Hal Comello & WAAY Radio of the 60's

Hal Comello and WAAY Radio of the 60's

In this photo taken in 1961, you see (left to right) Henry Beam (Manager), Dick Essner (Engineer/DJ) and Hal Comello (Program Director and DJ). The woman in black is Henry Beam's wife, Peggy. The man next to her is Dan Akens (News Director and DJ) and two of the salesmen.

Hal Comello did a really great morning show each day and he was a lot of fun to listen to. He was always bright and cheery, and he was also that way OFF the air. He was often caught in the middle as my father, M.D. Smith, III would call and "chew on him" about one of the young DJ's playing the music out of order or playing their own records that they liked. I can still remember Hal musing something like, "Oh, well, M.D. is really chewing on me today about (name of disk jockey) and I guess I have to do something."

The photo at the top of the page as well as the larger version below, is Hal these days as he works as a TV news anchor in Mississippi.

Of the group photo and working for my father, Hal said, "The year was 1961. Can you believe it, 43 years ago. I will think about some of the memories of my days with Smith Broadcasting. I remember a lot of things about your dad who really treated me great. One was when I was trying to buy a home in Huntsville but needed $300.00 for a down payment. He loaned it to me without any hesitation. Also one time your mom I think was doing payroll and somehow I received two weeks salary instead of one, M.D. and your mom both said not to worry and to keep it as it would be too much trouble to change the paper work and make out another check."

Thanks for the memories, Hal. You "done good in Huntsville" and I am glad you are still in Broadcasting doing what you love. Hal is anchor with WKFK Channel 7 TV, 2911 Shortcut Road, Pascagoula, MS 39567 (www.wkfk.com )

© 2005 Smith Broadcasting, Inc. [update 2-25-05]