Porky Chedwick - Pittsburgh's Pied Piper©2006JCMarion



If ever there was one person that was identified with the sound of Pittsburgh in the rock 'n roll age, that person is most certainly Craig Chedwick. Known to the world as Porky, he hailed from Homestead just Southeast of the city. He began his radio career with a rather small local AM'er behind a candy store with the call letters WHOD. Soon he became one of a number of White radio disc jockeys across the country that played Black Rhythm & Blues. He joined such personalities as Hunter Hancock and Dick Hugg in L.A., George Oxford in San Francisco, Clarence "Poppa Stoppa" Hamman in New Orleans, and transplanted western Pa. guy Alan "Moondog" Freed now in Cleveland. In the early nineteen fifties he began the practice of playing older R & B records which made him a pioneer in the oldies format which he called dusty discs. By the mid fifties his home radio station reenamed itself WAMO (for the three rivers that joined to form the central city area of Pittsburgh - Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio).

He hit the air with his theme song of "Bongo Blues" by the Dee Williams Sextette and his program was called the Masterful Rhythm, Blues, and Jazz Show. He referred to himself as "Pork The Tork" and "The Daddio of the Raddio" adding a colorful characteristic to his on air personna. By 1958 WAMO switched to an all R & B format and had an all Black on air staff except for Porky Chedwick. By the early nineteen sixties he began to present live shows in and around the Pittsburgh area and was famous for his numerous "sock hops" in area high schools. One of the most famous was his legendary "Porky's Groove Spectacular" in May of 1962. Because of his longevity and persistent presentation of the music, Chedwick had a great influence on area promoter Richard Nader who in the late sixties began his series of "Rock 'N Roll Revival Shows" that would have a great effect on familiarization of the music to a whole new generation of fans.

Through all of the changes in the music over the years, the Western area of Pennsylvania has had one constant. The radio voice of Porky Chedwick. An"Oldies Festival" billed as Pittsburgh's "Porkstock" was held in the mid nineties featuring Chedwick and paying homage to all his years of support for the music. Porky was also heard on area stations KQV, WNRZ, WLSW, and in 2006 at the age of 88, WFKB. He passed a half century behind the microphone and never stopped or looked back. Retirement was not in his vocabulary. Into the new millenium Porky rides on and is remembered with his version of the landmark "Cruisin' " CD series of radio recreations of the rock area. Porky and Pittsburgh - great together.

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