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C'mon Let's Go, Go Go...with Cousin Bruce

Dave Randall

Posted on August 22, 2020 21:46

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Symmetry at last for a living, breathing radio legend

In a time beset by a pandemic, and malignant narcissism run rampant at the highest level of political power, we have something, at last, to let us look past sickness, death, economic catastrophe, and corruption. Something that was once as simple as turning on a radio: Cousin Bruce Morrow is coming home. 

It's fitting that little Brucie Meyerwitz was born in Brooklyn when radio itself was but a 16-year-old medium, entrancing a nation with comedy, drama, music and news, right out of thin air. As radio turns 100, Cousin Bruce will have been back on 77 WABC, New York for two months. He's one of the last giants of the original Top 40 days.

He'd dropped out of NYU, and took his buoyant verve and limitless energy to Bermuda, rocking the island musically and culturally. Maybe a little too much. Bruce soon headed back to New York, working as a producer at 1010 WINS, the first station to blast Rock and Roll across the Big Apple.

During an AFTRA strike in 1958, producer Bruce took a chance, crossing the picket line to take the mike and scoop the city into the palm of his hand. Kids had never heard anything like him. He was one of them, a Native New Yorker, bursting with a seismic, youthful zest that captured the excitement of the music.

It's at this point you learn of Bruce's innate decency and genuineness. According to his memoir, the late Murray The K conspired to steal his air shift. Bruce kept his head up, and went on to WINZ, Miami. After a year, the call came from 77 WABC.

There, Cousin Bruce would stay for 11 years doing nights, recording ratings that can never be duplicated. That WABC signal covered nearly the entire northeast, at night. Cousin Brucie was on from New England to Delaware, rolling across the Atlantic and down to Guantanamo when skies were clear. The man, the music, and the Baby Boom met in a perfect storm. 

In my own years as a radio performer, I've met and worked with many of the legendary personalities, but never Bruce. He was a phenomenon of the east coast, and I've stayed west. Yet it was difficult not to hear the stories and the airchecks.

When I brought up the legend of WABC to a co-worker in 1986, I remember him gushing a little about being in the Air Force, stationed in Dover, hearing Brucie, "...bombing in. He was great!" 

He stayed that way. Through three years at WNBC, following his career at WABC; about a decade running a chain of his own small stations, 20 years at WCBS-FM, and 14 years on Sirius/XM. Now making the circle complete, starting September 5, doing Saturday nights on 77 WABC. An 84-year-old, still so vital, back where he forged a companionship with millions that's never lapsed. At a time, and in a business, where so much is never quite right, this is.

Dave Randall

Posted on August 22, 2020 21:46

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