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Remembering Carolyn Watts

We mourn the passing of our first announcer

Carolyn Watts
Carolyn Watts
Carolyn Watts, Cincinnati radio pioneer, died on Wednesday, December 4th, 2002, in Cincinnati. She was 88.

A Rhode Island native who came to Cincinnati after World War II, Carolyn Watts was no stranger to the microphone, having played piano on her mother's radio show for the Yankee Network. In Cincinnati in the late 1940s, she worked on WKRC radio's "Dave and Barbara Show," hosted a talk radio program on WSAI and took part in a sitcom for WKRC-TV. Carolyn Watts was WGUC's first announcer in 1960.

Carolyn hosted a number of popular and award winning programs on 90.9 FM -- Dinner Concert, Orchestra Backstage, Up the Down Staff, Whose Melody Is It Anyway? and Symphony Comment. Carolyn held a number of different roles here: announcer, program director and assistant manager. She was smart, funny and fastidious about honesty in her on-air delivery. She knew more than most about classical music, and she believed that stuffy, pompous "I know more than you" on-air classical presentations were very boring and patronizing to the audience. Carolyn kept her content and delivery very sharp and interesting, and 43 years later our station was all the better for it.

Carolyn Watts
Carolyn Watts in the first WGUC studio with Joseph Sagmaster
Carolyn was a loyal and active member of WGUC. She was instrumental in planning our 40th anniversary celebration in 2000, and it was there that she was reacquainted with her old WGUC Radio colleague Oscar Treadwell. "She brought a simple, beautiful exposition into all of her creations, "said Treadwell. "She just wanted you to hear the music, sit back, relax with her and enjoy it," he continued.

Carolyn was a Phi Beta Kappa music graduate at Brown University, she completed her masters degree at Xavier University, and up until her death she taught at the Institute for Learning and Retirement at University of Cincinnati. She leaves behind two daughters—Car'yn Watts of Cincinnati, Bethany Shield of Brielle, NJ; four grandchildren Ralph, Troy and Tim Shield, Zarleen Watts. Carolyn Watts will be buried in Rhode Island. A memorial service is being planned for her in Cincinnati in winter 2003.>

In lieu of flowers, the Carolyn Watts Memorial Fund has been established at Gilligan Funeral Home in Cincinnati.

Putting WGUC on the Air, an Inside View
Carolyn Watts describes WGUC's first days.

Programs featuring Carolyn Watts:

Orchestra Backstage

Symphony Comment

Up the Down Staff

Whose Melody Is It Anyway?

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