October 27, 1950
Born Philip Guest Adams on Monday, December 9, 1912, he was better known to the listening public as Stu Wayne. He was the son of Lillian and Henry Adams of North Canton, CT and he was one of 8 children.
An August 1947 article about Stu Wayne said:
At the age of nine Stu began working as a farm hand, graduated to auto mechanic work at 12, auto sales at 14 and auto insurance at 16. By the time he was 21, Mrs. Wayne decided young Stuart had been in the automobile business long enough.
One day seeing an ad in a newspaper, placed by a local radio station, she wrote an answer signing young Stu's name. It was the beginning of a radio career that has taken Wayne down the Atlantic coast, through many stations in Connecticut and New York, and finally to Philadelphia.
He began his half-century career at WTIC (AM) in Hartford, CT. Later, he worked at WBRY (AM) in Waterbury and WMAS (AM) in Springfield, Massachusetts. Then he started an acting career in New York City with two buddies, Louie Nye and Michael O’Shea. He portrayed various characters on network radio during the thirties and forties including “Gangbusters” and “The Green Hornet.”
He found his way to Philly in October of 1942 when he joined KYW Radio as a staff announcer. In 1945, KYW Radio’s Program Director Jim Begley (Begley was on NBC live from Lakehurst, NJ at 11:30 pm on May 6, 1937 shortly after the Hindenburg blew up) assigned Wayne to mornings. There, he hosted “The Musical Clock” program daily from 6 to 9 am. Within two months, he added ten minutes of children’s songs to the program. The segment was called "Tunes for Tiny Tots at Ten to Nine." It became so popular that later, the station added “The Big Tiny Tot Time” on Saturdays to his schedule.
In an article published in "Band Leaders Magazine," dated January 1946, it said: "Morning Salute" which is what Stuart Wayne calls his early hour stint, goes from 6 am to 7 am, six days a week at KYW, the National Broadcasting Company's outlet. Stuart then continues with the "Musical Clock" show from 7:00 to 8:30."
After just three years, it was estimated that he had played over 25,000 records on the morning get together. From KYW, he moved over to WPEN radio doing mornings and working with Bob Horn.
When TV came on the scene, he was also involved in telecasting and appeared as an actor on the legendary “Action in the Afternoon” which originated from the WCAU-TV backlot and broadcast live over the CBS Television Network during 1953 and 1954.
Stu Wayne did some live commercials during the Philadelphia Phillies baseball games during the early fifties and appeared as Mr. Jolly on “Mr. Jolly’s Toy Shop” on WDEL-TV, Channel 7 and later Channel 12 in Wilmington.
In 1953, Stu left the City of Brotherly Love to go to West Palm Beach, Florida to manage the upstart WIRK-TV. Two years later, he came back to Philly and WFIL Radio where he hosted “The Stu Wayne Show.” Later, he became the station’s music director and stayed until 1961.
Part of his duties included being music director for “American Bandstand,” which originated from WFIL-TV, Channel 6 in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally over the ABC Television network.
In December 1960, he married Dorothy “Joan” Campbell, a Philly girl and a long-time fan. They first met in 1945 when he was on KYW and she was 13.
In 1962, he was General Manager of WBCB (AM) in Levittown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Two years later, in 1964, the family moved to Dover, Delaware and WKEN (AM). In 1967, O’Keefe Broadcasting which owned the Levittown station where Wayne was GM, purchased WARN AM & FM in Fort Pierce, Florida and Wayne was hired as the stations’ General Manager.
The stations were sold in 1974, and the Waynes returned to Dover where Stu reassumed his post as General Manager of WKEN. He stayed through 1986 when the station was sold.
Stu Wayne was active in the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia where he was a member for a decade and a half. He was also a long time member of the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs.
The Waynes had one daughter, Phyllis who was born in 1963. Stu Wayne passed away on Saturday, January 3, 1998 of heart failure. He was 85 years old.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo donated by Broadcast Pioneers member John Roberts
Researched and compiled by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
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