Over the last few decades, entire libraries full of books have been written about the history of rock and roll.
Where do you even begin? How do you wrap your arms around such an enormous subject? And how do you keep it in proper context of the culture and society?
Perhaps few people are as well qualified to do that as Bruce Morrow, otherwise known to millions of radio listeners as cousin Brucie.
When I sat down with him a few years ago, we talked about the music, the culture, the society, and the careers that he helped shape.
So here now from 2009 Cousin Brucie, Bruce Morrow.
Bruce Morrow is 86 now.
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Photo by Jared and Corin
This Sunday is National Radio Day, the annual commemoration of the contributions the radio industry has made.
Today, a look back at an interview I did about one of the legends of radio. And the person I interviewed was, and is, a stalwart figure in modern day radio.
For a dozen years the pioneering radio sports broadcaster Red Barber called in every Friday to NPR’s Morning Edition show, for an unscripted 4 minute talk with host Bob Edwards.
Listeners loved those segments. Even those listeners who seem to have little or no knowledge of baseball.
But Barber died in 1992.The following year, Bob Edwards wrote a memoir of those memorable conversations, a book he called Fridays With Red. And that’s when I met him.
So here now, from 1993, Bob Edwards
Bob Edwards, who is 76 now, left NPR in 2004. He currently hosts a podcast produced by AARP.
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Today, August 20th, is National radio day. Every year on this day, we recognize the contribution that this hundred-year-old medium has provided four generations.
For four decades, one of the most popular radio personalities in America was Garrison Keillor, Creator and host of public radio’s Prairie Home Companion. That live musical variety show was a Saturday evening fixture in millions of homes.
The Minnesota-born Keillor brought his Midwest sensibilities, and sense of humor, to the ongoing stories of Lake Wobegon.
In 2003, Keillor wrote a novel. So here now, from 2003, Garrison Keillor..
Garrison Keillor celebrated his 79th birthday last week.
A new nationally syndicated radio talk show is debuting this week.
Photo: Gage Skidmore
Its host is conservative commentator Dan Bongino, who was, for several years, a Secret Service agent who’s assignments included the presidentia protective l detail.
After unsuccessful bids for US Senate and the US House, bongino turned to writing books .. and radio.
I met him in the fall of 2013, after he wrote a book called Life Inside the Bubble.
So here now, from 2013, Dan bongino.
“The Dan Bongino Show,” debuting today, is heard from noon to 3 Eastern Time.
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A few days ago on Now I’ve Heard Everything, I featured an interview that I had done many years ago with one of my broadcasting Heroes, the late Larry King.
Today, another one: longtime CBS radio and TV news personality Charles Osgood.
Osgood grew up in Depression-era, World War ii-era Baltimore. And in 2004, he wrote a memoir recalling those years, called Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack.
So here now, from 2004, Charles Osgood:
Charles Osgood celebrating his 88th birthday last month. Today he lives in the New York City area.
I listened to Larry King on the radio long before I first met him, in 1988. That was actually the first of several interviews I did with King, who passed away the other day at age 87.
Larry King was a legend in radio and television. Whether you like them or not, you had to acknowledge he had Broad and deep influence in broadcasting.
Larry did tens of thousands of interviews over the years, often with VIPs and celebrities who would talk to no one else.
And even though I was still in the “minor leagues” while Larry was a major league all-star, he treated me like we were equal colleagues. That’s one of the things I liked best about him.
So here now, from 1988, Larry King:
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Some of you, if you’re old enough, grew up listening to Cousin Brucie on New York City radio from 1961 to 1974. Others remember him from the movie Dirty Dancing. And still others know him from his show on Sirius XM in the last 15 years.
Bruce Morrow, known on the air as Cousin Brucie, is one of America’s most famous, and most popular, disc jockeys.
I first met him in 1987, when he wrote A Memoir of his broadcast years.
And yes, he’s just as wacky and funny in person as you’d expect him to be.
So here now, from 1987, Cousin Brucie.
Cousin Brucie Morrow celebrated his 85th birthday a couple of weeks ago. And you can still hear him on New York WABC late night on Saturdays.
Every day millions of American TV viewers tune in to the syndicated Wendy WIlliams Show.
Wendy Williams in 2003
She’s been a fixture on daytime TV since 2008. But her media career began long before that.
Some have even called her a “shock jockette”.
When I met her in 2003, Williams was a major radio personality but had not yet broken out onto the national stage in a major way. She had just written her first book, Wendy’s Got The Heat.
So here now, from 2003, Wendy Williams.
Wendy Williams is 56 now. Her TV show is now in its 13th year, she has written several books, she has a line of fashions, wigs, and jewelry.
Tomorrow, August 20th, is National Radio Day.
Yoday, we’re going to revisit my interview 25 years ago with one of the greatest radio personalities of all time.
And I’m going to let you hear the question I asked him that day, and the answer he gave me, that has haunted me to this day.
I’m talking about the great Wolfman Jack, one of the greatest figures in the history of the music business in America, as well as radio.
So here now, froim 1995, Wolfman Jack:
Now, about that question I asked him, and the answer he gave — Here it is:
Just hours later, after he finished his live show in Washington, Wolfman Jack drove back to his home in North Carolina, got out of his car, and collapsed and died. He was 57.
It turns out mine was the last interview we ever gave. And I asked him why he wasn’t dead yet. That haunts me.