February 16, 2022

Lynn Tolliver Jr. WZAK Cleveland Radio Legend Has Passed

Lynn Tolliver arrived at WZAK in May of 1982 shortly after the station had adopted a black-oriented urban contemporary format. Lynn landed in Cleveland after a successful track record at MCA Records in Detroit. While at MCA, Lynn was named Billboard Magazine’s urban contemporary program director for 5 years. Known for outrageous stunts, Lynn didn’t disappoint. He had listeners come down to the station wearing underwear on their heads to win prizes and in another contest, he offered prizes for the biggest cockroach. Lynn continued to draw attention to the station, and over the next few years, the station ratings climbed.  It finished first in the ratings in April of 1990 and the station won 3 Billboard awards in 1993.  In 2000, The CAB honored Lynn with the award for Excellence in Broadcasting as the first African-American recipient. For over 32 years of excellence in broadcasting, we salute you.

But Lynn Tolliver was so much more than that…

There isn’t a soul in Northeast Ohio that can’t tell you a story about listening to Lynn Tolliver Jr. growing up.  Lynn Tolliver Jr. was responsible for local record stores sales when he released his own music charts that came in the form of a brochure.  Lynn Tolliver Jr. was the man that is responsible for all us wanting to pick up a phone and call the radio station every time we hear ‘Celebration’ by Kool and The Gang as a matter of fact we all remember where we were when Lynn Tolliver Jr. locked himself in the studio playing ‘Celebration’ over and over again for a whole afternoon.  Some outside of Cleveland would say that if they heard the words ‘Three’s Company’ they would think of actor John Ritter, but here in Cleveland those words reminds us of thee original Cleveland Morning Show of Lynn Tolliver, Ralph Poole, and Kim Johnson before Lynn Tolliver made a legendary decision to bring Kym Sellers our then future legend home to be part of the company. -From WZAKCleveland.com 

Tolliver's cause of death was not revealed and funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. He was 71 years old.

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