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I intended this to be a “feel good” blog posting, sharing a video clip of one of the greatest radio personalities ever.

As I began writing, however, I realized I was angry.

Part of me is urging, “Hide the anger. Just share the video, say something sentimental, and let it be a ‘feel good’ blog posting.”

Another part of me says what I censored from my own blog post title:

The Radio Hall of Fame can kiss my ass.”

A few days ago I was privileged to host a live Q&A teleseminar with Gary Burbank, who spent 35 years doing more things brilliantly than any radio personality I’ve ever heard.

I don’t think the geniuses at the Radio Hall of Fame will fix their inane voting system (bizarre categories — one year Gary was nominated as a “radio pioneer” — combined with expecting retired jocks to compete for votes with jocks who still are on-air and have the promotional support of their stations) during Gary’s lifetime.

Many years from now he’ll be inducted posthumously.

And his legion of surviving fans and radio colleagues will bitterly ask, “Where were you when he was still alive?”

Here are the final moments of a monumental radio career.

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  • Anonymous March 16, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Gary was not only a genius, but a truly good guy. Seg Dennison would not have teared up if he weren’t. Thanks for asking Gary my question during the seminar: “How much of Earl Pitts is part of the core personality…” I should have restated it “how much is PART of your personality” for it obviously was, or he could not have created such a long lasting character without SOME of Earl in him. What’s to be ashamed about? I play a schtick with my wife called ‘Chillicothe Chris’ and he is very similar to Earl Pitts. My wife just shakes her head and laughs at me… anyway, thanks again Dan

  • Keith Mitchell March 17, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Didn’t realize he wasn’t in. What are they waiting for? I felt privileged to be on another station in Cincinnati in the same daypart as Gary. Like being allowed to paint near Picasso.

  • Dan O'Day March 17, 2012, 12:16 pm

    @Keith: Thank for sharing that.

    How many other radio personalities have there been whose competition would say that about them?

    (Of course, your comment makes it clear that you’re not speaking as a competitor; you’re speaking as a one radio guy about another.)

  • Christopher Rolando March 17, 2012, 3:38 pm

    About time someone said it… Thanks Dan for pointing out the fact that the King has no clothes. I for one and sick of awards that are based upon a vote by some board and are steeped in politics, or designed to help some hack sell magazine ads. How about this… how about those of us who do the job vote on the awards….

  • Todd VanDyke Overbeek March 17, 2012, 3:39 pm

    I listened to Gary Burbank from a great distance on CKLW in the ’70s… and later (from a greater distance) on WLW. He’s a genius, and the Radio Hall of Fame has no more legitimacy than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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