Muskego DJ Keeps German Tradition On the Air
Longevity in radio is generally a contradiction in terms, but Muskego man is part of program that has broadcast for 57 years and counting.
When it's becoming commonplace to have your favorite radio station change format - and staff - overnight, having a program that's been around for nearly 60 years is unheard of.
German radio programming, oddly enough, appears to be the exception to the rule. "Continental Showcase" has been a part of the Milwaukee area radio scene for 57 years, and no one's happier about that than Muskego resident Robert Deglau.
Deglau has been in radio for about 19 years, eight of them with Continental Showcase on 1340 JOY (WJYI), which features German music and programming to an ever-widening audience on Saturdays. He called the lifespan of the show "amazing - I grew up listening to Herb Wittka as a kid, along with the 'Fritz the Plumber' radio show because my parents always listened to it. Working on the show now, it's like a security blanket because it brings back so many memories."
It's conceivable that Milwaukee, having a strong German and Polish culture, would support the show, but as time marches on, the interest hasn't waned, and Deglau said with the internet, the show is now heard worldwide.
"We've heard from fans in Germany and Poland, as well as across the country and in Canada," he said.
Muskego Patch stopped in to the studio, which also houses 102.7 The Hog, 106.9 MRG, 96.5 WLKH, and Jammin' 98.3, when Deglau was broadcasting. Ironically, we were also introduced to Germanfest scholarship winner Faith Castleman, a 2012 Muskego High School graduate who's studying art education at UW-Milwaukee.
Castleman was a German National Honor Society student at MHS, and Deglau said, "it's impressive when someone of her age shows an interest in the German culture - it's not something you see every day."
Deglau's family is also a host for a teenager from the Northwest Student Exchange from Germany, Soren Alrutz, and says his interest in the culture and the show came from his own upbringing in a German family. The job, although part-time, is an honor to do for Deglau.
"These were the guys I heard on the radio for so many years, and to follow in their footsteps (Wittka passed away in the late 1990s and 'Fritz', also known as Norm Margraf, has been retired for about 10 years), is really something."