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Bob Friend

Bob Friend

Bob Friend is best known for an evening program on Akron’s WAKR in which he analyzed the dreams of callers—The Dream Machine. But Bob was also known as the man who introduced the Beatles at their first NEO appearance.in 1964.  

An Air Force veteran, Friend was working for WHK when the Beatles rolled into town in 1964. ‘Beatlemania’ was in full swing and the concert had to be temporarily stopped at one point when adoring fans broke through the police line and climbed onto the stage.

Friend spent most of his career, 27 years, at WAKR, which he joined in 1967. He remained there when he and other were furloughed in a cost cutting move by the out-of-town ownership group.

After being sacked, Bob said: “I’ve learned over the years—31 years in broadcasting—that we have such a potential impact on the listenership. We can buoy their spirits, we can drag them down to the gutter, we can lift them to the throne of God by the way we present things. It’s a tremendous opportunity that I will miss if I don’t continue in radio.”

Friend did continue in radio but only after a 3 year stint selling insurance. After the station was sold to it’s current owner, Friend was called back and given an afternoon DJ slot. That run came to an end three years later when the station replaced him with syndicated programming. Bob’s final gig in radio was a part-time gig at WMJI. 

 

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