jim get a haircut because he was “bad for business” looking like a hippie. Jim refused the fashion advice and headed back home to Fishkill. Listening to area radio stations, he decided that only one station met the standard he’d become accustomed to – WALL! He pestered the Program Director, Larry Michaels, until a part-time job opened and Larry succumbed. At the time, WALL signed off from Midnight to 6 AM, so Jim again harassed Larry with the idea that such a great station should be full-time, and he had the perfect guy for that overnight shift – himself. Larry eventually acquiesced and Jim became “The Late Jim Frey,” the first to be on the air from Midnight to 6 AM. In another first, Jim initiated a Sunday morning Country Music show, playing music that had no other outlet in the region at the time. In 12 years at WALL, Jim worked every shift, did some News, Sports, and Copywriting/Production, eventually becoming Program Director and Operations Manager, working with “Cousin Bruce” Morrow, who owned WALL with his partner, Bob Sillerman.
But in Radio, things change, and Jim had to move on; to WGNY in Newburgh, then South to Georgia, where he spent time at four different stations before low salaries forced him out of Radio into Sales. His sales jobs morphed into a corporate position at MetLife, in which he spent a lot of time on airplanes, but put in enough time to qualify for retirement.
Just at the time he was retiring, Bud Williamson, who had once worked for Jim, took over ownership of WALL and asked if Jim would be interested in getting back on the air. Well, of course the answer was “yes,” and here we are today, when every weekday is Freyday, with Jim holding down the afternoon drive shift from 3 to 7 PM. “WALL is clearly my favorite of all the stations I worked on, so it’s truly a pleasure to be back home.”
Jim lives in Chester with his wife, Rita, a Vice President at Inspire in Goshen, their son Andy, a Service Advisor at Healey Ford Lincoln in Goshen, and their dog, Cookie, cat, Frankie and turtle, Digger.