Today he's in Orlando,
Florida, but in the
seventies Sal Tee
presented his Hall of Fame show on WTTM (920 AM), in Trenton, New Jersey, Sundays from 8pm
to midnight. In mid-summer 1975 he moved to WTNJ (1300 AM) doing Saturday
afternoons from noon to four.
The #1 doo-wop show for south-central New
Jersey, Sal Tee's Hall of Fame highlighted such groups as The Cadillacs,
The Del Vikings, The Five Satins, The Spaniels, The early Drifters, The Tokens,
The Flamingoes, The Penguins, The Capris, The El Dorados, The Skyliners and
dozens more. Sal had fantastic acapella show promos
and ID's in the classic doo-wop style. One presented the show's mailing
address as a take-off on The Jacks' hit "Why Don't You Write Me" and sounded
like it was done by the original artists. It probably was.
A genuine scholar of doo-wop, Sal's knowledge
of each group, its history and recordings was -- and is -- comprehensive.
Even in high school he was famous for his matchless record collection. On
the air he'd name not just the song but all the singers. An hour or more
of every show was devoted to an in-depth exploration of one group. A native
Trentonian, Sal brought something unique to the town he affectionately called
"the Big T."
If you wonder how "doo-wop" music got its
name, listen to the first song in this segment, from WTNJ Trenton on August
23, 1975, of the
Sal Tee Hall of Fame.
About 1980 Sal left Trenton to do Sal Tee's
Solid Gold Reunion on WDBO (580 AM) in Orlando, Florida. The show
ran for 12 years on WDBO, where it became the No. 1 Arbitron-rated show in
its time period. Later Sal did his Doo Wop Reunion from
WAMT (1060 AM), Saturdays from 1-4 pm. The nation's only syndicated
doo-wop show, it was carried in 36 markets, including 93 WBBG in Youngstown,
Ohio. Most recently Sal Tee's Doo-Wop Reunion was heard on WMEL 920 AM in Melbourne, Florida.
One Sunday afternoon in 1998 while station-surfing
on the car radio in southern Vermont around 1340 AM I heard, for the first
time in more than 20 years, the familiar voice of the superb Sal Tee.
He still sounds good.
What holds it all together is the unique on-air
personality of the man himself. Here's the Geator on WFIL in 1984, during
that station's return to its "Famous 56" format. "By the big tick-tock on
the station clock -- it's time to ROCK!"
|| JERRY BLAVAT -- "THE GEATOR" -
The "Geator with the Heater." The "Big Boss with the Hot Sauce." The unique
DJ, still going strong and now as much a Philadelphia institution as a
cheesesteak or the Academy of Music. Jerry's been on nearly every music station
in Philadelphia at one time or another and many in south Jersey, playing
the music his way. Decades after other stations chained their DJ's
to a limited playlist and a tight, canned format, the Geator plays what sounds
good to him from the Geator Gold Vault of classic doo-wop, acapella, motown
and Philadelphia area dance hits of the fifties, sixties and seventies.
Today Jerry's such an icon in the Philadelphia
cultural firmament that he hosts fundraising for Public Television. But in
the sixties he was recognized as the wildest performance artist in the City
of Brotherly Love. Here's the Geator introducing his
"Guess What?" album. Brace yourself.
Jerry started playing music on WCAM (1310) in Camden in
1962. He moved on to WHAT (1340) in the mid sixties and in 1965 began hosting
Discophonic Scene, first in WCAU - TV10 and later on WFIL-TV6 and
in national syndication. In 1972 he became one of the first on-air personalities
on oldies WCAU-FM (today's WOGL), doing a Sunday night show. In the mid-seventies
he was heard on WFIL on special occasions like New Years' Eve and returned
there about September 1983, hosting the Sunday night show when WFIL returned
as "Famous 56" after a disastrous experiment as a country station. About
1987 Jerry moved to "Philly Gold Radio" WPGR (1540), which became "Geator
Gold Radio" in April 1992. That year he also began hosting "On the Air With
the Geator" on Philly-57 TV and the Nostalgia cable channel. Following the
demise of WPGR in 1995, Jerry moved Geator Gold Radio to
WSSJ (1310), then in January 1999 to WNJC (1360) after
'SSJ changed to an all-Spanish format. Today the Geator Gold Radio network consists of WNJC 1360 in Vineland, NJ; WPAZ 1370 Pottstown, PA; WBCB 1490 Levittown, PA; WVLT 92.1FM Vineland, NJ and WTKU 98.3FM Ocean City, NJ.
The Geator finally expanded his act to the
world wide web in 1999. Today, you can hear Jerry Blavat's Geator Gold
Radio show on the internet, weekday afternoons from 2 to 7 and evenings
from 9 to 11. Details appear in
A TRIBUTE TO JERRY
BLAVAT. You'll find the link at the end of this page.
Jerry Blavat was among the radio D.J.'s honored
by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
| JOCKO HENDERSON
Douglas "Jocko" Henderson blasted into orbit twice a day with his
Rocket Ship Show and his unique rhyming patter. One of the
pioneering DJs, Jocko was the first to be broadcast in two cities. Starting
in 1953 he'd hop the train after the daytime show on Philadelphia's WDAS
(1480 AM) to make it to New York for the countdown at WOV (1280 AM; which
became WADO by 1960).
"Not the imitator ...not the duplicator ...but
the ORIGINATOR!" The "Ace from Outer Space" was the original
rapper, with an apparently limitless ability to extemporize rhyming
E-diddley-dock -- this
is the Jock.
||A native of Baltimore, Jocko started on that
city's WSID (1010 AM) in 1952. Seven months later, in 1953, he accepted
an offer from WHAT (1340 AM) in Philadelphia, where he took on the name "Jocko"
and started rhyming everything he said. Less than a year later he moved up the
Philadelphia dial to WDAS where he remained well into the sixties.
Jocko emcee'd legendary rhythm and blues
and rock n' roll acts at such famous venues as the Apollo Theater in Harlem
and Philadelphia's Town Hall.
In the '80s and '90s he was heard on the air
in New York on WCBS-FM's periodic reunions of classic DJ's.
Here's the Ace from Outer Space on the 1991 reunion
In his last years Jocko Henderson showcased his
rhythmic artistry in his educational cassette program called Get Ready,
teaching English, math and history.
Jocko's career is discussed at length in The
Pied Pipers of Rock'n' Roll
by Wes Smith (1989).
A Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame honoree, a program
director as well as on-air performer, Frankie's career has taken him to WMCA,
WWRL and WBLS in New York City; WGCI & WNUA in Chicago; KUTE in Los Angeles,
and WKKS in St. Louis. He hosted NBC TV's Friday Night Videos and was one
of the first VJ's on VH-1. Most recently Frankie was presenting his music
and his unique sound on the internet.
You'll find a link to his website at the end of this page. And
"If Frankie Crocker isn't on your radio,
your radio isn't really on."
|Frankie Crocker died on October 21, 2000.|
The New York Times carried an
obituary, which you can read here.
THE GUS GOSSERT SHOW
WCBS-FM (101.1), later WPIX-FM (101.9) on Saturdays and Sundays from 6pm
to midnight. "The curly headed kid in the second row" played the acapella,
street-corner harmony sound in the early seventies, when nobody else in New
York did. Some credit him with coining the term "Doo-Wop."
The "curly-headed kid" line itself was a reference
to the doo-wop era, specifically to 1950's WMGM DJ Peter Tripp, who called
himself "the curly headed kid in the third row."
Recordings of Gus Gossert on the air are quite rare.
Fortunately, rock radio historian Dale Patterson has included one on his
outstanding Rock Radio Scrapbook website.
On WCBS-FM in 1969 and '70
Gus began and hosted the "Doo-Wop Shop." This was well before the station went
to its all-oldies format
in July 1972. The "Doo-Wop Shop" remains a fixture of WCBS-FM, where it is
presented today, as it has been for many years, by Don K. Reed.
In January 1971 Gus brought his show to WPIX-FM for the
6pm to midnight shift on weekends. He loved old radio and occasionally would
play something like a complete Amos 'n' Andy show from the '30s -- again,
before anybody else was doing Golden Age radio.
Gus is now spinning those oldies in rock
and roll heaven. Trickle, Trickle.
ROBERT CHARLES "GUS"
June 4, 1943 - August 14,
KEN JORDAN'S JUKEBOX
In the mid-'70s, Ken Jordan brought the sound of pre-British invasion rock
and roll to life on WCDQ (1220 AM) in Hamden, Connecticut, Sunday afternoons
until station sign-off at sundown. With lots of the 50's group harmony
sound and a fair representation of instrumentals that you don't hear often,
Ken kept you wanting more right up until his signature show-closer, Harlem
Nocturne by the Viscounts. Watching the sun disappear behind West Rock
as Ken signed off with the spooky saxophone of Harlem
Nocturne was one of life's little memorable pleasures.
By the early '90s Ken Jordan's show was on WELI 960 AM. Later Ken was heard on WAVZ 1300 AM in New Haven, doing his Hall of Fame show Sunday nights from 7 to midnight. In July 2000 his show went to WLNG 92.1 FM in Sag Harbor, Long Island, which covers the Connecticut coastline.
New Haven, Connecticut
Ken Jordan's Jukebox was sponsored by
Merle's Record Rack
at 821 Chapel Street in New Haven. That's where, in in the summer of 1977,
the producer of this site bought the copy of Harlem Nocurne that you just listened to.
Merle's is no longer in downtown New Haven, but it's still a presence in Connecticut with
locations in Derby, Guilford and Hartford.
The station known as
'CDQ " in the days of Ken Jordan's
Jukebox has gone through numerous incarnations since then, including a feminist
format and a Spanish language format. Today it is WQUN, owned and operated
by Quinnipiac College. Call letters WCDQ now belong to 92.1 FM in Sanford,
As a college student I used to phone in requests to Ken in the WCDQ days of the mid -70s. He was unfailingly accommodating and kind.|
It was therefore with particular sadness that I learned of Ken Jordan's death on January 20, 2004.
This obituary appeared in the New Haven Register.
If you're interested in the Top 40 AM radio
era, visits to websites such as
The Reel Top 40 Radio
Philadelphia Radio and
Famous 56 WFIL websites
are mandatory. Block out a week or two of vacation for each site.
© Text and other original content
Copyright 2000 - 2006 Bill Smith