Wildman Steve Gallon
 
Wildman Steve Gallon's LP cover

Steve Gallon, Jr., known to millions nationwide as Wildman Steve, died of natural causes at North Shore Hospital in Miami, Florida on Wednesday, September 1, 2004. He was 78 years old.

Wildman Steve was born to the late Steve and Dorothy Gallon on September 10, 1925 in Monticello, Florida. His father later moved his wife and only child to New England. There, Steve Gallon, Jr. grew up and attended school in Waterbury, Connecticut.

He enlisted in the United States Navy during the Korean War. In the military, he distinguished himself as prize fighter, becoming a Golden Gloves Middleweight Champion.

After the Navy, he returned to Waterbury to start a salon business, open his own nightclub, and get involved in the entertainment business, establishing himself as a radio personality in Waterbury, Hartford, Bridgeport, and Providence.

His meteoric rise and success in radio found him in Boston at WILD, where he became his alter ego, Wildman Steve. There, he remained in radio for about five years performing in Boston Night Clubs, most notably Basin Street South with such top-notch stars as Flip Wilson, Red Foxx, Slappy White, and the daddy of them all, Pigmeat Markham. He credited Pigmeat Markham with urging him to go into entertainment full-time.

It was the call of radio, however, that landed Wildman Steve in South Florida in 1963. He became one of the most popular local radio personalities at WMBM alongside such notables as the late, great Butterball and revered King Coleman. Wildman Steve also distinguished himself as a highly successful promoter and Master of Ceremonies, spicing up Miami’s Black entertainment life by bringing top-notch, highly touted Black entertainers to Miami to such places as the famous Night Beat and Mr. James Night Club. His list of entertainers included such stars as James Brown, Jerry Butler, Tyrone Davis, Harold Melvin and the Blues Notes, and Arthur Prysock, to name a few.

Wildman Steve Gallon
Wildman Steve Gallon

He co-recorded several albums with top comedy stars including Gene “Truck Stop” Tracy. But Wildman Steve became a star in his own right with the release of his first Black comedy album entitled “My Man! Wildman” which became the first party album by a Black comedian to be listed in Cashbox and Billboard---outselling Richard Pryor’s “Craps” and staying among the top 50 for 26 weeks. He went on to record to over 10 albums which sold well over a million copies nationwide and abroad.

Steve became a large attraction in the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, and Bermuda which were favorite vacation spots during his time. Wildman Steve appeared in several Black movies during the height of the 70’s Black film era including Rudy Ray Moore’s “Petey Wheatstraw” and his own film entitled “Super Soul Brother.”

Over the years, Wildman Steve not only headlined his famous “Wildman Steve Revue,” but conceived of and promoted several worldwide tours that included such stars as Rudy Ray Moore, Millie Jackson, and the Fred Sanford Show’s star Lawanda Page (Aunt Esther) with the “Watch it Sucka Revue.” A legend in his own right, Wildman Steve shook hands, conducted business, and established friendships with some of the most influential figures in our time. From Nat King Cole, Otis Redding, Roy Hamilton, and Joe Simon, to Malcom X, Barry Gordy, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Muhammed Ali, Wildman Steve became a highly admired and well respected entertainer and businessman.

Known for his warm personality and ability to make everybody feel special, Wildman Steve “walked with kings, but never lost the common touch.” He spent his final years of retirement from the fast and high life of show business working with unemployed people on developing job skills and assisting them with seeking gainful employment.

In 2002, the City of Miami, in conjunction with Heart of the City and Diaspora Arts Coalition, awarded Wildman Steve the Cultural Ambassador’s Award for his decades of service to the community’s entertainment industry and his promotion of culture and the Arts around the world.

Steve was a family man. He was a loving and faithful father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He leaves 5 sons, 3 daughters, 13 grandchildren, 8 great-grand children, a host of relatives and friends, and millions of adoring and respectful fans. Services were held on Saturday, September 11, 2004 at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at 740 N.W. 58 street.

 
WDRCOBG.COM | Man From Mars site
WPOP Home | Jingles | Jock Lounge | Albums | Music Surveys | Mailbag
©2004-2017 Man From Mars Productions