© 2017 National Radio Hall Of Fame 
Blog

Blog

Howard Miller | September 1, 2015 By Todd Nebel
Howard Miller was a Chicago radio personality from the 1940’s through the  1970’s. During the 1980’s and until his death from colon cancer on November 8,  1994, he owned radio stations in Rockford, Geneva, and Kewanee, Illinois, and  stations in Gainesville a nd Melbourne, Florida. Miller was an extremely popular  disc jockey in the pre - rock and early Rock and Roll eras. By 1955, he was the  country’s top disc jockey and in 1957 Time Magazine said Miller was “probably  the nation’s single biggest influence on reco rd sales.”   Howard Miller was the son of a prominent judge, Harry B. Miller. He graduated  from Knox College and served in the Navy during World War II. Following the war,  he became a producer at WIND, then rose to the level of program director by  1949.  That same year , Miller’s morning show on WIND became popular and  brought in the era of “drive - time” radio. By 1955 his CBS owned “Howard Miller  Show” was heard nationally, broadcast from CBS affiliate WBBM in Chicago.  This  15 minute morning program aired from July 18,  1955 to January 9, 1959 was the  pinnacle of Miller’s career. In it, he bantered with celebrity guests of the music,  radio, TV and motion picture industry while playing songs and promoting their  endeavors. Those guests included the top stars of the period s uch as Patti Page,  Pat Boone, Nat King Cole, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Liberace, Sammy  Davis Jr., Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Eddie Fisher, The Crew Cuts, Vic Damone,  Doris Day, Danny Thomas, Debbie Reynolds, Jerry Vale, Marlon Brando, Dean  Martin,  and many, many others. Weekly talent billing to CBS for the Miller show  was $3000 a week from 1955 - 1957. On July 22, 1957 expenses were cut, and  weekly billing was reduced to $2000 a week (covering the services of Howard  Miller only). In studio guests were   thereafter dramatically reduced as Miller  basically served as full time disc jockey the final two years.    By the mid - 1960’s and still heard mornings over WIND, Miller became increasingly  conservative in his on air views. In 1968, following the death of M artin Luther  King, his support of the Chicago Police and firefighters during rioting was depicted  as an alternative to honoring King which caused WIND to suspend him.
He moved then to WGN bringing  his loyal and  conservative listening audience  with him. By the mid - 1970’s he went into semi - retirement only to return again  over radio stations WMAQ, WAIT and WCFL. If Howard Miller were still living, he would have surely embraced airing his  opinions over conservative satellite or terrestrial radio  stations, so abundant  today.