'Whether you have your own teeth or not, keep smiling!' That's one of hundreds of lines from Jack Gale. The Baltimore native has worked in all facets of radio and records. He's been successful in all of 'em. Jack's radio career began in 1944 at WBTM in Danville, Virginia. Gale paid his dues at stations in Cumberland & Salisbury, Maryland, Petersburg, Virginia, and some short stints at WCBM and WSID in Baltimore. Late in 1951 (while in Cumberland), Jack answered an ad for an opening at WSRS in Cleveland. He began to make his presence known there with his unique brand of 'straight man' comedy and outrageous stunts. While in Cleveland, Gale made his first foray into the record industry, founding the Triple-A label. In 1955, Gale went to WTMA in Charleston, South Carolina. In addition to his on-air duties, he owned a record store and promoted concerts at Folly Beach Pier.
In September, 1957, Jack Gale realized his dream. He was hired at WITH in Baltimore at the then huge sum of $20,000 a year (Remember, this was 1957 dollars). Gale maintained #1 ratings throughout the 50's and into the 60's. In 1962, he left WITH to work mornings at rival WWIN. Gale also met a young man who he would manage and for a time, be his guardian. His name was Johnny Cymbal. Gale had a hand in Cymbal's Top 10 US hit of 'Mr. Bass Man' in 1963. In the Fall of '63, Jack took a gig at WMEX in Boston. By 1965, Gale received a call from former 'MEX co-worker Stan Kaplan who along with his wife, had just purchased 61 WAYS in Charlotte. Gale became morning man, PD, and part-owner of WAYS. For the next 5 years, WAYS was a phenomenal station. Innovative contests and promotions along with talented jocks made WAYS one of Top 40's all-time great radio stations. In 1970, Jack left WAYS, only to be named 'Disc Jockey of the Year' by Billboard Magazine. When he accepted the award at ceremonies in New York, he alluded to the fact that he was to first unemployed DJ to win such an award.
Throughout the 70's, Jack and his wife Lovey owned and operated radio stations in Pizmo Beach, California and Fredericktown, Missouri. After stops in Jacksonville, Florida (managing WPDQ) and Norfolk, Virginia (WHNE), Jack took a break from radio to launch Playback Records. With a catalog featuring music by recording legends like Frankie Laine, Willie Nelson, and Billie Jo Spears, Playback became the nation's #1 independent record label. By the mid-90's Jack was looking for a chance to do radio one more time. In 1996 he attended the 55th anniversary reunion of WITH radio in Baltimore. Several months later, he sold Playback Records and returned (36 years later) to host the AM Drive slot at WITH. One of the first comments on his first show was, 'I'd like to thank WITH for keeping things together while I've been away'. The station was sold shortly thereafter and changed format.
Today, Jack and his wife make their home in Florida. Is Jack retired? NO! His voice is heard in virtually every state in the union on radio and TV commercials which he records from his home studio. With more than 50 years in broadcasting, Jack can now be heard in a collection of 35 one hour shows in the archive section on Ultimate Oldies Radio!
Jack has written a fascinating book about his years in radio, entitled 'Same Time, Same Station'. To purchase the book, send $22.95 (plus postage) to JALO Broadcasting Corporation, 3627 N. Grayhawk Loop, Lecanto, Florida 34461
Have a question for Jack? E-mail him at email@example.com, or visit Jack's website, www.jackgaleradio.info.
If THAT'S not enough, Jack Gale now owns a radio station in Dothan, Alabama. WEEL, 'Oldies 700'. The station signed on the air at 5:45 AM on Thursday March 1st, 2007.