Cousin Brucie belongs to a new family.
Veteran New York disc jockey Bruce Morrow, dumped last week when WCBS-FM switched away from its oldies format, signed on Thursday with Sirius Satellite Radio. Morrow, whose radio days predate the Beatles, will host three shows: two with hits from the '50s, '60s and '70s, and his own talk show.
"This was probably the most unusual, frightening, exhilarating week of my career," said the 67-year-old Morrow, known as "Cousin Brucie" to his loyal New York listeners. "I had no idea a week and a half ago that this was going to start."
Back then, Morrow was one of the mainstays at the nation's No. 1 oldies station, WCBS-FM. A phone call last Friday from management informed him that after 33 years as a New York institution, the station was going to a "Jack" format with a new playlist.
"It was like firing the New York Yankees," Morrow said.
Charles Schumer, New York's senior Senator, had been writing New York radio stations urging someone to hire Morrow for a regular oldies broadcast.
"I idolized the guy when I was a kid," said Schumer, who has fond memories of Morrow, a fellow graduate of Madison High School in Brooklyn.
"I have the world at my fingertips," said Morrow, adding that he will work without a playlist. "I have a national audience. This has been my dream."
Morrow's debut was set for the July Fourth weekend, with a special broadcast from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
He seems an unusual convert to the world of satellite, given that he started on terrestrial radio in 1959 at WINS-AM in New York and was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988. But he's quickly adapted to the new world.
"I feel like I'm riding on a rocket ship," he said. "Or should I say a satellite?"