Howard Hewes (Joel Busch) was born in Pittsburgh and, by the age of 10, was already interested in radio. To broadcast to a few houses in his neighborhood, his dad got him an old transmitter and set it up in the basement. Wires were run to a nearby utility pole and, using records from his own, and his dad’s, collection, big band and R&B was the order of the day, with news read right out of the newspaper.
He was fascinated with Porky Chedwick playing Little Richard and Bo Diddley on WAMO and jumped at the prospect of meeting the deejay in person. By the time he was 16, he was working at the station after school, on weekends, and during the summer.
Hewes attended Ohio State with the intentions of being an engineer, but dropped out and moved to Florida where he took a few non-radio jobs before returning to the air in 1969 at WCWR. He changed his name to “Howard Hewes” to capitalize on the mysterious and reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, and went on to work at WLCY, WFLA, Solid Gold 16 WILZ, and oldies WHBO and U92 WYUU.
He’s also been a stand-up comedian, dance club deejay, and a “deejay for hire” (for private parties). As Joel Vincent, he did a talk show for Clearwater’s Sun Radio Network, worked for the United Broadcasting Network, hosted an oldies show on Atlanta FM Peach 94.9 for three years and, more recently, did a morning show for cable and satellite TV.
The zany deejay had a personality that could be counted on to do and say the unexpected at the drop of a hat. As the self-described “Megawatt Maverick” and “Grand Poobah of Doo Wah,” he was a man who connected with his audience by encouraging them to call in, and then taking time to trade jokes and stories between songs to show how much he appreciated them. Not many jocks do that kind of thing anymore…unfortunately.
Howard passed away September 25, 2019. He was 74.
1969 - 1994 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)