Danny Stiles the self-proclaimed “Vicar of Vintage Vinyl” recently celebrated his 87th birthday and 63-years on the radio. With more than six decades on the radio, Stiles and 300 of his closest friends gathered at John’s Pizzeria in Times Square, New York City for an evening of pizza, big-band music and dancing.
Stiles has about 25,000 records that he keeps between his home and the radio stations WNYC and WNSW. A DJ since 1947, Stiles has spun records at 27 different New York area stations in his lifetime.
Stiles seemed a bit tired to host such a big party for such a big occasion. He is still recovering from a recent surgery that took him off the air for a few weeks. But when asked about contemporary music he perked up: “I think it’s terrible. I don’t understand it–I can’t understand the music. I can’t decipher the lyrics and the melodies all sound the same.” He thinks that things started to go down hill after the Beatles. Elvis, he said, was all right.
He counts “Body and Soul” by Coleman Hawkins as his favorite song, even though choosing just one was difficult. A love of music and being on the radio will always be his passion; when asked how long he’ll be on the radio Stiles says, “As long as I’m alive.”