Murray Arnold was one of Philadelphia's most well-known communications figures, having played an integral part in the growth of both WIP and WPEN Radio.
Born in Brooklyn in 1910, Murray attended the University of Pennsylvania and joined the staff of "Broadway Magazine" in New York as a writer and columnist. But he missed the Philadelphia scene and after a year returned in 1932 to become the Eastern Editor of "Radio Guide Magazine," the forerunner of today's TV Guide writing a weekly radio column. That didn't stop him from also finding time to create, produce, write and act in one of America's first radio comedy programs, The Boneheads, heard on the coast-to-coast Columbia Broadcasting System.
His deep radio voice got him a job as an announcer at WIP, becoming one of America's first disc jockeys, and he then rose through the ranks as Chief Announcer, Production Director, Continuity and Sales Promotion Manager, Publicity Advertising and Public Relations Chief, and Assistant Program Director at the station.
(Left to right) Murray Arnold, Bill Vogt and Billy Banks)
After an interim stint as WFIL Program Director, in 1954 he again moved up to accept the job of General Manager at WPEN AM and FM. Eventually Murray was named Executive Vice-President of the station. There, he pioneered the use of a helicopter to report on local traffic and engaged with many celebrities from film, TV and music to create the late night Red Benson show.
From 1942 to 1945, Murray served as a sergeant in the famed 99th Infantry Division in World War II and saw action in England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart during the Battle of the Bulge and the taking of the Bridge at Remagen. Other battle stars were given as well for his heroism. Supporting the military was always close to his heart. He was concerned about the lack of playing time given to some of the country's top recording artists while they were in the service and thus unable to record new music. As a consequence he issued orders to his staff to keep their names alive and give fuller representation to them on all disc jockey shows.
(Left to right) George Koehler, Richardson Dilworth and Murray Arnold
Murray's service didn't stop there. Outside of work he was deeply devoted to the community and served on dozens of boards and spoke frequently at major events on the importance of communications. Some of his key positions included President of the Television and Radio Advertising Club (TRAC) of Philadelphia, Radio Director of the United Fund, Board member of the Family Service of the Main Line, Radio Director of the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission, Faculty Advisor to the Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and member of the "Mayor's Committee on Communications." He also served on numerous committees including those of the Salvation Army, Philadelphia Council of Churches, Civil Air Patrol, Philadelphia Federation for the Blind, Goodwill Industries, the Philadelphia Association for Retarded Children and many others.
For many years he contributed to national columnists like Walter Winchell and Leonard Lyons. One of his books, "Gone with the Sinned" was published in 1941. Murray was married to the former Marilyn Hughes and raised two daughters, Debbie and Holly. They retired to Palm Springs, California in 1973. Arnold passed away in 1979.
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