New York radio host Danny Stiles, who played recordings of black artists on the air long before it was acceptable to do so and was known for his oldies shows, died March 11 of a respiratory ailment in Manhattan. He was 87 and had been on the air in New York since 1947.
Most recently he was broadcasting on WPAT and New York Public Radio’s WNYC.
Stiles proclaimed himself the King of Nostalgia and the Vicar of Vintage Vinyl, and in his shows drew from a personal collection of 200,000 recordings dating back to the big band era and beyond. He worked for more than 20 radio stations during his career.
Stiles hosted gatherings in New York and New Jersey at which seniors danced the night away to standards from yesteryear.
Born in Newark, Stiles served in the Navy during WWII; he subsequently received an accounting degree from NYU but ultimately embarked on a career in radio.
His first job, in 1947, was at WHBI Newark. In a predawn show, he played R&B — music to which white audiences otherwise had little exposure.
Until relatively recently, he taped programs weekly for four different radio stations.
Stiles was a member of AFTRA.
Survivors include a son, Gary.