Monday, July 11, 2011


Terry Lee at WMCK early 60s
If you lived within the broadcast signal range of radio station WMCK (McKEESPORT, PA) and/or anywhere up and down the Mon Valley near Pittsburgh or drag raced and hung at "The Park" (Eat 'n Park Restaurants in the Pittsburgh area), downed a few quarts of Schmidts or Iron City and made history with and in your car or just "had a clue" about being cool in the 1960s, you were hip to "TL" and his hot radio shows coming out of  WMCK's hillside transmitter-- after hours, when WAMO had shut down the Porky Chedwick show for the evening and the kids were still rockin' in the valley. 
     Those were the hours when DJs like Terry Lee (and Mike Metrovich R.I.P.) took over the airways with the soundtrack of the night with tunes from The Shells, Eldorados, Skyliners, Cufflinks, Classics IV and other great doo wop classics and his own "exclusives"; as well as the national monsters, which gained notoriety in the Burgh: 
     Without a doubt, Porky started it all, but his disciples, "TL" among the chosen few with an actual radio presence, carried it on:

Terry Lee sign-off

In 1967 WIIC-TV (now WPXI) hired Lee to host Come Alive--A TV show which featured national and local acts when they doing concert dates in Pittsburgh.  When "Do Something to Me" became popular on his radio show, Lee brought the Mysterians to town as a guest on the TV show, and that same weekend took them around to the area's numerous teen-age dance clubs

     Terry Lee Trunzo grew up in New Eagle, PA. Even before he graduated from Monongahela High School, he was playing records at dances--That was when he was 16. "TL" started his radio career at WESA-AM in Charleroi and worked at WZUM-AM in Carnegie and the former WARO-AM in Canonsburg.
He was 21 years old in 1964, when he joined McKeesport station WMCK-AM, ( the station became became WIXZ in 1969).

In the '60s and '70s, he was one of the most popular DJs among teen listeners in the Mon Valley and surrounding areas. He also made the move to TV, hosting dance shows on WIIC (now WPXI), KDKA and WPGH. He later branched out into other career paths, including record producer for several local bands and radio station owner.

He left town more than two decades ago for Phoenix, Ariz., where he hosted a syndicated oldies show.

Mr. Lee left broadcasting in 1992 when he sold his radio station in Marco Island, Fla., and had no plans to return to the microphone. But a visit to the Pittsburgh area in February of 2010 to host an oldies dance at the Palisades in McKeesport changed all that.
(Thanks for this background goes to Adrian McCoy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4-23-2010)
In 2010, Lee returned to Pittsburgh airwaves playing "TL" music. He worked briefly for WJAS 1320 AM, now  at WLSW 103.9 FM. He also DJs occasional oldies dances. His MC'ing of local concerts ended in the 1970s. "It's something I don't like to do," he says. "Leave me alone in the studio and let me do my radio show."

Listeners can get acquainted -- or reacquainted -- with Terry Lee via his weekly oldies show on  Pittsburgh radio station WJAS-AM (1320).
  The Terry Lee Show show airs live on Sundays from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Sadly, TL passed away on July 30, 2013
AND a bit more on TL's life and times...

R.I.P. "TL"


Allan said...

1-2-3, look at MR Lee!

Anonymous said...

Look at him STILL jive!