Broadcast Pioneers member Larry Brown, a long-time radio personality in the Philadelphia market with a great “set of pipes” passed away on Thursday, March 24, 2005 at the age of 83. Larry had worked for many years at WPEN Radio, both as a duo and as a solo air talent.
Born in New York City, he was stationed with the United States Army in Iran during the Second World War. It was there that Brown got his start in broadcasting on Armed Forces Radio. Arriving at WPEN after the war, Larry was not only a disc jockey and music host, but also a newscaster. Like anyone in broadcasting that stayed with one station for two decades, his program was heard in many different time slots throughout the years. In 1950, Larry married Alma Wolfe. The couple divorced in 1966.
In the mid-fifties, after the Grady & Hurst 950 Club, he was on WPEN with “Mambo Dancing Party” during a time when Latin music was all the rage. Then he did afternoon drive, where John B. White Motors sponsored him. Larry would say, “This is LB for JB, JB White, that is.”
After leaving WPEN in the 60's, he continued to do hosting and voice-tracking into the nineties. For years, Larry Brown was the voice of Marty Sussman’s Automobile Dealership. Brown produced the commercial spots in right his home studio.
Here's one interesting story about Larry. In 1957, the Juvenairs, a local Philly group, were practicing on the street corners. They happened one day to be under the windowsill of record producer John Madara. He chased them away several times and finally, he was impressed. John took them to see WPEN's Larry Brown and his friend and partner, Artie Singer of Singular Records. That was the beginning of "The Juvenairs." Never heard of them? Well, they changed their name and became "Danny and the Juniors." Larry Brown was co-producer of their number one hit, “At the Hop.”
In 1967, Brown married Hinda Milgram and they lived for almost 40 years in Cheltenham. Larry was the voice on many recorded books for the blind, a service of the Associated Services for the Blind.
Larry Brown died of complications from diabetes. Brown had two sons, Jonathan and Gary and three step daughters, Kathi, Barbra and Debra (Debra passed away in the early nineties).
On Friday evening, November 18, 2011, Larry Brown was inducted posthumously into the Broadcast Pioneers' Hall of Fame.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Written and researched by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
Photo originally donated by Deborah Arnold, Murray's Arnold's daughter
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