Sunday, July 17, 2011

Uncle Jay Explains It All For You

In the history of broadcasting, Cincinnati is one of its best kept secrets. WLW Radio, "the nation's station," cranked as many as 500,000 watts in the early days, eventually being reduced to 50,000 by the end of the 1930s (retaining its higher power during the night hours), which didn't stop it from being where Rosemary Clooney and a host of other performers got their start. In the early 1950s, more television network programming was produced in Cincinnati than in New York City. In the 1960s, a weeknight puppet show -- the work of Larry Smith, perhaps; gotta fact-check that one -- betrayed the offbeat influence of Ernie Kovaks, which may very well have inspired The Muppets. (Can't prove it; wouldn't be surprised.)

So it came as no surprise, when Paul "The Regular Guy" Mitchell brought my attention to “Uncle Jay” Gilbert, I was to learn that he was from "the Queen City of the West." Originally a host on Album-Oriented-Rock pioneer WEBN-FM in the mid-1990s, later appearing on the local ABC affiliate, WCPO, Uncle Jay Explains The News possesses a quirky style that can only come from a city in the Midwest, especially Cincinnati.

This guy is absolutely nuts, which is why we're gonna keep him around, as the Official “Crazy Uncle” of man with black hat. (Couldn't happen to a nicer guy ...)


Gail F said...

So that's what happened to Jay Gilbert!

David L Alexander said...


I would imagine that his current venue allows for more creative control. Other than that, he showed up some years after I left in 1980, so I never even knew about him until someone in Minnesota told me about him on Facebook.