Harry Martin Passes On

Those younger than, say, 50 or 60, may not recognize “Martin and Howard” – a very popular Cleveland radio team of the 1960s at then-KYW/1100…which is today’s Clear Channel talk WTAM.

One of the two men who dominated Cleveland morning radio for many years in the 1960s has passed away. Harry Martin died Monday at his Southern California home at the age of 81, reportedly of liver cancer.

We’re told that “Martin and Howard” occupied the top rung of Cleveland radio success from their KYW perch from 1962 to 1968, when they moved their highly successful show to Detroit’s WXYZ/1270.

From Detroit, “Martin and Howard” traveled separate paths.

While Specs Howard went on to establish the famous broadcasting school so closely associated with Detroit radio, Harry Martin returned to San Diego. “Happy Hare” cemented his legend in that market on his previous radio home, popular San Diego station KCBQ/1170.

Quoting the obituary for Martin from the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper:

He was hired in 1955 to help KCBQ move into the rock ‘n’ roll age, and he was part of a powerhouse lineup that came to include Shadoe Jackson and Jerry Walker. He stayed with KCBQ through 1960, returning to the station in 1969 after stints in Cleveland and Detroit.

“He was probably in the Top 5 radio personalities in San Diego,” said David Leonard, author of “Aircheck: The Story of Top 40 Radio in San Diego.”

Harry worked into recent years, even, at San Diego area standards stations like Clear Channel’s KPOP/1360. He last cracked open the microphone on the Internet – yes, the Internet – at the short-lived online radio station run by the San Diego Union-Tribune’s website, SignOnSanDiego.com.

It’s in the Union-Tribune article about Harry Martin that we learn that despite his age in recent years, he was very much into new trends and technology…so it only fits that he made his professional exit online.

We got the photographs above from the website for the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, where Mr. Howard’s own biographical article has more details and memories of “Martin and Howard”…

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