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Don Bombard (born December 16, 1948), more widely known under the air name Bob Shannon, is an American radio disc jockey best known for his work on WCBS-FM in New York Citymarker. He is also the author of the book Behind The Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll.

He has a son named Scott Shannon (not to be confused with WPLJ's Scott Shannon), and a daughter named Avery Shannon.

He is not to be confused with dj Bob Shannon, who also worked in Pittsburghmarker at KDKAmarker; that Shannon became famous in radio in Phoenixmarker (KXIV/KRUX), Los Angelesmarker (KHJ/KRTHmarker), Buffalomarker (WKBW) and other markets.

Beginnings

Don Bombard was first introduced on radio by legendary sportscaster Marv Albert as the winner of a guest deejay contest, while still a junior high school student in his hometown of Syracusemarker, New Yorkmarker.

At age 15, Don experimented with broadcasting from his home, using a radio that had the wiring reversed to become a transmitter. The radio's antenna was hooked to a radiator, utilizing the water pipes to get the signal out to his neighborhood. He then graduated to a running full-fledged pirate radio station, WQBR. The call letters stood for "we quit buying records" -- so named because he actually was receiving free promo copies of new releases from record companies. The station broadcast with a 50 watt Navy surplus AM transmitter but was ordered off the air by the FAA since it was interfering with planes overhead.

He joined the staff of Syracuse University station WAER-FM as a freshman in 1965. At the time the station banned playing any current popular music, and programmed only classical, "dinner music" and acoustic folk. In 1968 Don succeeded in creating and hosting a "documentary" show on the history of Soul Music, which he presented as a countdown of the current Top 20 Soul Hits. This program broke the "non-rock" barrier at the campus station and opened the door for wider programming.

Don came to the attention of the local Syracuse Top 40 stations WNDR and WOLF when, as a teenager, he compiled and distributed his own weekly music survey known as The Big 50. The accuracy of the list caused local stores to begin stocking their records from it, and he became a competitor to the two radio stations and their surveys.

Don then went on to work at both stations from 1967 to 1977, where he gained experience as an announcer, music director, and programmer. He joined WNDR in 1967 as a part-time weekend dj, and worked 18 out of 24 hours every Sunday (midnight to 6AM as a dj, 12 noon to 6PM doing news, and then 6PM to midnight djing again). In 1968 he accepted an offer by WOLF to work full-time on their night show. The station had dropped Top 40 music and was then playing Country. He became the station's music director and was given freedom to expand the format at night with an all-request show, with the motto "we play anything" (a phrase currently revived by many "Jack" type radio stations). In 1969, he was part of the team that returned WOLF to a Top 40 format and remained as music director and night dj until the following year, when he was hired back full-time at WNDR.

There, he hosted a late-night "Attitude Hours" progressive rock show. Later he became assistant program director and afternoon drive dj, as well as taking over the reins of the already-established "Saturday Night of Gold" oldies show.

In 1975, he left radio briefly to run "Don Bombard Disco", a company formed with partner Guy Capone (who had been his high school partner in the Big 50 project). He returned to WOLF the following year and became program director.

While in Syracuse, Don collaborated with local music historian Ron Wray (aka Ron Gersbacher aka The Syracuse Music Authority) on a documentary history of WOLF ("The WOLF Story") and a series of "History of Syracuse Music" albums. He also formed (with Wray) Piece Records—based on his then sign-off: "Peace -- anyway you spell it". The label name was later changed to Eceip due to indecency protests. The label's biggest hit (Top 10 on WOLF) was Don singing a version of Van Trevor's "Satisfaction Is Guaranteed" backed by local garage band Headstone II (the flip featured a psychedelic instrumental with Wray's voice called "Speed").

Move to Pittsburgh

In 1977, Don moved to Pittsburghmarker to work at station 13Q (WKTQ) He began as production director and then moved to afternoon drive dj. He originated and hosted “The Sunday Night Oldies Party” and brought back the legendary Pittsburgh music and djs. The show became the highest-rated in Pittsburgh radio history, with a 25% share of the audience. Among the highlights were Stump The DJ and other music-oriented contests, as well as Mr. Blues and Music For Lovers segments. His partner was Dave Goodrich, known as "The Doctor of Rock & Roll". Don also released (with record collector Frank DeMino) a compilation album called "The Pittsburgh Hall of Fame". He also did booth announcing for WIIC (now WPXImarker) television.

Arrival at WCBS-FM

In late 1981 Don moved to New York City to work part-time at a recording studio owned by Wendell Craig, formerly dj Windy Craig at WOLF. While there, with Craig's blessings, he launched a radio syndication company called Sirius Productions. Don then began as a fill-in announcer at WYNYmarker (now WQHTmarker). Shortly after, he would leave WYNY for WCBS-FM and began doing some booth announcing for WOR-TVmarker. He was Don Bombard on WYNY, but at CBS-FM (which already had Don K. Reed) his on-air name was changed to Bobby Shannon by program director Joe McCoy. Gradually, his air name morphed into simply Bob Shannon.

Bob launched a weekend overnight spin-off of his Pittsburgh show on CBS-FM called "The Oldies Party" and continued to tape a weekly Sunday night show for airing in Pittsburgh. He also briefly hosted the Saturday night show vacated by Jack Spector. In 1982, he was promoted to the full-time 6-10PM shift and originated (with music director Richard Lorenzo) a nightly "Hall of Fame" segment. This segment played wall to wall music from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. by a selected artist or a couple artists (if the artists each had only a few big hits). For bigger artists with many hits, the hall of fame feature sometimes began at 8 p.m. In 1986, with the exit of Dick Heatherton, he took over the afternoon drive time slot, where he remained until the station's two-year "sabbatical" that began in 2005. The Hall Of Fame was revamped in evenings to feature several to half a dozen songs an hour by a selected artists mixed in with other regularly played music. Bobby Jay took over except on Wednesdays. On Wednesday, Cousin Bruce Morrow took over. At that point, on Thursdays the Hall Of Fame was strictly 60's music and on Fridays strictly 50's.

At CBS-FM, on the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. timeslot, he gained a reputation as an expert musicologist, with numerous music features such as "Rockeology", "Hands Across the Water", "First and Foremost", "lost hits", "songs with the same title but are different", "Wednesday Fourplay/Three For The Road", and others. He also began cracking jokes as part of his schtick. His humorous on-air style earned him the nickname "The Prince of Puns" (dubbed by George Maksian of the New York Daily News). Bob's audience also enjoyed his repartee with newsman Al Meredith and traffic reporters Dennis O'Mara and Lori Jordan.

During his long stint at CBS-FM, Bob interviewed almost every important heritage music act. This led to incorporating his music features and behind the scenes interviews in a book co-authored with John Javna. "Behind The Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll" was published by Warner Books in 1986 and was the forerunner of the "behind the..." trend later used by VH-1 with "Behind The Music" and numerous others. The book is now out of print but excerpts are available on Bob's website, which he launched in 1997.

Bob has also hosted a number of nationally syndicated radio shows, including "The Oldies Countdown" for MJI Broadcasting and "Keeping The '70s Alive" and "Behind The Hits" for On The Radio Broadcasting. He also co-hosted, with CBS-FM's Bobby Jay, live broadcasts for Westwood One from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famemarker induction ceremonies in New York.

Bob’s trademark sign-off is “Be seeing you!”, a phrase taken from the '60s TV show "The Prisoner".

The demise of CBS-FM

At about 3:30 p.m. on June 3, 2005, Bob was about to go on air when he was told of an impending format change at WCBS FM. At 4PM he joined his fellow employees, including long-time CBS-FM dj Bill Brown along with a couple other full-time announcers, in a conference room meeting (the rest of the djs were on a phone conference call because the meeting was announced last minute). It was announced that CBS FM was being shut down and replaced with an "Adult Hits" format called Jack FM -- which had been originated on the Internet by radio personality and consultant Bob Perry. The format, which has no announcers, was breaking out across the country, and CBS's parent company Infinity (CBS Radio) had acquired first-refusal rights to use it at their stations. At 5PM the station changed to the Jack format and Bob Shannon, along with the rest of the airstaffers, were laid off.

Bob then went on to do a weekly show, with wife Connie T. Empress, on WLNG, Long Island, NY. Bob was also heard on the Internet with a weekly “Behind the Hits” show on VIP Radio in Europe (which also featured Connie's Soul Club Hour and former CBS-FM djs Bobby Jay and Dick Heatherton). Bob and Connie have also been heard on RadioMaxMusic and Rhythm & Gold. Bob guested on WGHT in North Jersey, with Felix Hernandez on WBGO and (with Connie) on WFMUmarker with Dave The Spazz. Bob also filled in for The Golden Gup on WMTR in Morristown, NJ.

Bob was heard at New Jersey's "The Breeze" WWZY/WBHX from February 17 - July 7, 2007. He took part in the station's Radio Greats Weekend July 21-22, 2007, after his return to CBS-FM.

CBS-FM Returns

When WCBS-FM came back to New York radio on July 12, 2007, Bob helped launch the return at 1:01 PM. His first words were, "As I was about to say...CBS-FM 101.1 I'm Bob Shannon." He now hosts the mid-day 10AM-3PM show.

On November 18, as part of CBS-FM's weekly Radio Greats feature, he hosted a show as Don Bombard. The show featured his wife Connie, guest phone-ins from former CBS-FM Program Director Joe McCoy and former WYNY P.D. Pete Salant along with clips of Don/Bob's beginnings in radio. Music played was from 1950s-'60s much of which is not heard on CBS-FM's regular playlist.

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