Gary Burbank

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Gary Burbank (born Billy Purser, July 1941, in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American radio personality. He was heard daily on WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio, from June 15, 1981 until December 21, 2007, when he signed off for the last time.

Career in Radio

Burbank began his radio career in his hometown at WMPS in the mid 1960s, where he was known on the air as Johnny Apollo. In 1968 he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he became an instant hit on WAKY-AM. It was at WAKY that Billy Purser officially became Gary Burbank, a name taken from radio and television legend Gary Owens, who as a regular on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In would announce that he was broadcasting from "beautiful downtown Burbank." (Burbank's natural voice is remarkably similar to Owens' on-air voice.)

Burbank left WAKY in 1973; his final program there was an elaborate prank in which he pretended to be fatally shot by a disgruntled listener. At that point, he moved to New Orleans for a brief stint as program director of WNOE. From New Orleans, Burbank went on to CKLW in Detroit/Windsor, and then back to Louisville for a successful, lengthy afternoon gig on WHAS-AM.Burbank left Louisville again for a brief spell in Tampa, Florida at WDAE, but moved to the Ohio Valley in 1981 when he signed with WLW, originally doing morning drive time but later moving to afternoons. It is there that he has enjoyed his greatest success, developing his best-known characters:


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