Lou joined the station in 1962, six years before the advent of free-form, hosting an eclectic jazz program. When free-form was introduced by a gaggle of hippies (including Vin Scelsa) in '68, Lou (a self-described "clean-cut, preppie type") made the open-playlist transition seamlessly. He remained an iconic figure at WFMU until he retired in 1990.
Everyone in the WFMU community owes Lou a silent debt of gratitude for keeping free-form radio alive when the underground format was being overtaken by niche-casting in the early 1970s.
Drawing on his early radio heroes Jean Shepherd, Bob & Ray, and Symphony Sid, Lou evolved a warm, erudite, self-effacing, and highly entertaining style. His joie de vivre on mic was no stage persona. Lou was the same charismatic individual on the air and off.
Radio personality. Storyteller. Bon vivant. Zen sage. Family man. Actor. Athlete. Hepcat. Historian. Philosopher. Humorist. Chef. Musician. Teacher. Epicure. Diplomat. Mediator. Mentor. Lou was Fred Astaire -- he was multi-talented, did everything with singular style and natural grace, and made it all look easy.
Photos of Lou and reminiscences from staff and volunteers are being posted on WFMU's In Memoriam page, which includes a link (at bottom) to the D'Antonio family's memorial at Facebook. The first two hours of my April 8 afternoon program were devoted to Lou. An audio archive of the Duck's vintage broadcasts is under construction.