Today on Who Knew Wednesday Joe & Lexie talk about National Disc Jockey Day!

Joe shared a bit about Wolfman Jack:

His real name was Thomas Weston Smith and he was born in Brooklyn on January 21, 1938. So, yes, tomorrow would have been his 83rd birthday!

His dad bought him a radio to keep him out of trouble and he fell in love with music and the disc jockeys who played it. He graduated from the National Academy of Broadcasting in 1960 and worked jobs in Virginia and Louisiana before getting a big break in 1963 to work at a 250,000 watt station in Mexico that could be picked up in most of the United States. BTW, that is 5 times the US limit!

He later worked in Los Angeles and New York, but also got a chance to star as himself in the 1973 film American Graffiti. His raspy voice gained him national fame and he was a guest star on several shows, including Emergency, Hollywood Squares, The Odd Couple and Wonder Woman. He also hosted the Midnight Special TV show for 8 years.

He died in 1995.

Lexie got the chance to share about Alan Freed:

Alan Freed was born on December 15th. 1921 in Windber, PA.

Freed became interested in radio when he served in the US Army during World War II and worked as a DJ on Armed Forces Radio. Soon after World War II, Freed landed broadcasting jobs at smaller radio stations, including WKST (New Castle, PA); WKBN (Youngstown, OH); and WAKR (Akron, OH), where, in 1945, he became a local favorite for playing hot jazz and pop recordings!

Freed is the first disc jockey and concert producer of rock and roll; he coined the term “rock and roll” on mainstream radio in the early 1950s. He helped bridge the gap of segregation among young teenage Americans, presenting music by black artists (rather than cover versions by white artists) on his radio program, and arranging live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences. He also starred as himself in many films!

In the 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock, Freed tells the audience that “rock and roll is a river of music which has absorbed many streams: rhythm and blues, jazz, ragtime, cowboy songs, country songs, folk songs. All have contributed greatly to the big beat.”

He Passed away on January 20th, 1965.

Who Knew Wednesday Trivia:

Q: Who directed the 1973 film where Wolfman Jack appeared as himself?

A: George Lucas!

The movie is American Graffiti!

Congratulations to Lorena of Mt. Liberty for correctly guessing the answer and winning a $5 dollar gift certificate to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks so much for listening to the Afternoon Drive! – Lexie & Joe