Obituary: ‘Porky’ Chedwick? / Pittsburgh's beloved 'Daddio of the Raddio'
March 2, 2014 11:42 PM
By Adrian McCoy and Elizabeth Bloom / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
He was the "Daddio of the Raddio" and the "Boss Man." And for generations of Pittsburghers, Porky Chedwick was a respected, unique and beloved radio personality.
Mr. Chedwick of Brookline died Sunday morning of cardiac arrest. He was 96.
Mr. Chedwick was a trailblazer in music and in radio. Starting in the late 1940s, he introduced music by black artists to young white radio listeners and gave early airplay to artists who later went on to be major stars, including Bo Diddley and Smokey Robinson.
In his shows, he crafted a one-of-a-kind improvisational on-air patter: "This is Pork the Tork, your platter-pushin' papa." It sounded alien to some, but it was a language his young listeners understood.
George Chedwick -- he later informally changed his first name to Craig -- was born and raised in Homestead and attended Munhall High School. He credited his mother for nicknaming him Porky as a child. He wore distinctive glasses thanks to an errant slingshot to the eye as a child, said Mr. Chedwick's friend Ed Weigle of Venice, Fla.
In 1948, he joined WHOD-AM in Homestead as a sports announcer. The station gave him a slot to play music, and the rest was history.
WHOD became WAMO under new ownership in 1956, and Mr. Chedwick continued to work there, playing old R&B records, some of which he got for free from record stores because they weren't selling.
The station didn't have a powerful signal, but Mr. Chedwick made enough noise to attract a solid youthful audience, along with the attention of record labels, which started sending him more current material than his so-called "dusty discs."
He hosted thousands of well-attended record hops and dances over the years.
"Porky was part of the soundtrack of Pittsburgh," said retired Pittsburgh broadcaster Frank Gottlieb, who began his career at WAMO, where he worked with Mr. Chedwick. "It was just so radically different from what other people, other stations were playing.
"All the young people knew him, and the person on the air was the real Porky. Maybe that was part of his secret. He didn't put on airs. He wasn't someone I ever recall being in a down mood. He was always up, and that showed ... on the air."
He had enormous influence on listeners. When he would yell, "Blow your horn!" Pittsburgh would erupt into a cacophony of car horns, according to Mr. Weigle.
One event Mr. Chedwick hosted outside the Stanley Theater in Downtown drew so many fans it caused traffic problems and had to be canceled.
"Porky was such a pioneer. Radio was so different back then. It wasn't nearly as formatted. He played all the stuff white radio wouldn't play back then. He could get away with that," said Sean McDowell, WDVE-FM afternoon drive host.
In an era of segregation, he wasn't afraid to cross the line and play a record if he thought it sounded good. "He persevered, because he believed in the music ... he was that dedicated to it," said Mr. Weigle, a voice actor who considered Mr. Chedwick to be his mentor.
"I'm just glad that he was able to live to see people recognize what he had accomplished in radio and music, because for years he was denied that."
Chuck Brinkman, a former Pittsburgh radio personality, came to work at then-Top 40 KQV-AM in 1960. "When I would be invited to do record hops, I learned that I had to bring his music with me. The kids who listened to KQV liked Porky's music better than ours. I learned early on if you want to be a success in Pittsburgh on the air, you better know the Boss Man's music."
"I want to see a monument built in this city to honor him," said Pat DiCesare, a longtime Pittsburgh music promoter. "This guy did so much for the civil rights movement. He played records by black artists when no one knew who he was. I remember him helping me as a songwriter and playing my records when I had a group called the Penn Boys. He was always the first person I would go to and he played my records. He did the first rock concert at the Civic Arena and sold it out in 1961-62, and the artists came not expecting to be paid. They wanted to support him for all he did."
Many of the artists whose careers Mr. Chedwick helped to launch never forgot him. When he underwent surgery for a benign brain tumor in 1991, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, the Moonglows, Lou Christie, and Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners were among artists who performed at a benefit concert to help with his medical expenses. And in 1998, the music festival Porkstock celebrated Mr. Chedwick's 50th anniversary in radio at Three Rivers Stadium. It was headlined by Little Richard and Bo Diddley. "Any entertainer of my era who say they don't know who Porky Chedwick is -- they're damn lyin'," the late Bo Diddley famously said. "That's the cat that played the records."
"I always believed that Porky had a lot to do with my moving to and settling in Pittsburgh," said R&B/soul singer Billy Price. "When I came here playing horn-driven R&B with my band, the people here knew exactly what we were doing, thanks to Porky, because that's the stuff he played on the radio here. Recording 'Porkology' with the Boss Man was one of the biggest kicks of my music career."
Mr. Chedwick was among radio personalities included in the "Dedicated to the One I Love" exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland in 1996. The exhibit featured air checks from Mr. Chedwick and others.
Mr. Chedwick also started little league baseball teams and a basketball team called the Porky Chedwicks, Mr. Weigle said.
And Mr. Chedwick would always help out someone who needed money, Mr. Weigle recalled, even his bus fare.
Mr. Chedwick continued to work off and on into his 90s, hosting weekly programs on other stations and oldies dances. Although he sometimes appeared frail physically, his voice remain clear and strong, like the Porky his listeners remember from their youth.
Just last week, he was at the annual -- and final -- Roots of Rock 'n Roll show at the Benedum Center, where he was greeted with "thunderous" applause when he appeared onstage, said Henry DeLuca, creator of the Roots of Rock 'n Roll series. "He had 5,000 people here who adored him."
Mr. Chedwick is survived by his wife, Jean; stepsons Ben Sidon of Brookline and Christopher Mason of Somerset, Ky.; and sister-in-law Sue Boening of Phoenix.
Memorial donations can be made to: Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, 201 N. Bellefield Ave., Pittsburgh 15213.
Funeral details are incomplete. Arrangements are being handled by The Frank F. DeBor Funeral Home Inc., 1065 Brookline Blvd. in Brookline.
||Former KQV Personality Steve Rizen has passed away. As fas I can determine, Steve Rizen passed away on March 22,2011 near Houston Texas. Steve was born, Alfred W Risien on December 10, 1935. I am trying to find more detials but at this point I am unable to find more. Steve was at KQV from May 29, 1964 thru July 31, 1967.|
|Terrance "Terry" Lee Albert Trunzo
BELLVILLE: Terrance "Terry" Lee Albert Trunzo, a pioneer radio personality in the Pittsburgh region, died Tuesday evening, July 30, 2013 in his Bellville home after a courageous battle with lung cancer. He was 70.
Mr. Trunzo, known professionally as Terry Lee, was born August 27, 1942 in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, the son of the late Albert D. Trunzo, Sr. and Pauline Carlson Trunzo.
After a long and successful career as a radio disc jockey, Mr. Trunzo chose to leave the entertainment business, moving to the Clear Fork area with his wife and children in 1991. He loved to spend time farming while running a family owned trucking business.
Mr. Trunzo is survived by his wife, Carol White Trunzo; a son Adam (Rebecca) Trunzo of Bellville, a daughter Paulina Trunzo of Ashland, a stepson George (Jessica) DiDomenicus of Pittsburgh, two grandchildren, a brother Albert D. Trunzo, Jr. (Sandy) of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, two nephews, two sons Jeffrey Trunzo and Terry Trunzo, Jr., and a daughter Kimberly DeLeonibus.
There will be no public visitation and memorial services will be held at the convenience of the family.
Passed away at age 79, surrounded by those he loved and who loved him, from complications of heart disease and diabetes. A Pittsburgher for 45 years, he and his family lived in Mt. Lebanon, Penn Hills, and most recently Greentree. Born in Baltimore, MD on February 13, 1933, Bill and his older brother Ralph were relocated to Wall, South Dakota, by their father Ralph, Sr. when he was ten years old. The three of them owned and ran The Silver Dollar and the Wigwam restaurants there, while the boys also attended the local elementary and high schools. Bill met Florence Ann Imm of Turton, SD in 1951, while she was a summer worker at the well-known Wall Drug Store, and they were married in 1953. Their first child was born while Bill was attending the University of South Dakota at Vermillion, and three others followed in close succession. It was during this time that Bill's beautifully deep, resonant voice led him to his career in radio. Over the course of twenty five years he worked at over a dozen radio stations in nine cities around the country, including KQV, WWSW and KDKA in Pittsburgh. Most friends from his radio days on knew him as Chuck or Charlie Peterson - except for the many listeners of Pittsburgh's KQV radio, to whom he was the "Weird Beard." He would apply his affinity for nicknaming to most of the people in his life, with family and friends known to him primarily by monikers such as "Southside", "Stoner", "Lip", "Dr. Fun", "Cousin Carol", "Sweet Sue" and "Boo Boo", among others. After leaving radio, his career moved to other areas of media and communications, including starting his own advertising agency, and working as a staff photographer for Martin Media and then Lamar Advertising. In retirement, he continued his love of photography as he created prizewinning images of nature and local landscapes. Chuck loved to joke with and tease people he encountered in his daily affairs, be they medical professionals, cashiers, waiters, or neighbors. The currency of his affection was the lottery ticket, and he must have distributed thousands of these to friends and strangers over the years. He exulted in other people's pets be they furred or feathered, and received special joy from the many birds who came to dine on his balcony. For many years, his beaming smile, full white beard and merry blue eyes, booming voice and Santa-esque girth, led quite a few children who saw him to believe that they had had a personal encounter with Mr. Claus himself. He never told them otherwise. Chuck was absolutely loyal to those whom he cared about. If he believed in you, he believed with more conviction than you could ever have yourself. William Peterson is survived by his loving wife, Florence "Topper" Peterson; children, Jacqueline "Moose" Peterson Tulsky, MD (Steven) of San Rafael, CA, Scott "Sammy" Peterson (Carol) of Lewisburg, PA, Kim "Beaver" Peterson (Janet) of Pittsburgh, PA, and Terry Peterson of Queens, NY. He is fondly remembered by granddaughters, Jenna, Anna, and Sophia Peterson, and nephew Carey "Eagle" Peterson of Bennett, CO. The family extends their gratitude to the extraordinary Dr. Wishwa Kapoor at UPMC, Chuck's long time primary care provider, and the kind and supportive staff at the ninth floor General Medicine Clinic at Montefiore Hospital. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in the Social Room of Hyland Hills Apartments, 275 Oakville Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. In lieu of flowers, please perform a random act of kindness, donate to the UPMC School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, or give a lottery ticket to a stranger. Please add or view tributes at:
By David Carroll, Anchor
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Chattanooga native Dennis Glab, known to radio listeners as "Allen Dennis" died Wednesday at his home in Red Bank. His brother Bob Glab says Dennis died of natural causes, and was believed to be 68 years old. He had been in poor health for several years.
Dennis was a top radio personality during a career that spanned more than four decades, beginning when he was a teen in the late 1950s. Starting out in Chattanooga at WRIP and WDXB, he moved on to Nashville, Pittsburgh, Knoxville, Huntsville, Birmingham and Orlando, returning at various times to Nashville and Chattanooga. In the 1970s and 80s he was best known in Chattanooga as a top-40 deejay for WGOW and WDXB, and in Nashville on WKDA and WMAK, later working country radio at WSM. He retired to the Chattanooga area several years ago to help care for his mother, who preceded him in death.
He was recently a nominee for induction into the new Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. Armed with a quick wit and pleasing radio voice, Dennis was a natural for morning drive time listeners. He created numerous contests and promotions, designed to grab the attention of his audience.
Dennis's brother said his body would be cremated, and no memorial service is planned at this time. He is survived by his brother, and several nieces and nephews.
Dec. 29, 1926 - Dec. 24, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
By Liz Navratil, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The man credited with bringing the concept of an all-news radio show to Pittsburgh and then nurturing it for decades has died.
Robert W. Dickey Sr., president and general manager of KQV-AM radio, died Saturday in his Oakland home after fighting a brief illness. He would have turned 85 Thursday.
On the air, where he was most comfortable, he was known as a strong advocate for the average citizen and a keen government watchdog who often produced award-winning editorials. Behind the scenes, he initially came across as a curmudgeon but harbored a secret, softer side that he would show to his colleagues, friends and family members.
"That's really part of the secret," said Frank Gottlieb, news director at KQV. "We've heard so much about the loss of the older newspeople, and that's what he was -- get it right, get it fast, get it on the air."
Mr. Dickey was born Dec. 29, 1926, in West Bridgewater, Beaver County, to banker Raymond W. Dickey and Fanchon Alice Hill. A child of the Great Depression, he "took nothing for granted," family members said.
Following the St. Patrick's Day flood of 1936, his family moved to Youngstown, Ohio, where Mr. Dickey attended Rayen High School. He was an actor, football player and debater before graduating in 1944.
Family members said he considered Pittsburgh his true home. Mr. Dickey attended the University of Pittsburgh on a football scholarship and left after the 1944 season to join the U.S. Navy as an aviation machinist mate.
About a year later, he returned to Pitt, where he participated in student government and was president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, forming friendships that would last for decades. He graduated in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in sociology.
He married Patricia Smith the next year, and the couple had 12 children.
Mr. Dickey found his first job after graduation working as a door-to-door dictaphone salesman. He worked part time for WJAS radio and as a freelance television commercial announcer for WDTV (now KDKA), WTAE and WIIC (now WPXI).
Five years after graduation, he scored a full-time job working with Bob Tracey on KDKA-AM's "Knight Rider Show," interviewing people who roamed about after dark.
Mr. Dickey worked for a few years at KDKA and at a station in Cleveland before moving to New York City, where he would eventually become general manager of WINS-AM and earn his reputation as one of the pioneers of the all-news, 22-minute radio show.
Mr. Dickey moved back to Pittsburgh in 1976 when he accepted a job as general manager of Taft radio stations WDVE-FM and KQV.
When he feared KQV and its all-news format were in jeopardy, in 1982, he and Richard Mellon Scaife bought the station. Many of the station's employees have worked there for 25 or 30 years.
"He was fiercely loyal, and that's not a common quality in the broadcast industry," said Eleanor Schano, a longtime KQV employee and friend of Mr. Dickey's.
KQV employees said they could count on one hand the number of people Mr. Dickey fired during his tenure. His focused intensely on mentoring his staff.
"Every broadcast newsroom in this city has someone who has some sort of KQV connection," Mr. Gottlieb said. The staff was like his second family, and he often referred to reporters as "kid," he said.
Mr. Dickey remained intensely devoted to his biological family as well, said his son, Patrick Dickey. Every Sunday when they were growing up, the Dickey children would pile into their station wagon, sitting in order from oldest to youngest, and Mr. Dickey would take them to church so his wife could have an hour and half of peace before heading to church on her own.
He volunteered as a lector at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland for more than 30 years, his baritone voice earning him a reputation as a formidable reader for Good Friday services.
"He used to scare the altar boys," Patrick Dickey recalled. "It was like fire and brimstone had come upon us."
"He was a little rough on the edges," he said. But, "If he loved you, you knew it. He was big on second and third chances."
Mr. Dickey was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and his brother, William Dickey of Youngstown.
In addition to Patrick Dickey, he is survived by four sons: James Dickey of Downingtown, John Dickey of Apex, N.C., Robert W. Dickey Jr. of Bethel Park and William Dickey of West Newton; and seven daughters: Karen Ahmad of Baton Rouge, La., Cynthia Bergman of McCandless, Carol Finelli Brown of Shadyside, Maliya McIntyre of Hampton, Julia Mundt of Los Alamos, N.M., Cheryl Scott of Baldwin Borough and Joanne Zick of Cary, N.C. He is also survived by two sisters, Wilma Woodford of Girard, Ohio, and Ruth Johnston of The Woodlands, Texas, as well 33 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
A. Freyvogel, Sons Inc. in Shadyside is handling funeral arrangements,
which have not been finalized.
By Jason Cato, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Robert W. Dickey Sr. was just shy of his 85th birthday when he passed away on Saturday. The president and general manager of KQV Radio stayed active well past retirement age; he had been in his office as recently as Dec. 9.
The patriarch of KQV Radio, Pittsburgh's oldest all-news station, died after a short illness.
Robert W. Dickey Sr. was 84. He would have turned 85 on Thursday. He passed away in his Schenley Farms home in Oakland.
"The lion of Pittsburgh news radio sleeps tonight," said his son Patrick Dickey, 44, of Cranberry.
Dickey left WINS, an all-news station in New York, in 1976 to join KQV, which had recently switched formats from rock 'n' roll to news under ownership of Taft Broadcasting. He formed Calvary Inc. in 1982 and bought the station with Tribune-Review publisher Dick Scaife. Dickey served as president and general manager of the station and was in the office as recently as Dec. 9, his son said.
KQV aired a tribute to Dickey last night before the Christmas Mass broadcast from St. Paul Cathedral, where he was a longtime member.
"Bob Dickey was a true, old-fashioned newsman and represented the best of that tradition," said Frank Craig, editor of the Tribune-Review. "He'll be terribly missed by the Pittsburgh journalism community."
Dickey was born in West Bridgewater, Beaver County, to banker Raymond W. Dickey and Fanchon Alice Hill.
The family moved to Youngstown, Ohio, after being trapped in the 1936 St. Patrick's Day flood. Dickey graduated from The Rayen School in 1944 and attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he played football after a coach noticed him walking a dog near the practice field, Patrick Dickey said.
Dickey entered the Navy after the 1944 season and was an aviation machinist until September 1945, when he returned to Pitt and earned a degree in sociology in 1949 using the GI Bill.
In 1950, he married Patricia Smith, and the couple had 12 children. She died in 2008.
He was a salesman for Dictaphone Corp. after graduation. He also was a part-time staff announcer for WJAS and did freelance commercial announcing on WDTV, the predecessor of KDKA-TV, for clients such as Gimbels, Duquesne Light and Braun's Town Talk Bread.
KDKA Radio hired him full time in 1954 as an outside reporter on the Knight Rider Show with Bob Tracey. Over the next decade, Dickey held a number of positions with KDKA, including general sales manager, between stints at other companies.
In 1966, he became vice president and general sales manager of radio advertising in New York with Group W, known as Westinghouse Broadcasting Co. In 1969, Dickey became general manager of Group W's all-news station, WINS, in New York.
When it came to news radio, Dickey strove to give listeners all the information they needed in 22 minutes, his son said.
"He was 25 years ahead of the cable news cycle with CNN and 35 years ahead of the Internet when it came to news," Patrick Dickey said.
Dickey was a perennial winner of Golden Quills from The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania for his radio commentary and editorials.
"His legacy is that the all-news format has continued to flourish in this town," Patrick Dickey said. "People have the right to know what the news is and know it on a timely basis. And it's in the public interest that that work continues."
As passionate as Dickey was about his role in radio, he and his wife were most passionate about family, his son said.
"He measured his success by his children and grandchildren. And the things he treasured most were by his side in the end," Patrick Dickey said.
Dickey served as a lector at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland for more than 25 years.
"He was a staple of the noon Mass," his son said.
Dickey was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and his brother, William A. Dickey of Youngstown.
Surviving in addition to son Patrick Dickey are his daughters, Carol Finelli Brown of Shadyside, Karen Ahmad of Baton Rouge, Cheryl Scott of Baldwin Borough, Joanne Zick of Cary, N.C., Cynthia Bergman of McCandless, Julia Mundt of Los Alamos, N.M., and Maliya McIntyre of Hampton; and sons, Robert W. Dickey Jr. of Bethel Park, William Dickey of West Newton, James Dickey of Downingtown and John Dickey of Apex, N.C. He is survived by two sisters, Wilma Woodford of Girard, Ohio, and Ruth Johnston of The Woodlands, Texas. He also is survived by 33 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
John A. Freyvogel Sons Inc. in Shadyside is handling funeral arrangements, which have not been finalized
|The man responsible for
bringing all-news radio to Pittsburgh has died.
Robert W. Dickey Sr. is the man hired from All-News 1010 "WINS" in New York 36-years ago to turn KQV into Pittsburgh's first and only All News radio station.
In 1975 when then-owner Taft Broadcasting decided to change the All-News format... a format which was Dickey's passion... he approached newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife for help financing the purchase of the station. The company they formed... Calvary Incorporated... has owned and operated All News KQV ever since.
Bob Dickey was 85 when he died after a short illness.
Except for a short stint when he sold Dictaphone machines to support his young family... he spent virtually his entire career in broadcasting. He worked on-air at WJAS and KDKA. At KDKA Dickey was 'Mac Ryder,' the on-the-street reporter on Bob Tracy's overnight program.
Dickey went from air talent to sales at KDKA... and rose through the ranks at then-owner Westinghouse Broadcasting, which moved him to New York City where he helped create the All-News format at 1010 WINS before moving back to Pittsburgh.
After 36 years, the KQV he created is unusual in today’s broadcast world... maintaining the same ownership, with a format virtually unchanged through the years. Many of the people who work at KQV have been here for 25 or more years... a testament to Bob Dickey's loyalty to his staff - and the staff's loyalty to him.
He never considered retirement. At 85, Dickey continued as KQV President and General Manager... coming to work virtually every day, working with the sales department, coming up with listener poll ideas, and writing editorials.
The winner of numerous awards for his editorials, the Bob Dickey you heard was a reflection of the man, and the love he had for his hometown.
Bob Dickey was also very much a family man. He and his late wife Pat had 12 children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
They are mourning the loss of a father and grandfather.
The staff of KQV mourns the loss of their boss.
Pittsburgh mourns the loss of the man who brought them All News Radio.
October 13, 1925 - November 5, 2011
|Obituary: Perry Marshall / Celebrated
radio host was both talker and listener
Monday, November 07, 2011
By Molly Born, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anyone who tuned in to hear the soothing voice of famed Pittsburgh talk-show host Perry Marshall knew the man loved to talk.
Those who knew him personally, and the audience who shared moments of their lives with him, knew he was also a great listener.
His daughter, Robin Marshall, said it's what Mr. Marshall would have considered his best trait.
The longtime late-night radio personality on KDKA-AM died Saturday because of heart complications from lung disease and pneumonia. The Mt. Lebanon resident was 86.
Mr. Marshall was born on Chicago's South Side on Oct. 13, 1925. He left high school at 17 to join the Navy, where he served four years. He later earned his GED.
Ms. Marshall wasn't sure how her father developed an interest in talk radio. "I think he always wanted to be in broadcasting," she said.
Before moving to Pittsburgh in 1951 for Elayne, his wife and the mother of his two children, Mr. Marshall had written and edited commercials for a radio station but had no on-air experience. Through some connections -- and the unexpected departure of a local radio announcer -- Mr. Marshall landed his first on-air gig at WPGH in East Liberty. He and Elayne later divorced.
Years later, Mr. Marshall became the first Top 40 disc jockey in Pittsburgh, signing on at WEEP. Ms. Marshall said he counted the Skyliners and Chubby Checker among his favorite acts.
After stints at WTAE, KQV and WJAS, Mr. Marshall joined KDKA in 1974 as a full-time talk host. His storied career ended when he retired in 1988. KDKA radio host Mike Pintek said Mr. Marshall went out on top.
A successful radio talk show host herself, Ms. Marshall remembers her father's coaching at a young age.
"When we used to come home from school, if there was any sign of an accent at all, he said, 'No, you can't talk like that,' " she said.
And he shared another valuable lesson she attributes to her success.
"He taught me how to tell a story, and that is what jump-started my career," she said. "Because of him, I have this career."
In a 1985 interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mr. Marshall said he was a voracious reader, loved -- and completed -- The New York Times' crossword puzzles and counted love and pizza with anchovies as things he couldn't live without.
KDKA's Robert Mangino said he often stayed up late to catch Mr. Marshall's talk show. One night, Mr, Mangino dialed in and Mr. Marshall took the then-13-year-old's call.
"He just made me feel so special that night, that he wanted to hear what I had to say," he said. "That conversation played a major role in influencing me and cultivating the love for radio that I have today."
Mr. Mangino recalled this story often and credited Mr. Marshall on KDKA promos. Years later, the man himself called in to Mr. Mangino's show.
Mr, Marshall said, " 'My, Robert, how you've grown,' " Mr. Mangino said. "It was so emotional having the guy I first talked to on talk radio calling my show."
Mr. Pintek remembers Mr. Marshall as a showman but "always a gentleman" who could field all calls with poise.
Mr. Pintek said the host was a perfect fit for that time slot because he was such a good listener. "It was more than just conversation," Mr. Pintek said, "and he'd give people more time than they would generally give on a talk show."
Mr. Marshall was married three times and is survived by his companion of 28 years, Rose Fabiani; his daughter, Robin Marshall of Charlotte, N.C.; and seven grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 2 to 7 p.m. today at William Slater II Funeral Service in Scott.
|'Marshall's Office' set overnight radio
By Timothy Puko, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, November 7, 2011
For Robert Mangino, Perry Marshall was an inspiration.
When Mangino was just 13, he called the "Marshall's Office" radio show on KDKA. He wanted to talk about education, and the show host chatted with him for several minutes, just as he talked to any adult caller who wanted to have a say.
Perry Marshall, known as the radio station's overnight voice through the 1970s and 1980s, died Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, in UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland about two weeks after having a heart attack, according to KDKA. He was 86.
"I guess the reason why he had such an impact on me was because he took the call, and treated me -- a kid -- as though I had something important to say," said Mangino, now an evening host at the station. "Overnight radio is a bit of a different animal: It's more conversational, more engaging.
"He did overnight radio to a standard that everyone else at this point gets judged by."
"Marshall's Office" lasted for about 25 years until Mr. Marshall retired in 1988, said Marshall Adams, the station's program director. Mr. Marshall spent time at several other local stations, including WWSW, WTAE, WJAS, WEEP and KQV.
He had a special talent for the overnight work, though, Adams and Mangino said. It can be a long shift with few callers and no co-host. Hosts need enough personality and stamina to work solo and find interesting topics, Adams said.
Mr. Marshall had special ability to seem inviting and engaging for audiences, rather than the type of confrontational personality that is more common during the day, Mangino said.
When he was growing up, Adams' grandmother -- like many Pittsburgh insomniacs -- would listen Marshall as she went to sleep, Adams said.
"He was certainly a broadcast institution in Pittsburgh," Adams added. His show "provided a window on Pittsburgh for the overnight hours."
March 11 - 1934 - October 16, 2011
Former KQV, WTAE, WEDO, WPNT personality Tom Schrecengost Sr passed away on October 16, 2011 at Grove City Medical Center. Tom was best know for his time at KQV as Tom Lee and at WTAE as Tom Lyons. Tom retired from radio in 1996 after a career that took him Kittaning to Erie to Connecticut to Pittsburgh and California and Arizona.
|Thomas L. Schrecengost Sr.,
77, of Grove City (formerly of Ford City) died Sunday, October 16, 2011
in Grove City, Medical Center, Grove City,
Born March11, 1934, in Ford City, he was a son of the late Walter and (Wilda) McGuire Schrecengost.
A famous radio personality known as Tom Lee, and in Pittsburgh, Tom Lyons, he worked for WACB, WTAE-AM, and KQV-AM, top 40 stations, and numerous stations in California. He was a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Announcers.
A sports lover, he played basketball for Ford City High School, and was on the team that played in the state championship. Tom;s contribution to Ford City High School earned him numerous All Section 1, All WPIAL, nd All-State Honors. He then played for Westminster College, Tom also served as a high school basketball referee, and was inducted to the Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame. He also enjoyed golfing, and playing computer games.
He formerly attemded First Presbyterian Church, Ford City.
Tom is survived by his wife, Cathy B. (Harmon) Schrecengost of Grove City, his children, Linda (Gray) Weller of Mars, Thomas (Diane) Schrecongost Jr., of Wexford, Bambi Stock of Vero Beach, Fl., and Sherry Schrecongost of Mercersburg, four grandchildren, Matthew Weller, Alyssa Schrecongost, Eric Schrecengost, and Heather Strock,
In addition to hs parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Evelyn Stein.
|Former KQV program director Mel Hall has passed away. Hall died of a stroke on October 10, 2011 after having a stroke while completing a round of radiation treatments. Mel Hall came to Pittsburgh on November 1, 1961 from WJJD in Chicago. Mel was KQV's Program Director and was on the air from 7 - 9 pm. Mel left KQV for XETV-TV tijuana - San Diego, California in August 1962. Mel was 80 years old.|
Former KQV passed away on Friday February 26, 2010. Mark joined KQV from WIIC-TV Channel 11 in Pittsburgh in 1966. With an incredible voice and authoritative delivery Mark Shaefer was the consumate professional.
|Longtime KQV listeners may remember the voice of Mark Schaefer. Otto 'Mark' Schaefer, who was a newsman at KQV from 1966 until the early 90's, died early Friday at the age of 84. A native of New York City, he was once a batting practice pitcher for the Giants. Schaefer served in the Army Air Corps during World War Two. After his discharge, he began his broadcast news career at stations in Alabama, and eventually worked his way to Pittsburgh, where he was one of the original newscasters at WIIC-TV. He left WIIC, which is now channel 11 WPXI, to work at KQV. Mark Schaefer is survived by 5 children and their families. There will be no visitation. Funeral services will be private.|
|Former KQV personality Larry Aiken passed away on Saturday February 13, 2010 at the age of 69 from longstanding health problems. Larry was at KQV from 1959 until 1962 when he returned to Evansville, Indiana. Larry owned radio stations and Aiken Management, which became one of the biggest concert promotions companies in the country. Larry was the Democratic Party chairman in Vanderburgh County, Indiana for three years before retiring in 2008.||
(June 21, 1940 - February 13, 2010)
Larry Aiken was born in Chillicothe, Ohio on June 21, 1940. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Terre Haute, Indiana due to his father's (Fred) employment with the Federal Prison System. Larry and his mother, Juanita, moved to Evansville after his parents' divorce. He attended Culver and Stanley Hall Elementary Schools and Bosse High School.
During his years as a student at Bosse, he became known as "Lonesome Larry" on radio station WEOA and hosted a teen dance party show on WEHT-TV. He broadcasted his radio show at Austin's Drive-In on Kentucky Avenue and the Penny Can Market on Lincoln Avenue. He promoted his first show at the Veteran's Coliseum ("The Escorts") in 1957. After leaving Bosse in 1958, Larry became a Disc Jockey at WAKY (top 40) in Louisville, Kentucky, followed by the ABC affiliate station, KQV (top 40) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While at KQV, he was sent to New York City to provide color commentary for NIT basketball games for the station. In 1962, he returned to Evansville to begin a career in show promotions.
Larry promoted over 1,700 events throughout the United States including country, rock and pop concerts, Broadway plays and musicals, tennis matches, the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, the Harlem Globetrotters, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Lipizzaner Stallions shows. He provided top-bill entertainment in numerous venues across the country.
He opened the Music Inn at the then-new Washington Square Mall, rehabilitated the old Rosedale Theatre into Theatre A, Beck's Bar into The Pub, and the Columbia Theater into Cine West, which later became The Beer Garden, a popular nightclub which featured such live entertainment as Tony Orlando and Tiny Tim. He opened another Theatre A in Fort Wayne. He founded the Applause Dinner Theatre in the Executive Inn building, Records Tapes and Tickets at Washington Square Mall and Town Center Mall, the ticket agency Select-A-Seat, Chelsea's Restaurant, Greeley's Restaurant, Dr. Watson's Restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, and the real estate development Lake Newburgh in Newburgh, Indiana. He bought WGBF AM-FM and made it into one of the most popular radio stations in the Tri-State.
In Evansville, Larry presented shows at the Mesker Amphitheater, the Veteran's Coliseum, Roberts Stadium, Bosse Field, The Michael D. Vandeveer Victory Theatre, and the Vanderburgh Auditorium.
Though he enjoyed watching all sports, Larry loved the Indy 500 and traveled for many years to watch the races in Indianapolis. Larry's hobbies included reading, keeping up on current events, and being involved in political happenings. When his high school friend, Mike Vandeveer, became a candidate for Mayor, Larry became involved in local Democratic politics. When his friend, Rick Borries, ran for Mayor, Larry was there to help with his campaign. He became involved once again when Mayoral Candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel placed his name on the ballot. He enjoyed the planning of fundraising events and providing special programs and entertainment for Democratic events.
Larry loved Evansville and enjoyed creating interesting places and special events in his hometown. He was deeply moved and honored by The Centre Auditorium being named AIKEN THEATRE at the February 28, 2009 "Lonesome Larry Roast".
Larry is survived by his wife, Suzanne, of 46 ½ years, son Andrew Aiken and wife Clare, of Indianapolis, IN, and son Anthony Aiken and wife Carrie, and soon to be first granddaughter of Evansville, and his beloved dog, Spencer. He was preceded in death by his father, Fred Aiken, mother, Juanita Aiken, and brother, Keith Aiken.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm, Saturday, February 20, 2010 at Aiken Theatre at the Centre, 715 Locust Street, Evansville with Reverend Kevin Fleming officiating. Burial was held at Bluegrass Cemetery.
Friends may call from 12:00 Noon until time of service at 1:00 pm, Saturday, February 20, 2010 at Aiken Theatre.
Boone Funeral Home - East Chapel, 5330 Washington Avenue, Evansville will be handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions may be made to any of the following of Larry's favorite charities: The Evansville African American Museum, 579 S. Garvin St., Evansville, IN 47713, Albion Fellows Bacon Center, PO Box 3164, Evansville, IN 47731, The Santa Clothes Club, PO Box 25, Evansville, IN 47701, Children's Museum of Evansville, 22 SE 5th St., Evansville, IN 47708 or The Berkley Ann Branson Young Women of Promise Scholarship Fund, in care of YMCA, 118 Vine St., Evansville, IN 47708. Condolences may be made to the family online at courierpress.com
Dead at 69, local legend started at young age
By Thomas B. Langhorne
"After seeing Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey circus, I decided to put one on myself in my backyard," a young Aiken explained in a letter written on stationery with a red elephant letterhead.
"... The place was United States prison reservation. My dad works for the government, and he said because of the law I had to pay this, that it didn't make any difference that I'm only 12 years old. Please tell me if there is any more I have to do."
Then the boy, whose father worked at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., added a postscript.
"Was going to run three more days till all this came up."
Nearly 58 years later - and a day after Aiken died at age 69 from longstanding health problems - the story still evokes laughter from Rick O'Daniel.
"That kind of summed up how he was going to be the rest of his life," O'Daniel said Sunday as he reflected on Aiken's five-decade career as an entertainment promoter, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Democratic Party activist. "He was very much an entertainer-type of person. That was what really pleased him, to get people to go and do things that they were entertained by. I found it fascinating that he was doing that at such an early age."
O'Daniel recalled getting his first job from Aiken - as a janitor at Theatre A, a cinema Aiken owned next door to The Pub restaurant, which he also owned - in the 1970s.
He also worked for Aiken at Evansville radio station WGBF, which Aiken owned and transformed to a rock format.
"Larry would sometimes be more successful than he even planned on being," O'Daniel said. "His original plan was for The Pub to be sort of an adjunct, a place where people could go and have dinner before they went to the movie theater.
"But The Pub went through the roof, just went crazy to the point where the whole thing that he had envisioned in his mind kind of didn't work. So many people came to The Pub, and the parking lot got so full that people had difficulty going to the movie."
Retired in 1999
|Former KQV News Director
Ira Apple passed away on August 11, 2009. Ira Apple became KQV's News Director
in August of 1973. Apple had suffered a series of aneurisms on the 4th
of July and had lapsed into a coma shortly thereafter, never regaining
consciousness before his death. He was 74.
Apple began his career at a small radio station in Kittanning, PA, where he would sign the station on each morning, then attend high school, followed by a late afternoon shift to sign off the daytimer. He went on to become one of the early pioneers of Talk radio and a programmer, with a collection of call letters including KDKA-AM and KQV-AM Pittsburgh, WBZ-AM Boston, WBAL-AM Baltimore and others. (courtesy of Radio Business Report)
Oct. 3, 1934 - Aug. 11, 2009
By Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"He told me he didn't know what the people would be talking about," said cousin Marvin Adelson of the "Austin Phone Party" which began as a half-hour evening show in 1961 and was expanded to an hour in April of 1963. Mr. Apple had a system with a seven-second delay, but he rarely used it. "There were lots of things out of left field, but callers weren't as loud and vicious as they are today. It was polite."
Mr. Apple, of Reisterstown, Md., died Aug. 11 at Seasons Hospice in Randallstown, Md., from complications of an aneurysm. He was 74.
"He was more of a moderator," his son, David J. Apple, said of the talk show. "His goal was to be devil's advocate."
Born in Pittsburgh to David W. and Nettie Apple, Mr. Apple's love for radio revealed itself at age 14. He would sign on a station in Kittanning every morning before he would go to the town's high school, then rush back to sign it off. That began an over 50-year career in radio.
Mr. Apple graduated in 1952 and attended Penn State University, where he co-founded the campus radio station before joining the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, Ky., from 1957 to 1959.
Radio also was the place where he would meet his future wife, Clara. She was an executive secretary at WJAS. They were married in Pittsburgh in 1961.
Mr. Apple eventually moved in to management and producing, and it was the latter that led to his biggest accolade. In 1971, President Richard Nixon honored Mr. Apple with a Freedom Foundation Award for producing a patriotic radio series, "To Sam with Love," on KDKA-AM, written by Ed King. The award was part of the "Goals for America for 1976" ceremony at the White House, and Mr. Apple and his son found themselves having tea with the president.
"When you are 9 years old and you get to miss three days of school to go to the White House, that's pretty great," said David Apple.
Ira Apple also was news director at KQV-AM, program manager for KDKA-AM and WBZ-AM (Boston) and program director at WGSO-AM (New Orleans) and WBAL-AM (Baltimore). He also was an adjunct professor at Emerson College in Boston.
In the mid-1980s, Mr. Apple became a sales manager for CBSI, a radio business software company. In the 1990s, he joined the Traffic Directors Guild of America as a liaison with executives of the state broadcaster associations.
In addition to his son David J., of Westminster, Md., Mr. Apple is survived by his wife, Clara; a brother, Burton J. Apple, of Marblehead, Mass.; and a sister, Lorraine Aronson, of Pittsburgh.
Family will receive friends at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Eline Funeral Home, Reisterstown, Md., before a memorial service there at 11 a.m.
Neil was born in Ohio but quickly made a name for himself in radio in Cleveland and Pittsburgh before arriving in New York in the 50s. Neil's resume includes programming positions at WINS, WPIX, WNEW and WKTU. Some of the personalities that were guided by Neil's programming smarts and humor include Murray the K, Pete "Mad Daddy" Myers, Johnny Holiday, Jay Thomas, Dr. Jerry Carroll, Quincy McCoy, Barney Pipp, Jim Kerr, Ray D'Ariano, Soupy Sales, Ted Brown and many more...
My heart goes out to Neil's wife, Mary Ann and to his 3 children. There are no service or memorial plans scheduled as of this writing. Those wishing to send prayers and thoughts to Mary Ann are asked to send them here to me. I will make sure that she gets them...
R.I.P. Neil McIntyre (1940 - 2008)"
by Mel Phillips, former KQV Program Director (email@example.com)
|Steve Lohle joined KQV in 1974 from Springfield, Massachusettes. Steve joined KQV about a year before the change fom top 40 to all news. Steve was the longest tenured air talent at KQV. Steve Lohle was teamed in the afternoon on KQV with longtime KQV staffer Joe Fenn. Steve passed away at his home in Beaver county on Friday June 20, 2008 at the age of 58.|
July 6, 1949-June 20, 2008
By Adrian McCoy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steve Lohle's distinctive voice has been a familiar one to listeners of all-news KQV-AM (1410), where he spent most of his three-decade radio career.
Mr. Lohle, of New Brighton, died yesterday morning of an apparent heart attack. He was 58.
He grew up in Ross and was a graduate of North Hills High School and of Curry College in Massachusetts, where he majored in speech and communications.
Mr. Lohle was a fixture in local radio news, working as an anchor and reporter. His first broadcasting job was with WQRC-FM in Hyannis, Mass., where he was on hand for a historic news story of that era: the 1969 Chappaquiddick auto accident involving U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy. He went on to work as a program director at stations in Springfield, Mass.
He returned to the Pittsburgh market and joined KQV in 1974, the year before it switched to its current all-news format. In recent years, Mr. Lohle was the afternoon news anchor with Joe Fenn, and, before that, anchored the morning news with P.J. Maloney. He was the longest tenured staff member at the station.
He was "someone many identified as the voice of the station," said KQV news director Frank Gottlieb. "Steve is a one-of-kind, old-school newsman."
His voice -- deep, resonant and authoritative -- lent itself to the medium of radio. His was "the sort of voice that if he had been doing something else [for a living], people would say 'You should be in radio,'" Mr. Gottlieb said.
He said response to the news of Mr. Lohle's passing from listeners and public figures has been huge. "He's going to be missed by a lot of people."
Mr. Gottlieb also recalled Mr. Lohle's devotion to his 10-year-old son, Collin.
"In the newsroom just last week, we were talking about the untimely death of TV journalist Tim Russert and almost prophetically, Steve confided that it's the way he hoped to go, that he didn't want to linger at death's door," said KQV president Robert Dickey in an editorial airing on the station.
Mr. Maloney, who joined the station a year after Mr. Lohle started, said that he and his colleagues were "stunned" by the news.
"We have a variety of political points of view on staff," he said, noting that Mr. Lohle leaned to the conservative side and he to the liberal. "We were always tossing hand grenades at each other, in a friendly way."
Off the air, Mr. Lohle enjoyed playing golf and reading, and was a baseball umpire for the PIAA.
In addition to his son, Mr. Lohle is survived by his wife, Barbara; father, Edward, of the North Hills; a brother, Tim, of Allison Park; and a sister, Dolores Simon, of Chicago; and stepchildren Douglas V. Pletz, of Northeast, Pa.; and Jason F. Pletz and Jamie L. Pletz, both of Pittsburgh.
Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at J&J Spratt Funeral Home, 1612 Third Ave., New Brighton. Visitation will be from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul Cathedral, Oakland, with a funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery.
By Jerry Vondas
After 34 years as anchorman and reporter at KQV Radio, Steve Lohle was regarded by his colleagues as the voice of the local station.
"Steve's deep, resonant presentation of the news almost demanded that the listener stay tuned .....or else," said Robert W. Dickey, president and general manager of KQV.
Stephen E. Lohle of New Brighton, Beaver County, died of an apparent heart attack on Friday, June 20, 2008, in the Medical Center, Beaver. He was 58.
KQV News director Frank Gottlieb recalled Mr. Lohle as a one-of-a-kind reporter, to whom you could hand a cold script seconds before he went on the air, and he could handle it like the professional he was.
"And it's rare when an applicant walks into your office with the credentials that Steve brought to the station," Gottlieb added.
Mr. Lohle, the son of Edward H. Lohle of Hampton and the late Catherine McCarron Lohle, was raised in Ross, graduated from North Hills High School, and graduated from Curry College in Boston, where he received his degree in speech communications.
He became interested in broadcasting at North Hills High School when he did the public address announcements.
Mr. Lohle's first job in broadcasting was with WQRC-FM in Hyannis, Mass., where he covered the fatal accident at Chappaquiddick involving Sen. Ted Kennedy and his landslide re-election after it. He was program director at WHVY-FM and WMAS-AM in Springfield, Mass.
Mr. Lohle enjoyed golf and was a motorcycle enthusiast. He was a baseball umpire for the PIAA and the legion league.
Mr. Lohle is survived by his wife, Barbara Smolar Lohle and 10-year-old son, Collin Matthew Lohle at home; stepsons, Douglas V. Pletz of Northeast, Erie County and Jason F. Pletz of Pittsburgh; a stepdaughter, Jamie L. Pletz of Pittsburgh; his brother, Timothy J. Lohle of Hampton and his sister, Dolores M. Simon of Chicago.
He was preceded in death by his mother, who died on May 9, 2009, and a brother, Matthew T. Lohle.
Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, at the J&J Spratt Funeral Home, 1612 Third Ave., New Brighton, Beaver County.
Visitation at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul Cathedral, Oakland, followed by a Mass at 10:30 a.m. at the cathedral.
Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Hazelwood.
How do you say goodbye to a friend and fellow worker who has just passed away? Where are the words ... the phrases that sufficiently define and embody the hurtful sorrow of the loss?
Steve Lohle passed away Friday morning from an apparent heart attack at the too young age of 58. He had been a member of our KQV family since 1974. In many respects, Steve's was the voice of KQV ... his deep resonant presentation of the news almost demanded that the listener stay tuned ... or else!
He began his long career in our newsroom in 1974 and over the 34 years of his tenure here he worked as both anchor and reporter.
Somehow, we are never prepared for the inevitability of death. In the newsroom just last week, we were talking about the untimely death of TV Journalist Tim Russert and almost prophetically, Steve confided that it's the way he hoped to go; That he didn't want to linger at death's door as had members of his family.
Apparently the Almighty got the message!
According to the Holy Bible ... A good name is better than precious ointment and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
Thus will we remember the good name of Stephen Lohel. May he rest in peace!
Robert W. Dickey
||Keeve Berman joined KQV in 1961 from WEDO in McKeesport. He aspied to be one of KQV's air personalities. He did a Sunday shift as well as fill-ins for the regular personalities. He went on to become on of KQV's best newsmen before moving on to be news director at WOR in New York and WTAE radio in Pittsburgh. Keeve spent 10 years as a news anchor at ABC's American Contemporary Radio. Keeve passed away in a nursing home in Pembroke Pines, Florida on May 18, 2008. Keeve was 71 years old.|
Jan. 20, 1937-May 8, 2008
By Kathy SaeNgian, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Longtime radio newsman Keeve Berman was a fun-loving guy with a knack for playing golf. In fact, his friends argued that he could have turned pro if he had pursued the sport more.
"People knew him for his sense of humor, his news ability and his love of golf," said his long-term friend, Bob Gibson.
Mr. Berman, 71, died Sunday in his Hillcrest nursing home in Pembroke Pines, Fla., from inoperable lung cancer.
Mr. Berman grew up in Greensburg but considered Pittsburgh to be his "hometown." He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Berman began working in radio during his late teens and in 1961 was a fill-in air personality and news broadcaster at KQV, where he worked for about six years.
He was news director at New York's WOR-FM for two years before returning to Pittsburgh to work at WTAE Radio. In 1974, he left for New York again and became a correspondent on the American Contemporary Network for 10 years.
Mr. Berman retired five years ago to Pembroke Pines, where he enjoyed time with his companion, Elaine Kugelman. Mr Berman is survived by three children.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.
Pittsburgh radio lost 2 more legends. Within a span of just 5 days, former KDKA radio presonalities Art Pallan and Bob Tracey passed away. Art Pallan died on Monday January 22, 2007 at the age of 83. On Friday January 26, 2007, Bob Tracey died at the age of 83. Both are remembered fondly by Pittsburghers who listened to KDKA in the 1950's, 60's and 70's.
May 11, 1923 - Jan. 22, 2007
Art Pallan from 1985 - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
By John Hayes , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The radio celebrity who referred to himself on the air as "Your pal, Pallan" died Monday at St. John Specialty Care Center in Mars. He was 83.
Born in Braddock to the late Rudolph and Elizabeth Berger Pallan, Mr. Pallan landed his first radio job at WWSW a year after graduating from Brentwood High School.
During World War II, he was a radio operator aboard a B-25 bomber flying missions over the Aleutian Islands. Mr. Pallan was awarded the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with three battle stars.
After the war, he returned to WWSW, where he worked for more than a decade. He moved to KDKA in 1956.
When Rege Cordic left his popular morning show in 1965, Mr. Pallan and co-host Bob Trow inherited the time slot. He stayed with KDKA in various roles until his retirement in 1985.
Singer Bobby Vinton, a Canonsburg native, still calls Mr. Pallan "the godfather of radio in Pittsburgh."
"I remember Art Pallan played a Bobby Vinton song on KDKA every day he was on the radio," he said.
Perhaps Mr. Pallan's dedication to musicians was kindled by his aborted music career. He cut two records, "Waiting" and "Sleepy Time Down South," and sang with The Lee Kelton Band.
"What you might not know," said Pittsburgh radio personality Jack Bogut, "is that Art Pallan was one of the best singers I ever heard. He sounded as much like Bing Crosby as Bing Crosby. I said one time, 'Art, why didn't you pursue it as a career?' He said he didn't want to travel and wanted to be with his family."
Mr. Bogut, now at WJAS, took over the KDKA morning show in 1968.
"Sometimes, it's not comfortable to be replaced by somebody," he said. "But Art never had a cross word or bad attitude, never showed any hostility or resentment to me at all. He couldn't have been more welcoming."
Off the air, Mr. Pallan is remembered by colleagues as a hard worker, good sport and practical joker.
John Cigna, who hosted the KDKA morning show from 1983 to 2001, said he was sometimes the victim of Mr. Pallan's humor, but he respected his upbeat attitude and professionalism.
"He was always up. I never saw him get angry with anybody," said Mr. Cigna.
Mr. Pallan helped raise money for Children's Hospital during holiday season broadcasts from department store windows, and on the 40th anniversary of his career in radio, the Myasthenia Gravis Association, one of his many charities, presented him with the Art Pallan Humanitarian Award for contributions to the community. In 2002, he was inducted to the Brentwood High School Hall of Fame.
Mr. Pallan attended St. Kilian Church in Mars, was active in the Knights of Columbus, Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge and American Diabetes Association, and was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He is survived by his brother, Rudolph Pallan of Pittsburgh; son Arthur Pallan Jr. of Butler; daughters Andrea "Pidge" Welsh of Butler, Anne Olescyski of Mars, and Artha Hockenberry of Shippensburg; his friend Irene Cherchiaro; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
Died Jan. 26, 2007
By Brittany McCandless, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Distant listeners may have been attracted by the warm voice that called them each "tiger." Local listeners maybe have been taken by the man behind the voice, a vibrant personality who drove to work every day on his Vespa scooter.
Mr. Tracey, of Carnegie, died Friday from complications of pneumonia, said his wife, Marjorie Michel. He was 83.
"He had a gorgeous voice," Mrs. Michel said. "I haven't heard anything to compare it to."
Mr. Tracey, who was born Robert Charles Michel in Rutherford, N.J. to Edith and Lester Michel, used two names while at KDKA.
He started as Johnny Ryder, part of the Ryder Brothers team that broadcast late-evening programs. He came by Bob Tracey when he moved to a mid-afternoon slot. At the time, a well-known DJ at another local station had a surname similar to Michel. The station renamed him Bob Tracey to avoid confusion among listeners.
Mr. Tracey found out about his new identity when a Westinghouse executive presented new DJs with engraved lighters. When he saw his, bidding good luck and good ratings to "Bob Tracey," he handed it back, saying, "This isn't my name."
The executives responded, "It is now."
As a DJ, Mr. Tracey loved the music he played and spent many Sundays listening to the records he had been sent the previous week. Though he kept a certain fondness for the sounds of the big band era, Mr. Tracey had a gift for picking out the next hit song of the day. Among the songs he spotted before their rise to fame were Dionne Warwick's hit "Valley of the Dolls" and Richard Harris' "MacArthur Park."
Mrs. Michel said her basement is still filled with 20,000 records.
In addition to music, Mr. Tracey enjoyed Hawaii, and he led annual listener trips to the islands before moving there with his wife for a year.
Prior to joining KDKA in 1954, Mr. Tracey served in the Navy during World War II and later worked as a page at NBC in New York while studying acting.
He went on to work radio stints in North Carolina, Syracuse, N.Y., and Altoona, where he met his wife. The couple were married in 1947.
A few years later, Mr. Tracey almost aquired another name. Mr. Tracey was visiting his friend Bob Keeshan at the NBC studios when Mr. Keeshan offered him an acting role in a pilot television program. Mr. Tracey turned it down because, as a pilot, the role was unpaid, and he had to provide for his wife and small children.
The role was for Captain Kangaroo.
Though he missed his initial chance at acting, Mr. Tracey found himself performing long after he left KDKA in 1969.
He stayed in broadcasting by recording commercials, acting in local theater, and performing in several films, including "The Mothman Prophecies," "Houseguest," and "Black Dahlia."
"He was an actor. There was no two ways about that," Mrs. Michel said. "He was always on stage, always liked to be the center of attention."
Mr. Tracey also liked riding scooters. He was turned on to the alternative method of transportation when fellow KDKA DJ Clark Race brought his scooter into the station one Saturday. Mr. Tracey borrowed it over the weekend, and his love for the two-wheeled vehicle was born.
Nothing would stop Mr. Tracey from riding his scooter down the Parkway West to the KDKA station, Mrs. Michel said. Not even a stormy winter.
When snow covered his driveway, he simply had his four children pull him and his scooter up to the road.
This love led him to own and operate his own shop, Bob Tracey's World of Cycles, for more than 20 years before retiring several years ago.
"He did things his way," Mrs. Michel said.
In addition to becoming an entrepreneur, Mr. Tracey taught himself computer programming, learned how to fly a plane, and routinely worked in his garden, growing orchids.
Besides his wife, Mr. Tracey is survived by four children, Candice Michel of Brookings, Ore., Gregory Michel of Franklin Park, Dana Mandolini of Bolingbrook, Ill., and Marjorie Pintea of Bridgeville; a brother, Douglas of Hackensack, N.J.; and seven grandchildren.
|Anderson Little was found dead in his home in Pittsburgh on Sunday June 4th, 2006. Anderson had been a long-time part of WDUQ-FM. He hosted many programs at WDUQ-FM over the years including "Window Into the Community," "Community Perspective" and "Pittsburgh Perspective" and "The Anderson Little Report". He was 66 years old.||
Littles cast big shadows: one as judge, other as radio historian
By Sally Kalson and Adrian McCoy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(this is a portion of the obituary the rest can be seen on-line at)
Both became pioneers and household names, the former as a lawyer, judge and advocate for civil rights, the latter as a radio journalist who captured 33 years of African-American history in Pittsburgh.
This week, they died within hours of each other -- Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Walter R. Little, 62, on Monday evening of prostate cancer, and WDUQ radio host Anderson P. Little, 66, found dead Sunday night in his Uptown home, of undetermined causes. The family was awaiting an autopsy report yesterday.
Judge Little, the youngest of 12 siblings, had battled cancer for three years but kept working from home even after his retirement in January. He had moved to Forbes Hospice May 30, said his daughter, Karren Little, of Penn Hills.
While his brother was engaged in the law, Anderson Little was recording community events and stories highlighting black struggles and achievement, rarely inserting himself into the picture.
"Anderson probably had the most extensive tape collection of events in the black community that has ever existed," said Mr. Udin, "and he never tried to put himself in front. He was always behind the scenes, recording."
Anderson Little was most recently known for producing "The Anderson Little Report," which aired on WDUQ each Sunday. From the beginning of his career, he was at the forefront of the movement to get more minority viewpoints onto the public airwaves, especially in public radio.
He became interested in broadcasting while attending high school in the Pittsburgh public schools and eventually worked in all areas of the business -- as a disc jockey and in sales and promotions -- before settling into a career in news and public affairs. He worked in radio in Kansas City and, in Pittsburgh, at WAMO-FM, WAMO-AM, KQV-AM and WQED-TV.
In 1972, WDUQ-FM at Duquesne University hired him to work with students and develop a community affairs voice. It was a time when shows addressing minority issues were few.
He hosted several programs over the years: "Window Into the Community," "Community Perspective" and "Pittsburgh Perspective," which evolved into "The Anderson Little Report."
The weekly show focused on many subjects, from jobs and education to social and cultural topics. His annual Black History Month specials explored such things as the segregation of the military during World War II and the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball teams.
Mr. Little spent hours on location, recording speeches, seminars and community meetings. He wanted to give audiences the full, unedited event.
"He always said, 'I want to do this for the people who aren't able to make it to these interesting community forums,' " said WDUQ news director Kevin Gavin, who was a student working at the station when he first met Mr. Little.
"He explored issues that, if they got mentioned [elsewhere], would be in passing. He gave a voice to people who had not been heard."
"For a broadcaster, Anderson was a relatively quiet person," said station manager Scott Hanley. "What he did best was listen and seek out the voices of others telling their stories."
His work in broadcasting made him a leader in the African-American community, Mr. Hanley said.
"So much of what he did was exposing African-American issues to a broader community," he said, like covering minority health before the mainstream media noticed it.
In 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized his work as a radio journalist. He received the New People Justice Award from the Thomas Merton Center and the Community Services and Communications Award from the Alleghenians Ltd., and was named 2003 Professional Man of the Year by the Pittsburgh Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs.
Mr. Little never married and had no children. He is survived by two sisters, Patricia Bruce of Glen Hazel and Barbara West of East Liberty.
Judge Little's survivors, in addition to his sisters and daughter, are his wife, Elizabeth Little of Penn Hills, another daughter, Lisa Little of Wilkinsburg, and a grandson.
|Former Pittsburgh Mayor Peter F. Flaherty passed away on Monday April 18, 2005. Mayor Flaherty died of cancer at his home in Mt. Lebanon, surrounded by family. Mayor Pete joined Bob DeCarlo's morning show in March of 1975. The show featured Bob DeCarlo, newsman Peter Jackson, Mayor Flaherty and Esther Lapiddus and was known as DeCarlo and Company.|
|Former KQV personality Henry DaBecco died of cancer on Wednesday, March 30, 2005. Henry was 79 years old. Henry started in radio at WCVI in Connellsville in the late 1940's before moving on to WJAS in 1951, and then KQV in 1958 when KQV switched formats to top 40. In May 1964, Henry went to WRYT (WTAE) and remained until 1968 when he moved to WTAE-TV as a booth announcer. Since suffering a stroke a few years ago, Henry had been living in an assited living center on West Liberty Avenue. 'Handsome Henry', Thanks for the memories of the Henry D Ride.||
By Monika Kugemann, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mr. Dabecco started his broadcast career in Connellsville and became widely known to Pittsburghers as a disc jockey for KQV in the 1950s. Apart from spinning records, Mr. Dabecco announced upcoming songs and informed listeners what was going on in town.
"He was considered one of the 'fab five,' the fabulous five announcers for KQV," said Joanne Dabecco, one of his nieces.
In the '60s, Mr. Dabecco moved to WTAE radio, where he became the voice of late-afternoon "drive time" for several years. He continued his career on the TV side of WTAE as an announcer for Channel 4.
Bob Watt, staff director at WTAE-TV, remembers Mr. Dabecco as being a very private but amiable colleague and good friend.
"I knew him from the time I started at the station in 1969 and got to be very friendly with him," Watt said. "I was a great fan of Pittsburgh radio and Henry was the voice of KQV for years."
Mr. Dabecco hosted a weekly public affairs program during the '70s. "I directed him as he hosted 'Community Outreach,' " Watt recalled. "We had community leaders come in and talk about the town. The show was really produced for him."
After retiring in 1987, Mr. Dabecco spent the winter months in West Palm Beach, Fla., until his health failed two years ago. "He loved the heat, the sun," says his niece.
Mr. Dabecco, a longtime member of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, never married. He was very fond of his family, especially his nephews and nieces, whom he frequently joined for dinner and family gatherings.
By Jerry Vondas TRIBUNE-REVIEW
"Murrow was in Pittsburgh for an Alcoa event, and his evening program was being broadcast through WJAS, which at the time was a CBS affiliate," said Robert W. Dickey, president and general manager of KQV Radio.
"Henry asked Murrow for a job in New York City. Murrow, who had heard Henry broadcast that day, took his name and phone number. He contacted Henry shortly after and offered him a job. Henry never followed it up."
Henry R. Dabecco, of Mt. Washington, died of cancer on Wednesday, March 30, 2005, at Fair Oaks Skilled Nursing Facility in Brookline. He was 79.
Working afternoons at KQV, Mr. Dabecco could be seen through a large window broadcasting from his studio in the Chamber of Commerce Building at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Smithfield Street, Downtown.
His niece, Joanne Dabecco, said she was the envy of her high school friends when she took them to watch her uncle at the window. "And often I'd hurry home from school and turn on the radio to listen to my uncle," she said.
In a 1971 interview with Ed Blank, then the film critic for The Pittsburgh Press and now the film critic for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mr. Dabecco said he was shy and bashful, especially in high school.
"I was often told that I needed to get out of my shell," Dabecco told Blank.
"He also said how important it was to be upbeat during the time you're on the air. He said that listeners turned you on to be entertained and not to listen to your problems," Blank said.
His shyness was evident during the years he ate breakfast at the Village Dairy on Shiloh Street, Mt. Washington. "He was a gentleman," said waitress Audrey Samstag. "He was the kind of person who never made his presence known. But once he spoke, everyone knew he was in the house."
Born and raised on Mt. Washington, Mr. Dabecco was one of seven children of Rocco and Josephine Dabecco, who emigrated from Italy. His father was a bricklayer.
Following graduation from South Hills High School on Mt. Washington, Mr. Dabecco enrolled at Carnegie Institute of Technology -- now Carnegie Mellon University -- where he received his degree in theater.
Prior to entering the Air Force during the Korean War, Mr. Dabecco was enrolled at a broadcast school in Cincinnati.
His family said Mr. Dabecco's interest in radio probably saved his life during the war. "One of the Air Force generals recruited Uncle Henry to open a new Air Force broadcast center in St. Louis," Joanne Dabecco said. "The entire group that he had trained with was sent to Korea and all of the men were killed in action."
Following his discharge from the military, Mr. Dabecco began his career at WCCI in Connellsville, Fayette County. In the ensuing years, he was employed by WJAS, KQV and WTAE. At WTAE, he appeared on television with Del Taylor in "Community Outreach." He retired from WTAE in 1987.
||Sadly, another member of
the KQV family has passed away. Jack Gale reports that one of the funniest
jocks ever, Rex Miller died this past Sunday. He was in a nursing home
near St. Louis, Mo. for months and suffered a heart attack Sunday. Rex
worked for Gordon McLendon, KQV in Pittsburgh in 1968, WUBE in Cincy,and
with Gale at WITH in Baltimore in the early sixties . Jack says, "Another
one of the great radio personalities has left us too soon ... "
Rex M. Spangberg, 65, died at 9 p.m. May 21, 2004, at Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston.
|It is with great sadness to report that another member of the KQV family has passed away. On Monday, October 27, 2003, Rod Roddy died in Hollywood. Roddy, who suffered from colon and breast cancer, died at Century City Hospital. He was 66 years old. He had been hospitalized for two months. Private funeral services will be held in Texas, with a memorial service planned in Los Angeles in several weeks, CBS said.|
|'Price Is Right' Announcer
Rod Roddy Dies
October 27, 2003 10:13 PM EST
LOS ANGELES - Rod Roddy,
the flamboyantly dressed announcer on "The Price is Right" whose booming,
jovial voice invited lucky audience members to "Come on down!" for nearly
20 years, died Monday. He was 66.
DON COX died in his sleep September 14, 2003 at the age of 55. He was in
Georgia, living with his mother at the time. Don was at 13Q between 1975
and 1977. Don came to Pittsburgh from the legendary Y-100 in Miami. He
went on to KHJ in Los Angeles after leaving 13Q. He also spent a number
of years in Miami. Most recently Don did mornings at WKIS-FM 99.9 Kiss
From the Miami Herald's Howard Cohen...
"Don Cox, a veteran disc jockey of the South Florida airwaves, died in his sleep Monday morning in Atlanta, said friend and former colleague Kid Curry, program director of WPOW-FM 96.5 (Power 96).
Cox on the Radio, as he was known, had been living with his mother. He was 55.
''He didn't wake up,'' Curry said.
Cox's gravelly voice and sometimes bawdy on-air persona made him a star DJ for three decades in South Florida.
Cox came to prominence in South Florida on WHYI-FM (100.7) -- generally called Y-100 -- in 1973 when the 'Johns' dominated the pop station's playlist: Elton John, John Denver and Olivia Newton-John. He briefly worked in Los Angeles at the height of disco in 1977.
When disco died and urban rhythms arrived, Cox followed the beat back to South Florida. He returned to Y-100 and then to contemporary hit radio, Power 96, in 1986.
In 2001, he ended his South Florida tenure with a brief, four-month stint at WKIS-FM (99.9) -- Kiss Country. After throat surgery, WKIS chose not to renew his contract, and he moved to Georgia to care for his mother.
''It's always sad when a friend who has so much talent and who was such a loving father and a nice guy dies,'' Curry said in a phone interview from Power 96. The two had recently spoken, Curry said, and Cox sounded fine.
''I feel for his kids. It's just a shock,'' Curry said. Cox had two children and a stepdaughter with his fourth wife, March Cox.
Cox was known for his on- and off-air antics.
''He was the quintessential rock-'n'-roll DJ,'' said Bill Tanner, who, as previous program director for Y-100 in the '70s and Power 96 in the '80s, hired Cox at both stations.
Perhaps inspired by TV's wacky sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, Tanner and Cox came up with a novel idea. The DJ would broadcast his first Power 96 show live from atop the former Coppertone billboard in North Miami Beach.
Except that the mechanical arm that made the dog pull the little girl's blue bathing suit down conked Cox on the head, forcing the DJ off the air and to the hospital.
''He was always having things like that happening to him; he was such a character,'' Tanner said. Personal problems threatened to derail his career, however. In 1991, he was arrested for drunken driving and had his license suspended for six months. In 1986, he claimed he was beaten by four men who abducted him after his air shift on the former WINZ-FM (94.9) -- now Zeta 4. He didn't file a police report. In 1980, he was charged with cocaine trafficking and served four months.
Despite those setbacks, ''If you look back at the history of radio in South Florida, I think Don's name will always be remembered,'' said Adam Jacobson, an editor with the Los Angeles trade magazine Radio & Records.
``He spoke to two generations of South Floridians.''
There are no details on funeral services.
Bobby Harper is not to be confused with former KQV program director Bob Harper who was also at KQV in 1970.
|It is with deep sadness
that we report the passing of John D. Gibbs, long-time Vice President and
General Manager of KQV. Mr. Gibbs died of a stroke Tuesday March 25, 2003
at his home in Mount Lebanon. Mr. Gibbs originally joined KQV in July 1945.
Mr. Gibbs remained at KQV until 1974. Mr. Gibbs spent a short time at WWSW
before joing the faculty at Duquesne University. Mr. Gibbs retired in 1980.
I would like to add my own thanks to John Gibbs. John was kind enough to take the time to help me shortly after I started this website. He allowed me to borrow his personal scrapbook to add the first pictures and his memories of KQV to this site. John, thank you. You will be missed. ... Jeff
|Obituary: John Dove Gibbs / Longtime
executive at KQV Radio
Saturday, March 29, 2003
John Dove Gibbs, a former KQV executive who pulled off a broadcasting coup by using a 30-second delay to circumvent a ban on airing the Beatles' first Pittsburgh concert live in 1964, died of a stroke Tuesday in his home. He was 80.
Mr. Gibbs, of Mt. Lebanon, got into radio in the early 1940s when he was spurred to apply for a job as an announcer by friends who'd grown tired of hearing him make fun of the on-air talent at a station in Morgantown, W.Va. He spent four decades working in broadcasting and communications, becoming vice president and general manager at KQV and later a professor at Duquesne University.
A native of Cumberland, Md., Mr. Gibbs was the son of a Methodist minister who moved his family during the 1920s and '30s from Maryland to California and back east to West Virginia. Mr. Gibbs graduated in 1937 from Morgantown High School and attended West Virginia University before going to work as a laborer at a DuPont munitions factory in Morgantown, said his son, Jeffrey F. Gibbs of Bethel Park.
While at DuPont, Mr. Gibbs entertained and exasperated co-workers by mocking the announcers on the local radio station. Finally, they dared him to try it himself if he thought he could do better.
"He climbed down off the roof, went home and put on his best suit and walked into the radio station," his son said. "He got the job."
After working at WCLG-AM in Morgantown, Mr. Gibbs moved on to Pittsburgh and KQV. From another on-air slot, he worked his way up through administrative positions to become vice president and general manager in 1957.
"After the big snow of 1950, he walked all the way from his home in Dormont down through the [Liberty] Tubes and single-handedly got the station on the air," his son said. "That in itself showed his dedication."
During Mr. Gibbs' tenure at KQV, the station was owned by ABC Radio, which used the station as a test market for rock-and-roll music. The station, which later began simulcasting on both the AM and FM bands from its window-encased, street-level studio at Seventh Avenue and Smithfield Street, emerged as a rock and Top 40 station with a national reputation.
Mr. Gibbs helped to arrange the Beatles' first appearance in Pittsburgh in September 1964, then enraged his rivals at KDKA by getting the Fab Four on KQV's airwaves first. Because the Beatles had insisted that their Pittsburgh news conference and concert could not be broadcast live, KDKA had planned to tape and broadcast the events an hour after they ended.
Mr. Gibbs, however, beat them to it by broadcasting nearly live -- using a 30-second delay. He also introduced one of the first fully mobile broadcasting trailers and other publicity tactics aimed at keeping the public's ears tuned to KQV.
In 1972, Mr. Gibbs left the station after it was sold to another radio network. He worked briefly at 3WS Radio before becoming a professor of communications at Duquesne, where he remained until he retired in 1980.
Along with his wife of 55 years, Evelyn Forbes Gibbs, he was a longtime supporter of the Pittsburgh Symphony and particularly enjoyed the works of Beethoven and Mahler. He was also an avid tennis player and fisherman and was a member of a number of broadcasting clubs and associations.
In addition to his wife and son Jeffrey, Mr. Gibbs is survived by a son, Nathan Gibbs of Murrysville; a daughter, Jeremy Horgan of Aliquippa; a sister, Catherine Robertson of Chicago; and four grandchildren.
There will be no visitation. Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Dorsey's Knob Fund, Greater Morgantown Community Trust, P.O. Box 409, Morgantown, WV 26507. The fund will be used to restore Dorsey's Knob, a hilltop park with an expansive view where Mr. Gibbs played as a child.
||Long Time KQV Radio and
KDKA Newsman Al Julius passed away on June 28, 2002. Al Julius came to
KQV from KTLN in Denver. Al's distinctive style made him one of Pittsburgh's
most popular newscasters. Al spent 14 years at KDKA-TV. Al died of lung
cancer at the age of 73. Thanks Al. You will be missed by all of us.
|Obituary: Al Julius / Thundering TV
commentator and fund-raiser
Saturday, June 29, 2002
He ranted. He railed. He
really let 'em have it.
But his most enduring legacy may be the annual Thanksgiving turkey drive that began with a $10 donation from a Washington County woman who asked him, "Would you see that a needy family gets this?" and grew into an enterprise that has raised more than $8 million.
Mr. Julius, 73, died yesterday at Kindred Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in February, 13 years after he quit smoking.
"He had that gruff exterior on the air, but he was a sweetheart," Ray Tannehill, his former KDKA-TV colleague, recalled yesterday. "He said what he believed. And it came across on the air."
Mr. Julius, a native of Brooklyn, agonized over the five commentaries he delivered each week and often rewrote them in light of breaking news, Tannehill said. "He was very, very dedicated."
That devotion extended to the turkey drive.
The first "Julius' Turkeys" drive in 1982 raised $90,000. Through the years, the campaign evolved into KDKA's Turkey Fund. Families receive supermarket vouchers, purchased by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, from their local food pantries.
Nothing about Mr. Julius was modest in size or tone, from the full beard he once sported to the length of his commentaries and sharpness of his opinions.
He didn't let people or institutions have it with both barrels so much as he aimed a cannon their way. That was true whether he was dissecting fashion dictators from Paris and Rome or suggesting that not all offhand comments are meant to be insensitive. He once growled, "The golden rule of politics is he who has the gold, he who spreads the gold, wins."
For a special on KDKA-TV's 50th anniversary, Mr. Julius said: "Bill Burns brought integrity to the station. I brought maybe a kind of spice and garlic and cayenne." But even while giving the pompous and powerful heartburn, he was compassionate enough to suggest that the station open its lobby to the homeless overnight when temperatures dipped below freezing.
"He was a kind man in his heart, regardless of all the bluster," his friend and former KDKA producer Jim Esser said. "He loved the community, the people and the audience, and he deeply respected them."
People would walk up to Mr. Julius on the street "like he was a friend," Esser said. "They'd tell him their problems, and he was always willing to listen."
In early 1991, KDKA-TV told Mr. Julius he no longer fit in with the station's plans. His departure came in the midst of a cost-cutting campaign at the station that resulted in 14 layoffs. Mr. Julius said he would have taken a pay cut to remain.
"I was willing to make a lot of changes, but I'm not going to change who I am," he said at the time. "We had a difference of philosophy about the function of a commentator. I thought my function was to give people what they don't get in the news."
Mr. Julius returned in May 1995 for one final commentary. He did almost five minutes live on the 6 p.m. news, opening with the question, "Where was I before I was so rudely interrupted?"
He thanked Sue McInerney, the executive who fired him, and saluted the city he called home. "If you think that I am bitter and I look back in anger, you are wrong, because I would not have had these past four years of travel and enjoyment" with his wife, Kat, his children and granddaughters, he said.
He added that he might have dropped dead on the set if he hadn't been pushed out the door and toward white-water rafting, camping, canoeing and other pastimes. But in characteristic Julius style, he also railed against the "bean counters" who have turned newscasts into "fluff and puff" by telling viewers what they want to know instead of what they need to know.
Although Mr. Julius never lost his New York accent or bluster, he had come to consider Pittsburgh home. "He was a Brooklyn boy, but he had pride in Pittsburgh probably more than many of the native-born," his wife said.
He arrived here in 1947 to attend what was then Carnegie Tech. After graduating from the drama school in 1951, he went to Israel, where he was a member of the resident acting company of the famed Habimah Theater. Returning to the United States after six years, Mr. Julius switched from stage to radio.
He started in Denver, moved to Pittsburgh's KQV as news director and then to WCAU in Philadelphia, where he worked as a talk show host. He had two stints at KDKA-TV -- from November 1973 to July 1978 and September 1981 to January 1991 -- sandwiched around a gig at KABC-TV in Los Angeles.
He was a walking, talking advertisement for the annual turkey drive, which survived his tenure at KDKA. Whether he was walking Pittsburgh streets, shopping or standing in the Benedum Center lobby during intermission, people handed him cash after acknowledging his name.
"They say, 'You're Al Julius,' and they walk away; that makes you feel good," Mr. Julius told the Post-Gazette in 1990. "To me, that's like saying, hey, you're doing good work. That's about as close as you can get to approval in my business. You don't get applause."
In addition to his wife, Mr. Julius is survived by a son, Rabbi Ethan Julius of San Jose, Calif.; a daughter, Gari Weilbacher of Merion Station, a Philadelphia suburb; a sister, Elanor Reiter of Chicago, and four grandchildren.
A graveside ceremony will
be held tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at Mount Judah Cemetery in Brooklyn. Memorial
contributions may be made to Chabad Fort Lauderdale, 3500 N. Ocean Blvd.,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308.
Clark was at KDKA radio from 1959 until 1970. He also hosted a Saturday afternoon Dance Party on KDKA-TV from 1963-1967. After leaving KDKA, Clark went to the West Coast and worked at KMPC [Los Angeles CA] from 1971-1978. He hosted "The Parent Game" on ABC-TV in 1972. Clark also worked at KYUU [San Francisco CA - 1978], KBRT [LA - 1980] and KYXY [San Diego CA from 1981-1986].(thanks to Johnny Williams 440 Satisfaction)
|Former KQV News reporter Bob Cochran has passed away. Bob was a long time newsman at Channel 11. Bob joined the KQV news team in 1975 and was one of the first anchors of KQV's All News staff. Bob remained at KQV until 1991 before moving to Atlanta. Bob passed away on May 30, 1999.|
(photo courtesy of
|Former KQV afternoon personality
Rick Shaw passed away on June 22, 1998 in San Rafael, California.
Shaw, who died of an aortic aneurysm, was 53. KQV fans may remember
Rick from his stint in Pittsburgh in 1974. Rick was part of the staff during
the 14K period. Rick had been working in San Francisco since 1975
and had been at KIOI for 9 years.
|Former KQV Sales Exec & General Manager Larry O. Garrett passed away in early August 1998. Garrett came to KQV in 1963. He later helped establish KQV. Larry along with Myron Cope later came up with the idea of the Terrible Towel for the Pittsburgh Steelers while at WTAE radio. Larry had retired in 1989 but came out of retirement to help run stations for Renda Broadcasting in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry Garrett died of a rare form of Kidney Cancer at the age of 61.|