Trailblazing WBLS Radio Host Hal Jackson Celebrates 97th Birthday in Style

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By Jerry Barmash Comments

Iconic broadcaster Hal Jackson has birthday number 97 tomorrow. The longtime WBLS personality is blowing out his candles with a special event.

The birthday gala, at Battery Park, is hosted by Jackson’s wife Debbie and will feature many tributes and performances including the legendary Stevie Wonder. In addition, The Jeff Foxx Band will provide the music for the night. Foxx is the WBLS afternoon host. 

“He reminds me of why I got into radio,” WBLS program director Skip Dillard says. “He’s a musicologist, believes in radio’s power to inform and serve the community.”

Jackson has been in radio for more than eight decades.  He remains a fixture at ‘BLS, hosting Sunday Classics from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

“[He] has given away much of his financial gain for the growth and success of others through scholarships, employment opportunities and mentoring,” Dillard says.  

Jackson is credited with breaking the color barrier at several radio stations.