Torrington’s radio show spotlights hidden talents, rising stars

TORRINGTON — Every two weeks or so, Wilbert “Wibo” Boles and Rich Cyr hit the airwaves to stream the “Local Artist Show.”

“We have a lot to come – this will put Torrington on the map,” said Boles, a Waterbury native who is a dedicated volunteer in his “new” home town. “Oh, we have plans. People will be surprised. »

Boles previously worked for the Arc of Litchfield County, also known as LARC, which provides services and training for people with disabilities. He is a longtime Chief Scout and a member of the CERT team at Torrington, as well as the Connecticut FoodShare Board of Directors. An active member of his church, Workman AME Zion in Torrington, he is also president of the Brotherhood of Diversity, an activity group for men and boys.

“A lot of kids come from broken homes,” Boles said. “I did. I know it’s hard. The boys need guidance, so the brotherhood helps with that. We do a lot of things.

Boles and his wife Pamela, a CNA, stay busy with their adult sons, Elijah and Tremain, and their grandchildren. Boles is retired, which gives him plenty of time to pursue his passions. One of them is to find rising stars and give them the spotlight he says they deserve.

More recently, he and Cyr’s guest was Torrington resident Darlene Battle, who shared his love of art and painting. The YouTube site allowed her to show her paintings and talk about how she became a painter. The enthusiastic exchange between the three of them is a typical format of the “Local Music Show”.

Boles’ role is to find the show’s guests.

“There’s so much hidden talent here that nobody talks about, but that’s because people are trying to be successful and they’re too busy to tell anyone about what they’re doing,” he said. -he declares. “I’ve met so many interesting people, and most of them are still happy to be on the show.”

“Wibo always finds the best guests,” Cyr said. “I mean, I know people too, but I call Wibo the Mayor of Torrington, because he knows everyone. He invites them, I prepare my interview, then we both talk to the guest when ‘it seems.

Boles said he researches each guest to find out more about them.

“When Darlene Battle was on the show, after we stopped recording, I talked to her for an hour and a half about music, and we’re going to have part 2 of this show. She’s going to sing, talk about music, of her influences…I can’t believe everything she’s done and seen.

Cyr said Battle was a perfect guest.

“She’s an example of a guest who really opened up to us,” he said. “She was so excited to talk about her art.”

Boles is a musician and is always on the lookout for new talent.

“I see people around, I see what they’re doing and I watch them,” he said. “I know where the talent is.”

Cyr, a local comedian, author, motivational speaker and radio personality, was formerly part of “Nutmeg Chatter”, an interview program on WAPJ, along with J. Timothy Quirk, another writer also involved in radio plays with ” Nutmeg Junction”. with other local actors.

“I’ve been doing radio shows for many years, starting in the 1990s after I went to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting,” he said. “I worked on WCCC, 106.9, for a while, and had a lot of local shows in my hometown. But I had to stop for a while – I had to get a job that paid bills. But when the 2000s came, I got busy again in radio.

Cyr also had a local podcast, “The CLAWS Corner”, which eventually merged with “Nutmeg Chatter”.

“Because of the pandemic, it became a YouTube show,” he said. “I like doing it on YouTube because there’s no pressure. We just do our thing.

The editor of the “Local Music Show” is John Bristol, one of the last “Nutmeg Chatter” guests before the pandemic prevented in-person studio interviews.

“When we met and started talking, we realized we had a lot in common,” Cyr said. “So we started ‘REEL Talk’ and we just chatted about movies we liked. It was a lot of fun.”

Bristol helped Cyr and Boles create their YouTube channel and edits the content before posting it.

The duo have become more than show hosts together.

“Wibo is my buddy, and he’s just awesome. He knows so many people,” Cyr said. “He asked me to be a co-host on WAPJ, and that’s how we started.”

Boles hopes the “Local Artist Show” will continue for a long time.

“There are so many artists who are really good, and they know what it’s like to start at the bottom and work their way up,” he said. “We have so many wonderful, professional people, and when we talk to them it brings out what they do. We had a guy who was an author in Litchfield who worked on Wall Street, and his story was just amazing. I love to hear these stories.

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