2005 Alumni Hall of Fame Honoree

Folk Music Host/Producer at WXPN Philadelphia, and co-founder of the Philadelphia Folk Festival

Best known for 40-plus years of producing and hosting one of America’s most popular and enduring folk music radio shows, (now on WXPN-FM, Philadelphia), Gene Shay co-founded the Philadelphia Folk Festival, wrote the radio spots for Woodstock, art directed the well known, smiling banjo logo, came up with the name “World Cafe” for the popular syndicated series, and brought a very young Bob Dylan to town for his first appearance in 1963.


Shay’s legendary radio show is well known for his Sunday night interviews with a diverse list of artists – from Doc Watson, John Denver, and Mississippi John Hurt to James Taylor, Ani Difranco, and Joni Mitchell.


Along with his 40 plus years career as a broadcaster on half a dozen Philadelphia AM and FM outlets Shay worked as a newscaster on The American Forces Network in Frankfurt, Germany and had a distinguished career in advertising and marketing as Copy Chief, Creative Director and Senior Broadcast Producer for some of Philadelphia’s most prestigious ad agencies (Elkman Advertising, Marketing & Advertising Associates, Kalish and Rice, Collaborations).


Shay was VP and Creative Director and co-founder of his own agency, Group Two Advertising, Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale, FL.


Shay is a governor of NARAS (the National Grammy organization), a board member of The Blue Sky Arts Foundation and has served as advisor and board member of the North American Folk Alliance, Sing Out! Magazine, NERFA and The Philadelphia Music Alliance.