Cousin Brucie Remembers Bob Lewis
By Scott Benjamin
Former Musicradio77 WABC night air personality Cousin Brucie said that his longtime colleague, Bob Lewis, known as Bob-a-Loo, was a charming and sweet person who possessed a very unique and natural delivery with a little show business, which is a style that I like.
Bob, a native of Queens, began doing the overnight show which he called The All-Night Satellite - at Musicradio77 in 1962 after making stops at WNHC in New Haven, Conn; and WMGM and WINS in New York City.
According to Musicradio77.coms link on the stations air personalities, he eventually insisted on being taken off the demanding all-night shift and spent much of the rest of his tenure at the station, which lasted until 1969, doing weekends and fill-in work.
Bob also started working at WABC-FM in the late 1960s, which is now WPLJ-FM, and was among the first wave of progressive air personalities in the Big Apple.
I think his interest in FM came through attrition, Brucie said in an Apr. 29, 2008 phone interview with Musicradio77.com. I think that he saw that there wasnt any room for him to immediately grow at 77.
FM offered an opportunity, and he was the kind of person who could adapt very easily, he added. He loved all kinds of music.
Bob later worked at WCBS-FM, before it adopted an oldies format, and then went to WNEW-FM as it emerged as a leader in the progressive rock movement.
Bob didnt have the inner push to get to the top, Brucie said when asked why his former colleague didnt get one of the higher profile shifts at Musicradio77.
However, some radio professionals hold him in as high esteem as Brucie or Dan Ingram, the longtime Musicradio77 afternoon air personality who was a model for some aspiring announcers.
In my opinion, Bob Lewis was the best jock ever to work for WABC, former noted New York City program director Pete Salant wrote in a 1996 post atreelradio.com.
I was honored to have Bob do some weekend and swing work for me on WYNY in 1981 and 82, he stated. He was one of my earliest gurus when the radio bug bit me early in high school; he was kind enough to take my phone calls while on the air and answer really stupid questions like, Did you have to go to college to do this,
Bob wanted his freedom and he wanted to be on his houseboat, which was docked near 72nd Street, said Brucie, who has been doing two shows a week at Sirius 6 since August of 2005. Bob wasnt interested in being a superstar. He was happy with what he was doing with his radio work and with his voiceover career.
He became one of the top voiceover artists, handling work for such clients as Dreyfus, Certs, Volkswagen and IBM.
Bob had a very rich voice, Brucie said.
It was not a quickly recognizable voice, he added.
It was the kind of generic voice, like Les Marshaks voice, Brucie said, making a reference to his longtime friend and former Musicradio77 overnight air personality who has been a leading voiceover announcer for decades.
That helped make him very successful in voiceover commercials, he said. When I get on the air, everybody knows that its me.
Bob was a very good businessman, Brucie added. He knew how to greet people and stayed in touch with the people that were giving him the commercial voiceover work.
Bob died in January 1987 at age 49. His friend and former WNEW-FM colleague Dennis Elsas produced a tribute that is posted in the Sound Files/Interview section of Musicradio77.com
He was a charming and sweet person with everybody, Brucie said. And to this day, I can still see that nice smile that he had.
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