Considering the popularity of the “Jim Rome sucks” thread, I’ll ask the reverse: Which radio show hosts do you wish still were on the air? I have a couple
- Lionel. He was a former lawyer who did a show (I assume a nationwide show) around 2002. He would have incredibly detailed and perceptive discussions of everything from “Is there a justification for torture” to “Who are the modern day musical legends” without ever being boring or confusing.
- Todd Wright. Did late nights on ESPN until 2004. Not only did he avoid the usual sports host pack mentality, but he had lots of fun interviews with sports and non sports people. He had fun call in segments like “Know Your Major Leaguers” (guess if a given name is actually a baseball player’s name) or stories of atheletes who tipped great or poorly.
Robert J. Lurtsema.
But only those in the Boston area will understand.
Bob Edwards from NPR was the voice that got me through mornings when I was in the military, and I tuned in every day of the week to find out what was going on around the world. His replacements seem like they’re trying to fake a relaxed, laid back attitude by cracking bad jokes or awkwardly “hip” phrases; he was relaxed while remaining professional, but wasn’t stodgy.
I realize the intent of this thread may not be a call for geezers to name hosts from their youth just for the mental exercise. And I suspect most replies will be for hosts no further back than the 90’s, maybe 80’s. But if that’s what’s being asked for, then I can’t even think of a radio personality (host or otherwise) who has now faded into obscurity and would still be “memorable” from that period.
So, here are a few from my geezer memory that come to mind if I don’t limit myself to what I suspect the OP really wants to see.
Arthur Godfrey was pretty much it in the pre-TV and early-TV eras when radio still had some influence as general entertainment and variety.
Hoss Allen was a late night DJ at WLAC (Nashville) who could be heard all over the South (I heard him in central Alabama in the late 50’s) playing “race music.”
In the pre-Rock-n-Roll days of the early 50’s a guy named Leland Childs was host of an early morning music and chatter show where most of the top hits of the day were showcased. He was on one of Montgomery’s major stations (WSFA if memory serves) and had the most distinctive voice I can remember.
As Rock-n-Roll was making itself heard, there was a very popular after-school show hosted by Bill O’Brien (Flyin’ with O’Brien) on a Montgomery station. He became a sort of Teen Promoter/Entrepreneur in the Casey Kasem or Alan Freed mold and produced some Saturday morning live entertainment shows at the Paramount in Montgomery. Among the acts I saw there was the early Bobby Darin of “Splish Splash” fame.
As for nationally recognized names, Don MacNeil and the early morning Breakfast Club was a show I heard part of on the way to school.
And then at night there were folks like Bob Hope, Fred Allen, Steve Allen, and some others I’m unable to recall who hosted variety and comedy shows. But at night I was more into the radio dramas and mysteries.
There must be others I could either think of on my own or find out about by doing some Googling (assuming anybody has written them up somewhere on the web), but there’s a few for other geezers to spin off from if they wish.
I’d like to second Bob Edwards from NPR. I always heard his name as “Bob Bedwards,” i.e the direction I wanted to be going at that time of the day.
His voice was my only source of news on the morning of 9/11, and I was very grateful that he stayed on the air until almost noon that day. It brought a sense of continuity to an otherwise horrible time.
I also miss Jonny Most, the old Boston Celtics announcer. His “fiddles and diddles” and his scream of “Bird sole the ball” should be required listening for announcers. He had such an odd and distinctive voice-he’d never even be hired at this point, when all announcers sound alike.
I miss Herb Score calling the Cleveland Indians. Towards the end of his career (when I “knew” him), he really sucked. He was a tired, old, confused man. It was a giggle-fest to hear him.
Of course, I am in love with the new head announcer Tom Hamilton, who is goofy as all hell get out and a brilliant color man. And Hamilton was Score’s sidekick (again, when I “knew” Score) before he became the main voice.
I miss Tom and Herb together.
I miss listening to Tim Conway Jr. and Doug Steckler in L.A.
I also miss Jonathon Brandmeier’s show.
I occasionally miss Ludlow Porch from various Atlanta talk radio stations. Ludlow was part of talk radio before it became the home or tight-wing cranks. He was Lewis Grizzard’s 's step-brother. They had the same kind of sweet, slightly boring Southern humor that’s fun to listen to sometimes.
Do you Bob Edwards fans know that he has a show on PRI/XM radio? It’s an interview show, and he has time to have nice, long talks with people. Our local public radio affiliate carries it, and I enjoy it when I get a chance to hear it. I just wish it was available on podcast, like This American Life so I could hear all of it, all the time.
Since sports announcers are valid in this thread, I’ve got to add Chick Hearn to the list. I never realized how little I cared about basketball until Chick was gone. I guess I enjoyed listening to him more than being interested in the game itself.
Also, I’ll third Bob Edwards.
Having spent a good portion of my youth listening to Top 40 radio, I would have to say that I very much miss the old AM radio DJs. And no one epitomized everything that was good about that format like the WABC All-Americans.
In the days before recorded music became “portable”, radio was the primary source of popular music, and no one did it better than WABC. These were not only DJs; they were your friends and family (mishpocheh , as Bruce Morrow once said in an interview). In those days, I couldn’t imagine waking up without the voice of Harry Harrison , listening to Dan Ingram after school, or evenings without the immortal Cousin Brucie .
Every Friday, XM does a tribute to a famous AM radio station; when it’s WABC’s turn, you can bet I’m there to relive the best days of radio, even if only for a few hours.
I miss the late Peter Gzowski of the great “Morningside” (and previously, “This Country In the Morning”) and Vickie Gabereau of both an evening show and an afternoon show. CBC AM.
*Edited to clarify: Peter’s dead, Vickie’s not, but neither are on my radio any more, and my radio is much the poorer for it. *
Yeah, but now you guys have Toucher and Rich on WBCN-FM (104.1).
What’s the general consensus of them up there?
Off Topic… I used to pronounce your doper name as “yooty-kus”. Ever since a thread several years ago about how names are pronouced, someone said they pronounced yours as “yooty-chews”, and now that’s what I think of every time I see it.
The Radio Host I miss is Jimmy Baron who was on 99x for around 10 years (along with Toucher and Rich mentioned above). Atlanta Radio sucks the big one.
I’ll fourth Bob Edwards, second the nomination of Herb Score, and throw in Howard Stern and Ernie Harwell, which is possibly the only time Harwell and Howard Stern have ever been referred to in the same sentence. Why the Detroit Tigers left WJR I’ll never quite figure out. I miss Tony Kornheiser’s show on ESPN radio.
Each of these fellows (except for Stern) has been capably replaced on free radio so I’m going to avoid the switch to pay radio for as long as I can. But they all were very interesting to listen to and I miss their programs.
Fifth for Bob Edwards. He started off my day pretty well. The new people - well, OK I guess.
For all you folks missing Bob Edwards, he has his own show now, distributed by Public Radio International / American Public Media. A public station near you may carry it.
I miss Toronto-area personalities Jungle Jay Nelson from CHUM, Big Jim “Brady In The Morning” from CFTR, Pete & Geets from CHUM-FM and later CFNY (I was late to school a lot from having to hear the end of their last bit, right before 9), John Rode from CKEY, Rockin’ Ron Baptist from CHAM and Larry Lujack from WCFL, Chicago. Toronto legend David Marsden and newsmen like Dick Smyth (CHUM), Tayler Parnaby (CFRB) and Byron MacGregor (CKLW).
I’ll probably get some flack for this, but I miss the Greaseman.
Local thing, but I really miss John Simon doing the evening love songs on Sunny 95 in Columbus, OH. The man has this soothing and absolutely gorgeous baritone voice. I went to sleep many nights listening to him talk in between songs.
I miss Blazy and Bob from the KOME (San Jose/SF Bay Area) morning show. They were on when we moved up here in the late '80s, and I was very disappointed when their show got bumped for some stupid syndicated thing (I think it was the Greaseman–whom I couldn’t stand and wouldn’t listen to).
Blazy and Bob were morning jocks and they did some (at the time) raunchy stuff, but it was all good-natured and not mean-spirited, and they were genuinely funny. I got to meet them once and they were cool in person as well.
I also miss Dennis Erectus, from the same station (he was the late-night jock and got away with a lot of stuff that was quite shocking in its day, though I doubt it would be a blip on the post-Howard Stern radar)/
Any other Bay Area Dopers remember these guys?
From local New York music radio, I sorely miss Scott Muni from the old WNEW and Cousin Brucie from WCBS (his last stop).
From the baseball airwaves I miss Bob Murphy calling Mets games. Like ZipperJJ’s comment regarding Herb Score, towards the end he was getting a bit confused, often calling certain players by their father’s name (e.g., referring to Brian McRae as “Hal McRae”, or even Barry Bonds as “Bobby Bonds”), getting the number of balls and strikes reversed or even occasionally the number of outs wrong.
But he always retained a certain flair for understated sarcasm along with his warm and measured tone of voice. Like when he described Mo Vaughn advancing from 1st to 2nd base after the next batter drew a walk with nobody out: …and that moves Mo Vaughn… [1.5 second pause] …to second base. (Usually this is said to “advance a runner into scoring position”, but big ol’ Mo Vaughn would only score from second base on nothing less than a double to the outfield wall.) And I still mentally look forward to the “happy recap” after each Mets win (fortunately more frequent nowadays than in a long while ;)).
I would dearly love to be in a position to miss John Sterling’s shrill and shticky shilling for the Yankees (how can I miss you if you won’t go away?). Despite my location (Flushing, NY), it is no exaggeration to say I chose to become a Mets fan over being a Yankees fan mostly due to being completely unable to stomach listening to him call a baseball game on the radio (which is how I follow the majority of games).
Don’t laugh at me, but I miss Ed Vrdolyak and Ty Wansley.
I talked to them on the air a few times.