Randy Alexander, Jersey/Philly music PR icon passes away at 62 (Opinion)
I hope I find the right words for this post because words were what Randy Alexander was all about, along with a deep love for the New Jersey and Philadelphia entertainment scene and the people in it. Randy Alexander passed away Sunday, Dec. 27 after a four month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 62.
I first met Randy back in the 80's when he was a TV/Radio reporter for the Trenton Times. He was so good at his job that "His coverage of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. tour was included in the 1996 biography “Glory Days,” written by Dave Marsh, according to his bio.
Randy was no BS honest in a world where BS was the norm. He had an incredible knack for public relations and promotions and knew how to get the word out about anything. He would put that knack to work for him when he would leave the newspaper in a gutsy move and form Randex Communications.
Among the people, Randy represented include Joe Piscopo, Deep Purple, Philadelphia hit-making legends Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and the the late Robert Hazard.
There was also Franke Previte, who co-wrote the Dirty Dancing hits "I've Had The Time of My Life" and "Hungry Eyes" and now the inspirational "One World."
"I met Randy when he was doing an article on my Dirty Dancing success, way back in the 1990’s," Franke told me via email. "We stayed in touch and through the years became good friends. He was the guy you wanted in your corner, the proverbial little bull in the China closet who could get sh*t done."
"I trusted him like a brother" Previte continued. "He always had my back. Just about every project I worked on I would ask Randy to be on my team to do PR. Projects like, a new Franke and the Ko’s record complete collection. We would work on shows I would produce like, The Un4Gettables. He also helped with me on my charity ventures. Doing PR for The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on my Facebook page, Dirty Dancing Demos. Randy recently helped me doing PR and Marketing with my charity anthem. ONE WORLD helping it go top 20 on Billboard A/C charts. The proceeds from this song went to The Musician Foundation Actors Fund, The first responder's Children's foundation, And The NAACP. Randy helped build oneworldoursong.com. He helped by getting celebrities to endorse the song by doing celebrity circle videos.Patti LaBelle, Evelyn Champagne King, Tico Torres, Robert Cool Bell, Rob Hyman, Kenny Gamble, Actors Christine Ebersole and Siobhan Fallon, just to name a few."
"Randy’s spirit and memory will live on through those who knew and love him. I am proud to say I am one of those people. RIP my brother."
Chuck Darrow, veteran Philadelphia/Atlantic City arts & entertainment columnist and Randy's best friend for 40 years had this to say about him.
"Randy led a fascinating and often-glamorous life. But his career by no means defined that life. He was never 'too cool for the room,' and he never felt his unique place in the world made him better than anyone else. Here's a guy who had lunch at Bob Hope's house, once flew on a private jet to a U2 concert in Arizona and had heart-to-heart talks with Howard Stern, but who found his greatest happiness in simply hanging out with his wife and kids or watching his beloved Phillies on TV or at Citizens Bank Park."
You haven't lived until you had Randy work you on one of his clients. I once told him you could make a sitcom out of our conversations which were both loud and funny. The last night I was allowed to have people in the studio before COVID hit, it was singer Glen Burtnik, promoter Tony Pallagrosi, NJ Lottery lady Lauren Berman and off to the side not on the mic, Randy Alexander, who was responsible for bringing the two guys in the studio. It was great radio and one of the many times Randy made it happen.
Randy's death was so sudden. I received a call from him last August telling me he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. We stayed in touch every week then talked 2 weeks ago about the next course of action he was going to take to treat the disease. It was then he took a turn for the worse and that quickly Sunday Dec 27th he was gone.
I know I'll see Randy again and when I do it will probably be at the John Lennon/Elvis concert, since he'll no doubt be doing publicity for both. Salute Randy!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.