For three decades, June LeBell was a fixture at New York City’s WQXR. Hired on as the first female announcer on a major U.S. commercial classical music radio station, she hung up the mic in 2002, but now, is back on air in South Florida with a weekly Sunday afternoon one-hour interview program for WSMR-FM titled June LeBell’s Music Conversations.
Marty Clear’s profile piece in The Bradenton Herald is full of rich personal detail. LeBell, who fled New York City in the wake of 9/11, has married for the first time and most recently vanquished ovarian cancer:
She was living in Sarasota when a friend from the New York music world, Edward Alley, gave her a call. He had a retired down here with his wife and had seen LeBell’s name in the paper and gave her a call. In New York, LeBell had interviewed both Alley, who was a conductor and the manager of the New York Philharmonic, and his wife on her New York radio show. They renewed their friendship here, and some years later, after Alley’s wife died, he and LeBell started dating. LeBell married for the first time in her life when she was in her mid-60s.
LeBell also currently writes about the arts, lectures around the country and teaches at the Sarasota Institute of Lifelong Learning (SILL). Her WUSF Public Media radio program, which has featured both locals and international stars such as conductor Leonard Slatkin and opera singer Marilyn Horne, is co-produced by Alley.