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Bob Livorio


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Popular DJ for 36 Years on WKPA
A favorite radio show of Pittsburghers for 36 years was the “Saturday Morning Listening Habit” that was hosted by Bob Livorio on WKPA. Beginning on the air in the late 1950's Livorio was one of the first Pittsburgh area DJs to play R&B and "Doo Wop" which was then categorized as "race music".'

"Of the hundreds of radio personalities who have passed through the Pittsburgh market in 85 years of radio, few make an impact, The Valley has in Bob Livorio at least one of a handful of radio legends that shaped the way we grew up listening to the radio - as a companion, a friend." Ron Antill WISH program director (Tribune Review Interview 2005)

Livorio's show was so popular in 1961 that students from three high schools demanded Kennywood Park to play Bob's show over the park's loud speakers. They did not want to miss Bob's show while they were at their school picnics.

Bob Livorio went on the air for the first time 1957. Radio and music were his passions.  Bob moonlighted as a radio DJ on WKPA for three hours each Saturday morning.  He worked full time as an advertising salesman for the New Kensington, Pa newspaper the Daily Dispatch . 

Bob played a mix of rock and ballads on his programs. "Psycho" by the Sonics and "Surfer Joe"/"Wipeout" by the Surfaris were two garage rock classics that he introduced on his show. Among his favorite ballads were I Only Have Eyes For You" by the Flamingos, "Forever" by the Marvelettes, and "Angel Baby" by Rosie & the Originals. Tommy James credits Bob as one of the DJs who broke the hit single Hanky Panky.

Lovorio also supported the music of Pittsburgh artists. During the British Invasion years in the early 1960s he played the recordings of the Fenways, the Arondales, the Racket Squad, the Skyliners, and the Vogues.

A WKPA advertisement highlighted the sounds of the Bob Livorio Show listing the songs High on a Hill, 69, Every Day's a Holiday, Please Love Me Forever, Stop Pretending, Lover's Island, and more.

Listeners sent Bob hundreds of request letters each week. On Friday nights Bob gathered his wife and children in his living room. Together they read and sorted the requests. Bob picked his playlist forms from the requests and read the requestor's names on the air on SaturdaysBob dedicated songs to his listeners.

On weekend nights Lovorio spun records for his teenage fans at dances at Henry's in Tarentum, the New Kensington YMCA , the Birdville Fire Hall in Natrona Heights, and school sock hops. 

WKPA

WKPA 1150-AM was broadcast from 810 Fifth Avenue in downtown New Kensington.  It was located on the second floor above the old Coopers music store.  Its signal reached Pittsburgh and the Allegheny-Kiski Valley east of Pittsburgh. It shared its studios with its sister station of WYDD-FM.

In November 1992 WKPA went off the air. The station’s owner Salem Broadcasting gave WKPA to Pentecostal Temple Development Corporation. The FCC made Salem divest of WKPA when it bought another Pittsburgh Christen station WPIT-AM/FM.  The new owners changed WKPA's format to Black Gospel and changed the station's call letters to WGBN representing the Gospel Broadcasting Network. Bob Livorio’s 36 year radio program ended.

Bob can now be heard behind the counter of the ice cream parlor that he purchased: the Dairy Queen on Freeport Road in Natrona Heights. His daughter Cynthia Brennan carried on the family tradition as a DJ on WISH.
 
WKPA-WYDD New Kensington Studios