Jerry Bishop, the announcer for Judge Judy and a longtime radio host, passed away after a short period of illness at the age of 84. His granddaughter Allison Rosenbloom confirmed the news to the L.A. Times today and explained that Bishop suffered from heart complications and kidney failure. Although he lived in Bel-Air, he actually got his big start in radio out east in Hartford, Connecticut. WDRC was the call sign for the station until he resolved to move out west. The coast beckoned and he found himself at KCBQ in San Diego, California. After a two year stint there, he moved a little way up to Los Angeles and KLAC. Radio was bigger in this period and Tinsel Town offered the chance to be closer to where all the performers were shopping their records.
Bishop would go on to join KFI in 1969, at that time the station was the pinnacle of the “middle of the road” format in the entire L.A. market. His five-year tenure would see him co-host a sports call-in show named “Sports Phone.” The program would lead into Los Angles Dodgers games, and if you know the region, there were probably a lot of willing callers to voice their opinions on one of the city’s favorite baseball clubs. KIIS would be where he and Tom Murphy would co-pilot the “Tom and Jerry Show” in 1979.
Younger generations would be more likely to know that booming voice from the lead-ins to Judge Judy. Back in the 1970s, Bishop branched out into voice-over work as an announcer for “Cross-Wits” and “Dick Clark’s Live Wednesday” at NBC. There were national brand commercials and on-air promos for big players like NBC and ABC. He even did some V.O. for the Disney Channel. But, he signed on for Judge Judy 24 years ago and became a staple voice in daytime television. Rosenbloom said that he recorded his final voice-over session for the show several weeks ago before his health became a concern.
Judge Judy Sheindlin issued a statement on Bishop’s passing. “His voice was powerful, soothing, and caring, which are three qualities he embodied so well. Everybody loved him. He had a golden heart and a generous spirit. I adored him and will miss him.”
Bishop is also survived by his three daughters, Karen Rosenbloom, Michelle Carriker, and Stephanie Blume. His grandchildren are Brandon Rosenbloom and Zachary Carrier. Daniel Blume is his brother.
Photo Credit: Jerry Bishop Blum/ Bishop Family