Gary Rhamy Headshot

Grammy Winning Producer Gets Start at WOUB

Posted on:

< < Back to

Gary Rhamy graduated from Ohio University in 1966

ATHENS, OH – Gary Rhamy is the owner of Peppermint Productions in Youngstown and has been very successful engineering five Grammy winning albums, producing more than 500 albums for 175 polka artists, and producing singles and albums for contemporary, jazz and gospel talents.

“Had it not been for WOUB and former WOUB Manager Archie Greer, I would have never been able to start a recording studio in Youngstown.”

Rhamy grew up near Wooster, Ohio and graduated from high school in 1962. He became acquainted with Ohio University after being sent to Athens one summer for a high school student government program. Rhamy decided to attend Ohio University because of its great reputation for broadcasting.

“I became aware of WOUB when I arrived on campus,” said Rhamy. “My first job at WOUB was working in the music library. I pulled music for the shows. I learned that WOUB had so many unique albums that were never played in our regular program formats. So I ended up hosting a program called Off Beat where we played unusual artists. It was just exploration for me and the listeners both.”

Rhamy became program director his junior year and station manager during his senior year. He graduated from Ohio University in 1966.

“Archie Greer had a connection in Youngstown and helped get me a job at 1240 WBBW,” said Rhamy. “But I wasn’t done with WOUB. I had started a program called Campus Jazz where we found musicians from Ohio University and recorded them. We created a fictious jazz night club called the Bobcat Room where we said they were playing. The program aired on WLW in Cincinnati, and I kept doing that for a while after graduation. It helped me work on my music recording skills.”

In 1968, Rhamy was drafted and became an audio specialist in the U.S. Army. He became a producer/director in the television division at Fort Knox.

“That was just an amazing bit of fortune that would not have happened if it had not been for WOUB and Ohio University.”

When he returned to Youngstown after getting out of the military, Rhamy knew that recording was what he wanted to do. He opened Peppermint Recording Studios in 1971.

“We started doing a lot of work with rock bands,” said Rhamy. “But we discovered there were a lot of Polka bands around the area. So, we started recording both. We used pop music recording techniques and applied them to polka bands. We did multi track and more than one microphone on the drum set. We got a reputation for doing really good work and polka bands from all over the states and Canada started to come to us for their recording work.”

Rhamy has also been recognized for work in front of the microphone. His broadcast background and announcing skills have been the basis for his production of award-winning commercials and jingles as well as being the voice for both local advertisers and national firms such as General Motors, The Hoover Company, Packard Electric, 84 Lumber, USAir, and Hills Dept Stores. Rhamy even announced and engineered the pilot demo for the popular television show American Gladiators.

“I owe so much to WOUB,” said Rhamy. “When you start as a freshman, you start at ground zero. I was determined to become station manager and have a good show. You can make things happen for yourself. If you work hard and have some talent, you can do whatever you set out to do.”