Thank You, Charlie Brown


It's with a heavy heart that I write today about the passing of a friend. Ed "Charlie Brown" Weiss passed away this past Saturday. I just called him CB. You will hear on Social Media and in the news today about Charlie Brown's roll in bringing Beach Music to the masses, and you'll hear about his legendary status as a Disc Jockey, and undoubtedly you'll hear that he was an amazing friend. All of these things are very true. What you won't hear about, probably, is how he took pity on a clueless young radio programmer and, even though he really didn't have to, how he taught me how to program a radio station.


When I was 17 years old I started my first job in radio at WPCM and at that time had very little clue who Charlie Brown was. I knew enough to know that his name was usually followed by whispers of "he's a legend" and of course in the Beach Music world everybody- and I mean everybody- knew his name, but my first realization came one night when I was babysitting the board and and looked at the station directory posted on the wall. It had each employees name, phone number, and position at the station. It said something like: "Bill Whitley- General manager, Gails Stuckey- Sales, Carson Johnson Board Operator", and then it said "Ed Weiss- 'Charlie Brown'". His job at the radio station was to be Charlie Brown, and he did it better than anyone on the planet.


When I was 28 years old I came back home to Burlington after a stint on WAAC in Valdosta, Ga and was still pretty clueless. After surviving a couple of format changes and a period in which Byron Tucker, myself, Dee Brockwell, and Charlie Brown were the only employees of the radio station we were handed a huge gift- We received an FM radio signal. Even more importantly, because I had some knowledge of how our automation system worked, someone up in Raleigh decided to take a chance on me as Program Director for this new radio station- Classic Hits WPCM. It only just now occurred to me that previously Charlie Brown had been handling the music on WPCM and as I'm writing this I've just realized that I sort of took his job. For some reason I'd never had that realization before. CB never said a word.


I went home and read the manual for our automation and music scheduling software from cover to cover. It was an old DOS program called MusicMaster and was insanely complicated. I was pretty cocky and still d