2001 Inductee

Tom Shannon’s career runs a parallel path to the history of rock ‘n’ roll-breezy and carefree; hard-driving and entrepreneurial; dedicated to roots. Cutting his teeth in his early teens at WXRA Radio in 1955, Shannon soon moved to WKBW and took over 7-to-midnight after Dick Biondi’s departure for Chicago. The handsome youth immediately becoming a Buffalo teen heartthrob and one of America’s best-known rock jocks via KB’s near-total East Coast penetration at night. With the face of a matinee idol, Shannon quickly grabbed a weekly TV gig as host of “Buffalo Bandstand” on next-door neighbor WKBW-TV (Channel 7). By 1964, his huge KB Radio ratings and the infectious joy of his air work landed him at rock powerhouse CKLW in Detroit, where once more he made it look easy, simply duplicating the household-word success that he had magically spun in Buffalo. In Detroit he also stepped up his TV work, eventually becoming host of the morning show at ABC-owned WXYZ-TV. In 1972, he switched to Denver, handling a daily radio air shift and the daily TV gig “Afternoon at the Movies with Tom Shannon” at KWGN-TV. Forty-six years after it launched, his career continues in full-stride at WHTT-FM, where he still pumps out the hits each day in afternoon-drive and where he still intones at the close of each broadcast: “Above and beyond all else-later.”

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