Opinion by Art Vuolo, Jr.
Each year on the first weekend in November, the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago hosts a gala black-tie fund-raiser event called the National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.
This year for the third time, Joey Reynolds has been nominated and this is the year he should get in. Nobody deserves it more. Joey has lived life, experienced far more than most people. He has walked the walk and talked the talk. He has had 38 jobs in radio, but his current one, as a wildly entertaining overnight talk host of New York's WOR, has lasted over 13 years! His program is nationally syndicated over the WOR Radio Network, and he has the ability to fill a studio far beyond its capacity at 2 o'clock in the morning!
In his category he shares the ballot with the Public Radio program "This American Life" with Ira Glass, Bob Brinker of "Money Talk" syndicated by Citadel Media, and Neal Boortz, the out-spoken national talk host from WSB Atlanta. Joey worked in Detroit twice, at WXYZ in1966, and at WHYT-FM (96.3) in 1984.
While in his early twenties, Joey was the number one DJ in the country in 1962 and 1963 while at 50,000 watt WKBW in Buffalo, NY. He was the first radio personality to host a LIVE simulcast on both radio and television in 1982 at KOA Radio 850 and KOA-TV Channel 4 Denver, CO. He has always been ahead of his time. Now is his time. Please vote for Joey.
Another great talent up for induction was also nominated last year, Gary Burbank but lost out to LA's Charlie Tuna, another great jock. Gary worked as "the morning mouth" at CKLW back in the early 1970's, but made his biggest splash in Louisville at WHAS and was at the top of his game at 700 WLW "The Big One" in Cincinnati for 25 years. He is up against LA radio icon Art Laboe, Buffalo Bills sports announcer Van Miller and Washington, DC legend Ed Walker. My vote is for the incomparable Gary Burbank and his alter-ego Earl Pitts...Uh-merican!
You can vote via this web site: https://nrhof.votenet.com/nrhof/register.
The 2009 National Radio Hall of Fame categories and nominees are (information below courtesy of the National Radio Hall of Fame):
LOCAL OR REGIONAL - PIONEER
- Gary Burbank - the former Billy Purser began his radio career in the mid 1960s but took the name Gary Burbank as a tribute to radio and TV legend Gary Owens and his famous "Laugh-In" introduction. Burbank then dominated Cincinnati radio on WLW-AM until late in 2007.
- Art Laboe - the Los Angeles disc jockey, songwriter, record producer and radio station owner, was the first disc jockey to play rock and roll on the radio on the West Coast during the 50s. His "Killer Oldies" show can now be heard on various West Coast stations.
- Van Miller - the longtime play-by-play announcer of the Buffalo Bills who called games from 1960-1971 and 1977-2003. Miller holds the record for NFL announcers with the same team.
- Ed Walker - the Washington, DC legend whose program "Ed's Play it Again, Ed" aired on WMAL and garnered one of the largest audiences in DC radio history. Walker currently hosts the nostalgia show "The Big Broadcast" on WAMU airing radio programs from the 30s, 40s and 50s.
NATIONAL - PIONEER
- Dr. Demento - the program created by Barret Hansen in 1970 that developed a cult following with its trend setting collection of novelty songs and comedy skits.
- Dick Orkin - the award-winning voice actor known for his humorous commercials and the man who created the comedy serial "Chickenman", which satirized the TV show "Batman."
- Suspense - the CBS program was "Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills" for over 20 years. The devotion to suspense over horror allowed the show to go in directions that no other show could go.
- WLS Barn Dance - the program debuted on April 19, 1924 on powerhouse WLS/Chicago's first day on air and became an instant hit, introducing country music to the masses with a heavy dose of down-home comedy.
LOCAL OR REGIONAL - ACTIVE
- Terri Hemmert - a disc jockey known for her encyclopedic knowledge of music and especially the Beatles, the civically-active Hemmert made Chicago radio history in 1981 when she became the first female morning drive personality on WXRT-FM.
- Tom Moffatt - a Michigan native, Moffatt first gained notoriety in Hawaii at KGU-AM 760 and later as part of the popular "poi boys" crew of DJs at KPOI-AM 1040. A Hawaiian radio institution, he is now heard Saturdays on 107.9/Honolulu.
- Neil Rogers - a solid ratings king and outspoken talk show host in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market for over 30 years, the caustically pointed "Uncle Neil" recently departed his long-time home at 560 WQAM.
- Wendy Williams - a sassy talk show host for more than 20 years, Williams got the radio bug while in college and after stops at WVIS/St.Croix and WOL/Washington DC she landed in New York City, where the media spotlight and massive ratings followed.
NATIONAL - ACTIVE
- Neal Boortz - the opinionated host of the Atlanta-based "Neal Boortz Show," which airs throughout the United States on affiliates of the Jones Radio Network.
- Bob Brinker - the knowledgeable host of "MoneyTalk" on Citadel Media Networks for over 20 years, Brinker shares investment advice and analysis with his audience.
- Joey Reynolds - the legendary host of the nightly "Joey Reynolds Show" is heard nationally on the WOR Radio network, and was one of radio's original "Top 40" superstars during the 1960's.
- This American Life - the critically acclaimed weekly exploration of the off beat and obvious aspects of life in America is hosted by the curious and inventive Ira Glass, and shared nationally via Public Radio International.
The National Radio Hall of Fame online balloting is now in progress and will end at midnight on August 1st. Votenet, a highly respected online vote tabulating firm, will supervise the balloting and final results will be ratified by the Steering Committee of the NRHOF in early August.