WWRL 1600 New York – Gary Byrd – 1979
Courtesy: Rob Frankel
Through the 1960s, 70s, and into the 1980s, New York’s 1600 WWRL was the AM R&B leader. With a fast pace, slick jingles, & hip on air personalities, the station sizzled.
Some of the jocks who graced the microphones at WWRL include, Bobby Jay, Frankie Crocker, Don “Early” Allen, Jeffery Troy, Jerry Bledsoe, Hank Spann, & the voice heard on this aircheck, Gary Byrd.
Gary is one of the longest running radio personalities in New York. Gary Byrd started his radio career in the 1960s in Buffalo. By 1969, he landed a night gig at WWRL, becoming the youngest radio personality to work in New York City. Gary was still a teenager! He spent many years on air at WWRL, hosting the show he called, “The Gary Byrd Experience,” or the GBE. The GBE innovative all-night format became extremely popular.
Eventually, Gary moved the “GBE“ over to WLIB, where it evolved into an issue oriented talk show. As of 2022, Gary is STILL on the air at two different radio stations. The “GBE“ is on 107.5 WBLS, making it one of New York’s longest running radio shows. He also hosts The GBE 2.0 on WBAI New York. Gary, today know as Imhotep Gary Byrd, recently celebrated 50 years on the radio in New York. -Ellis