Radio Pioneer Paul Drew Passes Away in Glendale

One can only imagine the great radio tales Paul Drew regaled fellow residents with at Victor Royale Assisted Living, an airy facility in the south end of Glendale just a few blocks away from Forest Lawn. Per an obit in Billboard by Gail Mitchell, this early architect of the top-40 format knew many of the great ones:

Drew worked with and/or mentored a diverse array of radio personalities, programmers, consultants and industry writers. That list includes consultants Jerry Clifton and Guy Zapoleon, writers Gerry Cagle (Network 40), Walt “Baby” Love (Radio & Records) and Jerry Del Colliano (Inside Radio), as well as air personalities Rick Dees, Dr. Don Rose, Jay Thomas and Charlie Van Dyke.

The Detroit native’s various radio programming assignments included stints with KFRC in San Francisco and KHJ-AM in Los Angeles. The latter at 930 AM is now a Spanish-language station known as “La Ranchera,” but back in the day, it was a Top 40 power house dubbed “Boss Radio” and buffeted by some great Johnny Mann Singers jingles.

Another highlight of Drew’s career occurred in 1984, when President Reagan appointed him as the first head of a pet foreign-aid project, Radio Marti. The initiative involved beaming U.S. radio programming into Cuba by means of a government-operated radio station. Drew, 78, died of natural causes. RIP.