Notable AM radio personalities in Pittsburgh

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• Local music acts on early radio included Joe Negri, Slim Bryant and the Georgia Wildcats in the 1930s and 1940s.

• Dick Powell, who achieved national radio fame starring as private investigators Philip Marlowe and Richard Rogue, got his professional start singing in Pittsburgh.

• Dave Garroway, the first host of NBC's morning staple, "Today," worked at KDKA in the late 1940s.

• "Rosey" Rowswell became the first full-time Pirates baseball announcer in 1936 for WJAS; the team jumped to KDKA in 1955. "Open the window, Aunt Minnie, here it comes!" was his cry when a Pirates batter launched what might be a home run.

• Joe Tucker, the Steelers' first announcer in 1936, later became host of "Sport Special" on WWSW.

• On WCAE, Bill Hinds was a featured host who later teamed with Buzz Aston for "Buzz and Bill" on WJAS in the 1940s/50s before later working at WWSW.

• Bette Smiley was one of radio's first female hosts on KQV.

• On WCAE, Tommy Riggs was hosting "with" his feminine alter ego, Betty Lou, on "Tom and Betty," which went national in the 1950s.

• Longtime KDKA voices Ed Schaughency and Art Pallan got their starts at KDKA and WWSW in the '30s and '40s.

• In 1951, Ed and Wendy King debuted an unusual talk show that would be a hit for 20 years: "Party Line."

• WCAE's Jay Michael was a local pioneer in playing rock and urban music in the 1950s.

• At WJAS-AM, Barry Kaye played fresh tunes and promoted local bands in venues such as Oakland's Syria Mosque in the '50s and '60s.

• The late Clark Race, Pittsburgh's version of Dick Clark, was one of the city's top hosts throughout the 1960s at KDKA and credited with breaking Bobby Vinton's first hit "Roses Are Red." He had a successful TV show playing rock and pop hits.

• KQV-AM's Top 40 lineup of popular deejays, included Chuck Brinkman, Dave Scott, Hal Murray and Jim Quinn.


First Published October 12, 2013 8:00 PM


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