Scott Muni, R.I.P.
Another radio voice of my youth is gone.
Scott Muni was the voice of New York FM radio, the man who introduced me to so much rock and roll. As the number one man on WNEW, he led the way, spinning tracks from the Beatles to whatever was current, explaining why they were cool, sharing tidbits about the members and making the music important. He was selective, everything wasn’t pitched as the greatest thing since Chuck Berry, lending authority to his choices.
When I first discovered FM radio and AOR formatting, it was revolutionary. At first, my friends and I all listened to WPLJ thinking it was the best. But they were too top 40-oriented and we dialed past it until we found WNEW. With Scott leading the way, the era of Heavy Metal was ushered in without losing sight of other musical trends, notably the west coast music of Linda Rondstadt and the Eagles. While Long Island’s WLIR first tipped us to the growing punk movement, WNEW didn’t ignore it, adding it to the mix.
I could hear album debuts, guest interviews, and more with Scott, Alison Steele and the rest holding court. His weekly shows dedicated to British music opened my ears to one band after another.
Scottso had it rough but he overcame personal demons and continued to be a radio presence long after his peers left the business or passed away. He’d been doing a regular show on WNEW’s successor, WAXQ, until a stroke sidelined him over the summer.
And now he’s gone. Another day when the music died.