feedback.pdxradio.com forums feedback.pdxradio.com forums History ABE BERCOVITZ – KGW-KEX MUSICAL DIRECTOR

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    On September 26, 1904 Abraham “Abe” Bercovitz was born in Philadelphia, PA. to Francis & Avigdor Bercovitz. Abe had two sisters: Dora and Anna. By 1917 Abe had moved to Portland and learning to play the violin. On March 14, 1921 Abe was presented by Walter A. Bacon in a recital at Lincoln High School. Mr. Bacon was Abe’s violin teacher.

    On October 31, 1921 Abe had a violin recital at the Portland Hotel. After a few years with Mr. Bacon, Abe moved to New York for further study. By 1924 he had returned to Portland, joining the Portland Symphony Orch. Abe was now in much demand for concert and recital work. “His playing is brilliant to an unusual degree.” [The Oregonian]. On October 29, 1924 Abe was part of a concert heard on KGW at 8:00pm.

    On September 26, 1926 it was announced Abe Bercovitz, KGW staff violinist and concert master was named Musical Director of KGW. Abe directed countless orchestra programs, as well as featured on his own shows, plus directing music on many dramatic and variety programs. The KGW Orchestra had 15 musicians and could augment to 30 or more.

    On December 18, 1928 Abraham Bercovitz, 22, married 19 year old Pauline Blossom Wolf in Portland. Son: Gerald William “Jerry” Bercovitz was born in 1926. In 1931 Abe and Pauline welcomed daughter Victoria “Vicky” S. Bercovitz. In 1934 when KGW purchased KEX Abe Bercovitz became KGW-KEX Musical Director, leading the KGW-KEX Symphony Orch.

    By November 1934 the Bercovitz family was living at: 2611 S.E. Harrison St. where Abe would live for the rest of his life. In December 1944 KEX was sold to Westinghouse and Abe was once again Musical Director for KGW solely. On November 1, 1953 KGW was sold North Pacific Television, Inc. Abe lost his job with the KGW Orchestra. The big orchestra era was drawing to a close.

    Abe and his orchestra began playing engagements. In October 1954 Abe’s wife Pauline became a realtor. In April 1956 Abe began teaching violin to students. On October 27, 1973 Abe Bercovitz passed away at age 69 in Portland. On October 30, 1973 a funeral was held at Holman’s Funeral Service with interment in Beth Israel Cemetery.

    References: The Oregonian.



    That’s the first time I’ve ever heard King/Pioneer Broadcasting referred to as North Pacific Television!



    The name switched back to Pioneer in 1955.

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