In 1952, Jack Lazare became the host of WNEW’s “Milkman’s Matinee,” successor to Stan Shaw and Art Ford. He remained with the show for nine years.
Boston Herald — February, 1963 Jack Lazare, with his deep, melodious voice, was a host of popular local radio shows on WEEI and WHDH starting in the 1960s. He died Feb. 25 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Conn. He was 83. His wife declined to give the cause of death. Although he had a full career in radio, Mr. Lazare also loved traveling, cooking, and writing — even penning a mystery novel called “The Restless” in 1995. Mr. Lazare was born and raised in New York City. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, and was a member of a small band in which he played the piano. In 1942, Mr. Lazare joined the Navy and served for three years as a pilot during World War II. One of Mr. Lazare’s first jobs in radio was in New York in 1946 with WQXR. Three years later, he began working for the Voice of America, supervising 17 Southeast Asia language desks and serving as executive producer of programming until 1956.
In the 1950s, Mr. Lazare hosted his own radio show, “Milkman’s Matinee,” on WNEW in New York, which aired from midnight to 5 a.m. Studio guests included Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, and Frank Sinatra. Rather than talk for most of his shows, Mr. Lazare would ask questions on a range of topics to explore what his guests and callers thought, his wife said.”He always showed a lot of warmt toward his guests and to his callers.”
In 1961, Mr. Lazare became programming director for WNHC in New Haven. Two years later, he came to Boston and worked as a program director for WCOP, hosting his own daily record show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.For three years starting in 1966, Mr. Lazare worked for WEEI and hosted the radio station’s American Airlines “Music ’til Dawn.” He later worked forWHDH radio from 1968 until 1978 and hosted the show “Sounds in the Night.” “He loved radio because it could appeal to the mind,” his wife said. Mr. Lazare was also an actor and appeared in films including “The Defection of Simas Kudirka” and “See How She Runs.” He was the New England representative and a past president for the New England region of the ScreenActors Guild.In 1985, Mr. Lazare moved to Essex, Conn., after purchasing radio station WMMW in Meriden, Conn., which he sold a couple of years later, his wife said. Mr. Lazare especially enjoyed traveling, visiting Europe every year with his wife. In addition to his wife, he leaves a daughter, Lynn Lazare Finnell of Carmel, Calif.; and a grandson and a granddaughter.
(WEEI promotional piece) Jack was a professional musician and band leader long before he entered broadcasting in 1946. His New York credits included WNYC, WQXR, and WINS. In 1952, he began a nine-year stint at WNEW, were he was host of the top-rated, all-night program, “Milkman’s Matinee.” Jack moved to Boston in 1963 as Program Director of WCOP and joined WEEI three years later. Jack attended the University of California at Berkley and was a pilot with the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945. He and his wife made their home in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Jack is one of those fortunate men who enjoyed his work even when it’s 11:30 PM to 5:30 AM. A real pro in every sense of the word, he is one of broadcasting’s most versatile performers.” While with WEEI, a station promotional piece stated:. “A recent survey revealed that people representing more than 91 different occupations listen regularly to American Airlines “Music Till Dawn” on WEEI Rado, including a pilot for a competing airline. To all of these “Night People” who work while most citizens sleep, Jack Lazare is an old friend.As host of “Music Til Dawn” six nights weekly from 11:30 PM to 5:30 AM, Jack presents the best of the classics and semi- classics with an occasional popular and jazz selection for a change of pace plus a news update every hour. Since Jack took over as host in February, 1966, “Music Til Dawn” has been honored with a George Foster Peabody Award, two awards fromthe National Federation of Music Clubs and two from he Massachusetts Federation of Music Clubs. On Aril 15, 1968, the program celebated its fifteenth anniversary under the same sponsorship.
Editor’s note. Jack Lazare worked in Boston at WHDH and WHUE-A/F from the late 70’s to early 80’s. He retired to Essex, Conn. and died in 2006 at the age of 83.
“He Loved Radio”