Hi, It’s Mr. Lee . . .
Thanks for listening. I was born September 22, 1945 in West Philadelphia and started listening to this music in 1954 which was a little young (however, when you have an older sibling you get the jump musically on your contemporaries.) I remember in 1956 when “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” came out – it seemed that the whole school yard was on fire! I knew I found our own music.
I went to Lea School in West Philadelphia , K-8 back then, and attended John Bartram High School in Southwest Philadelphia. Bartram spawned legendary singers like Lee Andrews and the Hearts, Danny and the Juniors, Patti LaBelle, the Superiors, the Blendtones and Little Billy and the Essentials.
The dramatic ending of the commercial playing of rock n’ roll in 1964 made a lasting impression on me. The Beatles and their cohorts just didn’t get it done for me.
I was in the food business full time by the age of 20 and a member of the U.S. Army Reserve from 1966-1972. I married in 1968 and have 3 grown boys, two daughter-in-laws, two granddaughters and I’m still married to the same girl for 41 years.
I own a cheesesteak shop inside the Bourse in Center City Philadelphia directly across from the Liberty Bell. I’ve been at that location for 31 years and my oldest son is in business with me. My middle son, Richard, is a special agent for ICE International Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. My youngest son, Jeremy, also works for the Federal government as an ICE supervisor in Corpus Christi.
Around 1984, when my youngest son was playing community football, his head coach was a man named Dr. K., an avid collector of rare oldies. We hooked up and I was astounded by the amount of music from the mid-50’s and early 60’s I had never heard. About that time cable TV was coming out and our local school channel played background oldies from WRDV during the Bucks County area school messages they displayed. I went over to the station armed with some of Dr. K’s rare recordings to apply for volunteer work. The program director of the station didn’t recognize one song and I told him that was exactly the type of show I wanted to do. I began my radio career by doing live newsbreaks and eventually was given my own show. Unfortunately, the show was prime time and I was replacing the stations oldies legend of the time. The listeners beat me up pretty good for about a year – no mercy really. Listeners were more strident back then. I’m happy to tell you I’ve been at WRDV ever since, proving myself on a weekly basis with a little bit of an edge reflecting what I had been through. I must say in addition to Dr. K. I was heavily influenced by a young Jerry Blavat when he started in 1962, playing the more rare records, mostly out of New York, that didn’t get down to the Philadelphia market. After all these years it’s almost impossible for me to find and play a good rare record you haven’t heard and I get very excited when I do.
I’m became President of Philadelphia Group Harmony Association (PGHA) about 15 years ago after Rich Bluestein(the founder) accepted a job offer in Florida. It’s been many newsletters and many live shows ever since.
Over the years I’ve done a lot of networking and made a lot of friends and have gotten to know many wonderful people who have performed, played, produced, collected and listened to this music. Our music takes me where I want to go. I feel fortunate to have been able to grow up during the rock n’ roll era and feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to present and represent our music for so many years.
Keep listening and stay in my life . . .