Hundreds Gather To Remember Wolfman Jack
BELVIDERE, N.C. (AP) _ Wolfman Jack’s gravelly, rapid-fire delivery blared from a boombox at his gravestone Saturday _ just the way he would have wanted it.
His black broad-brimmed hat with a silver band rested atop his gray marble headstone, which was inscribed with his real name _ Robert Weston Smith _ and the kicker, ``One more time.″
About 400 people, from leather-clad bikers to broadcast executives, gathered under magnolia trees and sprawling pines at Wolfman’s home to remember the legendary rock ‘n’ roll disc jockey. Wolfman died July 1 at age 57.
``Wolfman wanted a party,″ said his longtime publicist, Dell Lang. ``He wanted a celebration. He’s not gone, he’ll be around as long as people are playing the music he loved.″
While there were some tears, the memorial service on the banks of the Perquimans River, about 120 miles from Raleigh, was more of a party.
Before the service, people danced and clapped and laughed as The Mighty Clouds of Faith singers provided a gospel backbeat.
A few feet away, the boombox blared the sounds of the McCoys hit ``Hang On Sloopy,″ along with Wolfman’s yips and howls.
Sprays of flowers _ sent by ordinary fans and big names, like former ``Midnight Special″ producer Burt Sugarman, and his wife, ``Entertainment Tonight″ host Mary Hart _ guarded the gravesite, where Wolfman’s ashes were buried.
Letters of condolence came from President Clinton, Gov. James B. Hunt, rock legends Joe Walsh and Alice Cooper, and director George Lucas, whose 1973 film ``American Graffiti″ featured Wolfman.
Wolfman was remembered as a man who loved music, his fans and his family.
His brother-in-law, Emile Achee, eulogized him as ``a young man who had a dream that came true.″
Bruce Goldberg, a senior producer for Sony Worldwide Radio in New York, said Wolfman’s enthusiasm for the business was legendary.
``He had a love for radio, and for people that was contagious,″ Goldberg said. ``You had to be excited just being around him. He was bigger than life.″