Block, Martin

Block, Martin

(1903–67) radio disk jockey; born in Los Angeles. A traveling salesman while still a teenager, he first worked in radio in Tijuana, Mexico (1931). Hired by WNEW in New York City (1934–54), he was standing by to announce the latest news about the Hauptmann trial, when he played music to divert listeners, explaining it came from "the Make Believe Ballroom." An immediate success, he helped popularize many vocalists including Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore. With his mellifluous voice, he was a master salesman for sponsors and record companies who vied for him to introduce their products and records. He later broadcast from New York City's WABC (1954–60), leaving for New York City's WOR radio where he produced the Martin Block Hall of Fame show.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.