B'casting pioneer Jack Wells dies at 86

Hosted 'Dialing for Dollars,' appeared on 'General Hospital'

Jack Wells, a pioneering broadcaster who hosted Baltimore's first morning TV show, died June 27 from complications of a stroke at a Los Angeles nursing home. He was 86.

Wells decided to go into radio during World War II, when he served in Europe as an Army radio operator with Chuck Thompson, who went on the become a legendary Baltimore Orioles announcer.

In 1948, Wells originated the nation's second radio talk show, one that was broadcast from 1-4 a.m. from a nightclub called the Copa. Because the technology for a two-way conversation on the air didn't exist at the time, Wells repeated the caller's words to listeners, he told the Baltimore Evening Sun in a 1977 interview.

In 1950, Wells began a seven-year stint as the host of TV's "Dialing for Dollars," which was adapted from radio.

After moving to the West Coast in 1963, Wells had his own show at KABC-AM Los Angeles, and he created and hosted another show on local TV station KHJ, "The Age of Aquarius."

Wells also did voice-overs and guest starred on shows such as "Days of Our Lives," "The Young and the Restless" and "General Hospital."

Survivors include his wife Shirley, son Glenn and his stepchildren, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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