ALBANY -- He worked for many years in the Utica/Rome market, mostly at WRCK and WTLB. Larry Oyer, who went by the name "Big Larry Williams" on the air, has died at the age of 57, following a brief illness. Calling hours and a funeral are set to take place today near Albany, but a memorial service closer to Utica has been scheduled for next weekend.
According to an obituary published yesterday in the Albany Times-Union, Oyer had most-recently been working as a recruitment media consultant for that newspaper. He passed away on Tuesday at a hospice in Schenectady.
Calling hours are today from 1-4pm, with a funeral service to follow immediately afterward at the Gordon C. Emerick Funeral Home on Route 9 in Clifton Park. For friends and colleagues in the Mohawk Valley, a memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 22 at 1:30pm at Owens, Pavelot and Rogers Funeral Services on College Street in Clinton. Friends are invited to gather up to one hour prior to the service. The family is encouraging donations in Larry's memory to the American Melanoma Foundation.
When he worked on WRCK and WTLB, Larry was known as "Big Larry Williams." Former co-worker John Carrucci, now working at WSEN-FM in Syracuse, said Larry "was a great guy to work with a true professional."
Citadel Syracuse Ops Manager Tom Mitchell tells CNYRadio.com, "Larry worked for me at 98PXY in Rochester," for a brief period in the late 1980s. He was known on the air there as "Hollywood Hudson." Oyer would return to WRCK less than a year later.
Jeff Moulton told CNYRadio.com he was working across town at WRUN when Larry worked for WRCK/WTLB. "We were friendly competitors," he recalled, remembering Larry as "as good guy."
We also heard from "DJ Bill T" (Terwilleger), another former WRCK employee. He offered his memories of Big Larry:
I met Big Larry the first time in the early 1980's at a WRCK Radio remote that took place at Roller Palace in Sangertown Mall. I believe at that time WRCK was a "Pirate Radio" format playing everything rock from Billy Idol to VanHalen. I was fresh from the NYC area with my frosted hair, thin leather tie and playboy shoes. I was spinning the latest greatest club tunes from NYC and the moment the WRCK crew arrived I was asked to switch the format to more of what they were playing. That was the beginning of what would be several years of meeting Big Larry at radio remotes. Over the years that followed we shared the DJ booth several times at the Casabogie, Shenanigans, Lights Out, Lilly Lang-trees, Club Mystique, Players and the Sports Page... just to name a few. I would see him out and about and he was always very friendly, loved the music, loved the business.
My fondest moment was the night he introduced me as I was coming onto "Dance Tracks" on Rock 107. He talked me up so much you would have thought if you were listing I was some kinda of mega star. His encouraging words lead me to go on that night with one of the best six-hour live mix shows that I ever produced. I moved away for bigger and better things at the end of the 80's... and when I came back a few years later (we always come back) I had lost touch with the WRCK gang. It's been 20 years since I heard Big Larrys name... and I never knew his real name until I had heard that he passed. And it's ironic that I hear this news as I just watched "Pirate Radio" and as I watched I reminisced back to the days of WRCK Radio remotes... and Big Larrys big smile...
Our thanks to NorthEast Radio Watch author Scott Fybush for pointing out Larry's obituary yesterday, and to other CNYRadio.com readers who also got a hold of us before we had a chance to finish up this story. Anytime you have news to share about local radio or TV, our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our thanks also to the former co-workers of Larry who shared their thoughts and memories. Feel free to add your own memories or messages by posting a comment below. A CNYRadio.com login is required (to prevent spam) but registration is free and it only takes a few moments.