Walt A. Maguire was born Friday, February 20, 1920 and raised in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and was graduated from North Catholic High School in 1938. He served in the 101st Airborne Division during World War II and then married Francis Bavis in 1947. He worked in Philadelphia radio and television from 1947 to 1951. Walt was mainly known to Philadelphians as a sportscaster for WFIL-TV, but did do other duties for the station, Channel 6.
In 1948, the TV station had a sportscast sponsored by Mort Farr, an appliance dealer who was located in Upper Darby at 69th and Chestnut Streets. It was five minutes in duration and hosted by Walt Maguire. When the broadcast was over at 7:20 pm, the station filled with music. This procedure was quickly changed within a couple of months.
Then he left to go with London Records starting as a sales/promotion man for the label in Pennsylvania and Ohio. In 1953, the Maguires moved to New York City where he worked in London's main office. He worked his way up and by 1967 he was an Executive Vice President and Director of Artists and Recording. In 1957, the family moved to Tenafly, NJ, where Walt lived there until his death in 1988.
Among the artists he "discovered" and signed to their first contracts were the Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, David Bowie, ZZ Top, Al Green and Cat Stevens. He functioned as the executive producer of many of the classic London recordings of the 60's and 70's.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo courtesy of Mike Femyer. Posted from the Test Patterns and Broadcasting Bits website
Written and researched by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
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