Monday, December 22, 2008

Vik Venus: death at the mic

Jack Spector was a new york DJ for 30 years. But he is best-remembered for doing the afternoon slot on WMCA in New York City for most of the 1960s. But he had a strange side too. At the peak of his career, he did a show that he taped in the mid-60's for the British north sea pirate radio station called Radio Caroline. In 1969 he cut a single on Buddah records under the name Vik Venus. It was a novelty song that was edited together from dozens of other recognizable tunes. But it peaked at #38 on Billboard. Today it's strictly fare for Dr. Demento.

Born in Brooklyn, he went to broadcasting school and took his first radio gig in 1955 on a local station in Martinsburg, West Virginia. He toured New England moving gig to gig in podunk towns. He came back to New York to attend Brooklyn College but dropped out. At WMCA his on-air name was Your Main Man Jake. After his single fell of the chart, his ratings slid. The station changed format to talk.

He moved over to 1050 WHN in 1972 but stayed there less than 2 years and defected to FM hosting "Saturday Night Sock Hop" on WCBS. FM worked out, he stuck it out at WCBS for 9 years. He also appeared on WKJI, WPIX, WKTU, and WNBC in there somewhere.

Starting in 1988 Jack took a gig at WHLI. The station had flipped to oldies and wooed him to come aboard. It worked out well for him. Then on March 8, of 1994, he had a heart-attack on air. The long period of silence tipped off staff but he was dead. He was 66.

The last song he played was Louis Prima's "I'm In The Mood For Love"