You may have heard of him during your time, but Wolfman Jack was not a werewolf, but he was a famous DJ in Perquimans County in North Carolina. His Howling success came in George Lucas “American Graffiti” 1973 as himself, his appearance and voice alone were the star of the movie, and the cast was the new A-list of stars today.
Wolfman Jack was not native of Perquimans County, but he lived here, died here, and he is buried in Belvedere. He died on July 1, 1995. He was 57. The local residents are working to remember his historic national career as a radio announcer by hosting Wolfman Jack Day in 2013. Maybe they will have a marathon of his films be showing. He did 20 films in his career either as an actor and doing voiceover (Cartons characters) with a gravely voice.
According to the Radio Hall of Fame, Robert Weston Smith, the Wolfman real name, debut was “Daddy Jules” on Newport News,VAstation WYOU-AM. In 1962, he became “Big Smith” for stations KCIJ Shreveport, La. It was inShreveport that he drew upon his love of horror movies and rock and roll to create the raspy voiced, howling persona of “Wolfman Jack”.
In the mid 1960s, the Wolfman crossed the border to Mexico and joined the 250,000 watt powerhouse XERF·AM. Thanks to XERF and later XERB·AM, the Wolfman reached most of the southwestern United States while selling everything from coffins to inspirational literature.
In 1969, the Wolfman returned to America and KDAY/Los Angeles. The following year; he began an association with Armed Forces Radio that would last until 1986. In 1972, he moved back to his hometown and joined WNBC/New York.
He eventuality moved to Belvidere with this wife in 1989 where he died in 1995 when he retuned home after a tour promoting his book.
His grave remains adjacent to his historic home in Perquimans County.
Raimondi admits he is a blues fan and he enjoyed the music played on the radio by Wolfman Jack as many people did. He loves vintage cars, rock ‘n roll, and still enjoys listening to those songs from that era.
He hopes others who also enjoyed that rock and roll from those early days will be excited about helping formulate plans for next year’s Wolfman Jack Day.
“Whether or not we have it depends on the number of volunteers that get involved” he said.
Ideas tossed around so far include perhaps a vintage car rally musical activities in Hertford andBelvidere; a dance, appearances by Wolfman Jack impersonators, maybe getting it radio stations to participate.
“He (Wolfman Jack) was an American icon,”’ said Raimondi.
Anyone interested in helping plan the events can call 1-252-426-3780, 1-252-562-4562, or 1-252-426-5657.