Even a casual listener of WFUV likely knows of Darren DeVivo's passions: The Beatles. Paul McCartney. The Mets. The Jets. The Bronx. Speak to him one-on-one, and you'll find out just how passionate he is about music and how much he loves sharing this passion on WFUV.
A native of the Morris Park section of the Bronx, DeVivo has grown along with WFUV. He discovered the station while in high school (Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York) and one of the primary reasons he chose to attend Fordham University was because of its radio station. WFUV fascinated the young music buff as it stirred faint memories he had of hearing progressive FM rock radio ten years earlier. DeVivo explained, "WFUV reminded me of what I vaguely remembered FM radio sounding like when I was a kid in the early to mid 1970s." He recalls a time, in 1981, when he stumbled across a WFUV disc jockey playing Discipline, the new King Crimson album at that time, in its entirety in the middle of the night. Perhaps even more enticing was the fact that WFUV wasn't just a small local station. It's reach across the entire tri-state area meant there could be potentially millions of listeners out there at any given time.
Upon arriving at WFUV in September 1983, DeVivo was exposed to the station's large record library and began exploring artists and albums he had only read about in the past. He made his radio debut on Sunday, February 26, 1984 from 6AM-8AM and was back on for his second appearance that next Saturday, March 3, also from 6AM-8AM. (By the way, the first songs he played were "Venus And Mars" and "Rock Show" by Paul McCartney's band, Wings.) DeVivo remained a fixture on WFUV for the rest of the 1980s. Even after graduating from Fordham, he never completely left WFUV. From late 1988 until 1990, he was "on call" as a fill in DJ and engineer and even returned to his old Friday night/Saturday morning free form rock show that he hosted on and off for most of his '80s tenure. In January 1991, WFUV hired DeVivo to be the first afternoon drive time host on the newly revamped, public radio WFUV. All of his radio dreams were now a reality. A year later, in January 1992, DeVivo moved to weekday morning drive, spending the next nine years waking WFUV's listeners. In January 2001, he moved to middays, 10AM-2PM weekdays, and remained there for a little over twelve years. In the spring of 2013, it was off to evenings, and, by the summer of 2015, DeVivo landed in his current slot, 10PM until 2AM, Monday through Thursday nights. In March 2020, DeVivo added Saturday afternoons, 1PM until 4PM, to his gigs. In addition to being on the air, DeVivo was the Production Director in the 1980s, Assistant Music Director for a brief time in the early '90s and Music Promotions Director until 2001. He also hosted "The WFUV Long Player" over the first half of the '00s and also held down a spot from 2008 until 2020 on the "other WFUV" at 90.7 FM-HD2 on weekends. In the 1990s, he was the host of the syndicated live show, The Columbia Records Radio Hour", whose homebase at the time was WFUV.
It's the station's wide open approach to music that has kept DeVivo enthralled with his work over the years. "We're cutting edge," he says, "and we've always been, regardless of the style, genre and era of music in question." "There's a ton of music out there and thousands upon thousands of artists that are significant, most of which isn't heard on commercial broadcasts. Many new artists, songs and albums find a home here and, in addition, we still play a number of artists who have lost their home on commercial radio over the years. It's the new and the old, side by side. Again, it's always been that way on WFUV"
DeVivo's on-air interviews have included music icons like: David Bowie, Brian Wilson, Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Donald Fagen, David Crosby (and his band CPR), Robbie Robertson, Sting, John Fogerty, Sir Bob Geldof, David Sanborn, Spinal Tap's Derek Smalls (AKA Harry Shearer), the band Sparks, Chris Robinson (of the Black Crowes) and his band the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Warren Zevon, Crystal Zevon (Warren Zevon's widow), Julian Lennon, Dhani Harrison, Charlie Haden, Carlos Santana, Buddy Guy, Tears For Fears, Ian Hunter and the Rant Band, Roger McGuinn, Hot Tuna and Jorma Kaukonen solo, Al Stewart, Richard Thompson, Richie Havens, Robyn Hitchcock, the Smithereens, Mickey Hart (of the Grateful Dead), Jody Stephens (formerly of Big Star), Thurston Moore, Ben Harper, the Black Keys, Indigo Girls, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, author Holly George-Warren, Greg Kurstin (and his band Action Figure Party), the Jayhawks, John Mayer, Richard Barone and many more. The lifelong Beatles maniac has also interviewed Ringo Starr, the original Quarrymen, Julian Lennon, Dhani Harrison (solo and with Fistful of Mercy), James McCartney, recording engineer Geoff Emerick, former Wings members Laurence Juber, Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell and Steve Holley and Joey Molland of Badfinger (his first ever interview!).
DeVivo lives in Westchester County with his wife and their two grown children. A big sports enthusiast, the Bronx native is a passionate, lifelong fan of the New York Mets. "I've swam in the blue and orange since I was six years old! In my book, the Mets are New York baseball!," declares DeVivo. He is also a dedicated fan of the New York Jets, Brooklyn Nets, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.
Sometimes he can't believe he's been able to work alongside New York radio icons like Pete Fornatale, Dennis Elsas, Meg Griffin and Vin Scelsa - all of whom he listened to growing up."It really is a dream come true, a perfect situation that's a stone's throw from where I've lived most of my life. I'm here doing what I've always wanted to do," DeVivo muses."I am very blessed and very fortunate."
Darren DeVivo entertains night time listeners from 10PM-2AM, Mondays through Thursdays, and 1PM-4PM Saturday afternoons.
Visit DeVivo's two Facebook pages: "Darren DeVivo" (https://www.facebook.com/DarrenDeVivo) and "Darren DeVivo: WFUV DJ And Beatles Podcaster" (https://www.facebook.com/DarrenDeVivoWFUV/).