Gabriel was a personality on WOKZ in Alton, IL., in 1952, mixing blues and R&B with hillbilly records, jazz and the old standards.
His next stop was WTMV in East St. Louis where he did live remotes, moving across the river to KATZ where he started doing fill-in work for vacationing deejays. When PD Dave Dixon went on vacation, he asked Gabriel to take over his many remotes.
Gabriel was then hired to do the Sunday gospel shows on KATZ, which led to a full-time slot from 7:30 - 9:00 each night, for which he won the St. Louis Sentinel’s award for Best Radio Personality. He later took the 1 - 6 a.m. slot from the late 1950s until 1969. Then it was on to a year-long Sunday night stint on the market’s most eclectic radio station, KDNA, which was supported solely by listener contributions.
He left the market briefly from 1973-1976, returning to a job at WESL. He ended up doing a weekly show on KDHX in 1989 on which he re-created the programs he had done in the 60s. In 1999 he won the Riverfront Times award as the Top St. Louis Radio Personality.
Gabriel produced and recorded some R&B and blues classics, including the first 45 by Tina Turner, which was recorded in Ike Turner’s living room and kitchen on Virginia Place in East St. Louis in the late 50s. At various times he also ran a couple record stores, a theater featuring live music acts and a nightclub.