(CBS 11) – About two months ago, the Radio Hall Of Fame announced its 2019 Inductees for outstanding contributions to the radio industry.
One of them is legendary New York radio personality Harry Harrison.
Born on September 20, 1930 in Chicago, he started in Chicago radio in 1953 art WCFL, then went to WPEO/Peoria from 1954-1959 when he made the move to New York at WMCA under the air name “Good Guy Joe O’Brien.” In fact, all of the WMCA personalities were promoted as the “Good Guys.”
In 1968, he made the move to work for MusicRadio 77 WABC and Program Director Rick Sklar, one of the finest top 40 stations ever and with one of the best Top 40 program directors. Harrison took over the morning slot when Herb Oscar Anderson left. Along with Harrison were Scott Muni, Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram, Cousin Bruce Morrow, Chuck Leonard and many more.
WABC, like Los Angeles’ KHJ and Chicago’s WLS, were excellent models of how to run AM Radio Top 40 stations.
In 1980, Harrison moved to 101.1 WCBS-FM. By that time, AM Radio top 40 stations were in decline with the advent of FM. Harrison was again the #1 morning man in New York from 1980-2003, as he had been on WABC. He left the morning show in 2003 but returned in 2004 to do a weekend morning show. In 2005, CBS-FM ended its “oldies” format and went to the “JACK-FM” format, a format with no live personalities and a voice that was tracked in between songs that had sort of a snarky style. It only last two years before CBS-FM management decided to go back with live personalities.
Harry is in that rare class of exceptional radio personalities along with people such as Robert W. Morgan (KHJ/Los Angeles), Larry Lujack (WLS/Chicago) and Ron Chapman (KLIF/KVIL Dallas Fort Worth), a breed of morning drive personalities not seen very much today.
The first time I heard him was in 1982 when I travelled a lot to New York on business. Greatness!!
New Yorkers were definitely blessed to have had him to wake up for nearly 50 years.
Harry and the rest of Radio Hall Of Fame Class of 2019 will officially be inducted on November 8, 2019 in New York City.
Congratulations Harry! Enjoy this air check from 1984!