Hall of Fame: 2008

Jerry Williams

Boston’s “Dean of Talk Radio,” Jerry Williams challenged politicians, debated controversial guests and provided listeners with a new way to look at the issues.

Jerry Williams introduced Boston to controversial telephone talk. A few others preceded him as talk hosts in Massachusetts, but he was the first person in the area to put the voices of telephone callers on the air as a regular element of a radio program, five years before it caught on elsewhere, ten years before it became common on the air, and fifteen years before talk radio became a national format.

Audio Samples

Jerry was a non-partisan advocate, speaking out against racial prejudice, the Vietnam war, government infringement of individual liberties, the Bay State’s mandatory seat belt law, and the Big Dig. First on WMEX, then on WBZ, and finally on WRKO, he showed how powerful and popular talk could be, both at night and in afternoon drive time. For more than 45 years, he picked fights with politicians, relentlessly argued with his callers, and created some of the greatest radio monologues of all time.”