"Without radio, I wouldn't have had a career," rock/pop legend Frankie Valli told a gathering of media and fans Friday afternoon at the National Top 40 Hall of Fame & Radio Museum in Lookout Valley.
Valli was in town for a sold-out show later in the day at the Tivoli Theatre, and stopped by the hall for the induction of the three newest inductees. Radio legends Donald Steele Revert, Daniel "Big Dan" Trambley Ingram and Larry Lee "Lujack" Blankensburg joined 2019 inductees Casey Kasem, Dick Clark and Wolfman Jack into the two-year-old hall.
The hall is located inside the building which has been home to WFLI-AM 1070 since 1961, the year before Valli had two of his 71 Top 40 hits with "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Sherry."
"This is what it used to be like," Valli told the gathered audience, which included current and past WFLI disc jockeys Gene Lovin, Johnny Eagle and event emcee David Carroll.
"I remember that in every city we used to play, we stopped at the radio station. I miss that, and I'm very happy to be here."
After the induction ceremony, he said the three were "great choices" and that what they had was personality, which could make every listener feel as though they were talking only to them.
Lujack, as Blankensburg was primarily known, also went by Superjock, Lawrence of Chicago, Uncle Lar and King of the Corn Belt. He used to regale listeners with his Klunk Letter of the Day and Animal Stories.
He spent much of his career at WLS in Chicago.
Ingram spent much of his 50-year career at WABC and WCBS in New York City. Known as "Big Dan," he was famous for reworking popular songs such as "My Love Does it Good," which became "My Glove Does it Good."
Better known as "The Real Don Steele," Revert was out of KHK in Los Angeles and became one of the most popular disc jockeys in the country.
Also on hand for the event was fellow singing star Mitch Ryder. Ryder, known for hits "Jenny Take a Ride" and "Devil with a Blue Dress On," said after the event that he hadn't seen Valli in at least 20 years, and that the two had a common producer in Bobby Crewe.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.