• Robert Alianiello, Popular WCAO-WBAL/Baltimore DJ Who Introduced The Beatles, Passes At 83

    by Roy Trakin
    February 3, 2023 at 1:20 AM (PT)
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    Robert C. Alianiello aka Robert C. Allen III

    ROBERT C. ALIANIELLO, a popular on-air personality at BALTIMORE stations WCAO and WBAL known on the air as ROBERT C. ALLEN III and who introduced THE BEATLES and ROLLING STONES at '60s concerts, died of congestive heart failure last month at the age of 83.

    While in the NAVY, the PROVIDENCE, RI, native credited listening to WASHINGTON, DC. AM station WEAM, now WZHF, as giving him the idea for a career.

    After leaving the military, ALIANIELLO attended the NORTHEAST SCHOOL OF BROADCASTING in BOSTON, working part time at WHIL/MEDFORD, MA, and later WARE, MA. He broadcast mornings on WHYN/SPRINGFIELD, MA, and hosted a dance party on the television station which welcomed ROY ORBISON and THE RONETTES. 

    He was then recruited to WEAM/WASHINGTON, DC, in '64 as RUSS WHEELER, establishing a presence in the local pop music scene during a time when AM radio was a dominant cultural force.

    As WHELER, he met and introduced THE BEATLES at D.C. STADIUM on AUGUST 15th, 1966, and the ROLLING STONES at ULINE ARENA, now the WASHINGTON COLISEUM.  

    ALIANIELLO left WEAM for a production director post at KDKA/PITTSBURGH, but returned to D.C. to join WPGC, where he changed his name to BOB PEYTON, before returning to WEAM as RUSS WHEELER. 

    He also had stints at  WFIL/PHILADELPHIA, as TONY EDWARDS at crosstown WIBG and at WCAO as ROBERT C. ALLEN III, where he took the morning drive-time slot and became a fixture at the station.

    Another career move came in 1977 when he hosted the morning show for a year at BALTIMORE’s WLPL as ROBERT C. ALLEN before moving to WBAL as the station’s afternoon music show host. He later had a stint as an overnight talk show host.

    He returned to WCAO in 1985 to host middays as R.C. ALLEN until the station went through a format change in 1991. He later became morning drive host of an oldies program on WWLG.

    Survivors include two daughters, JANICE M. SHAGENA and TERESA "TERRI" POTTER, a son, DR. ROBERT G. ALIANIELLO and seven grandchildren. 

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