Disc jockey Jack Edwards

WHAT HAPPENED TO ...?

Then & Now

September 22, 2007|By JACQUES KELLY

Jack Edwards' voice filled the nights on Baltimore AM radio for decades when he was a disc jockey during the golden years of rock 'n' roll.

Now 69, Edwards can't let go of the music he loves. Technically retired, he keeps his hand on the 45-rpm record player Friday nights at Tully's restaurant in Putty Hill and spins the vinyl platters he has been collecting since he was a student at Kenwood Senior High School.

"I want them dancing. Why play a song that nobody can dance to?" he said the other day from his Reisterstown home.

Edwards went into radio in 1956 and worked alongside Vince Bagli and Jack Dawson at WWIN 1400-AM on the dial. From 1960 to 1974, he was at WCAO, and then took over the turntable at WCBM, WITH and WFBR, among other venues.

"I think I have everything in the Top 40 from the 1950s through the 1980s. I kept two copies of everything that made Billboard," he said,

"He's a first-rate musicologist," said friend and former co-worker Johnny Dark. "He's one of the hardest-working people I ever knew at WCAO."

Some 40 years ago, Edwards asked his wife, Joyce, a Baltimore County public school family sciences teacher, if he could reserve one room for his collection. From Abba to Led Zeppelin, his discs -- more than 50,000 of them -- are all in order and ready for the turntable -- for a wedding reception or anniversary party.

"I'm just your local guy, keeping up with the music," he said. "I love my hometown."

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