UTICA/ROME -- Joe Graziano, a Mohawk Valley radio fixture whose career spanned more than half a century, passed away on Friday at the age of 74. During the last several years of his career, Graziano hosted the Cuppa Joe Show on at least three different radio stations.
Your editor remembers when Graziano hosted the Cuppa Joe Show for 18 months on WRUN, during the station's relatively-brief stint as an adult standards station under the ownership of Regent Broadcasting. The show continued until Regent sold WRUN to Northeast Public Radio in 2005. Shortly after the sale, Graziano explained he had only 5 minutes to tell his listeners about the sale before signing off that last day.
In 2007, Clear Channel's exit from the Utica-Rome market paved the way for Graziano's return to the airwaves. When Roser Communications Network took control of WUTQ and WADR, they replaced the "Sports Stars" format with "Beautiful Music." Graziano was given the 9am to noon slot, following fellow market legend Hank Brown.
Many years before this, according to his obituary, Graziano had the honor of working with The Danny Fusco Show. (Incidentally, Fusco and his brother founded WBVM back in 1961 -- the station which would eventually become known as WUTQ today.)
Throughout the years, Graziano also worked in the restaurant business, eventually taking over his family's restaurant in Utica, where he was known as a "masterful bartender" and creator of "the greatest pizza in the world."
As of Sunday afternoon, Graziano's obituary makes no mention of calling hours or funeral services, but memorial gifts can be directed to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center or to the Sons of Italy Scholarship Fund.
If you wish to share your memories of Joe Graziano, we encourage you to join those who've already posted their comments on a guestbook already established on the Eannace Funeral Home website.