WIBX Personality and Public Servant Lou Barile Dies at 88
The area lost a legend last Friday when former WIBX personality Lou Barile died at St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse at the age of 88.
Barile, who became known as 'The Voice of the Mohawk Valley' during the 1940's on WIBX with a daily music program, has served as a historian of sorts when it comes to the WIBX. Barile recorded several YouTube videos featuring historic audio and film from the early years and also hosted a weekly internet radio show with his son Lou, interviewing several local figures.
It would be politics, however, that placed Barile on on a different playing field in 1964 when he became Utica's City Treasurer. Later in 1970 he would run for the New York State Assembly and then served as Utica's Treasurer when the office was merged with the Comptroller position. During that campaign in 1989, he was endorsed by then Governor Mario Cuomo who called him a man who had “earned a reputation for honesty and competence.” According to his obituary, Barile was also a lover of literature which drew him to Frankfort-Schuyler High School where he was an English teacher during the early 1960s.
"Lou was one of the nicest men you could ever meet," said WIBX News Director Jim Rondenelli. "He was truly one of the "good guys". He will be dearly missed."
During his radio days, Barile was very active at local high school sock hops and was instrumental in bringing Bill Haley and the Comets to Rome's Capitol Theatre, along with several other acts from the early days of Rock and Roll.
His website dedicated to the history of WIBX radio is probably the most comprehensive documentation available today preserving the history of the radio station which is among the oldest in the United States.
Barrile will be greatly missed when WIBX celebrates its 90th anniversary starting in December; however, those in the industry know it would be difficult to tell the story without the archival work Barile has accomplished over the last several years.
Watch the video below of vintage film narrated by Lou Barile.