I created, hosted and produced The Voice of Greece (VOG) program on WRSU-FM in New Brunswick, New Jersey from 1974-1978.
The show can be heard every Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on WRSU-FM (88.7) or online at The program is now hosted by Minas Kousoulis. It is audible throughout Central Jersey, and as far away as Staten Island, Newark, Morristown, Flemington, Trenton, Lakewood and Sea Girt.
The first VOG program aired on WRSU-FM on Saturday, February 2, 1974 hosted by me, Mike Polentas, Garifallia Alevizakou and our sound engineer Thucydides (Duke) Markos. That program, then broadcast from 10 to 11 a.m., featured community notes of interest to Greek-Americans living in New Jersey and the best Greek music available. The non-commercial program was presented in stereo.
Here are some highlights of some of the first shows of VOG:
VOG-001-02FEBRUARY1974 This is our first show which was taped the day before.
VOG-002-09FEBRUARY1974 This show was taped on October 11, 1973.
VOG-003-16FEBRUARY1974 This show was taped on November 1, 1973 and featured a comedy sketch Karagiozis Sto Dikastirio.
VOG-004-23FEBRUARY1974 This show was taped on February 21, 1974 and featured audio from Greek Star Soccer Club of New Brunswick, New Jersey players defender Steve Kafouros and goalie George Papadakis.
VOG-008-23MARCH1974 This is our first special which was for Greek Independence Day.
VOG-011-13APRIL1974 This is a special program for Holy Week with chants from the Mitropoli of Athens and the consecration of the St. George church in Clifton.
VOG-012-20APRIL1974 This is a special Easter Show with Father Antony N. Pappas of St. George church in Piscataway included.
VOG-013-27APRIL1974 This show featured an interview with Greek singer Giannis Kalatzis at a New York City nightclub.
VOG-014-04MAY1974 This contains a report on the first Greek Festival at St. George in Piscataway. Also Karagiozis O Gramatikos.
VOG-015-11MAY1974 This one includes a brief report on the Greek Festival in Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Orange.
VOG-017-25MAY1974 This contains interviews from the 70th anniversary of the founding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Newark.
VOG-018-01JUNE1974 This contains a report on the Greek Orthodox Youth Junior Olympics held in Perth Amboy and our first song contest for listeners.
VOG-019-08JUNE1974 This contains an interview with author Alta Ann Parkins who wrote the book The Pictures of Mani.
VOG-020-15JUNE1974 This contains part two of the interview with author Alta Ann Parkins.
VOG-021-22JUNE1974 This contains two songs of Manolis Mitsias recorded live at a night club in New York City.
VOG-023-06JULY1974 This contains an interview with Greek-Israeli singer Aris San. There is also a song recorded live from Aris San on the program.
VOG-024-13JULY1974 Here for the first time was presented the album Mikres Polities exclusively with Giorgos Dalaras and Anna Vissi making her debut. I started my vacation in Greece and was not on this program, my sub was engineer Thucydides (Duke) Markos.
VOG-025-20JULY1974 Here we have another exclusive presentation of a Greek album called Romvitsones featuring Giannis Parios, Haris Alexiou and Vasiliki Lavina. Again I was in Greece at the time.
VOG-026-27JULY1974 I was still in Greece covering the events (military junta falling, Cyprus) and was not on the show. Here my colleagues started to give out information on the Cyprus problem from the Greek Embassy.
VOG-027-03AUGUST1974 This contains my report from Athens on the developments after the Cyprus invasion by the Turks (both English & Greek).
VOG-028-10AUGUST1974 This contains my reports from Athens in both Greek and English on the return of democracy to Greece and the return of Konstantinos Karamanlis to head the new Greek government.
VOG-029-24AUGUST1974 This show was dedicated to Cyprus and included a lengthy report from the march in Washington by 50,000 Greek-Americans to protest the invasion of Cyprus by the Turks. I had just returned from Greece and also on the show we played exclusively for the U.S. the new Mikis Theodorakis album with Giorgos Dalaras, Ta Leontragouda Tis Pikris Patridas. The week before the show was not on the air due to a problem with the WRSU transmitter.
VOG-030-31AUGUST1974 This was a special show dedicated to raising funds, blood and clothing for the victims of the Cyprus invasion.
VOG-031-07SEPTEMBER1974 This show again has highlights from the protest march in Washington by Greek-Americans against the invasion of Cyprus. It was also the first time that the show was in stereo.
VOG-032-14SEPTEMBER1974 This show contains a report on gathering of food and clothing by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Perth Amboy for Cyprus refugees. Also a highlight of my interviews and recorded live performances of Greek singers that summer in Athens.
VOG-033-21SEPTEMBER1974 This show has a live song from the Neraida nightclub in Athens featuring Marinella and Tolis Voskopoulos, also a message in Greek on the Cyprus problem from Archbishop Iakovos, archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America.
VOG-034-28SEPTEMBER1974 This show contains a live song from Greek singer Giannis Kalatzis from the Neraida nightclub in Athens, an interview with singer Stamatis Kokotas and a report on the Greek-American demonstration in front of the United Nations in New York on the Cyprus problem.
VOG-036-12OCTOBER1974 This show contains an interview with Greek singer Giannis Parios taken at the nightclub where he sang in Greece that summer during my visit there. Also a live song from the nightclub by Parios is included.
VOG-037-19OCTOBER1974 This show contains a message in Greek from Archbishop Iakovos on the Cyprus crisis and an interview with Greek singer Antonis Kaloyannis in Athens during my visit that summer.
VOG-038-26OCTOBER1974 Most of the show was dedicated to the October 28th National Holiday OXI.
VOG-039-02NOVEMBER1974 This contains the first of four parts of the performance O Megalos Tsirkos which came out then and was a musical starring Tzeni Karezi, Kostas Kazakos, Nikos Xylouris singing, etc.
VOG-040-09NOVEMBER1974 This contains part two of O Megalos Tsirkos.
VOG-041-16NOVEMBER1974 This contains part three of the O Megalos Tsirkos and also some highlights from the Washington, D.C. marches and a short dedication to the November 17th Polytechnic uprising.
VOG-042-23NOVEMBER1974 This show contains a short segment of the speech given by Congressman Edward J. Patten at the Cyprus fund raising dinner in Edison, New Jersey in English, and from Ambassador of Cyprus in the U.N. in English, a report on the dinner in Greek and a short dedication on the anniversary of the death of President John. F. Kennedy.
VOG-043-30NOVEMBER1974 This program had its technical difficulties in the first few minutes (problems at the station), but it recovers. It features a comedy sketch we did on the Greek election results.
VOG-044-07DECEMBER1974 This show contains a VOG comedy promo sketch and a live song from Haris Alexiou recorded in Athens during the summer at a nightclub.
VOG-045-14DECEMBER1974 This show contains another VOG comedy promo sketch, a VOG promo for Christmas show next week in Greek and in English and a live song from Tolis Voskopoulos recorded in Athens during the summer.
VOG-046-21DECEMBER1974 This was our first special Christmas show which featured poems and stories of Christmas and the choirs of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Perth Amboy and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Westfield.
VOG-047-28DECEMBER1974 This is the New Year's special show and it features a message in Greek from Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus thanking Greek-Americans for their contributions to the relief fund, a VOG comedy sketch, a VOG promo and a Karagiozis comedy sketch.
VOG-048-04JANUARY1975 This show contains New Year messages in Greek and English from Father Logothetis of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy and Father Anthony N. Pappas of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway, also our vasilopita cake cutting ceremony on air and a VOG comedy promo.
VOG-049-11JANUARY1975 This show contains a quick rundown of the hits of 1974 and asking listeners to vote on their best, as well as a comedy sketch on former King Constantine.
VOG-050-18JANUARY1975 This program was rather special as it included the top 10 songs of 1974 as voted by our listeners by phone. We also held a contest to select one of the listeners who won an album and we talked to him on the air. We also had some short, funny promos before the songs.
VOG-051-25JANUARY1975 I was not on this show as I was preparing all week the first anniversary show. Neither was Garifallia Alevizatou. Mike Polentas and my substitute and engineer Thucydides (Duke) Markos did the show.
VOG-052-01FEBRUARY1975 Here is the first anniversary show which includes a lot of flashbacks, some outtakes, singer Giorgos Dalaras performing live from Athens recorded in the summer, etc.
VOG-053-08FEBRUARY1975 This was a regular show with a lot of music and community news.
VOG-054-15FEBRUARY1975 This show had a report on the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway general assembly meeting in both English and Greek.
VOG-055-01MARCH1975 Just a regular show here.
VOG-056-08MARCH1975 This program includes an interview in Greek and English with Kostas Kostopoulos who was head of a group of Greek-Americans for Cyprus in Princeton, a VOG comedy promo and Agop comedy sketch from Greece.
VOG-057-15MARCH1975 This show contains a report throughout on the Sights & Sounds festival held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, a VOG comedy promo and a rare recording of Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos talking and singing.
VOG-058-22MARCH1975 This is our special show for Greek Independence Day with poems, stories and songs about the March 25th celebration.
VOG-059-29MARCH1975 This show contains two VOG comedy promos, a comedy sketch from Greece from comedian Agop and a report on a Greek-American from Rutgers' Les Unger.
VOG-060--5APRIL1975 This show contains a report on the upcoming Grecian Arts Festival in Holmdel in English and a message from the captain of the Greek Star Soccer Club of New Brunswick in Greek asking for fan support.
VOG-061-12APRIL1975 This is the first live VOG which we did to raise money so WRSU could stay on the air during the summer. The radiothon was very successful as we raised some 300 dollars.
VOG-062-26APRIL1975 This show contains a live song from Tolis Voskopoulos recorded during my visit to Athens the previous summer and audio from the Polytechnic uprising of 1973.
VOG-063-03MAY1975 This show is entirely dedicated to the official opening of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield and has a lot of interviews (including Archbishop Iakovos).
VOG-064-10MAY1975 This show was our second live show which we did so anyone could call and dedicate a song to their mothers, as it was Mother's Day the next day.
VOG-065-17MAY1975 This was a special show, with the first half hour recorded at the Greek Festival at Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Orange and the second hour at the St. George Greek Orthodox Greek Festival in Piscataway. It includes interviews with the organizers.
VOG-066-24MAY1975 This show contains the first of two parts we did on Greek immigrants. Perhaps our best performance as we got a lot of good feedback.
VOG-067-31MAY1975 Part two of the special immigrants shows.
VOG-068-14JUNE1975 This show had it all. We were not on the previous week due to technical difficulties at WRSU. But here we have reports throughout on the 6th annual Junior Olympics of Greek churches in New Jersey held in Perth Amboy including interviews; a short interview with singer Giannis Parios from the previous summer in Greece I had done; an exclusive interview with soccer star Pele I did in New York; a message in Greek and English from a Kostas Kostopoulos who headed a Greek-Cypriot association and he talked about the Cyprus issue; and an interview with Supreme President of the AHEPA during his testimonial dinner in Morristown.
VOG-069-21JUNE1975 With Mike Polentas in Greece, I had to do the Greek starting with this show. Also on the program we had O Karagiozis Fournaris.
VOG-070-28JUNE1975 This program included a live song from Giannis Parios direct from Athens nightclub, an interview with singer Mariza Kox in Greece and a report from the Voice of America correspondent in Athens on President Konstantinos Tsatsos (a biography).
VOG-071-05JULY1975 This show for the first time had listeners calling in to request songs (from the previous week, we taped them).
VOG-072-12JULY1975 This program had some interviews from a New York Cosmos soccer game including Pele, coach Gordon Bradley and another player (back then I was a sports writer and I covered the Cosmos home and away); also a listener called in to request a song and his voice was recorded; and a VOG comedy sketch.
VOG-073-19JULY1975 This program was dedicated to the first anniversary of the Cyprus invasion. Featured on the program were comments by Archbishops Iakovos and Makarios, highlights from the demonstration in Washington and two comments from members of the Princeton Greek-Cypriot community.
VOG-074-26JULY1975 This program was split in two. The first part was live from the Grecian Arts Festival in Madison Township and the second part was from Washington, D.C. where the first anniversary of the Cyprus invasion was marked with a memorial service, speeches outside the Capitol and a march. Again VOG was there.
VOG-075-02AUGUST1975 This program included a VOG comedy sketch and new songs brought over from Greece by our colleague Garifallia Alevizatou.
VOG-076-09AUGUST1975 This program had a VOG comedy sketch and more new songs from Greece.
VOG-077-16AUGUST1975 This program featured the comedy sketch To Gamo Tou Karagiozi with Evgenios Spatharis.
VOG-078-23AUGUST1975 This program featured for the first time our new colleague Maria Sotirhou who was to replace Garifallia Alevizatou, one of our original members.
VOG-079-30AUGUST1975 This was a regular show with just one VOG promo included.
VOG-080-06SEPTEMBER1975 This program featured an exclusive short interview with Greek-American football player for New York Giants Pete Athas which I did in Princeton during an exhibition game there.
VOG-081-13SEPTEMBER1975 This show was broadcast direct from the 3rd annual Greek Festival of Holy Trinity & St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Staten Island, New York and featured interviews with chairmen and even Miss Staten Island 1975.
VOG-082-20SEPTEMBER1975 This was a regular show, but broadcast live (rare in those days).
VOG-083-27SEPTEMBER1975 This program featured interviews from the Grecian Arts Festival held in at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey with two co-chairmen and an exclusive interview with Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis.
VOG-084-04OCTOBER1975 This program was live and it included a song contest for listeners. Also presented was a live news report from the WRSU-FM newsroom (Mike Blichak) on the U.S. Senate vote for the Turkish arms embargo.
VOG-085-11OCTOBER1975 This program was recorded at the 9th Greek Festival of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield and included an interview with the co-chairman.
VOG-086-18OCTOBER1975 Regular show.
VOG-087-25OCTOBER1975 On this program we had another song contest for listeners with the winner getting a Nana Mouskouri album, and an exclusive interview on the phone with U.S. Congresswoman Milicent Fenwick who told us why she voted in favor of lifting the arms embargo for Turkey despite the Cyprus invasion.
VOG-088-01NOVEMBER1975 This program featured another song contest for listeners and an interview with the president of the newly-formed Rutgers University Hellenic Club, George Pilitsis.
VOG-089-08NOVEMBER1975 This program had another song contest for listeners, a VOG promo about the upcoming top hits contest, a report from Chris Evangelis on the New Jersey Sons of Pericles football tournament to be held at Rutgers University, and interviews with the co-chairmen of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Newark Grecian Festival & Bazaar (Spyros Dendrinos & Spyros Xanthakos).
VOG-090-15NOVEMBER1975 This show was recorded at the first annual Greek Festival of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Asbury Park and featured interviews with the co-chairmen Vera Michaels and Niki Nika, also a report from Chris Evangelis on the results of the New Jersey Sons of Pericles touch football tournament held at Rutgers University and a VOG promo on the top hits contest. I should note that this program ran an extra 30 minutes due to a technical problem with the first half hour of the next show on WRSU (Echos Of A Continent, Spanish).
VOG-091-22NOVEMBER1975 This is one of our best shows, dedicated to the November 17th student uprising at the Polytechnic Institute in Greece. It featured songs and actual audios from the uprising.
VOG-092-29NOVEMBER1975 This includes a VOG promo on the hits contest coming up, another song contest for listeners and the comedy sketch O Karagiozis Sto Dikastirio.
VOG-093-06DECEMBER1975 This was the first of two parts on voting for the top hits of 1975 by our listeners who called in their selections.
VOG-094-13DECEMBER1975 This was the second of two parts on voting by listeners of the top hits of 1975.
VOG-095-20DECEMBER1975 This was our special show featuring the top 10 songs of 1975 as voted by our listeners. It also contained a lot of VOG promos and a drawing for one lucky listener who won an album with our compliments.
VOG-096-27DECEMBER1975 This is one of our best shows dedicated to Christmas with a lot of stories, poems, songs, a VOG comedy sketch and the choirs of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield and St. Demetrios of Greek Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy singing Christmas carols.
VOG-097-03JANUARY1976 This was a show which featured listeners calling in live to wish friends and relatives Happy New Year.
VOG-098-10JANUARY1976 This is perhaps the only show that was done by one person, our engineer Thucydides (Duke) Markos. Mike Polentas and I were in Boston and we called during the show but due to technical difficulties we were not really heard. And Maria Sotirhou was away as well. So Duke had to do the Greek and English, play the songs and engineer as well.
VOG-099-17JANUARY1976 This show had another song contest for listeners.
VOG-100-24JANUARY1976 This show included another song contest for our listeners. It was our 100th show!
VOG-101-31JANUARY1976 This was our second anniversary show which included a lot of interviews from top Greek singers, a surprise from two colleagues at WRSU, a live song from Athens from Giorgos Dalaras and VOG promos.
VOG-102-07FEBRUARY1976 This show includes a poem by Kostas Kavafi being read by Professor Edmund Keeley at an event in New York, and two live telephone reports from me from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield on the fifth annual New Jersey Greek Orthodox Youth Sights & Sounds contest, including an interview with chairman Kiki Anderson.
VOG-103-14FEBRUARY1976 This show had highlights and results from the fifth annual Greek Orthodox Youth of New Jersey Sights & Sounds contest held in Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Westfield, also another song contest for listeners and Archbishop Iakovos promoting an event to be held in New York for Cyprus.
VOG-104-21FEBRUARY1976 This show contained another one of our song contests for listeners and a message from Archbishop Iakovos on an event in New York to support Cyprus.
VOG-105-28FEBRUARY1976 This program included an interview I had with television-movie star Telly Savalas from a nightclub in Cherry Hill, and also the announcement of an award given to him that night from the Philadelphia chapter of the Order of Ahepa, and an interview I did with American Soccer League president Nikos Sklavounos.
VOG-106-06MARCH1976 This program was the first without our regular engineer Thucycides (Duke) Markos. Instead replacing him that day was Mark Tarentino.
VOG-107-13MARCH1976 This show included a song contest for listeners.
VOG-108-20MARCH1976 This show was dedicated to Greek Independence Day and featured poems from the Greek School students of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway.
VOG-109-27MARCH1976 This show included another song contest.
VOG-110-03APRIL1976 This show included another song contest.
VOG-111-10APRIL1976 This show included another song contest.
VOG-113-24APRIL1976 This show consists of Holy Saturday services presented live from St. George church in Piscataway and featuring Father Anthony N. Pappas.
VOG-114-01MAY1976 This show starts off with Christos Anesti chants from Father Anthony N. Pappas of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway and the show continues with a pledge drive conducted so WRSU-FM could stay on the air during the summer. We collected some $250.
VOG-116-15MAY1976 This show featured broadcasting the first half hour from Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Orange third annual Grecian Festival and the second half hour from the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway third annual Greek Festival, with interviews with the chairmen of the festivals, respectively, Nick Spyliotis and Chris Savidis.
VOG-118-29MAY1976 This show had a special telephone report from St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy on the New Jersey Greek Youth Junior Olympics there, with speaker Peter Christopoulos. We also had two VOG promos and an outtake on that show.
VOG-SPECIAL-11AUGUST1976 Live from the Middlesex County Fair in East Brunswick, New Jersey from 4:30 to 6 p.m., a special edition of VOG hosted by me.
VOG-132-28AUGUST1976 This show featured radio commercials from Greece.
VOG-138-23OCTOBER1976 This show featured a VOG comedy sketch on the presidential debate between President Gerald Ford and candidate Jimmy Carter.
VOG-139-30OCTOBER1976 This show featured live call-in from listeners on upcoming U.S. Presidential elections, but only one caller was used due to technical difficulties.
VOG-145-11DECEMBER1976 This show consisted of the second of two parts song contest where listeners voted for the top songs of 1976. Also a PSA provided by the Cyprus Children's Fund was aired.
VOG-146-18DECEMBER1976 This program consists of the top 10 songs of 1976 as voted by our listeners. Also included are VOG promos.
VOG-147-25DECEMBER1976 Live Christmas morning services from St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway with Father Anthony N. Pappas, chanters Kousoulidis and Antonakakis and the Church Choir.
VOG-152-29JANUARY1977 This was our third anniversary show and included a lot of VOG material and outtakes.
VOG-160-26MARCH1977 This show featured the students of the Greek School of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway reading poems for the Greek Independence Day celebration. The entire show dedicated to this holiday with songs and historical notes.
VOG-161-02APRIL1977 This program featured new songs from Greece.
VOG-162-09APRIL1977 This program on Holy Saturday had live church services from St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway with Father Anthony N. Pappas officiating.
VOG-163-16APRIL1977 This program had a song contest and included Maria Sotirhou's cousin (10 years old) doing the outro in English.
VOG-167-14MAY1977 Mother's Day Special featuring songs and poems for mothers.
VOG-187-01OCTOBER1977 A regular show with songs and a lot of community news.
VOG-188-08OCTOBER1977 This program featured interviews with Greek Star Soccer Club officials in the studio and a taped comment from Pele on his last match of his career with the Cosmos the previous week.
VOG-192-05NOVEMBER1977 This show featured a talk by Dr. Vassos Lysarides to the students at Rutgers University and a brief comment by him in Greek on the Cyprus situation.
VOG-193-12NOVEMBER1977 This show was a special show dedicated to the Polytechnic Student Uprising of 1973 in Greece featuring historical notes and comments as well as actual audio from the student-run radio station, and chants outside the Polytechnic.
VOG-194-19NOVEMBER1977 This program was dedicated to singers Giannis Parios and Dimitra Galani who would appear that weekend in concert in New York, featuring songs from both artists as well as an interview with Parios recorded in Athens in 1974.
VOG-195-26NOVEMBER1977 This show featured Karagiozis O Gramatikos and songs from Giannis Parios and Dimitra Galani recorded live the previous week at a concert in New York City. Also VOG promos were played.
VOG-198-17DECEMBER1977 This show featured the top 10 hits of 1977 as voted by listeners the last two weeks. The program ran two hours.
VOG-204-28JANUARY1978 This is the fourth Anniversary Show featuring many surprises.
VOG-208-25FEBRUARY1978 This was a two-hour show and featured a pledge drive to raise money for WRSU.
VOG-212-25MARCH1978 This show was dedicated to Greek Independence Day and featured poems and songs, with the students of the Greek School of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway.
VOG-213-01APRIL1978 This show as dedicated to nostalgia with songs from 1900 to 1950, an interview with Sophia Vembo from Athens correspondent Ilias Iliopoulos and a special song presentation of singer Marika Ninou by Ilias Iliopoulos.
VOG-218-06MAY1978 This was a special Easter Show which included reports from Greece from Athens correspondent Ilias Iliopoulos, including Easter greetings from singers.
VOG-219-13MAY1978 This was a special Mother's Day Show featuring songs and poems about mothers.
VOG-220-20MAY1978 This show featured interviews with singers Vicky Mousxoliou and Haris Alexiou from Athens correspondent Ilias Iliopoulos.
VOG-221-27MAY1978 A regular show with me and Duke only as Maria was in Greece. An extra hour followed which featured the new album of Giannis Parios and an interview with Litsa Diamandi.
VOG-224-17JUNE1978 This show was dedicated to Father's Day with all songs about fathers. Also on the show was a report by Ilias Iliopoulos from Athens with an interview with composer Makis Petridis. Again Maria was still in Greece.
VOG-241-14OCTOBER1978 This show featured an interview with singer Rena Arvaniti from our Athens correspondent Ilias Iliopoulos.
VOG-246-18NOVEMBER1978 This show was dedicated to the Polytechnic Student Uprising of November 1973 and included our new colleague Bill Velmahos.
Later the contents of the show included live church services, round table discussions, interviews with personalities, live recordings of artists, etc.
The history of VOG goes back to March 3, 1973 when I wrote a letter to WRSU congratulating them on getting a clearance to gain FM status after many 25 years as an AM station. And because in the December 13, 1972 edition of the Rutgers Daily Targum newspaper it was mentioned that WRSU-FM planned to do some community minority group programming, I wrote to the station requesting on behalf of the Greek community of the New Brunswick-Perth Amboy area (at least 800 families strong according to church estimates), that the Greek community be included in the programming with a one-hour show. On March 7, 1973, I received a letter from David B. Levine, assistant to the station manager, who wrote "it should go without saying that we here at WRSU would like to see all segments of the community play a part in our new FM operation. I can see no reason at all for the Greek community to be excluded, and I can greet only with enthusiasm your program idea."
The first VOG was taped at the WRSU-FM studios in the Rutgers Student Center at 126 College Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey on Thursday, October 4, 1973. On that first program 18 Greek songs were presented and in addition news items were read between the songs as well as a history of the bouzouki. On the first program were me, Mike Polentas, George Zagalakis, Bill Alevizakos and John Manolakis. Along with me, speakers on the first show were Polentas, Zagalakis and Alevizakos, while Manolakis assisted sound engineer Tony Buzzanco in the taping of the show. However, due to unforeseen engineering difficulties, WRSU-FM had months of delays and thus the program that was taped was never played.
In November, 1973, the VOG staff increased by two with the addition of Garifallia Alevizakos of Highland Park, New Jersey and sound engineer Thucydides (Duke) Markos of Westfield, New Jersey. The staff that month recorded an interview with Greek-Israeli singer Aris San to be presented in a future show.
Also that month VOG received its first letter from Jimmy Demos of the Golden Bouzoukia Ensemble, who was kind enough to send a complimentary album of the group, The Fabulous Golden Bouzoukia.
The staff of VOG were saddened in December, 1973 by the death of broadcaster Theodosios Athas whose golden voice will truly be missed by the Greek-American communities of the New York area where his show was aired.
WRSU-FM officially began broadcasting on January 27, 1974, ending a three-year drive to secure a FM permit and allow the new stereo station to reach a potential of two million listeners in central New Jersey. The station began with a power of 1,365 watts.
The first VOG show was broadcast at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, 1974. It was taped the day before.
The second program was aired on February 9, 1974 and had been taped on October 11, 1973. Program number three was aired on February 16, 1974 and was taped on November 1, 1973. On that program we presented the comedy sketch Karagiozis Sto Dikastirio.
The fourth show was aired on February 23, 1974 and taped on February 21, 1974 and included interviews with Greek Star Soccer Club of New Brunswick, New Jersey players Steve Kafouros and George Papadakis.
Bob Nicolaides in his column Putting It Together in the February 7, 1974 issue of Hellenic Times, wrote: "Greek music, community notes, Church services, round-table discussions, interviews and other interesting stuff is coming to New Jerseyites via the VOICE OF GREECE, a Saturday broadcast which was launched Feb. 2 on WRSU-FM (88.7 on your FM dial). It's the program New Jersey Greeks can call their own and it materialized through the efforts of Hellenic Times Sportswriter Louis Economopoulos, who co-hosts the program."
THE VOICE OF GREECE/WRSU-FM 88.7
Copyright 2021 by Louis T. Economopoulos