PIQUA – Listeners to WPTW radio Morning Show with Tim Wirth might have thought they woke up in 1940s as they tuned their radio dials to 1570 AM on Tuesday morning.
The airwaves in Piqua were filled with melodic tunes from a simpler time and the sounds of yodeling filled the air.
Standing at the microphone in the studio with Wirth was Joy Mader.
The long-time Troy resident was back where she began, some 67 years ago, singing live on WPTW radio.
WPTW owner Rick Muzzie, who, like Mader, began his career at the same Covington Avenue studio, said that live music from individuals and groups was the mainstay of radio entertainment for decades.
Mader, whose maiden name was Joy Deal, first went to WPTW to try her hand at singing on the air in 1948. The station began broadcasting on December 7, 1947 and Mader was one of its earliest, and youngest, performers.
Although still in high school, Mader performed for two years at the station, doing the Sunday morning Valley Neighbors program. The songs were mostly gospel. She also performed every Friday night at the Shine Theatre in downtown Piqua, where the current Hallmark store now stands.
Following graduation, the young performer began singing at WING in Dayton and at WIZE in Springfield. She then moved to television and the Midwestern Hayride.
She was performing between 450-500 shows per year, traveling to the shows with her husband, Al.
Mader slowed down her performance schedule as her family grew. She became a nurse and worked at Piqua Memorial Hospital for 29 years. She also worked keeping the books at the family business, Mader Motor Mart, in Troy.
Today, Mader still performs, mostly with the group Spittin’ Image. Brian and Blaine Swabb, from Greenville, turn their duo into a trio whenever Mader is available.
The Maders will be celebrating their 67 wedding anniversary later this year and Joy intends to keep on entertaining.
“I’m singing. I’m enjoying life.” said Mader. Life has come full circle.