Three major local personalities from Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles have been selected for induction into America’s only National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF).
Jess Cain: Long-time morning talk-show host on WHDH/Boston, Jess Cain began as an actor and appeared in more than 20 plays before and during his radio career. The “morning man”, who passed away in February 2008, was the first voice many New Englanders heard for 34 years. Cain was beloved for finding humor in everyday moments with his song parodies, quick wit, and impressions.
Bob Collins: Collins was a top-rated and much-loved morning show host on WGN/Chicago from 1986 until his death in 2000. Known to his fans as “Uncle Bobby”, his show featured conversation, music and Collins’ folksy charm. The native of Florida had a regular afternoon show when he was only 14 years old and spent time at stations in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, San Diego and Miami before finding a home at WGN.
Dick Whittinghill: Whittinghill began his career as a movie and television actor, as well as a recording artist who once sang with Tommy Dorsey’s big band. From 1950 to 1979, he established himself as the most popular morning disc jockey in Southern California at KMPC/Los Angeles. His creativity and brash personality earned him millions of loyal fans, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a statue in the Hollywood Wax Museum. Whittinghill died in 2001.
The National Radio Hall of Fame also announced its 2008 nominees in four other categories who must now participate in a national online balloting process. The 2008 nominees for induction into the NRHOF are:
NATIONAL – ACTIVE: Bob Costas; Dr. Laura Schlessinger; Howard Stern.
NATIONAL – PIONEER: Art Bell; Ralph Emery; “Gang Busters”, law enforcement reality series created by Phillips Lord and hosted by Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf that aired on NBC, ABC, CBS and Mutual.; Barry Farber.
LOCAL OR REGIONAL—ACTIVE: Howie Carr; Steve Dahl; Bob Grant; Ronn Owens.
LOCAL OR REGIONAL—PIONEER: Gary Burbank; Harry Kalas; Charlie Tuna; Jim Zabel.
The national online balloting will begin on May 1st and ends at midnight on July 15th. Voting , and the results will be ratified by the Steering Committee of the NRHOF.