Beloved Mon Valley disc jockey defined the Pittsburgh sound
The B side, “Thank You Anyway, Mr. DJ,” of a 1962 Lou Johnson song still had airtime a half century later because Mon Valley disc jockey Terrance “Terry” Lee Albert Trunzo, liked it.
It capped his “Music For Young Lovers,” an old WMCK-1360 program, and appeared on his online radio show.
Trunzo, 70, lost his battle with lung cancer on Tuesday at his home in Bellville, Ohio.
“That is the way you would fall asleep at night, listening to ‘Music For Young Lovers,'” said Fred Bohn, owner of The Attic Records in Millvale.
Trunzo's widow, Carol, said late on Thursday, “For almost 30 years, I have had the privilege of being the wife of the most wonderful husband and father anyone could have, and my children and I will miss him terribly. We are planning a huge celebration of his life in the McKeesport area, for the people who not only embraced him, and gave him the chance to grow in his career, but also gave him the key to their city. We hope that everyone will join us in honoring a man who brought joy and cherished memories to so many loyal listeners.”
A date and location for the memorial will be announced at a later date.
“I started listening to Terry Lee in 1964 and met him a little after that when I started going to the teenage dances,” Bohn said. “He was one of the classiest DJs that there was.”
Bohn recalled Trunzo arriving at dances “in a chauffeur-driven limousine.”
“I actually drove the limousine for Terry Lee,” Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey, D-West Mifflin, said. “I was 17, 18 years old and I was doing that.”
Macey once hung out at the old WMCK studios in the Elks Temple in McKeesport. He presented a proclamation at Trunzo's return to McKeesport's the Palisades on Feb. 13, 2010.
Trunzo, known professionally as Terry Lee, was born Aug. 27, 1942, in Monongahela to the late Albert D. Trunzo Sr. and Pauline Carlson Trunzo. According to an obituary provided by The Snyder Funeral Home of Lexington, Ohio, Trunzo left the entertainment business and moved to Bellville with his wife and children in 1991. While there, he farmed and ran a family-owned trucking business.
In 2010, he brought the “T.L. Sound” and “Music For Young Lovers” back to the McKeesport area.
“It was a thrill to work with him,” said Bill Korch, associate operations manager for three Broadcast Communications stations in North Versailles Township.
Korch listened to Trunzo as a youngster and in the mid-1980s was his co-worker when WMCK successor WIXZ-1360 was in East McKeesport.
“It is truly an end of an era that spanned a half a century,” Renda vice president and one-time WIXZ owner Alan Serena said. “The ‘T.L. Sound' will live in our minds forever.”
“Terry Lee brought a lot of wonderful music to everybody. He will truly, truly be missed,” Candy Long said as she and husband Mike capped a Trunzo tribute on WEDO-810. “We pulled out all of his old music and played it.”
Bohn later advertised on Trunzo's radio and Internet shows.
“He'd come down and said, ‘Can we do anything?'” Bohn recalled. “I said ‘I would be glad to support you.'”
“Terry Lee will always be remembered as one of the three disc jockeys whose record discoveries helped define what we now call the Pittsburgh sound,” said former area broadcaster Ed Weigle.
“To this day, oldies record collectors categorize songs as either ‘Porky Records,' ‘Mad Mike Moldie Oldies' or ‘The T.L. Sound,'” said Weigle, who did voice overs for Trunzo's Magic webcasts. “He was unique among the three jocks (because of) his movie-star good looks, which brought him quite a bit of local success on television.”
Trunzo hosted shows on WIIC-11, KDKA-2 and WPGH-53.
Trunzo is survived by his wife Carol, formerly of West Mifflin, as well as three sons, two daughters, a stepson, two grandchildren, a brother and two nephews.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Replacement fire chief, safety issues to top McKeesport agenda
- Former Kennywood worker held for court on child porn charges
- McKeesport woman headed to trial on arson charge
- Experts offer Fourth of July safety tips
- Fast-moving storms strand Mon Valley motorists
- Steel Valley looks for replacements for 2 principals
- McKeesport man held for court in BB gun incident
- Projects to impact McKeesport motorists
- Duquesne man who took plea deal jailed on assault, other charges
- Brewster picked for Smith’s seat on Senate Appropriations Committee
- Clairton school district draws from savings to balance budget