The John DeBella Show

The John DeBella Show

Photo by Tessa Marie Commercial/John DeBella, 102.9 WMGK

Dear listener,
After nearly 48 years on the air, 41 here in Philadelphia, and 21 of those at WMGK, I announced today that I have decided to retire at the end of my contract on June 30th.

I just feel it’s time.  When I came to Philadelphia in 1982, I would never have believed that I could have gone as far as I have here. I’ve been blessed with a magical life and a career beyond my wildest imagination…and I have you, my listeners, to thank for that.

My schedule has caused me to miss a lot of family time, and now it’s time to pay them back for all the games, dinners, and events I wasn’t around for.

My contract actually ended in December, but management and I agreed that it would be best for the station if I stayed 6 more months…so we still have some more time together.

There has been a running joke that started 15 years ago when I was signing what I said was my last contract. I’ve signed that last contract 4 more times since then. But it’s time for that joke to end.

I’m going to pack as much fun as I possibly can into the next 8 weeks and I’m hoping for the biggest Veterans Radiothon EVER!

I hope you will be here for as much as you can because “YOU are the most important element of the show.

John DeBella

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See the announcement:

Some memorable moments:

  • Jack Quigley And John DeBella At The First DeBella DeBall

    Jack Quigley and John DeBella at the first DeBella DeBall

    Dating back to the days of The Morning Zoo on WMMR, the DeBall always fell on Dec. 7 and was promoted as a “day which will live in infamy.” It began as a joke. When DeBella first got to town on Nov. 13, 1982,  he asked, “Where’s the party?” Several weeks later, he was headed to the Ripley Music Hall on South Street with two listeners in tow in the limo, joining six others at the club with Jon Bon Jovi playing to a crowd of nine. By the following year at The Warwick Hotel, 1,200 listeners had tickets and 2,000 showed up. Over the years, musical performances have included Eddie Money, Joan Jett, Dee Snider, Sam and Dave, Southside Johnny and a host of others.

  • "Ask John" - 2019

    Watch as John answers listener questions from 2019. He covers his first ever radio show, his dream interview list, and tells an interesting tale about Bobby Flay and Gordon Ramsay.

  • Bonadonna, Pierre, and DeBella

    Bonadonna, Pierre, and DeBella

    WMMR’s weekday mornings, afternoons, and evenings through the 80s and early 90s.

  • Louie Louie Parade 1983

    Louie Louie Parade '83

    It was the ‘largest walk-a-thon ever set to music,’ benefiting the Leukemia Society of America. When the Kingsmen made “Louie, Louie” in 1963, they probably never imagined that thousands of strangely dressed people would play the tune on kazoos while parading through Philadelphia.

  • Louie Louie Parade 1984

    Louie Louie Parade 1984
    But why “Louie, Louie?” WMMR news director Mark ‘The Shark,’ said that it was “the world’s best party song.”

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