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

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

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.

April 15, 1950: ‘Buffalo’s Polka King’ starts daily radio show

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

As the 1950s wore on, Stan “Stas” Jasinski would become known as Buffalo’s Polka King with his daily programs first heard on WWOL and WXRA, and then on powerful WKBW. The platform made him known to the community at large, not just the Polish-American community.

His mix of Polish and English songs and commercials made his shows appealing to the Polish community and the community in general.  Jasinski went on to own WMMJ Radio, before founding Channel 29.

Also mentioned as part of Jasinski’s team was Dan Leslie, whose real name was Dan Lesniak. As the owner of WADV-FM in the 1960s and 1970s, Lesniak provided a home for polka music on Buffalo’s FM dial.

On April 15, 1950, Jasinski started a new Polish language program on WXRA, Kenmore.