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Bruce Morrow in 2003
October 13, 1935
Brooklyn, New York
|Occupation||Disk jockey, radio announcer, actor|
Morrow began his stateside career at New York Top 40 station WINS in 1959. In 1960, he moved to Miami for a brief stint before returning to the New York airwaves the following year on AM 770 powerhouse WABC, another Top 40 outlet. Morrow's return to New York City came at the precise moment that rock and roll music was exploding across the baby boom demographic and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast at the onset of the British Invasion. His main competition came from his previous station WINS, which featured "Murray the K," a DJ who claimed close association with the Beatles.
"Cousin Brucie" quickly became a success on WABC's teen-oriented evening shift in the 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. slot. Morrow became a commercial radio powerhouse and household name through his ability to maintain a rapport with his listeners while smoothly mixing the diverse musical genres of the time (Motown soul, pop, hard rock, surf music, novelty records), and then seamlessly segueing into commercials for youth-oriented sponsors like Thom McAn shoes, local clothing outlets in the New York and New Jersey areas, and events such as concerts and drag-strip races.
He served at WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he jumped to rival station WNBC; after three years there, he left the airwaves to team with entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman to become the owner of the Sillerman Morrow group of 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.
In 1982, Morrow returned to the DJ role with 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. Following Spector's resignation in 1985, Morrow took over the show and renamed it the Saturday Night Dance Party. The station also added his nationally syndicated show Cruisin' America. In 1986, he took on the Wednesday evening slot, where he hosted The Top 15 Yesterday and Today Countdown. In 1991, the Wednesday show became The Yearbook, focusing on music from a year between 1955 and 1979. Cousin Brucie was also the "breakfast presenter" on Atlantic 252 from 1992 to 1996.
When Cruisin' America ended its run in December 1992, Morrow continued hosting a WCBS show called Cruising with the Cuz Monday evenings until the end of 1993. After that show ended, he hosted the Saturday night and Wednesday night shows there until the station's change to the adult hits format called Jack FM on June 3, 2005. Shortly thereafter, he signed a multi-year deal to host oldies programming and a weekly talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio.
As of 2013, Morrow hosts programs on Sirius XM satellite radio, on the '60s on 6 channel. Cousin Brucie's Saturday Night Party - Live airs Saturday nights, while Cruisin' with Cousin Brucie airs live on Wednesday nights, with repeats on Sunday nights. His crew consists of senior producer Adam Saltzman (Grandson of famed studio session drummer Buddy Saltzman) and producer Lauren Hornek.
His voice can be heard in the films Across the Universe, Gas Pump Girls, and Dirty Dancing; he also had a bit part in the latter title, playing the magician who saws Baby (Jennifer Grey) in half. Morrow also appeared in the 1978 film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and had a guest appearance in 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. He also played a TV contest announcer in Between Time and Timbuktu, a 1972 National Educational Television production adapted from several short stories by Kurt Vonnegut.
For the last two decades, Morrow has actively worked for the Variety Children's Charity in support of disadvantaged, physically challenged, sick and needy children and volunteers his time and talent with Gatewave Audio Reading Service for people who are blind of visually impaired.
Morrow was inducted into National Radio Hall of Fame in 1988, and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in the radio division in 2001. In 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."
- 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
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