Franklyn MacCormack (March 8, 1906 – June 12, 1971) was an American radio personality in Chicago, Illinois from the 1930s into the 1970s on his radio program, The All Night Showcase. He was also well known as the announcer of the long-running old-time radio serial Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy.
For many years he was the overnight broadcaster on two of Chicago's well-known clear-channel radio stations, first on WBBM and then on WGN, and thus was heard by listeners hundreds of miles from Chicago.
In contrast to the primary sports-and-talk formats of WBBM and WGN, MacCormack read romantic and sentimental poetry and played classical, big band and Broadway music. One poem, "Why Do I Love You?" became his signature, the first line of which he would typically use to begin his program:
- I love you not only for who you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
MacCormack's sotto voce style of reading these poems inspired the Bob and Ray character Charles the Poet, who can never get through one of his overly sentimental poems without breaking up into laughter.
During his tenure on WGN, MacCormack's show originated at Uphoff's Rotunda Motel and Restaurant in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin for two weeks every summer, through the courtesy of local waterski show impresario Tommy Bartlett.
Books and recordings
MacCormack edited the 245-page Why I Love You and Other Poems from My Old Book of Memories (John C. Winston Company, 1948), and a paperback edition was published in 1963 by Chicago's Carl Mack Books.
In 1958, MacCormack recorded an album for Liberty Records. The album, The Torch Is Burning, consisted of spoken-word interpretations of classic big band era popular songs, backed by a string orchestra arranged and conducted by Russ Garcia.
MacCormack became ill during the broadcast of June 12, 1971, and was quickly taken to a hospital. He had, in fact, suffered his second heart attack in a nine-month period, this time fatally, as he died Saturday afternoon. His time slot was initially filled by occasional guest host and staff newscaster Clif Mercer. 2,500 people gathered two days later to honor his passing.
- "Franklyn MacCormack, WGN Chicago Radio Personality
- MBC - Jack Armstrong
- Fortney, David (1971-06-14), "2,500 Gather in Memory of Franklyn MacCormack", Chicago Tribune: A12