Radio and Wes have shared a strange relationship... kind of like the one he shared with Jewel backstage at the HFSmas Holiday Nutcracker. Wes is the deranged comic talent and she is... wary. Wes has been fortunate to have worked with some of the greats in radio. From the late great Wolfman Jack, to Doctor Demento, The Daily Feed and WHFS, these are a few of the places Wes has traveled the airwaves...
WBAL, Baltimore (Every Thursday at 11:30pm)
Chip Franklin is a very funny man. He has translated years of being one of the funniest stand-up comedians around into a vibrant daily talk show on 1190 AM WBAL in Baltimore. He also has great taste, which is why every Thursday at 11:30 am (unless he bumps them for a big story on pot smoking nuns) Wes joins Chip and Shari Elliker to review movies they've never seen before. Sure, Ebert and that shadow of Siskel can review movies they've SEEN, but where is the challenge in that? Wes and Chip met doing stand-up, and once tied each other in the National Lampoon Comedy Contest. Wes guested for many years on Chip's WMAL show in Washington, DC (where he also hosted a few shows with Shari Elliker). If you want to hear Chip's show, hit the link below.
By the way, Chip has his own website. It is very funny and well worth your while! Click here for Chip Franklin.
The legendary WOLFMAN JACK
One of Wes' great thrills was working a nationally syndicated weekly radio show with the late, great Wolfman Jack. Wes was Wolfman's comedy co-host, writing and performing live comedy bits and impressions with the man during a live four hour show from the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington DC every Friday night. Wolf would pound on a duct tape bound telephone book while howling to the hits, as Wes sat at the ready behind an SFX arsenal ready to jump in with bits, improv or impressions when Wolfman was ready to have fun. Which was often.. After one year on WXTR in DC, the show went national and moved down the street to Planet Hollywood, where they ran for almost one more year. Wes performed with Wolfman for the last time on June 30, 1995, less than 10 hours before Wolf passed away. Wolf signed the last copy of his autobiography to Wes that night, and gave him a customary bear hug at the end of the evening. "Don't go nowhere, baby," he had said, "Great things are gonna happen." The man pulled his large brimmed black hat down over his mischievous eyes and walked out into the night. He would make it home to North Carolina just in time to give his beloved wife Lou a great big hug. "One more time", he had said. Then he was gone.
Click here for Wolfman Jack Entertainment
Wes was there at the dawn of the HFStivals, and was a contributing voice to "The Daily Feed" even before that. "The Daily Feed", by the way, remains to this day one of the most brilliant and insightful political parodies around. John Dryden, Frank Benlin and Max Knobny are currently heard on washingtonpost.com and dailyfeed.com... daily. It is a plus to the internet that you can tap on the link below and hear them EVERY DAY.
Wes filled in on the morning show at WHFS during the days of David Einstien and Mother Earth Meg Brulator, and became a full time fixture when Bob Waugh arrived for the Modern Rock Morning Show. Mother Earth Meg Brulator left after a year, and was replaced at the newsdesk by Rob Timm. Wes contributed bits, impressions and songs to the show, including the infamous "You Klingon Bastard," which led to T-shirts, Shatner worship, and 40,000 people waving their arms in Shatneresque pain and shouting "YOU... KLINGON BASTARD... YOUKILLEDMYSON! in unison at numerous HFStivals.
Another of Wes' songs hit the airwaves independently of WHFS, when his Christmas Song, "I Killed Santa" became a Christmas staple on The Doctor Demento Show. Wes called himself "Fresh Pirates," and the song was produced by the band "The Pheromones." Al Johnson and Jimmy Patterson put together a great band for that song, many of whom had played with Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Wes left HFS for his own morning show on WXTR, but returned to HFS near the end of the Clinton administration to create a trilogy of Clinton songs, including "Monica's Playground" and "88 Lies About the President's Women". Clinton is no more, and alas, the same can now be said of WHFS, at least not as it was. 99.1 has become El Zol, all Spanish radio. HFS has moved to a part time format in Baltimore on 105.7, and also exists as an online music format. Still, the HFStival lives on. For how long? Depends on the cash flow.