The Phiadlephia Inquirer has since issued a correction. Shay remains in critical condition as of 11 am Wednesday.
Shay’s impact on the Philadelphia music scene was immense. He began hosting a Sunday night folk music show on WHAT-FM in 1962, the same year he cofounded the Philadelphia Folk Fest. He was the host at the event, always ready with a corny joke, until 2015.
“He’s one of our forefathers,” said Lisa Schwartz, festival and program director for the Folk Festival and its presenting organization, the Philadelphia Folksong Society. “His mellifluous voice and that mischievous grin and a twinkle in his eye are as synonymous with the Folk Festival as the iconic smiley banjo logo that he helped design.”
Shay retired from active broadcasting in January 2015.