George "The Hound Dog" Lorenz
"Hey...the Hound's around..."
That's what was heard every night at 7:15 pm atop the strains of Cozy Eggleston's tune The Big Heavy. Lorenz joined WKBW Radio on September 12, 1955 and he howled out of WKBW as one of the founders of rock 'n roll / rhythm & blues radio in America, playing the original versions the other stations wouldn't touch. Millions of listeners on the east coast and Canada tuned in nightly to WKBW to hear his unique style, which influenced countless top 40 DJ's. The Hound also had a live WKBW radio show in the late '50s from the Club Zanzibar, one of Buffalo's popular downtown nightclubs.
Lorenz quit WKBW Radio when it started programming only Top 40 records during the station's innovative move to "Futuresonic Radio." He predicted playing the same 40 records over and over again would eventually hurt the entire music business and make it impossible for new groups to ever have their songs played on the radio. Lorenz moved to WINE-AM in 1960 and a few years later made his move to the FM dial when he established WBLK as one of the first Urban-formatted FM stations in America.
George Lorenz was a true original and his place in Buffalo radio is firmly established. His kind of broadcasting has gone the way of the buggy whip, but he remains a symbol of staunch independence and raw talent that has inspired many broadcasters to this day. Wolfman Jack published in his book "Have Mercy! Confessions of the Original Rock & Roll Animal" that as a child in the Bronx, he used to sneak downstairs in his parent's coal shed with a small portable radio and listen to "The Hound." He would listen night after night and mimic the Hounds's voice and style, along with other "big" DJ's of the era.
During a recent interview with legendary radio personality, Dick Biondi: "WKBW covered the entire eastern seaboard. I replaced a guy by the name of George Lorenz. For my money, George was one of the greatest disk jockeys. I know a lot of people will get upset with me, but if George had the right connections, and the personal attributes that Allen Freed had -- I think he was greater than Freed. George did so many wonderful things; he always helped the young disc jockey's. He was never too big to give a guy a plug. Lorenz "pioneered" in radio. Just about any record man from the old day's will tell you that George Lorenz was great. They called him "The Hound Dog."
Lorenz died in May 28, 1972 at age 52 from a heart attack. As Dick Biondi was quoted, "Nobody replaced the Hound Dog."
George "The Hound Dog" Lorenz was inducted in the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1997.