Bob Braun

Best known throughout the Midwest for his long-running and much-celebrated syndicated radio showcase, Bob Braun also enjoyed a brief moment of national success in 1962 when his lone pop hit, "Till Death Do Us Part," entered the Top 40. Born April 20, 1929, in Ludlow, KY, Braun began his broadcasting career at age 13, hosting a weekend sports show on Cincinnati radio station WSAI. In 1949 he joined fledgling Cincinnati television station WCPO, and remained there until 1957, when he earned top prize on the CBS network amateur showcase Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. The exposure made Braun a hot commodity, and he soon signed on with NBC-TV affiliate WLWT and radio outlet WLW-AM -- he also landed a recording deal with the Fraternity label, scoring a minor hit with "Sweet Violets." Upon signing to Decca in 1962, Braun scored with the romantic ballad "Till Death Do Us Part," which reached number 26 on the Billboard pop singles chart that fall. The follow-up, "Our Anniversary of Love," failed to crack the Hot 100, however, and while he later recorded for labels including United Artists and Audio Fidelity, his career as a crooner was essentially a sideline to his other professional pursuits. When host Ruth Lyons exited her legendary WLWT radio program The 50-50 Club in 1967, Braun -- a regular contributor to the show and frequent fill-in host -- was named her successor: The Bob Braun Show, a syndicated 90-minute daily broadcast, attracted a fiercely loyal following across the heartland as well as special guests including Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, and Johnny Carson. Its mix of celebrity interviews, live musical performances, and news established The Bob Braun Show as the Midwest's top-rated infotainment series throughout much of its 17-year run -- however, in 1984 Braun relocated to California, starring in commercials and landing small film roles. He returned to Cincinnati a decade later, co-hosting WSAI's The Sunrise Boys alongside nephew "Bucks" Braun and newsman Don Herman. Braun retired November 24, 1999, after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease -- he died January 15, 2001. ~ Jason Ankeny

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