The Early Years
The Joey Reynolds Show started on Television in Buffalo, New York on WGR TV 2. Joey’s first radio job was on WWOL-AM in Buffalo with Dick Purtan; later a Detroit radio star. Then Reynolds landed at WKWK, Wheeling, WV; then moving to several esteemed stations, including his legendary stay (and departure) at WKBW in Buffalo, NY, WDRC in Hartford, WIXY in Cleveland, KQV in Pittsburgh, KMPC and KRTH in Los Angeles, WIBG and WFIL both in Philadelphia.
Building a Solid Future
Reynolds rose to fame as a Top 40 radio personality during the 1960s and 1970s, amassing huge audiences in places such as Hartford, Connecticut, Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and his hometown of Buffalo, New York. Joey Reynolds was named Billboard Magazine’s DJ of the Year three times. He is often regarded as the originator of “shock-jock radio”—garnering widespread publicity for some outlandish on and off-air stunts; including playing “Sherry” by the 4 Seasons for hours on end, locking himself in the studio. Police were called in due to the local hysteria. As a thank you, the 4 Seasons produced a special radio jingle for the introduction of his daily radio show. Joey has been a friend to Frankie Valli and the rest of the group ever since. Reynolds was the focus of a two-part series on The Oprah Winfrey Show concerning talk radio personalities, on which more than a dozen of Reynolds’ media peers paid tribute to him. Moreover, he has been invited to speak about entertainment media at several radio industry conferences. During his time in Buffalo, he and fellow DJ Danny Neaverth recorded a novelty single entitled “Rats in My Room” on the same U.S.A. record label that released a song by some unknown group from Liverpool, England. That tune was “She Loves You.”
Reynolds and Neaverth, on behalf of WKBW, were offered the chance to bring The Beatles to Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on February 10, 1964, the day after the band had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. It would have been the Beatles’ first concert in North America. Unwilling to risk the $3500 appearance fee for a Monday night concert in the usually snow-laden Upstate, New York February weather for an unproven band without a guarantee of selling-out the auditorium, the two declined the offer. It was not until after Beatlemania swept the nation that they acknowledged it was a mistake to turn down the offer. In the three years the band toured North America, the Beatles never did perform a show in Buffalo.
Joey Reynolds was then mostly known as a disc jockey; playing records on music- intensive radio stations from the very late 1950s until the mid-1980s; including a stint at Z100 in NYC. In 1986, he arrived at 66 WNBC at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, doing what’s called “afternoon drive”—replacing Howard Stern. WNNNBC had moved into a more talk-intensive full-service format with music taking a backseat. Reynolds was asked to play a mixture of oldies and current adult contemporary tunes along with comedy skits (that included some now famous comedians) lots of A-List star guests, and of course, Joey’s personality. His show was live on the air when the station’s traffic helicopter crashed into the Hudson River, killing actress/comedian Jane Dornacker. Reynolds exited WNBC at the end of February 1987.
Talk Show Host
In Denver, Colorado, he hosted a radio-television simulcast on KOA-AM, and launched (and hosted) the first nationwide satellite radio programming featured on more than 35 radio stations nationwide. His next stations invited him to do morning shows (mainly in South Florida) and at that point Joey had evolved into more of a talk intensive air-talent. By 1995, Joey was no longer playing music on his program; it just got in the way. In 1996 he arrived at WOR-AM in New York. He’s been a talk show host since; something that clearly was inevitable. While Reynolds’ present persona can be considered mellower by comparison to his earlier days, he still retains a loyal, and perhaps more thoughtful audience.
Coast to Coast
On March 10, 2010, it was revealed that WOR would pick up Coast to Coast AM from Premiere Radio and would cancel “The Joey Reynolds Show” after a lengthy run. That syndicated program had been previously heard on cross-town rival WABC for several years, before that station dropped the show in favor of an in-house offering, which led the syndicator to seek WOR as their New York affiliate.) Reynolds’ last show, which was humorously segregated into the “Final Gay Hour,” the “Final Jewish Hour” and “The Final Hour,” aired the morning of April 3, 2010.
All Night And Beyond
Reynolds didn’t miss a beat, as he later hosted a unique talk/variety TV program called All Night with Joey Reynolds on WNBC-DT2, the digital sub-channel of television station WNBC-TV known as “New York Nonstop.” It was broadcast live from the “Crossroads of the World” on the ground floor of the NASDAQ building in Times Square at 43rd Street and Broadway. Reynolds was reunited with his former WNBC radio sidekick, Jay Sorensen, as the program’s announcer/sidekick. The weeknight series ended on April 25, 2011. Joey’s most recent project is called iPot—a documentary filmed entirely on an iPad—featuring several celebrities, and spotlighting his special relationship with one of his daughters who legally grows medical marijuana in California. Reynolds’ career memoir is titled, Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella, But Don’t Get a Mouthful of Rain. He maintains a second home in Florida and spends most weekends with two daughters from a previous marriage.