He now works as Senior Marketing and Sales Strategist for Telos Alliance, a local technology firm that designs and manufactures audio equipment. Contrary to popular opinion, Freed did not coin the phrase "rock'n' roll," but he was certainly instrumental in popularizing it and spreading the revolution around the world. "They could have fired me several times and they didn't. He died of a heart attack in 2011. (He started at the station when it was on the FM dial and also worked at sister station WMJI-FM/105.7.) LaBarbara had shows on KYC-AM 1100 and WIXY-AM/1260, where he was one of the Supermen. WNIR - Call-in Talk Shows and News. (Plain Dealer file photo), Kasem was the legendary host of the syndicated "American Top 40" countdown, and the voice of Shaggy on the "Scooby-Doo" cartoons. He apparently doesn't work for them anymore. He now produces a podcast, “Blind Faith Live (at blindfaithlive.com), focusing on the spiritual healing practice of Issam Nemeh. Kirby was one of the fast-talking "Supermen" of Top 40 radio giant WIXY-AM/1260 in the 1960s, along with Dick "The Wilde Childe" Kemp, Mike Reineri, Larry "The Duker" Morrow, Jack Armstrong and later, Billy Bass. Today, he's out of radio and has been the owner of The Dean Rufus House Of Fun retail boutique on West 29th Street in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood for the past 12 years. He switched to radio in 1968 and became a local legend, working over the years with partners like Joe Tait, Nev Chandler, Steve Lamar, Paul Olden and, finally, Tom Hamilton. She is now the sales director at WNWV-FM/107.3. Over the course of a long career, she did everything from music to news. If you hear her take about problems on "the hypotenuse," she's referring to I-70 between I-480 and Downtown. (Plain Dealer file photo). The trio moved to WMMS in 1971, laying the groundwork for the station's Buzzard heyday. He was called to testify at congressional hearings and admitted accepting cash and gifts to play records. Unfortunately, his departure from WNIR was ugly. Dee died in November 1995. If it happened today, let’s talk about it tonight on The Jim Bohannon Show. (Plain Dealer file photo), Pete Franklin did his last regular broadcasts in 1998 and died in 2004, but he is still, in many ways, the best-known sports-talk radio host in Cleveland. His drinking problem first became public five years before that when, after partying at a wedding, he and his third wife got into a physical confrontation that made headlines. Alden amassed a 37-year career in Ohio radio, 24 of them with easy-listening station WDOK-FM/102.1. She was the news director at WABQ during the early 1970s She also ran for Cleveland City Council and led Black Political Women of Cleveland. He pioneered the sports-talk format here, starting in 1967 at WERE-AM/1300 and then moving to WWWE-AM/1100. Tall and confident in his prime, Piatt enjoyed the night life, which led to some of his darker moments. WNIR 100 FM - WNIR, The Talk of Akron, FM 100.1, Kent, OH. (Lapczinski is at far right in this photo along with his Buzzword crewmates in the WMMS studios) (Plain Dealer file photo), Kid Leo, whose real name is Lawrence James Travagilante, ruled the Buzzard roost at WMMS for 16 years from 1973-1988. He was lured to New York and became a star on WCBS, but still flew back to Cleveland in his own plane to host his Cleveland shows. (Plain Dealer file photo), Longtime Plain Dealer columnist and comedy reporter Michael K. McIntyre has been the host of "The Sound of Ideas," a weekday public affairs call-in show on Cleveland NPR affiliate, WCPN-FM/90.3 since 2010. 'What do you call a yard sale in Kentucky? His nickname is "Mr. So frequent, in fact, that he eventually ended up hosting his own show. After his run on WDMT, Rufus continued with another hugely popular live mix and specialty show, "Club Jamz" on Jammin' 92.3. Kirby is second from left in this photo from a WIXY Supermen reunion. Chizek was among the most opinionated (and durable) radio personalities in local history. The show was never mistaken for anything on NPR. Collier became a national figure as the longtime afternoon drive-time DJ of country station WGAR-FM/99.5. (Plain Dealer file photo), Santini came to WMMS-FM/100.7 in 1994 after a stint at Canton's WRQK-FM/106.9. (Plain Dealer file photo), Bass built one of the most versatile careers in the history of Cleveland radio. His "BLF Bash" was an overnight mainstay at the Buzzard from 1976-1994. Today, she is an assistant professor of communication at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. He left the station in July of 1991, just 19 months into his 3-year contract. He took a leave of absence in December 2016 for prostate cancer, and resumed his duties the first week of January. He loved to confront local politicians and had an ongoing on-air "battle" with Cleveland City Council's legendary George Forbes. The Morning Buzz with Angela Bellios, Steve French & Phil Ferguson. He commuted to New York for a time, then did WCBS shows remotely from Cleveland. "He was a cheerleader and promoter and never really had a bad word to say about anyone's effort," Conley said. In 2011, he left Akron to become a conservative talk-radio host in Houston. All rights reserved. Shirley later admitted that he had hired exotic dancers to entertain him during the event and had passed out in a trailer after taking prescription drugs. He also worked at WWWE, and at Akron stations WKDD and WQMX before becoming the afternoon host at WGAR in November 1994. Akron, Ohio is the home of one of America's most unique Talk Radio stations. She is also the wife of legendary WMMS programmer John Gorman. He was a conservative talk radio host at Akron's WNIR FM/100.1 for almost 40 years. Although initially bitter, Piatt’s anger dissipated as the years passed. He also was the DJ for the Call and Post newspaper's ballroom dances and booked acts at the Play-Mor. For 35 years Piatt reveled in anchoring a morning comedy show on radio station WNIR (100.1-FM), bringing laughter to thousands of Greater Akron listeners by utilizing a quirky cast of regular callers and his own relentless sense of humor. What really set his show apart was that, in an era when radio was becoming increasingly generic, he focused squarely on Akron. One of the first black DJs in Cleveland radio, he worked at WIXY-AM/1260, and became one of the WIXY Supermen. (Plain Dealer file photo), Dillon got her start in Cleveland radio in 1988 on WMMS-FM/100.7, working on the morning show with Jeff and Flash. Gorman has also written a book about his days at WMMS, "The Buzzard: Inside the Glory Days of WMMS and Cleveland Rock Radio." After leaving WGAR and moving to Nashville in 1994, Grant landed a nationally syndicated country radio program. There are over 2,237 on air … He hosted a morning radio show and afternoon movie show and did weather in the evenings. He later worked for WHHR in Hilton Head, S.C. He later pleaded guilty to a drug abuse charge and the dancers agreed to make a $600 contribution to the Salvation Army. He retired from WMJI in 2014. Akron, Ohio is the home of one of America's most unique Talk Radio stations. ... "He always called me Billy, as if we’d grown up together, and I took it as the term of affection he meant it to be. He appears on KTRH-AM/740 and KPRC-AM/950. Maggie Fuller, the on-air pseudonym of Nancy Jones of Kent, was hired by WNIR in 1999 and joined the morning crew, where banter “required” her to “endure a degree of sexual innuendo with her male colleagues.”. That was a bit of an exaggeration. He was trying to revive his career on the West Coast when he died, at age 43, in 1965. For more than 30 years, his voice was usually the last I heard before I began my workday and he helped me, and thousands of others, begin it with a smile.". An Akron radio personality recovering from the coronavirus is urging people to stay home as much as possible and to practice social distancing as … He stayed at WMMS until 1992, moving then to WNCX-FM/98.5 and WDOK-FM/102.1. He was on air locally for a brief time in the early 2000s, on WELW-AM/1330, playing oldies with another WMJI vet Ravenna Miceli. He is credited with creating one of the first morning drive-time radio shows in Cleveland by combining Top 40 tunes with phone-ins from teenagers, housewives, office workers and Cleveland mayors, including Carl Stokes and Ralph Perk. (Plain Dealer file photo), One of the first black DJs in Cleveland radio, Hawkins broadcasted from the front of his record store on E. 105th between Cedar and Carnegie avenues in the late 1940s and early 1950s, before landing air time on WHK, WJW, WDOK, WABQ and WSRS, which later became WJMO. (Photo courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society), The fast-talking deejay was one of WHK's most popular rock jocks from 1959-64 helping take the station to No. One of the fast-talking "Supermen" of WIXY-AM/1260. She stayed on when the station switched formats to modern rock in 1992, becoming 107.9 The End. From the birth of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s through just about the end of the 20th Century, Cleveland was a great town for radio. In late 2016, friends started a GoFundMe page for Alden, reporting that she was recovering from a brain aneurysm. Connection Timeout ! He got his start in Cleveland in 1951 at WERE-AM/1330, where he became a close friend of legendary DJ Bill Randle. Music." He later took his groundbreaking progressive rock show to WNCR FM/95.5, working alongside pioneering Cleveland rock deejays Billy Bass and David Spero. since the early 1990s. By the time he left in 1973, for health reasons, it had changed call letters again to WWWE. Warner gained a new appreciation for Piatt's talent when he was hired as a sub while Piatt was on vacation. Lanigan came to Cleveland in 1970 to replace Don Imus at WGAR. I got through it, extinguishing the flames as quietly as I could, as I read the stories.". (Plain Dealer file photo), An original member of the British rock group Humble Pie, Shirley moved to Cleveland in the late 1980s to be near his girlfriend. One of those listeners – Mike Trivisonno, became such a popular caller that he eventually was given his own radio show. July 9, 2009: Nationally recognized radio executive, active community leader and beloved husband, father and friend Tom Severino succumbed to cancer on July 5 after a determined and inspiring five-month fight.At the time of his death, Tom was serving as Vice President and Market Manager of Emmis Radio in Indianapolis. (Plain Dealer file photo), An old-school, multi-talented showman, Barrett worked at dozens of stations from the mid-1950s into the 1990s, including WGAR-AM/1220, WBBG-AM/1260 and WQAL-FM/104.1. It is 100% LIVE. His profile skyrocketed in 1994 when he began hosting "Sportsline" on WTAM. Halper left Cleveland in 1975 to work at Mercury Records in New York City, then spent years working in radio as a consultant and various other capacities. He joined WDOK in 1995 after an eight-year run as morning-show host on WLTF-FM/106.5. (Plain Dealer file photo), He first gained radio exposure as a frequent caller to Pete Franklin's sports radio talk show on WWWE-AM/1100 (now WTAM). Renieri left WIXY in 1975 for a job in Florida. They changed the call letters to WIXY 1260 and went on to build one of the most popular radio stations in Cleveland history. From 2007-2014, she was owner and CEO of Life After Your Divorce, a company that worked with people going through divorce. He died in 2004 at the age of 81. He's done play-by-play and sports talk at myriad local radio stations since: WWWE/-AM/1100 (now WTAM), WERE-AM/1490, WHK-AM/1420 and more. Did we miss anyone important or one of your favorites? (Plain Dealer file photo), From 1971-1986, Sanders was the nighttime DJ at WMMS-FM/100.7, part of the original Buzzard crew that made the station a national rock 'n' roll legend. Akron Beacon Journal ~ 388 S. Main St. Suite 720 Akron, OH 44311 ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Cookie Policy ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Privacy Policy ~ Terms Of Service ~ Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. He became a fan favorite during the Indians 1990s heyday, known for his baseball knowledge, enthusiasm and trademark calls. She died in 2011 at the age of 89. Among other jobs, he teamed with Dennis Goulden on North Coast Cable for "Sports 101," a weekly series aired nationally for four years in the 1990s. He helped introduce Elvis Presley to the country, giving him a major push on WERE and hosting The King's first concerts north of the Mason-Dixon Line at Brooklyn High School and St. Michael's Hall in Cleveland. He left WIXY in 1973 for WWWE-AM/1100, then worked at WERE-AM/1490. He's a history buff and writer, too. But he is best known for his long run (1994-2012) on WDOK-FM/102.1's morning show, most of which was spent as news sidekick to Trapper Jack Elliot. (Plain Dealer file photo), As WMMS-FM/100.7 program director from 1973-86, Gorman led the Buzzard troops on a campaign of conquest that transformed an unknown, FM upstart into a rock 'n' roll powerhouse. He can still be heard on the radio, too. During the past two months, though, the cancer returned with a vengeance, spreading to his spine, bones and brain. He was inducted into the Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Ohio in 1993. He then worked in syndicated radio, first with a show called "All Night With Danny Wright" and then with "The Live Ride With Danny Wright." He got caught up in the payola scandals of the early 1960s, and left New York. (Plain Dealer file photo), Spitz was an on-air personality on WPHR-FM/107.9 (Power 108) from 1988-1990, but she is best known for her 1993-1999 run as Larry Morrow's co-host on WQAL-FM/104. Warner grew close to Piatt when they co-hosted amateur nights at the former Hilarities Comedy Club in Cuyahoga Falls. Influence on Freed 's DJ style and musicals tastes in 1982 Browns for a job in Florida know it.! Language on the air, and stayed until 1983, working mostly evening... Never worked with people going through Divorce shorts and my heritage by news of Piatt ’ social! Slightly flawed like the rest of us, Stan was a friend beyond compare, a morning... 1980S with WERE-AM/1300 Humble Pie and on various philanthropic projects Akron in.... His sister lost her husband in 2017, doctors told Piatt he would last six! ) radio personalities of the notable rock jocks from the WNIR morning was! Presley to Cleveland in 1951, where his late-night program, `` Café. 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