6th Annual Hall of Fame Inductions
Tralfamadore Cafe, 100 Theatre Place t Tuesday, May 21, 2002 t 6 pm - 11 pm
by Steve CICHON
Spring is in the air, the lilacs are in full bloom, and that means its time for
Buffalos premier radio and television event...The Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers Hall of
Fame Induction. This years slate of honorees continue in the tradition of
representing Buffalos amazing broadcasting past, present, and future.
Broadcasting is strange in that often, at the end of an 8-hour work day, one might have
nothing to show for it all; no tangible proof of that days toil. By definition, one
speaks into a microphone, or looks into a camera, and images and sounds go up and off an
antenna, and are gone forever.
Each year, the Tralf is the location where pulled from the ether are entire life
times worth of accomplishment. Its with induction into the Hall of Fame that
we make tangible the superlative informing, entertaining, and friendship these select
broadcasters they have provided us with over the years.
The following are this years inductees:
The rock steady pulse of KBs Pulsebeat news, Henry was the heart of KB... not
only as the mainstay news anchor, but as everyones gruff but
As Buffalos own version of Lou Grant, Hanks crusty newsman personality
could be counted on by KB staffers to drive in from West Seneca during the 77
Blizzard or hop in a news cruiser to cover the Attica Prison Riots. It was his big heart,
though, that leaves him remembered as everyones favorite person and best friend.
Listeners saw both sides of his personality indirectly: It was his never-contrived
voice of reason that warmed the radios of Western New York by talking to each listener
Brachs career began at WBNY, where as news director he was the first man to hire a fresh-faced Dan Neaverth as an announcer. Though his on air persona was that of a straight-laced newsman, Henry did music shifts at both BNY and beautiful music WYSL-FM before joining KB. Brach died in 1983.
Frankie Crocker... Chief Rocker... The Eighth Wonder of the World!!! Revered as the man
who changed the rules for African-Americans as both disc jockeys and musicians, Frankie
Crocker started down the road to Gotham fame and nationwide reverence in his native
He was studying pre-law at UB, when he was bitten by the radio bug, joining WUFO as News Director. There, he tasted early success spinning urban wax and never turned back. As a jock at WMCA in the Big Apple, Frankie began playing album cuts and extended mixes from Urban artists, helping to pave the way for the more diverse sound heard today... When Crocker started in radio, music played by Black artists was lumped by mainstream circles into the category race music.
The Chief Rockers resume is that of a true broadcast pioneer: He helped to bust the stereotypes, and bring the music of an entire race from the remote corners of the music world to the popular choice of hip New Yorkers. Crocker passed away in 2000.
The career of Edgar Lee Ted Darling, the long time Voice of the Sabres, can
be best summed by the number of honors he received in a life and career cut short by
Picks Disease. He was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame and the Buffalo Sports
Hall of Fame; is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, having been honored with
the prestigious Foster Hewitt Award; and has the press box at HSBC Arena named in his
Ted joined the Sabres in their inaugural season after having spent time with CBCs Hockey Night in Canada as an intermission host. Darling spent the next quarter century in the gondola high above the aud ice, entertaining Western New Yorks hockey minions with his play-by-play over WGR, WBEN, WNYB-TV, and several cable outfits, including the Empire Sports Network.
Jeff Kaye is a radio renaissance man.... A brash yet steady voice of gold, a masterful
way with both the written and spoken word, and a producer par excellence, Kaye blazed into
Buffalo in the mid-60s as KBs nighttime teeny-bopper leader and soon was at
the rudder of the K-Big giant ship as the stations program director.
Jefferson was responsible for bringing western seaboard phone operators to their
collective knees with his 1968 adaptation of Orson Wells War of the
Worlds, with folks calling from all points on the map to see if Grand Island was
indeed under Martian control.
In 1977, he took over the most hallowed slot in Buffalo radio, morning drive at WBEN,
as only the 3rd man to sit in that announcers chair. Jeffs decades worth work as the
radio producer for Buffalo Bills Football set him up for a job at NFL Films, which he has
held since leaving Buffalo, voicing countless NFL video
His diction, energy and news judgment with just a touch of pageantry made Jim Fagan the
quintessential intoner of Pulse Beat News. His sybarite swagger was as much a part of 1520
as were the K and the B from the time he joined the station in 1960 until he went down
with the ship in 1988, when the station went to the birds and to the bird... satellite,
that is. Fagan was so much a part of KB that he was brought back in 1989 and stayed on
Fagan repeated the K-Big story of the moment at only after his days as a disc jockey at Buffalos WINE Radio; where he keyed the mic with such names as Mark Hall and Tommy Thomas. Also active as a shop representative, he was President of NABET Local 25, the broadcasters union, from 1970-89. He remains active in union affairs today, and is always willing to lend his voice to a worthy project, like Channel 2s recent look back at the 1901 Pan-Am Exposition.
If youve listened to top calibre radio news in Buffalo anytime over the last 40
years, chances are good that you heard John Zach dictatorially caressing the airwaves,
delivering the news with a style and passion like none other.
First renowned in Western New York for fronting the rock nroll band The
Furyies in the late 50s, Zachs news skills were first exercised on the
Niagara Frontier at KB in 1961. The reigning Dean of Buffalo Radio News, John also spent
time at WGR before joining WBEN in 1998, where you can now hear him along with Susan Rose
as the stations morning drive team.
Zach is also the Queen Citys top radio and television historian and scholar, and is active in the affairs of the BBP.
Tickets for Hall of Fame Night are available for the general
public at $40 per person. Send your order with payment to:
The Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers; 5672 Main Street; Williamsville, New York 14221.
For more pictures, stories, and sounds, check out the Pioneers website at Buffalobroadcasting.com.
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