Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday Aircheck: Danny Neaverth On KB 1520 From 1961

Danny Neaverth
Buffalo would not have been Buffalo without Dan Neaverth on KB 15-20.

Neaverth began his career at WFRM in Coudersport, Pennsylvania in 1957, where he served as afternoon jock.  In 1959, he went to WDOE and then on to WBNY in Buffalo, the city's first rock and roll station. By 1961, WKBW had lured him to host the afternoon drive time slot, but very shortly he would become the station's morning host. Becoming known for the tagline "Danny moves your fanny in the morning!" and the catch phrase "I got up early so I could be the first kid on the block to say good morning to you" among many others, Neaverth spent 26 years at WKBW through top 40, adult contemporary and oldies formats before an ownership change and a format change to talk radio led to his termination in the late 1980s. During his time in Buffalo, he co-recorded a comedy record, "Rats in my Room" along with fellow WKBW jock Joey Reynolds, that was a regional hit, in 1963.

Neaverth, on behalf of WKBW, was offered the chance to bring The Beatles to Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on February 10, 1964, the day after the band had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. It would have been the Beatles' first concert in North America. Neaverth, not willing to risk the $3500 appearance fee for a Monday night concert, in the poor February weather, for an unproven band he did not expect to sell out the auditorium, declined the offer. It was not until after Beatlemania swept the nation that Neaverth acknowledged that his move was a mistake, as the city would never again have the opportunity to bring the Beatles to Buffalo.

His absence from radio in the late 1980s was short-lived, as he would quickly find his way to WHTT-FM, which was launching an oldies format of its own. Neaverth spent another decade at WHTT, again as morning jock, until being dismissed in a cost-cutting move in 2002. Shortly thereafter, he came out of retirement for another three year stretch at a revived "WKBW," where he (along with the oldies format in general) quadrupled the station's Arbitron ratings.  After three years, WWKB's owner decided to pull the plug on oldies again, and Neaverth is once again in retirement.

Neaverth is a member of the Buffalo Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame and the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

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