Ted Brown attended Roanoke College in Salem,Va. He got his first taste of broadcasting at a college dance when the master of ceremonies failed to show up and he filled in.
After college he joined the United States Army Air Force during World War II. He was a tail gunner in a B-17 bomber. He was shot down over Germanyand spent 18 months as a prisoner of war.
In his early days of broadcasting, Brown broadcasted from his basement studio at his home in Riverdale, the Bronx. A uniquely humorous man on air he would sing his theme song to the melody of: “Am I Blue?”
”Am I blue? No, I’m Brown
Got a smile on my puss, not a frown.
Every morn from seven ’til nine
We play discs and commit general crime.”
Ted broadcasted with WNEW in the early 1950′s, during what was considered the golden age of AM radio when melody and lyrics still mattered in popular music. Upon his exit from WNEW to WMGM, station manager Bernice Judis commented “Don’t ever let him in the door again”.
Ted Left WNEW in the early 1950’s, but would return triumphantly to WNEW in the late 1970’s. Back at WNEW he served as the afternoon drive air personality. He moved to mornings in 1978. When WNEW began evolving in 1979 from Adult Contemporary to Adult Standards/Big Bands in 1981, Ted was in his element playing Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington. Ted continued working at WNEW until 1989 when he shifted to semi-retirement. In the 1990s he helped host the New York Giants football games on WNEW.
Regarding the early rise he commented:
“I lie to myself, I set the clock for 4:30, and then push it ahead. So what I am doing, I am getting up at 4. I’ll say I am getting up at 4:30, that’s not so bad. Most people get up at 5:30, but it’s really 4? I love it. I turn on WNEW, and the minute I hear that music I can feel my blood start to move.”
Ted Brown loved the microphone and his fans loved him. He loved the Giants. More importantly he always reminded his listeners that he loved “Kids and Dogs and People”. He also shared his love for his family, he loved his wife Renee and often played her favorite song–”Satin Doll”–and he really loved his daughters Jamie and Sam, entertaining listeners with their home phone calls.
On his broadcasting style Ted commented:
“I would do the same thing if I were sitting at home in the living room. I am the same way with my kids. I am just the same at home.”
Fellow DJ Jim Lowe once commented: “He was a major talent, with a keen sense of the ridiculous. He took his shtick with him wherever he worked. He would describe himself as 6 foot 3, which was not the case. He would close his show by saying, ‘Warm up the coffee, Ma. I’m coming home.’
Listen to a Ted Brown WNEW-AM aircheck from 1981: