Tube City Almanac

August 01, 2013

Cancer Claims Life of Radio's Terry Lee

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Terry Lee Trunzo, legendary disc jockey on McKeesport's WMCK and WIXZ (1360) who became a well-known rock-and-roll impresario in the Pittsburgh area, died Tuesday night at his home in Bellville, Ohio. He was 70.

Trunzo's death from lung cancer comes a little more than three years after he emerged from a self-imposed exile with a triumphant return to McKeesport, hosting a standing-room-only dance at the Palisades in 2010.

Until a few months ago, Trunzo was hosting an online oldies show.

His family announced last week on his website that Trunzo was in poor health.

Trunzo was born August 27, 1942, in Monongahela, the son of the late Albert D. Trunzo, Sr. and Pauline Carlson Trunzo, and entered the radio business as a teen-ager, working at Charleroi's WESA, Carnegie's WZUM and Canonsburg's WARO.

But his rise to fame really took off at McKeesport's 1360, where Trunzo mixed the hits with comedy, live performances by local artists, and obscure garage rock, then would segue into the soulful ballads that he billed as "music for young lovers."

Many of the local acts heard on his show were also promoted in the Pittsburgh area by Trunzo, or featured at his nightclub, TL's Night Train, in Elizabeth Twp. Trunzo also hosted teen dance shows on Pittsburgh's WIIC-TV (11), WPGH-TV (53) and KDKA-TV (2).

In the late 1980s, Trunzo left Pittsburgh and moved to Arizona, where he helped launch the Kool Gold syndicated oldies format; at its height, his "Music for Young Lovers" show was heard on more than 50 radio stations across the United States.

He also owned radio stations in Florida and Ohio before leaving the entertainment business and re-locating to Bellville, about halfway between Akron and Columbus, where he ran a family farm as well as a trucking business.

After a previous health scare, he emerged from retirement and returned to the Pittsburgh area to host several dances. Trunzo also was briefly featured on Connellsville radio station WLSW-FM (103.9) and Pittsburgh's WJAS (1320) before quitting to concentrate on his online show. He was also writing a book about his career in radio and music.

Trunzo is survived by his wife, Carol White Trunzo; sons Adam, Jeffrey and Terry Jr.; daughters Paulina Trunzo and Kimberly DeLeonibus; brother Albert Jr. of Fredericktown, Washington County; and nephews.

At the family's request, there will be no public visitation and memorial services will be private. Condolences may be sent in care of Snyder Funeral Home of Bellville, Ohio.

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