Paul Sidney (1940-2009)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Paul Sidney (1940-2009)

Updated 04/03/2009 – 11:25 pm

One of the last voices of "old time radio" on Long Island, if not the entire United States, Paul Sidney, passed away early today, age 69.

Photo of Paul Sidney courtesy of WLNG radio

He had been in ill health, battling leukemia for several years.

Brooklyn-born Sidney, née Sid Weinstein, came to the East End from WLIS in Old Say­brook, Connecticut in 1964 when WLNG was still a 500 watt AM-only1 radio station...

"1600, top of the dial, top of the Isle! WLNG, Sag Harbor, New York!"

He said it loudly, and frequently. And in corny jingles... and more corny jingles... that were by the end of the '70s, remnants of an earlier era.

Paul stayed with then because he loved'em!

He also loved live remotes and what he called that "deep sound" that was reminiscent of WABC, the WMCA "Good Guys" and New York City AM radio in the days of Ron Lundy, Harry Harrison, "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Dan Ingram, "Big" Wilson and Scott Muni.

(Video clip of Paul Sidney on YouTube.)

In the late '70s, shortly after WLNG had added it's distinctive "throw-back reverb" to its sig­nal, I came across Paul in National's on Sunset Avenue. He just had to ask what I thought of their new "deep sound."

(Paul and I went back to mid-'65, so I knew no matter what I said it would matter not a whit to the man... if he even heard the response. He was a dreadful listener!)

"Honestly, Paul? Sounds like you're broad­casting from the boys' room of the local high school."

...he was told, but it was like a whisper in the middle of a marching band.

"I love it," Paul went straight on with the en­thusiasm with which he discussed any aspect of r-a-d-i-o. He lived it and breathed it every day of the 44 years I knew the man.

Eastern Long Island will be a lot quieter, and less colorful, with the passing of Paul Sidney.

  1. The station divested itself of its AM signal in 1996 in order for WWRL to expand its own "progressive talk radio" signal.


1. Hampton West said...

Ah Dan Ingham - you are so right - I recall the very first time I tuned in WABC as a very young man Dan Ingram was on playing "He's a Rebel" by the Crystals - sure enough in 1978 or so I recall hearing Mr. Sidney for the first time - playing the very same song I heard on WABC. I thought to myself that the guy sounded like Dan Ingram. May God bless.

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