Steele, Alison (c. 1937–1995)

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Steele, Alison (c. 1937–1995)

American radio personality who was one of the first female rock 'n' roll disc jockeys in America. Name variations: the Nightbird. Born around 1937 in Brooklyn, New York; died in September 1995 in New York City; sister of Joyce Loman (who operated a feline boutique with her sister called Just Cats); married Ted Steele, a bandleader (divorced).

Alison Steele, one of America's first female rock 'n' roll disc jockeys, began her broadcasting career as an errand girl at the age of 14 and worked her way up to associate producer at a New York radio station. In 1966, she was chosen from 800 applicants for an all-woman lineup of disc jockeys, a publicity stunt organized by New York station WNEW-FM. When the station abandoned the lineup 18 months later, Steele was the only woman asked to stay on.

Known to her loyal listeners as "the Nightbird" because of her specialty graveyard shifts, Steele was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and was the first female winner of Billboard magazine's FM Personality of the Year (1976). She worked for several different New York stations and her distinctively sultry voice, inviting listeners to "Come fly with me," was much in demand for radio and television voice-overs. She died of cancer in New York City in 1995.


The Daily News (obituary). September 28, 1995.

Time. October 9, 1995.

Paula Morris , D.Phil., Brooklyn, New York

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