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Lee Lyons

WMAX, WERX, WJFM / WCUZ. (RIP 1/17/2016)

Lee Lyons

Lee Lyons is one of most recognizable names in Grand Rapids radio history. Anyone who was growing up in the late 1950s and during the 1960s probably tuned into one of his regular radio programs.

He was the number one rated WMAX disc jockey for the afternoon drive from late 1958 into early 1960.  He returned to WMAX in 1964 as a ‘MAX MAN.’  DJ Ron White got into radio because of Lee Lyons. He hung around during Lee’s Top 40 show at WMAX when they were located at the old Keith Theatre building at 103 Lyon N.W. Ron wanted to learn broadcasting and Lee was his teacher. Several local bands came by to see Lee with their records. They wanted him to play them on the radio.

WERX was created in 1964 by Ed Fitzgerald, using  money he earned from bringing the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars to the Civic Auditorium  on October 10, 1959. Lloyd Brown was sales manager and a DJ at WERX. He called himself ‘Dr. Soul’ on the air.

Lee was the first DJ to play Al Green ‘s ‘Back Up Train’ on WERX, and signed him as his first manager. When Curtis Rogers and Palmer James brought Lee this record, he was first to play it on any radio station. He asked them if Al had a manager. They said no. Then he asked them how old Al was. They said that he was 21.  They arranged for Lee to meet Al. Lee drew up a management contract and took him to Johnny Brann’s on Division and he signed it over a steak dinner.

WJFM / WCUZ –announcer and sales manager at WJFM / WCUZ in 1969, until August 16, 1969 when he had a near fatal automobile accident.

WJFM / WCUZ  (Fetzer Broadcasting)  They wanted Lee back after he recovered from his injuries in 1970.  Lee was a private pilot. The Great Lakes Flyer (monthly tabloid) hired him as a writer and sales manager. This gave Lee “a chance to fly around the USA and get paid to do it.”

Lee Lyons wrote several articles that were published in Cashbox magazine as well.

Besides being a radio announcer, Lee managed and booked many of the local bands like Lyn and The Invaders, TJ and the Ambassadors, the Driftwoods, The Hollytones, and others. He also was a promoter for many local dances at places like the Guest House on Stocking Avenue.

He also brought the Kingtones to Detroit for a national record deal with Lee’s friends who owned Drummond Records. Drummond represented Liberty Records, whom they hoped would lease the master tape to a major record label.

(Most of the information contained on this page was supplied through the courtesy of Lee Lyons.)

Lee Lyons passed away on January 17, 2016 from complications due to heart surgery.

http://www.luxfuneralhomes.com/home/index.cfm/obituaries/view/fh_id/11452/id/3562370

www.luxfuneralhomes.com
Lee Lyons Hohisel Age 81, from everywhere, passed away Sunday January 17, 2016 at the Mid-Michigan Medical Center in Midland, MI. was born May 13, 1934 in Detroit the son of Roland and Arlene Fraser Hohisel. He enjoyed music, flying, fishing and travelling. He is survived by his wife Dena,…


Maybe this would be easier to use.. just copy and paste?

Lee F. Hohisel

Lee F. Hohisel

Born: May 13, 1934

Died: January 17, 2016

Lee “Lyons” Hohisel

Age 81, from everywhere, passed away Sunday January 17, 2016 at the Mid-Michigan Medical Center in Midland, MI. was born May 13, 1934 in Detroit the son of Roland and Arlene (Fraser) Hohisel. He enjoyed music, flying, fishing and travelling. He is survived by his wife Dena, children Laura (Bob) DeRosia, Victoria Miles, Cheryl Fox, Mary Verduin, Jacquelyn (James) Dorony, 5 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren and sister Laura (Craig) Knight. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Neil Hohisel.

Here is an excerpt of what Lee wrote for himself about his career and life:

Lee Lyons is one of most recognizable names in Grand Rapids radio history. Anyone who was growing up in the late 1950s and during the 1960s probably tuned into one of his regular radio programs.

He was the number one rated WMAX disc jockey for the afternoon drive from late 1958 into early 1960. He returned to WMAX in 1964 as a ‘MAX MAN.’ DJ Ron White got into radio because of Lee Lyons. He hung around during Lee’s Top 40 show at WMAX when they were located at the old Keith Theatre building at 103 Lyon N.W. Ron wanted to learn broadcasting and Lee was his teacher. Several local bands came by to see Lee with their records. They wanted him to play them on the radio.

WERX was created in 1964 by Ed Fitzgerald, using money he earned from bringing the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars to the Civic Auditorium on October 10, 1959. Lloyd Brown was sales manager and a DJ at WERX. He called himself ‘Dr. Soul’ on the air.

Lee was the first DJ to play Al Green‘s ‘Back Up Train’ on WERX, and signed him as his first manager. When Curtis Rogers and Palmer James brought Lee this record, he was first to play it on any radio station. He asked them if Al had a manager. They said no. Then he asked them how old Al was. They said that he was 21. They arranged for Lee to meet Al. Lee drew up a management contract and took him to Johnny Brann’s on Division and he signed it over a steak dinner.

WJFM / WCUZ –announcer and sales manager at WJFM / WCUZ in 1969, until August 16, 1969 when he had a near fatal automobile accident.

WJFM / WCUZ (Fetzer Broadcasting) They wanted Lee back after he recovered from his injuries in 1970. Lee was a private pilot. The Great Lakes Flyer (monthly tabloid) hired him as a writer and sales manager. This gave Lee “a chance to fly around the USA and get paid to do it.”

Lee Lyons wrote several articles that were published in Cashbox magazine as well.

Besides being a radio announcer, Lee managed and booked many of the local bands like Lyn and The Invaders, TJ and the Ambassadors, the Driftwoods, The Hollytones, and others. He also was a promoter for many local dances at places like the Guest House on Stocking Avenue.

He also brought the Kingtones to Detroit for a national record deal with Lee’s friends who owned Drummond Records. Drummond represented Liberty Records, whom they hoped would lease the master tape to a major record label.

What an amazing life story!

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Lux-Moody-Wolfel Funeral Home, Alma. To view Lee’s obituary or to leave a condolence for the family please visit www.luxfuneralhomes.com.

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One Response to Lee Lyons

  1. admin says:

    Kim Rush posted information about the radio career of Lee Lyons. This information was obtained from Lee Lyons. Thanks to Doug Taylor for his help.

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