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Lee Case

'Morning People!' That was the familiar call of the man known for more than 25 years as Baltimore's 'Morning Mayor'. Lee Case's radio career was centered exclusively in the mid-Atlantic region of the US. He first came to public knowledge as a staff announcer at WASA 1330 AM in Havre De Grace, Maryland in the early 1950's. Shortly thereafter, Lee moved to Baltimore's 1230 WITH. In the mid-50's, he had a hand in starting a new station in the Monumental City, 860 WAYE (now WBGR). In 1957, Lee was hired to do mornings at 68 WCBM Baltimore. It was a gig he would preside over for a quarter century. Lee Case stories are legendary among Baltimore radio people. To those on the inside, it was no secret that Lee had a dislike for Rock n' Roll...though you'd never know it on the air...except for one alleged occasion. Case was doing the back-announce over Fats Domino's 'Blueberry Hill'. He said something to the effect of , 'I didn't like it then, I don't like it now'. Candid words indeed, which received a rebuke from the Program Director. Nevertheless, Case held top ratings at WCBM. His slightly gruff but reassuring voice and mannerisms compelled Baltimoreans to accept him as their own. It was not uncommon to hear Lee say during snowy mornings to say, 'Kids, do not call any more. School is IN session today.' Every morning, Case would arrive at the WCBM studios with his thermos filled with coffee and proceed to take care of business. In 1974, WCBM's format evolved from a MOR to an Oldies-based AC. That dreaded Rock N' Roll was now a part of Lee's show. Still, like any pro he pulled it off with alacrity and aplomb. By 1982, WCBM switched formats to News/Talk. A short time later, Lee moved over to 95.9 WBKZ-FM (now Magic 95). The format was AC. Not long after that, the owners of WBKZ (Maryland Radio Show, who also owned WFBR-AM), transferred Lee 50 miles north of Baltimore to work for a time at 1350 WOYK in York, Pennsylvania. Lee didn't like the grind, so he left the job. For a while in the mid-80's, he returned to WCBM when the station for a time switched back to music (Magic 68). He did commercials and hosted a nostalgia show on Sunday mornings with longtime radio associate Joe Knight. That was Lee's last gig. A few years later, Case was stricken with illness and passed away. For anyone who is familiar with the people of Baltimore, it is commonly accepted that folks love to embrace the past. Lee Case will for years to come be remembered fondly as 'Baltmore's Morning Mayor'.



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