Rudy Vallee to be honored in native Vermont


The late Rudy Vallee is among four people to be inducted into the Vermont Association of Broadcasters (VAB) Hall of Fame. Also to be honored are a news reporter, a sportscaster and a station executive.

Vallee, who died in 1986 at age 84, was born in Island Pond, VT, near the Canadian and New Hampshire borders. He became a successful band leader in Connecticut and while still in his 20s was hosting “The Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour” on NBC Radio. Vallee’s lengthy career on radio, TV, stage and film continued into the early 1980s. His last TV appearance was in 1984 on the NBC soap opera “Santa Barbara.”

Valle’s widow, Eleanor, said she was thrilled to learn of the VAB honor and plans to attend the awards banquet November 19th in Burlington.

Also to be inducted are Radio and TV news reporter Andy Potter, who recently retired from WCAX-TV Burlington; sportscaster George Commo, who is still doing on-air work at WDEV-AM & FM Waterbury; and Vermont Public Television President and CEO John King.

WDEV Radio in Waterbury has been named the “Broadcaster of the Year” for 2011.  The VAB said the station did an extraordinary job of keeping the public informed during and after Tropical Storm Irene. 

John Likakis, Executive Director of WBTN-AM Bennington, is also being recognized for outstanding coverage of Tropical Storm Irene. 

The other Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Ginny McGehee of WJOY-AM Burlington. She is the state’s longest-serving female radio personality.

The Alan Noyes Community Service Award is going to WJJR-FM Rutland for its annual Gift-of-Life blood drive.

Also being honored for community service are WOKO-FM Burlington, for its seven-year-old “Big Change Round-up for Kids”  radiothon, and WVNY-TV (ABC)/ WFFF-TV (Fox) Burlington for organizing a telethon for June 8 that raised more than $45,000 for the local Red Cross.