Obituaries are never easy. That’s why we generally leave legacy writing to the professionals. Immediate family likely remembers a different legacy of their loved-one than those of us on the other side of a man’s public life.
I did not know Alton Irwin personally. That is to say, I never met him in real life. We did, however, converse via email.
In the early days of Airchexx.com, shortly after this website launched in May of 2002, our very first contributor, “Magic” Matt, owner of Big Apple Airchecks put me in touch with “Willie B.” while sending along some really great airchecks to post here. “Willie” was thrilled to see his work posted on the web. He had never heard of Airchexx. He HAD heard of the only major U.S. aircheck website in existence up to that point, ReelRadio. Still, he was very supportive and even donated an aircheck- of himself on 1500 WFIF. That tape is in the archives here and will be re-posted soon.
In posting this series of airchecks, it occurred to me that the best way to honor Alton’s public legacy is to post as much of his radio work as possible. After all, he was loved by so many, why not share his body of work with the widest possible audience!
This career composite was put together by Steve McVie on Cape Cod. Steve voiced his own introduction, describing how he met Willie B. at 13 Waves New Haven, and credits him for helping launch his career. That’s no small tribute! It was recorded several years ago, while Alton was still with us. After hearing about Alton’s passing, Steve gave a copy to Magic Matt at Big Apple Airchecks, as Matt is putting together an Alton Irwin Tribute. Matt, in turn, passed this along to me, with the intent of having it posted on Airchexx.com in tribute.
This composite begins in Hartford at 106.9 WCCC (Then known as top 40 “Triple C”), then moves along in succession to 13 Waves New Haven, KC-101 New Haven, JB-105 Providence, HitRadio 103 WHTT Boston, HitRadio 95 WPLJ New York, Z100 New York and Y-100 Miami.
No legacy can ever be 100 percent complete. There will be omissions and glaring gaps, simply because we do not possess the full body of work performed by Alton Irwin. And it may be that there is some stuff out there that he might not have wanted in the public eye anyway. We may never know. However, family and close friends of his are invited to contact me here at airchexx for corrections, stories or even additions for posting.
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