If you live in the New York/tri-state area, and have any age on you, it will be sad news to learn that Joe Franklin, one of the true pioneers of talk radio (he was at it for over 60 years, right up to the last week or two) – and a born-and-bred Bronx native – has died at the age of 88. The death appeared to be sudden, and the exact cause has not yet been made public.
I remember his show as “Joe Franklin\’s Memory Lane”, with the theme song an upbeat version of “I\’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover”. I also remember him interviewing a virtual who\’s-who of entertainment personalities, usually starting before they were famous and then continuing long afterwards.
Mr. Franklin was a very engaging man and, even though he never went national, consistently drew the highest-level talent to his microphone. They liked him and he liked them.
Anyone who heard Mr. Franklin, or saw him in one or another of the movies he played himself in, or laughed at Billy Crystal\’s imitations of him on Saturday Night Live, will miss him. And that is a lot of people, believe me.
May Joe Franklin Rest In Peace….or spend eternity trading stories with some of the countless stars he interviewed in the past, whom he is no-doubt reacquainting himself with now.