Bobby Bennett, who as the Mighty Burner fired up the airwaves in Washington and beyond for more than four decades with jive-talking patter and a deep playlist of soul sounds, died Sept. 8 at his home in Punta Gorda, Fla. He was 72.
The cause was respiratory failure, his wife, Connie Payne, said.
Starting out in 1968 as the overnight DJ on the District’s most popular black-oriented station, WOL, and continuing until 2008, when he retired from XM Satellite Radio, where he headed the Soul Street channel, Mr. Bennett was a rhyming, ad-libbing advocate for local and lesser-known artists and was a distinctive, clarion pitchman for local businesses such as the Junkyard Band’s Cavalier Men’s Shop commercial (see video clip below) and the former Dimensions Unlimited concert promoters.
“Brother Bobby here in a disco inferno, cooking all over your radio, burnin’ a hunk of funk,” he said in a typical riff introducing a record on WOL in 1977. “I got my hammer jamming, got my pedal to the metal, got a hold on my soul. Let’s roll.”
CHECK OUT THE JUNKYARD CAVALIER COMMERCIAL BELOW: