Unkle Rog Killed
say radio host was shot in attempted robbery on Saturday.
By Greg Livadas D&C Staff Writer
(December 14, 2003)
of a Rochester radio personality were shocked to learn that
Roger McCall, a disc jockey who hosted a radio show for nearly
30 years, had been shot to death Friday.
just so sad and tragic. This guy was about peace and love, and
people loved this guy," said disc jockey Brother Wease,
who worked with McCall at WCMF-FM (96.5).
Best known as "Unkle Rog," McCall, who hosted a Sunday
night "Homegrown" radio show spotlighting local bands,
was shot about 5:50 p.m. at 39 Madison St., police said. He
was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced
dead of a gunshot wound to the torso.
"The preliminary investigation points to the motive of
this shooting as possibly being a robbery attempt," said
Sgt. Carlos Garcia. Anyone with information is asked to call
52, of Perinton, had worked at WCMF since 1974 and felt most
comfortable working the overnight shift, often from midnight
to 5:30 a.m.
was a hippie soul," said Wease, whose real name is Alan
Levin. "He was all about peace, love, understanding and
music. And he got to live the life he loved."
called McCall "the No. 1 supporter of local musicians.
McCall made six albums featuring local bands over the past 25
wife, Denise, called him "wise and intelligent" and
said he was a wonderful father to their son, Jason, 27. "He
was the kindest, sweetest, most generous loving man I have ever
known," she said.
She said he was a master player of backgammon and Jeopardy,
and enjoyed playing video games with Jason.
who rented houses, often to those in need, would frequently
give his tenants clothing or other items they needed.
was a charitable man," his wife said. "I'm sure there
were other acts of kindness I don't even know about."
also enjoyed performing music and played bass in a local band
called The Fugitives.
Schaubroeck, who owns House of Guitars in Irondequoit, said
McCall had a passion for music and helping young bands trying
to get their music heard.
called him the friend of the new bands. That's really where
he wanted to be," Schaubroeck said. "On the outside,
Rog had a big sincere smile for everyone he met. On the inside,
he had a heart of gold, one of the most beautiful people I have
said McCall rarely talked about himself, preferring to talk
about the local music scene. If a band made a recording in a
band member's basement, McCall would eagerly listen to it and
often invite the band members on the show to talk about an upcoming
performance or record release.
is a loss for all the bands," Schaubroeck said. "His
heart was totally in it. It wasn't just a job. He lived it.
Chris Hingel, 21, of Pittsford, a drummer in the band Dis-Harmony,
listened to McCall over the past five years. He sent him a sample
CD a few months ago, then followed up with a phone call.
first time I talked with him, he was just so warm-hearted,"
Hingel said. "He said he loved it. He was a big supporter
of our band and would play us every week on his show. He was
the first one to actually support us. It wasn't a fake support.
He was sincere."
was invited to be on his show in September and again for a Christmas
special next Sunday.
don't know how many listeners listen from 12 to 2 a.m. on a
Sunday night, and we asked him why he did this," Hingel
said. "He said, "Because", and pointed to us.
He was real. I still think tonight I can give him a call and
he'll be there."
Schippers said McCall helped his band, Immaculate Mary, when
it was just starting in 1984. He was the first one to play the
band's music on the air.
a result of Roger's efforts, we could pretty much go on his
show at the drop of a hat. When others wouldn't support us,
Unkle Rog would. He was very supportive," said Schippers,
Another member of Immaculate Mary, Tony Brunett of Rochester,
said he was on McCall's program dozens of times.
was the outlet to getting the word out about our shows. He helped
so many bands. He embraced everybody. It's a really dark day
for all the local musicians as well as his family."
Wease said the station is planning "a huge eulogy"
for McCall to include on-air tributes as well as a yet-to-be-planned
concert at a local nightclub.
Wease said it was unknown what WCMF would be doing tonight at
midnight, when McCall would have hosted his "Homegrown"
show. Some shows were taped, but most were done live, he said.
funeral is being planned for Tuesday, although specifics were
not complete Saturday, McCall's