If you were a teen in the mid 60’s you probably listened to him on the radio. I enjoyed him on the weekends playing rock n’ roll. With that distinctive voice of his, you couldn’t miss him.
Born Robert Weston Smith in Brooklyn, New York the youngest of two children to Anson Weston Smith and Rosamund Small. Anson was a Sunday school teacher and writer, editor and executive vice president of Financial World.
Smith became a fan of R & B music when his mother and father divorced and his father gave him an oceanic radio to keep him out of trouble. He became a fan of such DJ’s like New York’s “Dr Jive”(Tommy Smalls), the “Moon Dog“ Alan Freed and Nashville’s “John R.” Richbourg who later became his mentor.
After his career selling products door-to-door didn’t pan out he attended the National Academy of Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. When he graduated in 1960 he began working as “Daddy Jules” at WYOU-AM in Newport News, Virginia. He changed to country music at KCIJ/1050 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was the manager as well as the morning DJ there.
He married Lucy “Lou” Lamb in 1962 and they had two children, Joy Rene and Todd Weston.
He died in Belvedere, North Carolina on July 1, 1995 of a massive heart attack. He had just come home from a 20-day trip to promote his new book, “Have Mercy, The Confessions of the Original Party Animal”. Stories of his early career and parties with celebrities.
It wasn’t until he played himself in the movie American Grafitti that the public saw the face that went with the voice. (Many early listeners though he was black.) A raspy and gravelly voice that had howled and yipped over the XERF-AM Mexican station which broadcasted at 250,000 watts, more than five times the power allowed on any American radio station in the 1960s and made him one of America‘s most recognized personalities.
After the movie, he did various advertising campaigns and over 40 network TV shows. He had a syndicated tv show, The Wolfman Jack Show, and in the 1980’s he became the host of Rock ‘n’ Roll Palace on The Nashville Network and played host on a weekly show called The Midnight Special.
Lou Lamb Smith, known as Wolfwoman is now trying to get his star on the Walk of Fame. She is working with Café Press to merchandise his products online. Wolfman Jack can also be listened to on XM radio. He used to like to say that with all the recording he did of his work on-air that there should be about 300 years worth after his passing.
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