I have been a fan of Doug “Greaseman” Tracht since he was on WWDC-FM, in Washington, DC; that was 1981. My friend Greg Monti used to send me air checks of all the DC stations. Finding the Greaseman was like finding gold in a barren dirt field.
I couldn’t get over this guy and his sheer brilliance with language. He had a way of speaking that no one in radio ever had or could imitate. Then, again, he was a very unique radio personality.
It was in his college radio days that he used to say he was “cooking with grease.” His friends and coworkers started caslling him Greaseman. He built an entire persona around that name, along with a cast of characters that he built his stories around.
Here’s the radio career of the Greaseman, who spent a good portion of his career in Washington, DC insulting all the politicians I’m sure. WICB-FM 91.7 Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, that was 1968-1972. WTKO-AM 1470 Ithaca, NY from 1969 to 1972. Weekends on WENY-AM 1230, in Elmira, NY in WENE-AM 1430, now WMRV, in Endicott, NY from 1970 to 1972. WAXC-AM 1460, in Rochester, New York, from 1972-1973. For one shift only, the Greaseman was on WKBW-AM 1520, now WWKB, in Buffalo, NY, in 1973. He worked WRC-AM 980, "The Great 98," in Washington DC for most of 1973 and January 1974. WPOP-AM 1410 Hartford, CT from 1974 to 1975. WKYS-FM 93.9, when it was WRC-FM, in Washington DC for four days in 1975. WAPE-AM 690, now FM 95.1, in Jacksonville, FL, from 1975 to 1982. The Greaseman worked WWDC-FM 101.1 "DC 101," in Washington DC, from 1982 to 1993. His show was syndicated from 1993 to 1998. He worked WARW-FM 94.7, in Washington DC, from 1997 to 1999. His show went into syndicated, again, from 2001 to 2007 and he worked WGOP/WDMV-AM 700, in Washington, DC from 2002 to 2007. He also worked WMET-AM 1160, in Washington DC from 2005 to 2007 and WWDC-FM 101.1 "DC/101," also in Washington DC, in 2008. The last radio stop, so far, for the Greaseman was WFYV-FM 104.5 "Rock 105" Jacksonville, FL, from 2008 to 2010.
It’s been almost two years since Greaseman has been on the air entertaining his legion of fans. But trust me there are plenty of air checks and videos of him floating around on the internet. One of the best sites is greaseman.org, run by his super fan, Steve Olsen, which is where I got the above listing of all the stations.
One of the best things about Greaseman is that he was very friendly to all his callers, and instead of making fun of them, he dispensed advice and went into one of his bits that fit the phone call.
I digress; I wanted to talk about some of the expressions and words that Greaseman uses to cloak his bits about sex and its various actions, along with various sound effects,
Hydraulics: Male Anatomy
Bearded Clam, Scamper: Female Anatomy
Tata’s: Female breasts
Hobble-do-gee, Cut a Slice: Intercourse
Shangra La: Orgasm
Bombay Doors: Buttocks
Packin’ the fudge: Anal Sex
Gobble-de-gee, Snarlin’, Carpet Munching: Oral Sex
Baby Batter: Male Semen
Speckle: Male Orgasm
Massive: Leaving a huge #2 in the bathroom
A Bone Dry: Female Ejaculate
Maggots: Callers on the phone
The use of words is what makes Greaseman the character that he is. There is no other radio personality that I know of that could ever had pulled off this kind of routine. Unfortunately, there were a couple of instances where Grease got into trouble.
The first was in 1985. He made an unfortunate joke about Martin Luther King Jr. while at WWDC-AM. He was suspended for five days. The other occurred in 1999. He made a comment on WARW-FM related to the death of, James Byrd, which got him immediately fired.
Then of course there is his huge stable of characters, including his main persona, Nino Greasemanelli. Some of his other characters include Sgt. Fury, The Lawman, Fudgeman, Johnny Rico, Johnny Avocado, Carlos the Jackal, Damien, Big Dick Brannigan, Irving Greasmanowitz, Emperor Tukasfacius, and Clinton, which is a takeoff on Clint Eastwood and The Punk being gay lovers.
Grease has many parody songs, but these two are the most well-known. “The Devil Goes Down To Georgetown,” which is sung to the classic Charlie Daniels song, and “The Trip to West Virginia” which has banjo music.
As I’m writing this, “The Return of Grease on DC101” is playing on the CD player, giving me not only inspiration but a lot of laughs. Hearing him talk to a woman about chicken pox is hilarious, as she tells him that her husband won’t have sex with her because she is covered head to toe, including her scamper.
Needless to say, the story gets out of hand as he talks about a woman having a job interview, and the boss is staring at her bodacious tatas, while reading her resume. You can only imagine where it goes from there.
Is there a home for Greaseman on the radio today? Probably not in this environment of corporate radio that is afraid to disappoint shareholders who don’t know what entertainment is. I applauded Cox Radio when they hired Grease at Rock 105 in Jacksonville in 2008. When he was let go in 2010, ratings were supposedly not the issue and the station just stated they were going “in a different direction,” which was a music intensive show instead.
If there is a program director that has a brain not connected to a corporate office and has a need for a compelling radio entertainer, the Greaseman should be his first and only phone call.
So let’s get hobblin’ and have some fun.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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