In Philadelphia, WDAS AM & FM was the R&B powerhouse. From the 1950s, on AM 1480, & from the early 1970s on 105.3 FM, WDAS was the place to go for R&B, Soul, & Gospel. For decades, the man responsible for the programming on the stations was Joe “Butterball” Tamburro. He started a a sales rep at the station in 1964, but he loved the music on WDAS, and he really wanted to be on the air. The nickname “Butterball” was given by then-program director Jimmy Bishop. Tamburro went on to became Program Director for WDAS AM & FM and is credited with giving many R&B artists their start. In addition to his contributions to broadcasting and the music industry, Tamburro was also known for his work on behalf of the Philadelphia-area civil rights movement, offering the airwaves to leaders including the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Cecil B. Moore. For almost 40 years, Butter programmed WDAS, until his passing in 2012. This tribute broadcast is from a few days after his death.
Since 1979, Ellis has been on the radio, mostly hosting morning radio shows across the country, from Philly to Salt Lake City, Tampa to Seattle, and for the last 25 years, has been waking Orlando & Daytona Beach.