Jocko Henderson
Jocko Henderson
Jocko Henderson

“Hello, Daddy-O and Mommy-O, This is Jocko” was all the rage in Philadelphia and later in New York City. His thing was rhyming words like, “eee-tiddlee-yock, this is the Jock,” or “oo-papa-doo, how do you do.” While not the first to do this, it worked. Word has it that his fan club numbered 50,000 people at one time. His entry to his stage productions was legendary. He would enter the stage from a rocket suspended on wires. There was sound effects and smoke. Truly a sight to see.

Born on March 8, 1918 in Baltimore, Douglas Wendell Henderson, Sr. (Jocko) started in broadcasting in 1950 at AM daytimer, WBAL in the city oif his birth. Chuck Richards at that station got Jocko interested. Baltimore DJ Maurice “Hot Rod” Hulbert also thought that Henderson should g o into broadcasting.

Doug loved radio and gave up his father’s plans of him being a teacher. About a half-year later, Jocko moved to Philadelphia, a city where he would put down roots and start and raise a family. He started in the Quaker City at WHAT Radio, owned by Billy and Dolly Banks. It was at WHAT he would take the name that would stay with him for the rest of his life, “Jocko.” Shortly later, he moved to WDAS, which was just purchased by Max Leon.

About seven years later, he started doing morning drive on WLIB in New York City while still continuing the afternoon gig on WDAS. Later, he kept the Philly job but switched NYC stations and time periods going to WOV, later called WADO (owned by the Macfadden-Bartell group) for late evenings and eventually to WWRL.

These shows were all live and it got to be a bit much for Jocko. He set up a studio in his basement where he taped the New York programs while adding Boston, St. Louis, Detriot and Miami. The WDAS show remained live from the WDAS studios in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.

Henderson had a TV show which was carried in New York City on WNTA. In 1970, Jocko started a local magazine called ” Philly Talk.” He wrote, produced and announced his own commercials, one which can still be loacted online.

After running unsuccessfully for the United States Congress in the Second District in 1978, he spent much of his efforts promoting his “Get Ready” program for school districts around the country. Jocko made records of himself teaching our youth everything from math to American history with rap lyrics. In 1989, Jocko was invited by oldies station WCBS-FM to take part in their promotion of favorite DJs.

Jocko was also a music promoter. He co-owned the song “Long, Lonely Nights.” He was also a record producer. In 1962, the Wand Record label issued two albums, Rocket To The Stars & Jocko’s Show Stoppers, that contained many of the recordings he played on the air.