Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Radio loses veteran
voice Jay Stone

Former "Oldies 107.9" morning man Jay Stone has been identified as the lone occupant of a car that went out of control and overturned Monday afternoon in Hawaii Kai.

Longtime friend and some-time employer Austin Vali, vice president of Cox Radio Hawaii, said he was contacted by the medical examiner's office, which was seeking next-of-kin contacts.

"Stone passed away Monday after suffering a heart attack which caused him to lose control of his car," Vali said.

Stone, who last month was left without a job in a restructuring of KGMZ FM, was on his way to the airport and a flight to Las Vegas, Vali said.

"I had dinner with him on Saturday night and had visited again with him on Sunday, both times he was in good spirits, excited about a new offer of employment and being closer to his family," Vali said.

Stone's grown son, Mark, lives in the Las Vegas area; his adult daughter, Stephanie, lives in Utah.

He was to become a vice president of marketing for San Diego-based Clifton Radio Inc., headed by Kauai resident Jerry Clifton.

"Jay and I first met in 1972," Clifton said, "We started working together in 1973. He was my morning man and really my partner more or less at a station called 99X (WXLO FM) in New York."

Through career ups and downs his distinctive and powerful voice was respected as "old-school" by radio colleagues, referring to an era when such voices were required for working in broadcasting. Aside from his former job at KGMZ, Stone also did voice-over work for KGMB TV, as a station announcer.

"He was a great morning man -- he had the radio disease in a serious way, and had a great sense of humor," Clifton said.

"Early in his career, a false story was spread about him," Clifton said. "He supposedly left a station car along the road upside down, as he was leaving town. It didn't happen."

Clifton said Stone often joked, "wouldn't it be funny," if he died in the manner described in the false story. "Somewhere he's laughing," Clifton said.

Stone, who was in his mid-50s, worked in Hawaii for at least two long stretches in various capacities, including a stint as program director and morning man for the station that is now KSSK FM (92.3), at 93.9 FM KIKI, and Vali recalled "he worked at KRTR for me for a little while."

"He loved what he did, he loved the business, he helped whoever he could. He was really a good guy," Clifton said.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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