He danced on the original, American Bandstand Show,hosted by the ageless Dick Clark, in his home town, Philadelphia. Virtually born with a microphone in his hands, Giant Gene Arnold started singing and doing rock n' roll shows in the early 60's. As a young performer he would grow to leave an indelible mark on the music industry.
I was always a radio listener, and understood the 'timing' of many of the great personalities on the air,reflects Giant Gene. With aspirations to sing and record, he was on his way. Dick Clark, gave Gene his stage name, Rick Roman. He cut a record, Me Please Me,and his goal was to join the same label as Frankie Avalon and Fabian.
His new found success took him in a new direction, spinning dance music (later known as disco) before it had its name.
Gene felt the discoera began about the same time he called his DJ company Gene Arnold's Discoscene.RJ, Ron Joseph, (his radio partner at WIFI FM) ran a discotheque very early in the 70's, where they played on the campus of University of Pennsylvania. With over 3,000 dancers a night on the floor, (that was half a block long), I played everything dance like 'Never Can say Goodbyeby Gloria Gaynor. We did a live radio show on Friday nights, and it was called The Best Disco In Town.
As a teenager of the 70's, I personally loved Gene Arnold's American Scenewhich was heard nightly across America on syndicated radio stations under the CBS banner. His signature style led him to even bigger and exciting opportunities.
Gene, and his talented wife of 40 years, Terry, have completed hundreds of radio, TV commercials, voice-overs as well as lending his voice as the emcee for many major concerts. Here are just some of the high lights from Genes career over the last four decades:
* Working closely with Michael (Dance Your Body Down) Jackson during the Victory Tour - helping to sneak him into Hospitals to meet the pediatric doctors and nurses....
* Bringing Jimi Hendrix to Philly and being on-stage next to those Marshall amps during the entire sound check..(yes, I can still hear, thankfully)...,
* Working with Rick James to get clothes even FUNKIER to build his image * Introducing the Doors when they told me they were ready to go on and feeding me to the wolves for twenty minutes, because they weren't ready
* Emceeing the Jerry Lewis and Variety Club telethons
* Developing the in-store disco network for Merry Go Round stores..
* Being honored to be in the Disco DJ Hall Of Fame and part of the Music Experience Museum in Seattle
* Creating the idea of riding an elephant into a Cottman transmission center and saying no matter what you drive we can fix it ...
* Moving the Sounds Of Phillyradio show (now on the Internet) to radio stations worldwide on a one hour a week specialbasis.
Recently honored by Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street and appointed Official Ambassador of Musical Happiness,Gene has worked very closely with teenagers for years. He holds the Sunshine Foundationclose to his heart.
His son, Jody, encouraged him to get back into broadcasting: making people happy. Jody wrote the original History Of Disco,and produced most of the Gene Arnold Superstar Concertsyndicated shows, while he was still in high school.
Here are some of Giant Gene's favorite songs:
Sun After The Rain, Venus, Love Is A Many Splendor Thing, Instant Replay,
Magic Bird Of Fire, Celebration, To Be Real, Never Can Say Goodbye, Suzie Q, Take-Five.
Gene keeps good company and has maintained long time relationship with Vince Montana Jr., Billy Paul, DJ RJ (Ron Joseph) and Mary Wilson from the Supremes.
Still creating and ready to roll out his newest project, Gene is credited with bringing some of the greatest dance music to the air waves.
As a long time listener and fan, I was asked, Ron, how did he get the name Giant Gene? Is he really that tall?
I believe the giantis based not so much on his physical stature, but on the size of his heart: For being the caring human being he is.
We look forward to his autobiography, which he is now penning, entitled,
The Sounds Heard Round The World.
Check out his website, Giant Gene Presents The Sounds Of Philly at
Radio Like It WAS When You Loved It!