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Show History

Joy Boys show timeline

Here's a list of events and dates which affected the Joy Boys, pieced together from various interviews, books, and personal recollections. Please contact us with any changes or additions.

1901 John N. Klohr writes the Billboard March, which becomes a well-known circus theme and the music for the Joy Boys theme.
1923 WRC radio signs on the air.
1932 April 23 - Ed Walker born in Forrest, Illinois.
1934 March 7 - Willard Scott born in Alexandria, Virginia.
around 1941 Ed Walker and Willard Scott, unknown to each other, are each operating low-powered radio stations and playing disk-jockey in their respective basements. Broadcasts can be heard by a few neighbors.
1947 Willard Scott is heard on the air for real, on WPIK Alexandria. Later, he announced for a 15-minute high school news program on WCFM Washington.
1948 Willard Scott and Roger Gordon host High School Hit Parade on WOL radio. Their show is introduced by Frank Blair, who later worked at WRC and then NBC's Today Show.
1950 Ed enrolls in American University.

September - Willard starts work as a "page" (errand boy) at WRC.
1951 Willard visits American University and the campus radio station. While Ed is on the air, their mutual friend Roger Gordon brings Willard Scott into the studio. Willard sits down at a microphone across from Ed, and begins their first conversation.
1952 Ed and Willard start a weekend radio show at WOL. The show is called Going AWOL and runs Sundays at 11 PM. They earn $25 per show.
1953 Willard becomes a summer relief announcer for NBC, then replaces Frank Blair as full-time staff announcer.
1954 Ed graduates from American University, majoring in communications.

Willard Scott hosts Barn Party, one of several television shows he hosted on WRC-TV (then called WNBW-TV). For more, visit Kaptain Kidshow's Willard Scott page.

June 4 - Ed starts working the morning show at WPGC radio.
1955 Willard graduates from American University, majoring in philosophy.

March - Walker and Scott do an on-the-air audition at WRC.

July 11 - Two at One, the first Walker and Scott show on WRC, makes its debut at 1 PM.

Willard co-stars with Jim Henson's Muppets on the WRC-TV show called Afternoon, also starring Mac McGarry.
1956 November 23 - the last Two at One show. Willard departs for his hitch in the Navy.
1957 Willard Scott is stationed near Norfolk Virginia. He moonlights at local radio station WAVY.

Ed Walker continues at WRC, inheriting Willard's show called Twilight Tunes.
1958 Willard returns from the Navy.

The Joy Boys reunite and work the afternoon drive time slot, 4 to 6 PM on WRC.

The WRC studios move from the basement of the Sheraton-Park Hotel, where they had been located since 1952, and into a new $4 million building at 4001 Nebraska Avenue.
1959 August - Willard becomes Bozo the Clown on WRC-TV. Different cities had various actors playing Bozo on local children's shows.
1960 The Joy Boys begin a regular half-hour show on WRC, 7:05 to 7:30pm. It continued in this time slot until mid-1961. Our 200 series of CDs contains most of these shows.

The Armed Forces Radio/Television Service rebroadcasts many of the half-hour Joy Boys shows overseas, giving the program world-wide exposure.
1962 The 7:05 PM timeslot is renamed to the WRC Showcase. The Joy Boys show is heard only once per week at 7:05 PM, alternating with other personalities on different nights.
1963 The Joy Boys begin hosting WRC's Night Watch timeslot from 8:00 PM to midnight.

The Bozo Show is cancelled, but with minor changes, Willard carries on the character in the guise of Ronald McDonald.
1964 Former Joy Boys engineer John Hickman launches Recollections on WAMU-FM, Sunday nights. The program features old-time radio shows and later becomes known as the Big Broadcast.
late 1960s Rock-and-roll stations rule the airwaves. WRC is one of the few holdouts, still playing MOR (Middle Of the Road) music for adults.

Willard Scott becomes the WRC-TV weatherman, adding this to his list of radio announcing duties at WRC.
1970 WRC can hold out no longer. Format changes begin. The Joy Boys are required to play more popular music and do less of their famous comedy routines.
1972 January 7 - the last nighttime Joy Boys show. The show moves to afternoons.

October 6 - the last Joy Boys show on WRC. It's a memorable event with lots of guests and friends, and even news coverage on a competing TV station. We have the entire show in our library on CDs JB106, JB107 and JB108.

October 9 - the Joy Boys make a guest appearance with Johnny Holliday on his WWDC show.

October 23 - the Joy Boys begin a regular show on WWDC.
1974 July 26 - the last WWDC show. The Joy Boys would make guest appearances on WMAL and WWDC, but there would be no more regularly scheduled shows.
1975 Ed Walker begins hosting A.M. Washington, the local morning show on WJLA-TV channel 7. He also works at WMAL radio with a show called Play It Again, Ed.
1980 Willard becomes the weatherman on the Today Show.
1983 Willard announces his first 100-year-old birthday on Today. It becomes a regular feature.
1984 WRC radio changes to an all-talk format, comes under new management, and changes its call letters to WWRC. The news/talk format is replaced with MOR music. WWRC calls itself the "Station of the Stars" and refers to itself as WRC except for the once-per-hour station ID.
1986 Ed Walker returns to WRC to do afternoon drive from 4 to 7 PM playing MOR music. His "Play it Again, Ed" program also moves to WRC.
1987 WRC changes format back to talk radio, and Ed Walker hosts their morning show with Bruce Allen.
1988 August 1 - Ed Walker and John Hickman host a special edition of the WRC Morning Show celebrating the 65th birthday of WRC radio. (Thanks to Dave Howell, Ed's board operator, for the WWRC details.)
1990 With John Hickman retiring due to illness, Ed Walker takes over hosting the Big Broadcast on WAMU radio, returning to American University where his broadcasting career began nearly 40 years earlier.
1996 Al Roker replaces Willard Scott as the regular Today Show weatherman. Willard continues to appear twice a week, with his salutes to 100-year-olds.
2001 www.thejoyboys.com opens for visitors. The audio collection quickly grows from one tape to over a hundred CDs.
2001 and beyond Willard and Ed share an office at NBC (WRC-TV, channel 4) for many years. Willard continues doing birthday announcements, and occasionally the weather, at the Today Show. Ed continues to work at WAMU.
2015

October: Ed Walker, diagnosed with cancer, records his last episode of The Big Broadcast for WAMU. A few hours after it airs, Ed passes away.

December: Willard Scott retires from the Today Show.


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