In the almost 44 years since I got my first job in commercial New York radio, at WHN in April of 1972, I was very content to work behind the scenes. I’d had my time on the air in college radio (WCWP at C.W. Post College on Long Island), and knew that my talents and skills served me much better as a member of the team, rather than the guy or gal fronting the show. Unlike a lot of folks I work with today, what I do has never been a stepping stone for me, on the way to another job. I am an audio engineer at a radio station, and that’s what I do. However, in these past 44 years, that is not to say that my life, and that of my family, hasn’t been highlighted on the radio. Join me as I travel down an audio memory lane of, My Life on the Radio!
Let’s start with a brief listen to why I decided to make that decision a long time ago:
I have to thank Radio Historian, and fellow WHN Alumni Peter Kanz, with the following piece of audio he presented me with many years after it originally aired:
Working every day with Jack Spector at WHN, there was always the opportunity to get family mentions during the course of his show:
At WABC, the day after I asked Susie to be my wife, George Michael shared his thoughts on her response:
Then there was my WABC Batchelor Party, first commented on by Dan Ingram:
And then that same day by George Michael:
One of the great things about being on the board with Dan as his show ended, was the opportunity to suggest a topic for his close, like the day I mentioned that a year ago he was at Susie’s and my wedding:
But one of my most cherished bits of Ingram audio, was the following from his 20th Anniversary on WABC:
When our first child was on his way (Billy in 1982), there was this from Mark Summers:
The D’Elia family was also mentioned on WABC when we switched from music to talk. Although I don’t have a copy, Bob Grant announced Krissi and Kenny’s birth, shortly after they were born at 4:13 and 4:15 PM on November 20th, 1986.
When Rush Limbaugh started at WABC, he had a desk in the hall outside of my studio in the ABC Building. He was a part of my everyday work life on WABC, and things we did off the air became topics of discussion on his show. I also became an on-the-air figure on his show: Moe Thacker Union Thug. As the President of the United Screeners of America union, I was a constant thorn in his side. Here’s a collection of some of the best moments:
In this first cut, Rush talks about our annual Long Island Pub Crawl that we did for a number of years:
Rush commented on the extensive vacation that Moe Thacker gets each year:
In this next cut, Rush admits that Moe can be a decent guy, and details some of the discussions we had as we talked each morning when he was in New York:
Rush is offended by not getting Girl Scout cookies!:
Of course, I wasn’t the only member of the D’Elia Family to be highlighted on WABC Radio. Here’s a very young Billy with Lisa Karlin on Mother’s Day:
Susie was also a part of WABC News the day after she delivered a friend’s baby! Here she is with WABC News’ Kathleen Moloney:
Lionel also had advice for Krissi and Kenny one year on July 4th, when I brought them to work with me:
I had first met John Gambling a long time ago in the 8 months I worked at WOR. When John started doing 10 AM to Noon at WABC, I was the engineer for the show, and on the occasion of my 30th Anniversary at WABC, here’s what John had to say:
In 2009 I was engineering the short lived Joe Scarborough Show that was on both WABC and being syndicated. As a young boy in Western New York, Joe had listened to WABC and to George Michael, and knew how big a part of my WABC life George was. Shortly after George died on December 24, 2009, Joe had me on to talk about a man that was a big part of both our lives:
In early January, when I announced that I’d be retiring at the end of the month, I got this special audio message from a man who had been a part of my WABC life from the beginning, to just shy of the end (he retired back in 2015), Johnny Donovan. First as a DJ, and then as the Production Director, Johnny and I had been through a lot together, and this message holds a very special place in my heart!
And last but not least, I was even getting mentioned on other New York radio stations, like this shout out from my friend Dan Taylor, at WCBS-FM:
Heck, Dan even made me a couple of jingles for when I’m playing radio:
So there you have it, a life in, and on, the radio, courtesy of some of the best folks I have had the privilege to work with. It has truly been a pleasure to be a part of all of their shows, and to create the best on the air product we could. That, after all, is what the last 44 years of my life have been all about!!