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Jerry Lubin, ‘air ace’ on Metro Detroit’s WABX-FM, dies at 80

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For a music lover like Jerry Lubin, performing on Metro Detroit’s WABX-FM in the 1960s and 1970s was the perfect gig.

“He loved music and he loved the people who played and made the music,” said his sister Beverly Lubin. “He loved being around and he loved the excitement.”

Mr. Lubin died in California on February 4, 2021. He was 80 years old.

The former disc jockey was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 from other health problems, said his son Ethan Lubin.

As an original “Air Ace” at WABX, which is considered to be the pioneering station for its progressive playlists, Mr. Lubin enjoyed introducing fresh sounds to the listeners and interacting with the performers.

“He was in the right place at the right time because his style matched the new revolution on rock radio,” said his sister. “It was a name in the Midwest and people really remember it to this day. He was influential in their life and they loved him. “

His “Lunch With Lubin” show highlighted the DJ’s talents in connecting over funk, said Mark Beltzman, his son-in-law. “There was no one more authentic, honest, truthful and real than Jerry.”

Mr. Lubin was born on September 21, 1940 in Detroit. He graduated from the city’s Mumford High School and attended Wayne State University briefly before joining the Army, his sister said.

He later started his radio career outside of Metro Detroit before moving to WABX, which ended in the early 1980s.

Jerry Lubin, in a WABX promotional photo.

According to the Detroit News archives, Mr. Lubin has worked on other stations as well, including WRIF and WLLZ.

He once made the MC5, one of the acts championed by WBAX, relatives said.

Over the years, Mr. Lubin delved deep into the music business. “Jerry was an encyclopedia of knowledge when it came to rock and roll,” Beltzman said.

He also had a matching record collection in his Oak Park home. “One wall in our house – it was floor-to-ceiling records,” said Ethan Lubin.

Mr. Lubin eventually quit the radio to work for the U.S. Postal Service, his son said.

After his wife Rosalie died in 2013, he moved to Southern California to be closer to their children. “His love for family was really key,” said Ethan Lubin.

Other survivors are another son, Adam; two daughters-in-law Erika and Lauren; and four grandchildren, Colin, Elliana, Zachary and Sebastian.

Services are still pending.

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Dusty Kennedy