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Jerry Daniels

As a youngster, Jerry Daniels took his radio to bed every night and listened to far away stations in Charlotte, New Orleans, Chicago, Buffalo and Boston. He mimicked Chuck Thompson doing Orioles and Colts play-by-play. He pretended he was John Sterling (now the New York Yankees play-by-play man) hosting talk shows recorded into his old Revere tape recorder. His favorite announcers while living in Baltimore in the mid to late 60's were WCAO's Robert C. Allen III, Larry Walton (known for his 'Winging the Weather' bit on WCBM), and local legend Joe Knight. Yes, Jerry (pictured here while at WCBM, circa 1979) was destined to become a radio star. So of course, he chose the proper start...majoring in Economics at the University of Maryland. One day Jerry was in talking with a friend who was a bartender from Boston. The fellow asked Jerry, 'If you could do anything you want, what would it be?" (Cue the light bulbs) "I'd like to be on the radio", Jerry said. The reply? "So do it!!!" This was way too easy. A short while later Jerry Daniels enrolled in the Northeast Broadcasting School in Boston. During his time there he selected Daniels as his radio name and 6 months later found himself in Amsterdam, N.Y. reading obituaries. Huh? Oh, he was also playing music, writing and producing commercials, and describing the action at area high school football and basketball games. Jerry left WCSS less than a year later and in 1974 landed at WHYN in Springfield, Massachusetts. 56 'HYN was a Top 40 monster with a 25 share in PM Drive. While at WHYN, Jerry emceed concerts at the Springfield Civic Center for groups like ZZ Top, Chicago, America, and Black Sabbath. Fortunately they didn't appear on the same tour. By the Spring of 1977, Daniels moved down I-84 to Hartford, Connecticut for a gig at WTIC-FM. Jerry says he was "an original hit man doing Afternoon Drive and playing the same 30 songs over and over." Do we ever need to hear Debby Boone and 'You Light Up My Life' again? While at WTIC, Jerry did a one-day audition for a slot at 50,000 watt WBZ in Boston. He was told to call PD Ira Apple the following Monday. Meanwhile, his boss at WTIC got wind of the audition ahead of time and asked Daniels not to do it. So Jerry...being well-versed in economics, decided to go up to Beantown and do a Saturday shift. When he went to work at WTIC the following Monday, he met the boss (Operations Director Jay Clarke) on the elevator up to the studios. Jerry says, "He didn't comment as to whether or not he listened to the shift (WBZ was heard in Hartford), but sung a WBZ jingle as we were in the elevator." Nevertheless, Clarke was favorable toward Jerry's efforts to advance and even made a few calls on his behalf. Early in 1978, Daniels drifted on down to Charleston, South Carolina to do a midday oldies show. He stayed for two months (Takes a lot for a Yankee to make it down south). One aspect of his Charleston experience was that he did lots of remote appearances and broadcasts...but never received a talent fee. Says Daniels, "One thing they pay you well down there is sunshine." By the late Summer of '78, Jerry Daniels landed in Philadelphia. There he landed a swing shift gig at 61 WIP (then Adult Contemporary). He worked with Philly radio legends such as Ken Garland, Wee Willie Webber, Tom Moran, Tom Lamaine, Nat Wright, and Bill Neil. While Jerry was plugging holes and driving the WIP Truck-A-Luck in 'The City of Brotherly Love', he got a call from PD Ray Quinn at 68 WCBM in Baltimore. They were looking for a full-time guy. So in February 1979, Jerry drove 90 miles down I-95 (during a 22-inch blizzard) in a rented U-Haul with bald tires to make his debut at Baltimore's greatest oldies station. To Daniels, it was a return to his roots...and a dream come true. He now found himself working side-by-side at WCBM with Joe Knight, Chuck Thompson (Remember them at the beginning of the story?), and Lee Case. Other micmates at Metromedia's 68 were Tom Davis, Ken Merson, Joe Galuski, Jack Edwards, Hal Martin, Dave Arlington and Terry Trouyet. His PD's were Quinn and Ben Hill. Unfortunately the dream ended suddenly in early 1982 when WCBM went to a News-Talk format. For the next few years at WCBM, Daniels served as Production Director and Sports Reporter under PD's Arlington and Eric Siedel. Newstalk 68 died in August, 1985. Jerry then began a sales career at the new Magic 68 (AC) WCBM. A short time later, Jerry left there to go to WYST-FM as full-time Account Executive. He enjoyed working with the jocks there. Anyone who has been in radio knows that salespeople and jocks are often on two different waves of communication. Jerry recalls, "Having been a DJ, I knew how they thought and they were all great to work with." Daniels found success in Radio Sales for the next decade, with stops at WLIF (101.9) and WWMX (Mix 106.5). In Jerry's own words, 'WHAT A RUN!' He left radio voluntarily in 1997. Ask any person who's in radio and they'll tell you that leaving on your own terms is rarer than you may think. Today, Jerry is "semi-retired and looking for that bartender from Boston for the next great idea." From spinning tunes to selling time, from splicing tape to the starting lineups, Daniels employed much versatility over a 25 year career in radio. And we might add, he did all of 'em well. E-mail Jerry at



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