Barry Gray, talk radio pioneer

Barry Gray born (Bernard Yaroslaw) (July 2, 1916, Red Lion, New Jersey – December 21, 1996) was an influential American radio personality, often labeled as "The father of Talk Radio".
Initially a disc jockey, Gray was working for New York's WMCA in 1945 when he, bored one evening with simply spinning music, decided to put the telephone receiver up to his microphone and share his conversation with the listening audience. The caller that evening just happened to be bandleader Woody Herman, one of the most popular celebrities of the day. This spontanenous live interview was such a hit with both his listeners as well as station bosses, that the talk radio format resulted. Gray subsequently began doing listener call-ins as well.
However, the technical aspects of early Cold War broadcasting were challenged by the live call-in, over-the air format. U.S. government restrictions and problematic consequences could not stop Gray's talk show success in putting listeners on the air ... with or without WMCA and the government's permission. His audience loved it, and grew exponentially.
Rival station WOR also saw the attraction of the talk format, and Gray worked an overnight shift there from 1945 to 1948 or 1949, interviewing everyone from Al Jolson to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. He also broadcast for WMGM from the Copacabana night club in the late 1940's.
Wikipedia Bio
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