This Is Larry Morrow . . .
My Life On and Off the Air; Stories from Four Decades in Cleveland Radio
by Larry Morrow
- Hardcover, 286 pages, 5.6 x 8.8 inches
- ISBN: 978-1-59851-069-0
One of Cleveland's most popular celebrities shares favorite stories about remarkable people and extraordinary events from a long and varied career . . .
Hundreds of thousands of fans tuned in to Larry Morrow each morning for an amazing four decades on four radio stations—WIXY, 3WE, WERE, and WQAL. Larry hit the Cleveland airwaves in 1966 at rock 'n' roll powerhouse WIXY 1260 as one of the “WIXY Supermen,” who led that station to #1 ratings. His upbeat and friendly style made him a fan favorite, and his loyal audience followed wherever he took his show.
Always an outspoken booster for his adopted home town—even in tough times when that attitude was uncommon—Larry quickly became popular off the air, too. He was master of ceremonies for many of Cleveland's biggest events, including its official bicentennial celebration, attended by 450,00 people—the largest crowd ever assembled in Cleveland. He was chosen to introduce five U.S. presidents. For his nonstop civic efforts he was given the honorary title “Mr. Cleveland” by former mayor George Voinovich.
Larry was inducted into the prestigious Radio and Television Hall of Fame and is the only Ohio broadcaster nominated to the National Radio Hall of Fame. Through it all, his success has been based on a simple principle: “Do all the good you can . . . to everyone you can . . . every time you can.”
Illustrations: 27 black & white photos
The autobiography of one of the classic good guys of the Cleveland airwaves. Larry tells us about his life, how he got into radio, and why he moved to, and fell in love with, Cleveland . . . If you have a love for Cleveland radio, or have a love for Cleveland period, this book is a must read. Wixy's Gone Bananas.com
An enjoyable read . . . You feel Larry is there speaking to you over a cup of coffee . . . I highly recommend this book. clevelandclassicmedia.com
Table of Contents
- THE MAKING OF A BROADCASTER
- You Will Never Make It
- The Son of a Plumber
- My Very First Interview: Elvis Presley
- Leaving California Behind
- From Trainee to President
- Welcome to Cleveland, Duker
- A Team of Retreads
- Radio Juggernaut
- The Genius of Norm Wain
- Masters of Promotion
- The Breakup of That Old Gang of Mine
- The WIXY All Stars
- WIXY Brings the Boys Home for Thanksgiving
- Going Out on Top
- MORE ADVENTURES IN CLEVELAND RADIO
- Going It Alone
- Nick Mileti Brings Me On
- A Hunger to Improve
- “MR. CLEVELAND”
- Turning Cleveland Right Side Up
- The President's Man
- Dad, You'd Better Get Your Fanny Over to FM
- Tune in to Morrow Tomorrow
- Some Memorable Interviews
- From the Cleveland Orchestra to Madonna
- DO ALL THE GOOD YOU CAN
- My Finest Hour
- No One Lives a Charmed Life
About Larry Morrow
Larry Morrow was a Cleveland radio DJ and host for more than four decades. He became popular for his upbeat personality and gentle good humor, and he earned the nickname Mr. Cleveland for his active role in promoting Cleveland's turnaround in the 1980s and 1990s. He came to Cleveland from Detroit in 1966 to join the innovative rock-and-roll station WIXY 1260. He later hosted morning shows on 3WE, WERE, WQAL, and Sirius Sattelite Radio. He has been master of ceremonies for important civic events, including the grand opening of Cleveland Browns Stadium and Cleveland's official bicentennial ceremony, and has been chosen to introduce five U.S. presidents. He was inducted into the Radio and Television Hall of Fame and is the only Ohio Broadcaster nominated to the National Radio Hall of Fame. He makes more than 100 appearances every year, many of them for charity, and lectures to colleges, high school students, and high level businesses and healthcare institutions on effective communications. More About Larry Morrow
Question & Answer with the author...
Q: Why did you decide to write a book of memoirs?
A: I thought that there was so much to tell about my life, WIXY and all of the events I was part of. I thought I could bring some clarity to what it was like to be behind the microphone, to be part of the promotions and to be on the inside, behind the scenes.
Q: How did your career in broadcasting begin?
A: Before I went into broadcasting I wanted to be the president of General Motors. One day as I was driving home from the factory I spotted my favorite disc jockey, Joel Sebastian working at a satellite studio in Michigan at WXYZ. When I saw him broadcasting I thought, “That's what I want to do for the rest of my life.” It went through me just like that. It was an epiphany for me.
Q: Where did you begin in broadcasting?
A: My very first station was WPON in Pontiac. I used to run to work ten miles each way because I didn't have a car at the time! I later worked for CKLW in Canada and they thought it would be a great idea to change my name from Larry Morrow to Duke Windsor. I hated the name, I just couldn't stand it, and I thought, “I've worked really hard, and finally I got to the fifth largest market in America and now they changed my name and in the city that I was born and raised.”
Q: What brought you to Cleveland?
A: When I was fired from CKLW I had received a call from Norm Wain, the owner of WIXY 1260, which had only been on the air for about six months. He said, “I have this brand new radio station and we know who you are, would you like to come to Cleveland?” So I said, “Yeah,” and when he hired me he called two weeks later and said, “We decided to keep the guy you were going to replace, sorry Duke.” About two months later he called me and said, “We have an opening, would you be interested?” I needed a job and said, “Yes!” so I jumped at it and that's what brought me to Cleveland.
Q: What made WIXY 1260 so popular at the time?
A: Radio at that time was changing. Rock and roll had become the new format of the day and disc jockeys became more bizarre. When I came to Cleveland the established DJs had wonderful voices and who had great vocabularies and spoke with great eloquence on the air. Then here comes a whole bunch of guys like me who say things like, “I'm here to make your heart to quivel and your liver to bivel and there ain't nothin' shaken like the leaves on the trees and they wouldn't be shakin' if it wasn't for the breeze.” So it was a brand new culture that they brought to rock and roll music, and of course the young people of the day embraced it.
Q: Is it true you used the phonebook to recruit listeners when you were at WIXY?
A: Norm knew how excited I was about becoming well known in Cleveland and he said, “Duker, why don't you grab a phone book and start calling people every morning before you go on the air and ask them to listen to you?” I started calling and spending about 45 minutes to get ten people to listen to me. I would say, “Hi, I'm Larry Morrow. If you listen to me on this new radio station, WIXY 1260, today I'll mention your name.” When I left WIXY several years later I had crossed off 72,000 names.
Q: Along with hosting your own shows you also wrote jingles?
A: I began writing jingles in Detroit and didn't have any success, other than one jingle, which was the GM Mark of Excellence, which I wrote when I was 14. When I came to Cleveland I started to write again. My biggest jingle was the Smuckers jingle, “With a name like Smuckers it has to be good.” I didn't write the line, I wrote the music, which won a Cleo for me, which is the equivalent to an Oscar in the advertising business. I also had a lot of national jingles, Orange Crush, B.F. Goodrich, and so on and so fourth.
Q: How did you earn the nickname “Mr. Cleveland?”
A: I was very upset when I arrived here because it was during the Hough riots. I really didn't want to stay here. Somehow in the first few years I had fallen in love with the people of Cleveland and wanted to do something to restore the city again. I tried doing everything I could to improve the image of Cleveland and when George Voinovich became mayor he gave me the title “Mr. Cleveland.” It's a moniker that I was proud to receive and it's a moniker that I wear proudly.
Q: How and why did you dress up as Moses Cleaveland for local events?
A: When George Voinovich had given me the title Mr. Cleveland, I thought that people should really get to know the city's founder. And so, on July 22, 1984, the birthday of the city and also my wedding anniversary, I dressed up in a period piece and drove downtown with a rowboat. I landed at Settler's Landing, where he landed and relived the whole thing. I thought I might get a mention in Mary, Mary's column in the Plain Dealer and then to my great surprise I opened the paper, and there it was on the front page.
Q: What's next on the agenda for Larry Morrow?
A: This book! I think it's going to consume me for the next five months, which I'm excited about. I do a lot of teaching about broadcasting. I work with radio stations by talking to their morning teams to really engage their audiences and of course I teach on the side as a visiting lecturer at different universities in town. I will always my hands in advertising and marketing and teaching. Because that's the glory of my life at this point and time.