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The Secret Voice of WCRB

Frank Oglesby
Courtesy of Frank Oglesby
Frank Oglesby

One of Boston's most famous voices is on our airwaves around the clock, but you've probably never noticed it.

Here at WCRB, we get to play about 50-55 minutes of music per hour for you. Two or three times an hour, we take a moment to let you know about our weekly shows, and of course share a message or two from our underwriters. But exactly once an hour, you’ll hear something a little different. A new voice comes on to identify the station – perhaps it’s a familiar message to you: “Classical Radio Boston is 99.5 WCRB; WCRB-HD1 Lowell/Boston…” followed by a list of more call letters, frequencies, and cities through New England. And maybe there’s something slightly familiar about this mysterious voice.

That's because the voice is none other than that of Frank Oglesby, the voice of the MBTA.

That’s right! The same guy who announces the T’s next stop, trains approaching at stations, and that the doors will be opening on the right-hand side is the same one reading our station ID at the end of each hour.

Frank reminisced about the first time he came to our studios:

"I was approached via email from [WGBH Radio General Manager] Phil Redo after the morning show with Bob Seay to record at WGBH. Subsequently, [Radio Creative Manager] Michelle Sweet caught up to me via introduction ... and she gave me her card and asked if I'd be interested in recording with the station. I was overjoyed and said, "Yes, how do we make this happen!"

In 2016, Frank retired from the MBTA, and is now focusing on voice acting and announcing. For example, his dulcet and unmistakable voice can also be heard on our sister station, 89.7 WGBH.

As for the aforementioned list of call letters and frequencies, the station ID Frank reads is a requirement by the FCC, and mandatory for all radio stations. Ours is so long because we are carried on a number of stations in New England plus HD radio signals, so should you leave the Boston area, you can still find us! Click here to find more ways to listen to us.

So, the next time you tune in to WCRB, look forward to the underwriting breaks! At the end of each hour, you’ll hear that familiar voice, and for just a moment, you can turn your car or living room into a crowded red line train, minus the sweat.

Colin Brumley is the Music Director for CRB.