Bill Drake: The Man Who Killed the DJ is Dead

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Radio Facts:
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For those of us who came into radio in the 80s and 90s, we have this man to thank for watching our salaries and egos tank (laugh) with his “more music, less talk” motto that he pushed down the radio industry’s throat until it became legend, unfortunately, more at urban…. Oh, he’s dead.

Bill Drake, who set the tone at hundreds of pop stations with a radio format that placed music “” rather than disc Radio DJeys “” at the center of the broadcast, has died. He was 71.

Drake died Saturday of cancer at West Hills Hospital in the San Fernand o Valley, his domestic partner Carole Scott said. He was 71.

At the height of his career as a radio programming consultant in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Drake championed a streamlined format that came to be known as “Boss Radio,” which made announcers’ personalities secondary to the Top 40 hits they were spinning.

Under Drake’s guidance, radio stations such as KGB in San Diego, KHJ in Los Angeles and KFRC in San Francisco shot to the No. 1 slots in their markets by promising more music and less chatter.

Drake, whose given name was Philip Yarbrough, was born Jan. 14, 1937, in southwest Georgia and began his professional radio career as a disk Radio DJey and later program director at WAKE in Atlanta.

His name was changed to Drake because the station wanted a name that rhymed with the call letters, according to a biography on Drake’s Web site.