Harry Harrison was one of the all-time greatest morning DeeJays of the AM Top-40 era. In a time when one-man morning shows were the norm before shock jocks became all the rage, Harrison commanded the highest morning ratings in New York City.
Harrison began his radio career in the midwest. His first major market radio station was WCFL Chicago, wherein 1953 he worked as a fill-in deejay when the station’s full-time personalities were out. For the next five years after leaving WCFL, Harrison was the Program Director and Morning personality of WPEO in Peoria, Illinois. That was the first station where Harrison referred to himself as the “Morning Mayor”.
Harrison arrived in New York City in 1959. He joined the staff of WMCA, home of the “Good Guys”. Harrison became the new mid-day personality, joining an air staff that would become legendary during its heyday. Other WMCA personalities at this time were Jack Spector, Dan Daniel, B. Mitchell Reed and Johnny Dark. Harry Harrison remained there until being lured away in 1968 by WABC Program Director Rick Sklar to take over the morning show. He replaced Herb Oscar Anderson who had just left the station.
By 1984, WABC was long gone, having flipped to Talk Radio in 1982, and Harry Harrison was the Morning personality on WCBS-FM. CBS-FM was a traditional Oldies station at this time, playing mainly hit songs from the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. The station employed many of the same jocks who were a staple of WABC during its heyday as a music station.
On Part 2 of this classic aircheck, you’ll hear even more interaction from Harry with his audience and long time fans! WMCA “Good Guy” Joe O’Brien is in the studio early. O’Brien went on the air after Harrison this particular Saturday morning. This aircheck starts with Harrison talking about the WMCA shows at the Paramount Theater. He mentions all the acts that his old station brought to New York over the years, including the Beatles! The morning countdown of the top 10 hits of 1962 picks up with number 6. At 8:10 into this recording, hear “The Leisure Report”. And, Harry Harrison takes calls and adds another into the “Housewives Hall of Fame”, a long time feature of his show on WABC!
There’s more, and a full newscast from Anchor Robert Cohen. You need to simply listen to hear it all!
29 minutes, scoped.