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Gary Byrd

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An east coast soul DJ or “personality jock” who recorded a track called Soul Travelin’ that name dropped popular soul & R&B artists of the 60’s & 70’s. Byrd grew up listening to Buffalo NY’s main R&B DJs on WUFO, Eddie O’Jay and Hound Dog Lorenz. Byrd later worked for the station himself as a teenager, shifting his tastes from John Coltrane to Smokey Robinson. In the mid-60’s when Byrd started in the record biz, popular jocks could still break records on their word alone, and Byrd made an impact in Buffalo even as a high school student. Byrd left upstate New York when formatted playlists alienated the young DJ, and he sought work in NYC at WWRL, a station he first visited on his spring break as a high school junior. He remained one of the most popular NY DJs for many years. Gary Byrd also wrote the lyrics to “Village Ghetto Land” and “Black Man” on Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life (Tamla, 1976).

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