This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.
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(From Radio Recall, December 2003)
HAL WALKER, NEWS CORRESPONDENT, DIES AT AGE 70
The first black correspondent to work for CBS News, Hal Walker, passed away on November 26, 2004; he was 70 years old. He came to this network after a career as an award winning journalist covering race relations in the nation’s capital for WTOP-TV, which later became WUSA.
Walker came to the CBS microphone in the late 1960 and remained in their news broadcasting department for twelve years. He left CBS to join the news bureau at ABC and was a broadcaster for them for fifteen years, before retiring in 1995.
Mr. Walker is survived by his wife, their three children and four grandchildren.
EDDIE GALLAHER, RADIO HOST AND DJ, DIES NOV 26TH
Veteran radio broadcaster, Eddie Gallaher, 88, died in a Washington, DC hospital, following complications from hip surgery. A gentleman D.J. and daytime host on area stations, he survived 53 years on the air.
He came to the Washington area in 1946 after stints in Oklahoma and Minnesota where he spun records, did news casting, and broadcast baseball play-by-play.
When he arrived in DC, Gallaher started at WTOP doing the night show. The next year, he was picked as the morning replacement for Arthur Godfrey, who was moving to New York to take a job with the CBS network. Gallaher maintained some of the characteristics of the Godfrey program, including interviewing celebrities who were visiting Washington, DC.
For one period, Gallaher was hosting both the morning program, “Sundial” and the evening show, “Moondial.” Willard Scott and Ed Walker, the sparkling Joy Boys at WRC, were Gallaher’s chief competition for the morning audience. Ed recalled that “For some reason, Eddie always got to play new records before we did.”
About 1968, WTOP switched to an all news format, so Gallaher took his show to WASH. Later he moved over to WWDC, which in 1982, became WGAY. His program would become one of the last ones at WGAY to have an actual person at the microphone, after much of the industry had gone on to “canned format.” Many listeners quoted his signature line: “It’s so nice to know so many nice people.”
He retired three years ago, when loss of his vision and his mobility prevented him from doing the job he loved.
Although he was born in DC, he was raised in Oklahoma and attended the University of Tulsa . He was on active duty with the U.S. Navy during World War II and went into radio broadcasting after his discharge. He had been divorced from his wife, Mary, for many years and he left no survivors.
Read more about Eddie Gallaher, in this article.