Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

  • Music:

My Radio Friends

Notice, y'all: I'll be incommunicado (at least by phone) from 7 p.m. on. I'll be listening to Don Geronimo's last show before he retires.

This is indeed a big deal for me. Don's been a fixture in my radio diet since fall 1984, when he was on Washington, D.C.'s then-Top 40 station WAVA hosting an afternoon show. In late 1985 he joined behind-the-scenes radio guy Mike O'Meara to host WAVA's Morning Zoo, and the result became my personal Platonic ideal for a morning radio show: funny and successfully soap-opera-y. Don and Mike are good performers as well as DJs, and they have a sense of soap opera drama, and they had storylines going on behind the jokes, storylines from their real lives and storylines for the characters they created, like the low-IQ'd, enthusiastic assistant Charley Stuangstabalac and the beautiful Greek heiress Baklava Souvlaki.

In 1991 I followed Don and Mike to their new station, WJFK (when WAVA was bought by a Christian media company which would make it into a religious-themed station), and then followed their spread into national syndication. (They briefly aired in Eugene, Oregon when I was at college there. I remember Don saying "I cried during Star Trek: Generations. Because it was so bad.") They've aired on at least three separate stations in Portland during my time here; most recently Rick Emerson was kind enough to program them on AM 970. And it's been a long, rewarding listening relationship, filled with wonderful moments like Don's 2004 interview with Brian Wilson, bizarrities like what Don found out about his adoptive family -- lonnnnng story, and talk about something soap oepra-like -- and genuine tragedy like the death in 2005 of Freda Wright-Sorce, Don's wife.

I've been listening to this week's "Ultimate Best Of Don & Mike," which their assistant Rob Spewak and news guy Buzz Burbank hosted. In fact I stayed up last night until 11 to hear to the very end. I likely will do that again tonight. By the end of last night's "Best Of" show, Buzz Burbank sounded like he was trying not to get emotional. Soon I'll hear how they all do on Don's last show.

Thank you for being a fixture for much of my media-savvy life, Donald P. Geronimo.
Tags: radio

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