John DeBella - A Rock & Roll Life

Code: SL22803

Dates: October 10, 2023

Meets: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Sessions: 1

Location: Lower Merion High School

Course Fee: $39.00

Sorry, we are no longer accepting registrations for this course. Please contact our office to find out if it will be rescheduled, or if alternative classes are available.

Enjoy endless stories from a truly amazing rock and roll life. From his early days of doing odd jobs at the Fillmore East to interviewing almost every major actor and rock star, John’s career has had endless magical moments. Hear about his college days working with the likes of John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, and Bill Murray to interviews and time spent with the biggest names in rock and roll. From Alice Cooper to Warren Zevon. A Q&A will follow the presentation.
Fee: $39.00
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Lower Merion High School

315 E Montgomery Avenue
Ardmore, PA 19003
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John DeBella

John DeBella's name has been synonymous with radio entertainment for nearly 48 years. He was instrumental in the successes of WLIR/WDRE New York, WPEZ Pittsburgh, and both WMMR an WYSP in Philadelphia. John has been the host of WMGK’s top five rated morning show. A native of New York City, John was educated at Hofstra University where he earned a BFA in design in 1972. While there, John and some student friends launched their own syndicated radio comedy show Fulton's Folly, which in 1971 aired on college radio stations across the country. That venture brought him to the attention of The National Lampoon Radio Hour, the syndicated radio program that starred John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray and many others. John wrote and produced segments for many of the Lampoons broadcasts in the early '70's. John made his professional radio debut on WLIR-FM in 1976. At that time WLIR was one of the last progressive rock stations in the nation. In 1979 he left to hone his craft as a morning radio personality at WPEZ-FM, a Top 40 radio outlet in Pittsburgh. By the fall of 1980 John was back at WLIR. There, he helped develop an entirely new radio format. Then called "NEW WAVE", it is now more commonly known as the highly successful "New Rock or Alternative" format. In 1982 John moved to WMMR-FM in Philadelphia, it was his time there that truly made him a force in the national radio scene. In just two years he had catapulted his morning show not only to number one, but to the highest ratings in local radio history. As one of the originators of the Morning Zoo format, his show was copied in nearly every radio market in America. By September of '93 John felt he needed some time away from radio and took a well deserved one year rest. By October of 1994 John was back at it again, this time at WYSP-FM. Within four weeks John moved the shows ratings from number nine to number three. Within one year WYSP's afternoon drive ratings were number one in their core demographic. After a year of working with management, WYSP became Philadelphia's #1 station for men. Fall 1998 brought new challenges and successes for John. Station management had agreed to moved John to mid-days so that he could try his hand at Talk Radio on WYSP's sister station WPHT-AM. Once again the move was beneficial to all involved. Not only did WYSP's midday ratings go to number one, they were also the stations strongest ratings in that day part ever. In the limited time that John was at WPHT, the station found its ratings increasing. Unfortunately, John’s time at WPHT was short lived. With the combination of two radio shows and his hosting duties for the Philadelphia Eagles pre-game show, three programs had become too much and one had to go. Reluctantly John dropped his afternoon show on WPHT. In June of 2002 John returned to morning radio once again, this time at Philadelphia’s Classic Rock station 102.9 WMGK. John instantly became the perfect fit for the station and its audience. In just 3 short months John moved WMGK’s morning ratings from 12th to 5th place with adults 25 -54, and has maintained a top rated show ever since. In addition to his morning show at WMGK John became a contributor to the NBC “10” Show in April of 2003. Every week he could be seen doing one of his favorite things, promoting the adoption of dogs and cats from local area shelters and rescue groups. In January of 2008 John formed Husky Productions, a television production company that has created content with both Shooters Post & Transfer and Banyan Productions in Philadelphia. He also launched Stand Up / Sit Down an interview web series with America’s top comedians. In addition to his radio career, John has appeared as a stand-up comedian in New York City, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Baltimore. In 1985 John hosted and co-produced Philly Flashback '84, a local EMMY award winning TV special on NBC 10. In 1989 John was a featured guest on NBC's Crime Story. He hosted and co-produced The John DeBella Show in 1990, four special TV broadcast’s aired locally in Philadelphia. John anchored the 1993 Philadelphia Mummers Parade; which that year, was broadcasting nationally for the first time on cable TV as well as on the local NBC affiliate. John is married to his successful real estate agent wife Lisa, both live with their Portuguese Water dog “Ditto” who basically controls everything. John’s son Casey is a rock music producer and artist in Nashville, Tennessee. Awards & Achievements Throughout his time in Philadelphia radio John has always been dedicated to helping local charities. In 2007 he was recognized for his dedication when he received the March of Dimes AIR Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the years his charity work has been most evident with helping to feed the hungry with City Team Ministries, he received the Philadelphia Veterans Distinguished Service Award in May 2008 and has raised over 2 million dollars for local veterans. In May of 2013 John was honored with an award from the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center that will forever hold his name. The John DeBella Award will be handed out yearly to the person who did the most for vets each year. His dedication to finding homes for shelter animals was displayed weekly on NBC 10 with his DeBella’s Dogs feature and his yearly “Dog Walk” event which thousands attend, raise countless support for local shelters and rescue groups. Along with winning numerous local service awards and readers polls over his 48 year career, John won a local EMMY Award Philly Flashback '84. He won the Gavin Media Professional Air Talent of the Year Award for both 1986 and 1987. In 1988 John was named Billboard Magazine's Air Personality of the Year, and that same year won the Public Relations Society of America's Drumbeater Award. In 2011 John received the SPCA’s Humanitarian of the Year award and in 2013 John was the first person to be honored by the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation’s first annual Jack Cummings Eagle, Globe and Anchor Award, and was also given the Small Business Administration’s Veterans Champion Award. In April of 2023 John was honored with a plaque in the Philadelphia Walk of Fame, TV & Radio Production: National Voice Carnival Cruise Lines 2009 Region voice for Dunkin Donuts 2002 – 2008 Region voice for Select Comfort Beds 2006 - 2008 Region voice for BMW 2002 – 2009 Region voice for Purina One Dog Food 2003 – 2009 Region voice for AT&T 2002 – Present Region voice for Borgata Hotel & Casino AC June 2010 Region voice for 1 800 –Flowers Sept 201



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