Bruce Morrow

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Bruce Morrow
Bruce Morrow 2003.jpg
Bruce Morrow during 2003.
Born Bruce Meyerowitz
(1935-10-13) October 13, 1935 (age 82)
Brooklyn, New York
Occupation Disk jockey, radio announcer, actor
Years active 1959-present
Spouse(s) Jodie Berlin (d. Susan Stoloff)

Bruce Morrow (born Bruce Meyerowitz on October 13, 1935) is an American radio performer, known for some professional purposes as Cousin Brucie.

Early life[edit]

Morrow has stated on his SiriusXM radio program that he is from Lubbock, Texas but relocated soon afterward to Brooklyn, New York. His family first lived on East 26th Street between Avenues V and W and later relocated to East 29th Street. His favorite activity as a child was going to Coney Island and enjoying the rides at Steeplechase Park. As a youngster he was reportedly greatly interested in radio programs such as Boston Blackie, The Bickersons, Superman, and The Shadow.

During 1951 at age 16 he played the character “Tooth Decay” in a school hygiene play. He was also involved with the All City Radio Workshop at James Madison High School. He wanted to pursue this more and spent ten hours a week working for dramatic educational productions at radio station WNYE-FM.

Cousin Brucie enrolled as a student at Brooklyn College but soon quit. He then became a student at the Communications Arts Program at New York University. He was able to convince a dean to initiate the school’s first radio station WCAG (Communications Arts Group). It was a carrier current station with a very limited range and programmed classical music.

Career[edit]

Cousin Brucie with The Beatles (1964).

Radio work[edit]

Morrow's first stint in radio was in Bermuda at ZBM-AM, where he was known as "The Hammer".[1]

Morrow began his career in the USA at New York Top 40 station WINS (AM) during 1959. During 1960, he relocated to Miami, Florida for a stint at WINZ (AM) before returning to New York the next year for the major station WABC (AM 770), another Top 40 station. Morrow's return to New York City came just as rock and roll music was becoming extremely popular among the baby boom demographic, and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast at the beginning of the so-called British Invasion. His main competition came from his previous station WINS, which featured "Murray the K," a DJ who claimed an association with the Beatles.

Morrow quickly became a success on WABC's teenager-oriented evening shift for 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., presenting the diverse musical genres of the time (Motown soul, pop, hard rock, surf music, novelty records), as well as advertisements for youth-oriented sponsors like Thom McAn, local clothing outlets in the New York and New Jersey areas, and events such as concerts and drag-strip races.

Morrow worked for WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he transferred to rival radio station WNBC; after three years there, he quit performance to team with entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman to become the owner of the Sillerman Morrow group of radio stations, which included WALL; WKGL, now WRRV, in Middletown, New York; WJJB, later WCZX, in Poughkeepsie, New York; WHMP in Northampton, Massachusetts; WOCB in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts; WRAN (now dark) New Jersey 1510 in Randolph, New Jersey; and television station WATL Atlanta. The group later purchased WPLR in New Haven, Connecticut.

During 1982, Morrow resumed working as a radio announcer, for New York's WCBS-FM, an oldies station. Initially, he filled in for Jack Spector every third Saturday evening for the Saturday Night Sock Hop program. After Spector's resignation during 1985, Morrow became the main performer for the program and renamed it the Saturday Night Dance Party. The station also added his nationally syndicated show Cruisin' America. During 1986, he began working the Wednesday evening shift, where he hosted The Top 15 Yesterday and Today Countdown. During 1991, the Wednesday show became The Yearbook, emphasizing music from the years between 1955 and 1979. Cousin Brucie was also the "breakfast presenter" on Atlantic 252 from 1992 to 1996.

When the radio program Cruisin' America ended during December 1992, Morrow continued hosting a WCBS radio program named Cruising with the Cuz Monday evenings until the end of 1993. After that program ended, he hosted the Saturday night and Wednesday night programs there until the station's change to an adult hits format named Jack FM on June 3, 2005. Soon thereafter, he signed a multi-year deal to host oldies programming and a weekly talk program for Sirius Satellite Radio.

Current programs[edit]

As of 2017, Morrow hosts programs for Sirius XM satellite radio, on the '60s on 6 channel. Cousin Brucie's Saturday Night Party - Live is broadcast Saturday nights, while Cruisin' with Cousin Brucie is broadcast live on Wednesday nights, with repeats on Sundays. His crew consists of senior producer Adam Saltzman (grandson of studio session drummer Buddy Saltzman) and producer Lauren Hornek.

Television work[edit]

Morrow's voice can be heard in the movies Across the Universe, Gas Pump Girls, and Dirty Dancing; he also had a minor part in the latter, playing a magician who saws Baby (Jennifer Grey) in half. He can be seen making on stage introductory remarks for the 1966 documentary The Beatles at Shea Stadium. He also appeared in the 1978 movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and had a guest appearance for the 1990s science fiction television series Babylon 5, (in "War Without End" (Part 2), playing the first officer of Babylon 4). In Across the Universe the radio station call letters he used were WEAF which were the call letters of 660 in New York before it became WNBC.[2] He also played a television contest announcer in Between Time and Timbuktu, a 1972 National Educational Television production adapted from several short stories by Kurt Vonnegut.

Charity work[edit]

For the last two decades, Morrow has worked for the Variety Children's Charity to help fund children who are disadvantaged, physically challenged, sick or needy, and he volunteers his time and talent with Gatewave Audio Reading Service for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Honors[edit]

Morrow was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame during 1988,[3] and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in the radio division during 2001.[4] During 2010, he received the Bravery In Radio Award from William Paterson University and its radio station WPSC 88.7 FM, for a track record of "inspirational radio programming and lifelong commitment to the medium of radio".[citation needed]

Books[edit]

  • Cousin Brucie: My Life in Rock 'N' Roll Radio (1987).
  • Doo Wop: The Music, the Times, the Era (published November 1, 2007).
  • Rock & Roll:...And the Beat Goes On (published October 1, 2009) ISBN 0-9823064-3-1.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cousin Brucie: My Life in Rock 'N' Roll Radio (1987)
  2. ^ Fandango Filmography for Bruce Morrow Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. Fandango.com (1935-10-13). Retrieved on 2016-05-15.
  3. ^ Bruce Morrow. radiohof.org
  4. ^ "NAB Hall of Fame". National Association of Broadcasters. Archived from the original on 2008-11-09. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 

External links[edit]