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Boston Radio Legend Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsburg Dead at 93


Arnie Woo Woo Ginsburg
Arnie Woo Woo Ginsburg

His "Night Train" show ruled AM radio in the 60s and 70s. His show's sound effects were unmistakable: bells, horns, a squeaking, squeezable carrot, and a handheld trio of pipes whose train whistle toot gave him the nickname "Woo Woo." Arnie Ginsburg was once the toast of Boston radio. Famous to baby boomers throughout New England in the 1960s and '70s on WMEX-AM, he was 93 when he died Friday in his Framingham home reports the Boston Globe.

Ginsburg, who had Alzheimer's disease, was one of the last links to an era in Boston radio when a single disc jockey could shape musical tastes and social outings of teens and young adults. His on-air promotions sent eager listeners to Adventure Car Hop in Saugus, which served a "Ginsburger" on a 45 rpm record. On certain nights, anyone who said "Woo Woo Ginsburg" to the waitress got a second Ginsburger free.

He was part of the region's music history, too, introducing the Beatles and the Rolling Stones at concerts in the early 1960s when the British invasion reached New England's shores. An iconic photo shows Ginsburg smiling and sitting calmly amid leaping screaming teenagers as the Beatles took the stage for their first Boston concert, at Boston Garden, on Sep. 12, 1964.

Ginsburg also was among the DJs who initially gave airtime to songs such as "Louie, Louie," which as he noted became "practically a national anthem." He told the Boston Globe, "I was one of the first to play it, so it kicked off in Boston."

Far more than just a jock, he also engineered radio broadcasts and after stepping away from the mic years later, Ginsburg worked in programming, management, and other positions at stations such as WRKO, WWEL, and WXKS. At the latter, he came up with the call letters for what has been known since as KISS 108.

"He's a legend," said Richie Balsbaugh, former longtime owner of KISS 108. "Everybody in Boston broadcasting knows Arnie Ginsburg."

Not a morning person, Ginsburg turned down morning shows to do what he called "Go to bed with Ginsburg." On air seven nights a week, his "The Night Train Show," was a certified hit.

"Arnie was one of the smartest broadcasters I ever met," said, Balsbaugh. "He accomplished more than anybody in broadcasting in Boston."

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