Duke Rumore (1954)

Photo: WJLD History: 1950s

Tribute to Duke Rumore

Ramsay Class of 1965 - 35th reunion- Aug.11-12, 2000 Angelo “Duke” Rumore,“Duke the Spook, The Tune Tycoon” was such a big part of our high school days -before and after- for many of us!  He was there when we woke up and on the way to school and as soon as we got out at three o’clock.

Duke had the great Friday night after-the-ballgame dances and made himself a true
ambassador for good times for the Birmingham area  teens by plugging the goings-on at
various schools and local talent like the Ramblers and the Premiers as well as helping
bring in acts like Irma Thomas, Jerry Lee Lewis to Birmingham, to name a few.  Duke
had great connections with the Memphis scene and we got so much music and we
heard it so much earlier than most of the country. Just think of the beach, soul, rhythm
and blues with which we paced the rest of the country!
One thing that I appreciated about Duke was his loyalty to his “Ramsay buddies” over
the air and his use of “Hey Y’all” and saying “can’t hardly” on the air---can you find a
more real person on the air today??-  Remember his playing volleyball at Ramsay in
Duke was a real (radio) personality and not just another slick, canned disc jockey.  I
met Duke for the first time when I rode my bicycle down to the W.S.G.N. studios on
Southside to pick up an album that I had won over the telephone.  Duke happened to be
in the lobby and I heard his voice and put a face with that voice and he came over to me
and acted like it was his pleasure to meet me!!  I went home to tell Nancy-my sweet
sister- who listened to radio 25 hours a day ---to Duke , Tommy Charles, and Dave
Roddy all the time .  Little did I know then how much that music burned into my mind
with memories that serve me so well today.
I ran into Duke from time to time and called him once in a while in the mornings to
request a song.  He usually found a way to play whatever someone asked for and he
answered the phone personally and was never rushed or different over the phone or in
person than he was on the air.  When Duke was at W.Y.D.E., we could drive by and
request a song for the “Rams” as we went to Burger-in-a-Hurry----like Louie-Louie--54
consecutive times!!
Since Duke lived on Green Springs Ave.-(with a concrete yard)-, and I lived on 18th
Ave.,  he passed my house on his route to and from work during his W.Y.D.E. days.
One day he “rolled” my dog who always attacked his fast Corvair that he drove by like a
bat -out-of -hell!  The dog survived it and Duke stopped and was so distraught and
concerned .  We really became  friends and he always slowed down and honked when
he saw  me.
I listened to Duke as I could when I was at Montevallo--A.M. didn’t carry so well back
then  so I listened to his brother Joe Rumore on W.V.O.K, “mighty 690”  -50,000watts.
Some of my last recollections of Duke involved  his record business, a car wash
business and his association with W.Z.Z.K. in it’s first days-if you can believe!
Duke was too generous and his record business eventually closed and the reminders
of his car washes can be seen in Forestdale and Pelham.
Duke died doing what he enjoyed--playing softball at Green Springs Park on his
beloved Southside.  Hey, Y’all--you can’t hardly beat that.
It might be said that being a D.J. is fluff, but Duke Rumore  was a “natural” and
enjoyed life and people and good times through music.  He shared that joy and zest for
life with all he could  and was inclusive, popular and most successful at what he did.
Thanks, Duke ---from your “Ramsay Buddies”

Source: duke

More info: Birmingham Rewound :::: RADIO-TV

The Life And Times Of Joe Rumore: WVOK










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