Radio Ink has learned from former Billboard Vox Jox editor Claude Hall that the legendary Lee Baby Simms has died at 72. Simms had been battling cancer. Simms started his career in WTMA/Charleston when he was in his teens. Simms also had stints in Hartford at WPOP and KCBQ in San Diego, KRLA; KROQ, KMET Los Angeles, and stations in San Francisco. Simms once noted that he had 41 jobs, at some stations twice, and was fired 25 times. You hear this thrown around a lot, but the man was an on-air legend.
Simms is the main topic of an as-yet-unpublished book titled Hitbound by Dr. Robert Weisbuch, former president of Drew University. The book is centered around Woody Roberts programing of WPOP in Hartford, with Lee Baby Simms going up against Joey Reynolds at WDRC.
Chas Henry-Midday Co-Anchor, All News 99.1 WNEW/DC sent the aircheck below of Lee Baby Simms when KORL 65 flipped from Top 40 to The Music of Your Life, and the staff was shown the door. Henry notes, "It's the final few minutes of Lee's afternoon shift. Simms had pre-recorded his closing thoughts -- earlier in the day, at home, on a cheap cassette deck, while the station played in the background. As his shift neared its end, he held the speaker of the cassette player up to the main studio mic and hit play."
(1/31/2015 12:43:25 AM)
Well lets see, I would buy a round, and lee would chug the whole thing, then say...where did that waitress go. Lee threw his land line (old days) phone into Biscayne bay from his balcony in Miami...because he was mad at it. Lee liked fishing and had asked me several times to pick him up at the airport and drop him off at a bridge. I will miss him.
(1/30/2015 5:50:03 PM)
I will miss you my friend! RIP Alan Bruce
(1/30/2015 8:25:08 AM)
I had the pleasure of working with Lee "Baby" Simms at KORL Radio-Honolulu in the late 70s. He was cool and smooth and always kind to young folks like me. He also made me his co-taste tester of Famous Amos cookies. Amos knew Lee from LA and would ship cookies from Nutley NJ to the station. That was a most pleasant task. RIP Lee Baby, you were just too cool for words ...
(1/30/2015 3:20:21 AM)
All of us in Honolulu are crushed. We worked with Lee Baby at several stations around Honolulu. There was only one Lee Baby and we'll see you some time again and eagerly listen to your riffs M'aaaan!
Love ya babe!
Rabbett and all your Honolulu Ohana!
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