Joe Dorsey

Joe-DorseyHis 55-year radio broadcasting career began in 1946, when he joined Armed Forces Radio near the end of his three-year U.S. Army service. From 1947 to 2001, he was the most revered voice in Milwaukee radio, serving at WEMP and WOKY. He was most famous for a sixteen year run, from 1947 to 1963, with his show “Wire Request” where fans would request songs for their sweethearts or special occasions with Western Union telegrams. This early use of the social media of the day was so popular that the original one hour show evolved into a five hour show. During his nearly thirty years at WEMP, he also hosted the “Play Ball” show, interviewing baseball players prior to Milwaukee Braves games from 1953 to 1965. He moved to WOKY radio in 1976, first hosting a Sunday evening talk show and then his own music show, “Love and Stuff” from 1987 to 1993. He closed out his career with a ten year stint as host of “Dixieland with Dorsey” from 1991 to 2001. In 1992, Milwaukee listeners voted him “The Best Radio Voice in Milwaukee”.

Joe Dorsey passed away on March 23, 2015.



  1. Al Rindfleisch

    Loved the video. Thought of Joe when my wife and I had dinner at Meyers Restaurant. Remember his praise of it & have been going there for years. Also remember his beer bar.I believe it was on Port Rd. Thanks for the memories…AL

  2. Joe Dorsey was a true Milwaukee radio institution and pioneer. He was also there when Buchenwald was liberated. Hard to believe he’s gone.

    How many of you remember Mr. Dorsey on WOKY Talky or, for that mattter, WEMP’s Wire Request? He indeed had one of the finest speaking voices anywhere, friendly yet authoritative, conveying knowledge and intelligence. And those qualities weren’t confined to his voice.

    While I remember him from early childhood, hearing him almost daily on my mother’s favorite radio station, WEMP, he also was a nearly weekly part of many of our lives later on as well, when he hosted the three-hour-long weekly show WOKY Talky, one of Milwaukee’s most enduring call-in shows. Grandpa Louie, Les Potter, Bilderberger Lady, so many other fellow regular WOKY Talky regulars, are you still out there?

    There was only one Joe Dorsey — truly irreplaceable.

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