My very first job in broadcasting was at the old WRLB in Long Branch where I played music from 6-10 week nights. The mid-day guy was Ron Filleppe whom I worked with at Brookdale college radio and the afternoons were manned by Rocky Zagari who would go on to become Rick Martini and program Two New York radio stations. We were all on our first jobs and wet behind the ears.


Chris Swendeman/NJ1015 Townsquare Media

The morning man was a guy named Joe Bradford who spent his time while the records were playing gathering as much local news as possible for the morning cast, when he read as well as joked on air in between songs. He also took the rest of us under his wing and taught us that radio was not about being stars but hard work.

Joe was a devoted family man, a good Catholic and a standup guy. I say that last part because that was the way he did his show. I remember one day watching him gyrate while watching him introducing Lobo’s “Where Were You While I was Falling in Love” Definitely a radio moment.

After an exhausting 5 hours of being both the disc jockey and newscaster, he would drive to the most northern point of Rt 35 and work his way down every shop and strip mall selling advertising with that same kind and gentle personality that you heard on the radio that morning. His clients swore by him. Most time in radio sales, the clients are swearing at you, but not with Joe. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told his story to new kids trying to make it in radio.

Today after a 45 year career, Joe retires as one of the top salesman here at New Jersey 101.5.  I’ll miss his sense of humor, stories about growing up in the neighborhood, and keeping me in line like he did all those years ago. There are a lot of people in this business who owe a lot to Joe and I am one of them. It was always a joy to come in and see Joe who always had a smile on his face and a kind word.

May you have a long, healthy and happy retirement my friend. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. Salute’ to a wonderful career.

Who are the people who influenced you in your career?