Philadelphia Soul and Radio Star Carl Helm Dead At 83


Former Philadelphia air talent and WDAS Assistant Program Director Carl Helm has passed away at 83. Helm was also renowned for his contributions to the famed “Sound of Philadelphia” as a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter.

He launched his music career before landing his first radio job with his debut single, “Even Strangers Say Hello,” in 1961. Helm’s voice drew comparisons to legends like Johnny Mathis and Nat King Cole. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he was a part of Philadelphia International Records, collaborating with artists such as the Stylistics and Patti LaBelle.

Helm’s radio career at WDAS began in 1963 as the station’s merchandizing director. By 1965, he had moved into overnights, where he gained notoriety for singing along on-air with his favorite songs. He would also host special New Year’s Eve shows to ring in the new year.

A decade later he was named WDAS Operations Manager, before being appointed APD in 1978. Helm stayed with the station until 1995, until a change in management and format. Helm was featured in Robert Woodard’s 1999 documentary Legends of the Airwaves, which spotlighted renowned Philadelphia Soul radio personalities.

He is also being remembered for using his platform to promote community projects and highlight social dialogue and community building.


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