Portion of a TV Guide Page for Sunday, February 19, 1956..Showing the 10:30 PM listings..Bill Randle's Guests are Margaret Whiting, Nelson Riddle and Bobby Scott..Two weeks before the featured program below..
Bill Randle, Longtime Cleveland Disc Jockey, working in the music business or radio from the late 1940's to 2004..(Courtesy Life In Legacy)
Photograph taken at a Concert in Brooklyn, Ohio (Brooklyn High School) October 20, 1955..L-R:Bill Randle, Tommy Edwards of WERE, Elvis Presley and Bass player Bill Black..Courtesy Chris Kennedy Through Wikipedia
Today we will take a look at legendary Disc Jockey and music promoter Bill Randle..Born March 14, 1923 in Detroit, his first radio experience in the late 1940's in his hometown at WJLB-AM 1400. It was here that he became one of the first Disc Jockeys to play Jazz and Rhythm and Blues on the radio regularly in the North. Randle moved over to WERE-1300, Cleveland in 1949. It was here that he developed a reputation as a shrewd promoter in the then-new music field of Rock and Roll..He helped launch the careers of Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Darin, Fats Domino and most famously, Elvis Presley, whom he introduced to Northern Audiences for the first time on the Dorsey Brothers' CBS Stage Show television series on January 28, 1956. Before that Presley, Pat Boone and others were at pair of concert s in Brooklyn (Ohio) High School on October 20, 1955.
Randle's popularity was such that along with fellow Jocks Tommy Edwards, Phil McLean and Howie Lund, he was responsible for WERE's dominance of the Cleveland airwaves through much of the 1950's. Here is a link to a Time magazine article naming Randle top "Jock" of 1955..
Randle was always a very busy man, doing six days at WERE, another show at WCBS Radio in New York, WEWS-TV, promoting concerts, etc..He tired of the grind by the early 1960's and walked away from radio..He went to college, getting several degrees throughout the 1960's eventually doing a bit of radio in New York.He then taught at Kent State and the University of Cincinnati.
At the age of 64, he passed the Ohio Bar exam and became an attorney, specializing in bankruptcy and estate planning. In the 1990's he returned to Cleveland Radio, doing the "Big Show" weekends on WRMR 850/1420..When WRMR was sold to Salem Communications in July 2004, the format was changed to talk from music..Randle passed away July 9, 2004..Two days later, WRMR played his last "Big Show".The final music program aired on WRMR.
Bill Randle was a legend in his time..one of the Greats of Cleveland Radio..
What follows courtesy of Jerry Immel, is Audio from "The Bill Randle Show" a live half hour music program aired Sunday evenings at 10:30 PM on WEWS-TV Channel 5..Randle had connections to get a lot of the top performers to come to Cleveland to do the show. This particular episode aired Sunday, March 4, 1956. Sponsored by Bayard-Forest Heating /Cooling Co. of Cleveland, Randle's announcer/sidekick was Alan Douglas, who gained fame from hosting a number of talk shows on TV and Radio into the 1970's, including the original "Morning Exchange".
The guest list was very impressive..Billy Eckstine, Lou Busch (aka Joe "Fingers" Carr), Nick Noble, (Fresh from the Ed Sullivan Show) Dick Duane (On his way to do the Sullivan show the next Sunday) and The Four Coins, who cover the Platters' "Great Pretender"..There is a "Middle commercial" with Douglas, and an offer of an Elvis Presley picture by Randle at the end of the show. This is probably the only episode of this show around in any form..extremely rare..It sounds great for as old as it is..There appear to be a couple of cuts during the show, but it is pretty much complete.just over 27 minutes.
Some Information courtesy Wikipedia..
This is the kind of stuff I'd love to feature more of in the blog.. rare Audio or Video of Northeast Ohio TV and Radio..