Hy Lit, 73, a pioneering disc jockey who emceed shows in Philadelphia featuring Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and others, died from complications after a knee injury, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007.
The fast-talking old-style rock ‘n roll d.j. went by the names “Hyski,” and “Hyski O’Rooney McVoutie O’Zoot,” but was born Hyman Litsky in South Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Lit’s nighttime show on “Wibbage” (WIBG radio) drew three-quarters of the listening audience in the early 1960s, with many of its young fans listening under covers in defiance of parents. He worked for a wide range of Philadelphia stations and became a pioneer again in the 1990s as “oldies” stations were launched. In semi-retirement in recent years, he launched a website and Internet oldies station that features 1960s music and replays of classic Top 40 radio station jingles.
According to the Inquirer, Lit played Rolling Stones music early on and accompanied the Beatles to the city in 1964.
“Here’s a guy who made it for all of us,” d.j. Don Cannon told the Inquirer. “He was kind of wild back then.”
In recent years, Lit had financial troubles, the newspaper said, and friends organized fund-raisers for him.
According to a Philadelphia-based website focusing on old-time radio, Litt’s awards included: City of Philadelphia Award, January 17, 1982; B’nai B’rith Award, November 8, 1957. Inducted into the Philadelphia Avenue of the Arts Walk of Fame, April 2, 1993. Very first recipient of the March of Dimes Lifetime Achievement of Radio Award in 1994. Achievement in Radio (A.I.R.) “Best Weekend Show”, November 13, 1997. Radio and Records Magazine named Hy Lit the Oldies Personality of the Year for 1999.
one of Philadelphia’s pioneer disc jockeys, died today at Paoli Memorial Hospital of what his son termed “bizarre complications” after a knee injury.
Sam Lit said his father fell on Nov. 4 and was admitted to Lankenau Hospital to have the knee drained. What followed, the son said, was a “terrible situation that should have never happened.”
Over the next week and a half, the DJ, heavily sedated, was transferred to Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital and, on Thursday, to Paoli Memorial, Sam Lit said.
He is survived by his son, Sam, a daughter, Benna, three grandchildren, and a sister. Lit was divorced from the former Miriam Uniman in the 1970s. His second wife, Maggie, died in 2000.