Flogging the Collective Memory: Salty Brine
A genuinely nice man.
For over half a century, Walter Leslie "Salty" Brine, Jr., was a cheerful and comforting presence on local radio and television. He helmed WPRO-AM's morning show from 1943 to 1993 and was the popular host of Channel 12's children's show, Salty's Shack, from 1955 to 1968.
Most of us on the staff of Quahog.org regrettably did not grow up with Salty, so we'll just state the facts, then defer to the people who knew him best—that is, everyone within the range of his broadcast signal—to explain what made him special.
- August 5, 1918, born in Boston, Massachusetts.
- 1941, graduates from Staley College for Radio in Brookline, Massachusetts, with a Bachelor of Arts in Oratory.
- September 1942, hired as a staff announcer at WPRO-AM in Providence.
- 1943, begins hosting the morning radio program on WPRO-AM.
- June 1943, marries his first wife, Marion E. "Mickey" Owens.
- 1949, son, Walter L. "Wally" Brine, Jr., is born.
- 1955, begins hosting a live children's television show, "Salty Brine's Shack," with his collie, Jeff, on Channel 12.
- August 1961, Jeff passes away and is replaced by Little Jeff.
- June 21-27, 1964, Salty appears as Captain Andy in a Providence Repertory Company production of Showboat.
- 1968, Salty's Shack ends its thirteen-year run.
- 1979, admitted to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.
- April 1988, named Man of the Year by the Rhode Island Advertising Club.
- June 23, 1990, Galilee State Beach is officially renamed Salty Brine State Beach.
- April 28, 1993, hosts his last morning radio show on WPRO.
- October 1997, WPRO's Wampanoag Trail studios are rededicated as the Salty Brine Broadcasting Center.
- March 2000, Mickey Brine dies.
- 200?, marries Roseanna L. Bishop.
- November 2, 2004, dies quietly in his Narragansett home at the age of 86.
- May 22, 2008, inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame.
A skipper's hat, a warm voice, a contagious smile, a folksy style, and a perpetually sunny disposition. Oh yeah, and a prosthetic leg!
- Brush your teeth and say your prayers!
- Rise and shine with Salty Brine!
- No school, Foster-Glocester!
- Nobody beats Cardi's! No-ho-ho-body!
- His family name was actually Brian. Friends gave him the nickname "Walt the Salt." Soon after he began his career in radio, he changed the spelling of his last name to "Brine."
- When he was nine or ten, Salty lost part of his right leg, trying to hop a train near his childhood home in Arlington, Massachusetts.
- During the thirteen-year-long run of Salty's Shack, there were two Jeffs. Both were collies that Salty said he got from the pound.
- Salty and Mickey's only child, Walter L. "Wally" Brine, was co-host of the Loren and Wally Morning Show on WROR-FM in Boston from 1981 until his retirement in 2016.
- Salty was born and died in years in which the Red Sox won the World Series.
- Salty is buried in Christian Brothers Cemetery in Narragansett.
Hear Salty voice a commercial for Providence Wallpaper Company, circa 1950s. The commercial was recorded on a cellulose nitrate lacquer disk, and was meant to be played specifically during the "TNT Revue," a WPRO news program helmed by Salty:
If you have a story about Salty that you'd like to share, send it along to us at email@example.com. Please include your first name and your current town and state. We also welcome submission of any Salty photographs or memorabillia.