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Demento, Walker Lead Inductees Into Hall

Radio Hall of Fame class of 2009 elected

The Class of 2009 will go into the Radio Hall of Fame on Nov. 7 at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel Grand Ballroom.

It is wide ranging in its inductees, with an executive, an old-timer, a novelty song king, a talk show host and another talk show host who recently got her big television break. And that’s just the living inductees.

In no particular order, chosen for induction was Dr. Demento (Barret Hansen), a man whose name is synonymous with novelty songs. Joining him is Ed Walker, a Washington legend whose radio career goes back to at least teaming up with Willard Scott as part of the original radio “Joy Boys.” Walker has also hosted big band programs for decades.

Another inductee is WSB’s nationally syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz, no shrinking violet.

Also not a shrinking violet is another inductee, Wendy Williams, who recently ended her radio talk show career to pursue a TV talk show career where her larger-than-life personality can really shine.

Not to be overlooked is the executive, Norman Pattiz, founder of Westwood One, the nation’s largest radio syndicator.

The posthumous inductees, which we’ve reported earlier, do not lack in their own heft.

Studs Terkel hosted his own Chicago-based show for four decades, in between writing and national speaking engagements. Harry Kalas was one of the top sportscasters in the country, famous as the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, along with being well-known for his work with NFL Films. Not to be overshadowed is the first Hispanic inductee, comedian Jose Miguel Agrelot. On the air for over 50 years in his “Su Tu Alegre Despertar” show in Puerto Rico, Agrelot was known as the Puerto Rican Bob Hope.