Bill Randle, one of the most influential, star-making disc jockeys of the 1950s and 1960s died Friday. He was 81.
Bill was pivotal in bringing Elvis Presley to the ears of America and was the host for Elvis' first TV appearance on the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show on Jan 28th, 1956.
Introducing Elvis, Bill said; "We'd like at this time to introduce to you a young fellow, who like many performers, Johnnie Ray among them, come up out of nowhere to be overnight very big stars. This young fellow we met for the first time while making a movie short. We think tonight that he's going to make television history for you. We'd like you to meet him now - Elvis Presley. And here he is!".
After a concert in 1955, referring to Elvis, Bill said : "This guy is going to be the biggest star in America".
The concert, one of two arranged by Randle in Cleveland in 1955 was filmed for the short film about Randle, "The Pied Piper Of Cleveland - A Day In The Life Of A Famous Disc Jockey". Appearing with Elvis were, Bill Haley & The Comets, The Four Lads and Pat Boone. Randle reportedly sold the film rights in 1992 for $1 million (an amount he later called "a lot of baloney.")
Randle said there weren't any great projects left undone. Except one. "One book I'd like to see finished is 'The Selling of Elvis.' That deal's in place. My daughter's a writer, and she can finish that one. If she wants to."
Randle had cancer and died at the Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland.