Milwaukee Radio Personalities

Personalities who toiled in Milwaukee radio

"Milwaukee Radio Personalities"

The information on most of these personalities is sketchy at best. It can never be complete, but we will do our best to make each and every entry as complete as possible. If you can supply more information or more names, or if you see any inaccuracies please contact either Ralph Luedtke or Ron Sayles.

ALLEN, Frank

Sportscaster (WEMP, Milwaukee, 1946).

ALLEN, Fred (Not that Fred Allen)

Organist (WHAD, Milwaukee, 1927).

ANDRES, Jay

Newscaster ("Today's News", WMAW, Milwaukee, 1948; Sportscaster, WMAW, 1948; DJ ("Serenade", WMAW, 1948).

In 1941 Andres sent 25 letters in an attempt to find a radio job. He had been fascinated with radio as a teenager while growing up in Milwaukee.

He got his first radio job at WMAM, Marinette, Wisconsin where by his own admission, he was terrible. His next job was at WKBH, LaCrosse, Wisconsin which had a larger market, 40,000 as opposed to 11,000 at Marinette.

After World War II, where he had a variety of assignments, he returned to Milwaukee where he went to Marquette University under the G.I. Bill.

He returned to radio in 1949 when he got a job at WISN. He eventually moved to Christine rival WMAW.

In 1950 he heard that WBBM in Chicago was holding auditions for announcers. That is the station that he always wanted to be at, so he thought, why not? Upon arriving at the Mercantile Building in Chicago he saw more than 260 aspiring announcers who probably wanted the job as bad as he did. At it turned out, they didn't have a chance, Andres easily passed the audition and got the position.

In 1969 WGN, which had just become an all news station hired Andres away from WBBM.

Franklyn MacCormack was a dear friend of Andres and when MacCormack died it was Andres' sad duty to take over his program, "Tunes from Talman".

In 1983, after more than thirty years as the dean of overnight radio, he retired, or as he put it, walked away.

However, he was not completely through with radio. He worked for KKHI in San Francisco, California, WNIB and WFMT in Chicago and WDCB which is operated by the College of DuPage.

In the early 1990s he suffered a serious fall and was in a coma. Although touch and go, he pulled through.

He is now living in retirement with his wife, whom he married in 1944. They reside in Highland Park, Illinois.

Baker, Jack

Died: Milwaukee, WI 4-26-2002

Jack began his 55 year professional career as a radio broadcaster at Bay View High School in 1945. He worked for 5 years at Milwaukee radio stations before moving to Madison to earn a B.A. degree in English at the University of Wisconsin while also working at WKOW. In 1957 he returned to Milwaukee and worked at WEMP where he hosted an overnight music program for which he was named Milwaukee radio's most influential Jazz Music Personality in 1964. In 1964, he moved to WTMJ radio and stayed till his retirement in 2000. In the late 1960's, he hosted a public affairs call-in talk show called "Challenge," followed by the very popular "Sports Talk," which aired for 14 years. He also worked as the race track announcer at Hales Corners Speedway from 1966 to 1978 and at State Fair Park from 1970 to 1982.

In 1980, he began the "Sunday Sound stage" program on WTMJ featuring the music of the dance bands of the 1920's, 30's, and 40's. The program was canceled in 1992 when he retired from WTMJ, but public demand led to the restoration of the program which aired through September of 2000 for a total of 1,088 programs over twenty years.

He recorded many commercials and narrations for video productions. He produced educational radio programs on music and social history, a syndicated "Jazz Classics" radio program, and a memorial CD of recordings by Dick Ruedebusch. He donated an archive of tapes of live radio broadcasts from the 1930's and 1940's to the Museum of Broadcasting in Chicago. Most recently, he had established a catalog of music tapes produced out of his personal collection of over 8,000 original 78 rpm recordings. Jack was past-president of the Milwaukee Pen and Mike Club, member of the Board of Directors of Unlimited Jazz Limited, member of the Illiana Jazz Club, Old Time Ballplayers Association, and a 50-year member of the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.

It is ironic that Jack Baker should die on the 80th anniversary of Milwaukee’s first official radio broadcast for it was on April 26, 1922 that WAAK broadcast for the first time on the third floor of the Gimbels building downtown. Ironic? maybe appropriate is a better word.

BARRETT, Pat

Announcer (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1920s). Created his Uncle Ezra character on the "National Barn Dance" in 1932 on WLS Chicago.

BARRY, Bob (Bob Doerfler)

DJ (WTKM, Hartford, Wisconsin; WEMP, Milwaukee; WRIT, Milwaukee; WOKY, "Bob Barry Calls the World", 1962-1976; WEMP, 1976-1979; WOKY, 1979-1983 and WISN, Milwaukee, 1983).

Barry's early years as a DJ happened alongside the early years of the rock 'n roll craze. It was Bob Barry who emceed the Beatles only visit to Milwaukee in September of 1964.

Barry's first career choice was not radio, he wanted to be a priest. He even attended St. Francis Minor Seminary for a couple of years. However, something happened to Barry on his way to becoming a priest, in a word, GIRLS! He transferred to Messmer where he graduated in the late '60s.

His first job was at WTKM where his primary responsibility was sales. He occasionally took a turn behind the mike. After a few months this future King of Milwaukee rock 'n roll was given his own show, playing polkas and Dixieland.

Because Hartford was a good distance from his home in Milwaukee he decided to look for work in his hometown. He got a job at WEMP where he stayed for almost two years. From there he went to WRIT and when they automated he went to WOKY. The rest as they say is history.

He was at WOKY from 1962 to 1976. He was offered a great deal of money to move back to WEMP. To his regret, he made the move. He says that he wishes he would never have made the move. He was at WEMP for three years before returning to WOKY. Things were not the same, however so in 1983 he moved on to WISN.

Today he is living in semi-retirement with his wife Nancy whom he married in 1968 at Nagawicka Lake.

Although the priesthood lost out to radio broadcasting as his career choice, he garnered several awards in broadcasting. In 1967 the Milwaukee Journal named him the city's most popular deejay and in 1975 Billboard magazine selected him America's best 'Contemporary Radio Air Personality'. Who knows how many awards he may have received had he stayed on course to priesthood.

BARTELL, Paul (Staudaker)

Newscaster (WFOX, Milwaukee, 1946, 1948). DJ ("Fox Club". WFOX, 1947-1952; 1957).

BEHL, Wally

Organist (WFOX, Milwaukee).

BEHRENS, Frank

Performer ("Billie the Brownie", WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1931-1986).

Frank Behrens was the first to play Billie on the long running program "Billie the Brownie" broadcast on WTMJ from 1931 to 1955. He went on to have a respectful career in radio. He played Jack Armstrong in the kids show "Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy" in 1939. From there he went on to play the Reverend Tom Bannion in "The Guiding Light", Jim Barker in "Lorenzo Jones", Dwight Kramer in "The Right to Happiness" and Roy Palmer in "Woman in White". He frequently appeared in "Caroline's Golden Store", "The MGM Theatre of the Air" and "Now Hear This".

Behrens went to television where he wrote for many comedians, including Tony Randall and Don Knotts.

He was married to actress Amzie Strickland. They had two sons, one of which, Tim also became an actor.

BENNING, Bill

Leader (Bill Benning's Milwaukee Athletic Club Orchestra, WHAD, Milwaukee, 1926).

BRADLEY, Bob

DJ ("Browsing with Bradley", WMIL, Milwaukee, 1949).

BRAMHALL, Bill

DJ ("Old Timers Party", WEMP, Milwaukee, 1949-1954).

BUETTNER, Al

DJ ("Music 'Til Past Midnight", 120 min., Monday Through Saturday, 10:30 - 12:30 p.m., WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1949-1950).

BUNDY, Jack

Leader ("Heinie and the Grenadiers". Instrumental music programming, WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1935-1937).

For more information scroll down to radio program "Heinie and His Grenadiers."

Bush, Dick

by Amy Rabideau Silvers

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Edited by Ron Sayles

For the love of jazz, Dick Bush quit his job as a piano tuner in Chicago, coming to Milwaukee for the chance to host a weekly radio program.

He never earned a paycheck on the radio, working for free and the sake of all that jazz. It was, he later wrote, the fulfillment of his lifelong dream.

For most of Bush’s long stint on the air, first at WUWM-FM and then at WYMS-FM, his co-host was his wife, Marian Bush, another former member of the MARE. The couple, both blind, met through a tape correspondence club, long before music fans shared on the Internet.

Richard Bush died February 2, 2003 in Naples, Florida. He was 74. Bush moved to Florida in 2001, following health problems that included Parkinson’s disease and bypass surgeries.

He was born in Racine but grew up on a farm in Pecatonica, Illinois, near Rockford. He was one of seven children, three of whom were born blind.

“I heard my first jazz when I came off the farm to attend the Illinois School for the Blind at Jacksonville in 1939,” he later said. “On the farm, all I ever heard was country music.”

Friends recalled Bush talking about those days, including how he never did graduate from high school at the School for the Blind.

“He was kind of proud of the fact that he was kicked out before high school graduation,” said Adrian DeBlaey, a friend, radio host and member of MARE.

“He was kicked out because he went AWOL one weekend,” DeBlaey said. “He took off for St. Louis to see Frankie Lane.”

“He told me he did a lot of hitchhiking to get all over the country,” said Bill Felton, another friend, volunteer radio host at WYMS and member of MARE.

Bush learned to be a piano technician, working full time for the Chicago school system.

“In ‘47, there were clubs galore, a lot of big names in Chicago and New York,” he said in 1984. “Dizzy (Gillespie) himself might be working in a club, if you got tired of hearing him, you could go a couple of doors down and hear Charlie Parker.”

In 1955, Bush began collecting jazz, eventually acquiring thousands of recordings.

He was married and divorced twice before he married Marian, a stenographer, about 1968. They moved to Milwaukee in 1977.

“We gave up good paying jobs to come here” but found other piano tuning and repair work in Milwaukee, Bush said in a 1978 interview. “What we’re doing is about one-half as lucrative as in Chicago. But we’re sharing our collection.” As formats changed, they switched to WYMS in 1981.

Their priorities remained talking about jazz, sharing their extensive research on the music and musicians, and interviewing the artists whenever they could.

Over the years, the list came to include jazz greats Milt Jackson, Jay McShann, George Shearing, Bill Evans, Woody Herman, Teddy Wilson and Anita O’Day.

They conducted some interviews during a jazz cruise, later airing them on the show.

“Dick managed to get quite a few people to sit down for an interview in their cabin,” DeBlaey said. “They said it was a pleasure to be interviewed by a man who knew so much.”

The couple played what they called “pure jazz.” They defined that as the jazz played in the studio, not “produced” by engineers.

In the mid-1990s, the Bush marriage fell apart. Although they divorced in 1995, the two made their peace before Marian Bush’s death of cancer, she appeared on the radio program one more time.

Dick Bush continued with the show until April 2001, when health problems prompted his move to be near family in Florida.

It was then that Bush decided to sell much of his music collection, housed in the east side apartment he called home. Friends say that he was never really the same again.

“He lived for those Friday night jazz shows, that he so lovingly put together” said Diane Loren, who also hosted jazz on WYMS.

Increasingly, dementia clouded his memories. When a visitor would put jazz into a CD player, Bush would listen intently to the old sounds he once talked about on the radio.

“He didn’t really know who I was, but he said I had a nice voice,” said sister-in-law Kara Bush.

“Hopefully,” Loren said, “he and Marian are up there, singing jazz with all the greats we’ve lost.”

CHASE, Bud

DJ ("1290 Club", WMLO Milwaukee, 1950).

CLARK, Kathleen

Station staff pianist (WKAF, Milwaukee, 1926).

COLLINS, Bob

DJ (WOKY, Milwaukee, 1967-1969; WRIT, Milwaukee, 1971).

Collins, who was born in Tennessee began his radio career at the age of thirteen in Lakeland, Florida. Everyday after school he helped out in any way that he could. He worked throughout Florida at other small stations. He worked his way through school as a rock and roll disc jockey. After graduating from college with a Journalism degree he came to Milwaukee in 1967 to work at WOKY. After two years he left for Los Angeles and KFI. A year later he was at KCBQ San Diego. After another year he came back to Milwaukee and WRIT. He returned to Florida and station WMTQ, Miami where he stayed for nine months. He came back to Milwaukee, but not to stay. He was contacted by WGN, Chicago. He was at WGN from 1974 until his tragic death in 2000. One of his many hobbies was flying and that is what led to his death. On February 8, 2000 he crashed his plane on the top of a hospital while trying to land his plane at the Waukegan airport. Ironically the home town of radio great Jack Benny.

COMPTE, George

Announcer-executive (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1934-1976).

Compte started his career at WTMJ as an announcer in 1934. From there he moved up the broadcasting ladder. On April 9, 1956 he was named manager of radio and television. September 27, 1958 he succeeded Mr. Damm as a director of the Journal Company as well as retaining his position as manager of radio and television. He was elected as a vice-president of the company on December 2, 1958. In June of 1964 he was elected secretary-treasurer of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) television Affiliates Board of Delegates. On March 27, 1966 he was elected president of Association on Broadcast Standards and was reelected on April 1, 1967.

After a forty year career in broadcasting he retired on September 2, 1975. He died of cancer in Palm Springs, California on May 24, 1980.

CONWAY, Jimmy

Newscaster (WISN, Milwaukee, 1939).

COTTER, Carol

Performer ("Billie the Brownie", WTMJ, Milwaukee, 19??-1955).

Cotter, a native of Wisconsin attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has a degree in secondary education.

She lived and worked for years in Chicago where she was active in radio. She worked on radio in Boston and Florida. In Milwaukee she became involved in producing television programs for the Milwaukee Public Library. She appeared in front of the camera on "Today for Women" on WTMJ-TV.

CREMEENS, George

Newscaster (WISN, Milwaukee, 1941).

CRUM, Glen

Leader ("Glen Crum's Musical Trio", WISN, Milwaukee, 1935).

DI LEO, Foca

Leader (Foca DiLeo and his Accordion Symphony Orchestra, WSOE, Milwaukee, 1925).

DORSEY , JOE

DJ ("Wire Request", WEMP, Milwaukee, 1947-1954).

DOUCK, Elliott W.

Newscaster (WAUK, Waukesha; WRIT, Milwaukee; WTMJ, Milwaukee; WOKY, Milwaukee and WISN, Milwaukee).

Born: 1922

Died: December 27, 2001

Douck began his broadcasting career in the late 1940s. Don Metzger, president of the Milwaukee Broadcasters Club, a group that Douck belonged, praised Douck for his longevity in the broadcasting field. He did not retire until the early 1980s. "Its a testament to his talent" Metzger said.

Douck was a newscaster at several AM stations, some that are now defunct. He worked at WAUK in Waukesha, WJPG in Green Bay, the old WRIT in Milwaukee. He also worked at WTMJ, WOKY and WISN.

Douck graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Journalism. He served in the Air Force in China, Burma and India during World War II. He attained the rank of staff sergeant. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

During his long career he covered the courts and the mayor's office. He also interviewed such luminaries as Senator John F. Kennedy, Singer Patti Page and General Douglas MacArthur.

He died on December 27, 2001 after a long illness. He was 79.

FITCH, Edmund

Organist (WHAD, Milwaukee, 1925)

FELTON, William Carl Frederick "Bill"

By Bill Felton

Born: March 17, 1918

Died: January 20, 2005

Radio stations employed at: WNAM, Neenah-Menasha, WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin; WOSH, Oshkosh, Wisconsin; WPDR, Portage, Wisconsin; WMPA, Aberdeen, Mississippi, WRIT, WISN, WUWM and WYMS, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Positions held at Stations: Announcer, Disc Jockey, News Director, General Manager, etc.

Biography:

Born in Greenland, Michigan, March 17, 1918. My family moved to Appleton, in the early 1920s. I attended school there. I Graduated from Appleton High School in 1937. I Volunteered at WHBY's Appleton studio. While at Oshkosh State College (1943-1947) I worked as WOSH as and announcer/Disc Jockey. Graduated from Oshkosh State College in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. I met Grace Peterson at WOSH and married her in 1948. I taught English-Speech at Shawno High School in Wisconsin. I returned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1949-1950 for my Masters. While seeking a teaching job, I worked at WNAM in Neehan-Menasha, Wisconsin and WHBY in Appleton. I went to Mississippi to teach and to produce programs on tape for statewide distribution. I returned to Wisconsin in 1952 to manage WPDR in Portage. I later returned to Milwaukee where I was in sales at WISN and a news director at WRIT. I taught High School at Muskego for a year and then went into the General Merchandise Company as Public Relations Director. General Merchandise sold to JC Penny in the early 1960s. I went to Allis Chalmers in "Special Services", a broad and vague title for a department that published advertising materials, put on exhibits at convention, etc., etc. Nobody really knew what was going on. The whole company was that way, that's why they went out of business! I was working on industrial films.

At last, I decided to look for permanent employment with Milwaukee County. I took an exam for a job as Information Officer for the Park System. I wound up as second banana, but the #1 man was not hired for some reason and I was offered the job, which I grabbed. I stayed for 14 1/2 years and retired in 1980.

Since then I have volunteered on the air at WUWM and WMYS doing jazz record shows. I am presenting a course in Giants of Classic Jazz as part of the UWM Guild for Learning in Retirement some time during the spring semester of 2002. See you there!

FLAHERTY, Walter "Wally"

Talk Show Host ("Open Line", WEMP, Milwaukee); WNUW, (Milwaukee) and WMYX-FM, (Milwaukee).

Flaherty was best known for impressions and his hosting of "Open Line" on WEMP. Some of his impressions included John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Boris Karloff, James Cagney, Columbo and hometown favorite Liberace. He was also the voice of the not so famous Lefty Schwartz who had just escaped from prison.

It was the Schwartz character that got Flaherty into radio. In 1982 he called station WNUW, which was asking for listener comments. Using his Schwartz voice he told the station that he had to escape from prison because the guards forbid the prisoners from listening to WNUW.

The call was taped and a few days later he heard the call repeated with the plea that the caller identify himself. Flaherty did and he began working for the station, which is now WMYX-FM.

Flaherty has appeared in many commercials in Chicago and Milwaukee. He also appeared in two movies, "The Capture of Bigfoot" and "The "Devonsville Terror".

In 1977 he suffered an apparent heart attack while interviewing Congressman Clement Zablocki.

Flaherty was scheduled to be a guest speaker for the Milwaukee Area Radio Enthusiasts. However, while auditioning in Chicago on September 23, 1998 he died of an apparent heart attack. He was 67 years old.

FLYNN, Fahey

Newscaster-announcer (WEMP, Milwaukee, 1940; Sportscaster, "The Sports Roundup", WEMP, 1940).

GRAU, Phil

Newscaster (WEMP, Milwaukee, 1940; "Radiotorials", WEMP, 1945-1947; "Topics of the Times", WEMP, 1948).

GRAY. Phil A.

Newscaster (WEMP, Milwaukee, 1938).

GREY, Nancy

Talks, mostly topics of interest to women ("Table Talk", WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1939).

HALE, Alan

Newscaster (WISN, Milwaukee, 1938-1940; Sportscaster WISN, 1939-1940).

HALL, Anna De Witte

Celeste Soloist (WKAF, Milwaukee, 1926).

HAMMOND, Jean

Leader (Jean Hammond's Elks Club Tune Tinkers Orchestra, WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1927).

HANSON, Charlie

Morning Personality (WISN, Milwaukee, 1956-1985). “Shakey” was his alter ego.

HEATH, Mickey

Sportscaster and Milwaukee Brewers baseball play-by-play broadcaster (WEMP, Milwaukee, 1947-1949).

HEGARD, Ken

DJ ("Pancake Parade", WFOX, Milwaukee, 1947-1948).

HEISS, Bob

Chief of Announcers-Program Supervisor (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1934-1966).

Heiss was born in Dayton, Ohio and came to Milwaukee in 1919. He attended North Division high school and the University of Wisconsin.

Heiss started at WTMJ in 1934, became chief of announcers in 1938, program supervisor in 1941, a sports announcer, sports director in 1953 and assistant manager of radio and television in 1956.

He took over from the late Russ Winnie as sports announcer for the UW football and basketball games and Packer professional football games. He also announced wrestling shows on television.

In 1947, in a WTMJ poll, radio listeners named Heiss as favorite announcer.

HESSBERGER (Herschberger), George

Leader ("George Hessberger Orchestra". Instrumental music program, WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1936).

HINKLEY, Gordon

DJ, Talk Show Host . (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1950-present). Started “Ask Your Neighbor” in 1961 and it lasted until 1982. He can be seen doing television commercials today.

HOFF, Carl

(WOKY, Milwaukee).

No other information available.

HUG, Lorraine

Pianist (WSOE, Milwaukee, 1926).

HUGHES, Pat

Play-by-play announcer (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1984-1995).

Hughes was born in Tucson, Arizona on May 27, 1955.

He began his career in the minor leagues calling the action for the San Jose Missions (1978-1981) and for Columbus Clippers (1982). From Columbus he came to Milwaukee where he teamed with Bob Uecker on the Milwaukee Brewers Radio Network

In 1996 he joined WGN in Chicago to do the play-by-play for the Chicago Cubs.

In 1996 he was named the Illinois Sportscaster of the year.

HUNGRY, HANK

DJ ("Ranch House Roundup". WMLO, Milwaukee, 1950).

JESKE, Fred

Announcer-director (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1926-1928).

JOHNSON, Larry “The Legend”

The “little round, hunky chunk”, born in Tennessee, came to WZUU from Chicago’s WIND in 1974, where he stayed until 1985. He always encourage his listeners to “speak their onions” and often tried to help the little guy with his “Love Network.”

KUHL, Frank

Leader (Frank Kuhl's Original Edgewater Beach Orchestra, featured on the "Candygram Follies" program, WSOE, Milwaukee, 1926).

LA FORCE, Charles

Newscaster (WEMP, Milwaukee, 1938-1942; Sportscaster, WEMP, 1941; "Home Edition", WFOX, Milwaukee, 1947).

LAMBERT, Tom

DJ (WISN, Milwaukee, 1957).

LANPHIER, Chuck

Manager (WFOX, Milwaukee).

LAWRENCE, Larry

Newscaster (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1937).

LE MAY, Mary Ann

Commentator-Home Economist (WISN, Milwaukee 1936).

Mary Ann LeMay was a guest speaker for the Milwaukee Area Radio Enthusiasts in 1975, the first year of the clubs existence.

LEE, Jack

Night and Day

by Judith Ann Moriarty

Radio Days

Jack Lee's life on the air

On Feb. 27, 2003 one of Milwaukee's beloved radio personalities, Jack Lee (aka Jim Sanders Beasley), stepped forward at the Potawatomi Casino's elegant Northern Lights Theater to receive an Achievement in Radio (AIR) Award for a lifetime of achievement. The trophy recognized not only Lee's longtime presidency of Milwaukee Area Radio Stations, commercial radio's trade group in the city, but also a memorable stint with WOKY (the must-hear station for young Milwaukeeans in the '60s) and for helping transform WTMJ's once-obscure FM frequency into a success story called WKTI.

The saga begins in 1936 in Cookeville, Tenn., where his dad worked a regular job as a rural letter carrier. He was also a self-taught radio engineer who came up with a plan to put a commercial radio station on the air. The problem was money. Lee recalls the station (WHUB, 1400 AM) was finally financed by his dad's friend. "Father was paid minimum wage to build it and work at the transmitter, and later he was one of the first DJs in the country," he says. Imagine preachers and musicians (including Dottie West, who had a band in Cookeville) ambling in, putting cash on the table ($20 per half hour was common), and within the hour a format would be shaped to fit their needs.

Lee's parents separated when he was seven and he moved to Detroit with his mother, reserving summers for hanging with Dad at WHUB. It was there that he sang his first on-air tune, "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time."

And indeed they were. Between ages 16 and 20, he was a featured soloist and cast member of "Make Way for Youth," an hour-long musical program with an 18-piece band of professional musicians and about 30 teens in a chorus and cast. The Saturday CBS Radio Network program (WJR Detroit) ended in the mid-'50s as radio changed. Lee's voice changed too, but not before he got a few shots on ABC as the Lone Ranger's nephew, Dan Reid. His drama teacher during the Detroit years was John Todd, who was featured on three of WXYZ's shows: "The Green Hornet," "Lone Ranger" and "Challenge of the Yukon." Todd was also the original and only radio Tonto, a role that branded "meet white man with forked tongue" into America's skewed perception of Indian speech patterns.

Building Experience

And Lee's first radio? Well, he built a crystal set during World War II, attached the antenna to a radiator, and listened with headphones. When he moved to Milwaukee in 1964, he already had quite a few notches on his belt. In Kalamazoo, Mich., he was a morning personality, talk-show host and TV children's show host for WKZO radio/TV. In Columbus, Ga., he wowed 'em as a children's host ("Cap O Hap Show") on WTVM. Clearly, he's added numerous honors since settling here, but the fact that he's been president of Milwaukee Area Radio Stations, Inc. for two decades hasn't dimmed his keen wit.

With impressive credentials, how does he stay humble? He plays tapes from his former shows.

Like the one that recorded the day he wore no headphones and faced an 18-piece band on the full network. He sang "A Foggy Day in London Town"-in the wrong key. "I made attempts to get back on for about 15 seconds into the song before I got as close as I usually sang to pitch. No tape, no re-takes. It was all live." And yes, he'll never forget the color (green and gold) of the satin costume he sported at age 16 while executing a Cuban tap number at various Detroit venues. Apparently he kept that getup around for quite awhile. "One of my daughters wore it out using it as a scary Halloween costume," he remarked recently.

Serious Business

For a gentleman who's achieved a lot, he has this to say about the biz today: "In general, radio is much more serious business now. Less show biz, more biz, biz ... more format, more competition. Much more corporate accountability."

And though he admits the top positions are still mostly white males' turf, he's no Mr. Machismo. In 1984 he was named Radio Manager of the Year by the Badger Chapter of American Women in Radio & TV. Three of the four top department managers on his staff were female. This was a first for Milwaukee radio and giant strides from the late '70s, when women show hosts and DJs were considered unsuitable for the mostly female target audience. "The opposite opinion is held today by most owners and managers," Lee says.

But the past? You know, "The Good Old Days"? "If you're objective," Lee says, "those days don't stand up very well."

Now that he's walked with A.I.R.'s Lifetime Achievement Award, is he ready to tune out and entertain his grandchildren? "They think anything I did or do is either boring or embarrassing," he laughs. "But I am singing again. It helps my voice for commercials-my main source of income now. And may I say a picture is not worth a thousand words." Especially not the one where he's 16, skinny, and sporting green and gold satin.

LEPGOLD, Herman

Tenor (WHAD, Milwaukee, 1925).

LESLIE, Ann

Commentator-Home economist (WISN, Milwaukee, 1957).

LEVANT, Phil

Leader ("Phil Levant Orchestra", Instrumental musical program, WTMJ, 1931).

LOGAN, Lucky (Mark Gregory)

DJ (WOKY, Milwaukee).

MADISON, Bob

DJ ("Sunrise Serenade", WMAW, Milwaukee, 1948).

MALEK, Clementine

Station staff soprano (WHAD,Milwaukee, 1926).

MARGGRAFF, Norman

DJ ("Fritz the Plumber", WMIL, Milwaukee, 1949-1969, WYLO, Jackson, Wisconsin, 1969-1977).

Fritz was at WMIL from 1949 to 1969. He moved to WYLO where he stayed from 1969 to 1977.

MARKS, Judy

Commentator-home economist (WXIX,Milwaukee, 1957).

MC NEILL, Donald Thomas "Don"

Born: December 23, 1907, Galena, Illinois; Died May 7, 1996, Evanston, Illinois.

Announcer (WISN, Milwaukee, 1930s)

McNeill is best remembered as the the host of the long running "Breakfast Club".

MEISSNER, O.W.

Singer (WSOE, Milwaukee, 1926).

MORGAN, Jack

Newscaster ("Mid-Day News", WMAW, Milwaukee, 1948).

NASTAL, Stan

DJ ("Polish Hour", WFOX, Milwaukee).

NELSON, Carl

DJ ("Masters of Rhythm", WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1948-1950).

NEVADA, Charles

Sportscaster, (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1937-1940).

NITZ, Al

Tenor (WSOE, Milwaukee, 1926).

OLSEN, Johnny

DJ JOHNNY OLSEN Monday through Friday, 10:00-11:00., WMLO Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1947; "Johnny Olsen's Rumpus Room", ABC, 1949-1950. Olsen was a very popular local DJ on Milwaukee radio.

Olsen was born in Windom, Minnesota in 1910.

He started his radio career in Madison, Wisconsin as the Buttermilk Kid, then went to Mitchell, South Dakota to work for station KGDA where he managed, sang, announced, and sold. He even preached a morning religious service. Talk about a jack-of-all trades, he was one. His next move brought him to Milwaukee and WTMJ where he was their chief announcer. From Milwaukee he sought his fame and fortune in Hollywood, not finding it he returned to Milwaukee and WTMJ again. While there for the second time he aired his "Rumpus Room".

From Milwaukee he went to ABC. At ABC he warmed up the audience and was the announcer for such shows as "True or False, "Swingshift Frolics", and "On Stage Everybody".

He made a smooth transition to television where he became that mediums best known daytime announcer with shows like "What's My Line?", "I've Got a Secret", and "The Price is Right" ("Come on Down!").

He died on October 12, 1985 in Santa Monica, California.

OWEN, Ethel

Ethel Owen was born in Racine, Wisconsin on March 30, 1892.

She attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois from 1911 to 1912.

She began her radio career at WTMJ in dramatic and musical shows. She did a show called "Musical Melodies" with Stanley Morner aka Dennis Morgan.

From there she went to Chicago where she worked in the "First Nighter" show and "Fibber McGee and Molly".

Daytime serials, or as they are more commonly known, soap operas became her forte. Her first network soap was "Helen Trent". She went on to play in more soap operas than any other actress. According to Jim Cox in his book "The Great Radio Soap Operas" she appeared in fifteen soap operas.

She appeared in such soaps as "Backstage Wife", "Life Can Be Beautiful", "Lorenzo Jones", "Today's Children", "Joyce Jordan, Girl Intern" and "The Second Mrs. Burton".

She died in Savannah, Georgia on December 28, 1990.

PATTON, Peggy

Miss Patton broadcast movie reviews (WSOE, Milwaukee, 1926).

PAUL, Les

Les Paul was born as Lester Palfus on June 9, 1915 in Waukesha, Wisconsin,

In his teens he began his radio career at WRJN in Racine. In the 30s he had a show called "Rhubarb Red' at WHAD in Milwaukee.

At various time he was known as Hot Rod Red or Rhubarb Red, in reference to his red hair.

His career was capped in 1988 when he was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame under the category of Early Influences.

PETTIT, Lloyd

Sportscaster ("The Last Word in Sports", WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1950).

Lloyd Pettit has become well known with his wife Jane Bradley Pettit as a benefactor to many Milwaukee institutions, one of which includes the Bradley Center.

PHILLIPS, Chuck

DJ ("Sunrise Serenade". WMAW, Milwaukee, 1949; WEMP, 1954-1957).

PINTO PETE (aka Pinto Pete's Ranch Boys)

The transcribed country and music humor program by unidentified performers was broadcast at WTMJ in 1935).

POLLACK, Frank

DJ ("Contrasts in Music", WEXT, Milwaukee, 1950).

POTZNER, Joe (Joseph H.)

Staff Musician (WTMJ, Milwaukee). Was with WTMJ and WTMJ-TV for many years. He was best known as a comedian and bass fiddler with the old Grenadiers Band and later with the “Hot Shots”. He died in 1967

RAYMOND, Jack

Sportscaster (WISN, Milwaukee, 1946; News Commentator "News of the World", WISN). DJ (WRIT, Milwaukee, 1947).

REINKE, John

Engineer (WFOX, Milwaukee; WOKY, Milwaukee and WCAN, Milwaukee).

RICHTER, Arthur

Organist (WHAD, Milwaukee, 1925-1926).

ROEN, Louis

Born: March 13, 1905

Staff announcer (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1927).

ROSS, Kal

Sportscaster ("Sports Extra", WCAN, Milwaukee, 1955).

ROSS, Sari

by Sari Ross

Billie the Brownie

"I was in high school when I played Billie and I went everyday after school by bus to WTMJ to rehearse and perform the show at WTMJ. I had auditioned for the part with Larry Teich, after hearing about it at the Shorewood Players where I was an active player for several years. I was asked to keep my identity a secret, as I was to play the part of a boy brownie. Brownies were not in the Schusters parade, as they are invisible to non-Northpole people. but Santa, Mrs. Santa, Metik (leader of the reindeer), live reindeer, and Larry were all in the parade. It went down the main streets of Milwaukee during the run of the program, which was three months leading up to the Xmas Eve. Xmas Eve we all loaded the sleigh with Santa, and brought Xmas to the Milw. area. I loved playing the part and it was my first real job, so I was extremely proud and thrilled. I earned $15.00 a week. I don't remember the war (WWII) ever having any effect on the show. Larry never let it enter the fantasy stories of Billie the Brownie. We told stories to our audience and it was my first introduction to storytelling. I loved it and I am a professional storyteller now, going to schools, churches, libraries, festivals etc to do programming and teaching.

SCHMIDT, Paul

(WFOX, Milwaukee).

Paul worked with Wally Behl, an organist for WFOX.

SEARLES, Neil

Sportscaster (WEMP, Milwaukee, 1942-1945; Newscaster, WEMP 1942). "The Sports Page", WFOX, Milwaukee, 1947-1948; "Sports Page" and "Wisconsin Football", WFOX, 1949-1956; DJ (WFOX, 1948).

SHANAHAN, Tom

DJ ("Club 60", WEMP, Milwaukee 1948-1950; Sportscaster (WEMP, 1946; "Sports Flash", WEMP, 1947-1949). "Gas Light Club on Sunday Night during the 1950s. He currently has a morning show on WTKM called "Club 60" and he is the Human Resources Manager.

SILVER, Ethel

Pianist (WHAD, Milwaukee, 1925).

SINGER, Lan

Special events sports broadcasts (WMLO, Milwaukee, 1947-1948).

SONTAG, Viola

Pianist (WKAF, 1926).

Stanley, Don

By Jeff Cole

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Edited by Ron Sayles

Don Stanley was a farm boy from Stoughton, Wisconsin who became a broadcast pioneer.

In January 1940, Stanley became the first radio announcer west of the Alleghenies to broadcast on FM radio. He was hired as an announcer on the old WTMJ-FM Milwaukee radio station after working in radio in Madison, Wisconsin.

Stanley died January 20, 2003 of complications from colon cancer. He was 85.

Stanley became a broadcaster while he was a student at the University of Wisconsin. He started at Wisconsin in 1935 as a pre-law student but soon became interested in drama. At Madison, his name was Donald Stanley Uglum.

He appeared in several plays with the Wisconsin Players. One of the plays was broadcast over radio station WHA-AM Madison, which led to Stanley becoming both an actor and broadcaster.

After three years on campus. Stanley was hired by a Madison radio station, where he became an announcer and a newscaster.

It was there that Stanley changed his name. He was told that for professional purposes, the name Uglum wouldn’t work. So he shortened his name.

In 1940, Stanley was hired to help start WTMJ-FM, the first FM station west of the Alleghenies. The station later became WKTI-FM.

At the time, FM radio was highly experimental. So few people had FM receivers that Stanley’s entire audience might has consisted of four or five people, a newspaper story reported at the time.

Stanley worked at WTMJ-FM for a year and then moved to the AM side of the dial.

While at WTMJ, he was the announcer for such programs as “Doctor I.Q.,” “Masters of Rhythm,” “Parade of Bands,” and “Quiz Battle of the Century.”

In 1944, Stanley entered the Navy. He was stationed in Washington, D.C., where he was one of the hosts of a shortwave radio program broadcast throughout the fleet.

In 1946, Stanley went to California, where he was hired by NBC radio.

He was a staff announcer for NBC, first for radio and then for television. He did a weekly show for shell and one for a California diary. He was the first announcer for. “Saturday Night at the Movies” and also was an announcer for “The Spike Jones Show.”

THOMAS, Gordon

DJ ("Top O' Morning", WTMJ, Milwaukee 1949-1950).

THOMAS, Robert "Robb" (Two Bs if you pleeze)

DJ (WEMP, Milwaukee, 1954-1955).

TROY, Trixie Ann

Leader (Trixie Ann Troy and Her Royal Hawaiians Orchestra, WKAF, Milwaukee, 1926).

UNDERHILL, D.

Newscaster (WISN, Milwaukee, 1940; Sportscaster, (WISN, 1942).

VAN OSCH, John

(WFOX, Milwaukee).

No other information available.


VOGEL, Art

DJ ("Top Tunes", WMIL, Milwaukee, 1952).


VOGT, Ken

DJ ("Fritz the Plumber", WMIL, 1949; "8-6-0 Show", WFOX, Milwaukee, 1952; WRIT, Milwaukee, 1960)

Ken was once a guest speaker for the Milwaukee Area Radio Enthusiasts.

WALKER, Hal

Sportscaster (WISN, Milwaukee, 1938-1941; "Sportingly Yours", WMAW, Milwaukee, 1949; "The Last Word in Sports", WMAW, 1951; "Sportingly Yours", WCAN, Milwaukee, 1952; WXIX, Milwaukee, 1953; Newscaster (WISN, 1941-1942).

Williams, Curley

DJ (WMIL, Milwaukee, 1957).

WINNIE, Russ

Sportscaster (WTMJ, Milwaukee, 1937-1940; 1946).

ZIMMERMANN, Carl

DJ ("Concert Hall". WFOX, Milwaukee, 1950).

Carl was a guest speaker twice for the Milwaukee Area Radio Enthusi