Legendary WIBX Radio Personality, Hank Brown, Passes Away
Longtime Utica radio personality and WIBX announcer, Hank Brown has passed away at the age of 91. Brown, a Philadelphia native, was WIBX's "morning man" for some 12 years after starting his radio career at WLFH in Little Falls in 1957.
"I came here for one year and I stayed for 39 years," Brown said in an interview on Central New York After Dark. Brown worked on several Utica-area radio stations including WRUN, WADR, and WUTQ. He also hosted a weekly television series on WKTV called, Twist-o-Rama which featured local teens dancing to live and recorded music on television back in the 1960s. The show was reportedly the top rated program in its time slot. Brown's show was a local version of the national program, American Bandstand with Dick Clark. Clark also worked at WRUN and WKTV after graduating from Syracuse's Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Brown was also known in the area for live "Tell 'em Hank Sent Ya" sponsor endorsements on his own program, and later in his career even purchased his time slot on local radio stations and sold his own ads.
One of the highlights of Brown's career was his ring announcing at boxing events and broadcasts on ABC's Wide World of Sports with Howard Cosell, and at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Brown also served as the public address announcer for several years at the Hall of Fame Game during induction weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Brown says he was one of the first, if not the first, to spin records on WIBX back in the 60s when the radio station was exclusively news oriented.
Brown, known as the "Dean of Broadcasters" in Utica, retired in December of 2013 after 55 years on the air in Utica, Rome and the Mohawk Valley. He lived most of his adult life with his family in Little Falls.