Saturday, July 28, 2012

Butterball



R.I.P.- Joseph "Butterball" Tamburro  (1942-2012)


If you aren't from Philadelphia...This man probably means nothing to you...but if you are Black and grew up anywhere in Philadelphia, PA. from 1962 until the present and listened to a radio...Then you just had to know who Joseph "Butterball" Tamburro was....He was simply "Black radio" in Philadelphia. He passed away yesterday at the age of 70.

From the time I was about four years old and first remember hearing a radio blasting...
"Hot Butter in the City" was on the radio...I was a grown man before I discovered that he was white....Not that it mattered and it really didn't....This was the hippest , coolest man of any race that ever picked up a mike in a Philadelphia radio station...

He introduced me and all of my peers to The Motown Sound, The sound of the south, Stax/Volt Records and our own Philadelphia sound...I don't care if it was Sly and The Family Stone, The Jackson 5, Teddy Pendergrass, Rick James, Teena Marie,Lionel Richie, Patti Labelle, whoever....Butterball was usually the first to break their latest hits on his radio show.

All through High school and college he and a list of super talented Black jocks brought this city the best in R&B, Funk, Disco, New jack soul and Neo soul....

By the time I was in my thirties...He was no longer on radio everyday, but you could hear him playing the oldies on Sunday Nights at different clubs in South Jersey and the Philadelphia area...He was still doing that show as late as last Sunday!

He was like part of the family.  My wife and I even got a chance to meet him a few years ago at Penns Landing here in Philadelphia...She hugged him and told him that he practically raised us...He laughed....I know he'd probably heard that from so many people....  It was afterall, the truth.  He was just so nice, so humble...

I had just heard him on his weekly oldies show this past Sunday.....I had no idea that that was going to be his last broadcast.....I can't imagine him not being on the radio...
I just can't.....He was such a part of my life..

Butter, you'll be missed...There will never be another quite like you!




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