Alan has been in commercial radio for 42 years, and he’s done it all.
But this is about the last eight.
His journey took him from oldies stations in NJ and Phoenix, to other top 40 and rock outlets back in Jersey. Throughout the 1980’s, Alan had a syndicated report where he covered the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Devils, Rangers, and Knicks. With this project, he had invented the now popular concept of having a “beat reporter” on the radio, and exclusively broke many stories.
He then spent 12 years at one of the country’s most prestigious radio stations, New Jersey 101.5. Starting as a weekend music host, he then spent several years as a field reporter, breaking many stories there as well, and winning numerous AP journalism awards. Among the stories he covered was the 9-11 attack, reporting live from Ground Zero for the week following the tragedy. From news came the transition to talk, where he became the stations first late night call-in host.
After that, Alan joined WCTC radio in Central Jersey doing talk, as well as fill-in on sister station Magic 98.3 playing soft rock.
Yeah… He did it all….except the one thing he wanted to do more than anything else; the thing he had dreamt of doing since 1971.
As a junior in high school, like every kid of the era, he was into the standard top 40 and rock of the day. But in an instant, that all changed. Going up and down the dial one day, he heard a personality who was on a top 40 station; yet he was not playing top 40. The guy on the radio was Gus Gossert. And he was playing songs from the mid to late fifties through the early sixties. Yeah, he played Fats and Chuck and Richard and of course Elvis, but the lion’s share of the music was group harmony. Gossert called it doo wop music. Suddenly for Alan, his cultural universe consisted of the Harptones, Earls, Channels, Crests, and groups that only the most ardent record collectors had ever heard of.
Yes, Alan had done about every on-air thing there is to do on radio…..except one.
In early June of 2010, a call came from Chris Edwards, who at the time was the Program Director of WMTR, a classic oldies station based in Morristown, NJ, which booms into Staten Island and Brooklyn as well. Simple question: Would you like to take over as host of “Doo Wop Drive”, on Friday nights? Simple answer: YESSSS!!!
The show became an instant hit. Alan did not wait all those years to just play records. The goal was, and is, to be that friend you’d visit in the basement, and play records with for three hours. There’d be stories to tell about the artists and songs, a lot of goofing around….with the object of the exercise being just plain fun. Maybe the records played would have no rhyme or reason. Maybe he’d be in the mood for a whole bunch of Little Isidore songs, or Philly groups, or songs about school, or summer, or ANYTHING!
Many shows would be a wall to wall theme show. Some of the more popular ones include doo wop around the world, people singing doo wop that you’d never expect to sing doo wop, songs and their answer songs, and more. Some are perennials, like on Presidents day weekend, when Alan plays at least one song for every POTUS, or a song for every MLB team at the beginning of baseball season. And the most popular of these? There’s no doubt.….no question; the annual all Johnny Maestro nights!
Alan’s show has grown to have a life of its own. Alan is one of the more popular and in-demand emcees out there, as he combines his unique stand-up style of fun with the groups with his absolute passion for the music.
Many people out there talk about keeping the music alive. Alan David Stein does not say that. He’ll be the first to tell you that keeping it alive is not enough. You can be lying there on a respirator, and be alive. It is Alan’s goal to see this music THRIVE!!!!!