Buffalo in the ‘70s: Reggie McKenzie & Fred Klestine

By Steve Cichon

This photo shows two well-known figures in 1970s Buffalo getting together to talk about jazz in in the WADV-FM studios.

Buffalo Bills guard Reggie McKenzie and WADV-FM disc jockey Fred Klestine. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Best known for his time at WKBW Radio, Fred Klestine spent parts of four decades as a disc jockey on Buffalo radio stations WWOL, WBNY, WADV and WBUF. A Lackawanna boy who worked in the Bethlehem plant before turning to radio, his broadcast persona was a deep, melodic voiced blue-collar everyman. Off the air, he was a coffee-swilling funnyman who was one of everyone’s favorite co-workers.

Fred Klestine and Jeff Kaye, WKBW, late 1960s. (Buffalo Stories archives)

As the outgoing public face of “The Electric Company,” Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Reggie McKenzie and his fellow guard Joe DeLamielleure were given plenty of credit for O.J. Simpson’s ability to run for a record 2003 yards in 1973. As the man who helped make the way for “the Juice,” McKenzie even became a spokesman for Niagara Mohawk.

On this day, McKenzie dropped by the Buffalo studios of “beautiful music” WADV-FM to promote two jazz albums that were recorded in the Hotel Statler’s Downtown Room. The call letters of WADV-FM were changed to WYRK-FM in 1981.