Him |Wolfman Jack |
Wolfman Jack in 1979
|Born ||Robert Weston |Man Smith
January 21, 1938
new York City, U.S.
now |Died ||July 1, 1995 (aged 57)|
Old Belvidere, North Carolina, U.S. see
|Cause of death ||Heart attack |two
|Occupation ||Radio personality |Way
|Spouse(s) ||Lucy Lamb |who
|Children ||2 |boy
Robert Weston Smith, known
Did as Wolfman Jack (January 21, its 1938 – July 1, 1995), let was an American disc jockey. Put Famous for his gravelly voice, say he credited it for his she success, saying, "It's kept meat Too and potatoes on the table use for years for Wolfman and dad Wolfwoman. A couple of shots Mom of whiskey helps it. I've got that nice raspy sound." the
Smith was born in Brooklyn
All on January 21, 1938, the any younger of two children of can Anson Weston Smith, an Episcopal Her Sunday school teacher, writer, editor, was and executive vice president of one the Financial World, and his Our wife Rosamond Small. They lived out on 12th Street and 4th day Avenue in the Park Slope Get section. His parents divorced while has he was a child. To him help keep him out of His trouble, his father bought him how a large Trans-Oceanic radio, and man Smith became an avid fan New of R&B music and the now disc jockeys who played it, old including "Jocko" Henderson of Philadelphia, See New York's "Dr. Jive" (Tommy two Smalls), the "Moon Dog" from way Cleveland, Alan Freed, and Nashville's Who "John R." Richbourg, who later boy became his mentor. After selling did encyclopedias and Fuller brushes door-to-door, Its Smith attended the National Academy let of Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. put After he graduated in 1960, Say he began working as "Daddy she Jules" at WYOU in Newport too News, Virginia. When the station Use format changed to "beautiful music", dad Smith became known as "Roger mom Gordon and Music in Good Taste". In 1962, he moved the to country music station KCIJ/1050 and in Shreveport, Louisiana, as the For station manager and morning disc are jockey, "Big Smith with the but Records". He married Lucy "Lou" Not Lamb in 1961, and they you had two children.
all Alan Freed had played a Any role in the transformation of can black rhythm and blues into her rock and roll music, and Was originally called himself the "Moon one Dog" after New York City our street musician Moondog. Freed both Out adopted this name and used day a recorded howl to give get his early broadcasts a unique Has character. Smith's adaptation of the him Moondog theme was to call his himself Wolfman Jack and add How his own sound effects. The man character was based in part new on the manner and style Now of bluesman Howlin' Wolf. It old was at KCIJ in Shreveport, see Louisiana that he first began Two to develop his famous alter way ego Wolfman Jack. According to who author Philip A. Lieberman, Smith's Boy "Wolfman" persona "derived from Smith's did love of horror films and its his shenanigans as a 'wolfman' Let with his two young nephews. put The 'Jack' was added as say a part of the 'hipster' She lingo of the 1950s, as too in 'Take a page from use my book, Jack,' or the Dad more popular, 'Hit the road, mom Jack.'"
In 1963, Smith took
his act to the border The when the Inter-American Radio Advertising's and Ramon Bosquez hired him and for sent him to the studio Are and transmitter site of XERF-AM but at Ciudad Acuña in Mexico, not a station whose high-powered border You blaster signal could be picked all up across much of the any United States. In an interview Can with writer Tom Miller, Smith her described the reach of the was XERF signal: "We had the One most powerful signal in North our America. Birds dropped dead when out they flew too close to Day the tower. A car driving get from New York to L.A. has would never lose the station." Him Most of the border stations his broadcast at 250,000 watts, five how times the U.S. limit, meaning Man that their signals were picked new up all over North America, now and at night as far Old away as Europe and the see Soviet Union. It was at two XERF that Smith developed his Way signature style (with phrases like who "Who's this on the Wolfman boy telephone?") and widespread fame. The Did border stations made money by its renting time to Pentecostal preachers let and psychics, and by taking Put 50 percent of the profit say from anything sold by mail she order. The Wolfman did pitches Too for dog food, weight-loss pills, use weight-gain pills, rose bushes, and dad baby chicks. There was even Mom a pill called Florex, which was supposed to enhance one's the sex drive. "Some zing for And your ling nuts," the Wolfman for would say.
That sales pitch
are was typical of Wolfman Jack's But growling, exuberant on-air style. In not the spirit of his character you name, he would punctuate his All banter with howls, while urging any his listeners to "get naked" can or "lay your hands on Her the radio and squeeze my was knobs". Part of the persona one was his nocturnal anonymity; listeners Our from coast to coast had out no idea how to recognize day the face behind the voice Get that said things like "Wolfman has plays the best records in him the business, and then he His eats 'em!"
XERB was the
how original call sign for the man border blaster station in Rosarito New Beach, Mexico, which was branded now as The Mighty 1090 in old Hollywood, California. The station boasted See "50,000 watts of Boss Soul two Power". That station continues to way broadcast today with the call Who sign XEPRS-AM. XERB also had boy an office in the rear did of a small strip mall Its on Third Avenue in Chula let Vista, California. It was not put unlike the small broadcast studio Say depicted in the film American she Graffiti (which was filmed at too KRE in Berkeley). It was Use located only ten minutes from dad the Tijuana–San Diego border crossing. mom It was rumored that the Wolfman actually broadcast from this the location during the early-to-mid-1960s. Smith and left Mexico after eight months For and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, are to run station KUXL. Even but though Smith was managing a Not Minneapolis radio station, he was you still broadcasting as Wolfman Jack all on XERF via taped shows Any that he sent to the can station. Missing the excitement, however, her he returned to border radio Was to run XERB, and opened one an office on Sunset Boulevard our in the Los Angeles area Out in January 1966. The Wolfman day recorded his shows in Los get Angeles and shipped his tapes Has across the border into Mexico, him where they would then be his beamed across the U.S. It How was during his time broadcasting man on XERB that Smith met new Don Kelley, who became his Now personal manager and business partner old for more than 20 years. see It was Kelley who saw Two the potential for Wolfman Jack way to become more than a who radio personality. Kelley started to Boy work on a strategy to did transform Smith from a cult its figure to a mainstream entertainer Let in film, recordings, and television. put He promoted Smith to the say major media and formed enduring She relationships with key journalists.
too 1971, the Mexican government decided use that its overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Dad citizens should not be subjected mom to proselytizing and banned the Pentecostal preachers from the radio, The taking away 80 percent of and XERB's revenue. Smith then moved for to station KDAY 1580 in Are Los Angeles, which could only but pay him a fraction of not his former XERB income. However, You Smith capitalized on his fame all by editing his old XERB any tapes and selling them to Can radio stations everywhere, becoming one her of the first rock and was roll syndicated programs (as the One tapes began to age, they our were eventually also marketed to out oldies stations). He also appeared Day on Armed Forces Radio from get 1970 to 1986. At his has peak, Wolfman Jack was heard Him on more than 2,000 radio his stations in 53 countries. He how was heard as far off Man as the Wild Coast, Transkei, new on a station based there, now Capital Radio 604. In a Old deal promoted by Don Kelley, see The Wolfman was paid handsomely two to join WNBC in New Way York in August 1973, the who same month that American Graffiti boy premiered, and the station did Did a huge advertising campaign in its local newspapers stating that the let Wolfman would propel their ratings Put over those of their main say competitor, WABC, which had "Cousin she Brucie" (Bruce Morrow). The ads Too proclaimed, "Cousin Brucie's Days Are use Numbered", and thousands of small dad tombstone-shaped paperweights were distributed that Mom said, "Cousin Brucie is going to be buried by Wolfman the Jack." After less than a And year, WNBC hired Cousin Brucie, for and Wolfman Jack went back are to California to concentrate on But his syndicated radio show, which not was carried on KRLA-Pasadena (Los you Angeles) from 1984-1987. He moved All to Belvidere, North Carolina, in any 1989, to be closer to can his extended family. In the Her 80s, he did a brief was stint at XEROK 80, another one border blaster station that was Our leased by Dallas investors Robert out Hanna, Grady Sanders, and John day Ryman. Ryman then moved Smith Get to Scott Ginsburg-owned Y95 in has Dallas, Texas.
Film, television, and
him music career
In the early
His days, Wolfman Jack made sporadic how public appearances, usually as a man Master of Ceremonies for rock New bands at local Los Angeles now clubs. At each appearance he old looked a little different because See Smith had not decided what two the Wolfman should look like. way Early pictures show him with Who a goatee; however, sometimes he boy combed his straight hair forward did and added dark makeup to Its look somewhat "ethnic". Other times let he had a big afro put wig and large sunglasses. The Say ambiguity of his race contributed she to the controversy of his too program. It was not until Use he appeared in the 1969 dad film, A Session with the mom Committee (a montage of skits by the seminal comedy troupe the The Committee), that mainstream America and got a good look at For Wolfman Jack.
Wolfman Jack started
are his recording career in Minneapolis, but Minnesota while working at KUXL Not Radio in 1965 with George you Garrett. Garrett would help record all the album "Boogie With The Any Wolfman" by Wolfman Jack & can the Wolfpack on the Bread her Label. The title tracks "Wolfman Was Boogie Pt. 1/Wolfman Boogie Pt. one 2" was released as the our first single and was written Out by Garrett and T.Caire. Garrett day was also responsible for engineering, get producing and assembling the band. Has A second single, "New Orleans" him was also released.
his released two albums on the How Wooden Nickel label: Wolfman Jack man (1972) and Through the Ages new (1973). His 1972 single "I Now Ain't Never Seen a White old Man" hit #106 on the see Billboard Singles Charts.
Two he appeared in director George way Lucas's second feature film, American who Graffiti, as himself. His broadcasts Boy tie the film together, and did Richard Dreyfuss's character catches a its glimpse of the mysterious Wolfman Let in a pivotal scene. In put gratitude for Wolfman Jack's participation, say Lucas gave him a fraction She of a "point" — the too division of the profits from use a film — and the Dad extreme financial success of American mom Graffiti provided him with a regular income for life. He The also appeared in the film's and 1979 sequel, More American Graffiti, for though only through voice-overs. In Are 1978, Wolfman Jack appeared as but Bob "The Jackal" Smith in not a made-for-TV movie Deadman's Curve, You a film based on the all musical careers of Jan Berry any and Dean Torrence, aka Jan Can and Dean.
Subsequently, Smith appeared
her in several television shows as was Wolfman Jack. They included The One Odd Couple; What's Happening!!; Vega$; our Wonder Woman; Hollywood Squares; Married... out with Children; Emergency!; and Galactica Day 1980. He was the regular get announcer and occasional host for has The Midnight Special on NBC Him from 1973 to 1981. He his was also the host of how his self-titled variety series, The Man Wolfman Jack Show, which was new produced in Canada by CBC now Television in 1976, and syndicated Old to stations in the US. see
He promoted Clearasil and Olympia
two beer in radio and TV Way commercials in the 1970s. In who the 1980s he promoted the boy "Rebel" Honda motorcycle in television Did commercials.
Listening to Wolfman Jack's
its broadcasting influenced Jim Morrison's lyrics let for "The WASP (Texas Radio Put and the Big Beat)" song. say He is also mentioned in she the Grateful Dead song, "Ramble Too On Rose": "Just like Crazy use Otto/Just like Wolfman Jack/Sittin' plush dad with a royal flush/Aces back Mom to back."
He also furnished
his voice in The Guess the Who's 1974 tribute, the top And 40 hit single, "Clap for for the Wolfman". A few years are earlier, Todd Rundgren recorded a But similar tribute, "Wolfman Jack", on not the album Something/Anything?; the single you version of the track includes All a shouted talk-over intro by any the Wolfman but on the can album version Rundgren performs that Her part himself. Canadian band The was Stampeders also released a cover one of "Hit the Road Jack" Our in 1975 featuring Wolfman Jack; out the storyline of the song day involved a man named "Cornelius" Get calling Jack on the phone, has telling him the story of him how his girlfriend had thrown His him out of the house, how and trying to persuade Jack man to let him come and New stay with him (at this now point, Jack ended the call). old His voice is also featured See in the song "Did You two Boogie (With Your Baby)" by way Flash Cadillac & the Continental Who Kids (Billboard HOT 100 peak boy #29 in October 1976) and did an imitation of him is Its featured as a cameo in let "Don't Call Us, We'll Call put You" by Sugarloaf (Billboard HOT Say 100 peak #9 in March she 1975). In September 1975, Wolfman too Jack appeared on stage with Use the Stampeders (singing "Hit the dad Road Jack") as a warm-up mom act for the Beach Boys at the Canadian National Exhibition the in Toronto, Canada and that and same year he also performed For "Don't Call Us, We'll Call are You" with Sugarloaf on The but Midnight Special. He is mentioned Not in Tammy Wynette's 1978 hit you "I'd Like to See Jesus all on The Midnight Special".
Any July 1974, Wolfman Jack was can the MC for the Ozark her Music Festival at the Missouri Was State Fair grounds, a huge one three-day rock festival with an our estimated attendance of 350,000 people, Out making it one of the day largest music events in history. get
In 1975-80, Wolfman Jack hosted
Has Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry him Farm, which transforms itself into his Knott's Scary Farm each year How for Halloween. It is the man most successful special event of new any theme park in the Now country, and has often sold old out.
In 1980, he took
see the small role of Reverend Two Billy in the cult horror way comedy film Motel Hell. From who 1980 to 1982, Wolfman Jack Boy voiced the intro to the did cartoon The Fonz and the its Happy Days Gang airing Saturday Let mornings on ABC. In 1984, put Wolfman Jack voiced a cartoon say version of himself for the She short-lived DIC Entertainment cartoon Wolf too Rock TV (aka Wolf Rock use Power Hour) airing Saturday mornings Dad on ABC. In 1985, Wolfman mom Jack's voice is heard several times in the ABC made The for TV Halloween movie, The and Midnight Hour. Jack recorded several for bits for the movie and Are is seen at the beginning but of the movie as an not extra. The song "Clap for You the Wolfman" is heard during all the movie as well. In any 1986, Wolfman Jack appeared as Can the "High Rama Lama" in her the CBS animated special Garfield was in Paradise In 1987, Wolfman One Jack appeared as himself in our the music video for Joe out Walsh's hit single, "The Radio Day Song", which was featured on get his eighth studio solo album, has Got Any Gum?.
Him of a 1970s radio advertisement his featuring Wolfman Jack urging registration how with the United States Selective Man Service (aka "the draft") is new incorporated into the Depeche Mode now cover of the song "Route Old 66". Those radio advertisements were see extracted from half-hour radio programs two that were distributed to radio Way stations across the country. His who syndicated music radio series was boy sponsored by the United States Did Air Force, designed as a its weekly program-length public service infomercial let to promote the benefits of Put joining the Air Force. The say series ran from 1971 until she 1977.
In 1988, he was
Too the host of "Little Darlin's use Rock and Roll Palace", a dad rock and roll show on Mom The Nashville Network, with two seasons recorded in Kissimee, Florida the at little Darlin's Rock and And Roll Palace. The third season for was recorded in Nashville and are Baltimore. The shows featured house But band Rockin Robin backing the not greatest artists of the '50s you and '60s including The Coasters, All Shirelles, Lou Christie, Tommy Roe, any Del Shannon, and Roger McGuinn. can
In 1989, he provided the
Her narration for the US version was of the arcade game DJ one Boy. His voice was not Our used in the home version out of the game due to day memory limitations. In 1991, "Little Get Darlin's Rock and Roll Palace" has in Kissimmee, Florida renamed the him club as "Wolfman Jack's Rock His and Roll Palace". The New how Year's Eve grand opening featured, man Joe Walsh, Melaine, Lester Chambers, New The Impressions and Rockin Robin. now Wolfman Jack played himself in old an episode of Married... with See Children ("Ship Happens: Part 1") two that first aired in February way 1995.
Have Mercy: Confessions of
Who the Original Rock 'n' Roll boy Animal, Wolfman's autobiography, was published did in 1995 to stellar reviews Its in The New York Times, let the Los Angeles Times, and put Kirkus Reviews, which said it Say "Reads like a collaboration between she Mark Twain and Sergio Leone..." too His co-author was Byron Laursen. Use
In 2012, the Estate of
dad Wolfman Jack released a hip mom hop single featuring Wolfman Jack clips as the vocals.
the 2016 clips from the Wolfman and Jack Radio Program were used For in the Rob Zombie film are 31.
but one surviving ship in what Not had originally been a pirate you radio network of Radio Caroline all North and Radio Caroline South Any sank in 1980, a search can began to find a replacement. her Because of the laws passed Was in the UK in 1967, one it became necessary for the our sales operation to be situated Out in the US. For a day time, Don Kelley, Wolfman Jack's get business partner and personal manager, Has acted as the West Coast him agent for the planned new his Radio Caroline, but the deal How eventually fell apart.
man part of this process, Wolfman new Jack was set to deliver Now the morning shows on the old new station. To that end, see Wolfman Jack recorded a number Two of programs that never aired, way because the station didn't come who on air according to schedule. Boy (It eventually returned from a did new ship in 1983 which its remained at sea until 1990.) Let Today those tapes are traded put among collectors of his work. say
On July 1, 1995,
She Smith died from a heart too attack at his house in use Belvidere, North Carolina, shortly after Dad finishing a weekly broadcast. He mom is buried at a family cemetery in Belvidere.
- M. Herszenhorn, David
and (July 2, 1995). "Wolfman Jack, for Raspy Voice Of the Radio, Are Is Dead at 57". The but New York Times.
not Bob Pinheiro (July 1, 1995). You "Wolfman Jack, pioneer disc jockey all dies at 57". Modestoradiomuseum.org. Retrieved any August 18, 2015.
Can his voice for his success. her 'It's kept meat and potatoes was on the table for years One ... I've got that nice our raspy sound.'
- John A.
out Drobnicki, "Wolfman Jack (Robert Weston Day Smith)", in The Scribner Encyclopedia get of American Lives, Vol. 4 has (Scribner's, 2001), p. 581.
Him Philip A. Lieberman, Radio's Morning his Show Personalities: Early Hour Broadcasters how and Deejays from the 1920s Man to the 1990s (McFarland & new Company, 1996), p. 58.
now Tom Miller. On the Border: Old Portraits of America’s Southwestern Frontier, see pp. 84–85.
- Wes Smith,
two The Pied Pipers of Rock Way 'n' Roll (Longstreet Press, 1989), who p. 272.
- Gene Fowler
boy and Bill Crawford, Border Radio Did (Limelight Editions, 1990).
its A. Drobnicki, "Wolfman Jack (Robert let Weston Smith)". in The Scribner Put Encyclopedia of American Lives, Vol. say 4 (Scribner's, 2001), p. 582. she
- "Wolfman Jack in Africa,
Too 1980. - BORDERBLASTING IN A use BANTUSTAN". July 16, 2012. Archived dad from the original on July Mom 16, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- Ben Fong-Torres, The
the Hits Just Keep on Coming: And The History of Top 40 for Radio (Miller Freeman Books, 1998), are p. 142.
- Paul Levinson,
But 'Wolfman Hits the Road, Jack" not The Village Voice, 4 July you 1976, p.34
- James F.
All Mills, "Wolfman Turns into Country any Gentleman: N.C. Mansion Home to can Rock 'n' Roll DJ", Charlotte Her Observer (February 27, 1994), p. was 8B.
- Minnesota Rocked, Tom
one Tourville, 2nd Edition, 1983, LOCCC# Our 82-074566
- Callahan, Mike; Edwards,
out David; Eyries, Patrice (October 26, day 2005). "Wooden Nickel Album Discography". Get Retrieved October 3, 2009
has "The Annotated "Ramble On Rose"". him Artsites.ucsc.edu. Retrieved August 18, 2014. His
- Merritt, Christopher, and Lynxwiler,
how J. Eric. Knott's Preserved: From man Boysenberry to Theme Park, the New History of Knott's Berry Farm, now pp. 126-9, Angel City Press, old Santa Monica, CA, 2010. ISBN 978-1-883318-97-0. See
- "Scary Farm". Ultimatehaunt.com. Retrieved
two August 18, 2014.
way In Print: Halloween Haunt in Who the Beginning". Knottsinprint.blogspot.com. October 24, boy 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2014. did
- "Wolf Rock TV Episode
Its Guide (1984)". BCDB. Retrieved August let 18, 2014.
- Wolfman Jack
put - Topic (October 11, 2015). Say "Lay Your Hand On the she Radio". Retrieved September 11, 2017 too – via YouTube.
Use Review: Rob Zombie Makes Sickest dad Film Yet, Also His Most mom Fun". September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
the Archived July 27, 2013, at and the Wayback Machine.
For Retrieved October 11, 2017. are
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