It's hard to comprehend what Porky Chedwick meant to radio, to music and to the culture when he started pushin' platters back in the late '40s and '50s.
Unlike modern DJs, he was a freewheeler, playing what he wanted, unbound by format, and breaking records for popular and unknown artists.
He played "race records" when no one else did. He played the b-sides. He brushed off the dusty discs. The Bossman was there to get you groovin' and Grind Your Mind.
He died Sunday morning at age 96. And he was on his feet till the end. Just last Saturday he was on stage at the Benedum for the final Roots of Rock and Roll concert, looking a bit frail but sounding like his old self and enjoying the music. Of course, every headliner there, including Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Shirley Alston Reeves (of the Shirelles), sent their love to Porky for helping to make their career.
The snowy Sunday morning has brought an outpouring of respect for the Daddio of the Raddio, who was not only a pioneer and a legend but a very kind and humble man. A true gentleman.
Here's what musicians and radio people are saying on social media:
Pat DiCesare (promoter, songwriter): "Very sad news. Sean McDowell just informed me that Jeannie, Porky's wife just called him to say that Porky chedwick has just passed away. I was just with him last week. The music business just won't be the same"
Frank Czuri (Skyliners, Silencers, Diamond Reo): "I am feeling the loss of Porky Chedwick! His influence on my love for music is boundless. RIP, Bossman."
Rico Gagliano (former Pittsburgher and host of radio show "Dinner Party"): "Would like to hang on the cloud in heaven where oldies DJ bossman Porky Chedwick is now chilling with Myron Cope and all the other 'burgh characters. RIP Porky. Here's him saying stuff like "A real heavy groove goin' there for ya, for two heavy cats."
Justin Hopper (Pandemic DJ): "The word 'legend' gets used too often. In this case it's not big enough."
The Jaggerz: "Rest in Peace my dear friend. Jimmie Ross."
Rob Pratte (CBS Pittsburgh): "The Great Porky Chedwick has passed away.. Thanks Brother for your leadership."
Charlie Batch: "RIP Mr Porky Chedwick, You were truly an Icon!"
Scott Paulsen (WDVE): "The people old enough to fully understand the colossal impact of Porky Chedwick's radio career are few and far between. #RIP"
Joe Grushecky (Houserockers): "God Bless Porky Chedwick. He had a profound influence on Pittsburgh music. It was a huge thrill getting to meet him back in the day."
Chuck Owston (musician): "A Pittsburgh Music Legend has passed on: Porky Chedwick, the Daddio of the Raddio, the Platter Pushin' Poppa, the Bossman, radio personality at Radio station WAMO. Most folks remember him as preserving the Pittsburgh "Odlies" or Doo Wop sound. However, in the late 60's he had a show called "Pork in the Underground," where he played psychedelic music and real obscure "underground" rock, much like John Peel was doing in the UK. In 1962, I played a show with Porky and hill district r & b group the Volchords at the Orbit Rendevous on Rt. 30 near the Westinghouse Bridge. Also the Tempests played several with Porky over the years. RIP Porky."
Kip Ruefle (Callan, ATS): "Rip Porky. Would have nice if he had made it to the Pittsburgh Rock and Roll Hall of Fame"
Rosemary Welsch (WYEP): There are people who define what it means to be a Pittsburgher. #Porky Chedwick was one of those people. RIP ultimate PGH DJ.
Travis Klein (Itzy Records): "I'm sitting here, very sad, with some tears. I know I'm being selfish but I loved that guy. I wanted him to live forever. I feel bad for Jeanie and every other Pittsburgher who will suffer this loss with her."
Randy Baumann (WDVE): "RIP Porky Chedwick. The most important Pittsburgh broadcaster ever. The man who introduced R&B/Rock N Roll to the 'burgh."
Mayor Bill Peduto: "The legendary Porky Chedwick - today we lost The Daddio of the Raddio. I was with him last weekend. Rest my friend"