Solomon “Kal” Rudman, 91, the legendary South Jersey music insider who founded the influential Friday Morning Quarterback radio advice sheet, has passed away.
Rudman’s death after a long illness has been confirmed by Deane Media Solutions, the company he sold FMQB to in 2020. Rudman died on Tuesday with his 63-year-old wife, Lucille, by his side at their Cherry Hill home.
Two days later, Lucille Rudman, also 91, died, according to Michael Lessner, a music business partner and longtime family friend.
Kal Rudman was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania. He started his music career as a late night DJ at WCAM Top 40 station in Camden while working as a science teacher during the day, before going to work for Billboard as editor of rhythm and blues magazine.
He began publishing FMQB as a mimeograph publication with his wife in their Cherry Hill basement in 1968 and developed a reputation as a savvy tipster of pop star success, aiding the careers of Hall & Oates and Whitney Houston, between others.
Rudman was a frequent guest on the Merv Griffin Show in the early 1980s, in segments where he predicted which pop songs would become hits.
Bruce Springsteen said he visited Rudman after his 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town to better understand why he was not successful in the pop charts.
“Kal explained to me that Top 40 radio is mostly listened to by girls and my female population is small. And I thought about the songs on Darkness and I realized the lyrics were really for and about guys, ”Springsteen told Music Director Danny Goldberg in 2009. Soon after, Springsteen had his biggest hit yet with“ Hungry Heart ”.
Rudman was also known to wrestling fans as “Killer Kal” for his role as announcer on World Wrestling Federation broadcasts from the Spectrum in South Philadelphia.
“Kal was a man who was truly passionate about music and he communicated that passion with so much enthusiasm and color,” legendary Music Director Clive Davis told Deane Media Solutions of Rudman. “For many vibrant years, his voice has been heard distinctly by all who work in music. Kal was truly one of a kind.
The Rudmans were active philanthropists through the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation, which supported public safety, children’s programs, and religious institutions, as well as the Rudman Institute at Drexel University and the Kal & Lucille Rudman Media Center. from Temple University, both focused on education. Kal Rudman received a 2011 Lew Klein Alumni Honoree from Temple, from which he graduated.
No information is yet available on funeral or memorial services.