Debbi Calton Reveals Her 13 Greatest Radio Moments

The former WMGK radio host shares her most memorable experiences throughout her decades-long career.

Read our feature on the iconic host here

  • Spending Time with Mötley Crüe

“Hanging out with Mötley Crüe for a weekend when they were starting out. So young, so exuberant, so rude, so cocky, so fun. ”

  •  Beating Out the competition 

“In 1984, WYSP scooped everyone on the Yes rehearsals at Millersville University before they started their tour. Several of us travelled up there, got interviews with the band and then came back and produced a special. The competition was fierce between WYSP and WMMR—we got them on this one! ”

  • Celebrating Legendary Coworkers

“When Ed Sciaky died in 2004, he was working at WMGK. He was one of a kind—smart, wickedly and often scathingly funny, with an encyclopedic knowledge of all music. Many of his co-workers present and past got together and shared our memories across a big table in a conference room. We laughed so hard—and cried a little, too.”

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  • Growing Unlikely Friendships

“I worked with Big Brothers/Big Sisters for several years. Out of that collaboration came one of my greatest friendships, with Victoria Wyeth (Andrew’s granddaughter). And she knows nothing about classic rock. Ha-ha.”

  • A Unique Interview Location

“Interviewing (Fleetwood Mac’s) Mick Fleetwood in the Ripley Music Hall bathroom and (the Who’s) John Entwistle in a bathtub at an after-concert party. ”

  • Meeting a Radio Legend

“I just about keeled over the first time I met Jerry Blavat—and he knew who I was! ”

  • Meeting Her Husband

“I met my husband, Chip Roberts, at a radio promotion at the East Side Club in the early ’80s. He was the guitar player in a band called the Drinkers. He’s as well known to my listeners as is my son, Dustin. ”

  • Hitting the Big Screen

“I got a bit part in a Keifer Sutherland/Lou Diamond Phillips movie called Renegades. In the opening scene, I’m on the radio in a bar. If you blink, you’ll miss me! ”

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  • Filling in for Howard Stern

“Comedian Ritch Shydner (Married With Children) and I filled in for Howard Stern and Robin on WYSP. We had the best time—although we had a bit of kickback from diehard fans who thought we were trying too hard to sound like them (we weren’t).”

  •  An Unexpected Interview Answer

“I asked (the Beach Boys’) Brian Wilson what TV show he likes to watch the most. Turns out it’s Wheel of Fortune—and he’s really good at it.”

  •  Receiving Official Honors for Her Work 

“Receiving a Philadelphia AIR (Achievement in Radio) Award alongside Gamble and Huff.”

  • A Shoutout From Harry Kalas

“One time, at the Rose Tree Inn, Harry Kalas spotted me across the room and yelled, ‘DEBBBIIIIIII CALTONNNNN … NOOOOOOONTIME NUGGGGGGETS!’ Thrill of my life.”

  •  Adventures With a Songwriter

“Picking up Jackson Browne at the Philadelphia airport one New Year’s night. Everything went wrong. I’ve also been in an elevator with him, grabbed him backstage to give him a poem I wrote, and babysat his son. Stalk much? ”

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  • Meeting a Legend

“John Paul Jones was on my show for several hours. He was really nice and even played a strange instrument. As a diehard Led Zeppelin fan, this was truly a bucket-list moment. ”

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