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March 22, 1985 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-03-22

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, March 22, 1985

25

Bill Pugliano

CRITICAL VOICE

Paul Winter,
alias Saul
Wineman, has
been a liberal
voice on the
Detroit radio
scene for 30
years, and has
only mellowed
slightly with
time.

BY BERL FALBAUM
Special to The Jewish News

Radio personality Paul Winter by
any other name would still_ be Saul
Wineman.
That was the philosophical posi-
tion taken by Wineman more than 30
years ago when he decided that he
would be known as Paul Winter in the
studio but Saul Wineman everywhere
else.
The dual-identity has served him
well with no confusion, Wineman-
Winter says.
There are no verbal slips when he
answers the telephone. No subcon-
scious errors when he signs checks.
Nor does he answer with the wrong
name to the right woman, his wife of
37 years, Marilyn.
"I changed my name when I went
into radio. 'fly, ;onventional thing to do
was to have a good WASP name and
speak Middle Western English," said
Wineman. "Some 35 years ago, very
few people in radio were immediately
identifiable by their names in radio.
"It was a matter of accommodat-
ing the conventions of the time and not
a matter of hiding my Jewishness. As a
matter of fact, I was insistent that I be
called by my real name everywhere
else."
Wineman, 61, is an articulate,
versatile radio personality whose
voice has been carried over the Detroit
area airwaves for many years. In fact,
he has been around so long that some
of his fans recognize him on the street

by his voice; He enjoys a certain
amount of "voice recognition" al-
though it is limited to particular audi-
ences. And he has done about every-
thing in radio as well as television.
He was a disc jockey for all kinds
of music — theater, jazz, classical. He
hosted a telephone call-in show during
which he expressed controversial —
albeit liberal — political views.
, He cut a-record —A Winter's Tale
— which, if it did not sell a million,
seems to give Wineman some self-
satisfaction.
He has been sufficiently versatile
to take his talents to television but
radio seems to be what he likes the
best.
Presently, Wineman hosts a radio
show calledFree Play on WQRS and he
is known as the "Voice of Channel 56."
At the same time, he teaches
humanities at Wayne State Univer-
sity's degree-granting adult education
program.
He has a rumpled, dissheveled
look — one which reflects the
stereotype of an intellectual.
Indeed, Free Press columnist Bob
Talbert, in a 1969 article, labeled
Wineman "the house liberal and
bonafide intellectual of Detroit's talk
radio stations."
"How would I describe myself?" he
asks during an interview with The
Jewish News.
"I am a humanist, secularist, em-

piricist, strenuously civil libertarian
and a liberal. I am also the beneficiary
of a long religious tradition in which I
do not participate."
Wineman appears very comforta-
ble with himself, including the fact
that he has no formal Jewish religious
training — he did not have a bar
mitzvah.
"My identity was forged out of the
experience of my parents," said
Wineman. "I am a,Jew but not a prac-
ticing one. I am a secular, cultural
Jew."
He was a product of the old Dexter
neighborhood, attending McCulloch,
Winterhalter, Durfee and Central
High School. He went on to earn his
bachelor and master's degrees in phi-
losophy from the University of Michi-
gan.
He said that his philosophical
views about religion were based on the
Eastern European experience of his
parents, a culture he maintains did not
revolt against religion but was neut-
ral, although certain segments were
religious.
While not active in the Jewish
community, he was a member at var-
ious times of the regional advisory
board of the Anti-Defamation League,
the kind of advocacy cause on which he
still seems to thrive.
Refreshingly candid — the kind of
candor which earned him a reputation

,

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