Charlie Cooper spent only a few short years on WKAZ-AM in the 70s, but he is being remembered as legendary by friends and colleagues. Cooper,74, died this week after a battle with cancer.
Howard Russell Jr. went by several air names during his radio journey that started in Akron, Ohio in the 60s. Known as “Russ Howard” at WSLR-AM, he worked in the newsroom. He left for a shot in NYC, but ended up returning to Northeast Ohio taking a job as a DJ at WINW-AM in Canton. That’s where “Charlie Cooper” was born. He also worked at WCUE-AM/FM in Akron.
WKAZ PD Bruce Clark, touring Ohio looking for a new afternoon DJ, heard about Cooper and hired him without an audition. He hit the air in Charleston in 1973, then left in 1980 to run his voice-over and a DJ business.
“He was the epitome of a disc jockey, he could just entertain people, whether he had two people or a thousand people,” said Noel Richardson, Broadcast Engineer for West Virginia Radio Corporation, remembering Cooper for MetroNews.
He was inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2007, where you can find a biography detailing his career.