Russ “Famous Amos” DiBello has been a radio DJ for 40 years, not that you’d know it to look at him.
He’s crisscrossed the country in more than two dozen markets over the decades, including making his mark on NYC.
In the late 1990s, he made his first big impression with listeners in the tri state area, working at the now-defunct Jammin’ 105.
Since 2003, he’s had varying fill-in opportunities at WCBS-FM. He started prior to the “Jack” debacle, and returned two years later.
His highwater mark at the Classic Hits station came in the 2009 holiday season. DiBello was, seemingly, the main fill-in jock, heard regularly off the bench.
DiBello, 59 tomorrow, is scheduled to fill in for “Broadway” Bill Lee on Thanksgiving Day. As of this writing, though, it is his only shift through the end of the year. It will be his first time on CBS-FM since July 4th weekend.
“I am the person that they call, officially, when everyone has the Bubonic plague,” DiBello quipped. “Doctor’s notes are required. If someone can be pulled or dragged in, and the medical monitors show no instance of flatlining—no ‘Famous.’
“If there is nobody to use his index finger to push the Christmas music button, they say call him,” DiBello tells FishbowlNY.
Still he’ll be there to crack the mic, knowing full well that Thanksgiving probably won’t generate much cachet for his career, save for those going to grandma’s house.
“Who do you know is going to be listening to the radio on Thanksgiving Day?” DiBello says sarcastically.
While DiBello is “thankful” to get back on air with his years of experience and name recognition—not to mention talent– he does find it frustrating why more shifts aren’t coming his way.
“I hear jocks on there [CBS-FM] who are like full time, and they’ve actually been dead for like 20 years,” DiBello opines. “And I think to myself, ‘Why not me?’”
As the workload for the longtime jock has reduced, he may soon have another source of income.
“If I don’t get a real job by the middle of next year, I can pull my 401k out without penalty,” DiBello joked. “It is my goal not to work.”