Jerry Meyers is going home.
The former record-promo man who was once of the most powerful record promoters in the music industry, is returning to WKBW-AM 1520. He will host a program every Sunday at 10 a.m. that plays newer artists covering old standards.
"KB is where I started promoting records," said Meyers, now in his mid-60s and who runs Rhapsody Music records and the Dakota Grill. "I used to work for Lenny Silver and I was always down at KB trying to push records."
Now Meyers will host a show playing the music he loves. "This music never goes out of style," Meyers said. So, the songs of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee will be on the playlist. The catch is that Meyers wants to play different versions by contemporary singers.
"I think people will want to hear performers like Norah Jones, Rod Stewart and Diana Krall do these songs," Meyers said. He is, for example, anxious to play the soundtrack from "Beyond the Sea," the new movie on Bobby Darin, featuring actor Kevin Spacey singing Darin's songs.
"That's the kind thing I want to do," Meyers said, "expose people to artists they might not hear."
In the past, Meyers has worked with local singers such as Michael Civisca, Mary Stahl and Terry Buchwald on his own label. He hopes to bring such music to a wider audience, including an upcoming release from "American Idol's" John Stevens IV, an Amherst native and Sinatra fan.
"I've never been on the radio before hosting a show, but I know this music," Meyers said. "I think Sunday morning is a perfect time for it."
Dick Purtan, a Kenmore native and longtime Detroit radio personality, was recently inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Purtan, who has been in Detroit radio for nearly four decades, was inducted into the hall earlier this month and among those joining him was Bob Edwards of National Public Radio.
Purtan said 1950s' Buffalo radio personality Frank Ward was a major influence.
"I grew up listening to Frank Ward," Purtan told the Detroit Free Press. "He was just an incredible talent. He wasn't funny or witty, he was just smooth. He knew how to do it."