Longtime former Detroit DJ Joey Ryan critical
By: Art Vuolo, Jr.
Many of you may remember this very talented jock from his early days at WHFI-FM (94.7) Birmingham, which is now WCSX. Joey Ryan was there in days when the studios were in a modest A-Frame on Rankin Road in Troy. The GM was Don Bosco, and that station was home to some of Detroit's most memorable personalities such as Lee Alan, Marc Avery, Ira J. Cook, Bob Edgington, (Little) Don Alcorn, Don Zee and others. Well Joey worked there too, but made his biggest splash in the 1970's at (then Top 40) WDRQ-FM (93.1), now Doug-FM.
One of his most memorable moments was when he dialed up a number and told the person at the other end that had they answered with (instead of hello) "WDRQ's a ball" they would have won $1,000! The reply ON THE AIR was "Oh Bullshit." A classic contest goof!
Joey later worked as the night jock in the early 80's on WTWR-FM (92.3), now Mix WMXD, when it was Tower 92 FM with Ted Anthony mornings, Ron T mid-days and Steve Edwards (Schram) as PD and PM drive jock. Kevin Sanderson was the overnight jock. Joey was on from 7 'til midnight and cooked with great oldies when he was known as "Mr. Boogie".
His voice will long be remembered as the "booth announcer" at TV2 WJBK in the early 90's. He was the little guy with the BIG voice. Back in 2005 we were looking for Joey so he could attend our last major Detroit Radio Reunion in September of that year. Unbenounced to any of us, about that time Ryan, who was born Joseph Pietruska III, now 61, had suffered a stroke which seriously affected the right side of his body. It did NOT, however, affect his speech.
On Sunday November 29th I received a call from radio enthusiast Kevin McMahon of Macomb Township who put me on the phone with Joey's close friend Chris Root. Chris proceeded to tell me that Joey was currently in the Detroit Veterans Administration Hospital, soon to be transferred to the Grand Rapids VA Hospital Nursing facility.
For any of you who remember this extremely talented man, PLEASE send a card or a note to him so that before we lose him he will know that there are legions of us of out here who DO remember him and so before he dies, he can know that his old fans still care. This must be done quickly as the prognosis is NOT good and he may only have a week or two left. The address is: Joey Ryan Pietruska c/o VA Hospital Nursing Facility,3000 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49505. Let's send Joey out with a smile on his face. It's the least we can do.
God bless you all.