We still have a few more members of the Hall of Fame to recognize as a part of Women’s History Month and we’re continuing today with someone who was part of broadcasting for many decades.
A Buffalonian right from the start, the late Mary Brady joined the staff at WEBR as a switchboard operator after graduating from college in 1946. She always loved music and began to work with the record librarian on a part-time basis, but when that librarian left the station in 1947, the job was offered to Mary. â€œIn those days, â€œMary recounted, â€œWe would pull half-hour segments of music by artists like Guy Lombardo or Sammy Kaye. We also had a subscription service and took afternoon shows from the Mutual Network.”
In the 1950â€™, the stationâ€™s morning host started adding time, temperature, and news items. Within a few years, the half hour segments and network service were gone. They were replaced by disc jockeys and more music-centered programming. Bob Wells used his afternoon show to develop the Hi-Teen Club, where area teens could dance to Rock â€˜nâ€™ Roll records or live music. As music taste and programming changed, Mary had to track down the new music and make it available. Music went from the relatively short â€œSing Along with Mitchâ€ era to the longer-lived easy listening â€œSound of the Cityâ€ years to contemporary, and then rock. Music was always changing, but it was always in good hands with Mary!
Maryâ€™s career spanned the end of the fabled Golden Age of Radio through the transition to easy listening and contemporary. She often had to develop her own cataloging systems, and when a harried production director would run into the library to ask for a specific piece of music or â€œsomething that sounded likeâ€ something else, Mary could point, name an album, and say â€œblue jacket, second side, on the 3rd shelf in that cabinetâ€, and be right!
When Western New York Public Broadcasting purchased the signal, news and talk took the place of the contemporary format and Mary, who had always programmed the music on the 94.5 FM side in addition to WEBR-AM, began helping Peter Goldsmith develop an entirely new library for WNED-FM.
When she retired in 1999, Mary continued to volunteer, answering the phones during membership drives on WNED AM & FM. She passed away in April of 2014.
The Buffalo Broadcasters Association is proud to salute 2010 Hall of Fame Inductee Mary Brady during National Womenâ€™s History Month.