News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


voice of Oneonta

Joe Campbell ‘Changed A Lot Of Hearts,’ Many Recall At Today’s Rites


Joe Campbell ‘Changed

A Lot Of Hearts,’ Many

Recall At Today’s Rites

Oz Smith, a pal of Joe Campbell and former WDOS announcer who also sang on Broadway, sings his original composition, “By The Time Tomorrow Comes,” for his old friend, ending with the standard, “Without a Song,” concluding, “I know there ain’t no love at all without a song.”   At right is Joe’s portrait from his radio days..  (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

“Big Chuck” D’Imperio remembers his radio colleague’s hearty handshake, infectious laugh and “pure joy for the art of broadcasting.”

ONEONTA – Take heart.

Joe Campbell Jr.

The 100 friends and admirers at “Voice of Oneonta” Joseph Campbell’s memorial service this morning certainly did, wife Judith reminded them of one of her husband’s favorite exhortations in good times and bad: “Life is just a bowl of cherries.  Everything will be OK.”

That wasn’t always the case for Campbell, you might think, but you’d be wrong, judging from the testimony at the hour-long service at the Elks Club.

In failing health, he spent the last few years before he passed away at Hampshire House, but he loved life to the end, said son Joe:  When one of his granddaughters reminded him he was almost “91 and a half,” Campbell was delighted.  He passed away on March 6, 2019, at “91 and a half,” after hearing “The Campbells Are Coming,” performed on bagpipes.



Take Walk Down Memory Lane With Joe Campbell


As ‘Voice Of Oneonta,’

Joe Campbell Beloved

For 50 Years, DJ, Radio Fans Went

On ‘Sentimental Journey’ Together

“Voice of Oneonta” Joe Campbell shared many of the caricatures done of him over the years during an interview in 2011. (Jim Kevlin/Hometown Oneonta file photo)

Editor’s Note: This article recounting “Voice of Oneonta” Joe Campbell’s career in radio appeared on Jan. 14, 2011, in Hometown Oneonta. A legend in his adopted hometown, he passed away early Wednesday morning, March 6, 2019. An obituary and memory book are available from the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements.  Meanwhile, take a walk down Memory Lane.


from HOMETOWN ONEONTA, (Jan 13, 2011)

Don Sherwood of Otego, nationally syndicated cartoonist of “Dan Flagg,” a strip about a Marine, captured the WDOS staff, including Joe in the lower left. (click to see full size)

ONEONTA – Spending a few hours with Joe Campbell is a “Sentimental Journey” indeed.

He’s immediately in character, and there are lots of them.

There he goes: “Jack Armstrong, all American boy,” he intones. “Wave the flag for Hudson High, boys.”

Then a commercial break for Armstrong’s sponsor, Wheaties: “Won’t you try Wheaties, the best breakfast found in the land?”

Then on to “Little Orphan Annie: She’s a little chatterbox, that gal with auburn locks.” At the key point, Sandy chimes in: “Arf, arf.”

At almost 84, Joe Campbell, “The Voice of Oneonta,” whose “Sentimental Journey” – spoofs of those old radio shows, plus Big Band favorites, aired for decades over WDOS-AM 730, Oneonta – still captivates.

Joe Campbell, Voice Of Oneonta For Decades, Goes Silent At 91

Joe Campbell, Voice Of Oneonta

For Decades, Goes Silent At 91

Editor’s Note: Joe Campbell’s son, Joe Jr. sent out this message to friends on the passing of his dad, the voice of Oneonta for decades, on March 6, 2019.  Joseph P. Campbell was born on Aug. 30, 1927, in Moosic, Pa.  A full obituary will follow shortly from the Grummons Funeral Home, which is handling the arrangements.

I want to let you know that my father passed away on Wednesday 3/6/19 at 4:05 pm after hearing  “The Campbells are Coming” on the bagpipes surrounded by family in Bassett Hospital. Dad lived 91½ wonderful years and had his wits about him until the end.

There will be a memorial service to be scheduled at a teacher-friendly time, with so many family members following in his footsteps. We will keep you posted. Thank you for your friendship and support.

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