Kal Rudman started publishing Friday Morning Quarterback, his music industry trade magazine, out of his basement in 1968.
And after more than 50 years, Rudman is selling FMQB, which became a stone-cold necessity for radio programmers across the country.
“I am retiring from the music industry, but not the radio business,” Rudman, 89, said in a press release. “For a long time, I have focused much of my philanthropic efforts in the medical world, and now I am merging that with radio. For over 50 years, I have been the specialist in predicting countless hits for numerous artists, and I’ve received unique recognition by the music industry. …. However, times have changed drastically, along with the industry, and it was time for me to move on to my original passion, medicine.”
The assets were sold to Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based Deane Media Solutions, and the FMQB title will be retired.
Rudman (born Solomon Rudman) is Philadelphia through and through, a graduate of Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania. After a brief stint as a special education teacher, Rudman became a DJ at WCAM in Camden, New Jersey
In 1968, he published FMQB for the first time, working together with his wife of 61 years, Lucille. They created a go-to publication for radio programmers who wanted to know what the next big hit would be — “Go-rillas,” in Rudman’s singular terminology. Rudman has, over the years, claimed credit for getting the likes of Barry Manilow, Madonna and Hall & Oates on to the airwaves.
“If you could get him to work on one of your records, he could bring it home. Success is not easy in an industry that is so competitive,” Kenny Gamble, co-founder of Philadelphia International Records, said in a statement. “Having Kal Rudman and the Quarterback on your team was the key.”
FMQB propelled Rudman to stardom. He claims nicknames like The Round Mound of Sound and The Man With The Golden Ears. He became a frequent guest on the “The Merv Griffin Show” and was a regular contributor to “The Today Show.” To this day, he makes regular radio appearances to pronounce on the state of the industry. He’s been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and, yes, the Jewish Exponent.
“I don’t want to write a book,” Rudman joked in a 2016 interview with the Exponent. “Too many people would have to leave the country.”
In recent years, Rudman and his wife founded the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation, which boasts a broadsheet’s worth of beneficiaries: Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication, Drexel University, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and the Jewish Community Services Building, among many others.
Asked in 2016 by the Exponent why he felt compelled to give away his life’s earnings, Rudman answered in his characteristic style: “Because I can,” he said.
Rudman won’t be too far from the industry. In fact, in 2019 he and his close friend, endocrinologist Joseph J. Fallon, debuted a new show called “Inside Medicine,” a weekly program that now airs on two Philadelphia stations.
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