Recording artist and children’s TV performer who recorded more than 30 songs
LYNNFIELD — Recording artist and children’s television performer Judy Valentine (Berkal), 99, a well-known personality from the Golden Age of Television in Greater Boston, passed away on Aug. 26, 2022.
Born Norma Baker in Boston in 1923, Judy lived with her family in Lowell during her youth. In the 1940s, she worked at radio station WEEI as a secretary, where she met – and later married – disc jockey and songwriter Sherm Feller, who became instrumental in promoting her career as a recording artist. The two hosted a program, “Club Midnight,” featuring live performances/interviews with many music artists visiting the Boston area. She recorded more than 30 songs, including “She Was Five And He Was Ten” (charting in Top Ten) and “Kiss Me Sweet,” the latter having the distinction of being banned by some radio stations due to a suggestive “pause” delivered during one of the song’s lines that was unintended by the performer.
During the 1960s, she divorced, and later remarried to an attorney, Leonard Berkal. Valentine was best known, however, for her singing and dancing performances as a primary cast member of the decade-long running “The Bozo Show” on WHDH/Channel 5. She was the last of the surviving performers of the “Big 3” of Boston children’s television programs of the 1960’s (“The Major Mudd Show” (Ed McDonnell), “Boom Town” (Rex Trailer), and “The Bozo Show” (Frank Avruch, Valentine). After departing the program to raise her two children, she remained active largely in charitable activities, particularly those to benefit children, including work at North Shore Children’s Hospital in Salem.
Judy’s daughter Shari and her son Ross survive her.
Funeral services will be private.