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Jerry Williams - The Dean of Talk Radio

Memories

Share your memories of Jerry Williams with his fans by visiting our submission page.
8/17/2013
Well 40 years ago this month Jerry's ratings went sky high due to the electrifying Watergate hearings. Boy what a time to be a 19 yr old, (as I was in 1973.) I remember it like it was yesterday. Nobody better.............simply the best. GREAT MEMORIES JAY from
RANDOLPH, MA
12/30/2012
Even after these many years I still enjoy listening to the clips from Jerrys shows on this website. I feel I learn something everytime I listen and read these memories. I hope you can continue to keep this online. JOSEPH from
RAWSONVILLE, VT
12/15/2012
in Boston 72'--75 doing medicine. Hooked on Jerry during Watergate. Absolutely the greatest radio personality ever. Does anyone remember," Listen to the German band, Haldeman and Erlichman?" JEFFREY from
WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI
8/11/2012
Jerry was the absolute best....what a joy to listen to. All I know about Vidalia onions I learned from Jerry and his onion farmer guests. Quite informative. Looking back, it didn't matter what the subject of the show was as long as Jerry was talking, I was listening. I miss him. TED from
GOFFSTOWN, NH
7/25/2012
I was a steady listener(vintage 1980eez-90eez) and typically in complete agreement with Jerry on nearly all subjects. I am glad I ended up here today at the website while looking for info. on some other individual in radio broadcasting.I played some clips just to hear his voice again.Very emotional sort of thing.We are without the protection he offered us, and we can't seem to save ourselves.I think he would be "mad as hell" and screaming "bloody murder" over what has been transpiring since he departed this journey.He said something in a broadcast one day, something along the lines of "how elated people would be over the demise of the Internal Revenue Service".For some reason that statement has stuck with me. A great human being, whose voice and thoughts I feel lucky to have heard.I also set-up my recorder to tape that "christmas prose story" he would always read.Sorry-can't think of the name of it, though it is at the tip of my toungue. I have it in storage on an old cassette.Jerry-gone physically and certainly not forgotten. DAVID from
EXETER, NH
4/24/2012
Just listened to Jerry's WBZ farewell speech from 1976 in which he warns to be "ever vigilant" about free speech and the right to talk about and crticize our gov't. In '76, it may have seemed inconceivable that such rights could be abrogated. But such things are coming to pass with the Obama administration. What I wouldn't give to have Jerry Williams talking about these matters today, when it is so important. He would truly be horrified (as we all should be). MARK from
BOSTON, MA
3/31/2012
I was 17 and living in Western Pennsylvania when I first discovered Jerry's program on WBZ in 1972. I think it took only one show, and I was hooked. I vividly recall listening to the show almost every night he was on the air on WBZ for a period of two years. I recently read "Burning Up the Air" and found it to be a fair and fascinating book. And listening to some of the clips on this website brought back many memories. A belated thank you to Jerry for his talk show, and his humanity. He is missed. KENNY from
MOREHEAD, KY
2/7/2012
All I can say is, Boy could we use you NOW. God Bless you Jerry LARRY from
READING, MA
1/27/2012
When I was in junior high in small town Indiana, I listened to Jerry almost every night. I was an anti-war rebel who was thrilled by Jerry's interest in ideas and disconformity with my local environment. Because Jerry was on radio there, I assumed that Boston must be the coolest and most interesting place in America. Boy was I disappointed when I finally visited Boston a few years later. It wasn't Boston that was cool and interesting, it was Jerry. NICOLAS from
INDIANAPOLIS, IN
1/24/2012
When I first saw the video of Dukakis in the tank my first thought was, "I can't wait to hear what Jerry Willams has to say about this!" Jerry was the Dean, no question about it. Also, does anyone remember the Boston TV show he had for a brief time in the mid 80's? I think it was produced by a former KISS radio promotion man named Jack Ainslie. KENNETH from
GOFFSTOWN, NH
1/5/2012
Your questions are not disrespectful...as far as I know, Jerry never had a vasectomy. He did smoke either Camel or Pell Mell in the '40s and '50s, switched to a filtered brand in the '60's and quit smoking completely in either 1967 or 1968 when a doctor in Chicago as a guest on his WBBM show warned him that continued smoking would ruin his voice. ALAN from
BEDFORD, NH
1/5/2012
I have two questions. I hope they are not taken as being disrespectful. One. Did Jerry Williams have a Vasectomy? Howie Carr talked about haveing one a few years ago. Two. What brand of cigarettes did Jerry smoke? Did he smoke a "mans" cigarette like Camels in the 1940's and 1950's, and switch to a filters later on? I've been listening to talk radio since around 1968. I miss LOCAL talk. Each city and even some towns had their own talk hosts. They may not have been in Jerry's league, but they were an important way of getting local issues discussed. When the rules were changed and stations were bought by syndicates, that was the first thing to go. Thanks Jerry for awakening me to those damn "fee's, fines, and taxes". Got you tax bill? I miss you Jerry. JOE from
GREENFIELD, MA
12/11/2011
I have great memories of listening to Jerry on WRKO. My mother got me hooked on Jerry and Gene Burns at a time when I normally only listened to music on the radio. I was hooked and to this day I still listen to talk almost exclusively. His show was interesting, informative and had the best callers (with plenty of thick Boston accents). It could also be outrageously funny and silly (in a good way). It had that local, home grown flavor of a different time. I know you can never go back but I miss it now more than ever. TIMOTHY from
HULL, MA
10/29/2011
I miss the dean so much.Talk radio is not what it was when Jerry was on.Dan Rea is the only one these days who is like Jerry.To Jerrys kin he is amd always will be the best JIM from
BROOKLINE, MA
10/26/2011
In my new book And I From Bohemia: A Memoir I mention the great book on Jerry Williams by Alan Tolz and his co-author. I also talk about the skills Jerry had as a talkmaster. The book is available on Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon if anyone is interested. Jerry still means a lot to me. MARTY from
YORK, ME
10/12/2011
I have moved to a state that embraced primary seatbelt enforcement laws without even a whimper from the public or the media. Mostly, I wear them like everyone else, but when I'm out driving the back roads with my dogs I leave the damned things off.That feeling of freedom always reminds me of Jerry's bold resistance to such laws. R.I.P., pal. SPIKE from
ALBANY, NY
7/7/2011
Nobody can bring the intensity, intelligence, sense of humor, and entertainment to radio or any other media that Jerry Williams did on a daily basis. He was so special and is missed! ERIC from
ANDOVER, MA
6/7/2011
What a treat this website is! Jerry Williams was an amazing talent. What a sad state talk radio is in today paertiularly the once great WRKO. It would be great if you could post more audio clips! FRANK from
BOSTON, MA
4/22/2011
We have created a Facebook page for my father. Please copy and paste the link below to "like" the Jerry Williams FB fan page. We are planning a 10th year memorial celebration on April 29, 2013, in Boston. Yes, it's a long time away, but if you're a fan of our FB page, you'll be in the loop. https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Jerry-Williams-The-Dean-of-Talk-Radio/204912789539562?sk=wall Thanks for writing. We love reading your memories. ~Eve Williams EVE from
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
4/18/2011
I discovered Jerry in May of 1957 about the time I met my future wife. I used to take her to the WMEX studio on a date and listen to him broadcast his show. I followed him through his entire career. I still listen to talk shows some 53 years later but there will never one like him.. I can still hear him saying " They'e out there" Thanks Jerry, for the memories HERB from
BRAINTREE, MA
1/31/2011
I had the pleasure of working with Jerry over several years as a folk-singing satirist. My brother today said to me something about the problems in Egypt and how Jerry would be all over it as a topic. The interesting thing about Jerry is that he NEVER was a liberal democrat, and most importantly, Jerry never rode the waves of public opinion like Limbaugh and the rest. He never reacted to public opinion or news. Jerry CREATED the waves of public opinion on all sides of the political spectrum. It was JERRY, not the times or the news. God Bless Him. I miss him. PAUL from
MELROSE, MA
1/8/2011
My memories of Jerry are mostly of my mother listening to him. She loved him. From WMEX to his days at WBZ to WRKO, she always listened. She cried his last day at WBZ. I remember he went to I believe a Conn.radio station for a bit, and she could not listen. Then one day I picked up the paper and it said he was returning to Boston, I called her, and she was thrilled. I know she listened everyday until she died in 1986 Thanks Jerry for making my mothers life so happy with your talk shows. May they both rest in peace. TOM from
DRACUT, MA
12/22/2010
I started listening to Jerry way back in 1963 on the old WMEX radio. Every night from 10pm to 1:00, I would listen in to all the controversial topics and how Jerry would skillfully argue his point of view. Most of the time I’d agree with everything he said, he certainly would have been a great politician. I still think to this day, why didn’t he run for office? I would have voted for him. I can almost hear him saying, “The cock-a-mammies are out there tonight”!! I was never the type of kid that kept up with what was going on in Boston, until Jerry came along. Never had the pleasure of meeting you Jerry, but thanks for all the laughs and education you gave me. Larry LARRY from
READING, MA
12/20/2010
Jerry Williams, Gene Burns, and David Brudnoy - I was addicted to RKO back in the day , and it did not get any better than those three. they were the best three talk show hosts I have ever heard. I use to put it on and listen at work ... Gene in the morning , then Jerry in the afternoon , and David at night. Jerry was awesome once he got his teeth into an issue or controversy , he was relentless - and a joy to listen to ... RIP .. Jerry and David ... DEE from
WESTWOOD, MA
12/19/2010
I just happened to think of Jerry and "A Child's Christmas in Wales". Great postings here! I called Jerry a few times in the '80s and '90s - he told me to hang on once, and I thought "could he be inviting me to visit the studio???". "Is my voice that good on the phone? (It ain't bad, I've been told). Most importantly, we so enjoyed talk radio with Jerry, and Brudnoy and Burns, to echo another posting. You could listen, be entertained, learn something maybe. Great era in radio, and entertainment in general! And Jerry, you're still the Dean, wherever you are!!! CHUCK from
CONTOOCOOK, NH
12/17/2010
I just played Jerry's reading of a child's Christmas in Wales,I can not think of any one who could do it better.It made me sad thinking of how great he was and how missed he is JIM from
BROOKLINE, MA
12/17/2010
To Bob from Framingham: Send me an e-mail (cargabma@aol.com) I recorded the whole Howie Carr show the day Jerry passed on. I have your phone call to Howie. I've posted before and have to declare once more that Jerry was the DEAN of talk radio. NOBODY BEFORE OR SINCE has glued me to the radio as he did. Long live ther DEAN! JAY from
RANDOLPH, MA
12/16/2010
What a great website.I started to listen to Jerry in the early 80s,local talk radio was great in those day's and Jerry was and still is the best of all time. :They are out there: JIM from
BROOKLINE, MA
9/29/2010
...but since growing up listening to Jerry I'v emoved to Australia... I loved listening to Jerry. He was a true independent. Loved him railing agst the seat belt law. Introducing Howie Carr. I can still hear him referring to his bete noir Dukakis as being.... "annoyed" Classic! A true iconoclast! Jerry-- you are REMEMBERED & LOVED! BUD from
UXBRIDGE, MA
8/26/2010
I fell in love with talk radio after moving to Mass. back in the 80's. Brudnoy, Burns, and Jerry Williams. They were the best. Even today there are a few good radio hosts, but no one really compares to these three. It's probably because they weren't restricted by political correctness, the demand for tolerance of the intolerable and a more civilized, educated and involved society. Jerry was King. Best memories include the washing machine lady; his anger over Vietnam; Martin Luther Kings legacy and going on a mission to track down some Congressman or Senator. I don't remember the issue, but there was one time when the Massachusetts lawmakers were hiding from their constituents at a country club. Well, the club and it's phone numbers were found, and the dialing began. Great fun and great politics. I found this site while looking for the version of Martin Luther Kings "I Have A Dream" speech that Jerry Williams played every year. It had an echo quality to the "I have a dream" line. If anyone knows where there's an audio of it,I would appreciate it if you'd post the info. Thanks for the site and the good memories. GAIL from
ALLENSTOWN, NH
8/18/2010
I am so glad I found this site! I'm no one special or important, just an avid listener to Jerry in the 1980's. If only I had a cell phone back then! What an intelligent, thoughtful entertaining talk show host! Spending a lot of time in my car, Jerry was a constant companion as I made my rounds throughout the Boston area. Briefly, what comes to mind when I think back to those days are lines like, "Where's my dinner? When am I going to get my dinner?!!?" I loved it when Bush chose Dan Quayle to be his running mate... "Dan Quayle? Who the hell is Dan Quayle!??!" I also remember some slow summer days when no calls were coming in and Jerry would get the occasional weird call... "They're out there folks!", he would say. I grew up in the Boston area in the 60's early 70's and remember Jerry's night show and his tirades against the Vietnam war. What memories I have with this man's voice on the radio! I will always remember him. May he rest in peace! STEPHEN from
MONROE, CT
8/4/2010
For those readers of this website: you probably don't know who Paul from Milton is. If I am not mistaken he is Paul Benzaquin, one of the greats of Boston radio (like Jerry Williams). I wonder what Paul of Milton thinks of midgets like Severin or Graham (and I am not talking about their politics). Compared to the legends like Benzaquin and Williams these guys reek! MARTY from
YORK, ME
7/10/2010
Just got word that Bob Fish, the General Manager of WRKO when Jerry and I started there in 1981, died on Friday. To quote Jerry on Fish "Not a nice guy." To paraphrase old Will Shakespeare 'there will be no good interred with those bones'. Hey Bob! Here's the Larry Glick Salute ! PAUL from
MILTON, MA
6/28/2010
I was an engineer at WRKO for six years, beginning the very day that the station went talk and Jerry began his afternoon drive show. Since I was never permanently assigned to any shift, I got to work with all the talk hosts, including Jerry. I've always enjoyed telling the following story because I think it speaks volumes about Jerry. Let me set the scene: Alan Tolz is in the producer's chair lining up calls and I'm in the same room running the board. On the other side of the glass Jerry is in the on-air studio and he's complaining (off-air) about the volume in his headphones (seems like you couldn't never make the volume loud enough.) So Jerry is complaining and I, in my youthful arrogance, am giving him some attitude over the studio intercom (Alan isn't helping by egging me on...) Then, after I made some wisecrack, Jerry says "You wouldn't do this to Sinatra." Sinatra? Did he really say that? Alan just sat there, smiling. I couldn't resist. I hit the intercom button and said "Jerry, we love you, man, but you ain't Sinatra." Then Jerry said the line that stopped us both cold: "Between 2 and 6 every day, I'm Sinatra." There was nothing I could say after that, because we both knew that Jerry was right, and to this day I take great pride in knowing that I worked with one of the greats of Talk Radio, our very own Sinatra. DAVID from
READING, MA
5/18/2010
What happened to the "Is Everything okay" routine on this website? Jerry and Alan Tolz teamed up for a great send-up of an overly solicitous waiter at a Friday's restaurant. Wanted to forward it to WTKK's Jim Braude and Margery Egan today as they were discussing restaurants and waiters. Braude would have loved it although since it was an RKO recording he might not have played it on-air. And as everyone knows "Entercom happens" even though the pretender to the throne still yaps on forgetting Jerry's twin cardinal rules of talk radio - "Do not be BORING or PREDICTABLE." Jerry Williams .... still missed after all these years. PAUL from
MILTON, MA
4/20/2010
I am Jerry's youngest daughter. I am so pleased this site is still going strong. I am honored that so many of you loved and were influenced by my father. I am getting so many laughs reading your stories. Please keep them coming. ANDI from
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
4/3/2010
One Saturday during the late 1990s, Jerry was on a rant about WHY we switch the clocks to Daylight Saving Time and wondering if anyone knew WHAT weekend we'd be switching the clocks. I called in. To my shock, there was no prescreening by the producer. Jerry immediately put me live on the air. "Hello!" he demanded, "HELLO!" I was so nervous that I asked, "How are you?" and Jerry quickly and curtly answered, I'M NOT GOING TO ANSWER THAT!" He proceeded to interview ME for about 10 minutes. My heart was pounding out of my chest! I could not wait to hang up the phone. On the afternoon after Jerry passed away, I phoned Howie Carr and told that story on his show. Howie got a big chuckle out of it! BOB from
FRAMINGHAM, MA
3/29/2010
I visit this sight often to listen to Jerry, boy do I miss his wit and wisdom. You may rest in peace Jerry AL from
MERRIMACK, NH
2/7/2010
I listened to Jerry when I first came to this country in 1963. I was a firm fan of his always. Nobody did it better. Whenever there is a controversial topic on radio I always think if only Jerry was with us to comment on this. I imagine there are a lot of people who feel the same way. MARIE from
N CHELMSFORD, MA
1/13/2010
I have been thinking of Jerry as I listen to the talk show hosts during this interesting political battle we have going on for the senate seat I hope will be won by Scott Brown. Jerry sparked my political interests with all the goings on in Boston and the big dig. I would love to hear his opinion on whats going on now. Listening to him on just about any topic was a learning experience and he was funny. I hope he finally got a dinner BARBARA from
MIDDLEBORO, MA
12/15/2009
I still miss Jerry as Christmas approaches. I really do. I feel like family. though I am not. To Eve and family,just keep plugging. In 100 years,we may all get together,have a party and commence once again. Nobody else has to know. RICHARD from
MILFORD , MA
12/9/2009
Oh those were the days...Jerry Williams then Larry glick, back to back, WBZ Boston..great! RUSS from
PHILA, PA
10/17/2009
I listened to audio clips and would like to purchase a 1965 Frigidaire from Sozios. No doubt it would be good for another 50 years. Childs Christmas in Wales is good to hear all year long. If there were thoughtful creative people in radio, that clip would be reprised every year with their proprietary rights, amalgamate old and young listeners while being mindful that radio used to be and could be the thread that holds people together. Silent Night rules. Nah, fruit flies rule. Attention spans are zip. Go for the big bang in the here and now. Big impact change. Loud excitement,little substance. I do not associate brilliance with radioheads these days. It is a business. Creativity and innovation are not mixing. That a potty mouth Howard Stern could be called a genius casts aspersions on the definition. I truly miss old radio and America as I knew it. I miss Jerry. I think he was a genius. I saw the future 30 years ago and did not get into the business. Maybe I should have, but I avoided employing food testers and the back stabbers. I just miss good radio. Maybe if I can buy a 1965 Fridaire from Sozios we can freeze Howard Sterns head for future analysis. Again, radio used to be a common thread of communication, and it could be again. RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
9/28/2009
Eve, Thanks for the relay that Jerry did not like Jerry Vale, but come to think of it I did not either. I was unaware of the ratings in various time periods, but did know that one of the former 3 Governors was competing for ratings in the same time slot,on another station,and maybe I only detected a mode shift and a revamping. Corporate bean counters are horrible. It is seen in every field. Canned Radio such as in Album Oriented Rock and national franchising stifled the life and creativity out of radio. David Brudnoy on our local Boston station was replaced with a Nationally Syndicated guy who did not know how to pronouce Haverhill.Local protests brought him back. As for me, I did College radio for four years and even there thought I would need food testers as I looked behind my back for the knives. I decided to not get into the business. I do know what you are talking about. Thanks for the info, and good luck to you. RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
9/27/2009
Right, Richard. My father did have a great appreciation for music. All I can remember is that he hated Jerry Vale! LOL! I still have all of his CD's. Joe Williams, Michael Feinstein, Maureen McGovern and more. I'm so sad that in the last 8 months, many of my own friends who were huge FM radio (jock) personalities in the West Palm Beach market have been let go. Fired. Kaput. They were victims of the "I'm making too much money" syndrome. My father was one of the first to succumb to that "syndrome" back in the mid-90's. His ratings were GREAT. He just made too much money so they banished him to weekends...and then let him go altogether. And THAT was the start of his demise. Corporate radio SUCKS. It is driven by greed. Corporate doesn't care about the listeners at all. They hire good talent to draw an audience and then they let them go when their ratings are up so they don't have to pay their salaries any more... in the hopes that the audience will stick around and tune in to their replacements who are often lesser talents or someone who is simply "voice tracking" from somewhere else in the country...whom of which both make much less money! My message to you reading this is when corporate fires one of your favorite air talents(and they will)... BOYCOTT the station and let it be known to them. The fewer listeners they have, the less they'll be able to command per spot (commercial) for advertising. Corporate is so stupid. When will they realize that people are listening because they relate to the talent...and not the repeated (ad nauseum) songs over and over and over again (in the case of FM music radio). And in the case of Talk Radio personalities, the loss is even greater for the listeners, whether you loved them or hated them. Sorry...just venting!!! EVE from
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
9/22/2009
Jerry liked Tony Bennet, Vic Damone, Benny Goodman and maybe even Ish Kabbible (spell?) He loved Jazz. I love all of that too. He just liked good stuff. I do too. So I am the Elvis, Beatles and so on fan but I still love Mozart,Chopin,and old Punk Rock like the Ramones. I love the old "crazy music." You could not date a guy like Jerry. He tried to be hip, but could not. It was a futile attempt to be so called hip in changing radio demographics. His intro to the new hip Jerry was when he started saying that he was waiting online at a store, as opposed to being in line like in the old days. The people on radio today are not nearly as "hip" as Jerry was. He was always on top of the real games. In his later days, I suspect things just flew over or under other's heads. The vultures have landed, but should I listen? I would rather listen to myself and say THANKS JERRY! I will listen to your old shows before turning on my radio to to be advised by less qualifieds. Thanks Alan and all RICHARD from
MILFOTD, MA
8/27/2009
Eve, I have followed Glenn Beck from CNN to Fox, and I agree with you. If Jerry were witnessing what is occuring right now, he would be livid and screaming,like Glen. I hope this site is active, and not just asleep, or worse, halted. What do Jerry's kids think of "the events of the day?" RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
7/19/2009
As one of Jerry's kids, in this community, I will drop my guard to share some info. I was very influenced by Jerry. And as he was he not born of primodial mud, I myself loved and enjoyed Jerry. I have always been a free soul. I did College Radio associated with the founder of the Marshfield station where Jerry's daughter started. This is 1970's early 80's. I did College Radio for four years. I was driving some of the vanguard of new music, and went so over the top in all areas that I went under attack. Learning from Jerry that you have to communicate something, I did it with music, did it well, and to this day my programming stands. The messages were valid. You call it as you see it whether you youself like it or not. Keep your ethics and principles. I had my phone tapped. I was followed around by strange cars, stopped by police in my own driveway had ex girlfriends interviewed, and the worst information they got extracted was that on occasion I liked to play my dulcimer. All I can say is THANKS JERRY! RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
7/16/2009
Unfortunately in today's radio world very few know how to perform for radio like Mr Williams did. Very few who have the gift and even the brains to carry subjects for days on end.............. I could my blessings that I lived in a time where I heard Mr Williams on several stations. Thank you Mr Williams, thank you. JAMES from
BOSTON, MA
7/5/2009
I listened to the Grace Queen of the Cockemamies clips over and over and all I can ask is are there more? What great radio theatre. Grace, with her voice out of the elderly, was actually very sharp and a comedic (diminished definition) genius. A respite for Jerry from Mayor Collins or White or whoever, or whatever. The element of humanity and the poking of fun at illogical or irrational people played 3x in the Grace/Jerry parlayances put perspectives on issues in a comedic light. And it was GREAT RADIO! Maybe Grace was actually a 25 yo up and coming talent. Probably not. But she was great and if Jerry and Grace took that act on the road they both could have gotten out of the business. There is an open window for someone to find their way in and renew converstion, theatre, humanity and entertainment. Otherwise, I fear radio will become 24 hour shopping network. As it exists it may as well be. RICHARD from
MILFORD , MA
7/1/2009
Would anyone like to go out of the business with me? RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
6/21/2009
Hi, all. Eve Williams, here. Just reading all the posts on this Father's Day 2009. Thanks for sharing your stories, and I'm glad many of you enjoyed the book. I'm so grateful to Alan Tolz & Steve Elman who did YEARS of painstaking research to keep his memory, life, and career alive in Burning Up the Air. To Kerry who posted on March 19, 2009, I am the daughter who was on the Marshfield station. My "air name" was (and still is) Taylor Morgan. If you still wish to contact me, my email is taylor@southfloridadines.com. Thanks again for the great posts, and Happy Father's Day, DAD!! EVE from
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
6/10/2009
I called a talk station today. A fellow who was suspended for his speech. I went to his defense with his bosses,E-mailed them and wherever I could, I went through the media to bring him back. Today I called him. His callscreener screened me out, so full of himself,he denied me access. He wants to know what EXACTLY you are going to say. What, is there no room for fluid conversation? God do I miss Jerry and making a call and having him pick it up and simply saying Hello! This is Jerry! RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
6/2/2009
This is for Alan Tolz and his co-author. You guys wrote a magnificent book. Jerry finally got his "dinner!" I can help clear up an issue for the paperback. In Atlanta for the Democratic convention I spent about 90% of my free time with Jerry and did the radio show almost every day. I don't remember Howie Carr, but maybe he was there when I wasnt. Paula O'Connor was the producer. Anyway, one day in the hotel lobby Larry King walked over as we were having a drink. King had a gorgeous blonde on his arm (as always!)and couldn't have been warmer toward Jerry. Jerry introduced us and King, without being asked, offered up the fact that he owed his career to Jerry Williams. King told the story that when he was offered a late-nite national radio show that he called Jerry up on the phone. Jerry said that at the time he worked in Miami. Jerry, King related, urged him to take the show even though the hours were pretty bad (very late-nite). King stated that he listened to his pal (Jerry) and that the rest is history. Remember, Jerry did not ask King to tell this story. I have no axe to grind with King or anyone else who tells a different story. But I was there...and that is what Larry King said in 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Duke's convention. As for Howie Carr...he owes Jerry his career; he knows it and doesn't deny it. So, as Jerry would say, "not a bad guy!" MARTY from
YORK, ME
6/1/2009
Cool site. ROB from
BROOKLINE, MA
5/18/2009
I almost forgot...my favorite Jerry Williams story. I had spent much of the week of the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta with Jerry and his producer. I covered the Duke for the old Boston Ledger I bet Jerry dinner that Dukakis would lose the election even though he was 17 points ahead of Bush coming out of the convention (I had some good sources inside the Duke's campaign and knew about the disarray from the inside. Jerry took the bet...and lost. We ended up at Joe Tecce's in the North End. Dinner was fun and especially so for me seeing as Jerry was going to pay. Just about when the bill came a guy sitting at the bar walks over to our table. Jerry looks up at the guy who looked like his name was Cheech and said,"Please, just don't hurt me!" The guy looks at Jerry and says, "I listen to youse on the radio every day. I love you. I'm picking up your check! Its my pleasure. I wouldn't hurt you!" Jerry breathes a sigh of relief, smiles and gets out of paying for our dinner. MARTY from
YORK, ME
5/18/2009
When I was editor of the Boston LedgerI became friendly with Jerry Williams. We would meet for dinner in the North End from time to time and I often was a guest on the show. Jerry was really a pussycat when you got to know him. I think of him often these days when there is so much that needs to be said and so few who are able to say it. I don't miss much in Boston...but I miss Jerry. MARTY from
YORK, ME
5/4/2009
Susan, I read your note, and thought. I feel that I am an over contributor to this site. However; Your dad was great, greatly loved, and his influence is all over the place. I heard of his passing the same day that the old man in the mountain in New Hampshire collapsed. and somehow I thought the events were related. No person is larger than life though, and we are all just humans,or supersouls. It opens lines to discussion,but I think your dad was a super soul, and as much as we all mourn his passing, he still vibrates. He lives in the radio we hear today, even if it is subpar to your Dads standards All I am saying is that your father is still alive all around us so take heart, he has a lot of kids. RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
4/30/2009
It was six years ago yesterday that my dad passed away. I remember that by the time I left the hospital and got to my hotel room, it was already announced on the radio. I don\\\'t think I realized how important he was to New England. Thank you to all of you who leave your memories of him, I enjoy reading them. SUSAN from
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
4/25/2009
I just revisited this site, and listened to over an hour of audio clips. This is a treasure trove for students and historians. Students of broadcasting; as well as students of culture, would benefit from this resource. I would not say I lol, or say woo hoo, but they do not make them like that anymore. The screaming shows of today do not compare to the Dean, and his manner or style. Jerry could take the softball and hit a hardball, or vice versa. Jerry could talk with a caller for longer than the industry standard today of 90 seconds, without interrupting the caller because the host's toast popped up, limiting a caller to 20 seconds. He did it without having controlling call screeners making it difficult to have free flow of communication. And yes he did it his way. Visitors to this site really should mine the audio clips section. If it is not just a walk down memory lane, it is an archeological intellectual dig. Thanks for the site guys. RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
3/28/2009
I have rewired and realize how much I like this site, and all of it's contributions. An earlier contribution mentioned Larry Glick and we know now we have lost him. It is sad but Larry had a good life and now he can follow Jerry, Walking and Whisteling, as his opening song. That tune is so dumb and inane only Larry could laugh louder than ourselves, and I am sure that he did,and he and Jerry are at the Jack And Marions in the sky, making their next moves and we should all look forward to it because they were always up to some good provactive stuff. If it doesn't happen Hey RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
3/12/2009
I just happened on this site, and have enjoyed the memories. I was introduced to Jerry in the 70's, and followed him for his many years in Boston. Reading Michael's post from Boston I realized that I had listened to that Saturday broadcast. By then Jerry had lost his daily show, and was on only on weekends on a weaker station. It seemed to an outsider that some of those he had helped had betrayed him. The sadness came through the radio. After Jerry left talk radio became something else. It was nolonger the melting pot of ideas it had been when Jerry, Gene,David ,et al held court on WRKO, each giving a slightly different perspective on the day's issues. The new talk radio seems angrier, and rigidly focused on one political philosophy. A badly tilted shadow of what it once was. Yes, Jerry is badly missed. (Especially in the spring when he used to doe the "sex survey".) By the way I believe that his daughter worked on a Marshfield station for a while. I would like her contact information, so I could thank her for something Jerry did that helped me a lot. KERRY from
DUXBURY, MA
3/7/2009
In 1998 or '99, while living in Duxbury, I stopped at the KFC just off Exit 9 of Route 3 in Kingston. It was mid-afternoon. After submitting my take-out order, I turned to look out the window and noticed the only other people in the place, a youngish blonde woman and an elderly, dapper man. It was Jerry! (I am 60 and grew up listening to Jerry, Woo-Woo and the WMEX crew. My late father was a HUGE fan). I walked over to Jerry and said "Hey, you finally got a dinner!" Jerry looked up me for a moment with a vacant look in his eyes and then went back to eating, without saying a word. The woman had a stricken look. The 5 minutes while I waited for my order seemed much longer. It was one of the most profoundly sad experiences of my life. Having just finished "Burning up the air", I felt compelled to share this vignette. Thank you for the wonderful book! RICK from
GREEN HARBOR, MA
3/4/2009
I need to be apolagetic in following in my own heels. I was looking for other ruminations, but since there are none, maybe I can supply more. I need to get the book, but I loved Jery's story about the Malcom X bomb threat at the old Hotel Bradford. I was not there, but heard second hand what went down. It was serious stuff for Jerry, and in those years I partook in Demo's and saw J Edgars guys in their blues brothers suits taking my picture, in post Kent State protests. I think Jerry got Gov opped, to deny a forum to malcom x in those smart old gov op days; and it worked. I believe Jerry made the exhalted Nixon enemies list, and this must have pleased him, but disturbed him because this was not the country he thought that he lived in. Far from me for being the great psychologist in this matter, one must understand that Jerry was a John Kennedy democrat,only to be locking horns with Ted in the great " I have been listening to your dribble ." interview w Ted, and his Chivas Regal.No better time to get out of the business. I heard it live and thought Jerry was intimidated. It was not Jerry at his best, but he stayed a JFK democrat, and could take on Ted and Dukakis. Why? because Jerry was a man of priciple, not alliances. Who knows how his heart broke as he stayed true and fought for his principles? We need more men and women like that. RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
3/1/2009
Although Jerry was on the right side of the Vietnam debacle, The caller lamenting about abuse in war conduct, replayed over and over has long been debunked as a phony. It was a tearjerker story, but made up in that drug ridden age. Jerry got duped, and though as I recall, he would not mind being insulted, he did not like being duped. So erase that crying vietnam vet who never went to vietnam. He was a cockamamie, and should be eliminated from anyones fond memories of the greatest Jerry moments. Greatest Jerry moments? Aside from getting out of the business, how about his great retort that he was just a door and window salesman? I understood his passion and frustration,and we are all going through it all of the time. RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
2/23/2009
I was 11 years old when I heard Jerry interview Malcolm X on the old WMEX. I remember in the morning asking my father who Malcolm X was and why was he so mad? It was an unveiling to a social awareness and a talk show junkie was born. I followed Jerry's career throughout and always looked upon him as vox populi. He was always willing to tackle the most difficult and controversial issues and in so doing stirred the consciousness of a nation. I still have cassette tapes of his interviews with Mark Lane on WBZ in in the early 70s and I forsook television to hear him nightly hammer away about Richard Nixon and Watergate. He was right! During the 80s, I was a salesman on the road and locked in to Jerry from 2-6 on WRKO. His battle to repeal the seat belt law is legendary and once again he was right. He repeatedly warned that it would be used as a way, for law enforcement, to gain easier access to its citizens. How many states now have the seat belt laws as a "primary enforcement" violation? A visionary, a leader and a master of words, I am so glad I found this site and will order the book today. RIP Dean...and THANK YOU... RAY from
VENICE, FL
2/23/2009
I was looking forward to reading your book - but I found myself enjoying it even more than I expected! The amount of research you guys did was amazing. I found myself reliving not only Jerry's career, but also reliving the great events and personalities of those amazing years. This should be a required textbook - students could gain such a feel for the period by reading this book - there is a connection with some of the major players of that era that so come to life because of Jerry's connection with them - Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., George McGovern, etc. The 'truth' of the Vietnam caller was fascinating to hear about. Jerry would occasionally play the tape years after it took place. It was certainly a powerful, haunting testimony. Thanks again for a powerful, insightful examination of the life and times of Jerry Williams. ROB from
FRANKLIN, MA
2/17/2009
I believe I talked w you on jimmy meyers show last year. Great show! I do not recall if it was 57 or 59 when I first discovered Jerry.I had a rocket radio under my pillow and the sputnick had passed overhead and I was a curious child. A true information junkie, and there was no better way to be introduced in that age than to listen to Jerry, For the local introduction of this is where you live. Jerry invented talk radio with the 7 second delay. Before that it was a too risky situation and could not be done. When I was 9 years old I had a paper route and would talk with the retired old buzzards who grew up in the 1800's.They lit the gas lamps and leveled the dirt roads.I would not trade those conversations for anything. In this day and age, one fears a wink would prompt a lawsuit. Jerry was another insight to another age and illuminated with his manner, style, and wit. I called him when I was 14 yo and he rebuked me because of my age. He said "call back when your voice changes." Well, I went at him with the first touch button phones in the area, knowing the 7 second delay, and made his life hell for a while and even thought I sent him to Chicago. He said that people called him and said that they have been trying to get through for years, and here I was on every other call. The irony is that he was so far ahead of me, I loved his shows,and I was so far ahead of him that we could not find common ground. It is good to come clean after all of these years. I suppose any statutes of limitaion have run out, and being as scrappy as Jerry was, he can forgive a scraapy kid, and have a good laugh too. You may use these anecdotes in any future tributes. Long live the dean1 RICHARD from
MILFORD, MA
1/31/2009
I've just finished this great biography of Jerry Williams. Man, I hear his voice so distinctly that it really brings him back for me. You guys have truly captured on the page the essence of this interesting and talented man. I wish we could have spoken before it went to print though so I could have added a few JW stories to the mix. I was his union representative between 1996 and 2000 -- and remained in touch with him until his last days. We had him host an AFTRA celebration of our historic non-compete legislation -- that freed Massachusetts broadcasters from suffering the fate of having to sit out of a job that he suffered when he moved to WBZ. He hosted the dinner -- and we didn't cut him off. He was as clever and funny as your book suggests he would be -- and with no time limit he even got to throw in a few old jokes. Thanks again, guys, for this appropriate biography of the great man of talk. ASHLEY from
ROSLINDALE, MA
1/27/2009
two things i remember about jerry..when a mic would pop the p's and the early warnings of the big dig. TED from
RALEIGH, NC
1/18/2009
Any three radio personalities you could pick from today's talent pool combined could not match the capability of Jerry. He not only had talent, he discovered and promoted it in others. He was also a gifted pitchman as well...who can forget the spot for the no-name restaurant "Oris Onama!" But my own favorite spot was for a Hundai dealer...as he mentioned the Sonata you could hear Old Blue Eyes singing New York, New York.... "That's Sonata..NOT Sinatra! That model is still around and I always think of Jerry when I hear it MATT from
ALBANY, NY
12/31/2008
Cool site. PAT from
NEWTON CENTRE, MA
12/26/2008
I used to so look forward to Jerry's reading of A Child's Christmas in Wales. For me it was another Christmas tradition that really captured the essence of the season. He was the Dean indeed and I miss him dearly. WILL from
BOXBOROUGH, MA
11/26/2008
I used to listen to Jerry late in his show to here the \\\"turnover\\\" to Larry Glick. I was in my teens so I don\\\'t know why I got hooked up with WBZ but I did. I was fascinated with Glick but always loved the two talking to each other before Jerry ended his show. I even remember a time or two that the discussion got a little heated! Soon I began to tune in earlier to catch more of Jerry\\\'s shoe. Thanks for the memories! TOM from
LONDON ONTARIO CANADA (THEN), MI
11/11/2008
I used to listen to Jerry while commuting back and forth to Villanova University in the mid to late '70s. Jerry was on WWDB 96.5 FM, the first all talk FM station in the country. Bob Grant followed him and they made great radio. The only syndication back then was overnight, the daytime hosts were broadcasting from that city. WWDB also had Wynn Moore, Sid Mark, Irv Homer, Bernie Herman, Ken James (Wynn's brother), Jay Tuner (one of the 1st African-American talk hosts), Frank Ford, Stan Majors, to name a few. But Jerry, Bob Grant, and Irv Homer were the anchors of a great classic talk station. Looking forward to reading the book on Jerry. Today we're stuck with syndicated talk shows and it's just not the same. MARC from
PHILADELPHIA, PA
11/7/2008
Commuting from Boston to Marshfield I was tired of the same music stations. I flipped to AM and found a gentleman debating with an older woman. I think he called her an old biddy. I never stopped listening to Jerry after that. To this day, I am a talk show junkie. God Bless Jerry. We miss him. How outraged would he be today with the Big Dig and these bailouts! Karen KAREN from
MARSHFIELD, MA
10/16/2008
When I was 18, I got my first car... with an AM radio only. I would get hooked on Talk radio for the rest of my life and Jerry Williams was the central figure in that addiction. Jerry was so influential in my life, I really miss him. ERIC from
ANDOVER, MA
6/21/2008
My earliest memory of Jerry was seeing my father sitting by the radio listening on WMEX. I remember thinking that it was a pathetic old man thing to do. I was probably about ten years old. Now I'm in my fifties and longing for the days when Jerry was at WRKO and my father and I would often talk about "the issues of the day". My father told me how he went up to the studio at WMEX to complain to Jerry about having Malcom X on the show one night in the sixties and how Jerry explained that it was important for the puplic to hear it so they could make their own judgements. My oldest daughter was born on a weekday at 2:04 in the afternoon, the moment that Jerry would be signing on at WRKO("Hello New England this is Jerry Williams"),I always wanted to hear that show. Having this web site is great and I've lisened to hours of the clips. I'm hoping, with ever advancing technology, that we could have access to all the recordings. Can you put up the last show at WRKO when Jerry made the Saturday appearance? jb JOSEPH from
HANOVER, MA
6/19/2008
My memories began when my father drove myself and 2-3 other student to/fro high school (Billerica to St John's Danvers). During that 50 minute ride over 4 years, I became hooked as a 13 year old. And continue to listen to Carr religiously. Great book (particularly since I knew nothing of his pre 83 career). The guy was a risk taker in more ways than one. Well done. fav memories: Pat Buchanan interviews, The Governors' with Howie and Barbara, "They're out there" comments, "I'm getting out of the business!" PHIL from
STOUGHTON, MA
4/18/2008
What a great book... you captured the parts of Jerry that I knew, and illuminated the parts I didn't. Made it easy to love and respect a flawed man (and since I'm a flawed man... gave me hope). I just finished a 40 year career... essentially on the road all over the US. Could never have made it without the company and education provided by Jerry Williams and those who followed him. I heard Boortz when he was doing WRNG in Atlanta, and the whole WWDB gang in PHL. Bob Grant at WOR and WABC, and Rush Limbaugh before he was Rush Limbaugh.. You brought back so many fine memories. Thank you for telling the story, and telling it so artfully. Literally could not put it down. You guys were him. And thank you, and all the other guys behind the scenes who made it possible. My life has been made so much better by your work. DAVE from
GLOUCESTER, MA
3/18/2008
What can be said about the most influential radio talk host who has ever graced the most politicly charged and active audience in the nation.jerry will alway's be remembered for his democratic activisim {small "d"}.It made no difference what your political or social bent was,if you were a bubblehead you were exposed as such and god help those who thought they could put one over on "the peoples governor".From the state budget to the hacks that still foul the air of this wonderful state,he took them all on.Howie Carr and Barbara Anderson as well as others owe their careers to the man who had no fear yet was a fine family man and gentleman.Howie and Barbara have carried the torch well for us since jerry's passing,here's hoping they pass his passion and honesty on to the next "voice of the people" I trust they will....One of jerry's favorite lines,"Fee's and fines are FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRR.god bless him,he is truly missed. PAUL from
GARDNER, MA
3/16/2008
I remember teenage years visiting WMEX all night on weekends and sitting inside after midnight watching Larry Glick & Steve Fredericks. I soon started listening to Jerry and followed a lot of Vietnam discussion through the years though I was in the Army myself from 68 to '71. Jerry brought a lot to the table in discussion, a fearless determination to root out issues like so few do today. Given the state of Boston radio in 2008 of late no talk show host today nor in the last few decades with possibly two exceptions comes even close to Jerry's format and style. The Smith Street, Roxbury matter and King Arthur's stories were a true magnificent piece of radio work. I cant imagine any Boston host today even coming close to what Jerry accomplished. My God, these duds couldn't find their neon shoes in the dark. Thanks for the memories Jerry, you are greatly missed. JAMES from
BOSTON, MA
3/7/2008
I called Jerry more than 20 years ago, trying to convince him that yogurt on his baked potato would be a healthy substitute for sour cream. He was not convinced. That was the one and only time I ever called a talk radio show despite the fact that I am still hooked on talk radio. I think I still have recordings of his show from those years when Steve Sweeney was a regular, appearing as Mayor White from the "SCHITTY" of Boston. His presence, daily, was a distraction through many difficult times in my life. He made me laugh, he made me think, he made me care. I still think of him often. MARY from
EXETER, NH
10/30/2007
Jerry got me hoooked on Dylan Thomas...and I remember driving out to New Braintree from Wakefield to see what the issue was regarding the prison..it was a big deal to travel so far when I was in early twenties....I can still remember the gal back then saying we are going where and cause of a radio show..now that I live in Worcester I am there all the time and I think of Jerry:>) Do the audio\\\'s work for others? I can\\\'t get them to work PAUL from
WORCESTER, MA
10/28/2007
Hello to all of Jerry's family. I only discovered this wonder website this evening. I was one of the first women talk show hosts first on WEEI beginning in 1972, and then on WMEX during the mid-1970s, doing the 10 AM to 2 PM shift. Jerry's show followed mine -- and he was always helpful, courteous and funny! I particularly loved his show business guests and his comedian friends. I don't believe he ever said a cross word to me or gave me the impression that he thought I didn't belong in the business. I last spoke with him in the 1990s on a day in which he had former TV and radio anchorman Ted O'Brien on the show. I had moved on to a position with LoJack Corporation as their Radio Advertising Manager and was doing spot commercials for that company. In the past few years, my husband and I moved to the West Coast -- specifically the Portland, Oregon area. I am 68 years old now, and still volunteer for the PBS station in this area, Oregon Public Broadcasting, where I interview authors and celebrities. Jerry, you will always remain in my memory as a kind and friendly guy. Thanks to your family, I was able to hear your sweet voice tonight, and I hope you are still broadcasting from some studio somewhere -- because we all know performers need an audience, wherever they are! Affectionately, Ellen ELLEN from
BEAVERTON, OR
7/31/2007
The radio shows of Jerry Williams will long be remembered by generations of listeners. I was a loyal listener for all his years in Boston, but I also "had a life". He was a master of knowing what the underlying motives of the callers were. And he took them to task and exposed their true prejudices and hypocrisies. He entered varied topics and generated every emotion from a large spectrum of listeners. Jerry not only did political topics, his comedic shows were hilarious, especially when he had on "guest politicians" who were actors taking stands on ridiculous inane subjects. Jerry may have riled management and Politicians but he hit home with the issues, trying to illicit public response, which probably further riled the officials. He certainly was tenacious on governmental issues, but equally passionate on all the subjects he covered. He had a great variety of topics but it was all "entertainment!" His voice was unique and recognizable. I remember asking my friends "did you hear Jerry yesterday, it was great!". I for one, miss him, the show and the variety of subjects he covered. I hope he "had a dinner" waiting for him wherever he ended up. RUANE from
WALTHAM, MA
7/31/2007
Jerry Williams filled the night air with wit, sarcasm and intelligence. And I loved every minute of his shows. I was raised in Walpole, Massachusetts, and Jerry is the reason I went into broadcasting. I'd hear him talk to callers, and begin asking questions, gently at first, and then just a bit more probing, until...BOOM...the caller admitted hating African-Americans or Jews or the Irish or whatever. Williams was one of the best at interviewing guests as well. Years later, while I was a student at Curry College, I went into downtown Boston with a friend, and went into a Brigham's on Boylston Street and there he was. He was with a young girl...I think it might have been her daughter...and I was in awe. I didn't bother him...and as he left he said "Ready to go home Angela, my Baby Bunny?" His voice, that unmistakable voice rang loud and clear in that shop. And for me, it was like meeting the Ted Williams of broadcasting. Because of Jerry I began work in radio in 1976. My career has taken me from radio, to television, and back to radio for a short time. I hosted a talk show on a 50-thousand watt AM radio station in North Carolina...and for me it was a dream come true. And I was fired after about four months on the air. I learned something. It's a tough job...and damn it...that Williams guy made it sound so easy. Anyway, I continue to work in this business, with not a nickle to my name and no regrets. Broadcasting is one helluva roller-coaster ride, and I've loved it for more than 30 years. Thank you Jerry Williams. MIKE from
MEMPHIS, TN
4/2/2007
Jerry was a bundle of energy and excitement, and was the one undisappointing joyful voice on the radio dial. To miss tuning in any day was to miss the total scoop of the day politically speaking! Jerry was the tireless dean of results oriented citizens advocacy regardless of party linnings or labels. Along with other radio luminaries and iconoclasts like Gene Burns (while in Boston), Howie Carr and Barbabra Anderson, Jerry made living in Boston really absolutely unforgettable! JAMAS from
NEW YORK, NY
4/1/2007
grew up listening to him... remember the Malcolm X interviews..... listened as an adult--- advertised on his program and met him.... a professional and the last of a breed... JOHN from
BOSTON , MA
3/19/2007
A CD of Jerry's times on talk radio would be nice, is there any business that has one for sale to the public? Secondly, an audio clip of Jerry at the time of the Smith Street Roxbury event of police arresting the wrong wanted man, especially troubling since the description did not meet the arrested man's characteristics by a long shot and the subsequent $25M court verdict for the family which Mayor Flynn decided to pay......the audio clip of that time when one of the Boston PD officers, who in a book by Quincy lawyer is seen laughing.....and Jerry calling him to account for the apparent laughter........this was a high moment for Jerry and WRKO. JAMES from
BOSTON, MA
3/7/2007
I was 13 years old in 1958 and living in Arlington, Ma. when my Mother got me hooked on listening to Jerry William. Every night I would take my transistor radio to bed and put it under my pillow to listen to Jerry. Many nights I would stay with him till he went off the air at 1:00 A.M. Needless to say I was tired the next day at school. I can still remember the closing song, "I'll See You In My Dreams", sung by a woman. Listening to Jerry going at it with phone callers became a bit of an addiction for me. In the 1980's I went to a seatbelt rally he and Gene Burns held at Fanuel Hall. Once, while eating at The Stage Deli, which for a short time occupied a spot across the street from the Wang Theater, my wife and I spotted him eating at a table with a young lady across from us. We were tickled pink to see him in person. He had that kind of sway over people. Earlier, in 1967, I even remember taking my then girlfriend, who's now my wife, to sit and watch Jerry at his old WMEX Studio when he was on the air in the late evening, when that was allowed. I continued listening to Jerry often through the years, right up until WRKO took him off the airwaves. I have many fond memories of him. I miss him. Radio isn't what it once was without him. DAVE from
NASHUA, NH
2/24/2007
I got my first radio when I was 15, and used to sneak it under my pillow to listen to The Dean. My earliest memory was Jerry's Second Anniversary show, on WMEX in 1959, and it was great when he returned to Boston on WBZ, and later, WRKO. After almost 50 years of listening others on talk radio, my opinion is no one has ever came close to equalling his talent. The Audio Clips here are such a treasure; thanks for making them available. HENRI from
QUINCY, MA
2/23/2007
I was a heartsick teenager growing up in the 60's in Weyouth, MA. WMEX and Jerry were my late night companions over my new transistor radio (with earphones!) in my bedroom at 1AM. The sign off song was always "I'll see you in my dreams". A great memory, unfaded over these many years. Thanks, Jerry - always - I'll see you in my dreams. LLOYD from
RENO, NV
2/20/2007
Hey all, I'm Jerry's daughter, Eve. I just want to let you all know how much it means to me to know what an impact my father made on people even almost 4 years after his passing. You're right...he was simply the best. Listening to talk radio these days, there's only one person that even comes close to what my father did, and that's Glen Beck. I love his theatrics, wit, passion, and ability to pull you in and make you not want to leave the car until he's done and onto the next subject. Less than a handful of broadcasters can actually do that. Dad was one of them and I'm glad that so many of you think so too. Don't forget to click on the Audio Clips link. There's some really good stuff there that will bring back great memories. If you're an AOL user and you're having trouble downloading the audio, try using use Internet Explorer instead. A little about me, I'm Jerry's eldest and I have been in broadcasting since 1987 when Dad bought WKBR in Manchester, NH. I now go by the name "Taylor Morgan". I recently left radio to produce and host a TV show about dining & entertainment in South Florida which is in conjunction with my website. I own South Florida's most successful dining website which I launched in 2001. Without Dad's help in that venture, it would never have happened. Please log onto my website at www.southfloridadines.com/asp/tv.asp and click on "Meet Your Host". Thank you all for writing. I love reading your comments. And in the immortal words of Jerry Williams... "Good night, good luck, good night T." ("T" was my Mom, Terri) EVE from
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
1/29/2007
I used to listen to Jerry on WBBM Chicago Back in the 60's. This was a turbulant time and I remember a neigborhood in Chicago, I think it was called Cicero was being integrated. Jerry would go out on the streets and interview the people that were demonstrating against it being integrated and the hate that they demonstrated as they were being interviewed. I was about 16 at the time and it made a impression on me. TOM from
RICHMOND HILL, GA
1/13/2007
Chris, from N. Hollywood, CA is a buddy of mine. I,like so many,listened to Jerry surreptitiously in the early years when he was at\\\'MEX. Jerry Williams sold me more books than anyone I know--\\\"A Childs\\\' Christmas...\\\"; \\\"Holocaust\\\" (by Paul Benzaquin, about the Coconut Grove fire); \\\"Anti-intellectualism in American Life\\\"; \\\"Future Shock\\\".Quality material, no? These,of course, as a result of Jerry\\\'s expert interviews with the authors. I only try to emulate his techniques during my own on-air interviews now. I did not try to call in in those days, I was under 21. But I did visit \\\"Bob Lee\\\'s \\\'Islander\\\'\\\" with my girlfriend at the time. It was as great an experience as Jerry had promised during his mouth-watering descriptions of the place for commercials. I wrote a letter describing our wonderful dining experience, but never heard a word from Jerry. Years later, I met a friend who said he had heard Jerry read my letter on the air as a fresh ad for Bob Lee\\\'s! I remember seeing the picture on the front page of the \\\"Record-American\\\", the morning after some upset pol came into 70 Brookline Ave., and punched Jerry in the nose for what Jerry had said about the pol! Overall, Jerry was totally unique, totally classy,extremely well-read, and had the ability to grab and keep the attention of listeners. Remember the times when he dcided not to take calls, and could ad-lib about anything and everything for literally hours at a time? And he kept those tirades, soliloquys, and monologues at a caliber and pace that kept us glued to the radio hour after hour. He was, and will remain, simply the best. KEVIN from
WEYMOUTH, MA
1/11/2007
I think during these days with whats going on in Iraq, it would be so fitting to hear the famous interview jerry did with a vietnam veteran home from the war describing his feelings and experiences there. that interview should be preserved in an archive and played every year.i cal it looking inside the heart of a veteran. God Bless, RANDY from
LIMINGTON, ME
12/22/2006
"Gerree. It's bizaaahrre, Gerree." "...you're calling from where?...everybody's gotta be from somewhere." Gerry was The Gold Standard. And few on the air today can begin to measure up (a possible exception, Air America's Randi Rhodes). A fellow WJIB broadcaster told me his greatest career compliment was he "sounded a little like Jerry." Remember "amateur" comedian Fridays--with such contributors as an Andover young man, Jay Leno? One show had callers imitating Reverend Moon; then Johnny Most. Then..."why not imitate Johnny Most IMitating Reverend Moon?" And it went from there. Jerry came closest to that proverbial status of being "able to read the phone book" and command our attention--with Gerry it was often a Globe editorial at the show's opening. Finally, a sweet memory was Gerry saying goodbye to a fellow broadcaster who was having his last show; "Gene, it's important that you know I love you." Two grown, straight men--real Broadcasters--taking the English language and giving us emotions that linger now over decades. CHRIS (CHRISTOPHER) from
NO. HOLLYWOOD, CA
12/18/2006
I traveled in and around the greater Boston area and back home to NH for most of the 80s and one of the things I enjoyed the most was hearing: "Hello New England, this is Jerry Williams" each day at 2:00. When he first came back to Boston it was six days a week! I'm so glad I found this website and once again saw the names of "Queen Grace," Steve Sweeney, the governors, etc. I loved the digs at King Kevin, Michael the Good, Teddy, and the rest. Mostly, I have felt bad for and wondered about, for years, what ever happened to Paul, who got sacked for the spoof on Kevin White. I am glad to have read his thoughts on this page. I'm also glad to know that he and Jerry were able to maintain their friendship. I remember how upset Jerry sounded when speaking about Paul on the air the next day. Thanks for this trip down memory lane, and Paul, I'm going to try to find out your Email address so I can personally wish you well. STEVE from
SOMERSWORTH, NH
12/15/2006
"This is Jerry Williams, at seven twenty forty eighty ..." Even after all these years the voice of 'The Dean of Talk Radio' still rings in my ears giving out the phone number when he worked on Boston's airwaves at WRKO. He'd often jokingly promote the fictional 'Jerry Williams Storm Door & Window Company' as part of his irascable wit, sarcasm and humor. One of my fondest memories is of an afternoon show, one in which it was apparent from the first he was stressing big time, he labeled the show as "Crank Call Day" ... something which he claimed befell him every year and a half to two years or so and, which prompted him to push the microphone aside and slide the chair he was sitting in away and walk out of the studio (you could hear all this happening live on the air)as the persons working the board placed a commercial or two on prior to his quick return. Oh sure, once or twice he put me in my place as he often did to others - deservedly so - but I still have fond memories of this fine host of the radio dial. CHARLES from
READING, MA
11/21/2006
I would enjoy on occasional fridays Jerry would have the listeners and callers going crazy with the man unofficial characters of Steve Sweeney PETER from
NEW PORT RICHERY, FL
10/12/2006
it was in 1986 in the summertime staying at my grandmothers.working outside by my car radio. i found that there was no good music on the radio and decided to check for the latest news and weather on a.m. usually just for a few minutes then back to music but this time it was 680 a.m. to stay forever... and with jerry, howie, barbara, and guests thats where the dial still sits today thanks to jerry... i was 22 then and 42 now and I owe my desire for knowledge in the world and local events to jerry and company forever grateful, in 1986 jerry gave me new things to talk about with my grandparents and girlfriend etc everyday so thanks for so so much david f. of marlboro ma oct 11 2006 DAVID from
MARLBOROUGH, MA
9/20/2006
We all miss Jerry greatly. His voice in these trying times would have been invaluable. ANTHONY from
SPRINGFIELD, MA
8/22/2006
I wish Jerry was alive to see the BIG DIG mess.....He would be having a field day! MARY BETH from
NEWTON, MA
5/27/2006
Does anyone know the theme music Jerry Williams used for years? It was a slow whistling piece. BILL from
SUTTON, MA
1/20/2006
It is a great honor to have the opportunity to say a few words. Like many, I was a college student during the Vietnam War and listened to Jerry on his 8-12PM show prior to Larry Glick. Jerry enlightened me on the foolishness of the war and on so many other issues, like seat belt laws, prisons in New Braintree, Gov Dukakis. I would be a rich man if I had a nickel for every hour I listened to Jerry. I was so happy that Jerry got his last show on WRKO soon before his death. That morning, I happened to be in Boston on business and heard of his passing that morning. I felt like I lost a family member. I recall hearing a replay of this last show which was a love fest from the listeners. Without his knowing, Jerry got to say "goodbye." What he did for generations of listeners, informing, entertaining and stimulating them cannot be underestimated. No one will ever have so much impact on talk adio and Boston radio. We miss you Jerry. HOWARD from
STAMFORD, CT
11/14/2005
Great Website to honor a terrific entertainer and a true american icon. Jerry would be happy to know that even in 2005, his memorable catch phrase of "theyre out there" still holds true. GIL from
FRAMINGHAM, MA, MA
8/8/2005
For years I listened to Jerry while making sales calls in New Hampshire. I even endured the static of RKO when Jerry reappeared after leaving New England. Even as a teenager I used to hear bits of Jerry even though I was more interested in listening to Arnie Ginsburg on WMEX. I loved Jerry because he pulled no punches and always told it like it was. When he got into one of his moods and would cut off one caller after another as soon as they said something that he thoughtr was dumb....it was hilarious. The sex surveys and the way he went after the mayor, Kevin White. I miss Jerry. There was and is noone like him. PAUL from
BERMUDA, BD
6/1/2005
NOW THAT DEEP THROAT HAS BEEN REVEALED, I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO HEAR JERRY'S THOUGHTS. JERRY ALSO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN BRINGING DOWN RICHARD NIXON! THIS WAS CONFIRMED BY JERRY'S NAME APPEARING ON NIXON'S "ENEMIES LIST!" HOW WE MISS JERRY'S WISDOM. REST IN PEACE, BUT WE'LL NEVER FORGET YOU! JAY from
RANDOLPH, MA
2/14/2005
Jerry was radio. I feel fortunate to have heard years of his broadcasts, knowing he was the best of them all. Thank God for Jerry Williams. JAMES from
BOS, MA
12/17/2004
I first heard Jerry on WBBM in Chicago. I would listen in amazement as he discussed the Kennedy conspiracy theories. Later, when I lived n Cambridge, I listened to Jerry, especially the summer of Ted Kennedy's troubles. He use to say a phrase quite often those summers in Boston, and end his shows with the phrase. I think it is appropriate to say it these days, more than ever: "Wake Up America". Jerry Williams, thank you, for entertaining and teaching. CHUCK from
CHICAGO, IL
12/12/2004
I will miss not hearing "A Child's Christmas in Wales" this year. I never heard anyone do as good a job as Jerry Willimas. Does anyone have an audio of it in an emailable format? I miss Jerry. Peace.. phoenix KEVIN from
SCITUATE, MA
12/3/2004
I'm saddened to hear of the passing of Jerry. I first listened to him (under my pillow) as an 11 year old when I lived in Rochester NY via WBZ at night. I learned my geography of Boston thru Jerry and BZ and even got to live there in the early 80's. Jerry helped form my early political views that I've carried with me into adulthood. After moving away, I always looked forward to listening to Jerry on RKO when we vacationed in Maine. The signal was usually very bad, but Jerry was always very entertaining. May God bless his soul. WES from
MONTROSE, IA
8/10/2004
I met Jerry when I was 24 years old, and had a very special friendship with him for over 36 years. He was a very special person in my life and I think about him on a daily basis. I only hope that his 3 daughters and their families are keeping alive his may memories, of which I have many!!! HARRIET from
SHARON, MA
7/26/2004
I had the honor of hearing him just a few times, but what a legacy he leaves behind. He paved his own road to success. He always seemed to encourage the best in the people. And to just plain have fun at what you do. Listening to him, you knew he loved what he did. I have been pursuing my own version of talk radio a pro wrestling talk show called Tap Out on a site in Las Vegas called LVROCKS.COM. People have said, "your nuts" and "wrestling?". But I feel I can make something special of it. Mr. Williams has inspired me to be my own original self. For the road he paved of which so many of us are traveling on, I thank him for all he has done and given to this industry. Shaun O'Mac Daily SHAUN from
LAS VEGAS, NV
5/10/2004
I am Jerrry Williams grandson. It is really great to look at all the people my grandfater touched through the radio. He really was a great man and "One Of A Kind". BILLY from
WELLINGTON, FL
5/1/2004
I remember Jerry from different spots on the dial. It was great when he made his comeback to Boston..."Did you hear me! I'm back!" Great radio. What a colorful guy. The Vietnam vet caller always sticks in my mind." By the way...I would love to buy the cd but can't link to it. SHANE from
LOWELL, MA
3/24/2004
I would like to say that i enjoyed working for Mr. Jerry Williams and his family. Mr.williams was a kind and generous man.and well like by his listeners all over new england.he bought so much enjoyment on his famous talk show program... no wonder he called him " DEAN OF TALK RADIO ".. one of a kind.. FRANCISCO from
ROSLINDALE, MA
3/10/2004
I met and worked with Jerry during the summer of 1955. I had just completed my freshman year at Villanova. A year later I left school and became Jerry's producer for his WIBG late nite issues oriented talk show. He was my mentor and taught me a lot over the years. At the same time he often came to me for advice. A wonderful friendship for nearly 50 years. JOHN from
RIDGEWOOD, NJ
2/8/2004
I was a faithful listener to the Dean and was saddened to hear of his passing. I especially loved his shows with guest, Steve Sweeney, and other comedians. Jerry had a wonderful sense of timing, "time-MING!" and intimately knew what listeners did not want, and that was to be BORED. Jerry had a unique way of bringing out of callers whatever it was that they may have been hiding or trying to keep from being obvious. This was particularly true with bigots, closet or otherwise. Jerry was a major influence on me and, likely, countless other broadcasters who could only hope to hold to such principled consistency and dedication to issues, people and radio. BILL from
SHOREHAM, VT
1/22/2004
There will never be another Jerry Williams. JERRY - YOU WERE RIGHT ABOUT THE BIG DIG!! You knew it was going to cost over 10 billion dollars when the state told us it was going to be 3 and a half at the most. To Jerry's daughters, I want to say thank you for lending us your dad all those years. Listening to him and Gene Burns was the equivalent of going to college - I AM NOT KIDDING. Being a 45 year old New Yorker myself, I always wanted to throw a big dinner for ex-New Yorkers, and have Jerry be the guest speaker. He is of my father's generation, and listening to him was like having my father around again. God bless Jerry's memory for all of us who enjoyed him so much. STEVE from
LEOMINSTER, MA
1/10/2004
In 1969 my family moved from California to Hull Ma. Hull was where my parents found a rental for 5 children and three dogs. We grew up without a lot of extra money-but one could always pick up WBZ on the soda machine, the payphones and sometimes we had the often mentioned transister radio under the pillow. I followed national politics thru his show on BZ and later the local concerns on RKO. After I married and moved to Vermont my kids would never understand why I would be so happy to sit in the car and listen to Jerry...it was always special to hear his shows. Later when he simucast with the Holyoke and Westfield radio stations I was very happy during my daily commute from Hampshire County back to Brattleboro Vt. I always wondered what it would be like to meet him in person-and the few times I would see him in public I chose to not interupt him. I admire the love for his daughters that he sometimes would talk about. I hope to be able to experience the same with my children as they grow older (they are teenagers and currently they think I should get out of the business..... God Bless Jerry Williams and God Bless America. JOSEPH from
RAWSONVILLE, VT
1/8/2004
I was intorduced to Jerry through my dad in the early 60's. I remember the first time I fell in love with talk radio: It was watching Jerry sitting at a table with a microphone talking to a small audience - and America. It was pure magic. I was fortunate enough to keep in touch with him through the years because of his friendship with my father which grew into a personal relationship as I got older. I loved sitting in the studio listening to this pro turn a semmingly nothing call into theater. My business is law but my love is talk radio and I had a chance to live out a dream when Jerry recommended me for a fill-in gig at WMEX. It turned into a weekend show and helped my professional career. The man was tough. I would hear, in no particular order, "Speak into the mic"; "Keep quiet and listen"; "Keep doing that and you'll drive me out of the business". All vintage Jerry. He never let me forget that he got me the show and suggested a small percentage of my legal fees would be a nice gesture. He also told me he was proud of the program. I'll miss his wit, the unexpected phone calls kvetching about something but most of all seeing him with my dad talk about wonderful times past. HARLEY from
NEWTON, MA
1/8/2004
Jerry is the man that got me into talk radio. When he used to be on WRKO from 2 to 6 pm in Boston back in the late 1980's, I used to listen to him in my car, while I was on my way to work.(second shift). A great man and a legend, with some great quotes "They're out there" and "Not a bad guy". ROBERT from
MEDFORD, MA
1/6/2004
I am so thankful that my parents brought me up in a house where talk radio was always on. They were fans of Jerry and would tell me stories from his WMEX days. I began listening to Jerry when he did the evening show on WBZ. I learned so much about history and politics from his show as I was coming of age as a young teenager. I can still hear him yelling, "Wake up America!" I also remember how proud he was of being listed in President Nixon's hate list. A very speical part of my listening night would also be when he turned to microphone over to Larry Glick and the banter they would sometimes have. I missed Jerry when he left Boston and was overjoyed when he returned to work at WRKO. His RKO show was differnet than how I remembered the "old" days at WBZ when Jerry was so passionate about national issues. The RKO show dealt more with local and state issues. Jerry was a constant thorn in the sides of so many local officials. I remember all the shows about Kevin White. One day in the early ྌ's I was astonished to hear Jerry say that "His Honor the Mayor" would soon appear on his show. I counted the days to hear the show. I knew having Mayor White on his show was going to be a tremendous show as they detested each other. Finally the day arrived. Jerry opened the show saying that "His Honor the Mayor" was in-studio and began the show. What followed was classic radio that I will never forget. Sure, it sounded like White but he sounded intoxicated or crazy or both! Callers had lined up to speak with the Mayor about serious issues and were answered by inane, bombastic comments. I must admit I thought it was White for a good half hour. Finally, it was apparent that it was an imposter but Jerry kept going with it and irate callers kept asking questions to "His Honor." Of course, the guest was not Kevin White but Steve Sweeney. I can still here the story of Katherine White and the mugger in the common. With Jerry it was never boring be it serious or light-hearted. I forgot about A Child's Christmas in Wales and I'd pick more daisies. I intend to purchase the CD for sure. I came to this site to get information about the dinner. I'd love to attend but cannot take that much money from my family budget. I do hope the dinner is videotaped as I would certainly purchase a copy. Jerry Williams never knew me but I knew him so well. He was a great man and I will always remember him fondly and with great respect. SHAWN from
NEWBURYPORT, MA
1/3/2004
Jerry was my mentor. He taught me to be a muckracker, a rabblerouser. The few times he had me on as a guest he expressed satisfaction in his training, as he heard of my anti-Dukakis Campaign. The last time I saw him was at The Taste of Boston at the Fleet Center. He immediately started talking about the corruption of the Big Dig. Nobody came close to Jerry in clinging to an issue until it bore fruit. Ask Dukakis. There has never been and probably never will be another radio tandem as Jerry Williams and Gene Burns. I gladly drove a long way, wearing my "I'm not a Hack", Jerry Williams T-Shirt, to honor him at his wake. The smile on his daughter’s face when she saw it, said it all. God bless you Jerry CHARLIE from
KINGSTON, NH
1/3/2004
It's been 8 months since my father passed away but I still feel as though he's here somehow....guiding me -- just as he did in life. I want to thank all of the people responsible for getting this website together and working to make the Greatest Moments CD a reality. The Dinner is going to be phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who shared your stories and for keeping my father's memory close to your hearts. At a later time, I'll share some stories of my own. Happy New Year. ~~Eve Williams PS to Charlie from Kingston: I remember that "I am not a Hack" tee shirt at the wake! Thank you for being there. EVE from
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
1/2/2004
When I first met Jerry, it was during what he called a "feeding frenzy" on Beacon Hill during the lame-duck session between outgoing Gov. King and incoming Dukakis. I was weaned on musical political satire from people like Phil Ochs, and had just written and recorded a tune based on Jerry's language entitled "Billy And The Boys". Security was actually tough then around Jerry, and I found myself at Boston's Government Center in the pouring rain on a pay phone with a cassette tape in my hand, looking up at the RKO studio and trying to get through. I got through. From then on, Jerry billed me as "Resident Folk-Singer Satirist" and I enjoyed the company of the likes of Steve Sweeny (for whom I recorded the "Sweeny For Mayor" theme with an actual marching band) and Billy West, who did a great Reagan voice, and a passable Jerry Williams imitation.."I'm getting OUT of the business"! Jerry was a delightful man who ran through the on air hours like a bull on the streets. Having worked with Chris and Alan as his producers.. two vastly different personalities, I learned that Jerry's attitude was simply to look whomever was in front him and say OK... LET's GO!... "Hello, New England...." He is greatly missed. PAUL from
MELROSE, MA
1/1/2004
It was during the 1950's that my father introduced me to non-music radio. During school breaks we would listen to Paul Harvey News. Staying in the Boston area after college my wife and I started listening to "talk radio";specifically to Jerry Williams. Memories range from Vietnam, to Watergate, "The Governors", Cosmo surveys, and the spoofs he periodically had on his Friday shows. The main thing that Jerry stood and fought for was our liberties in our U.S. Constitution. Because of Jerry we are still listening to "talk radio" and Paul Harvey News. Lastly, Jerry helps me cope with the phrase,"they're out there." PAUL from
GEORGETOWN, MA
1/1/2004
I was introduced to Jerry's show when I heard my parents talking about it. I was in high school and began listening on my transistor radio (turned down very low because my parents had told me to go to sleep!). Jerry was my introduction to the world of politics and debate and I will always be grateful to him for that. His humor, his passion, his honesty - these were gifts he gave freely to any who would listen. He was a man of integrity, and although I never had the opportunity to meet him face to face, I thought of him as a friend. AUSTIN from
CONCORD, MA
1/1/2004
In my early 30's I abandoned FM music for AM information. Quickly I latched onto Jerry Williams. I never went back, even though Jerry was unfortunately phased out. I miss him greatly, and never understood how his underling became his sucessor. I guess it was either motivated by politics or compensation. Regardless, the quality of drive-time radio was never the same. I also listened to his last broadcast. Thankfully Jerry was able to say good-bye to those of us who truly loved and appreciated his work over the years. STEVE from
MANSFIELD, MA
12/31/2003
Jerry was part of my radio experience for forty years. I first heard Jerry as a young adolescent in 1961 or ེ after the Arnie Ginsberg Night Train Show on WMEX. Yup, the transistor radio was beneath my pillow. I recall his passion for people being forced out of the old West End. I remember some of the Malcolm X interviews. And of course, Gracie--Queen of the Cockamamies. This was heady stuff for a kid from the suburbs. I also recall Larry Glick following him on WMEX. Later he was gone--off to Chicago. Then at the end of the sixties (when I was finishing high school/starting college)he was back in Boston on WBZ followed by Larry Glick again. I remember the first time I heard the Vietnam veteran's tape. Of course as an undergrad at B.U. I'd already taken part in a number of anti-war marches and building takeovers. I'm not sure if Jerry or I hated RMN more, but Jerry's opposition to the war surely was a factor in Westinghouse's getting rid of him. So for a few years (except for Brudnoy on the old WHDH) talk radio in Boston was sterile. Then Jerry was back on WRKO with the classic line up of Gene Burns, Jerry, and David Brudnoy. The sex survey's never did much for me, although the washing machine lady was wonderful. New Braintree, Prop 2 1/2, seatbelts, the "Governors" show are all memories. Then he was relegated to Saturdays--I missed him. Luckily, I caught the last show just before his death. He was truly unique, and I feel lucky to have listened for so many years. BOBBY from
LYNN, MA
12/26/2003
I fell in love with talk radio while attending college (in Boston) in the late 80's, early 90's. Listening to Rush, Gene Burns, David Brudnoy and (of course) Jerry Williams. Great radio is great theater of the mind and Jerry was a genius at setting the stage, delivering the lines and reeling me in. The first and last time I worked with Jerry, he was in a wheel chair, his pace slowed by time and illness. His personality was clearly in tact. He was every bit the intimidating, curious, thoughtful, brilliant person I listened to years ago. I helped produce his last show on WRKO this past year. At some point during the four hours, he said the calls (WRKO) and continued "WRKO...WRKO..wow...just to say that again." It was magical. I will always feel honored to have been there. RICHARD from
BOSTON, MA
12/26/2003
Here is the editorial I wrote about Jerry's passing. He is so missed. Editorial: The passing of an icon The Winchester Star Wednesday, April 30, 2003 http://www.townonline.com/winchester/news/opinion/win_ediwseditorial04302003.htm Radio will never be the same after the death of The Dean of Talk Radio, Jerry Williams, on Tuesday. For those of you who didn't know Williams, he ruled the Boston airwaves for the better part of four decades and was one of the founders of the talk radio format. At the height of his career, Williams was holding down the afternoon shift at WRKO, informing New England about the issues of the day. He pursued truth and justice for his listeners in a way that drove elected officials to their wits end. Most people believed Williams was a conservative because of his relentless attacks on former-Gov. Mike Dukakis and Democratic hacks on Beacon Hill. But in fact, Williams was a rare political breed - a unique combination of classic liberalism and populism seldom heard these days. He was one of the only talk radio hosts to stand against the Vietnam War or to interview black leaders like Malcolm X. President Richard Nixon had him on his enemies list and consumer advocate Ralph Nader was a regular guest over the years. So were strange callers like Grace, Queen of the Cockamamies, a crazy old lady who would call up and blather about nothing. And who could forget his annual week of sex survey shows during the summer. During the last recession, in 1991, Williams' show was a magnet of activity, as callers laid-off from their jobs freely talked about their frustrations. But as radio stations consolidated, Williams was pushed out of his job. The consultants said it was his age - nearly 70 - when he was bumped from his full-time gig. However, conversational, issue-based talkers were driven out of the business all across the nation, replaced by more "lifestyle" programming; shows that acted more like a mind-numbing distraction then the empowering call to action Williams offered listeners. His last fight was exposing cost overruns on The Big Dig. As it turned out, Williams was right - but very few people were listening. In 1996, The Dean was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, but he still joked that no one ever held a dinner for him. Sorry Jerry, we never did have that dinner for you. But thank you for everything you did for us. ANTHONY from
CONCORD, NH
12/19/2003
I was privileged to be Jerry's first Executive Producer when he returned to Boston in September of 1981 at WRKO. Jerry was at the top of his game and the program became Number One in the 2 - 6 PM slot instantly. On a day to day basis, Jerry Williams was a complete professional and exceptionally easy to work with. As one show that I produced – Jerry interviewing a person doing an audio caricature of Boston’s mayor at the time - was ending, the General Manager's secretary asked that Jerry and I come down to his office. As soon as I walked in I knew something was radically wrong. The General Manager was spouting that he wasn't going to lose his job for this and fired me for producing the show. To Jerry Williams everlasting credit he stood up and defended me. A few minutes later the General Manager saw me in the corridor as I was leaving and told me to tell Jerry that he "better show up for tomorrow's show or he would never work again." Jerry did what he could to get my job back but it was beyond him or anyone else. They needed a scapegoat and I was it. All this being said, I would not have traded one moment of the time I had producing Jerry Williams Program. I worked with the man who practically invented the medium of Talk Radio. If Milton Berle was considered "Mister Television", Jerry must be considered "Mister Talk Radio". The famous band leader Guy Lombardo who played in the new year for decades in New York City is quoted as saying that he would take New Year's Eve with him when he died. I am afraid Jerry did that with talk radio. He was the best at his craft and no one has been able to match his ability and pure showmanship. We remained friends through good times and bad to the very end and I miss his calls and boundless enthusiasm for the business he loved. At his passing it was if I had lost a member of the family. In fact, I did. May he rest in peace. PAUL from
MILTON, MA
12/17/2003
To listen Jerry on the air was a treat to the ears. To have the opportunity to work with him was a honor. One of the greatest moments in my radio career came on March 1, 2003 when Jerry invited me to join him in the studio as he returned to WRKO for what would be the last time. As I stood there silently in the studio watching him broadcast I knew I was experiencing a one-of-a-kind moment. Here was 'the man' who helped to create 'Talk Radio'. 'The man' who challenged the political elite. 'The man' who spoke with pushed the envelope until it ripped. Jerry... I thank you for all that you meant to radio and for all that you taught me and I'll always remember the words you said to me the first time I ran your board "If you can't be good, be loud". P.S. To Mel in Hopkinton... Thank you for being a great teacher. JIM from
LAWRENCE, MA
12/13/2003
I grew up in the sixties listening late at night, not to rock and roll, but to baseball games and talk shows. Talk radio fascinated me from an early age and no one kept me more entertained than Jerry. I followed him from WBZ to WRKO and places in between. At times I disagreed with his views - strongly. But he always kept my interest and motivated me to think. His greatest asset, in this host's humble opinion, was in interviewing celebs of all kind, making every interview interesting and compelling. And his sense of humor was unmatched. Whether complaining about "never getting that dinner," or getting under a politician's skin in a hurry, Jerry was able to make us all laugh, entertaining us in his inimitable style. During the last few years, I had the great pleasure and honor of meeting with Jerry at his home to conduct archival interviews. Over corned beef sandwiches, we'd sit, eat, schmooze and laugh as Jerry recalled with pinpoint accuracy what each and every guest was like, funny as well as very poignant moments. Jerry Williams was a great story-teller, something we miss nowadays on radio. The "Dean" moved me to pursue a career in this crazy business and I owe him a lot! JORDAN from
BOSTON, MA
12/11/2003
12/11/03 CHECKING THRU MY CAREER MEMORY BOOK I HAVE THOUGHT HOW FORTUNATE I HAVE BEEN IN WORKING AS PROGRAM DIRECTOR WITH SO MANY OF THE FINEST AND TALENTED PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY. JERRY WILLIAMS WAS TRULY OUTSTANDING MEL from
HOPKINTON, MA
12/5/2003
I first encountered Jerry as a result of my lengthy commute because I was sick of listening to music stations. What a revelation! As a result of this dynamic and creative man, my husband and I both became "talk radio addicts". We even followed Jerry to New Braintree to protest the building of a prison there. How good it felt to put words into action and to actually DO SOMETHING. That's what Jerry Williams did. He turned us into active thinkers! Because of Jerry, we still enjoy talk radio hosts who have followed in his footsteps every day. Thank you, Jerry Williams. You are missed!!! JOANNE from
HOLDEN, MA
12/4/2003
Jerry and I worked together for three years start- ing in 1958. We appreciated each other's talent and our love of boxer dogs. I played with his dog many times and it led me to owning a terrific boxer. A called once told Jerry she had met me a couple of day's prior and Jerry went on and on for an hour saying wonderful things about me and how Mac Richmond was less than honest with both of us. I remember Jerry with fond, pleasant memories. DONN from
PUNTA GORDA, FL
12/4/2003
I joined WMEX in 1963 and met and heard Jerry for the 1st time. I did The Fenway Show every morning. I had never heard anybody like Jerry before in all my years in radio. He was amazing and really introduced controversial talk radio. I razzed him a bit on my morning show, and that night a caller asdked him.."Did you hear what Fenway said about you this morning?" to which Jedrry promptly replied "Fenweay is a charloten." I have great memories of him yelling at Max Richmond for his check every Friday. JACK from
PALM CITY, FL
12/4/2003
One of my fondest memories of Jerry goes back to 1983, when I first started at WRKO. I was intimidated by being at such a powerful station and working with people like Jerry, David Brudnoy, and Guy Manilla. Jerry stopped me in the hall one day and told me I was going to be OK and just be myself. He said the talk business was really very simple, just be honest and talk about whatever bothered me or made me feel very good. Others would probably feel the same way. Don't be afraid to talk, "That's why they call us talkmasters." ~~~ Moe MOE from
FALL RIVER, MA
12/4/2003
Jerry Williams was as much a part of my life as an uncle or close family member. From listening to him at 12 years old and being inspired to become a talk show host, to meeting him and having him take me under his wing to eventually working with him at various radio stations. Jerry was like a Damon Runyan character. A very unique human being that will never be duplicated. Larger than life. When I listen to the lyrics of "My Way" sung by Sinatra, I think of Jerry. I think of Jerry many times, all the time. I am so lucky to have known him. Dick Syatt DICK from
,
12/4/2003
I was Jerry's TV producer on Fox and also worked for a short time on his WRKO show. He was a tough man and very difficult at times but someone I admired for his success and determination. "I Gotta get out of this business" Jack Jack Roberts Executive Producer CRN - Los Angeles JACK from
HOLLYWOOD,, CA
12/2/2003
When I met Jerry, the legendary broadcaster, for lunch in 2002, he was so gracious. And so interested in getting back on the air. I offered him the chance to do so in March 2003, as a way to un-do some of the wrong that Jerry had suffered in an industry that he helped build. The day he did what turned out to be his last show, a 4-hour shift on a Saturday afternoon, I was absolutely in awe of his desire to do a great job for his audience..his fans. He had several people with him, as his health was quite fragile. He worried about how he'd do...But when the mic came on, it was magic. He was sharpe, spirited, and gave it his all. His love of radio and the fans he had outweighed the indignity and humiliation he'd endured by his unceremonious dismissal. But to see him struggle to get in and out of the studio, to be so frail yet so professional, was a memory that will always be a motivation when things get a little rough in life. Jerry Williams is deserving of so much priase for proving that talk radio could move the masses..tackle the issues. I am honored to have met him and had the opportunity to witness a great performance by one of the true legends in talk radio. MICHAEL from
BOSTON, MA
12/2/2003
I grew up listening to Jerry on Wmex, then on WBZ, and lastly on WRKO. He never ceased to amaze me, as his daily programs were always fresh and lively. He was always enthusiastic with every topic of discussion, and had a knack of bringing out the best in every call. His conversations with his callers always was interesting, provacative and sometimes quite comical. He was tops in his field, and really was the "dean" of talk radio. He was a natural for the medium, and truly miss his voice from the radio dial. One of my most vivid memories of him was from a WBZ show from about 1968, when we all listened in astonishment to the Vietnam veteran who poured out his heart over what he witnessed in that terrible war. At the end of the call, nothing but silence for a moment, as Jerry, as the rest of the audience was speechless. Other great moments include the famous "sex" surveys on WRKO, and the weekly "meeting of the govenors" each Tuesday, also on WRKO. Jerry has gone to a better place now, and I am sure that he's already sitting in front of a new microphone and broadcasting all over heaven. Thanks Jerry for all the great years in Boston- BRIAN from
MANCHESTER, NH
12/1/2003
I worked with Jerry in Philadelphia and Boston from the late 1970's through the mid 1980's as his producer. I was a kid, he was in the prime of his career. What was most memorable about Jerry to me was his willingness to be a mentor, to bring me into his life rather than to keep me at arm's length which would have been what most people in his position would have done. He was a good guy and a great broadcaster. He will be missed by many fans and friends. ALAN from
MANCHESTER, NH