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Archive for the ‘Radio’ Category

Died On This Date (November 26, 2011) Phyllis Campbell / aka Mama Jazz; Popular Radio Host

Posted by themusicsover on November 26, 2011

Phyllis Campbell
DOB Unknown – November 26, 2011

Known as “Mama Jazz” to fans throughout Southwest Ohio, Phyllis Campbell was a longtime on-air personality at WMUB-FM out of Miami University.  A lifelong fan of jazz, Campbell was working at the school as a secretary when she dropped by the station during a fund raiser to talk music.  Within a few hours, she was offered a job.  Since 1979, Campbell has built a legion of fans thanks in part to her eclectic playlists on such programs as “Traditional Jazz Night” and “The Gospel According to Mama.”  All the while, Campbell retained her “day job” at the University, often putting in over 60 hours a week between the two gigs.  She retired from her administrative job in 1994 but continued on air until health issues brought that to a close in 2006.   Phyllis Campbell was 89 when she passed away on November 26, 2011.



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Died On This Date (November 17, 2011) Joe Gracey / Austin Radio Legend

Posted by themusicsover on November 17, 2011

Joe Gracey
DOB Unknown – November 17, 2011

Joe Gracey was an Austin, Texas radio disc jockey who, since the early ’70s, championed what was then called progressive country on KOKE-FM.  Also referred to as alt country, Americana, outlaw country, redneck rock, or simply Texas music, this hybrid of country, blues, rock, and folk found its home outside the mainstream.  And it was Gracey who helped make many of its practitioners – like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kinky Friedman, Townes Van Zandt, Asleep at the Wheel, and Jerry Jeff Walker, household names throughout Texas and beyond.  After being named “Radio Trendsetter of the Year” by Billboard magazine in 1974, Gracey helped launch the popular music program Austin City Limits and was the show’s first talent coordinator.  He later opened his own recording studio where he recorded Stevie Ray Vaughan.  In 1978, he married fellow Texas musician, Kimmie Rhodes for whom he also played and recorded.  Other artists with which he collaborated were Willie Nelson, Ray Price, and Calvin Russell, to name a few.  Joe Gracey died of cancer on November 17, 2011.  He was 61.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.



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Died On This Date (October 29, 2011) Jimmy Savile / Longtime British Radio & TV Host

Posted by themusicsover on October 29, 2011

Jimmy Savile
October 31, 1926 – October 29, 2011

Jimmy Savile was an English disc jockey and pioneering television personality who, since the dawn of the 1960s, was a familiar face on such music related television programs as Top Of The Pops, Pop Go The Sixties, and New Music Express.  He, in fact, hosted the very first edition of Top Of The Pops on January 1, 1964, and again its finale on July 30, 2006.  Savile also presented several popular radio programs throughout the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s on both Radio Luxemburg and the BBC Radio.   Over the course of his long career, Savile became arguably as popular – at least throughout the UK, as the countless pop stars whose careers he helped launch.  Jimmy Savile was 84 when he died of pneumonia on October 29, 2011.



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Died On This Date (October 9, 2011) Bill Brown / Popular New York Disc Jockey

Posted by themusicsover on October 9, 2011

Bill Brown
August 15, 1942 – October 9, 2011

Bill Brown was a popular New York City disc jockey who could be heard on oldies station, WCBS-FM for over 30 years.  Brown was just 15 when he began his radio career in Georgia during the mid ’60s, and by 1969, he was working at WCBS just as they were switching from an easy listening format to album rock. Finding that they couldn’t compete with the more popular WPLJ and WNEW, WCBS switched to an oldies format in 1972 and found its footing there.  The station maintained solid ratings from that point on and Brown could be heard most days doing the popular mid-day shift until 2005 when the station unceremoniously switched to the jockless JACK-FM format.  In all, he worked in radio for over 35 years.  On October 9, 2011, Bill Brown passed away following a long illness.  He was 69.



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Died On This Date (August 6, 2011) Fred Imus / Radio Personality & Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on August 6, 2011

Fred Imus
January 11, 1942 – August 6, 2011

Photo by Don Imus

Fred Imus was a songwriter, radio personality, younger brother, and frequent guest of controversial radio talk giant, Don Imus.  In 1962, the Imus brothers co-wrote and recorded “I’m a Hot Rodder (and All That Jazz)” under the name Jay Jay Imus and Freddy Ford. Years later, while working on the railroad during the mid ’70s, the younger Imus and friend, Phil Sweet co-wrote “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You” which shot to #1 on the country music charts as recorded by Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius.  The tune was ultimately named Song of the Year by Music City News.  During the ’90s, Imus began restoring vintage cars at his Auto Body Express which eventually became extremely successful for its branded clothing and food products thanks to publicity from his brother’s radio show.  The shop, along with a second gift shop in the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, closed in 2003.  In recent years, Imus could be heard on his weekly Americana music program, Trailer Park Bash, which aired on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel.  The program was literally broadcast from his trailer in the Arizona desert.   On August 6, 2011, Fred Imus was found dead in his bed when he failed to report to the studio for his radio program.  He reportedly died in his sleep at the age of 69.

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