Bob Shannon (radio personality)

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For another radio DJ who worked under the name Bob Shannon at radio stations outside of New York City, see R. J. Adams
Bob Shannon
Birth name Don Bombard
Born December 16, 1948
Syracuse, New York.
Country  United States
Spouse(s) Connie
Children 2

Don Bombard (born December 16, 1948), more widely known under the air name Bob Shannon, is an American radio disc jockey best known for his work on WCBS-FM in New York City. He is also the author of the book Behind The Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll.

He has a son named Scott Shannon (not to be confused with WPLJ's Scott Shannon), and a daughter named Avery Shannon.

Beginnings[edit]

Don Bombard was first introduced on radio by sportscaster Marv Albert as the winner of a guest deejay contest, while still a junior high school student in his hometown of Syracuse, New York.

At age 15, Bombard experimented with broadcasting from his home, using a radio that had the wiring reversed to become a transmitter. The radio's antenna was hooked to a radiator, utilizing the water pipes to get the signal out to his neighborhood.

He joined the staff of Syracuse University station WAER-FM as a freshman in 1965.

Bombard came to the attention of the local Syracuse Top 40 stations WNDR and WOLF when, as a teenager, he compiled and distributed his own weekly music survey known as The Big 50.

Bombard then went on to work at both stations from 1967 to 1977, where he gained experience as an announcer, music director, and programmer. He joined WNDR in 1967 as a part-time weekend dj. In 1968 he accepted an offer by WOLF to work full-time on their night show. He became the station's music director and atarted an all-request show. In 1969, he was part of the team that returned WOLF to a Top 40 format and remained as music director and night dj until the following year, when he was hired back full-time at WNDR.

There, he hosted a late-night "Attitude Hours" progressive rock show. Later he became assistant program director and afternoon drive dj, as well as taking over the reins of the "Saturday Night of Gold" oldies show.

In 1975, he left radio briefly to run "Don Bombard Disco", a company formed with partner Guy Capone (who had been his high school partner in the Big 50 project). He returned to WOLF the following year and became program director.

While in Syracuse, Bombard collaborated with local music historian Ron Wray (aka Ron Gersbacher) on a documentary history of WOLF ("The WOLF Story") and a series of "History of Syracuse Music" albums. He also formed (with Wray) Piece Records.

Move to Pittsburgh[edit]

In 1977, Bombard moved to Pittsburgh to work at station 13Q (WKTQ). He began as production director and then moved to afternoon drive dj. He originated and hosted “The Sunday Night Oldies Party”. Bombard also released (with record collector Frank DeMino) a compilation album called "The Pittsburgh Hall of Fame". He also did booth announcing for WIIC (now WPXI) television.

Arrival at WCBS-FM[edit]

In late 1981 Bombard moved to New York City to work part-time at a recording studio owned by Wendell Craig, formerly dj Windy Craig at WOLF. While there, with Craig's blessings, he launched a radio syndication company called Sirius Productions. Bombard then began as a fill-in announcer at WYNY (now WQHT). Shortly after, he would leave WYNY for WCBS-FM and began doing some booth announcing for WOR-TV. He was Don Bombard on WYNY, but at CBS-FM (which already had Don K. Reed) his on-air name was changed to Bobby Shannon by program director Joe McCoy. Gradually, his air name morphed into Bob Shannon.

Shannon launched a weekend overnight spin-off of his Pittsburgh show on CBS-FM called "The Oldies Party" and continued to tape a weekly Sunday night show for airing in Pittsburgh. He also briefly hosted the Saturday night show vacated by Jack Spector. In 1982, he was promoted to the full-time 6-10PM shift and originated (with music director Richard Lorenzo) a nightly "Hall of Fame" segment. This segment played wall to wall music from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. by a selected artist or a couple artists (if the artists each had only a few big hits). For bigger artists with many hits, the hall of fame feature sometimes began at 8 p.m. In 1986, with the exit of Dick Heatherton, he took over the afternoon drive time slot, where he remained until the station's two-year "sabbatical" that began in 2005. The Hall Of Fame was revamped in evenings to feature several to half a dozen songs an hour by a selected artists mixed in with other regularly played music. Bobby Jay took over except on Wednesdays. On Wednesday, Cousin Bruce Morrow took over. At that point, on Thursdays the Hall Of Fame was strictly 60's music and on Fridays strictly 50's.

At CBS-FM, on the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. timeslot, he programmed music features such as "Rockeology", "Hands Across the Water", "First and Foremost", "lost hits", "songs with the same title but are different", "Wednesday Fourplay/Three For The Road", and others.

During his stint at CBS-FM, Shannon interviewed music acts which he incorporated in a book co-authored with John Javna. "Behind The Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll" was published by Warner Books in 1986.

Shannon has also hosted a number of nationally syndicated radio shows, including "The Oldies Countdown" for MJI Broadcasting and "Keeping The '70s Alive" and "Behind The Hits" for On The Radio Broadcasting. He also co-hosted, with CBS-FM's Bobby Jay, live broadcasts for Westwood One from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in New York.

On Friday, June 3, 2005, CBS-FM switched format to an "Adult Hits" format called Jack FM and Bob Shannon, along with the rest of the air staffers, were laid off.

Shannon then went on to do a weekly show, with wife Connie T. Empress, on WLNG, Long Island, NY. Shannon also hosted a weekly Internet program “Behind the Hits” show on VIP Radio in Europe.

Shannon did weekly internet radio shows at RadioMaxMusic and was instrumental in the creation of the Across The Tracks format used at RadioMaxMusic.

Shannon worked at New Jersey's "The Breeze" WWZY/WBHX from February 17 - July 7, 2007. He took part in the station's Radio Greats Weekend July 21–22, 2007, after his return to CBS-FM.

CBS-FM Returns[edit]

When WCBS-FM came back to New York radio on July 12, 2007, Shannon helped launch the return. On November 18, as part of CBS-FM's weekly Radio Greats feature, he hosted a show as Don Bombard.

Shannon stopped performing his on air duties at WCBS-FM in late December 2011 or early 2012, cited as a medical leave. On July 30, 2012, it was noted that Shannon would not return to his midday shift at WCBS-FM and would be replaced by Ron Parker.