Published September 22, 2010
The most famous voice heard in Ware this morning was not that of Bob Oakes, our Morning Edition host, but of Carl Beane, the voice of Fenway Park, who delivered a special introduction to his “second home town” of Ware, Massachusetts.
“This is a town that has very special significance to me,” he told Bob and producer Lisa Tobin. In 1976, Beane was hired at WARE-AM — one of two radio stations in America whose call letters are the same as the town name. (Can you think of the other?)
Beane was the voice of high school sports in Ware and surrounding communities. “This town is very, very into its local athletics, so doing those games was a big deal,” he says.
“I knew I did a good job when Palmer people complained I was rooting for Ware, and Ware people complained I was rooting for Palmer. And I used to tell them, I’m from Agawam. I’m here to do a job.”
In its heyday, WARE was a small, 1000-watt radio station that sounded like a big-city operation, Beane says. “We had five studios in our building, and we did a lot of stuff. We carried the Red Sox, the Bruins, the Celtics, the Patriots, local sports. We did Oldies. We had a huge news department.”
What made WARE work for so many years is what made Ware work for so many years, he says: a fierce independence. Like a lot of small AM radio stations, though, WARE had to close up and leave town — for neighboring Palmer.
“This is a mill town, and when the factories and the mills closed, a lot of people left. And like a lot of small towns economically, they have suffered,” Beane says.
“People have died, people have moved away, children of those who used to live here decided they didn’t want to stay here because there wasn’t much going for them, economically. But this town is still tough.” Ware is, as we’ve said, the town that can’t be licked.