Flogging the Collective Memory: Salty Brine

Flogging the Collective Memory: Salty Brine

Head shot of 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.

Notable dates

  • 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.

Distinguishing features

A skipper's hat, a warm voice, a contagious smile, a folksy style, and a perpetually sunny disposition. Oh yeah, and a prosthetic leg!

Catch phrases

  • 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:

Salty profiled on PM Magazine in 1979:

A tribute to Salty's later years:

If you have a story about Salty that you'd like to share, send it along to us at stuffie@quahog.org. Please include your first name and your current town and state. We also welcome submission of any Salty photographs or memorabillia.

Last Edited

Richard, Clearwater, Florida

I grew up summers in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Even though we lived in other states in New England during the winters, I always looked forward to getting back to Narragansett. My family had a summer business there and I remember listening to Salty Brine every day.

Everyone I knew listened to Salty Brine; even my teenage friends. That just proves how popular he really was. I especially loved the sound of his voice. There was always something happy and positive coming from him all the time.

I wish I could have met him personally to know him better. But then, anyone who listened to him knew who he was. And, that's because when he spoke, he was always talking to everyone like he was sitting next to you. Not many people can do that but Salty Brine did!

Thank you Salty Brine for adding so much joy to everyone who was lucky enough to hear your voice. You will be missed but not forgotten.

WPRO Salty Brine 50th Anniversary mug.
Mug celebrating Salty's 50th year with WPRO, circa 1992.
Mon, 02/19/2024 - 18:58

Yvette, Sarasota, Florida

Not long after I was married way back in the 1970s, my husband shook me awake in the middle of the night with a concerned look on his face. Evidently, I had been carrying on—in my sleep!—about "Jeff".

He looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Hey, who's JEFF???"

After I grumbled and cursed and hemmed and hawed a bit, I managed to open one eye and say, "He's Salty Brine's dog, you idiot!" after which I promptly rolled over and went back to sleep.

Needless to say, that man and I are no longer married.

[I'm] still pining for Jeff—and Salty's Shack—after all these years.

Posted to alt.rhode_island on Usenet, July 25, 2003. Used with permission.

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 19:58

Wayne, Springfield, Virgina

I too have many wonderful memories of Salty's Shack. My family lived in Providence until 1965 and Salty was a regular part of my after-school TV experience until my tenth birthday. Perhaps that is why I am always drawn to old Popeye cartoons and have collected all of the Three Stooges episodes. But my most memorable recollection was in meeting Salty in person.

David, my closest of forty cousins, lived in Cranston and I would sometimes stay at his home for several days over our summer vacations. Being energetic and inquisitive children growing up in a much safer time, we often wandered the neighborhoods within about a mile radius of David's home. One day, David told me that Salty lived a few blocks away and we resolved to meet him. I recall riding our bikes past Salty's Cranston home multiple times for a few days in hopes of seeing Salty in his yard but we ultimately concluded that this approach was futile. After much discussion, we mustered the courage to knock on Salty's door and ask for his autograph. As I recall, his wife answered our knock and called him to the door. He greeted us with a smile, chatted with us a few minutes, then gave us the prize we were seeking on a stock photo from the show. I thought that I had died and gone to heaven! My first encounter with a "star" that I would never forget.

Received via email, March 13, 2011.

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 19:57

Walter, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Seeing photos of the old Jamestown Bridge being demolished [April 18, 2006] reminded me of Salty Brine. Along with everyone else who grew up listening and watching Salty's shows, he will always be remembered for his ever-pleasant outlook on life. He also had a song that he would sing on his show once and a while. These are the words:

When I first met Midge,
Down on the Jamestown Bridge,
In old Narragansett Bay,
She stole my heart away.
'Twas on a bright and summer's day.

We went canoeing,
And we did some wooing,
As we watched the gulls at play.
'Twas on that Jamestown strand,
That I won her hand.

Down in Narragansett,
Oh you loving 'Gansett,
Down in Narragansett Bay.

Received via email, April 25, 2006.

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 19:55

Vinnie, Brick, New Jersey

I just came across your Salty Brine website. It's nice to know that someone is keeping his memory alive!

I'm a Providence native who five years ago re-located to New Jersey to take a position at WJRZ-FM (morning drive). I have since left that position to operate my own internet radio station.

In 1966, I was hired as a staff announcer at WPRO-FM (studios were located on Neutaconkanut Hill in Johnston). It was there that I had my first encounter with Salty Brine. I was promoted to FM production manager, and that would bring me to the WPRO-AM studios every afternoon to get the commercial production done.

The original WPRO-AM studios and WPRO-TV, then the early WPRI-TV, were located on Mason Street [in Providence]. WPRO was on the fourth floor, the television studios were on the fifth floor directly above WPRO-AM. The first floor housed the Social Security offices for Providence. As they began building the Providence Civic Center, eventually the building that housed WPRO and the television studios was torn down, and Mason Street was eliminated. I'm not exactly sure when that happened though.

Salty and I became very good and close friends over the years, and he taught me everything I know about professional radio broadcasting. Many, many times I was asked to fill in on the overnight show on WPRO-AM, and therefore would be in studio when Salty came in at 5 in the morning. [He was] always jolly, cheery, and smiling, with several newspapers under his arm, and once in awhile, he would bring Jeff, his collie, with him.

I'll always cherish those early days at WPRO-AM. Salty will always be in my heart as a caring and true radio professional. Thank you Salty, for all the help, direction, and friendship you've shown to me in those days on Mason Street!

You are missed dearly.

Received via email, February 22, 2007.

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 19:54

Suzie, Sunapee, New Hampshire

In the by-gone days of the late '50s and early '60s my very best friend, Billy, and I watched "The Salty Brine Show" (except in our childish Massachusetts accents it came out "The Salty Bry'yaan Show"). Well Vietnam came and went and high school graduation came and went and marriages (to other people) and children and friends all came and went (ummm that is... graduation came and went in the case of the children) and finally after forty years I got the nerve to call my very-best-friend Billy and we're getting together sometime this year (2013) some forty years since we last saw each other at high school graduation. Want to know the last thing I asked him before I hung up on that memorable phone call in December... "Sure I'd love to come for a visit... Do you suppose we could watch Salty Brine??" Of course he got it right away... such a charmed childhood we had.

Received via email, January 14, 2013.

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 19:52

Steve, Cranston, Rhode Island

I read [your] Salty page and was reminded of some details I'd forgotten. Some that are not mentioned are his pot-belly stove and frequent guest appearances by Hank Bouchard clad in cowboy attire with guitar. Does anyone else remember when the shack was "remodeled"? Some changes were apparently required at the WPRO studio and Salty, along with Hank, made much ado about the renovations, sawing away at boards and knocking hammers against the walls of the new set.

I also recall another show sponsor which Salty would partake of while announcing the product name with perfect elocution: "Maid Rite Poe-tay-toe Chips!"

I watched Salty every afternoon as a child. I wish I could see it again, along with the Popeye cartoons I so enjoyed.

Received via email, February 16, 2007.

Fri, 10/28/2022 - 19:50

Roger, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Saw Salty Brine Beach in the news today and wondered if it was named for one of my favorite boyhood memories. Apparently it is. I learned to tell time by how many bells it was on Salty's Shack. A sweet memory of a bygone era of vulgarity-free TV.

Editor's note: On July 11, 2015, a mysterious explosion in the sand near the jetty at Salty Brine State Beach injured a sixty-year-old woman. Scientists from URI eventually concluded that an old copper cable, exposed to salt water, had produced combustible hydrogen gas.

Received via email, July 12, 2015.

Thu, 10/27/2022 - 23:48

Pete, Pensacola, Florida

I grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, and recall anxiously awaiting Salty's TV show every evening after school. It's also where I got my affinity for Popeye and the Three Stooges, whose shorts he'd show during his program, if I recall correctly. My parents took me to a Burger Chef opening ("for a nickel and dime you get: french fried potatoes, big thick shakes, and the greatest fifteen-cent hamburger yet!"—remember?), and I started to go up to him but then chickened out. I think I was about nine at the time. So dumb—he wouldn't hurt a fly. I'll miss his broadcasts, even though I am now retired from the Navy living in Pensacola, Florida. Thanks for the memories, Salty!

Received via email, January 12, 2008.

Thu, 10/27/2022 - 23:47

Paula, White Plains, New York

Here's a picture of the back of Salty's old boat. It's called No School and has Foster Gloster on it because it was seen as funny that Foster Gloster seemed to be located in such a way that they had school cancelled the most often. People would joke about it, and they were so used to Salty saying it over the air. Anyway, he kept his boat on Harbour Island. I took this photo in August 2009. I don't know if it is still there.

Salty's boat, 2009.
Salty's boat, Harbour Island, Galilee, Narragansett. (Courtesy of Paula Piekos, August 2009).

I also heard a good anecdote. The Southland Tourist boat went up and down the Salt Pond area and all the way up into Harbour Island's waters. When the tour guide went by Salty's house, he announced on his loudspeaker, "...and there on your right is the home of Salty Brine!" Salty was on the dock and he yelled to the boat, "And look, it's Salty Brine himself!"

I rented a cottage nearby and kayaked over to take this picture. I heard that Salty's son doesn't really like people poking around taking photos these days. I haven't rented on Harbour Island since then. I used to see Salty and Mickie in the old Hanson's Landing. He was very friendly to me. I once went to his house because a friend at the time had a mobile engine repair business and we had to go to his dock to look at his engine. It was a beautiful property. I just hung around on his back lawn, while my friend fixed his motor.

Here is another Salty anecdote. I once went to mass at Star of the Sea church on the highway heading toward the Galilee Causeway. I was late, so when I got there, all the seats were full and people were standing against the walls. A man told me I could go sit in the choir loft. When I got there, who was at the organ, but Salty! He was the organist for that church.

Received via email, September 23, 2011.

Thu, 10/27/2022 - 23:43

Mike, Newport, Rhode Island

Around 2004 my late friend and house guest Barry Cowsill came home after a Taste of Rhode Island thing, highly excited with a huge grin (I'm sure you who knew Barry can picture it). Barry met Salty and Mrs. Brine at the function and he asked for an autograph. Salty at first, according to Barry, didn't wish to bother as I think he must have been tired, but Barry said he pulled the "I'm Barry Cowsill and have always brushed my teeth and said my prayers" ploy. At that point Mrs. Brine pulled a picture out of her pocket book and Salty signed it. We would often speak about growing up in Newport and always remembered the carnivals that used to be held at King Park featuring Salty and Jeff. Barry jokingly busted my chops over that photo until a short time later while serving as a member of a cannon crew during the Gaspee Days Parade I saw Salty in a convertible and asked for an autograph, which he gave with a big smile. Guess he couldn't resist one of his "kids" dressed in a 1790s uniform. Later that day we placed both [photos] on the living room wall. I miss both those guys.

Received via email, January 11, 2009.

Thu, 10/27/2022 - 23:37

Mike, Nashua, New Hampshire

I was a big fan of Salty Brine and his show on WPRO Channel 12. They had a great signal up into Massachusetts where I grew up. I remember Salty closing the show saying "Brush your teeth and say your prayers... say 'good-night' Jeff!", and of course Jeff would always hit his mark and bark good-night to the camera.

Hmm... no one has mentioned the "Ship's Wheel" segment he used to do, where he would display close-ups of photographs (mostly churches?) taped to his ship's wheel sent in by viewers.

As for his voice, I remember LaRosa Spaghetti was also one of his sponsors. He'd do a short commercial for LaRosa and end it by stretching out the LaRosa name by rolling his tongue "La-R-R-R-Rosa." To this day, I attribute that one sound bite of him to my ability to roll my tongue for voice work.

Received via email, June 9, 2006.

Thu, 10/27/2022 - 23:36

Michael, Marshall, Michigan

On occasion I give Google some obscure information recalled from the past just to see if I can find anything about it. Well today I used "Rise and shine with Salty Brine" and came upon your page about him.

The reason why I used those keywords is because my father used to say that to us sometimes in the morning when we were kids (and probably even beyond). He was born (1941) and raised in West Warwick, Rhode Island, but I never lived in Rhode Island. I was born in Maryland in 1967 and then dad's job with the USDA took us from Maryland to Michigan in 1975. He died suddenly back in New England (strangely enough) while visiting his sister in Vermont in 2002. We had every few years, up through the mid-1980s, visited dad's boyhood home in West Warwick, as Nana lived there until she died, and one of my aunts and her husband remained in the home that "Papa," a Portuguese immigrant carpenter, had built himself.

All I knew of Salty Brine was that he was a "cah-toon" host, until I saw your page and now I know much more! Thanks!

Received via email, April 4, 2007.

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 20:59

Maureen, Taunton, Massachusetts

I have three memories of Salty Brine. About 1961 or '62, my Dad brought my baby sister and I to New York Lace Store in downtown Taunton. We met Salty and were allowed to pet Jeff. We met him a second time a few years later in the same store. When I was 17, I worked for WRLM-FM 93.3 Radio. There was a boat show at the Taunton Dog Track during the summer of 1969, and Mr. Quill ("Uncle Joe") suggested I stop by and say hello. Salty was as I remembered him—a happy, friendly gentleman. Jeff #2 was with him and enjoyed a good scratch behind the ears. I remember listening to Salty for snow cancellations and watching his TV show on our nine-inch black and white console. By the way, if I remember correctly, Joe Quill and Salty were friends. "Uncle Joe" was on WPEP-AM 1570 for many years—a regular station at our house. Joe Quill joined up with John McCarthy and opened the WRLM 93.3 FM station around 1965 or 1966. All three radio personalities are gone and missed.

Received via email, July 4, 2005.

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 20:57

Mark, Gorham, Maine

My family moved from Providence to Barrington in the mid-'50s. I watched Salty and Jeff on WPOR on a small Zenith b/w TV. I thought that Salty knew Popeye! At the end of our road was a small farm; the farmer I remember as "Uncle Fred." Turns out that Fred and Salty were buddies...

One summer day, when I was maybe 6, Uncle Fred asked me to come by the farm later, as he had a surprise. So off I went to the farm by myself (you could do that, back then) only to find Salty Brine there!

What a thrill to meet "Salty from the TV!" Before I went home, Salty had shown me how to place a blade of grass between my thumbs to make a whistle. I look forward to showing my grandson that trick. I'll never forget his kindness to this ordinary kid!

Received via email, November 29, 2021.

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 20:56

Luvssixties, Narragansett, Rhode Island

I was on Salty's Shack as a young lass. It is a vague memory for me but I do seem to recall Jeff more than Salty.

My husband knows a man who, as a child, won some kind of a contest and was given a Salty's Shack (really a small shed) and a collie dog. How cool that must have been!

Posted in alt.rhode_island on Usenet, July 25, 2003.

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 20:55

Loie, Attleboro, Massachusetts

I would like to tell a quick story about when I was a little girl. I loved my oldest brother very much because I always looked up to him, but he didn't appreciate how I tried to honor him one day. One of my favorite shows was the Salty Brine Shack! I sent my brother's photo in and we were sitting around the table having supper, when my brother Bob heard his name mentioned by Salty. Salty said he was a little too old for his photo to be shown on the wheel but since it was sent in, they would show it! Bob ended up chasing me around the table. I thought he would kill me for sending his picture in!

Salty's Shipmates, undated.
Detail of photo showing the ship's wheel from Salty's Shack. (Courtesy of Barry and Elaine Vaill, former owners of the The Christmas House in Exeter).

Received via email, December 26, 2007.

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 20:53

Linda, Marietta, Georgia

Who could forget Salty's immortal line "No school Fostaglosta." Didn't you always want to live out there?

I was six or seven when Salty's collie Jeff died, and someone gave him a collie puppy. I remember being so proud when I found out my cousin Irene's friend was the girl who had given him the puppy. Funny what you're proud of at that age!

Posted in alt.rhode_island on Usenet, July 26, 2003. Used with permission.

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 22:33

Lawrence, Templeton, Massachusetts

As a boy born in the days when you only received Channels 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, and 27 in Worcester, and only then if you lived on Airport Hill, there were shows that, if [you were] lucky enough to own a TV (ours was a Stromberg Carlson), you watched religiously—Salty's was one of those shows.

I have read some of the writing here and so far no one has mentioned "The Magic Window." This was where Salty would have pictures he had drawn of such characters as Herkimer Kiwi and his submarine. You needed to tune in the next day to follow the story. I was in Ludlow Street School, fourth grade, and used the art skills Salty demonstrated on the show to copy that submarine and ended up being picked to represent the school in the city's art festival in 1959. Salty brought out a talent in me that I still can use to this day, if needed. I passed it on to my children and grandchildren; it lives still in my ten year old, forty-seven years later. Salty is still with us in the memories of Baby Boomers and those we pass his lesson to.

Received via email, February 4, 2006.

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 22:32

Ken, Manchester, New Hampshire

I come from an old line of Rhode Islanders, was born in 1952 in Newport and raised in Portsmouth.

My brother, sister and I loved listening to Salty's radio show, hoping against hope for a school cancellation. When we were young, it always seemed to snow much more in other parts on the state than on the island. One morning, as usual, Salty gave the big "no school in Fosta Glosta" line and then proceeded to name about a million (it seemed) other towns where school had been cancelled. Then, and it must have been with a sly grin, he added, "but, for all you lucky kids in Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth, there will be school!" We forgave him... eventually.

I have such fond memories of watching The Shack. My own kids know the line "brush your teeth and say your prayers." One particularly fond memory of mine took place probably around 1962-'03 when I would have been ten or eleven years old. Salty was running a contest to win a chance to go on a cruise with him around Narragansett Bay on a boat called the Prudence 2. You had to send in a postcard to enter. Then he would draw a few out of a big hamper each night and announce the names of the winners. One night, I just about jumped out of my skin when he read my name! So, my mother and I went up to Providence on the big day and went on the cruise. I remember being allowed up in the pilot house with Salty who explained about the red and green buoys in the channel. What a memory. Gotta stop now. Getting all choked up.

Prudence II ferry, 1980s.
A combination of two photos of the ferry Prudence II, circa 1980s. (From the estate of Deborah M. Smith of Pawtucket).

Go with God, Salty.

Received via email, September 5, 2008.

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 22:31

Judy, Boston, Massachusetts

My fond memory of Salty Brine's Shack was the time my sister was invited to sing a duet with another little girl at Christmastime. The other little girl did not show up and my sister was forced to sing the song all by herself. She was about nine or ten and looked scared out of her wits, but she bravely sang her song!

Received via email, July 26, 2010.

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 22:25

Jon, Middletown, Rhode Island

I noticed one reader has confused two old TV personalities. Lawrence from Templeton, Mass. wrote about Salty drawing characters on his show. I'm almost positive that he has confused Salty with Captain Bob (who was on channel 5 in Boston). I know for sure that Captain Bob drew Herkimer Kiwi. I was lucky enough to grow up in Wayland, Mass., where I could pick up both Boston and Providence stations.

Received via email, November 30, 2010.

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 22:24

John, Gilbert, Arizona

My father was a cameraman and my uncle was a director at WPRO-TV in the sixties. My father worked the evening shift and my uncle worked days with a few hours of overlap during which time Salty's Shack was broadcast. Occasionally during the summer, I would ride to the studio with my father and then go to my uncle's house when he went home. I remember being invited by Salty to be on the show several times and somewhere there are some pictures to prove it since the show was live [and] there wasn't any video tape. I was pretty shy and wasn't that enthusiastic about being on TV but Salty would make me feel welcome. Sometimes he would have me announce the next cartoon or the commercial sponsor. And there was always some sort of snack food like ice cream or Twinkies that was being promoted.

I specifically remember one episode where Salty was promoting a comic book. He was asking me what I thought about it and I attempted to stand the comic book on the podium with the pages open facing the camera. It kept falling over and I kept trying to keep it in place and my father was frantically signaling me to stop. Although I was invited back, my embarrassment about the situation put an end to my short TV acting career.

Received via email, February 6, 2011.

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 22:35

Gladys, Oceano, California

When I was a child fifty years ago, Salty was in my life at breakfast and dinnertime five days a week, between 1950 or so and the middle sixties.

I was so happy when he would say, "No school Warren." That was great. Then watching Salty's Shack...

Salty visits Potter Children's Hospital, undated.
"Rhode Island's beloved 'Salty' Brine visits Potter Children's Hospital." Part of an historical exhibit at Rhode Island Hospital, Providence. (photographed November 10, 2022).

I also remember the Christmas parties. Salty would M.C. the party. It was held at the Warren Town Hall. Salty would introduce Santa. He would help pass out presents to us children. I think of him often. He was my favorite person from my childhood.

I couldn't wait to go back to Rhode Island for the Fourth of July Parade, so I could see him. I hope to see him when we meet again in God's home.

Received via email, April 23, 2007.

Fri, 11/11/2022 - 22:25

Gary, Sunset Beach, North Carolina

I grew up during the Salty Brine era. I am proud to say that my dad was on the show with Salty. His name is Gene Sanocki. He played Olie, Salty's side kick. My dad was also the puppet man on the show. Chuck and Sock were a regular on the show. He also did the original "Miss Piggy." I used to play with them when I was a kid. Dad also did commercials for Scottie Stores. Pop's pushing eighty, and I have great memories of him on the show. It was also really cool being able to be on the show.

Received via email, February 10, 2011.

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 22:00

Ed, Montville, Maine

I grew up in Mansfield, Massachusetts, in the period of 1957-'75. I recall Salty Brine drawing with people's names (written in, and he would make caricatures out of the name), and I recall something I have not seen referenced: "fry-de-mens and skall-ee-whos." No idea what it meant—he would say it at the end of the show.

Thanks for caring about this great old-time personality. He did me good as I was growing up.

Received via email, November 23, 2007.

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 21:37

Dyanne, Indian Lake, New York

I too remember "time to turn so you won't burn!" I was also very, very jealous of Foster-Glocester! I decided I definitely wanted to move there as soon as possible so I could get in more sledding. I eventually settled in Hamilton, Massachusetts, and listened to his son Wally for years! When we moved to New York, my husband still commuted to Massachusetts to work and he had to fill me in on the antics of Loren and Wally! Hearing Wally gave me as much comfort as hearing his father, good ole' Salty.

Loren and Wally record a promo, 1983:

Received via email, September 28, 2009.

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 21:03

Don, Riverside, California

Hey guys! I grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, and was a regular viewer of Salty's Shack. His program was a high point for each day for my brother and I. One unusual event happened after a weather report from Nancy Byers, the weather girl. Salty announced that he had just received a message from a viewer and read it:

"Please advise Miss Byers that I've just finished shoveling fourteen inches of light fog out of my driveway."

Received via email, June 18, 2007.

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 20:47

David, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

I often think fondly of my life in Rhode Island when I was a young tyke. [When I was] an eight-year-old cub scout my mother, ([the] den mother), arranged to have our troop appear on Salty's show and sing a song using hand puppets that we made. During the show Salty would give one of his guests a glass of chocolate milk (I think it was Nestles?). I raised my hand along with everyone else but he did not choose me. My disappointment must have made an impression because after the show he came to me with a glass of chocolate milk. I never forgot that experience. We moved to Pennsylvania in 1958 and I still think of the show. Funny the things one remembers.

Received via email, March 10, 2007.

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 20:41

Dave, Reisterstown, Maryland

I live in Maryland and have lived away from Rhode Island for more than twenty-five years now, I miss it, but I still recall the snow closing announcements like it was yesterday!

Tonight I was having dinner with my kids (14 and 16) listening to classic Christmas songs. (They get their no-school announcements via text, poor kids.) It brought back a fond memory of my Grandparents listening to Bing Crosby on their stereo. Then I described the large piece of furniture this stereo was to my kids of the iPod generation and it brought forth another very specific memory...

I was six and my younger brother John and I were laying on the floor of my grandparents home on Harbor Island early one morning listening to Salty on WPRO. It was March 3rd. Out of the speakers came the announcement of my sister's birth the day before. How cool was that!!?

He made a lot of announcements like that and it all seemed quite random, but my grandparents had a bit of an "in" as Salty lived a few doors down from them and they were good friends. I can vividly remember him visiting them and seeing him when I visited. He was larger than life to me, after hearing him ALL the time on the radio. Yet, he was so friendly and you would have never known he was a "celebrity" of any kind. When the adults sat around after dinner with a cocktail, he'd often loosen his leg to get more comfortable. I guess most people didn't realize he had lost most of it, as he was on radio.

The Southland tour boat used to go by on the water (Salt Pond if I remember right) in front of his house a couple times a day and announce over their PA that Salty Brine lived in the grey house up on the hill. It was hard to miss!

Southland Riverboat ad, 2002.
(Summer in South County, August 2002).

Once in a while my brother and I would be fishing off the rocks or the beach and Salty would make the trek down the steps from his house to the dock where he'd strip down to his bathing suit, leave his leg on the dock and jump in for a swim.

On a visit to Rhode Island years ago I was thrilled to see they renamed Galilee State beach after him. It was just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from his house. My grandparents took me there all the time as it was the most kid-friendly beach. How appropriate.

After all the discussion with my kids I wanted to look up some of the details about Salty and found your page! Keep up the good work!

Received via email, December 19, 2014.

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 20:29

Dave, Manchester, United Kingdom

...I too would like to share a memory of "Salty."

I was on a long vacation (thirteen weeks) from the UK during the summer months of July 1962. I was only age 11 at the time. As a keen children's TV viewer at the time in the UK, [I thought] TV celebrities were something to be seen on TV, not met in person, [which] was unheard of. [While in the States] I'd seen "Salty and Jeff" on his regular evening spot several times and thought he was magical.

One evening we went somewhere in the Providence, Rhode Island, area to a Fun Fair. Little did I know I was to see "Salty" in person! He was at one of the attractions among all the other attractions, as I remember, just sitting signing autographs. I couldn't believe my eyes, this was a truly unforgettable experience for me—"a real live TV celebrity" before my eyes.

After plucking up the courage to meet him and speak to him, within seconds he put me at ease, and I was soon telling him I was from England on a visit, I liked his show, and where was Jeff, etcetera, etcetera. He must have been asked "where was Jeff" at least a hundred times that evening, yet the answer to my question was as if no one had asked before.

He truly was a genuinely nice man.

He gave me his autograph [and] picture postcard, at the time, of himself and Jeff. I would have loved to attach it to this email but I just can't find it anymore!

Gorman's Bread postcard, undated.
Was your postcard like this one of Salty and Little Jeff sharing a smile over a loaf of Gorman's Bread, Dave? (circa 1961).

Received via email, October 22, 2006.

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 19:28

Dana, Tucson, Arizona

Growing up in Rhode Island in the fifties, I was of course a huge fan of Salty's Shack. Loved the Popeye cartoons, among other things, and of course thought Jeff was, next to Rin Tin Tin and Lassie, the smartest dog that had ever lived. My father was an insurance adjuster and had to go out and look at Salty's car after he had been involved in a minor accident. He asked "The Old Salt" if he could bring me along and was told, "Certainly." I wasn't told where we were going or whom we were about to see. Needless to say when Salty AND Jeff came out of the house where we stopped, I just about lost it! I got to pet Jeff and shake Salty's hand. It's a memory that has stayed with me for over fifty years and I'll never forget it!

Thanks Salty and thanks Dad.

Received via email, March 9, 2007.

Wed, 10/19/2022 - 21:49

Cynthia, Narragansett, Rhode Island

Cynthia, Narragansett, Rhode Island

I use this line to this day, and it actually works: "Time to turn so you don't burn!" All my children know that if they have been in a seated/reclined position at the beach for thirty minutes, they have to move.

Posted in alt.rhode_island on Usenet, July 30, 2003. Used with permission.

Wed, 10/19/2022 - 21:43

Chuck, Chapin, South Carolina

When I was a kid, I watched Salty on TV. Did you know he had a summer cottage near Point Judith? When I walked down to the water I passed by his cottage and now and then he had his collie out and would let me pet him. It was a beautiful collie, well-groomed if I remember right. Very nice man!

Received via email, June 12, 2010.

Wed, 10/19/2022 - 21:39

Chuck, Caribou, Maine

I grew up on Jamestown during the late '50s, '60s, and early '70s, and fondly remember WPRO Radio 6-3-0 on your radio dial. Salty's shack was a favorite meeting place for our family on Channel 12; in front of the old nine-inch diagonal RCA "Portable" (it weighed about fifty pounds). Most of my memories are vague, but tonight I was asked what was my favorite TV show growing up and I immediately thought of Salty and Jeff. When I got home, I Googled him and here I am. So sad to hear of his passing, but glad his son has taken up the reins.

Wed, 10/19/2022 - 21:33

Charlie, Western Maine

It is with tears and a tight throat that I read the recollections of Salty's fans. Hopefully I can add mine.

  1. The smile was, I believe, genuine.
  2. An interview I watched, don't remember when, but he said his first day of his broadcasting career was December 7, 1941. One of his first broadcasts was that Pearl Harbor was attacked.
  3. Times have changed. Salty advised boaters to puncture their cans prior to throwing them overboard so they would sink to the bottom.
  4. The only radio guy to play the same song twice in a row. He said before the replay "That was a good song, let's hear that again."

Received via email, May 16, 2018.

Wed, 10/19/2022 - 21:22

Century, Salt Lake City, Utah

What a treat to reminisce about Salty Brine. I was another of those kids glued to the radio during a snow storm, wishing for Salty to announce a snow day. I don't think he ever listed Kingston, but those lucky ducks in Foster-Glocester! Where was that, the North Pole?

As a kid in the early seventies, I had a job washing dishes at the Sweet Meadows Inn in Narragansett. I believe Salty was part owner or an investor. Whenever he came in, the mood of the whole place would pick up. He would stop and poke his head in the kitchen and say hi to everybody. Even as the lowly dishwasher, I got the same genuine warmth and smile as everyone else. I can remember like it was yesterday how good it made me feel.

Sweet Meadows Inn and Motel, 1978.
The dining room of the Sweet Meadows Inn and Motel. (LK Guide to Rhode Island, 1978).

Received via email, March 22, 2009.

Tue, 10/18/2022 - 22:31

Catherine, Sandy Hook, Connecticut

I appeared on Salty Brine's Spotlight on Talent in April or May of 1963. I was so mad at my mother for submitting my name. What I didn't realize is that at the audition, they timed my piece that I played on the piano—Gavotte. The day of the taping, I left out an entire section. All I can remember is everyone scrambling as their timing was off! The day of the airing there was a fire in the woods behind our house. It was put out minutes before the airing. My parents invited all of the firefighters in the house to see me play! I was all of 10 years old. I wonder if there are any tapes of these shows?

Gavotte, as played by a random internet lady

Received via email, July 13, 2015.

Tue, 10/18/2022 - 22:03

Catherine, Arlington, Massachusetts

I was born in Rhode Island in 1950. I remember watching Salty's Shack very well. I loved him and his collie Jeff. One day I heard that Salty would be at Mal's Baby Store in Pawtucket greeting his fans and signing autographs. I was so excited! We lived right up the street from Mal's on Mineral Spring Avenue. My brother and I went to Mal's on the day of his appearance. We waited in line with what seemed to me like thousands of other kids. As we got close to the front of the line, I felt so excited to see Salty and hear his familiar voice IN PERSON! I was just as excited to see Jeff. I couldn't wait to pet him. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world when Salty said hi to us and let us pet Jeff. And then the big surprise happened: Salty said, "Well, you two must be brother and sister." I was shocked! How could he possibly know that? For years I thought that, in addition to being so kind and funny, he had magical powers! I thought that I was probably one of the few people who knew this, so I felt a special connection with him. After that, when I watched his show, I thought he could probably see me right through the screen!

Mal's ad, 1951.
(Providence Sunday Journal, May 27, 1951).

Received via email, August 4, 2008.

Tue, 10/18/2022 - 21:08

Carlos, Seekonk, Massachusetts

When I was a little boy my parents and I drove to the television studio during the Jerry Louis marathon to donate some money. Salty Brine was there, and ended up giving me a whole bunch of cool stuff... the one gift I remember was a huge inflatable "munchkin" doll that was a promotional item for Dunkin' Donuts. I had no idea why he gave me all this stuff, until I went to school and found out I was on TV!

Salty's Shipmates, undated.
Using unsuspecting children to shill for their advertisers? Gotta pay the bills somehow. This time the product placement is for La Rosa brand pasta. (Courtesy of Barry and Elaine Vaill, former owners of the The Christmas House in Exeter).

One of these days I'll pay to have someone go through the archives and find the old footage, if it exists. I'd love to see myself at that age again.

Received via email, December 19, 2008.

Tue, 10/18/2022 - 19:58

Bob, Aston, Pennsylvania

Briefly put, Salty Brine was a part of my childhood that I recall with crystal clarity and with fond memory. All of the years since my childhood, Salty has lived in my heart, and I reject the notion that he has passed. The institution that he became occurred after he became a part of my life. Others will memorialize him, and appropriately so. I'll simply remember him... he lives on.

Posted in alt.rhode_island on Usenet, November 4, 2004. Used with permission.

Tue, 10/18/2022 - 19:45

Anne, Providence, Rhode Island

The summer when I was fourteen, my dad and I got to the old Providence train station very early for an Amtrak train that was going to take me to visit a friend in southwestern Connecticut. So Dad said, "Let's walk over to the radio station," (then located near the old Bonanza bus terminal, approximately where the Westin stands today, or maybe part of the mall), "and see if Salty Brine is in." Dad was an early riser, and we listened to Salty regularly on morning radio.

Promotional card, circa 1960s.
Promotional card, circa 1960s.

We went to the station and asked for Salty. He came out and greeted us warmly, gave us a personal tour of the studio, and chatted with my dad for a while. He had never met us in his life, but we might as well have been old friends. I'll never forget his welcoming smile and generosity. What a great ambassador for Rhode Island he was.

Posted to alt.rhode_island on Usenet, July 26, 2003. Used with permission.

Thu, 09/08/2022 - 23:42

John, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

When I was a kid in the early 1960s Salty broadcast a cartoon show called Salty's Shack or something like that on Channel 12 in Providence. He was the host of the show and would introduce the cartoons: Popeye and the like. Channel 12's signal boomed into Massachusetts in those pre-cable days. He was a great announcer and personality. In fact, I have a picture of me and Salty at the now defunct Edaville Railroad Museum, taken around 1959 when I was six.

Edaville Railroad postcard, undated.
Undated postcard of Jeff and Salty at Edaville Railroad.

The thing I remember most about Salty's TV show was that it came on around 5pm every day when I would be starving. The show was sponsored by Hostess Cupcakes and Salty made a big deal out of opening the cupcakes, Twinkies, etcetera, in front of the camera and oohing and aahing about how good they were!

In the 1970s I was an announcer in Providence on All News 79 WEAN. Many of my fellow announcers fondly remembered Salty as being a great guy. His newsman was a big-voiced guy named Bud Thaves, who legend has it, continually was offerred news jobs at the Big 68 WRKO in Boston, but always turned them down! Not too many people turned down Bill Drake in those days.

Posted in rec.radio.broadcasting on Usenet, May 20, 1995. Used with permission.

Thu, 09/08/2022 - 23:20

Big John, Raytown, Missouri

Yup, I'm an old timer; right now getting ready for 54. I was just browsing through my eBay watch list when I saw a WSAR Fall River radio station top song list from 1975. For some unexplainable reason it made me start looking for info about Salty Brine. Your web site has the mother load of Salty information. I remember watching in the early morning, I think. We lived in Fall River at the time. We got channels 6, 10, and 12. Salty's Shack [is a pleasant] memory. Am I correct that there was something about a stick and a white flag hanging from it that waved in a window, side to side? I was so happy to read articles that showed Salty's work [and life] history into the years 2000-plus. What a heart breaker to see that he has passed on to better times.

WPRO-TV promotional photo, undated.
WPRO-TV promotional photo, undated. (Courtesy of Barry and Elaine Vaill, former owners of the The Christmas House in Exeter).

I currently live in Missouri just outside of Kansas City. I have been out here for twenty years now. I am glad to have found your writings and clips about Salty the man. Now I am in a position to understand and appreciate more about what made life easy and fun then. Everybody seemed to love this guy. Did he have anything to do with any Rocky Point radio advertisements? [Mine] is as nice as most posts I have read to your web page [but it] doesn't have to go there [on the site]. It is more of a thank you, for you, for bringing me up to date about things that resurfaced out of the blue about that show and time. So here it is from my heart to yours: I wish you all the years of success to match your subject. You should have another forty or fifty more to go to catch up with Salty.

Received via email, May 26, 2009.

You're very welcome, Big John. But please don't call yourself an "old timer" yet—you're only about ten years older than we are!—Ed.

Thu, 09/08/2022 - 01:33

Betty, Okeechobee, Florida

I was born in Pawtucket some sixty-nine years ago [1940—ed.] and I grew up listening to Salty on the radio way before TV. My Aunt Ruth was the "diaper lady." He talked about her often on the morning show. She called in to request songs and talk to Salty and she would tell her woes over the diapers frozen on the line or something, and so he began to call her the diaper lady as she had a new story about the diapers every day.

Many years after the diaper lady thing my cousin was a dancer on the TV show WPRO had. It was mostly kids. I don't really remember how old he was—around 12—but he sure could tap dance. Salty had something to do with that show or stopped by and finally met the diaper kid. We all thought this was funny. If you can find a faithful listener from the '40s they may remember the diaper lady.

WPRO Great Scott buck.
A WPRO Great Scott buck featuring Salty and Jeff, undated. Great Scott was a supermarket chain. In 1955 it had two locations in Providence, and one each in East Providence and West Warwick.

Salty's radio program was over at 9am and the Don McNeill show came on and we marched around the breakfast table. Of course that was when there was no school.

During the late '50s (1958, I think) they [WPRO] had a green stamp campaign to buy Christmas toys for children who would not get anything otherwise. All you had to do was send the green stamps in finished books or part finished books and they would get the toys. Well, this was a huge success and they had tons of loose stamps. Then they asked if anyone wanted to volunteer to put the stamps in books. I took a bus many days to Providence to help with putting the stamps in books.

I never did forget Salty and he did not forget my Aunty, the diaper lady. I remember best The Little Rascals, my favorite part of the Salty Brine's Shack show. Also his wife's stuffed pork chops. Boy, he could make your mouth water with his description of many of his favorite meals. My cousin found your web site. It sure was great to read and it brought back many memories of great times of my childhood, and then later my children's childhoods.

Received via email, November 15, 2009.

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 20:33

armymanchance1947, no location given

I grew up with Salty Brine and Jeff, his dog. I used to watch his program, Salty Brine's Shack. Woke up every morning with Salty on WPRO AM hoping to hear our school was closed because of a snow storm. If I had a bad day I came home and watched Salty on my black and white TV with 4 channels only and felt better. Growing up, he showed me how nice some people are and I always wished I had a dad like him to this day and I am 68 years old and miss him. God bless Salty, we miss you.

Received via email, March 1, 2015.

Salty in a parade, 1980s.
At a Bristol 4th of July parade in the 1980s, Salty was given a place of honor on a man-drawn rickshaw. (From the estate of the Zanghi family of Warren).

Sat, 05/27/2023 - 01:17

Lynn, Long Beach, New York

I can contribute two anecdotes that really give a sense of the man and his "people" sense and values. When I was a grade school girl in Barrington, R.I., in the late '50s, the boy in the apartment upstairs, whose name was Henry, was accidentally hit and run over by a big road surfacing truck. With the tar ground into the terribly wounded and fractured leg, my small friend ended up losing the limb above the knee and was despondent. Salty somehow got word of it and came to visit, to show Henry his own leg, and give him encouragement to learn how to use his prosthetic. He also of course sent Henry good wishes and updates on his Shack show.

WPRO-TV promotional photo, undated.
Salty and Jeff share their love of ten flavors of Eclipse brand syrup in this undated WPRO-TV promotional photo. (Courtesy of Barry and Elaine Vaill, former owners of the The Christmas House in Exeter).

Later, when I was in High School and listening to Salty on WPRO radio, he did something that showed his principles and high standards for programming that would be listened to by a young audience. He had received a broadcast copy of a new song called "They're Coming to Take Me Away," which if you remember it, was humorous but kind of negative, and he put it on. About a minute into it he pulled it off the air and said, "Well, that's enough of that, we can do without a song like that." Funny or not, Salty found it was in poor taste and ridiculed the mentally challenged, not good listening for his very large young pop music audience, and he wouldn't give it exposure.

I'm seventy years old now, and I remember these two things about him with great clarity. Along with the Leo Laporte "Christmas Candlelight" readings on WPRO, Salty was one of the enduring voices of my childhood.

Received via email, March 2, 2021.

Thu, 09/08/2022 - 23:35