Jerry Lubin, Detroit radio “Air Ace,” dies at 80 | Arts & Leisure

One of Detroit’s beloved Radio Air Aces came to rest this week.

Jerry Lubin, who was a pioneering aerialist on the city’s burgeoning FM radio scene in the late 60s and 70s, passed away on Thursday, February 4th, aged 80 in La Quinta, California of COVID-19.

“Jerry was one of the original pilots,” said Kim Sulek, who was working on a documentary on Detroit radio at the time. “Detroit has a handful of legendary underground disc jockeys, and Jerry is one of them. He had a different way of talking to people and he knew his music.”

Long-time friend and colleague Harvey Ovshinsky added, “Of all the Assen, I was impressed that Jerry was such a family man – very rare in our circles. He will forever remain a legend in Detroit radio history. When we worked together I’ve always envied how relaxed and comfortable Jerry was in the air … “Try to smile as you read the copy,” Jerry taught me. “You won’t see the smile, but it will help the medicine go under. “

Commented his brother-in-law, Mark Beltzman, a fan of Lubin’s radio work before he married the disc jockey’s younger sister Beverley, “He had a tremendous ability to be 100 percent honest and honest and real and as authentic as you can possibly be Man. I loved that about him and learned so much from him. “

He was born in Detroit and graduated from Mumford High School. He briefly attended Wayne State University before joining the U.S. Army. He began his radio career as Jerry O’Neal in Rogers City, Michigan, where he also played, before joining Flint and then WABX when it launched as Detroit’s first “progressive” FM radio station. There he was one of the Air Aces, a corps that included aerial personalities such as Larry Miller, Dan Carlisle (the only surviving member of the station’s original list), Dennis Frawley, Jerry Goodwin, and others.

Lubin later moved to WXYZ-FM, which became WRIF, and then to WWWW-FM, where he spent time as the station’s program director. “Jerry has been a mentor to me,” said John O’Leary, a veteran of Detroit radio who started his career at WWWW over the weekend. “I was really raw, damn nervous, and one day Jerry took me to a meeting – that was ‘John, let’s get in your car and go to Belle Isle.’ And he said to me, “When you’re on the radio, just be yourself. And remember, you are only talking to one person, not a large group of people.”

“That was the best advice I’ve ever received on the radio.”

Lubin’s path took him to the West Coast for a while, working in San Diego and spending time with his young family in a Washington State community. He returned to Detroit for a second stint at WABX, where he hosted the popular Lunch With Lubin, and then spent time in Toledo and at WLLZ-FM in Detroit. He also worked for Sam’s Jam’s record store in Ferndale.

“Jerry was just the nicest guy, never said a bad word about anyone,” recalled owner Steve “Sam” Milgrom. “And he helped the bands. He had relationships with record labels and he told them, ‘You have to sign this band. These guys are great!'”

After leaving the radio, Lubin, who was married to his late wife Rosalie for 45 years, worked for the United States Postal Service for many years before moving to California to be closer to his sons Adam and Ethan. Lubin is also survived by her spouses Lauren and Erika – four grandchildren, his sister Beverley and his younger brother Vincent.

The family hopes to hold a memorial service sometime in the future when such gatherings are possible.