Radio DJ, Raynham native Nancy Quill, at the MA Broadcasters Hall of Fame
RAYNHAM — native of Raynham Nancy Plume was always going to pursue a career in music.
As an aspiring singer-songwriter, Quill began playing music at an early age with her high school band and was a huge fan of the Beatles and 1970s California sound while growing up in Raynham and as a band. student at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School. Later, as a student at UMass Lowell, she studied music and was a performer.
“I loved, really loved classic rock,” Quill said, “I loved California rock — Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac and Joni Mitchell — and I grew up listening to that in The Beatles, of course. I played the piano and sang and went to music school at Lowell University.
“Music was really what it was about for me. Music has always been part of my life. »
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How she got her start on radio
Music, it seemed, was his calling. But radio was a family affair.
The late Joe Quill, his father, was co-owner of WRLM in Taunton. Today, the former WRLM is WSNE, 93.3 on the local dial, and is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. But WRLM was where young Nancy Quill had her first encounter with a radio studio and the musical sounds of the day.
And Joe Quill, being a radio guy, was always sure to remind Nancy that the radio broadcast booth was a good option, albeit a big shift in perspective, for someone pursuing a career in the radio business. the music.
And it was a familiar setting.
“I always wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be a singer-songwriter, but my dad always said, “You know, you really should get your radio license,” because he knew I could do it. I had been on the air at WRLM two to three times. I used to do commercials for my dad, and then when I went to college I worked on the college radio station,” she said.
“He kept telling me ‘get your radio license’ and one day when I was on the college radio station I was like, you know, I really like radio. I really like being on the air. I like doing what I do. I think it turned out that radio is what I really wanted to do and that’s really how it evolved.
It was a good call.
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Headed to the hall of fame
After 38 years of work, the former Magic WMJX 106.7 DJ is about to be inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in September, joining nine local on-air personalities, including longtime Boston Red Sox play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough and Eric Jackson, considered the “dean of Boston Jazz Radio” and host of many Boston area radio programs through the years.
Quill spent 38 years making “continuous soft rock” for Magic 106.7, starting his career there as a late-night DJ, then settling for a long stint in the midday slot.
Quill has been called “the most listened-to woman in the city of Boston,” a claim backed by her nearly four decades at WMJX, one of Boston’s top-rated stations. WMJX was only third behind MISTAKE and WBZ in the most recent Nielsen 10-Ten List for Boston Radio; Quill spent years as a consistent number one in his 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. timeslot.
“I’m still amazed by that,” Quill said. “But I think a lot of that was because we were such a successful radio station and we just played good music. We had a lot of listeners and I was lucky that in my time slot we We had a lot of people listening at that time of day, so I’m really lucky to be part of such a successful radio station.
Magic 106.7 is known in Boston and throughout the region for playing hits on the lighter side of musical genres, just enough to help listeners relax amid the midday bustle.
“That’s what we called ourselves, ‘continuous soft rock,’ and we kind of evolved over time,” Quill said. “Of course, the soft rock of the early 80s is very different from the softer music of today, which is actually a bit more intense.
How the radio industry has changed
“Now you can hear Def Leopard on a soft-rock radio station and we never played Def Leopard or anything like that in the 80s when Magic started, so it must have evolved over time. That’s how radio is and I think the success of Magic is that we’ve always followed the changing tastes of the audience, the demographics would change and we would change with them, and so our music would change.
WMJX hit local airwaves in 1982, and Quill, then 22, was among the first group of on-air personalities, with David Allan Bouchardwho announced his retirement plans earlier this year.
When Quill was hired, she figured the gig would last a few years, and then she’d go somewhere else…to another station, maybe another city. But like Bouchard, she managed to hold on to her place and become one of Boston’s best-known radio voices.
“You never know, because in this job, it’s hard to keep a job in the same place, and I was lucky, as was my colleague David Allan Boucher, who just retired. We started at the same time, we were hired in December 1981. We were the same age and we were at the same stage of our careers and we were hired the same day.
Instead, Quill stayed with Magic for 38 years. She retired in 2020. Today, she takes care of voice-over work, maintaining a small recording studio at home.
“It was a great run and a great experience and I don’t think many people in this industry can say they’ve been at a radio station that long,” she said.
Unlike many modern radio DJs, who are sometimes the main draw and can take up as much or more airtime than the music, Quill said the goal in his early days was to keep it short and spin the hits. . Over the years, her on-air persona grew and evolved a bit, but she says it was always about the music and the listeners, not the DJ.
“Whether I succeeded or not I guess is up to people, but I always wanted to be myself, and my dad always said that, ‘be yourself’, but be friendly and warm and don’t worry about me, but do it about the listener,” she said.
“What does the listener feel or think that day? What are their thoughts? I wanted to kind of get into the listeners’ heads because I wanted them to feel like they’re the ones that’s important, not me. I play music but it’s for the listener.
“I think people feel like they know you, so that’s what makes them want to come back all the time. You are a familiar voice and if you do it right, if you contact them, they want to be part of your day, in addition to listening to music. They know there is a familiar, friendly, warm and caring voice to guide you through the day.”
Boston’s media market is one of the biggest and best in the country, Quill says, and she’s grateful to have worked in a busy and always interesting market and to work close to home and where she grew up.
“I think it’s one of the best markets in the country, there’s no doubt about that, especially in the 80s and 90s. I think even in the 70s, I mean, we only had big radio personalities. We’re still a top 10 market in the country and I loved being in Boston. I love being a part of the Boston culture.”
While working for WMJX, Quill and his family resided in Sharon for many years. Today, she lives in Lakewood Ranch, near Sarasota. She looks forward to visiting the Hall of Fame induction festivities in September.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for September 22 at the Boston Quincy Marriot Hotel.
“It’s quite humiliating, I must say. I am truly, truly honored and look forward to induction. It’s truly breathtaking,” Quill said.
“When you’re on the air and you’re doing it, you don’t think about that kind of thing. You just think that’s what you do and that you like doing what you do. And then the years pass and you realize that you have a career and that you have succeeded in it. It’s nice to know that someone recognizes him and I’m really, really proud.
No doubt Joe Quill would be delighted.
“He would be awfully proud if he was here right now, and I’m sure he would attend the ceremony.”