October 6, 2008

Live From New York…it’s the Joey Reynolds Show

October 6th, 2008

joey reynolds and jim petrecca
Joey Reynolds and Jim Petrecca

By Audrey Rockman

Tonight, the popular Joey Reynolds Radio Show (WOR-710) will be featuring a segment about the old Jersey neighborhood that gave birth to the Four Seasons. Joey shares a few things in common with the legendary group- he has been entertaining audiences since the ‘60s and was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” a couple years ago for his accomplishments in radio, television, and music!

Reynolds is a bit ubiquitous, also… speaking this summer at Tommy DeVito’s birthday bash, interviewing John Lloyd Young some time ago; and in January, 2007, fans saw Joey at “Rockers on Broadway” and heard him kick right into talking about the evening- as he opened his show that night. But it goes one step farther, as any true Seasons fan can tell you… the Four Seasons even produced a radio jingle for the introduction of his daily show.

Topics for this evening’s show will include the big “Four Seasons Lane” street naming held in Union, NJ, as well as the bicentennial parade, including a Four Seasons float with Joey on board, this coming Sunday at 2 pm in the same town. The guests will include Walt Gollender, early Four Seasons historian & archivist; Jim Petrecca of Yesterday’s Treasure and organizer of the street dedication at the site of the original bowling lanes; and yours truly, creator of the Four Seasons Old Neighborhood Bus Tours.

Although a Buffalo, NY native, Joey Reynold’s impact has been felt around the country and across the entertainment industry. He kicked off the first nationwide satellite radio programming with more than 35 stations across the country. Then several years ago, he was the focus of an Oprah Winfrey series about radio talk show personalities. If you’d like to read about some of the colorful adventures of his long and successful career, check out his popular memoir, entitled “Let Your Smile be Your Umbrella, But Don’t Get a Mouthful of Rain”.


  1. A longtime friend of both Joey Reynolds’ and myself happened to be on the phone with Joey a few weeks ago
    when I called him.

    I had discussed with our mutual friend way back in early 1976, when “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”,
    was roaring up the charts, that although there were no FV4S Billboard Hot 100 songs on the chart in December, 1963, I distinctly remembered hearing “Dawn (Go Away)” in “late December, back in ’63″ on one of my local Top 40 stations, WTRX Flint, MI. In the last few years, there have been links on the internet that show that Joey Reynolds worked at WTRX for a short time in 1963 before taking a job at East Coast Night Top 40 Powerhouse WKBW Buffalo, NY. He continued to program WTRX from Buffalo for a while.

    I asked my friend to ask Joey about this. He confirmed by e-mail that Joey indeed had an advance acetate* copy of “Dawn (Go Away)” at WTRX at that time. No, I don’t specifically recall Joey’s name from WTRX, just as I only would have associated Chicago heavyweight DJ John Records Landecker a few years later with his on air name at WTRX, “Dow Jones”. But WTRX broke a lot of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons records over the years that didn’t become big hits, including “That’s The Only Way”, “Hickory”, “Easily” and “We’re All Alone” and played such rarities as “Spanish Lace”.

    For those who don’t know, “Dawn (Go Away)” was recorded November 20, 1963, but it was withheld from Vee Jay due to the well known royalty dispute. During the next month, The Four Seasons shopped the record to labels, including Atlantic, before being signed by Philips. It was not officially released until late January, although there is chart evidence online it was being played on WLS Chicago and CKLW Windsor Detroit much earlier in January.

    Joey Reynolds was and is one of the most loyal friends The Four Seasons ever had, and had a considerable impact on getting their great product to market.

    *An acetate is a promotional or experimental pressing of a record that is less durable than vinyl, often used by breakout artists at that time to shop labels and radio DJs.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — October 11, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

  2. I am the “longtime friend” of Joey Reynolds that Ted was speaking of and I, like so many others, am bummed that Joey was over-looked by the producers of Jersey Boys, the musical live show. It’s rumored that perhaps in a movie version of the hot Broadway production, Reynolds WILL be credited for breaking the Four Seasons first big national hit, “Sherry” in the late summer of 1962 at a Hartford, CT station. He worked at both WPOP-AM (1410) and WDRC-AM (1360).
    Joey’s theme song, to the tune of “Big Girls Don’t Cry” is one of only two such themes in the radio industry. The other was done for Cousin Bruce Morrow who, at the time, was a top jock at WABC-AM (770) in New York City. Joey Reynolds is about to celebrate 13 years on 50,000 watt WOR-AM (710) in New York this December. His overnight program is radio’s ONLY radio variety show. Most nights his studio is jammed with guests leaving standing room only even at 2:30 in the morning! It’s available worldwide via the WOR website: http://www.wor710.com. Check out this amazing talent!

    Comment by ART VUOLO, JR — October 11, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

  3. I have just learned from a web article by Art Vuolo that Joey Reynolds’ show will be leaving the air on WOR and the network of other stations carrying him on April 2. I would hope that this was just a rumor but I suspect that it is true.

    Hopefully, Joey will be picked up on another network. His show has been a bright spot on the nighttime airwaves when you wanted to hear something positive in a world where talk radio has become increasingly depressing.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — March 10, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

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