'Burning Up The Air'

Talk is a well established radio format today, but it's taken many years to develop to this point. And there's a local connection to its early days: Jerry Williams.

The "Dean of Talk Radio," as he was dubbed, was the first Boston host to put callers' voices on the air. Williams was also one of the first radio personalities to voice strong opinions.

Jerry Williams died in 2003. Now a new book delves into the man behind the microphone: "Burning up the Air," by Steve Elman and Alan Tolz, two former producers of Williams' shows.

Elman, also a former longtime manager at WBUR, tells Bob Oakes that Williams had far more influence than local talk hosts today.

Steve Elman will read from "Burning Up the Air" on Saturday, March 29, at the Booksmith / Musicsmith in Orleans, MA, 9 West Road, at 1 PM.

This program aired on March 18, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Bob Oakes

Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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