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Chuck Leonard of WABC Fame Dies

Chuck Leonard of WABC Fame Dies

New York radio buffs have learned that Chuck Leonard passed away Thursday (Aug. 13) of lung cancer, according to an announcement by former ABC colleagues. He was 67.
Leonard was on the air at WABC(AM) “Musicradio 77” from 1965 to 1979. Other radio work included stints at FM stations WXLO, WRKS, WBLS and WQEW(AM) in New York, WJUX Jukebox Radio and more recently Sirius Satellite.
“During the heyday of AM top 40 radio, Chuck Leonard was a key member of the team of disc jockeys, known as the WABC ‘All Americans,’ who catapulted the station to number one status, rating book after rating book, year after year,” according to biographical material released by former ABC colleagues Glenn Morgan and Henry Kavett.
“WABC ultimately became the highest-rated station in the nation. From the birth of The Beatles right through the dawn of the new millennium and the birth of satellite radio programming, Chuck Leonard survived changes in music and radio programming format styles.”
Leonard was also the station’s first African-American DJ. In the obituary announcement, Dan Ingram was quoted as saying he discovered Leonard while listening to R&B station WWRL.
“I didn’t know if he was red, white or green. I couldn’t care less. He just sounded like he was kickin’ butt.”