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Legendary DJ Porky Chedwick dead at 96

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Monday, March 3, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

In the aftermath of Charleroi's 100th anniversary parade in 1990, a party was held at The Maples outside Charleroi.

Porky Chedwick was a guest disc jockey for the evening, John Mollenauer recalled.

“We dedicated that evening to Porky because he had been a DJ so many times for our young people at the high school. He was our favorite DJ during our early years.”

Craig “Porky” Chedwick died Sunday morning in Pittsburgh. He was 96.

“He was kind of a pioneer for all of our young people,” Mollenauer said. “We looked up to him as a real professional and he got along with so many young people. He was one of the best-known pioneering DJs in our area.”

Known as the “Daddio of the Raddio” and “Platter-Pushin' Papa,” Chedwick was credited with bringing R&B music to legions across the Greater Pittsburgh area for more than 60 years.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Chedwick began his radio career in 1948.

Chedwick originally wanted to be a sportscaster, and was a sports stringer for The Daily Messenger in Homestead at one time. He served as public address announcer at Munhall High School.

He adapted to the times, with a former program on an Internet station run by the late former McKeesport DJ Terry Lee.

He and his wife, Jean, most recently hosted an oldies program at the Brookline Pub on Sundays.

Mollenauer, a 1953 graduate of Charleroi Area High School, said Chedwick played plenty of dances in the Valley at such locations as Jumpin Jive Bee Hive and The Canteen in Charleroi.

Mollenauer said the event in 1990 brought back memories.

“Everyone was so buoyed by his visit and we were thankful that he came to visit with us,” Mollenauer said. “He recognized the dedication that a lot of young people had to his services.”

His last public appearance in the Valley was held at an All Oldies, Only Oldies dance at the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department's community center and social hall in November.

Some 500 people helped to pay tribute to United States military veterans and Chedwick in a pre-dance program.

Stockdale fire Chief Tom Wilkinson said Chedwick attended a few of the most recent oldies events at the fire hall, which was well-renowned for barnstorming oldies events in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

“The people really enjoyed meeting him and reminiscing about the old times,” Wilkinson said. “He came out and spoke to them. The people just wanted to see him.

Wilkinson and Al Marcy, event chairman, presented Chedwick with a plaque as “a thank you for all he did for the people who were teenagers at the time, who are now senior citizens.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


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