For insomniacs and other denizens of the night, the big band and swing-era sounds and reminiscences that Will Taylor spun out nightly from the Towson studios of WWLG radio were like old friends to his listeners.
Since 1992, Mr. Taylor was the host of "Over 50, OverNight," the all-night nostalgia show that in addition to playing period music and old radio shows -- "Fibber McGee and Molly," "Burns and Allen," "X Minus One" and "The Red Skelton Show" -- also featured conversations with callers about the "good old days."
Mr. Taylor, who died Monday of cancer at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, was 73.
"He ended each on-air phone call nightly with his trademark 'Nighty-Night,' " said Paul Potter, general manager of the station. "He was the kind of broadcaster who simply talked to you."
In 1992, Mr. Taylor dropped by the studios of WITH to see if the station wanted to use any of his old radio shows or jingle tapes.
Invited by Mr. Potter to be a guest on his show, "Over 50 at 10," he proved to be so popular with listeners that he was soon host of the show. After the staff moved from WITH to WWLG, Mr. Taylor continued as host of the show at the new station.
"We're the last Baltimore station doing a live, local overnight talk show," Mr. Potter said this week. He described Mr. Taylor as "erudite and incredibly bright."
"He had an enormous share of what's out there," Mr. Potter said. "Ten percent of the audience over 50 had him on."
Gene Lightner, president of Golden Radio Buffs Inc., said of Mr. Taylor: "He was so soft-spoken that you felt close to him the moment you heard him on the radio. You couldn't help but like him immediately."
Flo Ayres first worked with Mr. Taylor 40 years ago at Monumental Films doing commercials and voice-overs. At the time, Mr. Taylor was vice president and studio engineer of the company, which produced commercials and industrial films.
"It always surprised me how facile he was on the air," Ms. Ayres said. "He was always very much at ease, a good ad-libber, and had a tremendous sense of humor. His radio show was the kind of kick-off-your-shoes type of show."
In addition to being host of the show, which aired five days a week, Mr. Taylor sold advertising for the show and prepared the script.
He would sometimes tape a "Have Lunch With Will Taylor" segment at Jennings Cafe in Catonsville or at Leon's in Arbutus. It would be played on the show that night.
"He also did the 'Piano Bar,' " said his son, Charles Wilbur Taylor Jr. of Eldersburg.
"He'd play piano music in the background while conducting a conference call with several callers. To the listener, it sounded like he was really in bar."
Born Charles Wilbur Taylor in West Baltimore, he was a graduate of Forest Park High School, where his interest in radio was piqued when he joined the school's Junior Announcers Club.
He started his career in 1939 with WFBR in Baltimore. He also worked for WBOC in Salisbury and WWIN and WITH in Baltimore. During the 1940s, he did big-band remotes for the Mutual Broadcasting System and was a lead-in announcer for Washington political commentator Fulton Lewis Jr.
In 1951, he began working for WCBM, where he was host of "Music Taylored Just for You" and an announcer for 10 years.
He worked at Monumental films in the mid-1950s, where he wrote and produced such well-known jingles as "Everybody Goes to Gino's," for the Baltimore hamburger chain that was founded in 1957 by Colts legends Alan Ameche and Gino Marchetti. He retired from Monumental in 1971.
During the 1970s, he was the audio engineer and lead-in announcer for Dick Cavett, and during the early 1980s, he was the audio engineer for a wrestling show on WBAL-TV.
His wife, the former Peggy R. Bozman, died several years ago.
A Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday at St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church in Pikesville.
Besides his son, he is survived by a brother, Harry W. Taylor Jr. of Towson.
Harry G. Ulrich, 82, retired A&P butcher
Harry G. Ulrich, a retired Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. butcher, died Monday of heart failure at his Northeast Baltimore residence. He was 82.
Mr. Ulrich began his career with A&P during the 1930s as an apprentice butcher. In 1949, he opened Elite Food Market on Belair Road at White Avenue, which he operated until 1959, when he returned to A&P.
He worked at the chain's Alameda and Belair Road stores and retired in 1981 from the Edison Highway store.
Mr. Ulrich, who was born and raised in East Baltimore, attended Polytechnic Institute. He served in the Navy early in World War II until being discharged for medical reasons.
He was a member of American Legion Post 65. He also served on the executive board of Meat Cutters Local 117 and continued to do so after its merger with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 29.
He enjoyed traveling and collecting Hawaiian shirts.
He was a communicant of St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church, 4420 Frankford Ave., Baltimore, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9: 30 a.m. today.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Virginia Cockey; a daughter, Patricia Hafer of North East; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Lawrence Richmond Allen, 64, owner of car body shop
Lawrence Richmond Allen, the longtime owner of an East Baltimore car body shop, died Monday at Maryland General Hospital of renal disease. The West Baltimore resident was 64.
A native of Pittsburgh, Mr. Allen moved to Baltimore in the 1940s and opened his business. He retired in the late 1970s.
He was a longtime member of Second Shiloh Church of Christ Disciple, where services were held Thursday.
He is survived by his wife, Evangeline; three sons, Lawrence Allen and Todd Allen, both of Detroit, and Vincent Allen of Pittsburgh; three daughters, Angela Allen of Pittsburgh and Laura Allen and Monique Allen, both of Dallas; a sister, Virginia Allen of New York; and seven grandchildren.
Pub Date: 7/05/97