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You know you’re a monster talent when creative folks come out of the woodwork from seemingly everywhere to pay tribute. In so many ways, Jack Armstrong, whose real name is John Larsh, was one of the pioneering voices in the history of Top 40 radio. In a career that spanned over 50 years on air at dozens of stations, many of them legendary, Armstrong paved the way for other fast talking on air lunatics (we say that in a complimentary way) to captivate massive audiences on both coasts, and the hinterlands in between. From legendary status at WKBW Buffalo, to KFI in Los Angeles and KKHR Los Angeles to morning drive at an Oldies station back home in North Carolina concurrent with a voicetracked appearance on the short lived KB Klassic format at WWKB Buffalo, Armstrong set the standard for quick witted one liners. Fact is, Armstrong graced so many stations from Boston’s WMEX to little stations in the midwest among his large market appearances, it could almost be argued that he worked at more stations in more markets than Joey Reynolds – a jock who once quipped “I’ve worked at so many radio stations they call me the Voice of America”.

This tribute, by our friendliest and certainly most generous contributor, Matt Seinberg over at Big Apple Airchecks, is one of the best, most insightful and respectful I’ve heard anywhere. It deserves airplay, and since no radio stations seem to have any interest, we proudly present this tribute to one of the truely great radio legends, Jack Armstrong!

Don’t be ashamed to shed a tear – this one’s that good.

By Steve West

Steve West is a 41 year veteran of broadcasting. His air work as a Jock and News Anchor includes six radio markets and over two-dozen radio stations. Steve is the founder of and - All the BIG Hits!

7 thoughts on “Big Apple Airchecks Salutes the late Jack Armstrong | March 25, 2008”
  1. Wow…I didn’t expect Steve to put this up, but I’m glad he did! This tribute deserves to be heard far and wide! It took over a week of long, hard work to put this together, and it was worth every minute. So many people made it possible, that it would take so much time to thank them all, so here it is…THANK YOU! I’m hoping Jack’s daughters will record something for me, or we can talk on the phone so I can record them that way. No matter what, I am proud of this tribute, and I hope you enjoy this two hour, fifteen minute journey into the radio life of Jack Armstrong.

  2. Matt,

    Your tribute to Jack Armstrong is FANTASTIC! I’m glad to see it being circulating online, because everyone whose life Jack touched should hear this.


  3. Matt,

    Your tribute to Jackson is simply put,excellent! My time in the radio/music biz started with Jackson at 13Q and through his frienship and mentorship spanned 20 years and many adventures with him in and out of the business. He was as generous with his knowledge as he was talented, and that says a lot. We remained friends and stayed in touch for the many years since. While I’m still heartbroken, I know he is still sharing that joyful spirit of his. I will always love him. Thank you for your great effort in showcasing the best radio personality dj in top 40 history.

  4. I have listened to airchecks of Jackson Armstrong but only heard him live one time. And yet that one-time was most memorable. I was visiting Los Angeles in 1982 and driving a long drive. I think from LA to San Fran. I had 64 KFI blasting my rent-a-car AM radio the whole way. It was clear as a bell for hours and this unbelievable amazing guy is jocking, Jackson Armstrong and the gorilla on the Amazing AM 64 KFI.. coolest jingle… and I’m like Oh my God who is this guy jocking? He is freaking amazing! That was the only time I ever heard Jack live and yet that one show on that one day driving in California for several hours is one of my fondest radio memories. I am an old radio person from back east. I grew up with Ingram and Lundy. As a matter of fact I had a short stint as summer relief engineer and got to board both of those legends at WABC in 1981 and 1982, but I digress. I’ll tell you, you have to be real good, only like Jack Armstrong legendary good, to make such an large impression on a person from just one live listen. That was me listening to him on KFI in 1982. Dang Jackson, you were really, really, really that good! I really enjoy the listening to the airchecks of him when I find them, such on on here. THank you very much for providing such a service. God Bless!

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