Friday, December 13, 2013

MI Radio: WHTC 'Juke' Van Oss Celebrates 90th Birthday

Juke Van Oss (Sentinel photo)
The world has changed a lot since 1923. Just ask Julius “Juke” Van Oss, Holland’s long-time on-air radio personality for WHTC 1450 AM in Holland, MI, according to the Holland Sentinel.

Marking his 90th birthday this past Monday, Van Oss talked about some of the changes he has witnessed over the years.

Van Oss, who grew up in the Graafschap area, has been an icon in the Holland community since 1959 when he co-hosted the iconic Holland Talk Radio show “Talk of the Town,” with Bill Gargano, becoming the show’s sole host in 1980.

“I went to radio school in the service, so I knew a little bit about radio,” Van Oss said. “Then I got my HAM radio license and figured ‘Shucks, I might as well do it commercially.’ So I did and have been doing it for 62 years.”

Van Oss did not start as an on-air personality, however. His first job with WHTC was as an engineer. He noted parts of the industry have changed drastically over the years — moving from “spinning records,” to streaming from satellites.

“I became an announcer at WHTC when they did away with engineers,” Van Oss said.

“Despite changes in radio, the show has remained pretty much the same as it was in the 1960s. It’s what I call ‘back fence’ radio. People can call in and talk, we even used to swap recipes. Today I do a lot of interviews with people. I’m not adversarial. I just let them talk.”

Van Oss said his plans for the next few years are to keep on living and working.

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